Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington two-footer engine.

Closer view of engine.

Tamper to settle the ballast around the rail ties.

One room of the Music Box Museum. There are 8 music boxes...

Two-footer at Boothbay Railway Village.

Town of Boothbay

Bath Iron Works in the fog. Naval destroyer to the right.

Two-mast schooner at Maine Maritime Museum

Grey destoryer being moved onto floating dry dock (blue structure).

A section of a destroyer being built.

The Desert of Maine. Near Freeport, Maine.

Saturday, July 25, 2009, we arrived in the small town of Wiscasset, Maine. We stayed there for five days because the RV Park in Wiscasset was a member of Passport America and only charges half price for nightly accommodations. All the other Passport America parks in this area do not honor the half price during July and August because it is their “high” season. Sunday while in Wiscasset, Carol and I rode another train. This train was much smaller than the one we were on Friday; this one was on rails that were only two-foot apart. It seems that in this area of Maine there were several of these two-footer trains used in this area from the late 1800s to about 1940s. An all-volunteer club that began in 1985 restored this particular train, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway. They presently have built about three-miles of track and are hoping to build several additional miles of track in the future. In 1999 they purchased and rebuilt the steam engine they are using now and they are in the process of rebuilding another steam engine. Carol and I then went to a music box museum, which is housed in a mansion, filled with antique furniture and restored musical boxes and player pianos. The music boxes range in size from cuff links for men’s dress shirts to cabinet size musical boxes. We took the 30-minute tour even though they offer tours up to two hours. During those 30 minutes the guide demonstrated maybe 25 or more devices of the 5,000 they have in their collection. They also have a repair and restoration service available.

Monday, we drove to Boothbay Railway Village. It has a historical village exhibits and a collection of over 60 antique vehicles and another two-footer train. This train was not in as good a shape as the one Sunday, but we rode it anyway. After that we drove into the cute little seaside town of Boothbay Harbor. It is tourist town loaded with shops, restaurants and boating opportunities It was a very beautiful day so, Carol and I had lunch at an outdoor restaurants overlooking the harbor. For a moment there, Carol and I thought we were in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”. We were almost attacked by sea gulls when a neighboring table was vacated with some food left on the table. The gulls came in and cleared the table of any food, even some French fries with ketchup on them. Carol then visited some of the shops while I took some pictures and visited some of the benches outside the shops.

Tuesday, we drove about 10 miles to the town of Bath, ME. As we drove across the harbor bridge we could see the huge cranes used by the Bath Iron Works, which builds large ships. They are in the process of building two 550 foot long Naval Destroyers. The ships are built in sections and then assembled. The completed ship is then pushed into a floating dry dock (blue structure in picture) and then the dry dock is towed by tugboats out into the center of the harbor. The dry dock fills the ballast tanks with water, sinks in the harbor and the completed ship sails out to sea under it’s own power. The dry dock then fills its ballast tanks with air, rises and is ready to be used again. Over the years the Bath Iron Works have built about 50 of this class of ship, which is surprising for such a small town. I was hoping to get a tour of the Bath Iron Works but the tours were filled for the next few days so we went down the street to visit the Maine Maritime Museum. The museum is made up of many displays and several buildings, a closed wooden boat factory, a lobstering exhibit and a two-mast schooner, which is operatable but on display presently. After lunch in Bath, we drove about five miles to Brunswick, ME to shop at the Wal-Mart to get some of Carol’s prescriptions filled plus some other shopping.

Thursday, we moved our house to Freeport, ME, the home of L.L. Bean. That afternoon we had lunch in Freeport and looked at a few shops. Friday, we returned to visit the L.L. Bean stores, which are divided between several buildings. This includes the clothes, sporting goods, bicycles, small boats, and shoes and then we visited the outlet store. We didn’t find anything we needed. We then drove about 4 miles to The Desert of Maine, which is anomaly since most of Maine is covered in thick trees. In the early 1900s the topsoil began to erode and exposed the ancient glacial plain. The sand and dunes covered small building and trees leaving only the barn of this once farm land. One dune is about 90 feet tall and is still growing with the shifting sands. We took the tour of the area on a tram pulled by a 4-wheel jeep.

Saturday (Aug. 1), we moved our house to Kennebunkport, Maine.

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