Driving to New Brunswick by the American route, through New England. Trying to pick out roads as the crow flies. But mountains and forests in the north. Looking at an out-of-date map, it looks like small roads and moose territory. So a loop a bit south of where the crow would fly. Across New York state to southern New Hampshire and then go with the crow across Vermont.
Mountains, lots of deer crossing signs, then moose crossing. Driving at dusk, then in the dark, winding roads up and down hills, lots of turns. Then people crossing signs in ski and lake resort towns. Great, I say, not enough you’ve got to watch for moose you gotta watch for people too. But we see nothing alive on the road.
Picture-postcard towns take your breath away. They look like Currier & Ives painted them some time long ago and they never changed. Outside town, on the small roads, landscape vistas of trees of all colours up and down hills, fast-running water pounding over rocky riverbeds.
Cross into Maine, just as beautiful in a slightly different way. Rockier, trees more windblown – a rougher woods beauty.
Collectors of New England
All through all three states lots of wonderful small houses with stuff all around them. Collections of stuff. Some artfully arranged, some just piled up every which way. Strange stuff and more normal looking collections of old farm equipment. But none of it looks like it’s for sale, it’s just people’s stuff.
There are also collections of stuff for sale. The “Antiques” signs are everywhere. Go further into Maine and you see “Antiques” and “Books” signs on almost every second building. Some are massive old barns or warehouses. I cannot imagine how much stuff they have inside, plus what’s visible outside.
I think you could spend a week in these hills of antique and book dealers and keep very busy and maybe cover 20 miles. If you also wanted to see the natural beauty by tramping in some woods, add another week to your plan.
We came to the Atlantic coast at Belfast in Maine. A beautiful old harbour town full of – yep – book stores, craft shops and antique dealers. Olde Worlde store fronts on hilly streets that they roll up at 8 o’clock on out-of-season nights. We found a new Mexican-Caribbean restaurant still open, La Vida. Very good chili.
Then north on the coastal road. Antique and book barns all along the way. Old houses tumbling down with trees and brush growing up around them. Neat and tidy bungalows. Neat and tidy big old rambling frame houses. Bypassing reluctantly the sideroads that take you right to the coast and the fishing villages dotted along the map. A Canadian man we met in Belfast had said he and his wife tour around those back roads every time they come through Maine. Easy to spend a whole day on just one, he said. Next time for us.