Robbinston, ME Day 2 Calais and Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge

July 11, 2023 We woke up at a leisurely pace and found it to be 60 degrees and foggy. It had rained overnight and into the morning. We waited until 11:00 before we did anything to give the weather a chance to improve. John drove as we made our way towards Calais, the nearest town located at the Canadian Border. We passed a bay where we could see that the tide had gone out. The tide drop today was 20 feet.

We passed this beautiful Redclyffe Shore Hotel and a few other homes with “gingerbread” accents in the Queen Anne style of architecture. It overlooks the St. Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay, leading to the Bay of Fundy.

We made a quick stop at a Rest Area to see Whitlock Mill Lighthouse. This was the best location to get a view of the lighthouse.

Once we got into town, we parked and found the start of the Calais Waterfront Walkway.

From where we parked, we could look across the St. Croix River at Canada.

Looking in the other direction, we could see the Border Crossing where the line of cars into the U. S. was very long.

On the other side, the Canadian border crossing was not as busy.

We walked along the short Waterfront Walkway path where we came out on Highway 1, the highway leading to the border crossing. We could see the price of gas per gallon and per liter.

We saw this beautiful mural painted on the side of one of the buildings near downtown.

We walked back up to Main Street to see what businesses were located there and to see some of the historic buildings.

In 1870, the Great Fire destroyed much of downtown. It consumed many of the wooden buildings. In rebuilding, all new building was done in brick.

One of the unique historic buildings was the Calais Free Library built in 1793.

Another historic building is the No. 1 St. Croix Fire House which was built in 1874 to house two horse-drawn steam fire engines. It is not named for the river flowing a few hundred feet away. It is named for the St. Croix Steamer fire engine it housed.

The belfry and belvedere were also restored. The belvedere is the area around the bell that offers a good viewing spot.

We decided to take a drive through the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. We stopped in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife office to get some information about the area.

Inside the office were some cool, stuffed wildlife figures. Of special interest, where items in a display case that had been brought across the border illegally and confiscated by the border officials.

The ranger inside told us where to look to see the nesting eagles. There was an immature eagle in the nest.

Near the office, Bob spotted this moose antler laying next to the information booth.

Randy tried it on.

We drove the Auto Tour Route into the wildlife refuge. We passed many small ponds where we saw beaver dams.

We didn’t see any other wildlife on the drive and although the ranger said there were moose in the area, they are elusive and are not often seen by people. We stopped to have a late lunch at the Riverview Restaurant on Main Street. It had only been open for about a week and was really nice inside. We had huge sandwiches and beers. We returned to the campground and got invited to a clambake by our neighbor. Henry Bear, a seasonal resident in the campground and native of the Wabanaki Tribe, bought Bob’s clam steamer pot that we brought with us from Florida. Since we sold the pot to Henry, he wanted us to try his steamed clams and invited us to come down to his friend’s RV trailer this afternoon to try them. We walked down to the trailer about 3:30 and met some very nice people, Ed and his wife. Henry was there working on steaming the clams.

Bob and I had never tried steamed whole clams before, so this was an experience for us. Henry was excited for us to try them.

When the clams were ready, Henry showed us how to eat them. You open them up completely and pull out the insides after the shells pop open. Then Henry took out some of the broth that he used to steam the clams. We used it to dunk the clams in it to rinse the sand off. Once we did that, we dipped the clams into melted butter and slurped them up. I thought they were good, so I had two. Neither of us was very hungry after having a late lunch, but we wanted to try them.

Bob was the first to try one and it didn’t appeal to him. That was ok, there was more for us.

We talked for quite awhile and then left to return to our motorhome. Henry was a very interesting, intelligent man. I could have stayed longer just to listen to him tell us about his background, but we had to get back to feed Auggie his dinner. Since we all had a late lunch and some clams, we weren’t very hungry for dinner. Ran and I had some mac and cheese to tide us over. The three of us watched a movie as the fog rolled in. It was a very interesting day!

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