Editor's Note - The entry is very long. It has been subdivided if you don't want to read the whole entry and you see something that catches your eye. Also, there will be picture added real soon if you just want to scroll and see the pictures - enjoy...
Acadia and Back
Part one Day 1
I. The Long Morning
Sometime around 2am…
I had woken up with no immediate hope of falling back to sleep. Hoping a glass of water would help, I make my way in to the kitchen, and open the ‘fridge for some light. The two parakeets (the happiest gay couple in Portland) stir and I stop immediately, not wanting to make one or both of them squaw in the middle of the night. I make my way back to the living/bed room and find a comfortable spot on the floor.
The same tape was playing in the VCR and I recognize Ralph “The Mouth” from Happy Days as a lead role in the movie that was playing. It had just started and before long the title appears on the screen - “Stewardess School.” Somehow this early ‘80s film had eluded me so I started watching. It was suppose to be a comedy but was falling a little thin, but it had just enough interest to keep me watching.
Of course at this time a night, the only thing it would take to keep me interested would be a pretty face and the hopes of seeing some boobies. This had the potential for both as the plot involved two guys who were rejected at flight school enrolling in stewardess school – for the women, no doubt…
I watched this movie until my eyelids started closing ever so slowly and finally reached up and turned off the set and crawled back into bed.
Sometime around 6am…
When I woke again, I found myself wanting to find out what happened in that stupid movie, so I get up and turn it back on. I knew Dobbah would be sleeping at least until 7 because we were supposed to pick Goddess up around 8. Sometime later, Dobbah awoke and we both started getting ready for the trip up Route 1…
This trip would be after a few errands were taken care of first…
Sometime around 8:30 am…
After talking to Goddess, finding out that she had been out most of the night, and would need a little extra time to get ready, Dobbah’s phone rang. It was The Dude. The Dude was at one time her boyfriend until he had broken up with her a few weeks earlier and who now wasn’t sure that was what he really had wanted to do. According to Dobbah, he had been calling and stopping by just about as frequent as he had when they were together and he thought they were back together. That was neither here or there for me so I was just hoping there wouldn’t be a quarrel before we left. It turned out that he only wanted his sunglasses and Dobbah told him that we would drop them by after we picked up the Goddess.
After we had picked up Goddess at her pad, we make our way on to The Dude’s place. Dobbah grabs the sunglasses and heads up to give them to him. I half expected him to come out, wanting to meet Dob’s friend from Tennessee, but no Dude. I actually think I sighed a bit of relief when Dobbah came back to the car alone. It is not that I necessarily didn’t want to meet Dude, it just would have gotten more and more awkward, and even though I had been up for awhile, it was still too early in the morning to deal with something like that.
After Dobbah was back in the car, we headed toward our next errand...
An important thing we had to do before we could start our trip was to find a place to get snacks and some cheap sunglasses. We first hit Rite-Aid that supplied us the snacks, but the sunglasses there were too high for the quality of sunglasses they carried. We try the Family Dollar store and hit the jackpot.
Dobs elected to stay in the car, but Goddess and I went on our lastest quest near Portland that day.
“You know, I also need a good hat to protect my bald head.” I said as we started to enter the store.
“I bet they will have something here.” Goddess said.
“If not, at least some sunscreen. That sun is really bright today, but I am not complaining…not complaining at all!”
We immediately saw the cheap sunglasses we were looking for and after picking them out; we took a quick tour of the store looking for hats, and found none...
At the check out lane Goddess asks the girl at that counter if they sell men’s hats. She points to a little stack to the right of the entrance doors. After Goddess pays for her glasses, she makes here way to the hats as I finish paying. I made my way over to where she was and that was when we saw it. A light tan fisherman’s hat had my name on it. I tried it on and it fit reasonably well. I figured it would be $10 or more, but the price tag said it was $3. That hat is sitting on my head as I sit here typing.
While Goddess and myself are in the store, Dobbah makes a quick entry in her journal while waiting on us:
walked down to the bakery this morning for breakfast,
and we finally were able to watched 'winged migration'
from start to finish. almost en route to baah haahbah.
gawdess and xyon are on the prowl for cheap sunglasses
in the dollar store as i write this in the saab,
jamming to 'heaven'.
dropped off skeeter's glasses- check
borrowed a gazetteer- check
illegal trash run- check
roadtrip munchies- check
all we need now is my bank and a shitload of fuses
before heading out on a mad search for warblers and
awww....there back and xyon has a boat hat. atta boy.
let's hit it...
