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Mieten ein Motorrad für dem Reise. Kommt mit uns.

Adventures of the Mind!

Maine Lighthouse Adventure Agenda

Details and Sign Up

Motorcycle Excursions -

Maine Lighthouses

The Road to Sturgis

Saddle Sores Galore

Middle Finger Birthday

The Lighthouses of the State of Maine !!

This event is limited to 50 people because of motel and ferry boat limitations.  To reserve a place with

no deposit, email Friar Bob with your name and contact information. When we have finished assessing

costs, we'll get back to you and ask for a deposit. We need to get the full fee at least a month ahead of

the event so we can make reservations etc.

The Maine Event will begin Sunday July 18, 2010  in Rockland, Maine

In 30 days - 16 Lighthouses, Nova Scotia, Lawtsa Lawbsta

The Plan

Nastychussetts Alert

MAKE MONEY!!

 

Of the sixty five Lighthouses in

the State of Maine, this

motorcycle excursion includes

16. The vast majority of these

lights are located on islands off

the coast. 

Some of them can be viewed

in the distance from mainland

roads, and from across rivers

and harbors.  The lights

chosen to be included in this

tour are chosen on the basis of

their accessibility. Not all are

available by roads.  We have

chosen several that require

chartering a boat to go and

see  them.  The boat rides are

included, of course in the price

of the adventure.  Most, but

not all on our list are open to

the public but all of them

provide access in some way,

at least, to the grounds.

The Cape Elizabeth Light (1874)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting on the lawn of one of these wonderful lighthouses, above the

rocky coast of Maine, allows one to drift peacefully into the

wonderful fantasy world of fiction and fantasy. On a partly sunny,

warm, Maine afternoon (65° or there-abouts) with the whisper of the

East wind in your ear and the sound of the waves crashing below, you

might catch a glympse of old Manannan Mac Lyr in his magic boat.

  The Celtic god of the Sea is well remembered on this maritime

Coast, with an island to the north, verily named after him. What part

does he play in the StrathNaver Legends?  He might be Old Will's

secret father-in-law- and the Great Grandfather of Angus Williamson,

himself!

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio


than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

The Dilemma of the Lighthouse

     Times change.  The lighthouse is a fixture of the past. In a time

when so many think history can be

changed by simply rewriting it,

social and historical artifacts like

lighthouses can be simply erased.

The Cape Elizabeth Light is a case

in point.  It is located adjacent to

"Two Lights State Park," so named

because there were once two lights

stationed about 300 yards apart. 

    In 1924 the United States

Government decided to convert all

twin light stations to single towers.

  The ruins of the western tower

now lie in someone's front yard,

down the street. 

  The Lighthouse keeper's house

(left) no longer looks like the one in the picture.  It is now a private

residence and as such was

extensively renovated in spite of

vigorous protests from conservation

groups.

Cover of: Return to Masada by Robert G. Makin
Essene Mysticism
The Lore of a Forgotten War
Immortals who live among us

I wrote this for fun.  (RGM)

  

Departure date for the Maine Lighthouse adventure is July 17, 2010

   At this writing, ( 7/19/2009 ) that departure date is a year away.  We found sixty five lighthouses in the State of Maine but only a few of that number are available for public access and viewing and fewer yet are accessible by public roads.  The rest of them are on Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Only a few of those are open to the public.   Some are in State Parks and some are privately owned.   Of the sixty five we selected ALL the lighthouses that are accessible by road and most open to the public.  In addition to that, we selected a number that can only be seen by appointment and some that can only be seen by chartering a boat to take us to the island where the lighthouse is located.  A few are accessible via ferry boats. 

   Below is a list of the lighthouses we are planning to visit with photographs when available and some information about each location.

1   Reserve Your Place Now

    The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the long standing traditions, heroism and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving services and the United States Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation's most significant collection of lighthouse

Maine Lighthouse Museum
and lifesaving artifacts.  The Maine Lighthouse Museum is located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America's lighthouse museum.
Reserve Your Place Now

2

   Matinicus Rock Lighthouse is on a windswept 32-acre granite island, 18 miles off the mainland and 25 miles from Rockland, the nearest port. "The Rock" is five miles south of the much larger Matinicus Island. It was recorded by Capt. John Smith in 1614, who made notes in his log about "the rock of Mattinack."

