Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Colorful Island Falls, ME

Monday

I heard rain when I woke up and it was very foggy when I looked out.  Now a couple hours later the fog is lifting and I can see blue sky and the sun is breaking through, it should be a nice day to explore.

Well we got a late start but we ended up doing a lot.  I called the town hall to see about the Historical Museum.  She gave me the number of the lady in charge.  I called her house and talked to her husband.  Becky is also the librarian and is at the library today.  She asked what time would be good for us and then found a lady to meet us at the museum at 1pm.  So we went and drove around the town and looked at houses.  I showed Bonnie the jail that I thought was the museum.  Then we stopped at the library and Becky came out to the car and talked to us for a while.  Good thing she did because the museum has moved.  I had actually driven to it yesterday.  So we went over there and meet our tour guide.

The Tinley house is home to the museum
This potato storage barn is yet to be restored

We helped put this shelter back together

All fixed
I can't remember the ladies name but she was a wealth of information and has lived here here whole life.  She also is a retired nurse so Bonnie and her had a connection there.  I asked how Twin Falls came to be and got its name.  Seems an explorer came over this way from Patten, about 10 miles away and claimed this area.  He saw a small island in the river with a water falls on each side thus the name Island Falls.

The house is an all volunteer project and they have done a wonderful job of preserving the towns history we spent over an hour there and learned way more than I will remember.  Here are a few pictures.

A table full of radio equipment

A Radiola by RCA $24.95 in 1926 (that was a lot)
 She gave us a tour of the whole house and the were a lot of rooms on 2 floors and all nicely decorated with historical items.

The old wood cook stove

Original Slate stone sink.

And yet another Victrola radio
Bonnie bought a recipe book to help support the efforts here and we said our thanks and good byes.

We headed back toward the condo but decided to keep going up the Smyrna where there is an Amish Settlement.  We were not sure exactly where it was so we pulled into the Smyrna Post Office.  About that time the UPS man came out of the PO and Bonnie asked him where it was.  He knew exactly and even gave us the address of the store.

We found the hardware/variety store.

Amish Store
Bonnie took a quick look inside and decided to go to the vegetable stand.  I went in and looked around.  Just natural light in there since the Amish do not use electric.  There was just about anything you could want in there.  I looked around and the only thing that called out my name was some Coconut Bon Bons.

Very Good
Bonnie bought some tomatoes and molasses cookies and sweet rolls.  She also got directions to the cheese factory and furniture store.  We missed the cheese place but found it on our way back.  When we pulled in we recognized the owner as the Amish man and horses that we had passed out on the highway.  Bonnie went to talk to him and then we met his son who makes the cheese.  We had a nice chat and even got to get a quick tour of the artificial cave where they age the cheese.  It is kept cool by ice that is cut from the lake in the winter.

The ice goes in this door and the cheese is underground in the building
We even picked up some cheese to try.

Looking forward to trying this
Next we went next store to the Rustic Furniture factory and store.



In to the storeroom
There were lots of logs around the building and lots of rustic furniture to admire in the showroom.  These pieces would look great in a cabin in the woods.  They must not of seen us drive in as no one ever came out into the showroom  I believe they were in the shop working.

It was late afternoon so we headed back to the condo.  Oh look what we spotted on the way back.

A small herd of Buffalo (farm raised)
 We also captured some nice views of the Mountains, wow the trees are turning quickly.




I hope we get a clear sunny day to take some pictures soon.  Maybe all the wind that is blowing today will blow the clouds away.  It is really windy here and makes the condo creak.

Bonnie made a nice chicken dinner and tonight we plan to watch a few new shows on TV.

Tuesday

Nice and sunny this morning at least until the clouds rolled in over the mountains.  Bonnie stayed up late reading and slept in this morning.  We talked about what to do and decided to to take it easy today and take a long road trip tomorrow.  Bonnie decided to go into town to look at the thrift shops and I got a couple movies from the office.

Watched two of the movies but I could not finish the third, it just did not appeal to me.  Bonnie came back a lot sooner than I expected and showed me the few things that she had picked up.  We planned a big drive for tomorrow and then just relaxed and watch TV the rest of the evening.

Wednesday

We were up earlier than usual this morning.  Our plan was about a 200 mile road trip.  We had our breakfast which included some of the Amish Sweet rolls from yesterday.  Then we headed to Patten to visit the Lumbermen's Museum.  There was a lot to see there but we limited ourselves to just the reception building and looked at a lot of the pictures, watched a video, and browsed through their books.  There is a lot to see there and one could easily spend a half day there.

Its Moose hunting season here and we passed by a game checking station on the way to Patten.  This young man shot his first Moose this morning.  It weighed 679 pounds and the 17 point rack had a 50 inch spread.

Bigger than it looks
From there we headed toward Ashland, Presque Isle, and Caribou.

Small part of a large log yard
We found our selves suddenly in farm country.  There was field after field.  The found looked nice and sandy and there were lots of potatoes ready for harvest.

Potatoes ready to harvest

Harvesting potatoes is a dusty job
We soon arrived in Caribou, ME the Northeastern most city in the USA.

A nice little city.
Then we decided to head into Canada at the Fort Fairfield border Crossing.  No wait we drove right up showed our passports and answered a couple questions.  We were on our way into New Brunswick.  The GPS showed the speed limit in MPH like 68 and 43, instead of KPH.

Nice views of the river
The landscape looked pretty much the same as in Maine and the TransCanada highway was just like an Interstate.  We saw the sign for the worlds longest covered bridge in Hartland NB and decided to take the exit.

We could not drive across the bridge as they are working on it but we did take a few pictures.

Watching the river flow by

Resurfaced road, its a long bridge

Over 1200 feet
A bonus stopping here was we toured the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company

Old time truck

Chips and Gifts Hard to beat
This is a small family owned business.  They have three kettles and cook 50lbs of potatoes at a time.  They ship all over the world and you can find their chips in Aldi's under a store brand name.  They brought us a sample bag of chips right out of the kettle, made from potatoes that were in the ground yesterday.

We crossed back in to the USA at the next exit which was at Houlton, ME.  After a short wait and a few questions we waved on.

Back in the USA
We headed South for Linneus looking for a restaurant called Grammy's. We kept hearing about it from people we met so we wanted to try it.

Found it
And we were not disappointed.  Delicious food and huge portions.

Single serving of cole slaw

Shrimp, Fish, and Sweet Potato Fried

Homemade Coconut Creme Pie
I brought half of mine home and Bonnie did not come close to finishing her fries and left them, in favor of the pie and a cream puff to go.  We had about an hour until sundown and I set the GPS to take us home.

It took us the shortest route but it was down a dirt road.

Bumpy dirt road
 Not only was the road dirt, it was being worked on and we met truck after truck coming back in and stirring up the dust.  My guess they are either repairing or preparing the road for heavy log trucks.  We did get to see some colorful trees.  It seems they are changing in front of our eyes.

Bright red trees
 We got back just as the sun went behind the hills.

Day is done
We have seen a lot since coming up here to Island Falls.  Another great week in progress.




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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 
― Albert Einstein