Our Victorian abode is getting more crowded. Another couple came in last night, so there were four of us for breakfast. Mark and Chris joined us for another three-course meal – more scones, and incredible fruit concoction, and blueberry pancakes with Maine maple syrup. Mark is another amateur photographer, so we swapped stories and chatted about things in general.
According to the Weather Channel hour-by-hour forecast, our best bet for no rain was for early in the morning, with the rain starting back up in the afternoon. That being the case, we decided to head south to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. Since things were dicey as far as the weather, we drove straight there, without stopping at any of the interesting places along the way.
I had been to the Rockland Breakwater on my previous trip to Maine. The breakwater extends nearly a mile out into the bay, where it terminates at a lighthouse. On my previous trip I only took photos along the path, but didn’t hike out to the end. This time I was determined to do so.
We found the parking lot and headed toward the breakwater itself. As we approached we could see that not only was it high tide, but wind was whipping the surf so that it was splashing up and over the rocks. This was going to be a challenge.
Bravely we headed out. While the surface of the breakwater is flat, there are large gaps between the stones. Some of these are wide enough to swallow a leg, so the footing can be tricky. Throw pounding surf into the mix, and things really get hairy. We were fine when we started out, as long as we stay to the leeward side of the 8-foot path.
As the tide came up further, Laura grew more concerned. About half-way out she decided to turn back, but I wanted to press on. The waves were now splashing almost all the way across the rocks now, but at least they were retreating enough for forward progress. Eventually, though, the waves began washing completely over the rocks, and I could go no further.
I turned back and walked much more quickly, hoping to beat the rising tide. When one looks down the breakwater, there is no real sense of perspective. You can’t really tell how far out the lighthouse is, and it can take longer than imagined. Even with this knowledge, it seemed like a very long hike out and back, and even with the bad weather I was glad I made the attempt.
We drove on to downtown Rockland. We had a nice lunch, and I talked cameras with another Nikon fan, then we wandered along the main street looking into art galleries. It seems that the Farnsworth has a nice collection of Wyeth paintings, but we didn’t stop by to see them.
With one objective met, it was now time for our second objective of the day – finding a moose. This would be even more of a challenge than the breakwater. Our best bet was to travel along backcountry roads and look for boggy areas. My Maine atlas actually had a couple of moose icons for wildlife management areas, so we decided to head in that general direction.
Our route took us through some wonderful farmland. We enjoyed the roads that ran along rocky ridges, usually with spectacular views. As we had discovered yesterday, the roads were in horrible shape.
Somehow we got turned around and did quite a bit of backtracking. Eventually, though, we reached the Frye Mountain Wildlife Management Area. This was traversed by a very straight dirt road that went up and down several hills. Snowmobile paths branched off to the side, but the road continued straight. Finally, there were large ruts in the road, and we were afraid we could go no further. I turned us around and we headed back. At one open, flower-covered meadow I spotted a bit of brown at the woods’ edge. It was our elusive moose, a female.
We stayed for about 15 minutes watching our moose. Eventually it headed on into the woods, and we took our leave, as well.
Back out on the main road we mapped the quickest route back to Belfast. It had been a good day, but we were ready for a bit of down time.