Reserve Your Place Now

old photo of lighthouses

Because of its prominent location on the approach to busy Penobscot Bay, Congress and President John Quincy Adams authorized the building of two lighthouses on Matinicus Rock in 1827. It was considered a primary seacoast light station.

The Ferry Boat will take us to this island.  The ride is 2 hours and fifteen minutes each way.

3

interior

Owl's Head Light

The lighthouse is an unusually short 30-foot brick tower. A tall lighthouse was not necessary because of the height of the promontory. The light is exactly 100 feet above sea level. The original lamps and reflectors were replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel lens in 1856, and the lens remains in use today.

old photo

One of the most memorable events in the history of Owl's Head Light took place during the storm of December 22, 1850. Five vessels went aground in this storm between Rockland Harbor and Spruce Head. At nearby Jameson's Point, a small schooner from Massachusetts was anchored. The captain had gone ashore, leaving the mate, Richard B. Ingraham, a seaman named Roger Elliott, and one passenger, Lydia Dyer, who was engaged to Ingraham. The packet was to start for Boston the next morning.

Online references say they don't know how Owl's Head got its name. When I zoom on that place with Microsoft Streets and Trips, it's obvious.  That piece of land is SHAPED just like the head of a Great Horned Owl.

Brown's Head Light

Vinalhaven Island

This 20 foot tall white cylindrical brick tower is connected to the 1-1/2 story wooden, cottage style keeper's dwelling by a short enclosed passageway. Located in Penobscot Bay on the northwest point of Vinalhaven Island, it marks the western entrance to the Fox Islands Thorofare. This light originally housed a fifth-order Fresnel lens which was replaced by a fourth-order Fresnel in 1902. It was among the last of the Maine lighthouses to be automated, and is still active today.
Reserve Your Place Now

Cyberlights Lighthouses - Browns Head

Travel Instructions: Browns Head Lighthouse can be visited by taking the ferry from Rockland to Vinalhaven. From the ferry landing in Vinalhaven turn right on Main Street and after 0.3 miles turn left on High Street. Follow High Street 0.4 miles to its end and turn right on North Haven Road. After 6.5 miles on North Haven Road, turn left on Tip Toe Mountain Road and after a half mile turn right on Browns Head Light Road.

Need the Bikes for this one!

4

ROCKLAND HARBOR BREAKWATER LIGHT


Built in 1888 and rebuilt in 1902, it is located at the end of the
mile-long breakwater guarding Rockland Harbor.
The twenty five foot lighthouse tower projects from the
keeper's house roof. The Rockland lighthouse Museum leased the structure from the Coast Guard and opened it to the public. The Light and fog horn are still active.

Reserve Your Place Now

5

West Quoddy Head Light

Thomas Jefferson signed the order in 1806 authorizing construction of a lighthouse at West Quoddy. The tower was finished in 1808, and guided ships through the Quoddy Narrows, between the U.S. and Canada, until 1858 when it was replaced with the current tower and keeper's house.

The lantern is fitted with a third-order Fresnel lens. The distinctive red and white bands make this light picturesque and a popular photographic choice for calendars and commercials.

The light is located in Quoddy Head State Park, as far east as you can drive in the U.S.

Photo: West Quoddy Lighthouse

The West Quoddy Head Light

6

Burnt Coat Harbor Light

      Burnt Coat Harbor light, also known as Hockamock Head light, sits at the southwestern end of Swan's Island at the entrance to Burnt Coat Harbor. In the mid-70's the light was deactivated and a small skeletal tower replaced it as the active aid to navigation. But that tower wasn't as effective as the original 32 ft. square tower that the Coast Guard eventually reactivated the original tower. It continues to be an active aid to navigation.

