During the first week of June, Magi and I traveled up to Flye Point, Maine. I wanted to show him “the little crust of earth” that I consider to be heaven. Wanting to avoid the rush hour traffic through Boston, Mag and I got up at 4 AM and were on the road by 4:15. Through rain and then fog we traveled Maine’s coastal highway through Bath and Wiscasset and then Rockland. Stopping in Camden we grabbed a bite to eat and then went down to the harbor to view all the schooners.
Back in the car once more we traveled through Searsport, Belfast and then Bucksport. By the time we crossed the bridge at Bucksport, Magi thought it would be wise to find a motel.
“We’ve been on the road eight hours, Bob, best to find a motel and call it a day. We can head out to Flye in the morning.”
“Mag, we are so close….in an hour we will be at Flye. I don’t want to sleep in Bucksport…believe me, Flye is right down the road. I’ve never slept in the Inn before…always one of the cottages. This will be a real treat to finally sleep in the Inn.”
Butch Smith is the owner of The Lookout, the inn at Flye Point. The Inn has been in Butch’s family since the early 1700’s when Henry Flye first homesteaded this land that juts out into the sea on the Blue Hill peninsula. In the 20’s several cottages were also built on the Point. Over twenty-five years ago, my family discovered Flye and each summer we return for a week or two. Over the years I have written several photo/essays about this magical place. Flye Point is the “real Maine”….not the fancy resorts in Ogunquit and Boothby Harbor.
As we crossed over the Penobscot River bridge between Verona and Bucksport, my anticipation grew as the weather got worse. In East Orland, we left Route 1 and traveled down Route 15 to Blue Hills, an artsy community nestled at the head of Allen’s Cove. Mag really didn’t seem too interested in the scenery outside the car window.
“How much further, Bob. I’m whacked. We’ve been on the road 9 hours. I thought you said Flye was 5 or 6 hours from your house.”
“It is but we made several stops along the way in Wiscasset, Rockland, Camden and Searsport. Twenty minutes more and we will be at the Inn. You can have a nap and then things will look a lot more brighter.”
In the village of Blue Hills, I had Mag stop in front of a home that has a “Garden of White Flags” …each flag representing a soldier who had lost their life in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Continuing on, we went over the bridge at the Reversing Falls of Blue Hills.
Flye Point was only minutes away. As we drove down Flye Point Road, one could see the Inn shrouded in fog. It was now 1 in the afternoon. Going into the Inn, we found Butch, the owner, in the kitchen and asked if we might have a room for the night. Surprisingly, he told us that since it was the first of June, the Inn was not open for the season. Seeing our disappointment, he told us we could have one of the cabins for our stay….the Owenta. I had stayed in this cabin before, so I was delighted. I must admit, Mag was not as enthused as me.
After a short nap, we walked down to the Point. Although it was not raining, it was still quite foggy and misty. It was high tide and I tried to explain to Mag that during low tide one could walk out to the “hub” as well as several other islands.
“Mag, this is my favorite place in the world. I love Flye Point. There is no place I would rather be.”
“That may be so….but all I see is a run down Inn. Look at the place, Bob. The Inn itself needs a lot of work, a good paint job would help. And look at the clutter.”
I was totally taken back by his observations….yes, the Inn is rather “worn” and many of the cottages have seen better days. But in my eyes, they are “rustic”….and you just can’t beat the view off the Point. This is the “real Maine”….the Maine I love.
In the afternoon, the weather cleared up a bit, and I decided to take Mag down the road to show him the village of Brooklin. We rode by E.B. White’s old homestead (where he wrote Charlotte’s Web) and then down to the Brooklin Boat Yard (first owned by E.B. White’s son Joel, and now owned by Stephen, Joel’s son).
The “lighting” was perfect and we could capture some really nice reflections.
Leaving the Boatyard, we headed back to Blue Hills to have dinner at “The Table” (Butch had told us earlier that the only restaurant in Brooklin, “The Blue Moon” had gone “belly-up” that winter. On our way, we stopped several times to take pictures.
Arriving back at the cabin, Mag set up shop in the living room to download all the pictures we had taken that day.
Although he was a little more enthused about Flye, he still wasn’t completely won over. The following morn, when I awoke at six-thirty, no Magical Poet was to be found. Ummmm….I wondered if he had jumped ship. But no, a few minutes later he came bounding into the cabin to tell me he had been out and about taking pictures since 5 A.M.
“It’s a beautiful day, Bob. The sun is shining and the tide is out. You can actually walk out to the “Hub”.
As Mag was speaking, Butch Smith knocked on the cabin door and invited us over to the Inn for breakfast.
“As yet, we don’t have a cook, but I think I can wrestle something up. Bacon and eggs sound good?”
With that, Mag smiled. We know how Mag likes a good hearty breakfast!
Photos by Magi and Bob