Philadelphia to Boston to Maine: The Summer Road Trip Begins

As in any Compass & Canvas endeavor, we sought the primitive, the historical and the abandoned to raise awareness for preservation, protection or potential renewal.

Passing through NYC for the first leg of our epic Eastern tour of America.

Passing through NYC for the first leg of our epic Eastern tour of America.

The trip started with a stop in Boston. Its rich colonial history is well preserved and well known, needing little introduction. One could easily spend a weekend in Boston walking the Freedom Trail, but we found ourselves drawn to the Boston Harbor Islands. The National Recreation Area surprises in its feeling of remoteness considering its proximity to Boston.

The Boston Harbor Island National Park ferry boat takes visitors to Georges Island, the first stop.
On the Boston Harbor Islands ferry, an american flag waves in the air.
The Boston city skyline from Boston Harbor.

We envisioned overcrowded islands serving as an extension of the Boston Waterfront, Georges Island serves this purpose, but from there a free ferry transfer can take you to more remote islands. We caught a ferry from Long Wharf North along the Boston Waterfront, it is only $17.00 dollars to board a ferry or $12.00 if you have a student ID and then transfers are free.

Arriving at Georges Island, where you can transfer to different islands in the park. 

Arriving at Georges Island, where you can transfer to different islands in the park. 

Inside the Boston Harbor Islands National Park ferry boat, looking out at Fort Warren on Georges Island.

Besides providing transfers to the other islands, the Civil War era Fort Warren stands on Georges Island and it has been maintained to the point that the park service allows visitors to basically have free-range in exploring.

A unique Civil War era fort on Georges Island in the Boston Harbor Island National Park.
Interior of Fort Warren on Georges Island at the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. 
Descending stairs that go to nowhere inside Fort Warren on Georges Island.

Descending stairs that go to nowhere inside Fort Warren on Georges Island.

We chose to catch a transfer to Lovells Island, one of the outermost islands. With limited ferries, Lovells provides a secluded opportunity for exploration. The island also houses a few man-made structures used by the Army up until World War II.

Arriving at Lovells Island, one of the outermost islands at Boston Harbor Islands National Park. 
Battery Williams on Lovells, an island in the Boston Harbor, part of the national park. 
Inside the structure pictured above.

Inside the structure pictured above.

I love rocks -- end of story. 

I love rocks -- end of story. 

Birds contemplating the destruction of humans -- nbd. 

Birds contemplating the destruction of humans -- nbd. 

Crabby + sassy!

Crabby + sassy!

Just make sure you don’t miss the last ferry home!

The ferry that was going to leave us stranded on Lovells Island.

The ferry that was going to leave us stranded on Lovells Island.

Zack's "mad" face.

Zack's "mad" face.

A classic image of a sailing boat in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. 

When visiting preserved history in Boston one can’t forget to catch a baseball game. It provides a look into the sports fan experience of the early 20th century, particularly the narrow halls that seem to hold in the heat and steam from the concession stands and the thousands of people moving through them.

Much different from the open concourses that wrap around modern stadiums.

The iconic Fenway Park, Lansdowne street entrance in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. 
Fenway Victory Gardens, the oldest continuously operating Victory community garden that was started during World War II. 

Fenway Victory Gardens, the oldest continuously operating Victory community garden that was started during World War II. 

After leaving Boston we continued north to Maine. Maine’s coastline is a tribute to preserved natural beauty enhanced by picturesque structures whether they be forts, light houses or coastal towns. Acadia National Park was our final destination with a few stops along the way. The Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park and the coastal town of Wiscasset, ME, with its famous Lobstah Rolls at Red’s Eats, are two such examples.

We stopped at the International Cryptozoology Museum, the only museum specializing in creatures such as Bigfoot (actual footprints shown in the case above!), the Loch Ness Monster, and so many more that I  didn't know existed. 

We stopped at the International Cryptozoology Museum, the only museum specializing in creatures such as Bigfoot (actual footprints shown in the case above!), the Loch Ness Monster, and so many more that I  didn't know existed. 

Cape Elizabeth or the Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park.
The Portland Head Light, or Cape Elizabeth in Maine.
A glimpse of the head light itself. 

A glimpse of the head light itself. 

One of the stops we made was at The Desert of Maine, which is both strange and disappointing. It is 40-acres of what seems to be sand but is in fact glacial silt. 

One of the stops we made was at The Desert of Maine, which is both strange and disappointing. It is 40-acres of what seems to be sand but is in fact glacial silt. 

reds-eats-maine-lobster.jpg

Acadia is a compilation of donated land that became the first National Park on the east-coast. If you want to move freely throughout the Park make sure you arrive early. Like way before sunrise early! You should also bring a map because network coverage is very spotty. The park also surrounds plenty of harbor towns if you need a break from exploring.

The early morning drive to see the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain.

The early morning drive to see the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain.

