Another Week Down East

John Clark sharing what transpired during our annual stay at Cobscook Bay Cottages in Perry. As best we can recall, this was our eighth time at the cottages. Once packed, we headed north to Bangor and then east on the Airline to Calais. We always stop at the IGA there to buy most of our groceries before heading south on Route One. Once checked in, Beth went out in her favorite yellow kayak while I munched on shad berries before settling down with a book.


Saturday night and most of Sunday brought rain and low scudding clouds, but the weather didn’t deter the good people of Eastport from having a 4th of July parade. The streets were lined with wet, but determined citizens, waving and hooting at the marchers, fire trucks, police cars, Kora Karts and floats. Beth and I were amazed at the amount of candy still lying on the ground after the parade passed. I wondered how many creatures in the harbor got a sugar high from the runoff.

Monday brought as perfect a day as one could want as we drove to Lubec. After exploring a new trail that took us to Carrying Place Cove where we took photos of waves, rocks, butterflies and flowers, we went back into Lubec for lunch, only to discover that our usual eating place, Frank’s Dockside Restaurant was no longer. Its replacement sold a limited choice of pre-made sandwiches along with crafts, but that was it. A new brew pub with outside seating had opened beside the library where we took advantage of their book sale, but skipped the beer. When we stopped to buy sandwiches at one of the stores outside of town, the lady who rang up our purchases said that Franks, like many other places along the coast, simply couldn’t hire enough help to stay afloat. We went back to West Quoddy State Park and hiked the Coast Guard trail going through the forest to an elevated wooden platform which gives you a nice view of Calais as well as the west side of Campobello Island.

Tuesday was spent exploring the Devil’s Head Conservation area off Route One south of Calais. There are several trails to hike there as well as steps down to the edge of the river. The small beach affords a nice view of St. Croix Island downstream as well as what appears to be a quarrying operation on the Canadian side of the river. We stopped several times to photograph various mushrooms. While looking for a place to eat in Calais, we met a very pleasant gentleman. He was a Korean War veteran, age 89 who had been active in establishing a drop in center for veterans. He gave us a suggestion for where to eat as well as directions to the walking trail that follows the western shore of the river, passing under the roadway leading to the border crossing, a spot, like the International Bridge in Lubec that looks more like a set for a zombie flick thanks to the pandemic.

Wednesday we drove to Cobscook Bay State Park for a picnic and a couple hikes. The trail leading to a scenic lookout was deceptive. At first it took us through the woods where we spent as much time avoiding exposed roots as anything, but then we made a sharp left turn and found ourselves scrambling up a steep jumble of broken granite. Not exactly the best terrain for a couple wobbly folks like us, but the view was worth it and we managed to retrace our route and then follow the Burnt Cove trail back to the main gravel drive. Once again, we took plenty of photos. From there, we drove along the access road to the nearby boat launching area that’s currently being repaved. Along with great photos of fishing vessels, the stop allowed us to snap pictures of a line of cormorants on a floating dock.

Thursday, we went south to Dennysville and found an unexplored section of the Sunrise Trail. We were about to turn back when it looked like the area ahead of us was opening up. Our decision to keep going was rewarded when we started walking through a large marsh. In addition to a beaver dam, the area afforded unlimited photo opportunities of kingfishers, tadpoles of all sizes, more bullfrogs that we’ve seen in years, and huge dragonflies. On the way back to camp, we explored several more roads winding past the ocean.

It poured most of the way home as we took the southern route through Machias, Ellsworth and back to Bangor. A fine and relaxing week away during which I read seven books, Beth kayaked several times and we added more hiking memories. PS-my Hyundai Ionic averaged 65 miles per gallon on our explorations.

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2 Responses to Another Week Down East

  1. sandra neily says:

    Ohhh that was great! I have copied all the good stuff to add to my hopeful list of things to explore up there as we had to cancel our camping reservations at the Park for next week. Onward, with an even better list thanks to you. Seven books! Was curious about your stash. Thanks!

    • John Clark says:

      Welcome to Planet Lara / Eliza Gordon
      These Feathered Flames / Alexandra Overy
      Don’t Hate the Player / Alexis Nedd
      Spin / Lamar Giles
      Along For The Ride / Rachel Meinke
      Gamora and Nebula / Mackenzie Lee
      Where the Road Leads Us / Robin Reul

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