It poured ALL day and all night on Saturday, which was actually quite cool for a driving day. It's amazing how quickly one can cross the north parts of Vermont and New Hampshire to get to Maine. We took Route 2 the whole way, which ran through little towns and countryside. It was beautiful and relaxing. We stopped for a couple of hours in Montpelier to wander in the rain, check out the town and hit the library. Very cute little town . . . and the only state capitol without a WalMart. I'm not even sure that I saw a McDonald's, and I think we saw all of Montpelier.
While we drove, there were frequent moose warning signs, which are slightly different than the typical deer crossing warnings. These signs are red and ominous, perhaps because when you hit a moose, you end up faring worse than the moose. Sam and I watched like mad for moose, and since no one was really out on the roads, we planned to slam on the brakes should we see a moose hanging out near the road . . . but NOTHING. Damn!
We drove through the windy White Mountain region of northern New Hampshire. There were gorgeous birch forests and tons of fog; the fog made it a little difficult to see the large mountains around, but are there really mountains out here? After several hours of driving through little towns, we finally decided to stop in Farmington, Maine, for some delicious pizza. The town was empty: I know it was raining, but it was a little creepy to see next-to-noone in the stores or restaurants on a Saturday night in a "college" town.
After that, we got back on the road, but it was dark and raining sideways, and we figured a moose could easily elude our eagle eyes, so we stopped. In a shitty little hotel in Pittsfield, Maine, just south of Bangor. The hotel was spendy and nasty. There were multiple burn wounds in our comforter, and, though it was a motel with doors outside, there was also a door that led to a spooky hallway down the middle of the place. There was a bar filled with three-tooth-havin' rednecks at the front of the place. And Sam swears it was haunted.
The next morning, there was no one at the front desk and the front door was locked. I had to creep through the back hallway and leave the key on the front desk. These people have my credit card number.
We decided to head to hoppin' Bangor to see if we could spot Stephen King and grab some breakfast. We breakfasted at a bagel joint that served egg dishes as well, then wandered a bit trying to decide if we should stay for a while in Bangor or head on to Acadia National Park. There was an awesome used book store where we spent a bit of time - I wish we could transplant this puppy to Portland. Powell's is awesome, but this place had more cheap books than I've seen in a long, long time. Though we already have books, we still bought a couple more. The Stephen King section was particularly amazing, though I didn't have my camera.
We also stopped by an outdoor shop to try to find some shoes for me (since my other's were destroyed in Guatemala) and also inquire about anything worthwhile to do in town. The quest for shoes was successful, but the quest for anything worthwhile went terribly awry. The woman at the desk said, "There's nothing to do in Bangor, it's just sprawl". This helped us make up our minds a bit, so we did a little drive through the area (stopping only to see the tallest Paul Bunyan statue in the world) and then headed south to the coast, which will be covered in our next posting . . .