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The Perfect Maine Roadtrip

This is a guest post from our friends Chris and Laura of Trailsunblazed.com.

 

Laura and Chris’ Maine Roadtrip

The fact that we now have a blog dedicated to our trips and adventures is evidence that traveling has become a big part of our lives together. Every couple has their thing. Jay-Z and Beyonce have music, Hill and Bill have politics, Tom Brady and Gisele have human perfection. For us it’s traveling and getting outside and taking advantage of the great outdoors. So let’s take it back to where it all began: Maine. Before we even knew each other, we had spent our entire lives traveling with our families to South America, Africa, Europe, and every corner of the US. Since we’re from Massachusetts, a road trip to our northern neighbor may seem like the least exotic destination imaginable, but this is one of the most memorable trips for us since it was the first time we hit the road together.

Maine one

First Stop: Acadia National Park

After we sat in endless summer traffic on I-95 and made the requisite Chipotle stop along the way, we finally arrived at our first destination. Acadia is probably #1 on everyone’s list of places to visit in Maine, and for good reason. Although, we only spent two days in Acadia, we took advantage of most of what we hoped to see and do while we were on Mt. Desert Island.

  • Camp at Seawall Campground
  • Climb Mt. Champlain via the Precipice Trail (below)
  • Watch the sunset from Cadillac Mountain (below)
  • See a bunch of seals at seal cove
  • Eat dinner in Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor

We easily could have spent a full week in Acadia, and lucky for us we live close enough that we probably will in the near future.

maine two

Second Stop: Bold Coast

After leaving the most popular destination in Vacationland, we continued the journey north to a place that most people even in New England have never heard of: Cutler, Maine. Cutler is about as remote a coastal town as you will encounter on the east coast. It is located just across the Bay of Fundy from Nova Scotia and looks out across some New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island. Our phones actually thought that we were in Canada so we immediately turned them to airplane mode to avoid getting destroyed by Sprint and Verizon. The reason for venturing to this faraway, unknown coastal town was to hike along the Bold Coast in the Cutler Coast Public Reserve Land, which ended up quickly becoming one of our favorite hikes in the US. The trail, meandering along the rugged cliffs overlooking the ocean, is unlike any other hike we have done in New England. Not to mention, since it is so remote, and “unblazed” if you will, we only ran into a couple other hikers throughout the entire day.

One important tidbit worth noting about this trail is that there are only three official campsites along the way. With so few fellow hikers on the trail, we expected that snagging a tent site would be easy…we were mistaken. It didn’t end up being an issue, however, because with so many comfortable-looking rocks on which to pitch our tent, we had myriad options. I try to give credit where credit is due, and camping on the edge of a cliff over the ocean was 1,000% Laura’s idea. Other than the rocky surface and swarming mosquitos that forced us into our tent prematurely, camping on the cliff ended up being a far more memorable option than camping in the woods at a boring campsite. Seals swam below us, we watched the sunset from the tent, we woke up to the sun rising over Canada, and successfully survived the night without getting blown into the sea.

maine three

Third Stop: Mt. Katahdin

From Cutler, we drove inland to Baxter State Park to look for Moose and hike Mt. Katahdin. We spotted two moose down the road from our campground on our first night. It’s difficult to spend any time around Baxter State Park without seeing at least once moose.

maine five moose

The hike up Katahdin is no joke. This is one of the most challenging day hikes in New England and by the time we finished scrambling up boulders to reach the summit, we were exhausted. We were fortunate enough to have climbed on an extremely clear day, so the breathtaking views were a well-earned reward.

The descent down Katahdin is equally spectacular, at least for the first stretch along the Knife Edge (below). Neither of us fell off the edge of the knife; however, Laura did fall and then proceed to roll down the mountain shortly after we made it safely off the ridge. She had some bumps and bruises but managed to save the camera like a champ. By the time we made it back down to the car, we were completely kaput and made a b-line for the only restaurant we could find. Being in the wilderness of Maine, we had limited options and our tired, hungry minds clouded our judgement to the point where we ended up buying at least three pounds of Chinese food which tasted about as good as you might expect Chinese food from northern Maine to taste.

Maine six new harbor

Fourth Stop: New Harbor

After the challenge of Mt. Katahdin, our fourth and final stop was much more relaxing. We drove back down the coast and took a puffin cruise out of New Harbor. Unbeknownst to us at the time, most of the Maine puffins have already migrated out to see by mid-August, and the naturalist onboard announced that it was very unlikely that we would even see a single puffin. Of course they announced this after the boat had already left the harbor. However, in what can only be described as a miracle, we spotted 11 puffins, two bald eagles, and won a free ticket to go on another puffin cruise. A fitting end to an amazing trip.