Driving up Cadillac Mountain to see the first sunrise in the Continental United States. 
Even though we woke up way before dawn, there were many people there already. Next time I'm staying up all night. 

Even though we woke up way before dawn, there were many people there already. Next time I'm staying up all night. 

First people to see the sun that day! Woot, woot!

First people to see the sun that day! Woot, woot!

An iconic Cadillac Mountain sunrise in Acadia National Park in Mount Desert, Maine.
The side of Cadillac Mountain, overlooking the islands in Acadia National Park, Maine. 
Wild blueberries line the side of Cadillac Mountain, a perfect snack for watching the sun come up. 

Wild blueberries line the side of Cadillac Mountain, a perfect snack for watching the sun come up. 

Acadia National Park is a great to visit because it is so accessible. The loop drive winds around Mount Desert Island, making every place you stop scenic and beautiful. 

Acadia National Park is a great to visit because it is so accessible. The loop drive winds around Mount Desert Island, making every place you stop scenic and beautiful. 

A tired seagull.

A tired seagull.

The beautiful rocky coasts of Maine in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. 
A gorgeous view of one of the rocky beaches in Acadia National Park in Mount Desert Island, Maine. 
Sand Beach

Sand Beach

If you need refreshments or a break from so much nature, Bar Harbor is an adorable area with ice cream and shopping. My personal favorites. 

If you need refreshments or a break from so much nature, Bar Harbor is an adorable area with ice cream and shopping. My personal favorites. 

This is a view from our cabin at Patten Pond. 

This is a view from our cabin at Patten Pond. 

Bass Harbor Head Light otherwise known as the place where Zack was yelled at by photographers for "getting in the shot." 

Bass Harbor Head Light otherwise known as the place where Zack was yelled at by photographers for "getting in the shot." 

More rocks, more love. 

More rocks, more love. 

One of the stopping points on the loop, Seawall, is a naturally occurring rock seawall. 

One of the stopping points on the loop, Seawall, is a naturally occurring rock seawall. 

Creatures hide in between the rocks at Seawall, however this is not where you find the starfish. 

Creatures hide in between the rocks at Seawall, however this is not where you find the starfish. 

In Southwest Harbor we stopped at Beal's, an infamous lobstah roll restaurant. 

In Southwest Harbor we stopped at Beal's, an infamous lobstah roll restaurant. 

In classic Tayan fashion, we ordered too much food. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In classic Tayan fashion, we ordered too much food. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Southwest Harbor in Acadia National Park, Maine, is a unique place where food, art, and nature collide. 
At long last, we found starfish in Southwest Harbor. I think they really enjoyed the trash in the area. Who knew. 

At long last, we found starfish in Southwest Harbor. I think they really enjoyed the trash in the area. Who knew. 

After a few days in the park we decided to drive away from the coast and farther north into the Maine wilderness. In most cases such a massive swathe of undeveloped land would be very difficult and time consuming to access, but a well-maintained private logging road that runs from Millinocket, Maine to Quebec known as the “Golden Road” provides a path into this remote region.

Starting our way toward the "Golden Road," in northern Maine. 

Starting our way toward the "Golden Road," in northern Maine. 

The "Golden Road" in northern Maine where moose and wildlife sightings are frequent.
The moose that we almost passed.

The moose that we almost passed.

Moose caboose. 

Moose caboose. 

Passing through Baxter State Park along the Golden Road in northern Maine. 
A lake we stopped at to enjoy the dwindling sunlight. 

A lake we stopped at to enjoy the dwindling sunlight. 

A stop along the Golden Road in northern Maine. 

On our way home from Maine we decided to make a pit-stop in Salem, Massachusetts as it offers the opportunity to walk through some of the oldest houses in America with the added allure of the evils of the Salem Witch Trials.

One of the houses on the House of the Seven Gables property in Salem. 

One of the houses on the House of the Seven Gables property in Salem. 

Salem is a strange struggle between wanting to down-play the evil that happened there, and also relying on it to generate tourist revenue. This divide can be very clearly seen by the two different emphasizes in two of the city’s oldest original houses. The House of the Seven Gables provides a look into the more affluent lifestyle of those who lived between 200-300 years ago; and the Witch House provides a look into the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the men who presided over the trials.

Inside The Counting House, which was originally a place where sea captains conducted much of their business, such as balancing accounts or paying fees. 

Inside The Counting House, which was originally a place where sea captains conducted much of their business, such as balancing accounts or paying fees. 

The Witch House, or Judge Jonathan Corwin's house. 

The Witch House, or Judge Jonathan Corwin's house. 

Plus earlier this year a study used primary documents from the time of the Salem Witch Trials to pin-point the location of the hangings. They estimate the location to be on an overgrown hill behind a Walgreens, so naturally we had to investigate.

A possible place where the witches of Salem were hung. 
The entrance to the possible place where the women were hung. 

The entrance to the possible place where the women were hung. 

Tune in for the next leg of our epic Eastern tour of America - West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee!