Monday, April 21, 2014

Desert of Maine

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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A desert in Maine is just about as out of place as a palace in West Virginia. The Desert of Maine technically isn’t a true desert; it’s made up of glacial silt rather than sand. The silt was deposited here during the last Ice Age, and over the years it became buried under topsoil. When the Tuttle family built a farm here in the 1700’s, overgrazing and poor soil maintenance slowly eroded the topsoil away, and one day the “sand” finally emerged from its slumber. It grew, and despite all their efforts to stop the spread, the Tuttle family was eventually forced to abandon farming by the early 1900’s. The property was sold and turned into the tourist attraction it is today. The only remainder of the Tuttle farm is a barn that now serves as a sort of mini museum.

Visitors can take a guided driven tour of the desert or can walk it solo. Since we stayed at the desert’s campground overnight, we got to walk it for free. There are signs here and there marking points of interest, like old Tuttle farm equipment or trees buried in the dunes.

All in all, it’s a neat little oddity to check out. Keep in mind, though, that you’re essentially paying to walk around to look at sand..errr, glacial silt. So if that sounds corny to you, you probably won’t want to check this out.
I thought it was a fun stop though.


Lulz.

Popularity: 20% [?]

Freeport’s Big Indian

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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Normally, I don’t bother with big roadside things. Coming from South Jersey, I’ve seen plenty of them and never saw the big deal. I mean, I had a dinosaur down the road while I was growing up; the only reason he (she?) is on the site is because that’s my hometown. I’ve passed by Mr. Bill, Mighty Joe the gorilla, the Muffler Men in Seaside, the giant cassette tape in Howell, and the Big Lady countless times, and they’ve yet to make an appearance on the site. I currently live a few miles away from a big friggin’ roadside cow, and I haven’t put that on the site yet either. So why this guy?

‘Cuz he’s damn huge.

I mean, this guy’s over 50′ tall. The base he’s standing on is almost as tall as me.
He is on the site because if all the big roadside things I just mentioned ever got into an all-out brawl, he would win.
Hands down.

…I suppose this means I now have to put all the other “big things” on the site.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Eartha

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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How do you make a map store fun? With the world’s largest globe (Guinness world record holder since ‘99), that’s how. Added bonus – it rotates and revolves too. Eartha is 1:1,000,000 scale, so one inch is equal to roughly 16 miles. Three stories of glass show Eartha off in the front of the DeLorme Map Store.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Bucksport “Haunted” Grave

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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This is just dumb. Really, really dumb. There’s a tombstone. A shape that somewhat resembles a leg shows up on it one day. Somehow, this gives birth to a ridiculous story about killing witches.

The grave stone is that of Colonel Jonathan Buck, the guy who founded Bucksport. After this shape showed up on his stone, a story started circulating that it was due to a curse put on him by a witch. Supposedly Buck had a witch executed, despite there being no historical records of anyone ever being killed in Maine for witchcraft. Buck was by all accounts a good guy and not one to start killing alleged witches.

I often wonder why ridiculous stories like this won’t go away. Here at least, there’s a reason:

That’s right. There’s actually a sign next to the gravesite that writes out the whole dumb thing. What annoys me is that the sign pretty much says the legend in nonsense, so why bother having it there? That’s not going to make the story go away anytime soon.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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This bridge, right next to Fort Knox, is one of only 3 of its kind in the world. Visitors can ride to the top and get a 360-view from the 42-story tall observatory. On a clear day you can supposedly see up to 100 miles.


Yeah…that’s pretty far down.

Popularity: 7% [?]

Fort Knox

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2008

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Fort Knox was constructed beginning in 1844 to help prevent any potential invasions from Britain. This part of Maine was invaded by the British during both the Revolution and the War of 1812, and the area was also open to border disputes between the US and Canada. Much like Forts Armistead and Mott, men were stationed here during the Spanish-American War. Also, much like the aforementioned forts, it never saw battle. Another fine example of a “just in case” fort.

This is the first ever place I’ve been to where bringing a flashlight is actually encouraged.


View of the fort’s front from across the river in Bucksport


View of the fort from atop the Narrows Observatory

All in all, it’s just about the same as every other fort I’ve been to, with the exception that they encourage you to explore it. Just about the entire place is open to visitors, so you can spend a decent amount of time here. And yes, you probably will want a flashlight.


View of Bucksport, across the river.

Popularity: 11% [?]

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