One last errand had to be run as we inched our way further out of town…
Erik The Gray
Sometime around 9:30am…
We pull into NAPA Auto Parts to get some fuses for Erik’s windows. For the past couple of days, Erik the Gray’s electronic window fuses kept blowing. Dob’s gets two packets (each containing 5 fuses) and we proceed to change the fuse (again). I had forgotten to mention that she had done this the previous day and it had lasted less than an hour…but unlike that time; she now had 9 more if needed. This time she cleaned out anything that could cause it to short out. I checked Erik’s oil and saw that we needed to add about a quart.
At last, all errands completed as the gray SAAB pulls out to get on the Turnpike and then to Scenic Route 1…
Yard Sales and Flea Markets
Sometime Around 10:45am…
Looking back now (and after reading ‘Salem’s Lot upon my return to Tennessee) I realize that the small fictional town of Jerusalem’s Lot, where the vampire story was set, would have only been a few miles off north of the Turnpike just before we exited on US 1. It is too bad I didn’t think of this while I was up there…
After we travel a ways toward our final destination of Bar Harbor, we pass through many small towns on scenic Route 1. Scenic Route 1 snaked along a northerly path up the coast and would eventually take us to our only turn off, which would lead to Bar Harbor. In one particular town we passed through (I couldn’t even begin to come up with a name), we stopped in front of a house that was having a yard sale. I had already put my binoculars around my neck and climbed out of the Saab. I made my way over to the table of junk (one person’s junk is another person’s treasure) and was greeted by, “I’ll give you $10 for your binoculars.” I looked up and saw owner of the voice looking at me and smiling. He was one of the people holding the sale in the yard. I just smiled and said, “Nope, sorry.” He went on to talk about a pair of binoculars that he owned and I just nodded and let his voice drift to the back of my mind as I scanned the items for sale.
“…You know what I mean?”
I looked back up and without missing a beat said, “oh yeah” and he accepted that and didn’t go further with the conversation. That made me happy as I really had no idea what he was talking about except that it had started with my binoculars. I looked over my shoulder at where Dobbah was looking. She had come across a stack of National Geographic magazines and was thumbing through one. Goddess had already gone to the end and was starting to head back to us. Dobs tossed that magazine back in the bin and I pick it up and turn to the binoculars guy. I ask how much and pay the twenty-five cents required to make the purchase.
A few minutes later we are back on Scenic Route 1 heading north and then, just as suddenly, we are pulling off the road again at another yard sale. When I get out this time, I immediately see DVDs for sale and begin looking them over. Save for the DVDs, this yard sale had even more junk than the last. I decide to purchase the 2-disc set DVD Freddy VS Jason for $5. Dobs makes a DVD purchase as well and we again are traveling north on Route 1.
We get a bit of traveling time in on this next leg before our fearless leader does a quick U-Turn to stop at what looked like a Antique Flea Market. We all head in and, after a fast run through, I decide to step back outside and investigate the patch of woods behind the almost broken down building. I hear my first bird of the day singing in the trees behind the antique dealer. I recognize it as a Chestnut-sided Warbler (please-please-please-ta-meet-cha) and shortly later find it with my binocs. With no other bird movements or songs I head back to the car and arrive at the same time as Dobbah and Goddess. We pile in the car and make it to the next stop which is a more traditional flea market where we split up. We find a few items here – most notably Dobbah finds cassettes to play in the car as we have lost all radio stations, except of course, Country. The cassettes consisted of Jimmy Hendricks (Best of Part II), George Michael (Faith), Cher, and Jethro Tull. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Cher, but the rest I could deal with. I just would have to grit my teeth and bear it when that tape would be played.
The next stop was at a glorified candy store. This place was pretty awesome. It had just opened for the season that day, but had a variety of souvenirs along with some of the absolute best homemade candy I have ever eaten. But as good as this place was, it could touch our experience at lunch…or at least the way it started…
II. Afternoon Bliss
Sometime around 1pm…
By this point we were all famished. Snacking will only quiet your stomach for so long, so we all decide it is time to stop and eat. That is when we saw Jed’s Place. Looking decent enough from the outside, we decide to give Jed a try.