(Accessed by Ferry to Swan's Island from Bass Harbor)

Cyberlights Lighthouses - Burnt Coat Harbor

Samual de Champlain first chartered Swans Island in 1604, naming the island Brule-Cote or Burnt Hill.
A valued shelter against wind
and storms the 7,000 acre
Burnt Coat Harbor had industries such as granite, fishing and lobstering.
Range lights were built on the
tip of Swans Island in 1872.
The two lights caused much confusion for mariners so the smaller front light was removed in 1885.
In 1895 an oil house was added, and a bell tower in 1911. In 1975 the light was automated and the fourth order Fresnel lens removed.
The town of Swans Island now owns the light station.

Reserve Your Place Now

6.5

A CAT Runs Through It

Both Burnt Coat Harbor Light and the next one, Bass Harbor Head Light are accessed from Mount Desert Island, the home of Bar Harbor.  Bar Harbor is a port of call for the high speed catamaran ferry to Yarmouth Nova Scotia. It's an all day trip.  One leaves early in the morning, spends most of the day doing tours or whatever in Yarmouth then returns in time for dinner in Bar Harbor.  We are including the catamaran trip to Yarmouth in the basic fee for the adventure.

Yarmouth is definitely an interesting place to visit.

Reserve Your Place Now

Photobucket

Yarmouth Exhibition

FFFor those who do not wish to go to Nova Scotia, Mount Desert Island has many charms of its own for a day of exploring and adventure.  Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain are grand adventures, themselves and well worth the time and the trip.

7   

Bass Harbor Head Light

The cliffside Bass Harbor Head Light in Tremont marks the entrance to Bass Harbor on the southwestern side of Mount Desert Island, Maine. (photos) It was built in 1858, stands 56 feet above mean high water and is accessible by car on Acadia National Park land. You may have been surprised to hear that it is in Tremont rather than Bass Harbor. The fact is, Bass Harbor is actually part of the municipality of Tremont. (see large photo)

When you arrive at the lighthouse, you will see a path on the left side. This will take you to a stairway that follows down the front face of the cliff, eventually arriving at a prime spot for photography of the lighthouse and cliffs.

Reserve Your Place Now

The path to the right of the lighthouse will take you to a vantage point where you have a panoramic view of the ocean.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

8

Grindel's Point Light

When you are exploring the picturesque coastline of the Mid Coast region of Maine, be sure to include a trip to the Grindle Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse was constructed in 1851 to help sailors who were entering Islesboro's Gilkey Harbor. Gilkey Harbor is large and is one of the most active harbors on the coast of Maine.

The land on which Grindle Point Lighthouse stands was purchased from Francis Grindel in 1851.

Reserve Your Place Now

face enlargement

Intended to be called Grindel Point, a misspelling occurred at some point and it was never corrected. Francis Grindel was the second light keeper.Originally built for approximately $3,500, the original light tower became dilapidated and had to be rebuilt.

Given the name, it's hard to not imagine that Beowulf's Grindel might have something to do here. We must remember to ask the locals if any large beasties have been seen in the waters nearby.  

9

Marshall's Point Light

WRECK OF A SCHOONER.

January 22, 1884, Wednesday

Page 1, 52 words

ROCKLAND, Me., Jan. 21.--The schooner Traverse, of Bucksport, while trying to make Port Clyde harbor on the night of the 17th inst., was wrecked on the Brothers, near Marshall's Point Light station. The crew were saved. The vessel and her cargo of corn are a total less.

Reserve Your Place Now

 

 

The Marshall's Point Light seems to be a popular place for birders and artists.  Stow Wegenroth

is one of them.  His Marshall's Point Light was auctioned this year by Swann Auction Galleries  Lighthouses are often haunted and rich in lore and legend.  marshall's Point is certainly of those.

The Marshall's Point Light is in Isleboro Maine, accessible by Ferry.

10.

The Monhegan Island Light

 is giving my Streets and Trips program a head ache.  Every time I log on, it tries to plot a route for the adventure.  Then it stops and says of the Monhegan Island Light, "You cawn't get theyah from hee-aw." What it means is this. This light house is ten miles out in the Atlantic Ocean and a motorcycle can't drive there. So Streets and Trips can't give me a route.  So what we did was to hire a BOAT.  It's the ferry from Port Clyde.  Where there's a will there's a way.

