Maine: Looking for Lighthouses
Maine is by far the most beautiful US State I’ve traveled to. It has about 230 miles of coastline with island finger-like projections jutting out into the ocean. Driving through coastal Maine was the focal purpose of this trip. And Lighthouses. I love lighthouses. And Maine’s coastline is dotted with more than 60 of these beautiful beacons.
Here are four of my favorite ones so far:
Follow Rt 130 all the way to its end and you will reach the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Constructed in 1835 and soaring above crashing waves and impressive rock formations, it was a splendid sight to see. I would have loved to spend hours exploring the rock formations spread out like a frilly skirt beneath it, pick a spot to sit on and read my book with the sound and smell of the ocean in front of me.
Marshall Point Lighthouse was the best off-the-beaten path lighthouse I found here. Located at the very tip of Marshall Point Rd in Port Clyde, my GPS couldn’t recognize the directions I gave and kept insisting this grassy patch of land in the middle of nowhere was the lighthouse. So I kept on driving until finally I saw a rustic sign pointing me left to a “Lighthouse.” I turned left, kept on driving for a while, passed a “Dead End” sign, ignored it, drove some more until the road narrowed and it seemed my car will fall off the end of the earth. Then I saw it. A black and white lighthouse connected by a white wooden bridge to the keeper’s house. The currently standing lighthouse was built in 1857.
You might recognize this lighthouse as the one that Forrest Gump was running to in the movie. Here’s a clip of that scene:
Owls Head Lighthouse. I had to backtrack a couple of times to find this one. One can get to it through the Owls Head State Park. Urban legend tells the story of the lighthouse dog, Spot. One of Spot’s favorite visitor was the mailman who would give him treats. During a bad snow storm, he recognized the sound of an oncoming boat engine as that of the mailman’s. The lighthouse keeper was worried that the snowbank was muffling the sound of the fog bell but Spot ran outside and barked persistently toward the shore. The mailboat whistled in reply. The mailman heard the barking which saved him from crashing into the rocks. At the foot of the stairs leading to the lighthouse is a small plaque in honor of Spot, the lighthouse dog.
Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse juts out into the ocean with nearly a mile long breakwater composed of massive granite rocks connecting it to the shore. The walk towards the lighthouse was an adventure itself. It was a 15-20 minute walk against the wind with the lapping waves around me and the sunset casting a golden glow on the breakwater. From the shore end the lighthouse looks like a white and green dollhouse. Up close, instead of the typical conical lighthouse shape, it is a square-ish red-brick structure with a fog-horn on top.