Look at ME

Our plan was to get to Maine (ME) in four days, and we succeeded.

To continue the listing of our travels so far:

Day 4 (Sunday) – Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, stopped in Bangor, 413 miles, overcast most of the day.

The drive from Milford CT to Bangor ME was similar to the drive from Florida to Richmond VA with traffic congestion decreasing, road conditions improving and the scenery becoming more deliciously deciduous with each passing mile.

In our travels up the eastern seaboard of the United States, Maine has been our favorite and we’ll probably make this state a destination in our future travels so that we can explore the coast, the beaches, and the numerous rivers and woodland trails; but for this trip, Maine is just a transit point for us.

I thought I’d mention Maine’s rather peculiar relationship with signage. It is one of only 3 or 4 states that have no billboards (Hawaii, Vermont and, if my recollection is correct, Alaska, are the others). Some might think this is a great thing, but after driving nearly 200 miles through the state on I-95, you really appreciate the informational aspect of billboards.

And Maine’s prohibition of road signage apparently extends to directional and business identification signage, in addition to off-premise billboards.

Here in Bangor, we’ve found it to be nearly impossible to find anything in town, due to the lack of signage. In fact, upon our arrival we drove right past the Walmart here – even though we had its GPS location – because there was no signage for the store along the road. We only found the place because we glimpsed the top of the building behind another shopping plaza.

And we had the same problem when we went out to dinner last night. We had to just drive up and down random streets, looking at the buildings, trying to figure out what businesses were inside and how to get to them since there was very little identifying or directional signage visible from the road.

Meanwhile, it seems that the State of Maine has no problem with signage when signs are being used to convey messages that the State, in its capacity as Big Mother, wants its populace to hear. Take a look at these signs, scattered around one of the I-95 rest areas:

We plan to stay here in Bangor ME for a day waiting for Hurricane Leslie to pass offshore of Nova Scotia. We also need one more day here in order to have phone and internet service (for travel planning) before we cross over into Canada where there are no guarantees of having either, at least not at reasonable rates (international roaming in Canada can cost $2.00 per minute; internet data is even more expensive).

It’s a nice day (in the mid 70s) and we hope to get outdoors for a little bit while we’re here.

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