So, Rosemarie’s sisters planned to converge on Coral Springs, FL from their respective homes in California and New York. Dolores would be staying a full month while Melissa would be flying in for two short stays during that period. Since her sisters had gathered together from afar, of course Rosemarie would attend, the only question was timing. That was answered during our last couple days in Poland Spring when Melissa finalized her first trip itinerary, resulting in an evening of travel agent adventure for yours truly as I worked through our wide array of frequent flyer plans looking for the best option to get Rosemarie from Maine to Fort Lauderdale. Southwest Airlines provided the most point efficient option, a one stop set of flights from Portland through Baltimore-Washington.
Since by that time we would have maxed out the Passport-America rate option at Blueberry Pond, we needed a cheap stayover option for me while she was gone. Our usual exploration through AllStays, RV Park Reviews, and the PA website resulted in the selection of Meadowbrook Camping Area, an affordable place 20 miles further east on a coastal peninsula just south of the Bath shipyard.
This would be ideal: a power and water hook up site for $20 a night all in, including reasonable resort amenities and without the very common Passport-America three day maximum and weekend restrictions. The catch? No reservations for the PA discount, walk ins only, and cash only upon arrival. Five days in advance the front desk was moderately confident that a spot would be available for the dates I needed, but no promises, so call the morning of arrival. We did so, and they still had a few openings.
Upon arrival, things were a bit more complicated. The friendly and enthusiastic people manning the desk are seasonal work campers, i.e., RVers exchanging part time labor for a campsite, much like Rosemarie and I did at Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington state last year. This meant that they were not experts on the complicated reservation system, and lacked certain program override authority to make our check in a smooth process. It took nearly an hour just to get everything sorted out, and we ended up having to spend one night in an overflow spot with power and water for the expected $20, but then had to move to a full hook up (power, water, sewage) spot since none of the less expensive power and water only sites were available for a rig our size. This increased the rate to about $24.50 for the remaining five nights. That is still a good deal, and moving after the first night was not a great burden since we did not do a full campsite set up.
Meadowbrook Camping Area is a touch less “nature oriented” than our previous two places; it’s closer to a traditional RV resort, boasting ameniteis beyond a pool and WiFi. They had a recreation room and two restaurants on premises. The property is a large rolling grass field bounded on three sides by woods, with the majority of the RV sites, especially for big rigs, in the open field without much cover, or backed up against the tree lines. It does have a one mile nature trail and an extensive beaver pond, but generally lacks the sense of being in the Maine forest that Poland Spring and Blueberry Pond provided. So what does it offer that our previous two places did not? In short, lobsters and paint ball.
Meadowbrook maintains a “lobster pound” which, for the non-New Englanders, is not a temporary home for wayward crustaceans awaiting adoption or return to their miscreant owners. It’s a term for a big tank of live lobsters and the cooking facilities to turn them into delicious meals. For $7.99 a pound you can select your dinner, with options ranging from single pounders to monsters approaching three. They will cook them for you, providing implements of shell destruction free of charge, with melted butter and corn on the cob or baked potato side dishes extra. Steamed clams by the pound also served daily.
Let me tell you, this is a good deal. I had focused on lobster rolls for our first two weeks in Maine, but during our later days here I have had the opportunity to compare prices of traditional lobster meals at over a dozen places (no, I didn’t eat at them all, just checked their prices.) What you find is that at many a lobstah (proper Maine spelling) pound, they want to sell you a package deal, usually a 1 1/4 pound lobster with a couple of side dishes at about $19 to $26, or for just an à la carte lobster-by-the-pound meal they may charge a modest prep/cooking fee. Meadowbrook did neither of those, and their pound rate was quite competitive. I was strong for four days, but on evening five, I hit that. A 1.75 pound hard shelled bit of deliciousness and a baked potato side for less than $17 after taxes, having brought my own sour cream and melted butter to save a few bucks.
As for the paint ball: Meadowbrook has a large battle ground in the deep woods. Junior and Nazir visited me on my last full day there, and we took a hike along the nature path near it. I expected an eyesore, i.e., ugly and haphazard plywood structures and barricades covered in old paint. Instead I found nearly an acre of natural woods defined and encircled by a 15′ tall mesh net wall, which relied primarily on tree and ground elevation cover and concealment for the players. I did not have the opportunity to play, but it looked like a great area.
One final activity: During our check in Rosemarie spotted a flyer on the front door of the campground office advertising a veterans’ appreciation lunch sponsored by the local American Legion post. Eager to find activities to keep me out of trouble, she had me call and make arrangements to attend. Thus Saturday found me at the Phippsburg Sportsmen’s Association, which provides space to the Legion, attending a brief ceremony and follow on hamburger and hot dog meal. Many thanks to American Legion Post 216 for their warm welcome of an out-of-towner vet.
I picked up Rosemarie from the Portland airport on Monday afternoon. Since we had not been to a Moose Lodge in over a month (not since five states ago in Delaware) we decided to take advantage of our proximity to the only Maine Moose Lodge we had found in our google searches. We stopped in for a drink and received a warm welcome; we find that most of the lodges are eager to hear from out of towners about what brought them in. We also learned that the only other lodge in the state is in Ellsworth, not far from our next stop near Acadia.
There you have it, our third RV campground in Maine, and we couldn’t be happier with our three choices. Looking at RV options in central coastal Maine? Consider this:
- Do you want a beautiful wooded site on a freshwater lake chain complete with eagles and loons, but still possessing RV resort amenities such as a pool and fully functional WiFi? Try Poland Spring Campground.
- Perhaps you need something with a bit more personal touch, including campground owner hosted meals and nightly bonfires, but still in a beautiful natural setting yet only ten minutes from Freeport? I unreservedly recommend Blueberry Pond Campground.
- Or maybe you must spend your days in close simulated mortal combat with friends, strangers, or whomever will enter the fray, and your evenings gorging on fresh boiled Maine lobstah and clams without having to leave the premises? Then Meadowbrook Camping Area is for you.