Decided to go ahead with the trip about 1:30. Hurriedly threw all the stuff I'd unloaded Saturday back in the truck, and got on the road about 2:30. Traffic was pretty light, and I made great time. Driving through Woburn I noticed that a few of the trees were starting to change.
Geography note: Massachusetts has separate towns named Marlborough and Marlboro, and they aren't all that far apart.
Hit New Hampshire about 4:30, and finally was able to get in touch with la_perkins to let her know I was coming. Stopped at the New Hampshire State liquor store (which is open until 8 on Sunday nights, which was a wonderful revelation to this small-town boy from a state where the blue laws are still in force, at least for alcohol), and bought $120 worth of booze, including a $44 bottle of tequila (Tres Generationes) that Perkins had suggested when I asked what brand to buy. (Note to self - never promise to buy a specific brand of liquor when you have absolutely no idea how much it costs. Even if it is really good stuff.)
Just past Portland the rain really started coming down (turns out it was the SE edge of hurricane Juan, which was about to pound Nova Scotia), and it began to get dark, so driving became pretty miserable for awhile, mostly because there were so many morons on the road with no concept of how to drive in the rain, and no inclination to pull over into the right lane where they could poke along to their heart's content. It finally got better when I got off the highway at Augusta, and started taking the state roads. Still raining, but almost no traffic to speak of, and plenty of places to pass when necessary. Made great time, er, until...
When cruising at 65 mph along a very dark back road in Maine in the rain, there is nothing that will clarify one's thought processes quite so much as noticing a sign go zooming by your window that says Pavement Ends. Sudden transition to dirt road at 65? Not fun. The road in question, ME 15, is in the process of being converted from dirt to pavement, so you get a thousand yards of brand new black-top, followed by a thousand yards of dirt, black-top, dirt, etc., for thirteen miles.
Finally got to Perkins' place about 8:45, which isn't bad at all. No one was around. Perkins and makaidiver were having dinner with friends, and didn't get back until ten, and noisedesign didn't roll in til after midnight. We stayed up until about 2, talking and drinking expensive tequila.
Perkins' place is gorgeous, BTW. Pine post & beam construction, with huge windows looking out at the ocean, surrounded by pine trees.
The day varied back and forth between bright sunshine and full overcast. We did a hike through a nature preserve and looked at some old headstones, then took a ride into the village of Stonington to walk around the town. Had dinner at a restaurant where everybody but me had lobster. After dinner was spent eating dessert, drinking mudslides, and playing the Buffy boardgame. Evil (aka me) won, with Faith kicking Buffy's ass, and the demon Mayor wiping out Sunnydale. We also played Scrabble, which I should've won, too, except that it turns out Perkins, besides to being a member of the bar, is also some kind of insisting-we-play-by-the-rules Scrabble lawyer, so she won by seven points in the end.
A cold front moved through during the night, leaving a cool, brilliantly clear day in it's wake. MakaiDiver went off on a solo hike first thing in the morning. When she came back, we all wandered through the woods down to the water, and got our first good view of Perkins' island. Yup, Perkins has her own island. Who knew? It's very pretty.
Afterwards, Noise took off for Cambridge, MakaiDiver went kayaking, and Perkins and I took another walk down by the water. When we got back, MakaiDiver was dancing in the sunshine on a table on the deck in a swirly black dress, beer in hand. We all went to dinner, then came home and had cocoa with peppermint schnapps, and watched two of the unaired Firefly episodes.
MakaiDiver and I also spent considerable time trying to get MakaiDiver's LJ entry posted in her LJ rather than mine. We tried three separate times, and every time it posted in my journal rather than hers, despite me logging out, MakaiDiver logging in, and specifically identifying her journal as the place to post the entry. Very frustrating. Finally got the entry to the right place by using a different browser entirely. Very odd.
It was chilly and gray, so we decided to forego our planned kayak/canoe outing. Took a walk to Nervous Nellie's Jams and Jellies instead, which is owned by Perkins' neighbors, P & A. P is also a sculptor, and there's a large sculpture garden there of his work, so we wandered through that for awhile. Then MakaiDiver went hiking, I went for a bike ride, and Perkins had to, er, work. The ride was nice, about seven miles. For a little teensy spit of land, there are some major hills on the island. Of course the fact that the area is called "Mountainville" should've clued me in, I suppose.
Later on, we went over to P & A's for drinks. Their house is gorgeous, on the water, all white and southern yellow pine woodwork inside. They have an Australian Shepherd, who reminded me very much of my old dog. Afterwards, we went home, where MakaiDiver made vichyssoise and baked sweet potatoes from local produce, which was fabulous. We did the Angel premiere watch and post, and some mudslides and beer. We also said our goodbyes to MakaiDiver, who was leaving at 4 a.m. to catch a plane. The plan was for her to take the rental car, and leave it in the long term lot, where we would go pick it up later.
I woke up as MakaiDiver was leaving, and Perkins woke up a few minutes later, and pointed out that it was almost 5, and Bangor was a bit more than an hour away, and that MakaiDiver's flight was at 6:10. We worried a bit, but figured she'd call if there was a problem. Went back to sleep until about 7:30. Never did get a call. Tried to get online, but the line was staticky, and we were unable to connect to the ISP.
We drove over to Acadia. It was raining here and there, but had let up by the time we got to the bottom of the Acadia Mountain trail. The rain came back about a third of the way up, and it was pouring by the time we were two thirds. We kept going, though, since we were already pretty much soaked. At the top, it was rainy, and windy, and thundery, so we didn't tarry long.
Drove over to the other side of Mount Desert Island, and took the road up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. The wind was really brutal there, although the rain had let up quite a bit, so we didn't stay there long, either. Drove back down the hill to Bar Harbor, where we had lunch and did some shopping.
Finally took the ride up to Bangor airport to pick up the car. By this time the sun was out, the drive was nice, and we were mostly dry. Found the car no problem, but discovered that MakaiDiver had indeed missed her flight. She'd been trying to contact us, but we never did get our connectivity back, so we never got the messages until much later. Later, we had dinner (pork tenderloin braised in cider, with carrots and leftover MakaiDiver-made applesauce and vichyssoise mixed in), followed by tequila and watching of The Princess Bride and Once More with Feeling.
Another cold front went through overnight, giving us another brilliantly clear day, but it was very cold. Woke up about five, freezing. Restarted the fire in the stove, grabbed some more blankets, got under them, and idly wondered what Perkins' feelings regarding bundling were. Did manage to warm up, fell back asleep, and had a vivid dream that starred a bunch of Buffistas and other friends, most notably my grad school housemate, who'd just purchased a set of 24 VCDs on eBay from helvirago, the coincidence of which amazed me. Then I woke up. It was still cold.
We went to the local farmers' market, then drove out to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. It was closed for the season, but the grounds were open so we walked around a little bit. After that, we packed up the vehicles, and I headed out. The trip back was pretty easy, except for the part where I hit Rt. 128 (around Boston) at rush hour. I'll need to plan that a little better next time around. (Yup, already thinking about going back next year.)
Perkins' version of the same events is here. Now to catch up on memes and weekend posts...