Down East - Late Summer 2011 travel blog


Our night in the parking lot in Freeport was uneventful until a hard rain woke us. The rain was not really all that dramatic, but on the fiberglass roof the sound is always amplified. We watched the forecast again and the weatherman's advice was to be where you want to be by 10am when the hurricane was scheduled to arrive here. Our original plan was to shop a bit more, but we hit the road in advance of the strong winds forecasted. Traffic was light as was the wind. When the road took us to higher elevations, it was foggy as we entered the clouds, but in less than two hours we were hunkered down at Camden Hills State Park, our home away from home for the week. We are parked in a field and the only tall trees are behind us, so if the wind does pick up, we should be OK. It will be great to think about other things than the weather.

We are here to attend a digital photography workshop sponsored by Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel. The group gathered for the usual meet and greet in the inn where all the participants but us are staying. Three folks were delayed by the storm; two won't arrive until Tuesday. At our previous Elderhostel workshops, many of the participants were considerably older than we were and had attended many, many Elderhostels. Their educational programs take place all over the world and some folks seemed to travel from one to another. Here our measly track record of ten previous workshops easily outnumbers everyone else participating, but there are still a number of folks who appear older than we. Yay! At dinner we had more time to converse with fellow scholars. They are interesting folks who love to learn and have many thoughtful comments and experiences to share. Often we have gotten leads on future travels from dinners spent chatting with other folks in the Elderhostel/Road Scholar programs.

It is hard to find a spot on the coast of Maine that isn't picturesque, but Camden appears to be especially quaint. I can't wait for the sun to start shining, so we can take some pictures that do it justice. A river that is flowing very enthusiastically after all the rain that just fell, works its way underneath and between the supports of many of the buildings. They were built there when water wheels were the main source of power.

As we watched the nightly news our jaws dropped as we saw footage of southern Vermont, the route we had just driven. The heavy rains rushed down the mountainsides, creating flash floods in Bennington and Brattleboro. Many roads are closed; bridges have washed away. Some folks we talked to at our campground at the top of a hill had fled there from the Maine coast and were planning to stay until the storm went by. Now they may be staying in Vermont longer than they intended. And so it goes...

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