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Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation Day 5

First, a quick note about vacation day 4. I spent the morning doing chores before meeting up with T so that we could take a stroll around the Old Port. Naturally, yesterday was the first day it rained this week, so we didn't do quite as much strolling as we would have liked. However, we were planning on ending the day with a trip to Flatbread, so we just headed there a little earlier then we otherwise may have, so life is still good.

Today, for my last weekday of vacation freedom, I'd planned to go tool around Cape Elizabeth. The day dawned fairly cloudy, so I was starting to get a little worried about my plans, but by lunch time, things were starting to brighten up here in Portland, so I headed out.

I started out with lunch at the Lobster Shack. Not only are the fried clams (among other things) excellent, but the restaurant is right next to Two Lights State Park, so you get the benefit of some of the cool coastal rocky scenery, without having to pay for it.

It was quite foggy when I arrived today, but that actually worked out well. It moderated the temperature quite nicely, and there's nothing right off the rocks at this point of the coast anyway, so as long as you can see the rocks, it's all good. The restaurant is also right next to a fog horn, which I think is still ringing in my ears.

The other neat thing I like about this restaurant is their garden, which is quite well done, even more so when you consider all the salt spray they get there. I had a lovely time taking pictures of that while waiting for my lunch order to come up.

Once I was done with lunch, because of the fog, my plan was to head to Kettle Cove, which is the free side of Crescent Beach. However, once I hit the road going back to Route 77, the sun had come out, so I figured it was worth the money to pay to get into Crescent Beach State Park.

It was indeed beautifully sunny right on the beach, but the fog bank was looming just off shore. In the picture below, Richmond Island, which is a pretty decent sized island, should be sitting just off the coast. If today had been my first visit to Crescent Beach, I would never have known Richmond Island was there, even when I got on the trails that run along the shore parallel to the island.

Below is a picture back in the other direction, where you can see the edge of the fog bank that was still sitting on Two Lights. It's likely still there. When I drove home, I drove through a pocket of fog right at the turn off for the park.

The fog was still burning off as I arrived. The below picture is back on the meadow about the beach, and the fog here burned off as I walked toward it. It looked a lot like I was walking through a cloud forest.

Because I had more time than I usually do, and because I'd actually paid the money to get in, I decided to take the trail through the meadow all the way to the end and walk through the woods behind the beach. It was lovely and cool under the trees, and there was plenty to see that I don't normally get on a beach walk.

I actually prefer this walk to a walk through the woods on Mackworth Island in many ways, because this is a more genuine woods walk. Since Mackworth is a ring trail, it's much more open (well, that and all the moderately recent storm damage), so you don't get quite as much of the true woodland plants as you can get right at the side of the trail here.

I finished off at Crescent Beach with a swing in the old playground. I faced the water, like I remember doing when I was young, but I think they've let the roses grow in the two decades since I've done this with any regularity, because I remember jumping off the swings when I had some good air, and I don't think I'd want to do that today.

My last stop on the way home was at the Kettle Cove ice cream stand. One dish of Needham ice cream later, and I was ready to go home.

It's hard to believe that major part of my vacation is pretty much over. I do have the weekend left, but the week itself has flown so much, I half expect to wake up tomorrow morning, and find that it's actually Monday morning.

I didn't accomplish quite as much around the house as I would have liked (I had a couple of specific craft projects in mind), but I have another week off in September, and I suspect the climate will have improved for such housebound things like that by then. I do feel lucky to have had all the good weather this week so that I actually wanted to be out and about doing things.

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