Dan and Hannah Walk to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse (Maine)

Our unexpected November getaway up the coast of Maine takes us to the town of Rockland, Maine on Penobscot Bay. Known for lobster and its deep harbor, it’s even whiter than the state of Maine as a whole. Rockland has a racial makeup that is 95.8% white.  We do white here in Maine, and that’s not a bad thing.  It is what it is. See below for the five whitest states in the United States.

Just yesterday, two women from Florida that we met on their Maine Lighthouse Tour recommended that we go to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, 7/8 of a mile into the bay.  Always up for some extra Fitbit steps, we take coastal Route One to parking for the lighthouse. 

From parking lot to breakwater (upper right)

What must be a madhouse in the summer with tourists seeking clam huts and lobster meals is this morning mellow and crowd-free on an unseasonably warm November day in the mid-60s.  Parking is free as we walk to the breakwater just beyond the golf course at the Samoset Resort.

Rockland Breakwater with the lighthouse in the distance

With others on the massive granite blocks on the 12-15’ wide breakwater, we slip on our masks any time we approach another set of walkers.  Trying to put aside the feeling that all the non-mask wearers are for the one-term president, we smile and greet all that we pass. 

By the way, a sign on the main drag in Santa Barbara says, Have fun. Be safe. Don’t ruin it for everyone. The sign at our gym in Kittery politely speaks its truth.

Coastal Fitness, Kittery, Maine

Stepping carefully over the one to four inch cracks between the granite blocks, we look down more than up over the next 15 minutes out to the 120 year old lighthouse. 

It turns out the breakwater was built before the lighthouse itself.  Prior to the breakwater, nor’easters damaged buildings and ships on the Rockland waterfront.   

Landside of the Lighthouse
The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse from the shipping lane
From the lighthouse back to land

The lighthouse is worthwhile stopover for some Fitbit-loving exercise for us on our way to Mount Battie in Camden ten miles away.  Next Saturday’s blog will take you to the mountaintop.

Whitest states in the United States

One, Maine – 94.6%.

Two, Vermont – 94.2%

Three, West Virginia -93.5%

Four, New Hampshire – 93.2%

Five, Idaho – 93.0%

Six, Iowa – 90.7% (Interesting the first two presidential primary states [NH and IA] are on this list.  It’s understandable that Joe Biden needed South Carolina with its larger Black population to demonstrate he was a viable candidate).

By the way, I respond to all comments that readers make to every blog posting. If you don’t get an email notification of my response to your comment, be sure to click the small square in the lower left to get that email. Thanks. DR

Dan and Hannah Explore the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse on the Gulf of Maine

Rolling down Route 32 in Mid-Coast Maine, Hannah and I notice both the wealth evident in the seasonal coastal homes in New Harbor as well as the subsistence living that also remains a part of this rural coastal peninsula.

Route 32 is on the bayside route above New Harbor
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse appropriately fogged in

Going from the sunshine five miles away at the La Verna Preserve, (click here for that blog), we are engulfed in fog as we approach the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. After shorts at La Verna, I slip on sweatpants, sweatshirt, and light jacket to ward against the foggy chill.

Did you know that the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse is on the Maine quarter. (All 50 states have their own quarter.)  I think of it as one of the three iconic lighthouses in the state of Maine (Portland Head and Nubble Light in our York are the other two).

It seems perfect that we are in the fog at a Maine lighthouse. Such beacons earn their keep in such weather. You see what I did! Okay, might be a little obtuse. But the primary worker here was a lighthouse keeper.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

As it is Monday, November 9, 2020, we are still in celebratory mood as we engage a mother with her grown daughter who have come from Florida for a Maine lighthouse travel tour.

Learning that mom is originally from Ohio, I have the opportunity to ask if they know of Wooster, Ohio.

Thinking so, she wonders how two Mainers ended up at the College of Wooster.  As a Jersey boy who picked a college entirely based on the possibility that he might make the varsity tennis team and who eventually escaped by transferring to Arizona State University for his senior year, I joke it was a series of bad breaks how I ended up in the Buckeye State, except for the New Yorker I met there – as I point to Hannah.  Thar’s gold in them thar fields of Ohio!

Then, the conversation takes an unfortunate detour as we learn that the women don’t believe the pandemic is real. (I choke back speaking up about the 240K that have died in the United State to date).  Their evidence? A nurse said it’s odd that she has seen no flu patients this fall, implying that the authorities are not telling us everything.

This left turn has no good endgame. We extract ourselves gently as we are no mood to debate or have their metaphorical rain douse our celebration.

Though a small park, the Lighthouse envrions allow us to walk down to the rocks on this low tide early afternoon.  We turn inland to views to the lighthouse cloaked in fog. 

A short walk on the Pemaquid Loop Road adds to our mounting Fitbit step total, but we have bigger fish to fry as hiking at the Dodge Point Preserve 18 miles away in Newcastle awaits. Next Saturday’s blog!

On the Pemaquid Loop Road