Yesterday I took a long trip to the coast of Maine.  Destination: Castine

The goal was to find my college, and have some fun while doing so.  It turns out that Castine is a pretty rural place, although my previous rural town didn't have a golf course!  The school only has 800 or so students.

The trip began with a stop at our local Cumby's for drinks, and on a whimsy, a $2 scratch ticket, with lucky number 13.  Well, it was lucky indeed... I won 4 times off that number, raking in a $20 prize. Big money!  Mom decided that this was a good omen.

My mother and I started out following the school's directions to the interstate... and then realized that we'd gone 40 miles out of our way to begin with.  What a waste!  But we picked up the right interstates and continued onwards.  Of course, my mother is beginning to have some legendary bladder issues, so our first scenic stop was in Palermo, next to a lake.

Just look at this lush greenery.  It was pretty nice, except for the fact that letting the truck sit still meant that getting back in was HOT later on.

As a side note, I went to a graduation party the day before, which turned out to be lakeside.  My friend and I planned on taking a nice dry paddle boat out into the lake to have some fun.  Well, the sea-doo skipping around the lake decided that we wouldn't stay dry!  Good thing I left my cellphone on shore.

And back to the trip...

So next, our directions became confusing again, naturally.  We went a little too far and decided to go into Belfast and stop to look around.

 This is the coast at Belfast.  The residential houses and businesses were very nice to look at... very colonial architecture and lots of costal motifs.

We stayed just for a few moments to stretch our legs and think about the directions some more. 

We knew we needed to get to Bucksport, and from there we'd make it to Castine.  Fortunately I wasn't going alone because I would need a GPS and a trained guide to get me there.

We hit the road again... and I found myself being dragged into a shop by my very excited mother.

Behold, Perry's Nut House!  What is it, you may ask?  Well they sell foods like candies and assorted -- you guessed it -- nuts.  They also have a safari assortment of toy animals, keychains, t-shirts, and so many things to do with lobsters or moose that your brain would pop.

And delicious fudge, which I am currently eating.  Mmm.

Among the animals they had, there were a few choices of unicorns.  Another good omen for this trip! I brought home a wild-eyed little uni on a keychain, along with a few other good-luck knick knacks.  Little did I know how much I'd end up needing them!

After Perry's, and a lunch stop where I ate my desert out of a plastic children's bucket, we cut through Searsport towards Bucksport.  It was 1:30pm, and our trip had begun at 9am. We were back to business.

Then my mother saw this beautiful monstrosity of a bridge (which promptly made her lose some bladder control, I believe).  She hates big bridges, and this one was quite large for us.  Exciting for me, terrifying for her.

We ended up stopping at a little scenic look-out spot before conquering the beast.  It was nice, but not much to look at.  A little history plaque told me that this was the scene of a big loss for the Americans back when we were fighting the British.  We stumbled across a lot of these flashbacks to the Revolutionary War era.

The Penobscot River.  Scene of a great American loss against the British.  Big, beautiful, and proud.  Hopefully less polluted than the Kennebec.
 Then we drove across the bridge, my mother letting out a continuous scream until we finally rolled onto land.

We'd finally made it to Bucksport, which brought up the question - where was the witch's tombstone?
Are you not familiar with that question?  Well, in Maine there is a legend about a witch whose foot appears on a gravestone at some cemetery.  But we passed many cemeteries and were unable to find it the first time through.  I ended up texting my very helpful brother for an address, which we realized was already behind us. To be continued!

From there on, the roads became very rural.  The houses were small and lovely, and many were for sale. The salt water peeked at us every time we crested a hill, or rounded a shady waterfront road.  We went through Verona Island, Orland, the town of Penobscot, and finally made it down to Castine, and found my school.


We headed straight to the coast and snapped some photos of the ships before trying to figure out where to go on the campus.  On the right is a picture of a tug boat.  It was pretty large, but the training ship the school uses is at least 3-4 times larger, and was unfortunately not docked that day.

This is the football field at my school.  They also have indoor courts for tennis and raquetball, an indoor swimming pool (woo!), a rock wall and more.  There were some frightening pull-up bars by the NROTC office.  My ass is going to be kicked at this school.

We found the bookstore next and purchased a couple items - a very official-looking MMA shirt for me and one for my mother which even had "MOM" written on it.  She was thrilled.

Most of the campus was locked down, so we went around with a map for a little while, looking at buildings, and then decided to leave.  For such a long time, we didn't stay for even half an hour.

Goodbye for now, Castine!
Back on the road again.

We hit a long road and headed back to Bucksport.  I wanted to find the gravestone with the witch's foot.

Imagine my surprise when the truck started drifting into the opposite lane of traffic.  No, imagine my fright!  I felt myself about to literally pee my pants at the sight of oncoming traffic heading towards us.  A truck on the opposite side had to go into the ditch to go around us.

I yelled at my mom, "What the hell are you doing?"

Her response, "I felt like off roading. He needed to get out of my lane."

Thoroughly terrified, and my mom laughing at me to cover her mistake (sigh), we made it into Bucksport safe and sound, and located the cemetery (across from Hannafords).  They have a specially built ramp and guard rail that leads directly to the tombstone.

Two plaques next to the gravestone told us the story behind the gravestone.  This monument was erected for Colonel Jonathan Buck, the founder of Bucksport and all-around considered a great guy.

The legend is that he had a woman condemned as a witch, and burned at the stake for her witchery.  She supposedly cursed him, saying that her mark would appear on his headstone.  While she burned, one of her legs fell off and rolled out.  Her deformed son grabbed the leg, cursed Buck, and then ran off into the wilderness.

Sixty years later, the town erected this monument for Buck, and the leg-shaped mark appeared.  They attempted to sand it off, but it continued to re-appear.  The plaque also states that it is not uncommon for granite to have a flaw that doesn't show up until it's been cut and polished.  There is also a mark on the upper part of the monument in the shape of a sideways heart.

The legend of the witch's curse only showed up after the monument was erected sixty years later. Also, there is no record of anyone being executed for witchcraft there.  Still an interesting legend.

When we hit the bridge later on, I made sure to describe our lofty journey in detail to get back at my mom for nearly killing me.  My favorite was, "Whoa, can you feel the bridge moving back and forth?"  Heh heh.

We had a great trip overall, and we hope to hit some more destinations this summer. 

Next I want to check out the Desert of Maine.
0 Responses