Sunday, August 3, 2008

Island to island

People wonder why an islander goes to another island on vacation. Hmmm...curiosity? Every island has a unique character, yet in Maine they do share the elemental qualities of coastal edges. We headed to Deer Isle on a recent moto-adventure, easier to get to than Peaks, in that a bridge connects it to the Blue Hill peninsula. From Portland, Mapquest said it would be a 3.5 hour drive, but for bikers prone to stopping frequently (for lunch, photo ops, gas, ice cream, donning rain suits...) it was a 6 hour ride. And that's the fun part!

We stayed at the Pilgrim's Inn, a rambling house built in 1793, that sits on a narrow spot between Northwest Harbor and a saltwater pond.

We had ridden through a downpour outside of Belfast but the skies cleared as we arrived. A fresh rainbow over the pond greeted us before dinner. Perfect!

Deer Isle is loaded with artist studios and galleries, as is the entire peninsula. The next morning we visited the Red Dot Gallery right down the street. Mozelle told us a bit about the collective of 10 artists who joined forces to open the gallery in May. I was all ears. And eyes. There's a great mix of eclectic and original work, and we couldn't resist this little bird by Laura Balombini.

We stopped in at the Periwinkle, a good old-fashioned shop with an antique cash register and the best supply of postcards around, along with used books, yarn, and Maine stuff.

We rode into Stonington for lunch and then out to Haystack for a look around. We missed the once-a-week tour, but got a glimpse of the peace and quiet that lucky students enjoy during very intense sessions. Someday, someday, I will go there. A dream for the future.

We rode back into Blue Hill to visit the Leighton Gallery, and were delighted by the current show and the amazing sculpture garden. We're never in an acquiring mood while on motorcycles, but I could have taken home several of the unique pieces on display. This urchinesque piece gave me goosebumps.

I've got to tell Nancy 3 Hoffman, who runs the Umbrella Cover Museum on Peaks, about this sculpture by Ebenezer S. Wright.
It hangs there, swaying with all the melancholy delicacy of a tattered memory.

I was very taken by this piece by Miklos Pogany.

Could it be because it bore a resemblance to this note hidden in our saddlebags by our daughter?

Yes, wise romantics, that's us.

We did more riding around, checking out the Pumpkin Island Light, a disappointment in that it was off-limits. The best part was the wavy causeway that connects Little Deer Isle to Deer Isle and the swoopy Deer Isle Bridge. I could be entertained just riding back and forth on those all day. And zooming past the cairn mounds near Caterpillar Hill.

Our ride back turned soggy, though. Rainsuits donned again near Belfast. Nonetheless, Marty stopped in a downpour to catch this quirky sight near the intersection of Route 90 and 1.

This paint job just tickles my funny bone. I liked that there was not a single slogan or bumpersticker in sight. Red, white, and blue, however you take it!


Jennifer said...

Hi Jamie-- We explored up and down the Blue Hill peninsula years ago with the kids-- I think it's my favorite area in Maine. (Hmmm... retirement potential??) Looks like you had a great trip!

Jamie said...

If you like Maine, why not visit us on Peaks?