The 10-minute wait to see a menu should have been a clue. Finally I get up and order drinks from the bar that was located across the room, near the entrance. Dobs and I get a beer while Goddess has a Diet Coke and Vodka. These are brought to us with (finally) the menus. It seemed that there was only one man working the tables and running the bar. This guy (Jed?) really had his hands full. This should have been another good sign. We order our food and head to the salad bar to fix the first portion of our meal. I get up last to go to the salad bar. That was when the smell hit me, like a rotten egg hitting a brick wall, but in this case I recognized the stench. It was sewer. It seemed to be blowing out of the kitchen and the sound of the fan was big. It was all I could do to breath as I made my way back to the table. The girls were looking at me like I was responsible for the odor. Giggles then, “Did you fart before you got up a minute ago?” I was asked. I grinned but said no. If had been responsible for something like that I would have claimed responsibility and I said so. At fist I don’t think they believed me but I mentioned the fan and how it was worse over at the salad bar that was right across from the kitchen door. “Part of my job duties as a land surveyor,” I started, “is to get inverts – measurements of depth – of sanitary sewers.” Blank looks from Dobbah and Goddess as I finish, “That smell is exactly what comes out when we pop the lids. Something in there must have backed up big time.”
Even though the smell was pretty bad, the salad of the small salad bar was actually quite good. I even got up and snuck seconds for more spicy/sweet pickles, cottage cheese, and peaches. Again my hopes were high about the fried clam dinner I had ordered. Little did I know that this would be the last thing that was good in the Diner.
When the dinner arrived it looked good enough but the clams were too tough to eat and the mashed potatoes w/ gravy was like eating semi-soft glue. I left most of the plate for Jed. Goddess had ordered a fried clam plate as well, and Dobbah had ordered a fish I had never eaten (and cannot think of the name either) and it was OK. The rest of her variety plate was just OK as well. The hot sauce I asked for came in a Texas Pete Wing Sauce bottle but looked about 10 years too late to use. All in all it wasn’t pretty at Jed’s, but we knew the guy was working about as hard as anyone could under the circumstances so we tipped him too well and left.
Faith in Penobscot County
Johnny Smith is traveling down the two-lane highway; his fiancé is waiting on him to rejoin their perfect life together. The rain hitting the windshield is like gigantic eyes smashing the glass and the windshield wipers will not go faster. As he rounds the next curve, seemingly out of nowhere, a truck appears in the lane in which he is currently traveling. Only seconds late, he is unable to swerve out of the truck’s path. The inevitable happens (one might say his ka) as the truck and car meet violently. In a great fireball, the car is flipped over and over until the car finally comes to a rest off the side of the forested bank.
When Johnny wakes up, he is lying in a hospital bed. His doctors are trying to tell him that five years had passed but it all seemed like a great blur. He reaches out, trying to get his hands to project what his mouth can’t seem to say and grabs the nurse next to his bed. The next thing he sees with perfect clarity.
A bright flash hits Johnny’s eyes. He looks around and sees a little boy crying as he watches his house burn around him. He is crying out but no one is there to hear or help him. He crouches in the corner of his room and cries. As Johnny is watching this scene he sees a picture of the boy and his mom – this nurse he is grabbing in this new life – and the bright flash returns.
Johnny starts screaming at the nurse about a fire and her little boy. That is the only thing he really remembers. All he really remembers except for the extreme urgency that is not too late to save him, but she must move now, NOW!
Sometime around 2:30pm…
This scene from The Dead Zone, a series on the USA Network that is based on the book by Stephen King, flashes through my mind as I see the sign at our final stop before we arrive at Acadia National Park.
The sign is for Penobscot River Crossing in Penobscot County. This is the same county were the series takes place (granted the series took place more toward Bangor, but it is the first time I have seen a sign with this county on it).
I had gotten Dobbah to pull over at this scenic overlook to take my first pictures in Maine.
A few miles before, Dobbah had put in George Michael’s Faith tape. It had been years since I had listened to this tape. Way back when George Michael hadn’t approached the undercover cop in the bathroom and, at least from his videos, he projected a lifestyle that every teenager would’ve liked to have – beautiful women and all the money he would ever need in this life. We all were on perfect key as we sang along to the lyrics we all knew by heart. After another few songs, Dobbah rewound the tape and we again all sang along to the lyrics. That was when we decided it was time for some Hendrix…
From Dobbah’s Journal, Dated May 29, 2004
my dearest tom gilbert,
something made me pull into that flea market on route 1 that fateful saturday morning. i thought i just
needed to stretch my legs, but as i started pawing through the vast amounts of trash and treasure, i knew
i would find something just for me. i had wandered away from my friends, as usual, and
into a small shed filled with antique swords and chinese stars. the old box of cassetttes looked a little out of
place, but seeing as i had a tapedeck in the saab; i thought i could find some music for the trip to acadia.
