Thursday, September 29, 2016

Run for the Coast

Day 4.
We start the day off sniffing around an old fort.

Fort Edgecomb sits high above Sheepscott Bay.  The blockhouse was built in 1809 and is the best preserved of that era in the nation.
With no mountain to climb, no streams to ford, only a few steps from the parking lot, the dogs are jubilant.
Three buccaneers mount a frontal attack.
Repelled by musket fire, they high tail it back to their pirate ship.
 RUN!!!  But, not on water.  A second after snapping this picture, Cole's flailing under the dense carpet of seaweed.  I can't heave him out, he can't get a toe hold on the steep, slick rock.  Nor can he be reached, he's beginning to go further offshore.  To save my dog, I reel him into another cove.  
Genius at work... 
If you've ever seen me on the verge of a panic attack when he's been gone too long on one of his walkabouts...  this is why.  Cole gets himself in the worst predicaments.  
To avenge my heart for the angina attack, I drive them to Camden Hills State Park and we climb Mt. Megunticook (1400'), starting at sea level.   By afternoon, we're even.  They're passed out in the car from the jog up and down the mountain.  
Driving across Deer Isle, don't I spy a sign for Yellow Birch Organic Farm.  U-turn!!!

Ambrosia aka goat milk caramel.  I kill my smaller bottle in less than 12 hours. 
Fascinated with their operation, I jump at the chance to shadow the farmer when he asks if I can help him fix the electric fence around his hog pen. Would I ?!?
Do I want to feed the goats?  Pinch me!
Now, I must sample some of their chevre fresh cheese, it's the only polite thing to do. 
For someone who normally hates tomatoes, I slay handfuls of these.
I do love greens and can graze in my mesclun patch every day.  But, they aren't sweet in Alabama from May to October, the heat rendering them bitter.  I'm given their mesclun mix.  I savor every tender leaf and spicy flower out of this bag on my drive to our campground. 

No vinaigrette wanted or needed.  To add to this sultry little gustatory adventure:  chopped spearmint leaves here and there.  The dogs are puzzling over the curious noises coming from their chauffeur.
We camp at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures.  Amazing place, great hosts, first place since leaving Alabama where the first thing you hear is the quiet.  No hum of cars in the distance, no planes, blissful nothingness. A quarter mile down the road is a lobsterman port.  Fresh lobsters are served to campers every night.  Being deathly allergic, I pass, but am offered a homemade hamburger instead.  Can you make that 3?  Because I want to serve them to the dogs over their kibbles and see how they like someone staring over their shoulder trying to shame them for all the lip smacking and squeaks they're making. Fail, they completely ignore me.  
What is it they say about swimming after eating? I forget.

Too late anyway.
 Free entertainment courtesy of Abbott and Costello.
Old Quarry's property sits smack on the ocean.  Notice anyone missing from the pictures?  Pete tries barking at him, but Garrett is refusing to come down to the shore. 
So, we take the party back to terra firma. 

A two minute walk leads us onto a private preserve called Settlement Quarry.

A more content Garrett, posing as a mountain goat. 
In the 1920's this quarry was a major industrial site.  Massive rocks were cut to build such landmarks as the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges in NYC and the NY County Courthouse.  In the 60's, rock was quarried for the JFK Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.  By the 80's, the quality rock had been depleted (what Garrett is climbing is a 'grout pile' of substandard rock) and the quarry closed.
Enter a forward thinking historical preservation society and a gorgeous preserve is born.

Three times within our one night stay, we came back up here to make sure we'd explored every trail.
Small park can be priceless gems.
We return to the shore to watch the sea kayakers paddling in.
And ping pong back between the quarry and the shore all evening until dusk.

What a magical day.