Oh, Mother Nature… How sweet she can be sometimes and how cruel she can be other times. Over the past seven years that Grant and I have been traveling together, we have had VERY good luck with the weather. I really can’t complain too much about anything that we’ve encountered. And that really hasn’t changed. Today, however, Mother Nature did throw us a hiccup. In true Sinclair fashion, though, we improvised, adapted and overcame.
Camden, Me. is one of the quintessential New England towns. While large enough to have a full-size grocery store and several good restaurants and hotels, it is small enough that we were able to walk the majority of the downtown/harbor area within a couple of hours.
There is a small park right in the hub of downtown honoring all those who gave their lives in service, going back to World War I. There is another park just on the north side of the harbor with a memorial to those who fought in the “Great Rebellion,” lots of benches and a grassy hillside overlooking the water and all the maritime action.
The streets are lined with cozy restaurants and shops. There is just enough here to satisfy the small cruise ship passengers that anchor in the harbor (a quick Google search tells me that most just sail the New England/Canada coast), but not enough to feel “touristy.”
There is a small sandy beach (a rarity) just about a ten minute walk from the main part of town.
Our top “finds” were River Ducks Ice Cream and the Camden Deli. For ice cream, we of course had to go with the “Maine inspired” flavors of Blueberry (Bonnie) and Sea Salt Caramel Truffle (Grant). Both were very tasty and delicious. The Deli had large variety of sandwiches, subs, paninis, and a couple of daily soups and salads. And they served beer and wine… Always a plus!
Our “home” for the two nights we are here is the Camden Hills State Park. The park has several hiking trails around and up to a couple of peaks (most are around 1,000 feet, so not really mountains) and a large campground. The campground has more than 100 sites, many with water and electric hookups – something you don’t always find in a state park. Most sites are also well-secluded by trees, so you don’t have your neighbors right on top of you.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
The last couple of days we knew there was going to be a chance of rain. We lucked out yesterday and didn’t get any. When we woke up with morning, The Weather Channel app had a forecast of only about 15-20 percent throughout most of the day. By the time we finished showering, we were in the midst of a very heavy downpour.
Our plan for the day had been to drive along the coast and find more cute, charming New England coastal towns. About an hour south, in Boothbay Harbor, they are celebrating Windjammer Days. We thought we might make it down there to check out the festivities and see some cool boats. Alas, we didn’t really want to do much of anything outside with it raining.
This is when we REALLY began to appreciate our camper. Even though it was raining, we were dry and we had food, a heater, and a bathroom right here. We did make a quick trip to the grocery store, hoping that maybe the worst of the rain would be passed by the time we were done. No such luck. So, lunch was in the camper and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon reading.
One of our biggest accomplishments on this trip has been that we have managed to hit our goal of 10,000 steps every day. Suddenly, on day 25, that was threatened. There are no malls to walk around. While we have rain jackets and waterproof shoes, hiking in the rain, especially cold, heavy rain really isn’t that enjoyable. So, we waited.
Alas, just when we were about to give up hope, the rain stopped. We decided to drive south a bit along the coast, but there was so much fog we could barely see the water. So much for sight-seeing and we don’t really have it in our budget to go to any museums.
So, we headed back to the campground/state park and decided that it was finally dry enough to get in some exercise. We found a relatively easy hike along a multi-use path. This was perfect as the trail/road was wide enough that we weren’t bumping up against trees and getting soaked by the water on the leaves (see the above picture).
While we were enjoying the time to relax (something we haven’t had enough time to do), we were very thankful that the weather cooperated and we were able to keep up our streak of staying active. Days that we are in a park with hiking trails, that is easy to do. Days like today, or when we are driving 5-6 hours, it is harder. But, we have made a point to find a way to keep it up and we are both feeling good these days!