george michael, cher, and jethro tull had nothing on the jimi hendrix with the handwritten jacket.
gawdess had asked to look at the case, and it was then that we found the small cutout of a naked woman
wrapped in cellophane. you must have masturbated to that picture while listening to 'the wind cries mary',
i'll bet. i was a little disturbed that you felt the need to personalize it, but hey, to each his own.
either way, it was the score of the day, and i tank you for it.
much love, dobbah
p.s. you don't know where i could find a maine bucket,
Mount Desert Island & Acadia
Sometime around 3:30pm
We finally turn off Scenic Route 1 and take the next highway across Mount Desert Island to Bar Harbor (Bah-habaah) and Acadia.
This leg of the drive felt like going to the beach when I was young. We would turn of the main interstate and hit the 2-lane roads that would eventually take us to somewhere near the middle of the east end of North America, except it looked like it would be just over that next little hill. One hill would turn into another hill and another until finally I would just sit back in my seat disappointed as the trip continued to take forever. I didn’t mind the length of this trip at all, on the contrary, I had been thoroughly enjoying every minute, but at the same time I was also getting a little tired. I continued to take everything in, commenting on little things here and there when Dobbah (remember Dobbah? This journal is about a trip to see Dobbah - end lame Arlo Guthrie reference…) exclaims – “Ah Zoo!” with building excitement and her foot automatically goes for the brake. “Ohh, I want to go to the zoo.” she says again but eases up on the brake as she eyes it all the way past. It was like she knew it wasn’t in the cards this trip, but still she wanted to go really bad. I could understand her feelings because she was a veterinarian assistant and she really loves animals. “Maybe we can tomorrow on the way back,” Goddess says from the back seat knowing it probably wouldn’t happen then either but sympathizing with her best friend and ex-roommate. “Yeah, maybe…” Dobs says and speeds the Saab back up to the speed limit.
sometime around 4:30pm
We finally arrive at Acadia and head first to the Park Headquarters/gift shop. I find a few small items I normally get when I visit a new national park (pin with Acadia written on it, bird checklist for the park, brochures about the park, etc..) and the girls pick up a few items as well.
Not wanting to waste any of the day remaining, we start down the one way park loop and pay the entrance fee of $10 that would be good for a week if we had that long to stay (I wish!). Our first stop is Sand Beach. We pull in the parking lot to see lots of cars. It was more populated than I would have normally liked, but it was the fist nice day in about 2 weeks for most of the state, so I got over it pretty quickly. And besides, most of the people were starting to leave as we made out to the small sand/pebble beach.
After you leave the parking lot there is a small, wooden walkway leading to a set of stairs through a small patch of trees that take you down to the beach. Having my binocs around neck and my camera on my belt, I am ready when I hear some bird activity. Here I see American Redstarts, a (Northern) Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Phoebe, Great Flycatcher, a few unidentified empidonax flycatchers, and other warblers that I never could quite get my binoculars on as they were in some pretty big thickets.
When you first walked out onto the beach, the cold, North Atlantic Ocean greeted you with small waves coming in on the shore. To the right there was a rock face which marked the beginning of the rocky shoreline with a small area you could climb up to if you wished. To the right the small beach extended until another, but smaller rocky shoreline started. On a day warmer than today (the temperature was in the upper ‘60’s) you could go swimming in this small section of beach. By the time I get down to the beach, Dobbah and Goddess has already split up, one to the left and one to the right. Goddess, to the left was looking for neat stuff in the pebble/sand and Dobbah, to the right, was sitting on a small outcrop of rocks enjoying the view. I headed toward Dobbah and sat down next to her and took the shots below. We marveled at the beauty of this place until Goddess made her way over to join us marveling. We sat there for as long as we could, not want to leave, but knew we would have to shortly. We watched a cute Japanese couple climb down from the rocks above us. Her timid steps to start down started only after she knew he was down in front of her to help. He reached up and grabbed her around her waist and gently brought her down to the sand. The next couple to come down was so American it was funny after seeing the previous couple. He hopped down pretty easily and started back to help her, but she shoed him away with her hand before sliding half way down and jumping the rest.
