This trip was all about the NHRA New England Nationals drag race in Epping NH combined with a desire to visit areas of Maine that none of us had ever visited; Bar Harbor, Acadia Park, Portland, etc. Since we have a number of family members in the New England area, plus we are huge seafood enthusiasts, making this trip was a very easy decision!
To maximize our time in New England, we decided to fly from Tampa to Boston, drive to Manchester and met with my brother-in-law Chris. All of us then drove north to Bar Harbor, and back again.
This trip started with a telephone conversation with Chris, who invited us up to watch the NHRA New England Nationals drag race. Chris is a NHRA fan (as I am), and as we continued to discuss the idea, we agreed to combine the Drag Races with a trip up into areas of Maine that none of us had ever visited.
To view the details of how we plan trips, click here.
This is a scenic & interesting place to visit, plus we had a fantastic dinner with some old friends of
Please click here to visit our Kennebunkport page.
NHRA New England Nationals
After our Kennebunkport, ME visit concluded, we drove to Manchester, NH to stay with Celeste's brother Chris Malcolm,
and to attend the drag races that Sunday.
The 2018 NHRA New England Nationals event took place at the drag strip in Epping, NH. I was supposed to go with them, but I had tweaked my back (once again) to the point where sitting in bleacher-style seats all day was not an option, so I stayed at Chris's house and watched the races on TV. This wasn't the way I had expected to view the races, but it allowed me to keep icing my back, to stretch and prepare for the car ride into Maine.
NOTE: This image is the property of WWW.NHRA.COM, and we thank them for such a great image.
This part of the trip was for us to spend time with Dana Malcolm, another of Celeste's brothers and his partner. This area of Maine has a beautiful coastline and is far enough off the beaten path to where you only see people who live here, or a few who own vacation property here.
The seagulls are out early in the morning in Wells Beach, enjoying the beautiful sunrise and looking for a snack. Nobody was up and about at this hour of the morning, so a beach walk was enjoyable.
Looking south along the beach, in the distance are a couple of restaurants. One of which we hiked down to for lunch the very next day.
All of us relaxing in the afternoon sun. From left to right are; Celeste's brother Chris, myself, Celeste's brother Dana and on the far right is Ron Cates.
On our drive north, Chris wanted to stop by the L.L. Bean Store in Freeport, ME to make a purchase. As you can see, they have a very large store here, with everything an outdoor person could ever need.
During the drive north from the Wells area, we decided to stop in Bath to drive by the Shipyard and to visit the Maritime Museum. In image #1, you can see a new Zumwalt class Destroyer being built for the U.S. Navy.
In images 2 & 3 there are several other ships were being built next to the destroyer, the ships are built in a modular fashion, and then assembled inside these "sheds".
These images are of the harbor from Agamont Park, which is just at the end of Main Street and a block above the Harbor itself.
The schooner in these pictures provides a tour of the harbor for those so inclined. I am not exactly sure of this ship's name, but it belongs to the Downeast Windjammer Tours company.
We ate dinner at Stewman's Oceanfront Lobster Pound, which not only had lobster, but provides tables on a pier that sits out on the Harbor. Beautiful views !
Dinner here was very good; Celeste had a lobster roll, her brother had a clam roll and I had fish tacos. I had a locally brewed ale named "Thunder Hole Ale" which is one of the best ales I've had in a long time. The beer is made at the Atlantic Brewing Company (formerly known as "Bar Harbor Brewing") and they unfortunately do not ship this beer to Florida!
A better view of Celeste's Lobster roll dinner at Stewman's Restaurant. All fresh lobster, sweet potato fries and cole slaw!
The bus back to our motel departs from the Village Green area of Bar Harbor - a nice park in the middle of Bar Harbor. The Village Green is located in the heart of Bar Harbor just a 4-minute walk to the town's northern waterfront. The Village Green has free Wi-Fi and a helpful information center where you can learn about seasonal events and local festivities being held in the park and the town.
In the background of image #3, you can see the city buses queued up waiting for passengers. Buses are free to everyone! To put it more clearly, parking in Bar Harbor is not that good and taking the bus frees you from having to search for a parking spot!
This is Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium in downtown Bar Harbor. We can testify as to the great fudge to be had here!
Ocean Wave Power
This hole and small cave, has been carved out by the ocean waves. At certain tide levels, when the waves surge into the hole strongly, it makes a "booming noise" that acquired the name "Thunder Hole".
Bar Harbor Sand Bridge
At low tides, the sandbridge in Bar Harbor is completely exposed and people can either walk or drive to Bar
At low tide, the namesake of Bar Harbor, a sandbar, reveals itself and is used by kayakers at low tide to easily launch into the harbor or by hikers who wish to explore Bar Island which is part of Acadia National Park, northwest of the Town pier. The gravel and sandy surface remains somewhat wet at low tide for those who wish to discover the rocks, dig in the sand, find shells, seaweed and other organisms that live on the bar through its twice a day tidal flow of up to 12 feet.
In Bucksport, ME you will find the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. It is 2,120 feet in length and the towers are 446 feet high with an observatory on top of the western-most tower.
This is a view of the Penobscot River, looking north from the Tower Observatory, with Bucksport in the distance. You can just see Fort Knox on the left, facing Bucksport, which is our next stop.
Not sure why a U-Haul truck is parked at the entrance to Fort Knox - it may have belonged to a group of people preparing an exhibit inside the Fort. In fact, there were exhibits being setup for public viewing once we got inside.
The heavy artillery inside the Fort were comprised of 15 inch guns, however these artillery pieces are obviously not 15 inch units. To put that size artillery into perspective, a 15 inch weapon is the same size as WW1 battleships used to have as their main armament.
Each artillery piece had their own portal (or "firing port"), to be able to fire upon anyone on the river. The firing ports provided only a limited traversal space, because the next artillery portal was expected to cover the additional areas.
The Fort had some very large spaces, probably originally utilized for storage of artillery shells, etc. And
then each "firing port" and storage area, was connected by long protected walkways such that men could be
rushed back & forth to resupply or to render aid as necessary.
Click here to learn more about Fort Knox on their Wikipedia Page.
Boston, MA Limoncello Restaurant
My sister and her husband drove up from Cape Cod, and we had a fantastic dinner at the
Limoncello Restaurant in Boston's North-end. It is not possible to describe how good the food was, everything
was absolutely perfect and we highly recommend it to one and all.
Click here to go to their website.
Boston, MA Limoncello Restaurant
If you ever are in the Boston area, do yourself a favor and go to this restaurant and
enjoy a meal, you will be glad you did!
NOTE: Image is the property of Ristorante Limoncello
This part of the trip was rather mundane, so I'm not going to show any pics or text about flying out of Logan to Newark, and then onwards to Tampa. We got our car out of economy parking and motored back to Sarasota.
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Note: All images on this page are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.