Monhegan Island is located off the Maine coast, about ten miles southwest of Port Clyde, and has long served as an important local landmark. The name “Monhegan” means “faraway island” in the tongue of the Penobscot Indians, who for centuries rowed the long distance out to the island to fish and hunt for whales.

Monhegan Island has a long and incredible history of being the first stop for many mariners approaching the Maine coast. Strange runic scripts found on rocks on nearby Manana Island offer evidence that the area may have been visited by ancient Phoenician mariners, or possibly the Vikings. There is also a legend that the Irish monk St. Brendan stopped at the island in 565 AD. In more modern times, George Popham landed on the island in 1607 with his colonists, and by 1614 Monhegan had a thriving settlement. During the War of 1812, island residents witnessed a skirmish between the British brig Boxer and the Yankee privateer Enterprise, during which the British ship was captured and the captains of both vessels were killed.

Ferry to Monegan Island

11

Pemaquid Point Light

The light at Pemaquid was originally built during the presidency of John Quicy Adams, in 1827, at a cost of $2,800. Faulty construction was blamed for the quick deterioration of the tower, which was rebuilt with double walls in 1835. The tower is only 38 ft tall, but it's placement on a rock ledge gives the light a 79 ft. focal plane. Flashing a white light every 6 seconds, Pemaquid's fourth-order Fresnel is visible for 14 miles.

Head south off US 1 from Damariscotta ... it's about 16 miles to the point. The pickett fence, which is a work of art, is worth the trip alone. The light keeper's house is now a museum, and there is an art gallery at the park, but the best part of this trip is climbing around on the point itself, enjoying the spectacular scenery and taking the inevitable photo of the light reflected in a tidal pool.

Over the years, many ships have been impaled on the rocks of Pemaquid's point. There is one especially poignant story of a man who sailed for the new world in 1635 on the Angel Gabriel, leaving his wife behind to follow him when he had established a new home.

The Angel Gabriel was smashed to pieces during an August storm. Although the man survived, his wife was afraid to follow him on such a perilous journey, and he was unable to face the journey back to England, so they never saw each other again.

The United States Government established the original Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, about 1/3 of a mile from Pemaquid Point at the entrance to Muscongus Bay. President John Quincy Adams ordered the original structure built in 1827. Later, in 1857, President James Buchanan ordered the light reconstructed. The current structure is a white, pyramidal tower, 34 feet high and exhibiting its light at 79 feet above sea level. Marcus A. Hanna, the only man ever awarded both the Medal of Honor (earned during Civil War for bravery on July 4, 1863 [1]) and the Gold Lifesaving Medal (for rescuing life on 28 January 1885 at Cape Elizabeth [2]), once served as keeper of the light. The station became automated in 1934.

Burnt Island Light

One approaching Boothbay Harbor from the sea, whether from southward or eastward, heads toward one of the most beautiful harbor lighthouses on the entire Atlantic Coast -- Burnt Island Light.

The shining whitewashed tower stands in bold contrast to the backdrop of dark evergreens and offers a tacit but cheery welcome to the waterborne visitor. This lighthouse is a guide, not a warning.

- Malcolm F. Willoughby, The Boothbay Register, 1962

2009 Access information

Reserve Your Place Now

14

Perkins Island Light

Description: During the 1800s the only navigational aids on the Kennebec River were those maintained by private companies. In its Annual Report of 1892, the Lighthouse Board moved to rectify this situation by including the following evidence of the importance of the waterway and its inherent navigational hazards.

There were 3,137 arrivals of vessels in this river during the year, not counting the steamers which ply daily. The steamers Kennebec, 1,652 tons, and Sagadahoc, 1,413 tons, made ninety-six round trips each from Gardiner to Boston. Other passenger steamers ply on the river from Bath to Augusta, Boothbay and Popham Beach, and intermediate places. The number of passengers carried was 232,150. Seventeen tugs were engaged on the river in towing.Thirty-nine vessels of 32,063 gross tons were built on the river, valued at $50 per gross ton, or say $1,603,150.

