I was a little sad to leave our little room 17 at the
We headed back to Acadia, and hit a few choice spots
for one final time before the trip home.
We decided to head back to Portland a little
differently than the way we arrived, and since we were
still on the lookout for the elusive Maine Bucket, we
stopped at Gift shops and General stores alike.(I was
starting to wonder if Xyon's mom was hitting the crack
Since the turbo had blown on our trip up Caddilac
Mountain, I was leaving a lovely blue trail of thick
smoke in our wake, and the hills were sucking the life
right out of my poor saab.
We started seeing signs for Bangor, and couldn't pass
it up. Seeing Stephen King's house was at the top of
“Excuse me, do you know the way to Stephen King’s house?”
It was a simple question. No hidden agenda to slight anyone’s attitude or to cause trouble. A question, one would think, that would be common to anyone living in Bangor, Maine, especially to a convenience store clerk. But you would be wrong and so were we.
The drive from Acadia National Park to Bangor was beautiful. The road, for the most part, was a two lane highway that traversed some of the oldest fringes of the Appalachian Mountains and led straight to Derry…err…Bangor.
The small, rolling hills were very similar to places in Tennessee and Xyon commented on this fact many times during the ride. In his mind, Xyon tried to picture what this drive would have looked like from above: The view rising above the car to reveal the tops of the Spruce/Fir trees, a bit farther out showing the ocean, East just a bit more but too far to see from the car, would be crashing into the rocky cliffs where the land ended; while, farther inland, the farmland stretching out with patches of forest blotching the green, rolling hills at selected intervals to the west. The Saab, represented on the sky map as a little speck, would be moving at a brisk pace Northeastward with a rose representing the final destination, the Tower of King Manor.
The road finally merged into a four lane highway and soon the gray SAAB glided off on the Bangor exit.
“Stop at that gas station. I would say just about anybody who lives here has to know at least the general direction of Stephen King’s house.” Goddess said as she was pointing to the store.
“Sounds good to me,” Dobbah said from behind the wheel of the car, “just don’t let me hit anyone while trying to get across this damn busy road.”
The car, safely pulled in the parking lot and came to a stop in front of the little store.
“I think Xyon should go in and ask directions.” Dobbah said with the utmost conviction.
“Me?” Xyon questioned as he was afraid that he would be nominated for this task. A task that had “let the tourist be embarrassed” written all over it. He was in no position to argue this point as Dobbah had graciously played an exceptional host over the past few days and, more importantly, they wouldn’t have been sitting in Bangor, Maine trying to find Stephen King’s house without her.
“Come on,” Goddess said, “I’ll go with.” The two headed inside leaving Dobbah dialing someone backing Portland on her cell.
The store was not impressive as far as convenience stores went. It was an old store with lots of open room; a look that many stores like this one had gone to in the late eighties with no hurry to update. The girl behind the counter was in a fierce conversation with her boyfriend or possibly one of her girlfriends talking about her boyfriend. She didn’t seem too pleased when Xyon interrupted her phone call.
“Excuse me, do you know the way to Stephen King’s house?” Xyon politely asked.
Being polite with a southern accent had gone a long way since Xyon’s arrival a few days back. One lady, in another convenience store had picked up on this right away. “Where are you from? Definitely not from around here.” The lady had said when Xyon had asked if they the cappuccino machine – which probably came out as caaapucheeenooo. Xyon, while working the coffee machine, had politely said, “Yes ma’am, I'm from Tennessee. I'm up visiting a friend in Portland. Your state is quite beautiful (beeauuuutifuuuul).” The lady had smiled and looked over to her co-worker, who had pointed out where the cappuccino machine was, and said, “Isn’t his accent cute!” They were both giggling as Xyon paid for his sweet coffee and as he was heading out the door said, “take a paper, they are free this morning.”
But this girl, she looked barely sixteen, was not so easily charmed. Instead, she continued with her conversation like no one had spoken. Goddess, who was waiting an answer as well, finally said, “Look. We are looking for Stephen King’s house. Do you know where it is?” It was all she could do to hide her irritation. The clerk, now irritated, finally looked up, said, “no I don’t,” and picked right back up with her conversation like she had never been apart from it.
