When you already live in a state known as Vacationland, it’s pretty easy to figure out where to go on vacation. All you need is a Gazetteer from DeLorme, a vehicle with enough room to hold your goods (and one that can handle dirt roads if you plan on going on them), and a general idea of point A to point Z. We had a pretty awesome staycation, the Suburban got some dirt on her for the first time in her life, and we all had a blast.Let’s reminisce about vacation starting at the beginning. Cue Waynes World flashback.
We did our trip in three parts more or less – and this blog post is ALL of it. It’s a long one, and so feel free to skip around and look at the photos, or read it all if you have the stamina of Thor. A big part of our trip was taking the long way around just to see new places, and those we hadn’t been to in a while. I still hold that you don’t have to wait long before you see something beautiful in a small town in Maine. Maine has beauty around every nook and cranny of it, especially towards the mountains.
Part one of the road trip was from home to Historic Pittston Farm where we stayed for a few nights. On our way to Pittston Farms I started snapping photos out the window while on the paved roads. I think I found the real life Giving Tree.
Early on we saw some beautiful old buildings. Truthfully there is a plethora of them around here. Maine is a very agricultural state, and used to be even more so. This means there are lots of big barns and beautiful old houses everywhere, and in all different styles. There are also a significant amount of old mill buildings. Many times the old mills and brick stores have the original companies name stamped on the side—it might be one of my favorite building types around here.
After a visit with Andy’s 80 year old friend Al, a stop for ice cream, a stop for lunch, and a couple hours on the road we came into Greenville. Greenville is tourist city in the summertime because of the beautiful Moosehead Lake and mountains. The view when you come over the hill into Greenville can give you a good reason of why people love it.
As we weaved through Greenville we decided to stop in Rockwood up Route 15 and see Mount Kineo. From my understanding you can actually go out there, but by this point I was quite happy taking photos and moving on to our final destination.
We headed on down the road until we finally reached the 20 Mile Road (also known as the Northern Road on a map). We’re pretty literal around here, so a 20 Mile Road is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s all dirt. It was at this point that Andy saw the first moose of the trip. Apparently it was right outside his side of the suburban trotting in the ditch and I TOTALLY missed it.
This is (one of the many) roads that leads to (one of the many parts of) the North Woods of Maine, which is about 3.5 million acres of breathtaking forest land. It has an incredible and rich history, it’s an extremely important animal habitat, and a there’s a big fight to put as much as possible into conservation to keep it undeveloped while still maintaining responsible and sustainable timber harvesting.
In order to get into the North Woods you have to pay a very reasonable fee at a check point. When you used to go to Pittston Farms you had to go through a North Woods gate prior to entering. Years ago they moved the checkpoint miles up the road past the entrance to Pittston Farms, but the old sign and equipment storage areas exist.
Finally we made it to Historic Pittston Farm which is a nice old historic farm with a lot of incredible stories behind. Andy and I went here on our honey moon and were made to feel so at home, so we went again. I suspect we will end up here many more times in the future.
It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the farm, but I love the goats & couple cows they have. While they certainly welcome people saying hello to the animals, this is part of a business so we made sure that the owners were around and we also tried to stay out of their way if we wanted to be in the barn. If the barn was closed we just said hello to the animals outside.
There is a guard dog named Gunner who is part Anatolian Shepherd and part Great Pyrnees. He’s a very nice and sweet dog, but he’s a guard dog so we did the responsible thing of approaching very slowly, letting him meet all of us again (it had been two years since we last saw him) and then everything went fine. We always kept the dogs on leash in the barn to ensure they were under control and Gunner didn’t feel they were a threat, and also because it’s the responsible thing to do at a farm. It was pretty clear he was totally okay with us being there after 10 minutes or so.
While Andy took the dogs and walked with them outside the barn, I stayed inside the barn to capture what was an absolutely incredible moment—the twin birth of two boer goats. I didn’t pay much attention to taking fantastic photos because sometimes you need to just be IN the moment. While I was very conscious to stay out of the way, I was also absolutely in the moment and enthralled to be a part of something so beautiful and amazing. At the time we started there was one already born, and another on the way. This was an assisted birth due to her having troubles throughout the night and still not birthing by morning. I came in time for the second assistance.
The following photos may come across as graphic to some.
After deciding to leave the farmer and his son be so they could tend to everything, Andy and I continued our walk and then took a drive. We headed on down the Seboomook Road to check out the camp ground down there, and came across quite a scene of deer eating on the front yard and even a surprise by the gas tanks.
We also wrapped around into the North Woods to do a little fishing before heading back through to Pittston Farms for dinner. Moose number two of the week decided to jump out in front of the vehicle and then trot slowly down the road. I for one had my camera on the totally wrong settings, so hey – you get what you get.
The sunset ended our last night at Historic Pittston Farm and we moved on to part two and three of our trip into the mountains of Maine. For part two, we went out to Jackman and up to The Falls, and ended up going down through Kingfield where we checked out the Stanley museum, got caught in a massive downpour and then saw our third moose on our way into the Rangeley area who literally could not have cared less about the fact we were watching him.
After a few days in Rangeley we headed on down the road towards the Bethel/Newry area to spend time with Andy’s sister and brother-in-law, and spend sometime outdoors in the absolutely gorgeous mountain streams and natural swimming holes.
I was also determined to eat a burger at The Foothills Grill which is a must in Bethel. I didn’t even get a photo, not a single one, of my burger or the place because I was too excited.
Much of the time on the last leg of our vacation I didn’t document, so here’s a few shots showing part of our walk, Andy’s skills with the camera while I cooled my head off in the mountain water, and the types of views you can get in the area.
That my friends, sums up the vacation. I couldn’t fit everything we did into one blog post here, but overall we had a fabulous time with some of our favorite people in some of our favorite place.
You know when people go on vacation somewhere and they say “I wish I could just move there and live there!”. Well, I did, and I do. This is my happy place and I will be forever thankful for the gorgeousness right outside my door.