As we have said before: When we first came to the Bar Harbor area in 2016 we were astounded at the welcome we received from the local denizens at the Ellsworth Moose Lodge. It’s not like we were new to the scene: we had been to more than a score lodges around the country, but Ellsworth went above and beyond, and it greatly effected or appreciation for the area. Fast forward to our 2018 route planning, and we sought to recreate that experiences to the maximum extent possible.
Don’t get me wrong: we love Maine regardless of the Moose welcome. We loved the Lewiston-Auburn region during our stay at Poland Spring. We love the central coast area around Freeport, Phippsburg, and Boothbay Harbor. We love Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. We look forward, in future years, to exploring more regions, particularly along the coast, that we have yet to experience. But so far, it is this Central Coastal peninsula that has captured us.
But one example of the many welded creations in Jack’s yard.
And so for our last week of five in Maine, we went all in on Moose love, starting with the monthly “meat raffle” on the First of July. I am sure other organizations do this, but until June of 2016 we had never seen it before. Once a month the Moose coordinates with local suppliers to provide a variety of meats: chicken quarters, pork chops, red hot dogs, bacon, beef tips, clams, and lobster. You can purchase a set number for all 25 drawings, and additional numbers for individual drawings. In 2016 we won five pounds of pork and chicken. This year we weren’t quite so lucky, but still walked away with a bunch of chicken thighs and a great set of memories.
We continued the festivities at Jack’s (not me, one of the Moose regulars and a former Lodge Governor) annual Fourth of July extravaganza, a truly fantastic event. Jack brings in more than a hundred pounds of lobster from Captain Chuckie’s boat, along with untold pounds of steamer and cherry stone clams. For those preferring their meat land raised, there is a constant stream of kabobs, chicken wings, beef ribs, burgers, and hot dogs coming off the grill, not to mention untold number of side dishes.
Captain Chuckie, provider of the lobster’s for Jack’s 4th of July party
It’s an insane stuffing of Maine oriented food, lasting all day and into the night, finished off with nearly an hour of semi-professional fire works (and by semi-professional I mean amateur pyrotechnic guys equipped with semi-permanent mortar platforms giving it their best shot after numerous beers.) The event is open to any Moose member, their families, and other invited guests. It was an especially great day for us since July 4th is also Rose and my anniversary.
We even had a French Canadian refugee from the Fort Myers Moose swing in, having dropped by the Ellsworth Lodge only to be told everyone was at Jack’s. After we helped her get her big pick up truck out of the ditch (having misjudged the turn into the driveway) she availed herself to lobster and clams. Hoozah!
We continued our Acadia National Park day trips with one last stop at Sandy Beach for a picnic meal. And on our last full day we made one last trip to the Moose for a drink or two with our Ellsworth gang and to say our goodbyes. We have had a great five weeks in Maine, but it’s time to head north.
Next up: Canada!
Rose sampling one of the Maine traditions: Allen’s Coffee Brandy and milk. Seems to be working for her. Happy Anniversary, baby!