Wednesday Walkabouts: Deer Isle Area

Stonington Harbor (1 of 1)
Stonington harbor still fogged in at noon ……

Decided to give my “legs” a break today and complete a road trip to explore some areas of Downeast Maine that I have not visited as yet.  I went “off-island” and headed to Deer Isle with planned stops in Stonington and Blue Hill.  Stonington is the ferry service location for those wanting to do some remote camping on Acadia’s Isle au Haut.   I have been curious about this town and was surprised by it’s quaint,  unassuming ambianceThe town is quite hilly and the narrow, winding streets invited exploration.  So, my “walkabout” today was a little out of the ordinary for me.  I do not usually wander along town streets and shop.  But, I found it immensely enjoyable and relaxing!  Along the main street, there were a few rustic gift shops and a great little cafe where I enjoyed a scrumptious BLT wrap served with genuine hometown hospitality that is often rare these days.  

Stonington shop (1 of 1)
Interesting shop whose owner is a master at creating rope work pieces using the Marlinspike technique

One of the gift shops had quite a collection of prints by Andrew Wyeth, which of course caught my eye since I used to live near his home in Chadds Ford, PA.  I asked the shop owner why so many Wyeth prints and she relayed to me that Wyeth and his family used to summer near Deer Isle and he was one of her favorite artists.  I knew that he had connections in Maine based on some of his artwork.  The shop had an eclectic mix of used books and collectibles that was fun to peruse.

I also wandered into another unique shop devoted to marine-themed collectibles.  The shop was called the Marlinespike Chandlery.   I was curious about the name and here is a breakdown of what it means.  A marlinespike is a tool that was used for marine purposes to separate strands of rope for slicing and marling.  “Marl” is when you combine two or more threads and twist them together to make a “thicker” rope – which creates a stronger rope.  A “chandler” is a dealer in marine supplies!   Hence, the name of the shop reflects some of the maritime history of the area.  The owner creates some fascinating artistic pieces using the marlin spike techniques.  I might have to make another trip to this shop with  my husband Jim – as he would be very interested in this type of workmanship.

Stonington Harbor 2 (1 of 1)
Cool-looking schooner entering the Stonington harbor while I was walking about 🙂

On my way back home, I stopped in the town of Blue Hill and just wandered around the main part of town.  I stumbled upon a little park near the waterfront with a granite sculpture and was pleased to discover that it is one of the sculptures that was part of the Maine Sculpture Trail that originated from the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium.  There are 34 sculptures in and around the Downeast Maine area.  I read about this last year and have come across several others here on Mount Desert Island.

Blue Hill sculpture trail (1 of 1)
“The Window of the Sea Wind” – Maine Sculpture Trail

Walking back to my car from the waterfront in Blue Hill, I passed by the historical society and yet another intriguing sculpture.

Blue Hill sculpture (1 of 1)
“Molly Molasses”  Mary Balassee Nicola  – the grandmother of all Penobscots

The plaque that describes Mary says she had a “sharp eye and an unusual way of blackening her face like a thundercloud when anything displeased her.  Her face would change color entirely and her eye would look like thunder and lightening…she knew everything that was going on and was keener than a knife.  Confident in her own superior powers, Molly was one of the greatest shamans of her time.”

Blue Hill Harbor (1 of 1)
View of Blue Hill harbor from Main Street

It was hot by the time I was heading through Blue Hill and I thought I might find an ice cream parlor in town – but I was disappointed in the selection.  Back on the road towards home, I was rewarded in the town of Surry with a cute little place called Pugnuts Ice Cream Shop.  They specialize in homemade ice cream and gelato – and I splurged on a double-dip of coffee latte and vanilla fudge ice cream on a chocolate-dipped waffle cone.  It was heavenly! 🙂



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