As I may have mentioned once or twice, I have been visiting and loving the southern Maine area since I was a child. I was very happy with the opportunity to share “my” place with you as the subject of Scott Thomas’s latest photo assignment, a travel photo essay. I hope you enjoy your visit to the northernmost of the contiguous 48 states with me!
The Piscataqua River Bridge connects the New Hampshire and Maine Turnpikes, both part of Interstate 95. The bridge, which is 3/4 of a mile long and rises 135 feet above the river, first opened to traffic in 1972. On summer weekends, the bridge carries over 100,000 cars a day between the two states. (pronounced: pis-CAT-ih-qwah)
A short distance past the bridge on Route 1 in Kittery, ME, you will find an absolute must of a stop! Members of this family have been genetically unable to pass by this sign without stopping in since the store‘s opening in 1986!
Hills Beach in Biddeford, ME is a quiet, private beach community. Lined with condos, magnificent homes and beach cottages, it has been a family destination nearly every summer since I was a small child. The waves are gentle at high tide, and at low tide the water virtually disappears beyond the small islands off shore, making for lots of exploration space and a sandbar that allows residents of Basket Island (square 5 above) to drive to shore! The University of New England makes its home on Hills Beach Road. (All pictures here can be seen in a larger version on my Flickr page)
Wood Island is one of the islands easily visible from Hills Beach. Located near the entrance to Biddeford Pool, Wood Island Light was built in 1839 and automated in 1986. Its signal is alternating white and green light every 10 seconds.
Lighthouses are ubitquitous along the coast of Maine. Not far from Hills Beach, in the village of Cape Porpoise, you will find Goat Island Light. It was built in 1859 and automated in 1990. Its signal is a white flash every 6 seconds.
Perhaps one of the most commonly photographed homes, Walker Point in Kennebunkport is the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush. It was built in 1903 by George H. Walker. George’s daughter, Dorothy, married Prescott Bush and Walker Point has remained in the Bush family ever since. Dorothy and Prescott’s son, and then grandson, went on to become the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States.
In addition to the summer home of the former President, Kennebunkport also features a natural tourist attraction located across the little bay from Walker Point known as Blowing Cave. When the right combination of tide level, cave fullness and wave speed combine, a beautful flume of water sprays out from this erosion-carved cave. Obviously those factors were not coming together on the day I visited!
(This is a photo of the cave in action that I took back in 2006. I have no idea what camera I was using at the time!)
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about one of my favorite places! Maine has so much more to offer (and I still have so many more pictures to share!) This photo essay is but a tiny fraction of the treasures found in this magical place. I’ve been as far north in Maine as Bar Harbor (home of Acadia National Park) and enjoyed beauty in many spots along the way, yet Hills Beach is the place I return to again and again. I thank my parents for introducing this place to me and hope that I’m instilling a similar love in my own family.