The two got back in the SAAB, told Dobbah what happened, and they decided to go on to the next store they found to ask again. This was when a bit of clairvoyance was vividly shown from Dobbah. They had just passed a giant Paul Bunyon (and Babe) statue when Dobbah pulled in the left turning lane. The “Where you going?” question came from the shotgun position. It was one of two gifts that Xyon possessed – state the obvious or ask quick questions. “I just have a feeling I need to turn left here,” Dobbah said, not irritated in the least (or at least she hid it well). After they did so, they drove into a residential neighborhood and saw a guy riding his bike at the next intersection. “Ask that guy!” Goddess said as she pointed to a guy riding his bike toward the car at the intersection.
From the Journal of Dobbah 5-31-04
We gave up asking, and continued down the strip. I saw
a car turned left and followed. I usually have pretty
good intuition, so I went with it and headed up the
hill. I figured if I were Stephen King, I'd want to
live at the top of a hill like this(if I wanted to
live in Bangor at all).
Halfway up the hill, enter Sketchy Biker Dude. Gawdess
suggests we should ask him for directions, so I pull
up beside him at the curb.
"Excuse me, dude? Can you tell us how to get to the
Not only did we find out we were on the right track,
we got a little history from the dude with his long
hair, and bundled up in his flourescent jacket.
He was born in Spain, and used to party his ass off in
that house. of course, that was when Jimmy so and So's
parents owned it before they sold it the King of
Horror. The guy even had King as a teacher in high
school, and we found out that Mr. King passed him with
a 70, even though the guy should have failed(his
words, not mine)
We were too stoked to sit still, so we said our thank
you's and good-byes as we watched Mr. Sketchy Biker
Dude pedal off. We continued up the hill and found the
house exactly where the dude had said it would be.
After a good five minutes of listening to this kind person, who looked like he hadn’t done a lot since high school, the trio headed through the intersection and over the small hill that hid Stephen King’s house. The car came to a stop just in front of one of his iron cast gates that had iron spiders mixed in with the house number. Xyon jumped out of the car to get a couple of pictures while the gals waited patiently in the car. Xyon crossed the street to get a wider and farther out view of this beautiful house. After a couple of shots he started thinking what he would say if Sai King were to come outside and ask why he was taking a picture of his house. It looked like someone was home as the side gate was open and a car was visible near the house.
Xyon was trying to frame up another picture a when a loud horn sounded from the SAAB. Xyon thought to himself that he would have a lot to explain for if Stephen King came out and found him taking pictures of his house. At least he thought he would be a little upset about it. Seeing this, fairly big, bald headed guy taking pictures would cause anybody to get a little nervous, especially a person that achieved the popularity that Stephen King has. Xyon, who is nervous now and a bit bent out of shape, calmly but quickly walks back to where the SAAB was parked.
From the Journal of Dobbah 5-31-04
Xyon steps out of the Saab, armed with his trusty
digital Camera. Goddess and I opted for staying in the
car, where we proceeded to lose our shit. Xyon got
pictures of everything but the man himself. At one
point, I spotted him heading to the driveway, and I
half expected him to walk right up and knock on the
door. This caused me and Goddess to start frantically
waving him back, all the while laughing hysterically.
I sunk low in the driver's seat, and banged my head on
the steering wheel. HOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNK.
Not only did we smoke out Stephen King's quiet little
street, we honked the fucking horn. I could picture
him shaking his head from some window on the second
I think I even left a little rubber on his quiet
After a good laugh was had, the trio starts the long trip back to Portland. The stretches of silence kept growing as they progressed back to where they had come from.
Months before Xyon made the trip to Maine, his mother had made a simple request. She asked that he pick up a Maine Bucket. Apparently they were popular in Maine and Xyon figured that he would have no problem finding such a bucket. The trip thus far not only had not produced a “Maine Bucket,” but not a singular person Maine had the slightest idea what he was talking about. The day before the gang had searched every flea market, yard sale, and antique store they had come across with no luck. Xyon had one hope left – LL Bean. On the trip to the east coast of Maine, the group had passed through a small town called Freeport. This happened to be the home of LL Bean and they had almost stopped on the way but had elected to stop on the way back. Now that it was time to make that last journey on this long road trip there was almost a problem.
