Out and About: Bangor/Rockland/Owl’s Head, Maine

Ok so, don’t look at a map to find the cities I visited on this day of my vacation.  I’ll go ahead and tell you, it will only make you wonder exactly how hard I hit my head before planning this one because it doesn’t make any sense.

Owl’s Head and Rockland go better in a day trip with Camden as they are right beside each other, whereas Bangor is about 1 1/2 hours away.  I actually drove through Camden to get to Rockland and Owl’s Head.  Completely skipped over it and ended up going back to Camden later in the week.

Any normal person would have prepared and avoided this.  However, your tour guide for this trip – me! – doesn’t pay attention to maps so this is what I did and so…..do as I say, not as I do.

Camden/Rockland/Owl’s Head, yes.  Bangor/Rockland/Owl’s Head, no.

But do visit Bangor.  Just on a different day.

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I had a friend on vacation with me to whom I insisted that we had to visit Bangor for their giant farmer’s market (because she’s a farmer’s market kinda person), and their 31-foot Paul Bunyon statue (because I’m a Paul Bunyon statue kinda person).

I said this because Bangor had to be done.  It had to happen, but not necessarily because I needed to check out the fresh fruit offerings in Bangor, Maine.  See, the truth is, I did want to see Paul Bunyon…but (between the two of us), I had a secret plan.  A fantastic little scenario popped in my mind of being at the farmer’s market when a very specific famous author approached the checkout line behind me for his weekly snap pea purchase.

You see, Stephen King…..THE Stephen King…..lives in Bangor, Maine.  And, you know, I think it would be a really cool thing to randomly bump into him and have a whole “good morning, how are you, how’s your weekend going” convo like we don’t both know he’s Stephen King, and while invisible to the naked eye, my mind would be screaming, “I’m talking to Stephen F*ing King!!!!!”  

Epic.

This was what would have happened (I am most certain) had we made it to the farmer’s market.  Alas, life and early mornings and slow starts.  Of course we ran late and missed the entire market as well as the snap pea meeting with Mr. King.

I’ll admit this is possibly a blessing in disguise considering that by the time we’d actually made it to Bangor I was so up in my feelings about Stephen King being in the near vicinity that I almost plowed over 3 pedestrians and 2 cars just trying to navigate the streets of Bangor.

I’m not the star struck sort but….STEPHEN KING.

Mr. King’s actual house is located on one of the downtown streets.  This is a known, public fact so my knowing it does not make me creepy.  (He has a fancy spider gate and everything.)

Considering we missed our nonchalant snap pea convo, I couldn’t be sure what Mr. King thinks of the fans who drive to his house and take pictures.  Due to the fact that I was still resolutely up in my feelings, I erred toward Mr. King being quite over the fan visits to his curbside and as a result, shooting imaginary (or real) daggers and bad wishes out his kitchen window at anyone he saw doing so.

Naturally my friend insisted we go by there.  And stop.  Right across the street from his house.  Like (potentially) directly within his line of sight.  Because she is (potentially) evil and has no sympathy whatsoever for my sensitivities.

I’d like to be able to tell you how cool I am under pressure.  I am not.  Not even a little bit.  Therefore I was rolling along his street at around 7 MPH and was so beyond being able to concentrate I almost sideswiped a car coming from the opposite direction.  As we recognized his house about midway down the street, I realized there are two cars in the drive!!  Ohmygodhe’shome!!!!  

So obviously I slam on the brakes.  In the middle of the street.  And turn my head as far as I can in the opposite direction.  My friend had to remind me to pull to the curb.  Because the ol’ brain was closed for business.

My friend took (by my reasonable estimation) no less than 6 hours to take her photo while I sat in the driver’s seat and scanned all the other houses in hopes that, if spotted, it would be thought we were just admiring the neighborhood and not specifically there quasi-stalking Stephen King.

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Above is a picture of his home I borrowed off the internet since I couldn’t look at it while physically there, much less snap a photo.

Fortunately I returned to normal once the ordeal with Stephen King’s house was over.  I drove quickly away and we headed for a late lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I would highly recommend to anyone in the area stopping at McLaughlin’s.  It’s a little outdoor eatery right on the side of the road.  Very reasonably priced and everything was delicious!  I got the crab cakes which were almost 100% shredded crab meat, seasoned perfectly, and absolutely divine.

We eventually set off on our way to Rockland on the search for lighthouses and breakwater walls.

Built in 1880, this lighthouse is at the end of nearly a mile long breakwater wall of locally quarried granite blocks.  The pier is fairly straight and well built, but still poses a bit of a challenge.

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As you can see, lots of openings and uneven terrain so be careful but it’s not overly difficult if you pay attention to where you’re stepping.  I speak from experience as I got somewhat cocky on the way back and almost tumbled right off the side of the rocks.

Because grace.

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The breakwater wall is open daily, however, the lighthouse was closed the day I was there.  I’m not sure if it’s open to the public at all.

The entire walk there and back, with a little time for pictures took around one hour.

Our last stop of the day was just a hop, skip, and jump down the road to Owl’s Head, Maine.  My biggest reason for visiting was the little general store but it was closed the day we were there.

We went instead to the lighthouse.  Not quite as impressive as the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, but the scenery is gorgeous and makes the climb completely worth it.

This visit took about half an hour total.  You park in a small dirt lot and walk a narrow road around to where the keeper’s house and lighthouse are.  The walk was maybe a quarter of a mile.

From there you climb around 50 short stairs to get up to the lighthouse.  This one is closed to the public but as I said earlier, the view is dazzling.

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Despite the whackadoo route I’d chosen, it was a wonderful, full day of adventure.  The best part is that aside from food everything was free!

If you’re looking for a fun little outing while in Maine, I’d definitely suggest the Rockland Breakwater and Owl’s Head Lighthouses.  Depending on your time constraints, you should also fit in a visit right next door to Camden.  I’ll be sharing about it in a later post, but it’s an adorable little coastal town with lots of shops to explore!

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