Monday, June 20, 2016

Chapter 13 - Salem to Old Orchard Beach, Maine

June 19th, Day 23: Our drive up to our next campground in Old Orchard Beach, Maine was scheduled to take us around two hours although we were delayed somewhat because we realized when we were ready to leave that we were out of propane and that we needed to stop and refill the tank. When we are driving and obviously our travel trailer is not hooked up to electricity, we need propane to keep our refrigerator cold. We sure do not want our beer to get warm and our ice cubes to melt. Fortunately between the internet and our Garmin we were able to locate an open U-Haul dealer on this Sunday morning and we stopped and had our propane tank refilled.  We arrived at the Paradise Park Resort in Old Orchard Beach just before 11 am and shortly thereafter we were all hooked up and ready to settle down at our new home. In the above photo Kathy stands beside our travel trailer that is parked in front of a lovely little fishing pond, our front yard. Our new home for the next few days.

As always we chose our campsite based on its high ratings on the AAA website and as almost always they were not wrong. While we had never heard of the town of Old Orchard Beach it is apparently well known to Northeasterners as all of the local RV parks in the area were almost full including ours, despite the fact that it is still only mid-June. The downtown area along the beach was also filled with visitors walking the streets and sitting on the beach. To us Floridians this seemed really strange for the high temperatures this afternoon were only in the low 70s and to see people standing or even sitting in the freezing water was unbelievable.  Incidentally, we chose this particular location in Old Orchard Beach because it is half way between Maine's largest city, Portland, and perhaps it's most famous city, Kennebunkport, summer home of the Bush family. The above photo to the right shows the crowded streets of Old Orchard Beach.

Old Orchard Beach sits on a section of the Atlantic Ocean called Saco Bay. The name Saco comes from an old Indian name meaning "where the river comes out." The sandy beach shoreline along the Saco Bay extends for about 10 miles with the Nonesuch River entering the Bay at its northern end and the Saco River at its southern end. The photograph to the left shows to some extent the huge width and length of this beach. Old Orchard Park is situated at about the mid-point between these two river mouths. This afternoon we decided to drive north along the Saco Bay and the Atlantic and then tomorrow we will drive south and continue on to Kennebunkport.

This photograph of Kathy and Cabo shows them looking out into the mouth of the Nonesuch River. Fishing boats were everywhere as were restaurants serving all types of the local seafood. This is Maine after all.

We were tempted to stop and eat at this outdoor restaurant that overlooked the Nonesuch River and despite the fact that it was around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, it looked like most if not all of the tables on their "dock" were occupied. Today is Father's Day and fathers like seafood.

Kathy thought of purchasing one of these cute little birdhouses that were for sale and hanging out in front of the restaurant but she decided that Maine's birdhouses might not quite match the d├ęcor in our Florida home.

Kathy did stop however, at one of the busy shops in Old Orchard Beach on our way back to our campground and she purchased this cute sweatshirt that was covered with our country's stars and strips and displayed the name of our current home, "MAINE. 

Once we returned to the campground we spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting out on our lawn chairs looking out at the pond and discussing the beauty of the seashore along the south coast of Maine.  We look forward tomorrow to driving south out of Old Orchard Beach along the seashore and visiting Kennebunkport.

June 20th, Day 24: We left our campground this morning after a great nights sleep with temperatures only in the high 50s. We decided that perhaps the best way to avoid the crowds was to get an early start so we departed out shortly after 8 am headed this time south along the coastline of Saco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. One thing that we noticed yesterday and again this morning is that almost every other house along the highway was either listed for rent or for sale and Kathy and I had a great time as we slowly drove along saying to each other "Let's rent that one" or "I'd buy that one." I think that we both agreed that this would be a great place to spend the summer (certainly if we were younger.).

Once we arrived in the small downtown village of Kennebunkport we were ready to buy here immediately. At this point in our morning's journey it was still only 9:30 am which meant that while most of the stores were still closed, it also meant that there were few people in the streets and little traffic and that was great.  We could also park our car and walk around. We purchased a cup of coffee and meandered along the streets.

There was also this beautiful hotel located right in the center of Kennebunkport and we decided (in our dreams) that if we could not find a suitable home to rent or buy, this would be the place to spend next summer. But I will bet that this place has a really high price tag per night. . . . thus destroying the dream immediately.

Anyone who does not try and photograph President George H.W. Bush's summer home in Kennebunkport is either a foreign terrorist or a Democrat and while access to their home is controlled by a gated private road, there was a pull-off spot along the highway where we and others could take photographs. Obviously with this somewhat lack of privacy, none of the Bush family members dare to sunbathe nude in their backyard.

We took many photographs this morning and early afternoon and it would not be practical to try and place all of them in this blog. Rather we have attempted to show just a cross section of the photos with the purpose of trying to relate the beauty of this area of southern Maine.  Hopefully it has been displayed. Tomorrow we are headed up to northern Maine to Bar Harbor and the Acadia National Park.  

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