The long road trip was working on the group. The only thing keeping Xyon going was his excitement of being in Maine and the previous few hours. The other two were spent. The trip back was especially hard because the sun beat into the car the entire way back. Dobbah poor face got extremely red and Goddess didn’t sleep particularly well the previous night. When Xyon looked over at Dobbah as they neared Freeport, he noticed that she giving the good fight just to make it back to Portland. This made the request to stop in Freeport at LL Bean that much harder. Freeport was just outside of Portland for it to be a little longer than the trip to the store and Xyon knew that if they didn’t stop now, odds were that they wouldn’t make it back up the next day and which was his last in Maine.
From the Journal of Dobbah 5-31-04
The journey was winding down, we still hadn't found
the Maine Bucket, and the little grey Saab was ailing
We were on the highway now, for the last leg of the
trip. Xyon saw a sign for Freeport, and mentioned that
he would like to stop at L.L. Bean.
I'm afraid that Gawdess and I had Portland on our
minds, and even tried to dissuade him a little. But
stop we did, and dropped him off at the door, deciding
we would wait in the car. The poor guy was actually
going to try to cram all 3 floors into 5 minutes, and
I started to feel guilty. Gawdess and I headed inside,
stopping at a hot dog cart on the way in. The hot dog
sucked and the lemonade was worse. I was dumping my
waste of money in the trash when we spotted Xyon
heading back towards the car. We apologized for being
shmucks, and headed back inside, telling him to take
all the time he needs.
We split up at one point, and while Gawdess and Xyon
were in the shoe department, I headed to homegoods.
First thing I spotted was an unstained pine bucket
with a rope handle. No. Couldn't be.
I pick it up and see "Maine Bucket" stenciled on the
I head back to my friends and tell them to guess what
I was holding behind my back.
"Maine Bucket?!" Gawdess was correct, and I was
gloating I was so proud of myself.
Gawdess and I laughed at how we never even thought to
check Bean's, since by now it made all the sense in
the world it would be here, of all places.
I went with Xyon to the service desk while he shipped
his purchase back home. Mission accomplished.
We took some pictures of the B.A.B(Big-Ass Boot) on
the way out, and set out for Portland. Gawdess was
asleep in minutes.
With the Maine Bucket in the mail, the groups second wind almost used up they arrived back in Portland. Dropping Goddess off was the first line of business and making a beer run was the second. After the last two errands were complete, Xyon and Dobbah arrive back at her apartment famished. Xyon ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut and after it arrived, they get a call from Randy, Dobbah’s brother.
“Yea, we’ll be over in a little bit, “ Dobbah tells Randy, “ we just need a few minutes to eat and unwind a bit.” All good intentions were there to make it over to Randy’s apartment but their bodies had had enough. The two passed out before 9pm and they didn’t care.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Maine and Back: Day 4 - Part one
The one thing about Maine that is the hardest thing to get used to is the fact that the sun rises earlier there than any other place in the United States. Dobbah, who should be used to this, squints as the early morning sunlight pierces the hotel room window and lands directly on her face.
“Ugggnnn…Wha? …Christ al’mighty. What time is it?” she says as she holds her head. The hangover is not as bad as she has had in the past, but a hangover is a hangover.
“Go back to sleep,” Goddess says from a sleepy haze on the right side of the bed, “it’s only 5:30.”
Xyon, in the meantime, is snoring soundly on the left side and is unaffected by the light.
By 6:30 Goddess is in the shower, Dobs is upright in bed fiddling with her purse, and Xyon turns, opens an eyelid, and then is back snoring soundly..
Xyon finally stirs around 7 o'clock. He opens his eyes surveying the empty room. He rolls off the bed and the floor thumps as his knees and forearms catch his fall.
“Uggh…what time is it?” he asks the empty room. As he makes it to his feet, he looks around for the clock that says 7:04. He peers outside and is knocked back by how bright everything looks. “It’s one or the other in Maine…” The previous days, except the day before, had been cloudy with off and on (more on) rain. The day before had shown the true beauty of the state and this day looked to cap it off. Xyon was still too asleep to look at it though. Limping to the bathroom he starts wondering where everybody had gotten off too.
