Bar Harbor to Topsham, ME
Topsham, ME - Events of Thursday, August 22 to Friday, August 23, 2013
Our drive on Thursday morning was a little less than three hours to the southwest to Topsham, ME where we stayed at Topsham Fairgrounds.
The camping at Topsham Fairgrounds is not widely publicized. There is only a brief mention of it on the website with a phone number to call for information. We found out about it from Darrell and Judy, our friends from Rainbow Plantation who are originally from Maine. Darrell and Judy found out about it from their friends, Mike and Peggy, who still live in Topsham. We were looking forward to meeting Mike and Peggy while we were here, and when we did meet with them later, they educated us on the proper pronunciation of Topsham. It is pronounced TOPS-um as though it were spelled with without the "h."
Like most fairgrounds, the camping area is nothing fancy. There is no Wi-Fi and no cable, and the electric hookups are 20/30 amps. There is a dusty, dirt road through the campground, and the sites are mostly grass.
The website indicates they have sites without hookups and sites with water and electric only in addition to about 20 sites with full-hookups, but we only saw the full-hookup sites. The sites are very close together - so close that you probably wouldn't be able to extend your awning if someone were parked right next to you on your door side. However, since the campground is not widely publicized, the likelihood of having someone next door when there is not an event going on at the fairgrounds is very low. There was only one other RV in the whole campground when we arrived. There were reserved signs on two other sites, and those signs were spaced several sites apart so they weren't too close to each other or to the RV that was already there. We picked a site at the far end.
Because the campground isn't very crowded when there is no event going on at the fairgrounds, it is also fairly quiet. There is a football field located near the end where our site was. Is was used for practice several times while we were there; but practice ended at dusk, and it wasn't very noisy at all. There is local traffic noise during the day, but it quiets down at night.
decided to stay at Topsham because it was centrally located to several things we wanted to see and because it was reasonably priced - a refreshing change from most of the rest of New England. A full hookup site at Topsham Fairgrounds is $25 a night or $75 a week.
We contacted Darrell and Judy's friends, Mike and Peggy, on Friday morning, and they suggested we get together later that afternoon for lupper. In the meantime, we took a drive later on Friday morning to the neighboring town of Brunswick just to check it out. We happened to find a farmers' market, so we stopped. There was a good variety of produce, jams and jellies, a few crafts and even live lobsters.
Freeway was with us, and he enjoyed the opportunity to get out and check out the new smells. As usual, he left some of his own. Plastic bags - don't leave home without them.
This part of Maine's coast is made up of a series of long, narrow peninsulas and skinny islands that were created by the glacier during the Ice Age. The long, narrow bays and inlets between the peninsulas and islands are the location of many, many harbors and marinas. Harpswell is a small town on the peninsula almost due south of Brunswick, so we decided to take a drive to check out some of the coastal scenery.
Although there are some pleasure boats mixed in, the majority of the boats we saw were commercial fishing and lobster boats.
We drove all the way down the peninsula and back. On the other side of Casco Bay from Harpswell is a shorter peninsula and two long, narrow islands - Orr's Island and Bailey Island. Since it was still relatively early, we decided to take the road down the other side of the bay. At the end of Bailey Island was a souvenir shop called Lands End (not to be confused with the mail-order clothing company). We stopped to check it out, but didn't buy anything.
Also at the end of Bailey Island is a statue of a lobster fisherman placed as a memorial to all Maine fisherman.
We could also see Halfway Rock Light offshore. That place looks desolate even in summer.
On our way back, we stopped for a photo of a picturesque shack near one of the many inlets. The back wall of the shack was gone, and the remaining walls were propped up with boards. Stacks of lobster traps sat on the dock beside the shack, and buoys were piled in front and were hanging on the walls.
We got back to the motor home and relaxed a while before meeting Mike and Peggy for lupper. They suggested Len's Fish & Chips in nearby Brunswick.
Len's has lots of seafood on the menu to choose from, and prices were fairly reasonable. Margery got fried scallops and Paul got fish and chips. We shared so we could each have a taste of both entrees. We both also got a cup of clam chowder.
The food was good, and it was great spending time with Mike and Peggy to get to know them. After lupper, we headed back to the motor home for an evening of TV. We did our weekly cleaning chores and relaxed the rest of the day Saturday. By Sunday, we were ready for more sightseeing, so stay tuned.