North! (And East)

IMG_9762-HDRWhere did we leave y’all? Oh, right: northbound out of New Jersey, bound for the Maritimes in ol’ Paintball. We did slow the van enough to push Jeremy out as we rolled past Hampshire…no, we wouldn’t do that. We stopped long enough to get him set up in his room and embarrass him in front of his classmates (but he did text us the next day to tell us that he’d found his tribe and that we were the best mom and dad in the history of Homo sapiens for setting him up in Metalworking class).

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A quick dodge north to visit incomparable glass worker Josh Simpson, then we were really, truly on our way.

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The next question, which we mighta put some thought into earlier, was Where? We had a vague dinner date set with the amazing Joee from the N.B. Palmer and her husband up in Camden the next evening, but no real commitments before and after. Dusk and a little Googling found us in Winslow Park, at the mouth of the Harraseeket River. Quick dinner fixed out of Paintball’s little kitchenette (electric fridge, sink and propane stove), then a glorious little walk around the park to gawk at the harbor and get our first taste er, rather, let Maine’s mosquitoes get their first taste of us.

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Next day (sorry, I’m gonna go fast here): north on Highway One for the scenic route up to Camden. Obligatory stop at the “swinging bridge” and along the banks of the Androscoggin in Brunswick, the Maritime Museum in Bath, and a loooong walk out the breakwater in Rockland before making the final push up to Camden with just enough time to check into the Camden Hills campground and scoot back to town to meet Joee and Tim.

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Except I forgot to mention the side trip into Waldoboro to visit Recycleart. Mostly because it was so bizarre, beautiful and improbable that I’m not entirely sure we didn’t dream the whole thing. Except I’ve got pics. Pics or it didn’t happen, they say, so it must’ve happened.

So. Recycleart. The story I heard sideways over dinner is that many years ago, Nathan Nichols began collecting slightly broken lawn mowers that folks were throwing away. Apparently the city came down on him for running an unauthorized dump, so he pulled out his torch and welded some of them together. Now, he said, it was art, and the place was a museum.

Well, that was just the start, and now if you pull off and park down Bremen Road south of Waldoboro, you can wander acres – yes, acres – of crazy, surreal, brilliant, brilliant, just brilliant metal sculptures. Cheeky mermaids and dapper lions, life-sized moose sharing a tall one around a coffee table. Things that I just can’t describe. And it keeps going. You get to the end of a clearing and there’s a wooden footbridge with a little sign: “Don’t Stop Now.” On the other side is a whole new pasture with more craziness. Okay, just, here are a couple of pictures to give you an idea:

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[BTW: Mount Desert Island today – tomorrow we head north, across the border!]

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