Soon Xyon, packing his sunglasses and binoculars, is walking the property hoping to see some interesting northern birds. He runs into a group of sparrows and IDs one as an American Tree Sparrow which is a pretty rare bird where he lives in Northeast Tennessee. Soon he has exhausted the birds on the property, which he thought was relatively few, and spots the two gals walking down the sidewalk toward the room.
“ What’s up,” Xyon said hoping to come across more chipper than he felt.
“The sky of course!” Dobs says bubbling over with happy awake oozing out of every syllable, “you fruitcake!”
“Food. That way. Continental breakfast.” Goddess says and points to the motel’s lobby.
“Thanks.” Xyon mutters as he heads towards multiple coffees with some hope of being awake soon.
The room where the breakfast was served was like any typical room at a motel. One table had the orange juice and coffee, one had cereal and milk, and one had bagels and many types of pastries. Xyon immediately grabs a coffee cup and tops it off with a splash of milk. After setting the coffee on the table he grabs three Frosted Flakes boxes, the milk flask, and a bowl. He sits down to enjoy his food and immediately remembers that he has forgotten to get a spoon but is still too tired to get up for one. Instead, he proceeds to eat the dry cereal with a dose of milk after every bite. Sometimes he would even mix the two together in his mouth.
“This will work fine, “ Xyon thought as the person running the counter / breakfast was out of sight and there wasn’t anybody else in the room. He raised the milk flask to his mouth again and noticed a family walking toward the breakfast area from their room. Scrambling now, he grabs a spoon and acts like he is finishing the second half of a small box of cereal by dumping it into the bowl. The family look at him weird as they head to the pastry table staying clear of the cereal.
As Xyon made it back to the room, he thought it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to tell the gals about breakfast because he figured it best that they not know just how hillbilly he could be. Soon they all had finished packing up their stuff, checked out of the hotel, and were driving back to beautiful Acadia National Park.
Xyon didn’t know if it was possible, but today was actually more picture perfect than the day before. The deep blue skies looked like something out of a picture off the Internet. The first order of business was to go to the top of Cadillac Mountain which overlooked the park, the small islands, and was the highest peak inside the park (1530’ at summit). As they traveled up the mountain there was very little vegetation blocking the breathtaking views. Xyon kept getting more and more excited and almost got whiplash from looking out all the windows in the SAAB.
“I just can’t get over how beautiful it all is!” Xyon exclaimed as the vehicle kept ascending upward. “The sky and the water are the most blue I have ever seen! Jeez! When we get to the top I’m going to take pictures and videos of all this shit!” This last statement got a rise out of the gals. “That is the quote of the day!” Dobs pronounces. “’I’m gonna take pictures and videos of all this shit!’” she repeated. After the laughter died down, Xyon turned and looked out the window. He couldn’t help himself, it was times like these that he lived for. All tremendously beautiful and new to his eyes. He would take as many pictures and videos with his own eyes as he ever would with the camera.
Once at the top, the wind started whipping around the vehicle with a high pitched hum. It was all Xyon could do to wait until the car came to a stop before opening the door to get out. While scrambling out of the car he asked, “You’all coming?”
“You kidding? Too windy and too cold! I’ll just stay here and write in my journal.” Goddess nods in agreement with Dobbah. Xyon, realizing that he’s flying solo on this one, heads out in search of high elevation birds.
From the Journal of Dobbah
gawdess and i are journaling in the saab as xyon
searches diligently for a boreal chickadee. the wind
is cranking up here on the summit of cadillac
mountain, and the gulls are gliding dangerously close
to my open sunroof. we went out to taste the nightlife
of bar harbor last night, and found a club with a
small, yet eccentric menu. smoking inside was an added
bonus, and we made the most of it. we passed out drunk
in the king size bed of room 17 at the days inn.
i was the first one up and out the door, in search of
the elusive continental breakfast. the sun on the
water at the ferry terminal across the street was blinding.
i hope xyon didn't blow off....nope, he didn't; he's
back and is now downloading pictures onto the laptop.
