The first day after we landed in Ashland, we took off to Portland for some food and to visit with one of Hayden’s friends from college. Unfortunately, the restaurant we wanted to go to, Silly’s, was closed for the day so instead, we headed over to Empire Chinese Kitchen. To see what we ordered from their menu, check out our full write up of Empire Chinese Kitchen.
One of the things we were excited the most to see while we were visiting was the Desert of Maine in Freeport. One of Aaron’s co-workers mentioned it to him when they learned we were going to Portland and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see something as crazy as a desert in the middle of the northeast! We took the guided tour that drove us through the different areas of the desert and taught us the history as well as how frequently the scenery and landscape changes. Our tour guide even said that there are things that show up on a daily basis that weren’t there the day before. The craziest part was at one point, we were standing next to some trees and thought we were stepping over the roots. However, we found out that we were actually stepping over branches as the dunes we were on were 40-50+ feet tall!
One of the most incredible things we learned is that scientists predict that in the next 75-100 years, the desert will no longer be there as the forest is continuously overtaking the sand. There are plenty of pictures in the old barn, the only remaining structure from the original farm, that shows the state of the desert over time and you can see where the sands have changed, where parts of the forest have grown, and even where the old watering station was. If you find yourself in the Freeport area, it’s definitely worth checking out the Desert of Maine!
After saying goodbye to Taryn, we decided to head out to the Portland Head Light. We had visited there previously but there were storms in the area and we weren’t able to get great photos. Well this time, we had about a 10-minute window where we had the perfect lighting and even had a rainbow in the background. We snapped up several photos while we could and then the skies turned gray and all of our lighting went away so we headed downtown to try some beer.
Unfortunately, most of the breweries close around 6 PM so we only got a chance to check out one brewery and a bar that sold a lot of local brews. Our first stop was Sebago Brewing Company where we split an order of fries. Aaron ordered the Lake Trout Stout and Hayden got the Saddleback Ale. Both of them were delicious and we would have stayed and had more if we could have! We also tried to go to Shipyard Brewing but they were closing down for the night so we went to Novare Res. There, Aaron grabbed an O’hara’s Irish Stout and Hayden had the Orono Brewing Co’s AOK Kolsch.