“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” is a very uninteresting motion picture; so much so that it’s driving me to actually compose a new blog entry less than 2 weeks after my last one. That’s some powerful filmmaking. So without further ado, here’s the second half of our Aroostook County trip. There’s a few more pictures in this one, mostly of old store signs that I found intriguing. The end of the journal really peters out, as we took a different route home, one that turned out to have even fewer sights of note. Either that or I was just sick of observing and reporting. Anyway, don’t rent “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”.
9:13: On to “Dazed and Confused” soundtrack. Still enjoying the shoe tree afterglow. Vacation officially validated by shoe tree.
9:18: Enter Houlton: Where the Action Is. Woman stumbling around driveway in a Raggedy Ann sweatshirt.
9:20: Houlton the most civilized community we’ve encountered yet on this trip. Nearly every house is for sale, though. Thinking we’ll eat at Elm Tree Diner unless it looks too horrifying. Hope toilet not too grotesque.
9:23: Find Elm Tree. Looks fine. Back in a few.
10:00: Done. Food perfectly fine. Each got breakfast specials: eggs, bacon, toast, home fries, coffee for $4.99. Can’t beat that w/stick. Got pumpkin cream cheese muffin instead of toast, proved wise decision. Waitress difficult to read, friendlier at cash register than at table. Bathroom very clean, however could not seem to poop. In spite of this, a contraption called a “Niloder” sprayed something at me. Could not help but take offense. Certainly worth the $13, all in all.
10:09: Get gas. Fuel prices again approaching cornholing levels. Annie: “I frigging love maps!”
10:10: Pass “Tourist Information Station”. Annie’s impersonation of what that might entail: “We got a Sears, ya know!”
10:13: Enter Littleton. Potato fields becoming apparent and copious. One in back of cemetary. Yum, dead body taters. Now playing a game called “Count the Potato Fields”. Up to six. Vacation!
10:15: Pass sign: “Trav & Mel’s Wedding”.
10:17: Spouse inexplicably excited by seated bovines. “I never get to see cows sit!”
10:18: Mutual decision reached to don sunglasses. Should write story with protagonist named “Don Sunglasses”. Wocka x 3.
10:20: Enter Monticello. 13 potato fields so far, give or take.
10:28: Enter Bridgewater. Reeeeealllly big potato field almost instantly. Then another one. And another. Tired just looking at them.
10:31: “McCain/Palin” spraypainted on shed. “Tuesday’s Gone” ideal soundtrack for downtown Bridgewater.
10:34: Now surrounded on all sides by potato field. Very few trees, feels like Montana almost.
10:36: Enter Blaine. Didn’t even take him out to dinnah!
10:40: Enter Mars Hill. Suddenly lots of buildings. Pretty decent Main St in a rickety, paint-chipped kind of way. Turning off towards Caribou now. Now have “Malibu” by Hole stuck in head but “Caribou” instead. Weird Al, take note.
10:47: What appears to be model of Saturn suspended on pole out of nowhere.
10:52: OK, now we just passed Jupiter. This is some kind of thing. Also, entered Presque Isle.
11:00: Main St of Presque Isle bricky and mildly compelling.
11:02: Brief excitement upon spying “Bonanza” sign, but no dice, it’s a Chinese place now. Pooey of them to keep the sign up.
11:08: Massive karate dojo in middle of field.
11:10: Entering Caribou. Thankfully that’s still legal in Maine. Fa fa fa!
11:12: Very little in Caribou thus far except a wreath store and a “disc golf” course and a closed restaurant called “Farzi’s”.
11:22: Continuing on Rte 1 w/no agenda. Beautiful day.
11:38: Enter Cyr Plantation. Precious little to remark upon.
11:45: Enter Van Buren.
11:51: Pass restaurant called “Tasty Food”. Really wish I was even remotely hungry. Actually looks like several good places to eat in Van Buren.
12:02: Enter Grand Isle.
12:12: Possibly enter Madawaska.
12:14: Yup. Madawaska. Several years ago wrote sappy but well-meaning song about this town but have never been here. Just liked the name. Interested to check it out.
12:18: Adorable septuagenarian on tractor spotted.
12:19: Lawnmower store/motel called “Roland’s Rendez-vous”!
12:20: Sign advertising: “BBQ, Onions, Cow Manure”.
12:21: Man asleep in van in front of Madawaska Police Dept.
12:23: Madawaska main drag quite visually appealing. A lot of signs that look from the ’60s. Sadly most of this stuff is closed down from the looks of things. Get out, walk around, take some pictures.
(I swear I turned this picture right side up on some stupid program or other, but clearly it didn’t take; fart on a cock.)
(Sorry these two are so huge, but they can’t be fully appreciated any smaller.)
12:40: Enter Frenchville.
12:53: Enter Fort Kent. It’s green, brown + white.
1:04: This seems to be the town proper of Fort Kent. McD’s, “Jan’s Primitive Treasures”, “Jazz It Up Dance Studio”, “Quigley’s Building Supply”.
1:07: Get out on main drag and walk around. Decide to get a lite-ish lunch @ “Rock’s Family Diner”. Choice is between that and “Bee-Jay’s”.
(In hindsight, I sort of regret that we did not patronize “Bee-Jay’s”. Any testimonials out there? For the restaurant, please, not the sexual act?)
1:17: Each get hot dogs. I get footlong. Ketchup + mustard are under hot dog. Disapprove of this. Also, waaaaaay too much K + M in general. Otherwise good, bun especially.
1:32: Then go to Miller’s. V. similar to Reny’s. Annie buys spiral-bound sudoku book. I buy nothing.
1:43: Happen upon Good Samaritan Thrift Shop. Two old ladies happily gabbing in French. I recognize the word “hat” at one point. I buy 2 VHS: “Switchblade Sisters” and some marital arts revenge chick flick called “Fighting Mad”. Woman doesn’t know how much they cost. “Is it too much to ask for a dollar?” No, it is not.
(We kept seeing these guys alongside the road at various points in the Fort Kent area. They’re recycling bins. Extremely awesome recycling bins.)
2:04: Back on the road. Taking Rte 11 in the opposite direction. Listening to Wood’s Tea Company. Pleasant Irish music.
2:21: Enter Eagle Lake. Lake itself is quite nice.
2:24: Big hand-lettered sign on someone’s porch reads simply “Potato”.
2:46: Entered Porter.
2:48: Entered Portage Lake.
2:54: Entered Nashville, surprisingly enough.
3:00: Enter Ashland. Vividly burping mustard.
3:10: Ashland both vast and dull.
3:11: Entering Masardis. Sounds oddly promising. (It isn’t.)
3:29: Entered TWP 9RS.
3:52: Enter Mt. Chase. Listening to The Turtles. Sleepy.
3:54: Bigass hill.
3:55: Enter Patton. When you put your hand in pile of goo that used to be face etc.
3:59: Patton very rustic. General store actually looks like it’s made out of dirt.
4:08: Now in Sherman. Going to get on I-95 in a bit and that will be that for our relaxing day of deserted townships.
So, in essence, we drove four hundred and seventy-six miles to look at a tree covered in shoes and a street of abandoned storefronts, then buy hot dogs and a sudoku book. Doesn’t look like much on paper, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves throughout.
Get in the car and go somewhere sometime! Places are cool and fun!