*quote of the day*
"this is so cool, i'm going to get pictures, and
videos..ALL THIS SHIT." ~xyon
Xyon is standing on the edge of the mountain. The wind is cutting through him like a knife, but it is worth it. Eye level, peripheral to peripheral, shows nothing but crisp blue skies and below him the little islands are beautifully dotted green on a deep blue northern Atlantic Ocean. Small little scrub trees are littered all over the side of the mountain and the birds are, for the most part and because of the wind, non-existent. A Common Yellowthroat was the only bird to be found which proved to be tougher than it need to be because it was only chipping instead of singing. Xyon fills up his camera with many videos and pictures from this picturesque place. The scrub trees offered many great frames as their trunks and limbs were twisted and angular with spectacular views within them. After he fills the memory on the camera, Xyon heads back to the car to download the camera (on his laptop) and make more room for “all of this shit.”
The trip down Cadillac Mountain was just as breathtaking as the ride up. Once at the bottom they take the left turn that takes them through the park to Jordon Pond. From the parking area there is a path that leads to the pond and then splits into two directions. This path is the Jordon Nature Trail which leads, in one direction, around the rim of the pond through a heavily covered mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees, and in the other direction, it leads away from the pond through a tall, grassy field to Jordon House. Dobbah and Xyon tackle the trail while Goddess uses this time to catch up on the sleep she lost the previous night. When the two reach the pond’s edge, they see “The Bubbles,” on the far side of the pond. These are two small mountains which are relatively the same size, robust, and sitting side by side. Xyon immediately shouts out, “Big Tittie Mountains!” Dobbah, seeing what he was referring to, jabs her elbow into his ribs but can’t help to laugh. After the pond is photographed they tour the area thoroughly and completely, trying to give Goddess time to rest and Xyon time to bird as much as possible. He did get some good warblers migrating into and through the area but nothing of extreme significance to his life list.
The next stop in the park was similar Jordon Pond and there was a great natural bridge made out of rock with vines and moss growing on the side of it, but it was the stop after this one that will be detailed. Following the stop that looked very similar to Jordon Pond (minus the Big Tittie Mountians) the trio drove (unknowingly) out of the park and to the small town of Seal Harbor. Here they found a great open beach like area where the girls decided to turn over every rock they could find in search of neat looking rock and sea glass. Xyon, in the meantime, finds a trail on the other side of the small highway they were parked next to and decides to explore it. The trail started out a gravel driveway but soon veered off the gravels and turned into a grassy path that seemed to be readily maintained. A couple of big, beautiful trees seemed out of place in the open area of the path but also enhanced the character of the landscape and the big pond that was just a bit farther ahead. As Xyon neared the pond, he saw an unexpected sight as some sort of duck was swimming, long ways, across the pond. As he neared the waterfowl, the sun, which was midway up in the sky, beamed light seemingly through the duck’s red bill making it appear translucent. After he got a bit closer he knew immediately the waterfowl in question was a Red-breasted Merganser when he noticed the “messed up hair” on the head which is a trademark of the bird. Farther up the path was what looked like a house boat. When Xyon reached this boat, it was securely moored to the multiple posts along the shore. Thinking it was private, he started to veer clear, but then saw public restroom signs pointing toward the houseboat. Deciding to investigate, he walked onto the deck and tried to access where the bathrooms were and, of course, they were locked. Finding a bench, he sits down to rest and enjoy the beauty of the Maine lake. After all the beauty he could take (and nary another bird) he decides to cut across the grassy area between the trail and the road and walk the gravel road back. He finds Dobbah and Goddess, sitting a good bit away from each other, sifting through the small rocks that littered the beach.
“What’s up?” Xyon said.
“Still the sky, but nothing much else.” replied Dobbah.
“Not really – a bit of sea glass, but not much. Let’s see what Gawdess has found.”
The two head over to Goddess’ pile and find out that she had had about the same luck searching the beach area. The group agrees to head back over, one final time, to the beach area they explored at the end of the evening on the previous day before starting the quest on to Bangor and Stephen King’s house.