After three nights in the White Mountains it was time for us to ramble on to our next, unplanned, stop. Since neither Crystal and I had ever been to Massachusetts we decided we needed to mark this off our “states list” and make an unscheduled stop in Salisbury Beach State Park for three nights to explore the area.
Salisbury is the very northern coastal beach town in Massachusetts before entering New Hampshire. The campground at the State park was enormous. With over 450+ campsites available it felt like we had moved into a neighborhood rather than a campground. With high winds they were experiencing there (up to 40mph gusts) we didn’t “camp” much, but rather explored the nearby port city of Newbury Port. It was quite a lovely little town with lots great little shops and markets. We got to visit their farmers market one day and enjoyed several meals at their local restaurants which was a nice change of pace and more importantly, saved us from the brutal winds. After wandering through their quaint downtown streets with Hudson, our husky, we quickly dubbed Hudson a “celebrity”, due to the crazy amount of attention he received. This celebrity status became more obvious to us in the next couple of weeks.
Though Newbury Port was a great little port city and we’d only gotten a small taste of Mass, we were itching to leave the “neighborhood” and get out of the cold winds. Time to settle for a while, off to Portland, ME.
Thankfully, we had scheduled a five-day stop in Portland, ME. We’d rented a small apartment in South Portland which would allow us to a break from camping and give us time to do some necessary chores and explore a city we’ve wanted to visit for some time.
Portland, ME, is a fun city with tons food from local farms and, more obvious, the Atlantic. They also have an excellent beer scene, which I was eager to check out. Some of the breweries we hit up were Allagash Brewing Co., Oxbow’s Brewing and Blending, and Bissell Brothers Brewing. We also thoroughly enjoyed Novare Res Bier Cafe which had an awesome variety of beers from just about everywhere. Our favorite stop in Portland was a restaurant called Fore Street, absolutely amazing food! Their menu is constantly changing as they receive the freshest ingredients from local farms daily and even have their own foragers combing the Maine countryside for those hard to farm specialties. Crystal and I are still talking about Fore weeks later, I’d highly recommend this to anyone visiting.
A first for me in Portland was the lobster roll. Never really had one, nor had I much interest in them either. I had a recommendation to check out J’s Oyster (thanks, Josh!), which is right on the docks where the local boats bring in the day’s catch. Nothing special about J’s, really just a small local dive, but the lobster roll was delicious. A local patron of the place, a bit tipsy, quickly labeled Crystal and I as “hipsters” and suggested we should try some LSD. “It’ll change your whole perspective on life.” Great tip, but I think our trip for the time being is going to enlighten us enough, don't need the addition LSD just a lobster roll!
As for the “celebrity” we were toting around (yes, Hudson still smelt of skunk, in case you were wondering), Portland was super dog friendly and had two great dog parks Hudson thought were amazing. Leashless, wild, mucking around on trails, through creeks, swimming in ponds and wrecking havoc on a beach were his favorite part of Portland. His least favorite part, but certainly one of ours, was “Skunkson” receiving a thorough bath from a groomer. Though he didn’t know it, this bath increased his status of celebrity.
[I apologize for not having photographic evidence of our stays in Mass. and Portland, for some reason I just wasn’t “feeling it”. I also don’t like to look like one of those tourist who isn’t taking in the sites because my face is glued to a camera or phone. Sometimes it best to experience it all without those modern devices.]
After recharging and getting our fill of city life, Crystal and I were ready to sleep under the trees and stars once again. Next stop, Acadia National Park and I promise there's photographic evidence of this stop.