In mid-July 2015 I left for my long awaited trip to Maine, I decided to drive rather than fly. Kind of easier these days with airfare restrictions. The main reason I was going to Maine was for the Puffins. But I also decided to photograph some lighthouses while there to fill in down time. After doing some exhausting research online I compiled a list of locations I wanted to visit.
So I left home at 8am and drove about 12 hours to spend the night an hour south of Portland in Kittery. My plan was to stop there for the night and see a lighthouselocated at Sohier Park, Cape Neddick Light (Nubble Lighthouse) my first of many Maine lighthouses. I made a beeline up there the evening of my arrival. I was so excited to see it! The park itself was crowed, people were crawling all over the rocks down from the parking lot. Still, I got a shot I was content with.
This also marked my first taste of Maine Lobster. I got a Lobster Roll from Fox’s Lobster Shack. The lobster was delicious! Little did I know the next day I would have a Lobster Roll that would blow me away up in Portland.
I spent the night at a less than ideal motel. The carpet had stains on it, shower was the size of a tiny bathroom closet and there was mildew on the bottom of the shower curtain. Thankfully I was only there for one night. I was traveling on a budget so this was the cheaper of the places in the area. I can see why now.
The next morning I was up at sunrise to try for the same lighthouse again. A really lack luster sunrise and a mix-up with my GPS (user fault) got me there later than I had wanted to. So from there it was off to Portland, about an hour drive north.
Portland Head Lighthouse was beautiful. I spent about 4 hours just wandering around the park itself there.
Going to the opposite side of the lighthouse you are able to take the cliff walk. Not as scary as it sounds. Basically it is just a way to walk down the rocky shoreline to get to ocean level which was very, very cool! If you choose to do that though watch out for slippery rocks.
After all that walking it was time for something to eat. I had looked up this place to eat within the park before I left home and wrote it down (as I did for many places). The place is called Bite into Maine. I had a Picnic Style Lobster Roll there which has Lobster, coleslaw, melted butter and chives all on the same roll. It was AWESOME!!!!! I can’t recommend that place enough to eat if you are in the area. It is a little trailer located at the top of the hill, you can’t miss it.
After lunch, I waited a bit for the sun angle to drop a bit so as to provide a better photo of Portland Head Lighthouse with softer light. It seemed like my time at Portland the tide was out so the water wasn’t as high as I had hoped it would have been. Also was hoping for some bigger tides but it seems like the further north I went the chopper ocean I saw.
Something of note is that when you are walking into the portion of the park that has the lighthouse you will pass what is known as Battery Blair. This was the largest of six gun batteries built at Fort Williams (where Portland Head Lighthouse is located within). This was manned in WWI and the early years of WWII. Really gave me chills standing on the grounds of such an historic site.
Leaving the Portland area around midafternoon I made the nearly four hour drive up to Lubec where I would be spending three nights for my Puffin part of my trip.
In between my time in Lubec for the Puffins I visited and photographed two lighthouses. The first was West Quoddy Head Lighthouse which is situated on the eastern most point in the US.
The scenery there was absolutely breathtaking. One of the cool things about this lighthouse is that it was so quite out there you could hear the foghorns out in the Quoddy Narrows which is the water way you see in the background. The foghorn for the lighthouse would sound off then the one in the Narrows would.
I also brought my passport along with me and went over to New Brunswick Canada at Campbello Island to Head Harbour Lighthouse or East Quoddy Head Lighthouse. East Quoddy is only able to be photographed at low tide when you literally walk across the ocean floor to access the lighthouse. If you aren’t back when the tide comes in which is around 18 feet you are stuck out there until the tide goes back down. There are signs all over the parking lot warning you of that.
After my time in Lubec I still had one more stop on my trip that was to Bristol for Pemaquid Point Light. I shot this location in the evening as well as the morning. The lighthouse was a big people magnet which was a problem at times but what can you do. Had a breeze that evening so I had to time my shots to when the wind died down enough that I got a somewhat decent reflection in the tidal pool.
The final evening I spent in Maine was at Marshall Lighthouse. This is the same lighthouse that appeared in the movie “Forrest Gump” if you recall. This one was a very unique looking lighthouse design wise with a log boardwalk leading out to the lighthouse itself.
Couple things that I wanted to do that I didn’t get to is to visit Acadia National Park and try my hand at Milky Way shots at night.Simply didn’t have the time or money. Honestly though, I would rather spend a week in Acadia then a rushed couple days trying to squeeze in multiple things. Guess I’ll just have to make another trip!