Reserve Your Place Now

The vessels arriving will average 450 tons. Some 24 feet draft can be carried to Thwings Point, 6 miles above Bath, 16 feet from Thwings Point to Gardiner, and 8 feet from Gardiner to Augusta.

The Kennebec River is kept open by the towboats during the winter from Bath to the sea. Above Bath the buoys are taken up about November 20, and the river is likely to freeze at any time after this date. The ice usually goes out early in April. The river not only has the sea fogs, which extend to Bath, but its own river fog or mist which is dense and at times low down.

On dark nights it is sometimes impossible to tell where the water ends and the shore begins. The Light-House Establishment maintains no lights or fog signals in the Kennebec, but the Kennebec Steamboat Company and the towboat companies have united for many years in maintaining lanterns hung on the buoys at turning points or other difficult places. The above facts establish, in the Board’s opinion, the necessity for and advisability of increasing the aids to navigation in the Kennebec River… .

The Portland Head Light

Portland Head Light, commissioned by George Washington and in operation since January, 1791, marks the southern side of the entrance to Portland Harbor. It is the quintessential Maine lighthouse, combining in a single view Maine's ocean, islands, rocky coast, colonial history, and maritime heritage.

The bedrock that is exposed to view at Portland Head belongs to the Cushing Formation. This formation, named for Cushing Island, underlies an area that stretches northeasterly across Casco Bay from the Delano Park

Portland Head Light

 

area of the Cape Elizabeth shore through Cushing Island, Peaks Island, most of Long Island, part of Chebeague Island, the Goose Islands, and Birch Island to the Brunswick shore just west of Harpswell Neck. The Cushing Formation is more resistant to weathering than the neighboring rock formations, which is why it forms such prominent rocky headlands and islands.

Ram Island Ledge Light

This 72 foot granite tower was built in 1905 on a narrow ledge of rocks that threatened the entrance to Portland Harbor. It is nearly a twin of the Graves Light in Boston Harbor, which was built around the same time.

A total of 699 4-ton granite blocks were cut from the quarry in Vinalhaven and carefully shaped and numbered before being shipped to Ram Island.

Construction was hampered because the ledge is only above water for a few hours each day.

Ram Island Ledge can be easily seen from Portland Head Light. Originally fitted with a third-order fresnel, the light now shines through a 300mm plastic optic, powered by a long underwater cable from Portland Head.

Bug Light

Bug Light Park, the eastern terminus of the Greenbelt Walkway, offers expansive views of Portland Harbor and the skyline of Maine’s largest city. The nearly 9 acre park was the site of major shipbuilding activity during WWII. An estimated 30,000 people were employed here from 1941-1945 building liberty ships for the New England Shipbuilding Corp. and the South Portland Shipbuilding Corp. Although far less bustling today, Bug Light Park is a popular destination for picnicking and boating. A busy boat launching area (seasonal fees required) and a liberty ship memorial are at opposite ends of the park.

Reserve Your Place Now  (Have a Bud Light at the Bug Light?)

In between is a paved walkway along the shore and out to Bug Light itself.

 

The lighthouse was first built in 1855, as a wooden structure, but the breakwater was extended and a new lighthouse was constructed at the end of it. The new lighthouse was made of curved cast-iron plates whose seams are disguised by six decorative Corinthian columns. Its design was inspired by the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, made well-known by engravings.

Real Adventures are like

SEX!

They take place primarily in

the mind.  For another kind

of REAL adventure, read

one of these!

Cover of: Return to Masada by Robert G. Makin

The Plan:

     We're going to start the adventure with the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland Maine, but to get there ( to get they-ah from Hee-aw) I am going to drive my bike from St. Augustine Florida, where I live, to Rockland Maine, where the adventure begins.  I plan to advertise along the route and pick up members of the party enroute who want to drive along.  I intend to use interstate highways the whole way to Rockland.  From St. Augustine, the route I have chosen goes like this:  From St. Augustine Florida,

U.S. #1 North to Jacksonville.

