Old Orchard Beach, ME Day 4 Cape Elizabeth

June 24, 2023 Last night, little Auggie had an upset stomach and threw up a couple of times. I felt bad for him. He finally seemed to feel better and settled in for the night by making this “nest” with a towel under the dashboard of the bus. He dragged it over there and made it himself. He slept there all night long. Thankfully, he was back to his old lovable self this morning.

It was going to be an off-and-on rainy day, so we made plans accordingly. We left the campground at 11:00 to take a drive to see the Cape Elizabeth “twin” lighthouses–east and west, hence the name “two lights”. Highway 1 took us through Scarborough where we saw one of the lobster pound places that we’ve eaten at before–Scarborough Fish and Lobster.

The prices for lobster had increased in the few years since we’ve been here, but it was the same cute little place it always was. It was good to see that it was still there.

As we left town, we passed a Tractor Supply Store where we wanted to stop and pick up some of Auggie’s dog food. They usually have it, but they were out of his favorite flavor, so we “googled” the nearest Pet Smart store just 5 minutes down the road and stopped there to get what we needed. It started to sprinkle a little, but that didn’t deter us. We continued on the country roads past the salt marsh areas where we could see that the tide was definitely out.

The closer we got to Cape Elizabeth and the ocean, the foggier it got.

When we started out this morning, the temperature was 74. It started to rain harder later in the morning and the temperature dropped to 66 in no time. Our GPS told us we had arrived on Two Lights Rd., but where were the lighthouses? The road sign said “Dead End”, but we drove to the end of the short road. Through the fog, Bob saw it first. The West Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse was barely visible in the fog. The property this light tower and house are on, is a private residence, so we could go no further. This is one of two “Twin Lighthouses” built in 1828. It was determined that the station would have two lights, one fixed and one revolving, to differentiate it from Wood Island Light (revolving) to the south, and from Portland Head Light (fixed) to the north.

[Maine’s Cape Elizabeth, situated on the approach to Portland Harbor, has a reputation for being a treacherous spot, where even ships captained by the most experienced hands can be torn up. At least ninety-eight vessels wrecked on the shores of Cape Elizabeth between 1780 and 1990.  Mason Jeremiah Berry built the twin lighthouses on twelve acres of land purchased for fifty dollars. The towers, spaced by 895 feet and topped by octagonal wrought-iron lanterns housing lamps and reflectors, first shone their lights in October 1828.

In 1855, the west light was extinguished, and the east light fitted with a third-order lens, but this change was abandoned after just eight months. In 1865, the west tower gained a big vertical red stripe and the east tower four horizontal red bands. The west light was discontinued in 1883, but again re-lit after complaints. Finally, in 1924, the government changed all twin light stations to single lights, and the west light permanently went dark. The east light is maintained by the Coast Guard and remains an active aid to navigation, although the tower itself was licensed to the American Lighthouse Foundation in 2001. The lights were considered among the most important on the Maine coast. Mariners approaching Portland Harbor would line them up to know they were on course.]

I was disappointed that the fog obscured my view, but we needed to find the other lighthouse. So, after turning the Jeep around, we stopped to check the GPS to see where to find the East Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. We figured it shouldn’t be far away. Right along the side of the road where we stopped, we looked up, and there it was! We never saw it when we drove in. The fog didn’t obscure this lighthouse quite as much.

Many people get fooled and go to the Two Lights State Park which was right down the road from us, in the hopes of finding the lighthouses there. The name is somewhat misleading, I guess. I did my research and found out right where to find them. Today, we would have driven into the park to get a view of the ocean and beach, but the fog was so thick we wouldn’t have seen anything. We started back and had considered going to check out Cape Ellis and Pine Point Pier, but it really started raining hard, so we thought we’d try again tomorrow if the weather improves. We made a quick stop at the U-Haul dealer in town so Bob could return a lock that he purchased at the U-Haul dealer in Florida. This was a convenient place to stop and there was no problem getting a refund. We made one last stop at a lobster pound by the campground to compare the prices of lobster and saw this “ad” for Boomers Restaurant along the side of the road. Pretty unique and eye-catching advertising, I would say. It definitely caught my eye!

We got back about 1:00 and it continued to rain, so we made use of our indoor time by doing some needed “housekeeping”–cleaning windows and screens, dusting and vacuuming, and washing the floor all needed to be done. We both worked at it and after an hour we were done . . . and so was the rain! The motorhome looked great inside! Since the rain had stopped for awhile, Auggie and I took the opportunity to sit outside. Our Canadian neighbors from Quebec (all 4 families of them) were gone for the afternoon and it was quiet and peaceful. We made pizza in the convection oven for dinner and Auggie and I took our walk. The campground was full after a few more campers arrived close to dark. We watched some TV and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

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