Murder on the trail, mooned by a leprechaun, gems on the beach and other tales down east (with lots of pictures)

Beth and I started renting Seawall Cottage at Cobscook Bay Cottages ( ten years ago. We love staying there because it’s so easy to travel to all the places in Washington County we enjoy. Even after our fourth stay there, as well as other stays in Lubec and on Campobello, we’re far from running out of places to explore.


(Nature can get hairy down east)

Of course we have favorites. At the top of that list would be a small beach on Campobello that’s always prime sea glass territory. In addition East Quoddy lighthouse, the boardwalks through the bogs, Herring Cove Beach and Roosevelt Campobello International Park are well worth visiting when on the island. Tea With Eleanor at the park house is as good an example of living history as one could ask for. Offered twice a day, ladies who work there serve tea, amazing cookies and bring Eleanor to life so well that even the most jaded tourist goes away excited.


(when I was a kid, I used to eat the seed pods from these wildflowers)

Just north of Calais is Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. We walked out on a long roadway to a small dam that regulates the water level for a large part of the marsh area. Birds, dragonflies and an endless array of wildflowers mitigated the heat and humidity. However, our walk along a woodland trail was abbreviated by these same factors, coupled with absolutely no breeze. the conditions kept most critters hidden away, but the wild strawberries were delicious.


(Beth collected numerous feathers, but this one escaped her)

South of Calais, the Saint Croix International Historic Site is well worth a visit. The short walk through the trees on the point features sculptures and informational plaques that help tell the story of this part of Samuel De Champlain’s exploration of North America. The museum/shop is also interesting and we came away with books for Piper and some grand nieces/nephews.


Eastport is always hopping during the Fourth of July holiday. I like unique jewelry, but hadn’t purchased any in several years. Seaside Stones ( changed that and, while there were at least five pieces I wanted, I restrained myself and came away with a necklace of purple plume agate from Indonesia. The pier was populated by food vendors and while we were strolling down the main street, the USS McFaul docked to be part of the festivities. We got to see the crew assemble on deck to greet the citizens and visitors right after it made port. There are several art venues on or near the waterfront and we enjoyed some eye-popping photographs at a shop just down from Peavey Library. It’s always a treat to shop their July 4th book sale and chat with old friend Dana Chevalier the librarian. For more on what’s available in Eastport, check their Chamber of Commerce website. (


(Eastport, like everywhere else in Washington County, has flowers galore.)

Book lovers will also find plenty of treasures at the Lubec Library’s 4th of July book sale. While you might think such a sale wouldn’t have much to offer, the opposite is true. Many summer and year round residents are well read and donate amazing items. I always come away with a bag of treasures. Then it was time for lunch at Frank’s Dockside restaurant where we always sit on the deck in hopes of seeing a seal, but not this time. Beth picked up special treats for our dog, Bernie at Wags & Wool. No matter how often we visit West Quoddy State Park, we never tire of walking the trails and admiring the cliffs on Grand Manaan Island. I happened to look down at the right moment and spotted a June Bug being ambushed by a horde of ants. It was too late for a rescue, but made for quite a photo. We also noticed that someone had created small stone walkways leading to numerous openings along the path leading to the bog boardwalk, creating natural fairy houses.


We hadn’t been to Reversing Falls since the girls were in grammar school. It’s at the end of a point in Pembroke, with not much in the way of signage, but it’s well worth the trek. When we arrived, we found a group of graduate students from UNE, University of New Brunswick and University of Toronto engaged in an archaeological dig. They were looking for pottery shards, bones and other items from Native Americans who camped and fished there hundreds of years ago. I admired their dedication, particularly in the 90+ degree heat. In addition to eagles, seals are often seen here, but the main attraction is the way the high tides make the water flow backwards over a big ledge. I found that listening to it with my eyes closed was hypnotic as the sound changed and strengthened almost from second to second. There are nice trails along the inlet as well.


(That’s some serious sifting right there)


(The root structure over thing soil and granite is amazing.)

Our final hike this year was on the trails in the Sipp Bay Preserve ( There are several nice trails along the twisty coves here with numerous places to go onto the shore and look for shells. I was doing just that when I made my best find of the trip, a rock with several pieces of tourmaline, something I never expected to see on a beach in Washington County. A few moments later, I found the moss patches you see here and I couldn’t help but think of them as a leprechaun’s butt. If you haven’t discovered this part of Maine, treat yourself to some great new adventures.



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5 Responses to Murder on the trail, mooned by a leprechaun, gems on the beach and other tales down east (with lots of pictures)

  1. bethc2015 says:

    It was a magical week. And… I got to kayak on the ocean every single day!

  2. I adore that part of Maine, John and Beth. How fortunate for you that you had a full July week there.
    We hope to do a weekend trip before summer is out. Your photos make me want to leave today.

  3. Scott Caron says:

    Lived in Maine for 46 years and I never saw any of these places. Well written.

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