Maine seven harbor pic

Although Maine is a long shot from being on par with places like Patagonia, Kenya, or Macchu Picchu, this trip will always be one of our favorites.

maine map

 

A huge thanks to Chris and Laura for sharing this amazing post.  We cant wait to follow this path!  Give them at follow at www.trailsunblazed.com

 

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Feeding the Addiction with the Travel Addicts

Traveling is an addiction!  So says our latest featured traveling couple Laura and Lance of http://www.traveladdicts.net.  We totally agree!  This week’s installment of 7 questions with a traveling couple, are two wanderers that have found a way to make couple travel work for them.  What impresses us most about Lance and Laura’s story is that like us, they started wandering a couple locally.  You don’t need to start with some huge international adventure.  Get in a car and go explore together.  Ok…without further ado… lets get to know these two:

Blog:  Travel Addicts

https://twitter.com/TravelerAddicts

https://www.facebook.com/TravelerAddicts

http://pinterest.com/traveleraddicts/

First off, tell us a little about the two of you.  How did you meet?  How long have you been blogging?

couple travel

Lance and Laura of Travel Addicts.net

In 1999, Laura moved from Texas to New York for college, and Lance moved there from Colorado just after graduating from college.     We met on an October night at a concert in the city and went for ice cream after the show, and that was that.  We were broke, so for several years, all our travel was in the United States—Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, Denver, Maine, and San Francisco.  For our wedding, all our guests would have to travel, so we decided to have a destination wedding in the Bahamas.  Since then (2006) we’ve been in full travel mode while working to support our travel habit. We’ve been writing Travel Addicts since 2008.

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?We’ve been to 43 between the two of us, and 33 of those were together on 5 continents (just Australia and Antarctica to go). We also still travel around the U.S. as much as possible, especially for work.  Highlights for us have been Italy (our first overseas trip together), Egypt (it was a trip of a lifetime right after the revolution and we could see the country going through tremendous change) and Peru (Machu Picchu left us speechless).

 

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

She Said: My sister. We have a ridiculous amount of fun together. Plus, she’s six years younger and hasn’t had as many opportunities to travel (yet), so it’s really cool to see her experience certain things for the first time. There’s nothing like travel to blow your world right open, and watching that happen for someone else is amazing. Our Egypt trip was a family trip, and for months leading up to it she was trying to prepare herself for the experience. She just kept saying, “You don’t understand—I’m going to Africa.”

He Said:   Laura’s sister.  (But, Anthony Bourdain would be a close second – he’s done amazing things and I appreciate his snarky wit and attitude.)

 

3) What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said:  In our experience, there are things we absolutely love about every place we’ve ever been. But, if I had to pick only one place, I’d say Italy.  It is a place I could keep going back to over and over and over again.  It has a rich history, an amazing culinary tradition and some of the best wine on the planet.

She said: Italy is hands down my favorite, but Egypt probably had the biggest impact on me.

4)  Lance, sounds like you parents took you to all 50 states before you graduated high school!  Holy cow!  Is that your inspiration to travel now?  Why is it important that parents travel with their children?

He said:   My parents strongly believed in guiding my education with real-world experiences. For example, when I studied the Civil War, they took me nearly 3,000 miles (by car) to see the battlefields and learn about the war in person.  While I was not home schooled, my most important educational learnings were on those trips. My mother made sure I made it to every state by the time I graduated high school (it happened by 8th grade). Since then, I’ve visited every one of the lower 48 at least twice. Travel is a way for parents to connect with their kids on a whole different level and teach them things that no school could ever provide. Using travel as educational enrichment is something I’m really passionate about.

traveling woman mosque5)  We understand that you guys visited Turkey.  It is one of our fave destinations.  Tell us, what was your honest impressions?

He said:  I hadn’t really known what to expect with Turkey. It was not our first Islamic country (we’d been UAE, Oman, Morocco and Egypt previously), but it was our most memorable for the beautiful mosques. The natural beauty of Cappadocia was the highlight of the trip. Taking a hot air balloon ride over the region is one of the greatest bucket list achievements. But, on the downside, I nicknamed Turkey as The Land of Bland – the food was good and flavorful, but I like a lot of spice and I found it lacking.

She said: I didn’t really know what to expect either. It’s not like when you say, “I’m going to Paris,” and immediately have visions of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and WINE. But I loved it—the remarkable history of the land and the buildings (particularly in Istanbul), the beautiful tile work, the drama of the antique pool at Pamukkale, the stunning landscape of Cappadocia. There’s so much we didn’t get to see, so I really hope we have the chance to go back.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?
He said:  Cow farts.  Seriously, they’re awful.  In addition to nearly incapacitating anyone within a 50 foot radius, they are also comprised of methane, which significantly contributes to our global warming problem.  If I could do anything, I’d tackle the cow fart problem.

She said: I really don’t think I can follow that…

1000Fights:  Um…..yuck.

couple travel peru7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?
She said: When we were driving around Iceland, it seemed like we stopped every 10 minutes to look at a waterfall. Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful and impressive, but after number 20, I had had enough, at least for a little while. Lance decided he wanted to stop at “one more” (Hengifoss) which happened to involve a hike of several kilometers. It was no more than 40 degrees (in August), it was pouring rain, and the wind was whipping.  I realized I was spending my vacation time being miserable, hiking up to something I didn’t want to see anyway when I could be in our warm car. Lance wasn’t too pleased when I decided to turn around.


He said:  Laura is a saint.  Our biggest travel disagreements always seem to occur when I’m driving in a foreign country.  There can be times when it is very stressful – you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t speak the language, can’t read the street signs.  The biggest disagreement was in France – we were driving from Dinan to Paris, and stopping in Chartres.  I was pulling out of the parking garage and stalled it on a really steep incline, cars were honking at me, and we didn’t know where we were going.  Our patience was short and we started to get on each other’s nerves.  But we got through it – and every trip since with a smile on our face.

A huge thanks to our friends Laura and Lance!  Give their blog a look-see: http://www.traveladdicts.net/

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