Traveling in the time of COVID-19 – Rainy Lighthouse Day

Today’s goal is to go to the Marshall Point Lighthouse, preferably in time to set up for sunset photos. Sadly the weather is not cooperating. After a drive on back country roads, we decided to have lunch in Rockland. Our first choice, Café Miranda, which I had read so much about, was only open starting at 4:30pm, my guess in response to the pandemic as many restaurants were operating with reduced hours or limited by inability to get enough staff. I remembered the Atlantic Baking Company from a prior trip in the area so we walked over there. It was around 1pm, so most of the pre-made sandwiches were gone. I selected a turkey sandwich out of the case and got a hot Chai Latte to ward off the chill. My hubby ordered a Korean BBQ pulled pork sandwich at the counter. This is an amazing bakery so definitely had to get some goodies. So many choices including a variety of fresh baked breads and desserts make it hard to choose. The colorful macaroons caught my eye as well as some gluten free baked goods. Being an apricot fanatic, I chose a couple of apricot macaroons to enjoy with my lunch and a gluten free apricot crumb bar to go. I ate the bar two days later and it was still amazingly moist and delicious.

We called the Hartstone Inn where we would be staying that night, but at 2:30pm, were told it was too early to check in. There seemed to be a break in the rain so we headed to Marshall Point Lighthouse. We started by searching for the Tenants Harbor Lighthouse but never found it as it is offshore. We discovered a lovely inn – “The East Wind Inn”, a historic seaside inn located in Tenants Harbor on the St. George peninsula. Looks like a place we need to stay on a future trip. We continued driving using GPS which lead us to a narrow road. Stone gate posts mark the entrance to the lighthouse area. Since it was an ugly overcast day, there was only one other car in the parking lot. Yay! I love when I have places to myself. It also meant I didn’t bother wearing a mask.

The museum in the keeper’s house was closed, probably due to COVID. It was low tide leaving the rocky coast exposed. Even though I would have loved to have taken some photos of the lighthouse from that vantage point looking up, I felt the rocks were a bit too wet to risk going down there. It was fairly windy and cold with some fog offshore. I spotted a sailboat barely visible through the fog and wondered who would be out sailing in this weather. The sailboat never came in range of the lighthouse which would have made for a really nice photo. When it began to drizzle again and more people starting showing up, it was time to leave. Will have to return when the weather is better.

We headed into Camden to the Hartstone Inn. After parking in the tiny parking lot in back, we rang the bell, but no one answered. Other guests were now lining up in the tiny vestibule and outside on the steps in the rain. Growing impatient that no one came to greet us, I went in and went to the bar to check in. The drizzle turns into a downpour making moving items from car to room a somewhat difficult and wet operation.

We are in the “Loft” room at the back of the inn on the second floor. Not really a loft, but it did have a skylight over the bed and a fireplace. I noticed the bedspread was not the same color as in the photo on their website. Since the room had a slight musty odor, possibly due to one of the windows being left open, we ran the a/c to air it out.

We went down for happy hour which I was a bit surprised they were holding due to tight spaces making it hard to social distance. The free hors d’oeuvres were made with pork so I could not eat them. After enjoying a glass of prosecco, we were taken to our table for dinner. Dinner is open to anyone not just guests. It is very popular due to the amazing food, so reservations are highly recommended. At the onset of the pandemic, the inn offered take-out and local customers made it a total success, allowing the inn to survive.

My husband ordered a Peaks IPA since he loves Maine craft beer. The starter was grilled hearts of romaine. I had never had them this way and they were absolutely delicious. My husband had Salmon Nicoise while I ordered the Duck with gluten free pasta. Normally this is not made with gluten free pasta, but the server went back to the kitchen and asked and they did have gluten free pasta on hand. The onions in this dish were amazing – perfectly sweated, soft and sweet. It also contained some of those flavorful Maine tomatoes. Capping off the meal, desserts were Bananas Foster Crème Brule & Chocolate Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream.

In the morning, we enjoyed a fabulous breakfast which started off with an apple muffin, which was like a mini Bundt cake and a glass of their own blend of strawberry pineapple juice. Breakfast entrees were a molded Bananas Foster French Toast and Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. Fueled for the day, we set off for Acadia on Mount Desert Island.

About J. Matlock, Director of Fantasies

Jeanette's wanderlust started as an Air Force brat crisscrossing the US visiting almost every state. Writing has always been a part of her life. While earning a BA in Journalism from the University of Central Florida, Jeanette found photography was the perfect compliment to writing. She is always on the outlook for what she calls "Right Time, Right Place" photographs that capture a once-in-a- lifetime moment. Her adult travels have taken her to Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and all over the US and she continues to crave going to places to experience adventure, great food and lifestyles. She has written travel journals for the web site to share her experiences to guide and encourage other travelers. Her descriptive writing style makes one feel as if they are there sharing the experience. Her love of writing is based on this simple truth: "When I am writing, I know that I am doing the thing I was born to do." (Anne Sexton).
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