Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wandering through Ellsworth

Yesterday was a planned rest day.  We didn't spend much time at the cabin last year when we came up, and that was fine, but it also felt like a waste in retrospect.  This year we're hoping to take more advantage of our home-away-from-home, and yesterday was part of that plan.

When Sally and the kids finally got up, we had breakfast, played some D&D, and then Sally and I went out in the canoe.  Green Lake was formed by glacier activity millions of years ago, and even now, it's often shallow, with massive granite boulders and little islands poking up at odd intervals. We paddled around some of these islands, saw a few island cabins and a few of the larger lake estates. It was nice, but we didn't take the phones or cameras for fear of them getting wet.

Afterwards, we worked out.  Sally did some deep-water aqua-aerobics while I swam and then ran. It was a shorter workout than the one I did the other day but faster.  I swam about 1500 yards in 24 minutes and then ran 3.7 miles at an 8:17 (tempo) pace. 

We had lunch and then headed into Ellsworth.  We stopped briefly at Rock Art on the main road into Acadia, but though Rock Art is interesting and more than a little artsy-funky, after three years, it no longer holds the kind of wonder and surprise that it once did. 

Ellsworth is an old logging town.  Founded in the 1780s, the town has an established historic district with many of its original buildings still in use. The locals are all tough-looking bearded lumberjacks driving giant four-wheel drive pickup trucks. In many ways, the town reminds me of any number of small towns back in Tennessee, save that Ellsworth--like much of New England--has resisted Walmart and the other big-box stores and thereby retained a good bit of its native character.

Once we got into town, Sally and the girls went shopping while I headed for Finn's Irish Public House.  The place used to be an old railroad bar car but was converted into a restraunt more than thirty years ago.  It's only been in Ellsworth for a couple of decades, and I got the idea that it's only been "Finn's" for a few years. 

This area survives equally on tourism and the timber trade, but Finn's is a decidedly local place. Not unfriendly, exactly, but I got the idea that they were deeply surprised to see me there.  Had I been down in Tennessee, I think the crowd might've been actively hostile.  

Anyway, I ordered a pint, caught up on some correspondence, and started taking notes for my next book.  After awhile I started wishing I had my actual notebook.  I've got several pages of notes now for the next Sneax story, but they're all jumbled up in the Notes app on my phone. It's gonna take me a week to unsnarl them all once we get home. 

Sally and the girls showed up just as I was tucking into my second pint. They went for ice cream, and I joined them shortly thereafter for the walking tour of Ellsworth's historic district. 

The last stop on the tour is Lieutenant Donald A. Little Memorial Park. LT Little died in Korea. His park is maintained by the Ellsworth Garden Club.

We got home fairly early, had the chili Sally had left cooking in our travel crock-pot, and then read.  Everyone got to bed early, happy but tired from what turned out to be an unexpectedly full day. 

Today we're climbing Cadillac Mountain!  That ought to be awesome. 

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