So far, this place on my trip to Maine was the most scenic and we wished our time here wouldn’t end. Finally Dobbah got up and started toward the stairs that led toward the parking lot. “Let’s go…” This was the most beautiful place I could remember visiting in a long, long time. How was I to know that the place I would see the next day would make this place seem ordinary, could such a thing be possible? Yes, it could.
We make it back to the car and leave to find a place to stay for the evening. Hopefully on the outskirts of Bah Hahbaah…
III. Night In Bah Haabah (Bar Harbor)
The Gas Cap
Sometime around 6:30pm…
We travel out of Acadia and stop first at a convenience store to gas up and get much needed supplies (like beer) for the night. I get out to start pumping the gas as Dobbah opens the gas lid. Dobbah comes around the car to help and open the gas lid the rest of the way. “Ah – what? Where’s the lid?” she asks looking at me. I had been the last person to gas the car up the previous day in Portland. I look dumbfounded (just plain dumb) and say, “oh, shiiiit…” Dobbah laughs it off and says, “Don’t worry about it, I will just get the one on Sven.” (But I did worry about it, the whole rest of the trip in Maine, the plane ride back, and after I had returned to Tennessee. So much that I found an online parts store that sold gas caps for SAABs and purchased one to be sent to her address. But I get the wrong apartment number on the package, and she still hasn’t gotten the package as of the date of this writing, which is of course a few weeks after the trip…) I mutter a few more choice curse words and pump the gas. We all go in to get some stuff and walk out of there with supplies, ready to find a hotel room somewhere to get freshened up and rest just a bit before going to eat.
Sometime around 7pm…
Driving through Bar Harbor was like driving through a globe you shake and watch it snow. Except, of course, there was no snow. Just a classic New England town that looked like it hadn’t changed in a hundred or more years. Yet it has, which is the beauty of the town. Much like Camden 60+ miles back toward Portland, Bar Harbor has been kept up in a classic style to favor tourism but not lose it’s New England/European quality.
Just outside of Bar Harbor there is a ferry over to Nova Scotia.
[INSERT PICTURE OF FERRY SN HERE]
Right across from the sign pictured above was a cozy little Days Inn where we stayed for the evening. Earlier at the store I bought a six pack of local to Portland beer I popped one open while the girls started freshening up and writing in their journals. The letter to Tom Gilbert earlier was written here while Goddess showered and I sat in outside the room on a chair, drinking a beer, and looking at the bay. This would have been fitting ending to the day, but it wasn’t over just yet.
Sometime around 8pm…
It’s Dobbah’s turn for the shower and I need batteries so I borrow Erik the Gray and head back to a convenience store. I had one of those those exclamation moments – like ‘I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque’ – when I turned right, instead of left, and headed back toward the town of Bar Harbor instead toward the store we had been too earlier. But, I am heading towards town, there’s gotta be another store selling batteries…right? Wrong. At least wrong when you think about the town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The whole downtown area is buildings lined right next to each other, so it is a set up for walking. Sure I would have found batteries in many of the stores there, but just after 8pm, I would have to park a half-mile away and walk.
But I get lucky and see a little grocery mart and, [GASP], a parking spot right in front. I swing the SAAB into the parking space and run in. What do they say when something is too good to be true? Something like, ‘If it is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t'…no truer words have been spoken. If I had only read the name of the store, I would have never gone in for batteries. I only saw the stuff on the shelf and darted in. Once inside I saw organic food all around me. Now what organic hippy would sell batteries that would eventually end up sitting in a land fill forever? There isn't one that would, but I ask anyway. I figure…what harm could come from asking. Well, after asking, the lady behind the cash register looked at me like I was crazy and simply said, with no emotion, “No. No batteries.” So I finally just head back to the first convenience store we stopped at and bought 4 batteries. A trip that should’ve taken ten minutes now had taken damn near 35 minutes…
Smoking Inside, Live Music, and an Ostrich Burger
Sometime around 9pm…
When I return with the batteries I download the day’s pictures as fast as I can so we can leave. Of course that turns into showing the pictures downloaded and taking the picture of the present left by Tom Gilbert for future purposes (including this journal).