I-9A North to I-95 (north side of Jacksonville)

I-95 North to Exit 86 in South Carolina

I-26 West to I-77 North - at Columbia South Carolina (around exit 115)

I-77 North to I-81 in Virginia at Wythville Virginia

I-81 North to exit #187 near Scranton Pennsylvania

I-380 South  about 4 miles to I-84 East

I-84 East to exit #5 in Nastychussetts (more or less) at I-90 (Mass. Turnpike)(Toll)

I-90 East 12 miles to I-290

I-290 North to Exit 32 more or less at I-495

I-495 North to I-95 at exit #59 in Nastychussetts.

I-95 North to Portland Maine

I-295 North to Brunswick Maine

U.S. #1 North to Rockland

     Granted, it would knock off a few miles to catch I-78 East of Harrisburg, Pa.and run it to I-287 north then catch I-87 up to Newburg New York.  The way I listed above is the way I like to go when I have to go to Maine.  There are no big cities and the only toll is crossing the Hudson River and twelve miles on the Nastychussetts turnpike. There are also some minor tolls in Maine and New Hampshire, but hey, one has to consider the territory.  When in tax-land, give unto Ceasar...

     When in Nastychussetts, one can expect the treatment to be Nasty.  And on that note, I should remind everyone that in Nastychussetts, it's a Federal Offense to have a concealed weapon.  Never mind that it's a state law and self defense is a federally protected civil right. It's still a federal offense in Nastychussetts.  If you get caught violating this restriction, you will find out that this is true.

    And that includes pepper spray and extremely repugnant cuss words, but NAMBLA

membership is acceptable.  That's natural because it's Nastychusetts..

    Don't forget that Fred Kennedy was from Nastychussetts. Please don't get the idea that Friar Bob hates Nastychussetts.  It just ain't so. A man can't hate a rattle snake or a cock roach.  They just do what comes naturally and one tries to avoid them, but there is no way to go to Maine without passing through that horrible place.  I just try to make it the whole way without having to stop anywhere.  Let me put it like this.  Nastychussetts simply has no gravity. The whole place sucks.

Friar Bob said that.

  Now Maine is a whole 'nother story.  When the European settlers got there and settled in Maine they found they were trapped.  They were trapped because they can't leave Maine without going through Nastychussetts.  And that explains exactly why there are so many seriously nice people in the State of Maine.  And I suppose that partially justifies the continued existence of the State of Nastychussetts and clarifies why people from Maine will always tell you when you ask them how to get to Connecticut, "You cawn't get they-ah from hee-ah."

FB

P.S.  I should also mention that I do not plan to drive the whole thing in one day. I intend to take three days to get there and reserve a fourth day to rest before the adventure begins on July 18. I have not carved in stone, the places I want to stop for the night but they will most likely be within a hundred miles of Fancy Gap Virginia, and Milford Pennsylvania, if not actually at those exact places. Why? I like those places and I've been there before.   The mountains feel good to me. I like being among them. If I sleep at Milford, my ETA for Rockland is roughly Noon, July 17.

  Leaving from St. Augustine, Florida, July 15.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

   Given a Merciful God and a market place that is no more dead than today's (07/20/2009) market place, I expect that when I leave Maine I will have to boogey to Houston Texas as fast as I can for the Saddle Soars Gallore Adventure or Saddle Blister Bonanza, whatever...  That is going to be a hard core biking adventure with the most exotic and little known places on the North American Continent on the agenda.   I'm going to do that adventure seven times, over the next seven years.  It will leave Houston on the first Monday after what ever day the government tells us  that Labor Day is on that year.  I miss having reliable calendars. Today, not only are George Washington's Day and Abraham Lincoln's day lumped into President's Day so Martin Luther King can have his day, but they are all, always on MONDAYS!   I wonder if ANY of them were actually born on a Monday.

   SEE YOU in MAINE! and maybe HOUSTON!

Friar Bob

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++