Posts Tagged ‘Camden’

THREE AND A HALF HOUR DRIVE FROM BAR HARBOR TO BOOTHBAY’S NUMBER ONE RATED ACCOMODATION, HODGDON ISLAND INN

March 27th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Boothbay’s Number One Rated Accomodation the nine-room Hodgdon Island Inn is at the halfway point between Boston and Bar Harbor.   Driving time is three and half hours each way.

 

They searched for years to find it.  Pamela and Richard love Boston and they love Acadia National Park and feel that the Boothbay Region allows them easier access to both.Innkeepers Pamela Byrne Riley  and Richard B. Riley are particularly fond of their home on their tiny island in Maine. 

Bar Harbor, Maine

For the trip to and/or from Bar Harbor they recommend taking Route 1 as there are so many real Maine places to see and explore along the way.  Leaving Bar Harbor, the first recommended stop is in the Searsport area.  The Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Fort Knox State Historic Site which is open daily 9-5 May through November.  Another not-to-be-missed stop in this area is the Blue Jacket Shipcrafters.  Blue Jacket is Maine’s largest selection of classic and contemporary ship models and nautical crafts.

Mt. Battie Round Tower & Overlook

From there Route 1 meanders along to the Greater Camden area and the next recommended sights to see include the 6,000+ acre Camden Hills State Park  with Mt. Battie at its summit and can be reached from the road that starts at the park entrance off Route 1 just north of the town of Camden.  The views are spectacular.  Also in the park is Mount Megunticook (1,380), one of the highest points on the Atlantic seaboard.

Sightseeing can make one hungry and if that’s the case by the time you arrive in Camden a great place to eat is Cappy’s Chowder House. It’s located on Main Street and is open year-round.

Scenic Drive - Belted Galloway Cows at Aldermere Farm

If time allows be sure to take Pamela and Richard’s favorite “scenic drive”.  Begin on Chestnut Street in Camden and follow this incredibly peaceful road by a lily pond and by the herd of belted Galloway cows (black on both ends and white in the middle). Take Calder Lane through the woods; continue along Beauchamp Avenue to Rockport Village and harbor, and return to Camden via Union Street.

The next area for sightseeing along Route 1 after Camden is the Rockland area.  You will be spoilt for choice here as well.  Located in the heart of Rockland is the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Wyeth Center.  The museum is incredible!  It houses a 6,000 piece collection of 19th and 20th century Maine-related American Art and features works of three generations of the Wyeth Family (Nathaniel, Andrew and Jamie).

Owl's Head Light

Directly outside of town is the Owl’s Head Light State Park – one of Maine’s many dramatically placed lighthouses and the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum.  The transportation museum has a reputation for being a “premier facility for celebrating wings and wheels”.

From the Rockland area it’s about another 40 – 45 minute drive to Hodgdon Island Inn.  Pamela & Richard like to recommend that the stops along the rest of the way be done via day trips from the inn, but are always willing to work with their guests to personalize their agendas – just let them know your preference.

Follow the signs to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

To get to Hodgdon Island Inn from Rockland follow Route 1 South turning LEFT onto Route 27 to the Boothbay Region.  Follow 27 to the Civil War monument on the Boothbay Green.  Turn RIGHT at the monument onto Corey Lane.  Go straight at the stop sign.  After a quarter mile, bear right onto Barters Island Road.  The Inn is about 1.2 miles down the road (you will go past the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and cross over a bridge under construction) and the Inn’s driveway will be on the left just before the Trevett Draw Bridge, General Store and Post Office.

NINE ROOM BED AND BREAKFAST INN ON THE WATER NEAR BOOTHBAY HARBOR MAINE

January 30th, 2011 by richard-pamela-riley

Hodgdon Island Inn's western view.

Yet another pink Maine sunset!

It is almost 4:30PM ET here at Hodgdon Island Inn, just a mere four (4) miles northwest of Boothbay Harbor, Maine and the sun is just now getting ready to set!  I am excited because the days are getting longer. My desk faces westward and I am watching the great “golden orb “sink down behind Sawyer’s Island as I hear the clicking of the timers beginning to kick lights on throughout the house. The water is reflecting yet another pink Maine sunset tonight tinged with touches of lilac and pearl grey.  It is beautiful!  Somehow at sunset I am often reminded of my Mom. 

She was a brave, kind woman.

"My Mom"

My Mom was originally from a large town and seaport nestled at the foothills of the Dublin Mountains in Ireland called Dun Laoghaire (anglicized as Dunleary) as was her mother.  That seaside town is not much different than some of the towns around us here in mid-coast Maine:   Bath, New Harbor, Bristol, Camden, to name a few.  They were brave, kind women who never passed up an opportunity to smile and they never failed to make the best of things. Tomorrow, February 1, is an important day for the Irish – it is the traditional First Day of Spring and it is the Feast Day of St. Brigid. As you can well imagine, it was a day to look forward to growing up – special outings, special food, special breads.

February 1 feast Day of St. Brigid and traditional first day of Spring in Ireland

Barm Brack - special bread which is customary to eat on the feast day of St. Brigid.

And just who is St. Bridgid you might ask? Saint Brigid, or to be really correct Saint Brigid of Kildare, is a saint of many names: Brigid of Ireland, Brigit, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd, Bride, Naomh Bhríde or „Mary of the Gaels“. Living from 451 to 525 (it is said).  She was an Irish nun, abbess, founder of several convents, held the rank of bishop and generally venerated as a saint. Considered as one of Ireland’s patron saints, she ranks only behind Saint Patrick himself in importance.

In Ireland, the special bread which is customary to eat on the feast day of St. Brigid as well as at Samhain, or Halloween is Barm Brack or Barm Bread. 

Traditionally, it was part of an annual fortune-telling ritual. Similar to the English ritual of hiding  tokens representing what fortune has in store for whoever discovered the prize in his or her slice of  plum pudding. Family and friends would gather to have tea and Barm Brack, with each anticipating their fortune.

The tokens baked into the Barm Brack were a pea or a thimble, a piece of cloth, a coin and a gold ring. If your slice contained the pea or the thimble, you could expect another year of being an old maid. If, on the other hand, your slice revealed the gold ring, you could expect to be married within the year. The cloth, symbolizing rags, meant poverty or bad luck in the year ahead. The coin signified fame and fortune were on the way!

Although some versions of Barm Bread or Barm Brack are leavened with yeast, beer or ale, baking powder, or baking soda, one thing that appears to be common in most forms of these breads is the preparation of the fruit. Before the raisins and other dried fruits are added to the batter or dough, they are soaked for a period in hot tea until they are plump and rehydrated. This makes them wonderfully soft inside the baked bread.

It can be eaten at breakfast or at tea time and some establishments in Ireland serve Barm Brack with every meal. My favorite recipe, as always, because I have found it to be the easiest and least time consuming, is from Angela Hynes’ book The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea.  I will add it to the recipe section of the website.

P.S. February 1st may be the “traditional” first day of spring in Ireland, but meteorologists would say that the first day of spring is actually March 20th .