We all pile in the SAAB and head into the heart of Bar Harbor…just as most everything was closing. We did find two nightspots and chose the one with the menu outside (since we were looking for dinner and not just drinks). As the day has gone so far, we were late enough to have to pay a small cover, but that was not a big deal. We find a place to sit in what looked like a porch with plastic windows (a tarp of plastic wrapping the outside of the “porch” against weather elements). This seat turned out to be perfect as we could hear the music without it drowning out the dinner conversation and because they were going to open a part of the plastic and make it a smoking section. This is big because all of Maine has a no smoking policy in public places and, at least for the girls, this was HUGE. It wasn’t a big deal to me because here in Tennessee we can still smoke in most bar establishments. The lady comes and we order: I get barbeque ribs, Dobs gets yet another seafood dish, and Goddess orders an Ostrich Burger. I meant to try this bird burger but forgot to ask but Goddess reassures me that it was very tasty. The live music was of a modern punk/rock variety and sounded good from where was sitting. I never did find out the name of the band but I guessed it was of a local flavor.
Before and after the meal we picked over the days events, being particularly critical to Jed. Dobs and I even wrote in Goddess’ journal our point of view which I will post here as soon as she sends me what I wrote. The meal was great – the best of the trip so far (the best meal of the entire trip would come later and would involve lobsters – dum a chick, dat a chum) When the check of the night came I quickly grabbed it up and took care of it. I figured they wouldn’t have been up here if it wasn’t for me and dinner would be on me.
Phone Tag or How the Day Finally Ends
Sometime after 11:30pm…
We finally pile in the SAAB and get back to the Motel. It already looked asleep as we pulled in the parking space and very soon we would be assimilated. We pile in the king-size bed (Goddess on the right side, Dobbah sandwiched in the middle and me on the left side). The last thing I remember about this day was Dobbah playing text message tag with a friend in Jersey. Lights out.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
To Maine and Back - Day 2
Sometime during the night the sky cleared. The sun shone brightly through the window, piercing anything it came in contact with. A certain annoying crow joined the merry circus of the morning and was "caaaawing" non stop at what seemed only two feet away from the open window. Looking out the window, one would have seen the full sun up over the horizon and crawling back from the bathroom, it seemed the clock had to be lying as it read...
"5:30!!!??? Holy shit I could have sworn it was past nine..." As soon as I said it I wished that I hadn't as the full impact of the night before reached my brain. It screamed back as I sat back down to hopefully calm it down. I reached over for my bag and, after a bit of rummaging, found my "Morning Relief." I get water and watch as the two caplets dissolve into the liquid. I quickly down the medicated water (which makes me light headed again) and pass back out.
After we re-awoke the rain had moved back in and the temperature was a chilly 48F or so. After we got going that morning we call Goddess to see if she wants to eat some breakfast buffet. After picking her up we leave Portland and head toward an old school that had been converted to a restraurant. This place is a good thirty to forty-five minutes away. After we get there we realize that they are only open for breakfast on the weekend and Friday morning didn't qualify. We notice, however, that they will be open for the lunch buffet in thirty minutes. So we head to a jetty of rocks extending out into the ocean that is used for a fishing pier. The rain is steadly falling but we don't let that stop us. We all head out to the jetty and go off on our own for a little bit.
I have my binoculars around my neck and find some sea duck to identify. Turns out the ducks were a couple families of Common Eiders. This was a new bird for my life list. There was also a bunch of shorebirds on the rocks behind the Eiders but they were too far away (that mixed with the rain fogging up my binocs) to identify. Soon we wre heading back to the school buffet. Here was where I had the best fried clams on the whole trip. Many plates of fried clams were taken out here.
We get back to Dobbah's apartment and we realize the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" started that day and we decide to go to the early afternoon viewing. The theater that best matched our schedule was out of Portland a few miles.
"Sven is up there, " Dobbah said as we passed through the rural suburb outside of Portland. Sven was the SAAB before her current SAAB, Erik the Gray. We take a moment of silence even though parts of Sven are in Erik the Gray. As we pull in to the theater parking lot another heavy shower moves overhead. We walk into the small shopping mall the theater was located in and notice the glass door is pulled at the entrance to the theater. We look at the time the movie started and notice it had been on for forty-five minutes. Somehow in our morning of fog we got the times mixed up.
Leaving the theater and back into the rain brought back a bit of the hangover as we ran to the car. As we are heading back into Portland, we are almost taken out by a car that pulled out in front of us suddenly. We were in the straight lane going through a red light. The lane turning left had cars backed up waiting to turn and as we were going by them, one decided that they would rather go straight instead of turn. Their timing brought them almost into us. Dobbah swirved into the emergency lane, narrowly missing the idiot driver. As we collected ourselves after the narrow escape (meaning after we stopped cursing the driver and realized how close that was), Dobbah said, "I need a smoke."
