|On Sunday we took a wonderful drive along the Maine coast (billed as the “Big Sur” of Maine, but not nearly as dramatic since most of the coastline is actually hidden from view by the forest). Along the way we drove to Schoodic Point (another part of Acadia National Park) where the blue water sparkled with the green, reds, and yellows of lobster trap buoys bobbing in the sun and through Washington County which is also known as Sunrise County since the first rays of light in the U.S. are said to hit here; in addition, this county, which is bigger than the state of Delaware, is the blueberry capitol of the country producing over 30 million tons of blueberries a year. Blueberry farms dotted the landscape everywhere as we drove along US 1. Although we did not drive through Cherryfield which, despite its name, is the blueberry capitol of the county, we could not resist stopping at Wild Blueberry Land for a quick peek at their blueberry pies, teas, and muffins.
We drove to Quoddy Head Lighthouse, which sits 90 feet above the Bay of Fundy and marks the easternmost point of the U.S. (contiguous 48 and all 50). With this visit we have now been to the westernmost, southernmost and easternmost points of the contiguous U.S. during our sabbatical. The Bay of Fundy is most famously known for its fantastic tides. Seawater rises to the height of a four story building in some places where the channel becomes extremely narrow. Twice daily 200 billion tons of water enter and leave the Bay – equal to all the rivers on the planet (imagine the potential electrical power generation capability if we could harness the power of these tides – something FDR proposed back in 1934 and for which we still wait today). We visited during low tide and could only imagine, based on the wet rocks and mud, how high the water level would get some six hours later.
Our final destination was where U.S. 1 ended and we could drive no further east – Lubec, the easternmost town in the U.S. Lubec used to house more than 19 sardine factories, but today it is a quiet town with no malls, no crowds, no traffic lights and very little industry apart from the local fishermen who fish the water for lobster, scallops and sea urchins. In fact, there are only two traffic lights in the entire county in which Lubec sits, a county which is 2.5 times larger than Rhode Island.