Since high school, (a long long time ago) I’ve had a dream of living in Maine. I used to study my parents’ AAA tour guide book on Maine. (And, why yes, I did have a big “L” on my forehead, why do you ask?) I was fascinated with the quintessential small coastal New England towns and was sure I was supposed to living there rather than the Chicago suburb in which I resided. My dream consisted of this: I’m a writer working on a fabulous mystery novel. I work out of my lovely coastal home with incredible ocean views. Life is perfect. Does this sound familiar? Apparently, lots of people have a similar Maine dream.
Well, at the age of 33, I am pleased to announce that this dream came true. Sort of. We spent the last two weeks in Maine. My lovely coastal home with stunning ocean views was actually my Airstream parked at Camden Hills State Park. Across the street was a trail that went down to the rugged shore and if I stood in my neighbor’s campsite, I could catch a glimpse of the water. And, the fabulous mystery novel was actually my blog. So, it’s a bit of a stretch, right? Well, I say it counts.
We had a lovely two weeks. Emerson and I spent several days roaming the cute downtown streets of Camden and Belfast. We walked the shoreline trail at Camden Hills State Park. We did laundry. Lots of laundry. And, during Emerson’s naps, I worked on my blog, sipped my decaf coffee, and thought, “Wow! I’m in Maine.”
Camden is a huge tourist destination in Maine and the streets were often crowded with cars and pedestrians. The shops are quaint and filled with lobster t-shirts, lobster books, lobster stuffed animals, and fudge–not lobster flavored although it wouldn’t surprise me. Many of the restaurants have patios overlooking the scenic harbor where many large ships offer sailing trips around the harbor and to nearby islands.
The state park is about a mile north of town, just past the beautiful historic homes and B & Bs. The campground has water and electric hookups, awesome free Wi-Fi, and clean restrooms. While a bit pricier than any other state park we have stayed at ($37/night), you couldn’t beat the location and views. We were fortunate enough to snag an non-reservable site so we were able to stay for up to fourteen days without a reservation. It was fabulous!
I read that the park is referred to as the little Acadia National Park for its numerous miles of trails and spectacular views from atop Mt. Battie, where you get a great look at Camden Harbor and the surrounding islands. The peak is accessible by both car and foot and definitely should not be missed. The trail down to the shoreline is an easy hike and one that I made often with Emerson in her baby carrier. We walked along the trail, listening to the waves crash onto the shore, and every now and then sat on a bench watching the ships sail into the harbor. It was a peaceful and beautiful sight.
After Emerson and I completed our tour of Camden, we drove north to Belfast. While Belfast is also a popular tourist destination, there is less hustle and bustle compared to Camden. It has some great shops and galleries and a wonderful Co-op. I actually enjoyed downtown Belfast more than Camden although this may attributed to my delicious gelato from Scoops that I had in Belfast. (Did you think I would pass up gelato?) In any case, neither town should be missed!
We had a wonderful two weeks and I still have more to share but I’ll save it for the next entry. Hmmm…in the meantime, now that my Maine dream is complete, I’ll need to focus my attention on my next dream: Olympic figure skating gold medalist. This might be tricky given my age and inability to ice skate but those are minor details, people. Minor details!