We spent one night in Jackson, New Hampshire, had dinner in the pub and listened to a local Irish folk band. The rest of the time was at Hawks House Inn, a comfortable, laid-back B&B near Damariscotta, Maine. The host was large, gregarious and couldn't do enough to make us feel at home, and the inn was busy each day. Breakfast was buffet style laid out on two large tables. Steve, the host, was very proud of his artisanal cereals and bread, all bought at the local farmer's market, he said, as was the selection of fruit. This was ideal for us since we could help ourselves to what we liked. Not having bacon and eggs each morning probably did our figures some good, and every little bit helps these days!
As you can see, the sun shone every day, which apparently is not particularly typical of the coastal region of Maine. While this is about the closest we are to the ocean, it is still almost exactly 600 kilometres away, so not an afternoon's drive.
We were lucky with the weather but here at home, we REALLY need some rain. It has been a consistently hot, dry summer and the gardens have suffered, in our case due to the heat, but also because of the ravages of the plant pests which such hot weather seems to encourage. Sigh! We can't have it all...
Missing Cornwall and the coast of England, we took a short break to see the ocean and went down to Maine. We had an excellent time in beautiful weather, perhaps not walking as much as we had hoped – beaches in the area we visited were rocky and access to them tended to be reachable by car, but not so easily on foot.
The locomotive shunts the coaches for a cog railway to the top of Mount Washington, the highest elevation in the eastern United States at 6,288 ft (1,917 m). You can actually drive up on the eastern side, which we attempted in our early days here, but our old Morris Oxford only made it halfway before it overheated.
Photo credit: Sebastian de Gange
The Mercer archaeological excavation in the 1970s unearthed many weapons, including greenstone axes and 700 arrow heads, which appeared at the end of the period of occupation, almost as if a final battle led to complete abandonment of the site. However, there are traces of later settlements and events. Post and stake holes suggest that wooden buildings once stood here; charcoal deposits lead some researchers to surmise that these same structures were also burned to the ground, possibly by invaders.
Own a plot of Irish land
As for the beaches down below, they live up to their reputation, although if you are seeking the wild vistas associated with much of the British and Scottish coastline, this may not be your first choice. St. Ives assembles ocean lovers in droves, along with all their paraphernalia: bikinis, buckets, and beach chairs. It also retains the Victorian provision of changing cabins, lined up in neat, well-maintained rows.
A day at the beach isn’t complete without a taste of Cornish ice cream made from clotted cream. The distinctive dark yellow colour and flavour is unforgettable, especially if accompanied by the traditional 99 Flake chocolate stick. If you’re too peckish for sweets, you might prefer a pasty from S.H. Ferrell & Son, or some fish and chips, washed down with a glass of ale from a local pub.
The author is an artist, writer, and instructional designer with an overactive imagination and too little time. Ceci en est un exemple...
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