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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ogunquit ~ The Fryeburg Fair ~ Buddy Holly Story

This week was busy as usual running around doing "odds and ends". Bringing the grand kids to soccer practice and games, I finally had a few minutes on Wednesday to load the camper onto the truck. I did have a problem with the camper jack remote. Moister created a bad connection between the batteries and terminals. I cleaned the remote and the camper was sitting high on the big Ford F-250. Everything was ready for a Friday morning take off. Our day would be at the Fryeburg Fair. For those of you who don't know about this Fair, it is the largest in the State of Maine. I'm told that an average of 300,000 people attend during the course of the week long events. The Fair is only about a hour drive from Berlin, New Hampshire. I should say that is the average driving time when there is no Fair going on. It can take five hours if one takes the south entrance route. We've been going there many years running, but we know better and take a short cut on the Northern approach to the Fairgrounds. This route is up and over Evans Notch, a very picturesque narrow mountain road. There is little traffic to deal with. On the Fryeburg side of the Notch the landscape changes from rocky ledges and cliffs to back wood farms. It is always a joy to travel this road to the Fair.
The North entrance to the Fair is the RV entrance and grounds have thousands of RVs parked for the week. We were not planning to stay there tonight and just got a $5 day parking pass. A convenient shuttle carried us to the main ticket booth. From here, we  had a routine to cover the areas of interest. We walk the exhibits along the race track, check out new items in the RV dealers and camping stuff. There are so many places to eat, but we always windup at this fresh seafood place and have a yummy lunch. Next comes all the craft barns followed by sitting and watching a few musical artist do there thing. The afternoon was spent walking into the show animal barns and viewing those little and big critters. There was a huge draft horse that weighed in at 2,600 lbs.! His horse shoe was as big as a basket ball is wide. The horse was from a farm in Quebec, Province, Canada.

Greek Orthodox Church ~ AKA our Campground
Time to leave and head south east into Maine's back roads. Remember above, I said it could take five hours to reach the fairgrounds. Well, I was right and there heading in the opposite direction the traffic was grid locked. It took us maybe 20 minutes to get out of there and take a left onto route 113 and 5. This would bring us eventually to Saco, Maine, our destination for the night. If you ever have driven through the back roads of Maine, you know how confusing it can be. Even with a very reliable GPS, one can easily get confused and find yourself on another route heading to one of those little towns with a five way intersection. There are plenty of road signs, but they don't necessarily direct you on your original route 113 and 5 destination. We finally made it to Saco. The Buddy Holly Story at the Ogunquit Playhouse would be tomorrow's target destination. You may ask what are we doing in Saco several miles up the coast from Ogunquit? There is always an answer. Jumping back to our home town in Berlin, there is a Russian Orthodox Church in our neighborhood. Here in Saco, Maine  a Greek Orthodox Church exist in a secluded section of town. We had been here before to a festival featuring traditional foods. Father Sergious Gherken of Berlin called and we had a place to stay. It was secure, quiet and next to a wooded area. We would have stayed at a campground, but it is foliage season. Everything was booked and also at a prime rate.
I am getting good holding the camera in my right hand!
Where we going?
The next morning, the sun was breaking over the horizon. A good reason to grab a picture of the church. We had all day to get to the Ogunquit Playhouse, a perfect excuse to explore the Maine coast! We have been to Maine many, many times, but it always seemed that we were on a mission to get to some other place. A good local map is essential to get to those places that are beautiful, but not on the main tourist list. Biddeford Pool is what I'm talking about. Route 208 took us pass many estates that are owned by the Catholic Church. I can only imagine that this prime property was given by very rich industrialists. In any event, it was a joy to drive around and view these properties. Heading south on route 9, we stopped at a few beaches to stretch our legs and look for sea shells. A couple of old timers had their rubber boots, clam rakes, buckets and were headed for the mud flats across the road. I watched them to see if they would get all muddy, but surprisingly they did not. We got back into the truck camper and headed for Goose Rocks Beach. The locals were out jogging, riding bikes and setting up yard sales. You have to remember that the main tourist season is over and the locals are getting ready to close down their rental properties for the season. We walked and drove around these little side streets looking at everyone and everything that caught our eye. Speaking of catching one's eye, I got a some interesting photos of  locals doing their chores.
Coastal Tide coming in 
Kennebunkport was still bustling with tourist. We joined the crowd and toured the shops, grabbed a cup of coffee, peered out of the back window of the coffee shop and watched the tide coming in. The town of Wells was next. It seemed that the further south we went, the more tourists appeared on the street and the harder it got to find a parking spot. We kept going until the Ogunquit town line sign was to our right. We had plenty of time to read the sign as the traffic was at a stand still. I said to Helen, "we'd better find the Playhouse first and then explore and eat". Ah! the Playhouse on our left with a Visitor Center next door. A stop here was a must and we asked all the too familiar questions "what to do and see in this town until the play starts?" The lady gave us a lot of options and short cut directions to must visit spots. OK, we were off to the docks with all of the restaurants. The problem here was no available parking. We back tracked up the road and every parking lot was full even with a $12 parking fee! They did have a trolley shuttle, but just too crowded for our liking. As luck would have it, a Catholic Church parking lot had a parking spot. Their wasn't any "No Parking" sign in site. We were now hungry and I didn't want to wait in a restaurant. We walked to the back of the truck, opened the camper door and sat at our reserved table. You just can't beat a truck camper! Having finished lunch you probably figured that I would want a nap. "Yup!" two steps up to the queen size bed and I was in heaven.
Fall foliage and Maine!
We spent the early part of the afternoon walking around both shops and the "Marginal Way" (a paved walkway along the shore). The play start time was 3:30pm and we arrived in the parking lot around 2:45pm. The lady parking lot attendant gave us a good spot for our departure after the play. (North bound
"The Ogunquit Playhouse has an unbelievable history of attracting actors to preform on it's stage. The atrium is full of pictures. We spent a considerable amount of time looking and reading the captions."
The Buddy Holly Story was one of the best plays I've ever witness. Not only were the actors great, but they all played musical instruments to perfection. "Bravo, Well Done"
We left the Playhouse with our spirits up.

Dinner was next on the agenda and soon we located an Italian restaurant. The line extended to the outside. It was worth the wait, I was really full and I knew that if I parked for the night I would have a hard time digesting the meal. If I drove an hour maybe we could find a place to park for the night in North Conway, NH. We were not so lucky and decided to drive home. Forty-five minutes later we were in our driveway. It was a good weekend!

That is what we saw and did

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