Maine Day 23: Maine Antiques Festival
This was the day Geoff left Maine to fly out to Wyoming to try to summit the Grand Teton, plus two other peaks, including Mt. Moran, all within a few days. Geoff woke up, late, hit traffic too, was late for his flight, had to catch a later flight, and was late getting in to meet his climbing partner Ron in Wyoming to climb Mt. Moran. It was an ill-fated trip and I'll just leave it at that. He's fine, but might not climb again for a couple years. We were left to pack up the house and van (poor van), say goodbye to our beloved farmhouse, and leave. In the process, Cannon lost another tooth (hence the eeee face photo) and we had to eat all the Ben & Jerry's in the freezer (because Geoff and I never ate it because we kept falling asleep at night with the dark, in the absence of screens and excess technology and ice cream.) And now, my job was to drive all the way back to South Carolina on my own with the kids.
So I decided to try and spend as long as possible in Maine before we had to leave. We'd stay until the weather turned, then head home. And that's what we did. So here are the last few hurrahs of our trip before our return home.
Today, the Maine Antiques Festival in Union was our destination, and we took our time getting there. We stopped along the way at a few little places: the Friendship Museum (which is teeny tiny and has a dory in the front that is bigger than the museum itself), and a farm that clearly welcomed visitors (and was especially happy to have children spontaneously drop by) to visit the goats and chickens and see the beautiful collection of hand-knitted items made from wool shorn and spun there on the farm.
Along the way, not far from our farmhouse, I found what I believe to be the original setting for the children's book Blueberries for Sal. Have you ever read Blueberries for Sal? Do you remember Blueberry Hill, illustrated in all its glory? After years of wandering the country roads of Maine, I believe I may have stumbled across the primary inspiration for the real Blueberry Hill. The author, Robert McCloskey, summered with his wife and children, Sally & Jane (yes, their real names!), on Scott Island, just 14 miles as the crow flies from this hill, which is located just outside Friendship, Maine. The other side of this hill backs up to the Back River, which flowed back behind the farmhouse we stayed in. As soon as I saw this hill, I instantly recognized it for its bare rocks on a hilltop flocked by pinetrees in groups, combined with a blanket of full-bloom blueberries down gently cascading hillsides. This is not a common combination of wild landscape features but uniquely distinguishes the setting of this beloved children's book. I had to take this photo while the blueberries were perfect for picking. Rest in Peace, Robert McCloskey. Your spirit lives on through those of us living in our own Time of Wonder.