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Rockland, Maine

Rockland Breakwater and Breakwater Light (1902) extends 7/8 mile into the Penobscot Bay
En route, stopping at the famous Red's Eats in Wiscasset
Over the past 8 years, we have traveled extensively in a RV to points around the United States and Canada, in part to get away from the hot, muggy Florida summers.  But this year we made a big change.  We sold the RV and will be traveling in a different style.   We've rented apartments for the next 4 months in Rockland, then Stonington, ME, and finally in Black Mountain, N.C.  These are all towns we have visited in the past, but that we were drawn back to by some intangible spirit.  Wanting to explore the areas more thoroughly, we decided this was the way to approach our travels.

22nd Annual North Atlantic Blues Festival
Arriving last weekend in Rockland, we were just in time to catch the last day of the 22nd Annual North Atlantic Blues Festival, along with an estimated 16,000 other attendees.  The two-day event featured nationally recognized blues performers, and took place along the waterfront.  Lawn chairs blanketed the large grassy area, but dance areas off to the side were also filled with folks swaying or swinging to the diversity of styles of the genre.  It was top-quality entertainment, and mother nature provided a picture perfect day.

Owls Head Lighthouse
One of the primary draws of Maine, for Alan, is the ease of finding locations for producing watercolors.  Rocky coasts, lighthouses, incredible blue skies, fog creeping in over the water, and piers and boats of countless descriptions provide an endless supply of subject matter.  So through the week, we have visited, and then revisited some of our favorite places.  Of course. these venues also are perfect for photography, so a few photos have also been snapped.

 Lobsters and blueberries are synonymous with Maine, and our first meal on crossing into the State was lobster, with blueberry cobbler at our apartment  soon afterwards.  Availability of fresh seafood, is a given, and lobster has been, and will continue to be on the menu frequently over the coming weeks. 
Some of the Farmer's Market offerings

In this small town, there are three store/restaurants selling locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables, as well as grass-fed meats.  Plus, on Thursdays, through the summer, there is a Farmer's Market on the waterfront offering the same type of fare. But even though food is something I tend to obsess about, we have been enjoying the great outdoors as well.  Countless kayak launches offer the opportunity to get out on the water.  With coastal waters around 60 degrees, we'd prefer to stay on top.

During the summer months, communities throughout  Maine, hold an assortment of festivals to draw visitors and to celebrate the food, drink, culture or history of their area.  Rockland's Friendship Sloop Regatta, the 9th Annual Maine Celtic Festival in Belfast and the Camden Harbor Arts and Craft Festival were all events going on within 25 miles of us during our first full weekend in town.

Friendship Sloops were developed in the late 1800's initially in Friendship, ME, in response to the fishing and lobstering needs of fishermen in bays along the coast of Maine.  The Regatta recognized the 135th anniversary of the  
sloop, with 4 days of events.  Missing most of the events, we did make it for sloop parade on Friday evening, followed by music from the Breakwater Jazz Band. 
At the Celtic Festival
On Saturday, the Celtic Festival was hampered a bit by some heavy rains, but the events still went off, and the spirit of the attendees was not dampened by the showers.  National and local talent provided outstanding music with everything from mournful love ballads to high-energy reels and jigs. With music and events on 3 stages, plus workshops covering lessons on everything from the concertina to the Uilleann (Irish or elbow) pipes, the 3-day event offered something for everyone.  Camden's Art and Crafts Festival featured over a hundred artists and craftsmen, with the waterfront serving as the backdrop.  The juried show takes place twice a year, and with the majority of the exhibitors from Maine, the works reflect a local flavor.  More events will be coming soon, and we'll be keeping you up-to-date.
  
Lobster roll from Red's Eats




Near Port Clyde

At Port Clyde, sighting of a rare giant Puffin

Alan painting along one of the countless harbors



Painting near Owls Head Lighthouse

At the Camden Harbor Arts and Crafts Festival


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