Geocaching

Geocaching the Towns of New England: The Rockport, Maine Area

The weekend of May 20th to 22nd was forecast to be a hot one, up in the 90°F range. I thought that would be the perfect time to hop on a couple of ferries in Maine and find geocaches on the Islands I needed to go to. One of those islands, Vinalhaven, I needed for the Maine DeLorme Challenge as well. I checked the forecast in Rockport, where the ferries were to depart, and it was close to the same as for us, although not quite as hot.

Saturday the 21st dawned and it was gray, drizzly, and chilly. I checked the temperature outside at 6AM and it was only 50°F. The forecast had caused me to pack just shorts and a t-shirt. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to get on a ferry that morning, so I decided to take the ferry on Sunday to Vinalhaven and spend Saturday finding caches in the towns around Rockport.

I headed south, driving along two of the peninsulas that just out from the coast of Maine into the Atlantic Ocean. All day long the fog and drizzle didn’t clear, although at times it was more of a mist than a drizzle.

One of my early stops was the Langlais Sculpture Preserve in the town of Cushing. There was an Adventure Lab here with a Bonus Cache. I very much enjoyed walking through the sculptures and collecting the answers.

You can see the fog here at the Marshall Point Lighthouse. There wasn’t a single car in the parking lot when I arrived, but by the time I had found the geocache here as well as the earthcache, a number of people were around. I commented to one person who had a jacket on and still looked cold “What happened to 90°F today, huh?” and she responded “Right?” Mental note that I need to keep a sweatshirt in my car again.

In the town of St. George at their town hall, there was a geocache on this metal sculpture. It was a magnetic key case, of course; easily hidden with hints to help find without looking too conspicuous for too long. On a dreary Saturday, there wasn’t anyone around.

In the town of South Thomaston, a similarly placed geocache paid tribute to The Beatles in its title.

The town of Rockport itself was so pretty, even on this day. I stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at the Rockport Diner. I intended to get seafood, being in this area, but when I saw the daily special was Beef Stroganoff, I had to opt for that. It was delicious. No dessert – I was stuffed from the meal. I did some more geocaching around this area, then went back to my hotel to prepare to catch the first ferry to Vinalhaven at 7AM on Sunday.

Sunday morning, the fog was actually worse than Saturday. The temperature was still somewhere around 50°F. I sort of resigned myself to being cold and headed to the ferry terminal. When I arrived there, I changed my mind. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see the ferry from the street. I know the Captains are professionals and had little doubt about my safety, but it just wasn’t worth it. The ferries to the islands will have to be another day.

Instead, I headed up the coast towards Belfast, Maine.

I love going to cemeteries where geocaches are located. I always take time to read some of the headstones. It really gives one an appreciation for modern medicine. Here we see a young woman who likely died in childbirth at the age of 29. I say that because next to her was the gravestone for her baby, just 1 month and 21 days after her mother. There have been times when I’ve seen gravestones for 6 children, all dying within a few weeks to months of each other and I know something like smallpox swept through the home.

Next, I headed up to Searsport and to Sears Island. From the maps, it looked like you could drive on the Island, but that’s not the case, It’s blocked off with a gate and it’s filled with walking trails. Fortunately, there was a geocache right near the gate.

At Fort Point State Park, I once again found empty parking lots. I walked around a bit in the chilly mist and pretty much destroyed my sneakers. This was okay, though since I found one of the older geocaches in Maine, placed in October 2001, and still going strong.

From here, I started heading inland. That was when the sky began to clear. The sun came out and it got very hot. Oh, there was the weather they’d been predicting for the weekend. I finished up with a few more towns, then headed home. All in all, the weekend wasn’t a wash-out. I found geocaches in 21 new towns in Maine, even if I didn’t get to the islands. I’ll go there for an overnight sometime this summer and find them then, even if the hotel rates will be a lot higher than in the spring.

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