Friday, September 18th 2015
We woke up early to catch the sunrise, and then a sweet little Mallard duck crept up on me as I ate my breakfast bread. I shared some of my bread with her before Trevor joined me for a stroll around the campground.
We were headed to Portland, ME next, so we packed up, and took US-302 east, parking in the Government District. We were welcomed into Portland by a raging lunatic of a woman who was screaming on her phone about her birthday, and how the person on the other end of the line always ruins it. Given the discussion and also from the look of her, I assumed this was drug related, and she was mad that the person on the other end didn’t “save it” since they were “supposed to do that together.”
Trevor grabbed a cup of coffee at “Coffee By Design,” then we wandered around the Arts District before heading to the Old Port District where there was a piece of the Berlin Wall. There were plenty of cute shops to wander around and between “Stonewall Kitchen” and the “Cabot Cheese Store,” we had a smorgasbord of free food samples.
After filling up on snacks, we checked out the fish market and some more shops before getting some brews at “Gritty Mcduff’s Brewpub.” I got the super tasty ‘Wet-Hopped Ale’ and Trevor went for the ‘Maine’s Best IPA.’
We shared some laughs with Julie the bartender, and discussed a Maryland favorite, ‘Old Bay’ seasoning, with a postal worker on break named Mike. He wasn’t a Marylander, but had a minor obsession with it, and so we suggested he try it out on potato chips or French fries. Mind. Blown. He was oddly excited over trying these combos out later. We commented on the aluminum foil art in the corner of a Ninja Turtle and trophies. The bartender told us that a local makes them, and gives them out to some of the businesses downtown. We would find a Jimi Hendrix one later that day in a pipe shop of all places.
Next, we wandered over to “Sebago Brewing Co.,” where I’d get a ‘Hop Swap’ and Trevor would indulge in another ‘Frye’s Leap IPA.’ There was a hobo at the bar who clearly had way too much to drink. The bartender named Liz, cut him off as we were ordering our rounds, and he proceeded to make a huge scene, not happy to be told he couldn’t have another. The manager needed to escort him off the premises as he mumbled obscenities under his breath in slurred speech. So far, Portland has kept things interesting to say the least!
The bartender told the manager that the man was starting to talk to himself. There was an older couple next to us, and the man questioned if maybe he was an Appalachian Trail hiker since, he joked, that he used to talk to himself a lot when he hiked it. He said, “all I had was myself to talk to!” I would experience this solo dialogue first-hand the following year when I started my hike! The couple was from Macon, Georgia and we talked with them a while about the Appalachian Trail and the south.
We talked to Liz a bit too, who shared with us a short video on her phone of a couple she knew who went to the highest peak in all 50 states before they got married. They played the video at their wedding, and the girl who got married was a relative of “Burt’s Bees'” co-founder Roxanne Quimby.
Julie greeted us when we returned to “Gritty’s” to eat. Trevor ordered the Lobster Tacos, and I got half a Lobster Roll with a cup of New England Clam Chowder. The food was so good, either that, or we were just really tipsy (or perhaps both), that we went for seconds! I ordered another cup of chowder and Trevor got some French fries.
As we walked off all that food we just shoveled down our gullets, we checked out a few more shops as the neighborhood filled up with smoke. Something was on fire, but we never found out what, since we never found the source and left shortly after.
We took US-1 south, making a brief pit stop at Wells Beach to put our feet in the sand, then headed to Portsmouth, NH.
We grabbed a couple beers at “Ninety Nine Restaurant and Pub” which was kinda like an “Applebee’s,” then we returned to the Walmart to sleep in the car. I’ve struggled with the Walmarts up north since most of them aren’t open 24-hours, and all these brews have been making me have to pee in the middle of the night and early morning. Other than my angry bladder, it was a pleasant night.
Jump Back to Part 6: Mountain Man, Dry Crackers & Vacationland
Jump Ahead to Part 8: Witches, Headstones & Patriots
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Highway Robbery, Festivals & A Kiddie Pool