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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Down East, Day 4: The Schoodic Peninsula

Another sunny day Down East, this one spent on the Peninsula. From our B&B (Elsa's - highly recommended) in Prospect Harbor we explored the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, hiking to the top of Schoodic Head for the westerly views of Frenchman Bay and Cadillac Mountain and the easterly views of the Down East coast; driving the park loop road - two lanes, one-way, almost no people - that is a gorgeous miniature of the bumper-to-bumper park loop road across the Bay; taking a picnic lunch to the inviting tables just inside the Park; ogling the mansions in Winter Harbor. It was a beautiful May Saturday, and I imagine the main part of Acadia was starting to bustle and burst, and there was hardly anyone just five miles away by water. Same park, but a world apart. I could still catch a glimpse of the way Schoodic was when Louise Dickinson Rich wrote The Peninsula some sixty years ago.

In the afternoon we walked around the town of Corea and indeed tried to go to the cottage where Rich lived and wrote just outside of town on Cranberry Point. A chain across the lane said "Private." We didn't breach. Apparently, the owners guard the place carefully from Maine groupies like me, although they do rent it out to suitably respectful, well-vetted types, according to the owner of Corea's antique shop Old Good Goods. Pilgrimages these days take money, and special access. Worship is not free.

Corea is a lovely and quiet town. One of the many things that strikes me about Down East is its un-pretension. A tiny house like this often sits on a million-dollar view. The sea is a fact of life, not a movie set.

And any town that still has an active grange must be the real thing.

Then evening come on, and some clouds, and perhaps even a bit of rain to mark our last night Down East. When can we go back?

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