Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Maine: Camden

Camden Hills State Park, Maine

I'd give this park my maximum rating of four stars. It offers a great view of Camden harbor on the coast from the top of Battle Mountain, a choice of wooded or open campsites, water, electricity and very fast WIFI.

We found a very big sporting goods store and finally purchased a bicycle rack for the Toyota. We contemplated a 50 pound canoe and canoe rack, but the idea of driving the Toyota everywhere with a big green canoe lashed to the roof and paddles and life jackets in the back seat seemed a little unwieldy. The Toyota already has become burdened with a trunk full of camping supplies and the back seat is now devoted to the satellite dish and an overflow of books and rain gear.

When you go to the top of Battle Mountain you see coastal islands, small harbors and fjords that stretch forever. We had lunch in Camden perched on a balcony over a waterfall. It was the perfect spot for a clandestine meeting, plotting coups and foiling listening devices. Camden is full of bookstores, restaurants and sailing vessels for the tourists to ride. I bought a pile of paperbacks including a new Tim Dorsey called "The Big Bamboo". This is the sixth book in a series about a zany Florida psycho-killer named Serge. Serge observes that the main product of Florida is not oranges or tourism: it's weirdness (hanging chads, Elian, butterfly ballots, Catherine Harris). He's annoyed that California has pulled ahead by electing the terminator as Governor and decides to fly to L.A. to even the score.

Mrs. Phred took me and the bike to the top of the mountain and I sailed two miles down to our campsite, riding the brakes just enough to keep from flying off into the woods on the curves. I like riding downhill.

Camden is a picturesque little harbor town where Peyton Place was filmed. Unless you're over 60, you probably don't remember the sensation the book caused when it was published. We lived on Haya Street in Tampa. The city covered the street with fresh oyster shells every six months. We liked to run behind the insect control trucks when they fogged mosquitoes in the evening. Our next door neighbors, Myrtle and Bill, were ex-carnie people. They had a daughter my age (the girl next door) that I was very taken with at the time. Myrtle had a copy of the book and I read it when they were both away at work...Myrtle eventually became a respected polygraph operator.


  1. Hi, you took some nice pictures of Camden. Personally it's not my favorite but there are some great spots near there, like Belfast, Rockland, and Vinalhaven. Just FYI Camden is considered "Penobscot Bay". Downeast is more the Ellsworth/Bar Harbor region.

  2. Thanks for the to see them....