Friday, September 28, 2012
We left Trenton at 10:00 a.m. We'd contemplated leaving earlier
and trying to make it up the Mount Washington Auto Road in New
Hampshire today, but the forecast is gloomy with rain this
afternoon, so we'll just find a hotel nearby and drive it
Trenton, Maine to Bethel, Maine
Luckily, it's still sunny this morning, so we're heading back to
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, 45 minutes away, which connects
Bucksport and Prospect, Maine. On Wednesday, we were foiled by
bleak weather, but today we're going up in the observatory.
Tom in Bucksport,
The observatory entrance is inside Fort Knox State Historic Site,
so we'll visit the fort while we're here as well. This is not the
Fort Knox with the gold – That's in Kentucky. Both Forts Knox, as
well as Knoxville and Knox County in Tennessee, were named after
Major General Henry Knox, America's first Secretary of War.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
and Fort Knox
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory is the tallest public
bridge observatory in the world and the only one in the Western
Hemisphere. The observatory sits 420 feet above the Penobscot
River, offering grand views of the surrounding countryside and all
the way to Acadia. Tom was kind of freaked out by the height and
just stayed up top for a few minutes. I stayed longer, till a group
of schoolkids came along and caused me to run away.
Fort Knox from the
Bucksport from the
Fort Knox was built between 1844 and 1869, when invasion from
Britain was feared, despite a treaty settling disputes over Maine's
northern boundary. The British controlled this region during the
Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812, and the
Penobscot River and its waterfront towns, including Bangor, were
recognized by the U.S. as vulnerable. The fort never saw any actual
fighting, but it was used for troop training and as a garrison
during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
Bucksport from Fort
Fort Knox parade
Somehow, Tom and I inadvertently entered the fort from the rear
instead of the main entrance. The fort was interesting, and we had
more good views of the river, bridge, and Bucksport, but we
wandered around in there forever until we finally found our way
out! If you visit, take a flashlight for exploring the fort's long,
Tom at the
In the afternoon we enjoyed a lovely drive across the width of
Maine on Route 2, stopping periodically, once in Newport for our
requisite Subway sandwich fix, another time in Rumford Falls for a
Paul Bunyan photo opportunity.
King of the
Near the coast, the leaves had just begun to show their autumn
colors, but as we gained elevation, they reached their peak. As the
day wore on, the weather got darker and gloomier, until finally it
started to rain, but that only added to the New England ambiance.
In Newry, we followed a meandering road to a quaint covered bridge
Sunday River, Newry,
The Artist's Covered
At 5:00 we stopped for the night at the Norseman Inn & Motel in
Bethel, Maine, near the Maine-New Hampshire border. That will put
us in good position to drive the Mount Washington Auto Road, just
across the border, in the morning, before we head to Boston in the
afternoon. Our room was huge, with two queen beds, a fridge,
microwave, free wifi, and a free continental breakfast.
Norseman Motel, Bethel,
For dinner we went to Rooster's Roadhouse, a short walk from our
hotel or a shamefully short drive. We drove because of the rain,
but I felt pretty silly about it. The meal was awesome, the best of
the whole trip! The soup-and-salad bar had fantastic creamy clam
and corn chowder. I could have eaten that for my whole meal, but
there was much more to come. Next were spicy hot buffalo wings.
Then they brought out my delicious meatloaf, mashed potatoes with
gravy, and corn on the cob and Tom's sausage lasagna. We washed it
all down with Sam Adams Octoberfest on tap. All for only $51!
Man, were we stuffed from dinner, but that didn't stop us from
finding the hotel game room and playing a rousing game of ping-pong
– badly – but we had a lot of fun!
Yellowish building in
the background is Rooster's Roadhouse
Sign our guestbook