September 13, 2018 Old Orchard Beach, ME (Day 2)

We were slow to get out of bed this morning especially after hearing some rain on the roof.  We got up around 8:00 and by then the sky showed some improvement.  It was still cloudy, but warmer than yesterday.  We made our plans for the day and headed out around 10:30 on Highway 9 north, to Old Orchard Beach.
There is an 11 ft. tide swing today.  We wanted to check out the low tide at the beach that had started at 9:00.  Note how much of the pilings are out of the water and beach is exposed.

People were scouring the beach for treasures they might find at low tide.  We wanted to come back at high tide around 2:45 to see the difference.

We walked along the beach to “The Pier” to see what that was all about.  
It was mostly filled with bars and restaurants and a couple of shops.
Most everything was closed and would open later or operates only on the weekends at this time of year.  Across the street from The Pier was a large amusement park.
There weren’t many people out and about which was nice.  I’m sure it is much more crowded in the peak summer season.  We stopped in a couple of shops looking for a Maine souvenir.  I found a sweatshirt at Harold’s, but Bob is still looking for what he wants.  
We left Old Orchard Beach in search of lighthouses.  Highway 9 through OOB was lined with motel after motel and beach rentals.  We continued on Highway 9 north to Scarborough which is home to Maine’s largest saltwater marsh.
The tide was out at the marsh, but it would look different later this afternoon.  Bob caught sight of a sign for live lobsters at Alewive’s Brook Farm Store.
We pulled down a gravel road that took us into a farm.  It looked like a junk yard.  We noticed this sign as we entered.
We kept driving in and the place looked a little scary.  We were beginning to think that we were in the wrong place.  We did pass the chicken coop and they were still all penned up.  We came around the corner of the barn and there was the store.
Live lobsters were advertised, so we were in the right place.
Inside, we saw all kinds of fresh produce….and live lobsters.  The lady behind the counter gave us a lesson in the difference between hard and soft shell lobsters and the difference in taste.
The lady took us in the back room to pick out our own.  We decided on the hard shell lobster for the amount of meat you get.
They were $6.49/pound, so we got two-1 pound lobsters.  She was kind enough to pack them with seaweed, so they would stay wet and with an ice pack to stay cold.  She even told us the best way to cook them.
What a sweetie she was!  Before we left, she showed us a 3 1/2 pound lobster.  It was huge!
We left there feeling excited about a lobster dinner tonight.  From there, we picked up Route 77 to find the Portland Head Light which was located in Ft. Williams Park.  The road wound us through quaint old neighborhoods towards Cape Elizabeth.  We entered Ft. Williams Park and parked the truck near the shore.  
We had a great view of Casco Bay and all the boat traffic that was happening there.
The waves were crashing on the rocks with large swells even though there was no wind today.
This structure on the rocks was an army fortification that was built in WWI and manned in WWII also.  It was protecting the channel, but they never fired a shot from there.
By noon, the clouds broke up and the blue sky poked through allowing lots of sunshine and a temp of 75 degrees.  What a beautiful day it turned out to be!
We took a short walk up to the top of the fortification, to the highest point on the cliff overlooking Casco Bay.  We enjoyed just watching the waves crash on the craggy shoreline.
From that high perch, we could see Ram Island Lodge Lighthouse which stands at the entrance to Portland Harbor.
It was built in 1905 and marks the main channel.  It sits on a series of stone ledges which break the water in Casco Bay.  It stands 77 ft. tall and was put up for sale to the public for a minimum bid of $10,000.  It was sold to a surgeon for a winning bid of $190,000 in 2010.  From there, we got a great view of the harbor and the tour boats going in and out.  While we were standing there, a car ferry that travels between Maine and Nova Scotia came by.
We left there to drive a short distance up the hill to the lighthouse parking lot and the Portland Head Light. We got a glimpse of it from where we were standing on the cliff.
Once we parked and walked to the lighthouse, we were able to see “the most photographed beacon and Maine’s oldest operating lighthouse”.
It was built during George Washington’s presidency and renovated in 1813.  We went closer to get a better look.

The shoreline is rocky and unforgiving.  We spent some time there just watching and listening to the waves crash on the shore.

On our walk back to the truck, Bob noticed this food truck–Bite Into Maine–near the parking lot.
We ordered a traditional Maine lobster roll to share for lunch.  
This sign shows the 6 different styles of lobster rolls they made.  Maybe I’ll try the “picnic style” next.
Ours was delicious and just the first of many lobster meals we plan to partake in.
From there, we drove farther along the coastline and closer to Portland where we wanted to see the Spring Point Ledge Light.
It is a 54 ft. “sparkplug” lighthouse and marks a dangerous obstruction on the main shipping channel into Portland Harbor.
From where we stood, we could see Ft. Gorges–a former military fort built on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay.  It is now a park only accessible by boat.
On our drive home, we took the same route and stopped at the IGA grocery store for some items to go with our lobster dinner tonight.  We could see that the tide was coming in by the salt marshes.  High tide was at 2:45 and we got back to the same beach in time to compare it to what we saw at low tide.  You can see that the water level at the pilings of the pier is higher than this morning and the waves were washing up to the top of the sand ledge.  Half of the beach was covered by water.

We got back to the campground around 3:00 and had time to do some wash.  They have a very nice facility here.  Auggie and I sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine while waiting for the wash to get done.  Then it was time to do some cooking.  Bob borrowed a steamer pot from our camping neighbor.
Then Auggie got to check out the lobsters and the seaweed it was packed in.

Bob posed with dinner before they were dunked into the boiling water.  
After 12 minutes they were done.
With melted butter, red potatoes, and corn it was a meal fit for a king and queen.  Mmmm, Mmmm, delicious!  We took our evening walk as the temp cooled off.  We made plans for another busy day of sightseeing tomorrow and more….LOBSTER!

 

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