Next we stopped over at her mom's house and they went over the items for the silent auction they were putting together for the following Thursday. Dobbah, Goddess, and Dobbah's mom were helping out a friend whose son had died a few days previous. She couldn't afford the funeral costs and the trio had asked for donations from all over town to help relieve some of the funeral costs.
We leave her mom's and run a few errands (bird food, snacks, etc..) and head to her brother's apt. There I meet some more friends and neighbors of Randy while we start drinking.
The rain at this point had stopped for about an hour or two. Birds and squirrels were playing in the trees and the local chinese restaurant had started its evening shift. Horns were blaring down the Forest Avenue as rush hour was picking up and the Chimney Swifts were getting lower overhead. The wind started picking up and the clouds overhead were getting thick again. It was about that time that it started to...
"...raining again." I heard someone say as I was pulled back into the conversation. Randy took off to get more beer and Dobbah and I go in the apt just before the deluge came.
The rest of the evening we drank beer. Leaving just after nine, we head back to Dobbah's apt to get ready for the road trip on Saturday. Dobs crashes almost immediatly and I rummage through her video cassettes and finally put in the first Indiana Jones movie. It was going to be an early day the next day to pick up Goddess and head to Acadia, but it was only 9:30pm so I stayed up another 30 minutes before I crashed out.
End Day 2
Monday, June 07, 2004
To Maine and Back - Day 1
Well, made it up to Portland, Maine and back without incident...well major incident.
I had all good intentions to keep a detailed journal on my laptop while I was there, but with all the drinking that went on, I found it hard to write anything while up there. I am going to have to rely on my memory to fill in the gaps.
OK Day 1 --
Before I can even leave the Tri-City area, there is trouble. I get an automated call from US Air Saying that my flight has been delayed. I call the airline and they tell me the plane has been grounded and I will get the next flight available. The next flight available would make me miss my connection flight in Pittsburgh and that had to be changed. I am already cussing and I haven't even made it to the airport yet.
In the interim, I go to eat and get a mocha at the Coffee House in downtown Elizabethton. As I am heading to the airport, I get another automated call saying the flight has once again been delayed. At least this delay won't effect my connection flight. But what was a 3.5 hr trip (with no layovers) has turned into a two hr wait at Tri-Cities Airport and a 2 hr layover in Pittsburgh. Instead of arriving in Portland, ME at 2pm, I get to arrive at 5:30pm.
While I was waiting at the Tri-cities Airport, I talked to an elderly couple who were flying to London (via Pittsburgh) and then on to Normandy for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The gentleman was British and had moved to Kingsport in the mid '60s. He served England in the British Airborne during WWII and was a survivor of D-Day at Normandy. It was real interesting talking to him about D-Day and his experiences there. Worth the delays to listen to such an historic event by someone who was an eye witness. The sacrifices there were tremendous.
I get on the prop-jet and it is really small. So small, there are no overhead compartments for carry on luggage. Only place to put stuff is under the seat. I was lucky that it wasn't a full flight as I ended up using 3 chairs to stuff my carryon under. Sitting in a wing seat, I get mesmerized by the propellers. Flight was surprisingly good, but not even complimentary drink.
At the Pittsburgh Airport I have plenty of time so I decide to go eat. I go into the Original Oyster House and order a beer(Yuengling Amber)on draft. My burger is good, but not worth the price I paid. Then it is on to the hard chairs (that they try and make soft) at the terminal. It was pretty full and I ended up sitting within clear earshot distance from the automated voice to be careful getting off the moving walkway, over and over.
The flight up to Portland, ME was OK. The plane was bigger and no propellers found (full jet service - Wahoo!). I am wanting another drink, so when the beverage cart finds its way to my isle, I order a Jack and Coke. (Something I didn't mention earlier was the Tri-City Airport is now a dry airport. I went in search of a nerve killing beverage when I arrived at what used to be the bar. They told me that the contract with the business that used to be there ran out and is now being run by the airport. They have not sold alcohol since Jan 31.) When I order my beverage on the plane, I am informed that US Air has stopped serving alcoholic beverages. With US Air about to file for bankruptcy again, I suppose they decided to make a few cuts. This made no sense to me as they had to make a killing on the beverages they could sell. If you have ever flown, you know what I mean about the prices... So I got a Coke and a smile instead.
