Small towns are my playground. I skipped Bangor, I skirted Portland and turned my nose up at Bar Harbor--especially when the lady in the Visitor's Center informed me that RVs were not allowed on their downtown streets.
I shunned Boston and went only to the suburbs around it and even then felt like I was being overwhelmed by humanity. And may I never, ever again end up at rush hour on a six lane freeway in a tunnel where the traffic moved at 3 miles per hour while the soot-covered ceiling supported many floors of mega skyscrapers. (How old is this tunnel? Is it part of our inferior infrastructure? Has Boston ever had an earthquake? Could I be asphyxiated by the fumes? How did I get here anyway?)
So I spent my days in the villages, talking to people who had time to be civil.
They were curious about me and in turn were willing to share what they had in their tiny part of the world.
Rivers were what sustained the original settlers and still do today.
Water views are so prevalent everyone has one.
..including me. This is actually the waterfront road right below downtown in the very small community of Wiscasset.
The town had fireworks from this bridge that night, and nature produced fog in the morning.
These pictures are from my window while I ate breakfast.
These small communities appear to be very healthy.
People from as far away as New York City drive here for the weekends to get away from the traffic and the crush of city life. That meant the weekends in these towns were sometimes bumper to bumper too, but all would return to normal on Mondays.
A Maple Sugar house--waiting for spring.
I did find one town that was overcrowded and home to dozens of outlet stores--all capitalizing on the popularity of one famous catalog purveyor...
In Freeport, Me
Bean's stores cover several blocks and each store stocks for a segment of the market.
I went looking for the 'camping store' and discovered how ill-equipped I apparently was. Clearly, I was on the edge of a disaster for want of a collapsible rotisserie grill or a solar powered flare that could be seen on the moon. I was still able to resist most of the gadgets--but that flashlight was too good to pass up.
And here is the porch of the very first L.L. Bean store.
I hated to see all the 'trophies' but I had to admire the taxidermy.
Is this why, in all the miles I have covered this year, I have seen only one moose in the wild...
and mostly dead skunks on the road.
Signs tell me, "Don't feed the bears," but I doubt there are many out there to feed.
However, Raccoons are plentiful if I'm judging from the roadkill.
And I really do not want to meet one of these fellas--anywhere.
No longer is it the "little country store that sells plaid flannel shirts and 23 blade army knives."
BTW, Freeport has a really great Thrift Store.