Thursday, January 16, 2014

21 September 2013 Enjoying Portland

Our first stop of the day was filled with much anticipation. On our last visit we had stopped by the farmers market and had a great time. At that time the market was held during the week and was in downtown. Besides some wonderful looking farm produce, there was a lot of great prepared food and more than a few places selling amazing baked goods. The market had moved to a large city park and was now held on Saturdays. There was little in baked goods and prepared foods offerings, but the produce was sensational. Walking through a market like that makes me wish we had a means of cooking our meals. Everything looked great.

We finally settled on a couple jars of jam with the hope they would survive the flight home and Ali bought some apples for the week and got an early lunch which looked and smelled great. As happens so often, food was not my top priority in the late morning. My happy highlight of the trip was finding a stand that sold at least a dozen exotic varieties of garlic. I love garlic. I really love roasted garlic. I had no idea there were so many exotic varieties out there. I picked four to try out roasted once we returned home. The market had changed, but it was still a fun walk and is still the best farm market I have visited.

On our way to Sebago Lake, we stopped by Chaffin Pond Preserve for a couple finds. We enjoyed the trails and a nice fall walk in the woods.

On our last trip to Maine, we cached at Sebago Lake but didn't get to the state park. We enjoyed our time near the lake on that visit so Ali planned time at Sebago Lake State Park on this visit. It was a super place to spend an afternoon. We had fun on the trails, and I got to enjoy looking at the mica.

While on the trails we found a number of caches placed by longlakeloonies. At one point, we were searching for a cache and were ready to give up thinking it was missing. As we were picking up our cache bags, Ali spotted a saint bernard on the trail approaching from the other direction. We knew longlakeloonies had saint bernards and cached with them. Not that many people have saint bernards. A few seconds later the family appeared with a new cache container. All we could say was wow, Maine cachers know how to treat visitors. They were actually doing a maintenance walk on their caches and had spare containers. We spent some time talking caching before moving on.

I can't explain why I like finding old cars in the woods, but I do. Maybe its the ponderings of how do they get there or what history did they see before they came to this end. I always liked the early 50's Mercury so the one was a great sighting. I think the other is an early 50's Chevy with the post-war fenders. Both are slowly rusting into oblivion and being consumed by the mud of the wetlands.

The area was also home to a small bottle dump. From the gathered collection, I guess I am not the only person who likes to see what old bottles are lying around. The milk bottle was faded, but the Orange Crush brought back childhood memories. I never liked Crush, but one of my sisters did.

As we approached this log there were at least a dozen turtles hanging out. They have an amazing ability to sense potential danger. One-by-one they either flopped or quietly slid into the water as we arrived. By the time I took this image, only the few, hearty, brave remained.

If you carried your picnic basket the way we approached this area, you would need to be a hearty soul. Although we were not treated to many bird sightings during our visit, this looks like a great place to relax and wait for a few ducks.

We enjoyed the early color changes in the trees as we walked along the water.

We had never seen a hand operated swing bridge before. There's a crank in the floor of the bridge on the pivot point. When a boat approaches and needs to pass, a park employee goes onto the bridge, grabs the handle and walks counterclockwise cranking the bridge open. Once the boat passes, the employee reverses direction, grabs the handle, and walks clockwise to return the bridge to its original position. I can't believe there were ever many of these in existence, but now I've seen one. They should attract volunteers to do this as a workout program.

Starting to rotate...

Halfway there...

Waving the boat through...

Reversing the bridge...

Almost our turn...

We stopped in Casco, Maine for a cache and grange hall Waymarking. A multi in the town took us to Pleasant Lake which certainly lives up to its name.

We found a lightly visited puzzle based on Jim Croce before stopping at this quiet, old rest stop for a cache and a great view of the water.

This was road side near our last cache find. Just looking at the image, I can hear God Save The Queen playing...

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