DY: In Just a Few Words (#54)
Not sure I like pumpkin pie THAT much!
We made a trip to the State of Maine a bit earlier this month. I was very much looking forward to eating a lot of lobster. I was not looking forward to Maine weather in mid-October as I knew it would be wet and cold.
Boy was I ever wrong on both counts.
If you’re going to Maine anytime soon, get ready for lobster roll prices as high as $36. That’s $36 for a bun, a few chunks of lobster and some mayonnaise. That strikes me as a bit pricey and this was not a one-time event. I was in multiple dining establishments where lobster rolls were north of $30. The lowest I encountered was $22. Ouch. I passed.
As to the rainy and cold weather - that was just another one of those factless predictions that give TV weather people a bad name for accuracy. The weather was spectacular - all day every day - with a high of 79 degrees. The weather could not have been nicer. Not a single drop of rain.
I obviously didn’t do my homework on the inflated prices for lobster rolls or the potential for San Diego quality weather. How wrong can one guy be?
Rather than bury my head in a pillow at some B & B, I couldn’t let my two preconceived notions ruin the trip. I listened to a local friend as he recommended we put the town of Damariscotta on the itinerary. The town’s name is Indian and means river of little fish. Now you know.
Most readers have probably never been to Damariscotta, Maine. It proclaims itself to be the oyster capital of New England. Local legend has it that it’s Maine’s best kept secret. I suspect that’s a false claim as we passed through a number of other towns that could easily and fairly make the same claim.
The Damariscotta population is a shade north of 2,000 hearty souls who put up with the cold weather and lobster roll prices. Across the Damariscotta River is the town of Newcastle with a population of a tad under 2,000. The combined metropolitan area population of what are called the Twin Villages is 4,000, give or take. This metropolitan area is a force to be reckoned with.
The population swells dramatically as thousands more pour into town for the annual Pumpkin Fest. If you haven’t been to Damariscotta and soaked up the local culture, Pumpkin Fest is not to be believed. The winning pumpkin weighed 2,121.5 pounds this year. For sure, that will make a large pumpkin pie or two. That was the weight of just ONE of the local pumpkins.
Amazing to know that - and even more amazing to see it propped up on a flatbed like a big orange blob in contrast to the modest local homes that are almost always painted white. Many other, underfed, pumpkins, weighing just hundreds of pounds, are carved and painted and on spectacular display throughout the main street. If you ever want your picture taken with an outsized pumpkin, Damariscotta is the place and October is the time.
Me? I’d go back to Maine in a heartbeat. In the meantime, I will put up with the Cleveland weather and substitute Lake Erie walleye for lobster.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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