Meanwhile...in Portland, Maine
From Dobbah's journal - May 27
it's 5 pm and i just made it to the little bar in the
airport. i guess i didn't realize how much 33 oz of
beer can be. GAWD help me, this thing is ENORMOUS.
xyon will be here in less than a half hour. YAY!
james taylor is singing about fire and rain from the
speakers in the ceiling, and i look around wondering
who is coming and who is going.
i blew the window/sunroof fuse in the saab today, and
i just blew another one as i was pulling in the lot.
what's up with that?
i had started drinking around noon with gawdess, and
when brooks showed up around 1, i drank some more. we
parted ways, but not for long. met up with gawdess
around 3 for another drink(or 2).
5:07 now. a big beer makes time fly i'm thinking.
so does a good buzz.
looks like rain out there. maybe i should try and fix
the fuse before we leave the garage?
making mental note to pick up 'winged migratin' and
maybe i'll remember.
something tells me i'll still be working on this beer when xyon touches down.
5:11 and barely dented.
YES!!!! creedence is on. i think i'll move seats and
freshen up on the shipyard story.
moving onto the next page.
don't wait, flip the page to find out!!!
cliff notes, shipyard ale
in 1992, fred forsely, a real estate consultant with a
talent for putting together successful business
relationships, was hired to explore new options for a
troubled retail development in kennebunk, maine.
i give up, although it does seem like an interesting
story.i think xyon is here, maybe even sitting beside me.
this guy doesn't appear to have an accent.
drink another one, dobbah.
about 5:15 now, is that him or what?
this guy has bags.
fuck, i wish i had bothered to look
at his picture now.
damn, i am buzzed.
i'm feeling like i am going to be drunk very
soon. maybe he's calling me.
nope, wasn't him.
maybe i'll draw and think about it.
End Dobbah's Journal
After I arrive in Portland...
...I make my way to the baggage pick up and find my baggage with amazing ease. I call my friend (who was in the airport bar). She and I leave the airport and head into Portland.
Earlier that day, the clouds moved away that had plagued the city with rain for over a week. The city had been stuck in a weather system that had brought chilly temperatures and a lot of rain. That needed to be said as the first thing it does after I arrive is...
Rain. Rain. Rain. As soon as I get there and make it down to the waterfront, a dense fog rolls in and it starts raining. The temperature had made it into the '60s earlier in day and was plummeting fast.
We make it to her apartment and get the luggage up to her third floor attic apartment between showers. I made reference to her living in Greg Brady's room more than once. I meet Cyrus, her African Parrot (a Senegal Parrot). He is talking immediately, which is a good sign and kinda unusual. It is a good sign because it means he liked me and it was unusual because Dobbah had said that he may or may not talk the entire time I was there. (By the time I left I was telling him to shut up!) It was neat hearing him say human words that he had previously learned and some he learned while I was there.
From there we head to her brother Randy's apt (he also lives in the attic apartment in his building. It also needs to be mentioned that the "building" is a house that has been converted into apartments for rent.) to commence drinking. We had stopped at a store and was fully prepared. After a couple hours there (and a very competitive round of jeopardy) we leave to walk down to Chappie's. At Chappie's, the house band was playing and we shot pool for about an hour or two. Here I meet one of Dobbah's best friends, Goddess (keeping with online nicknames).
A group of us leave, Dobbah, Goddess, one of Dobbah's brothers, and another friend) and down to the Old Port. Here we bar hop until we all had enough.
I had been the most conservative drinker that night ( and that is not saying a whole lot except that I wasn't walking on a slant...) and drove Dobbah's car back to her apt. After we make it to the attic level, I realized that I had forgotten my camera bag and the beer and head back down to retrieve them. On the way back up I went to the wrong door where I am greeted by someone I didn't know. I am holding a camera bag and a brown bag while being looked at suspiciously by a fairly young lady. She seems more amused than irritated (so I am thinking that I didn't wake her up). While I am talking and apologizing, I am scanning behind her to make sure that there were no steps up behind her. Finding none, I apologize once again, explaining that I am visiting from out of state (like she couldn't tell) and I had come to the wrong door. A few steps on down the side of the building (it seemed awfully long) had me entering the correct door and again making my way up to the attic level. After getting back to the apt, my phone starts ringing. I think I said, "now what?" and retrieve my phone. I notice Dobbah's number and then see that Goddess has borrowed Dobbah's phone and was in the bed giggling. After that, a cassette got put in the VCR and we all crash.
It had been a long day and an even longer evening, but it all ended on a euphoric note. Helluva first day.