Northern Maine Vacation Including the Maine Potato Blossom Festival

July 2005

All Text and Images Copyright © 2005, Kathryn Harrington and Marc San Soucie 

In July 2004, my Dad, his wife Christine and my sister Liz went on a 10 day driving vacation through northern most Maine, through Aroostook County, then Down East Maine (Washington County) and Nova Scotia.  In addition to seeing that part of Maine, they also had a mission, to distribute material for the ‘A Family for ME’ campaign (http://www.afamilyforme.org) that my sister is involved with.  They had lots of laughs and great stories to share.  I said “Okay, next year, when you go, I’m joining you for all that fun.”  Well they hadn’t planned on doing it again, but what the heck, why not.  This time, they wanted to make sure they saw live Moose and wanted to take in the big events of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. 

 Maine Vacation Crew: Christine, Dad, Liz, Kathryn 
(Liz’s 2 person tandem kayak on the roof of the car)

Before we went to the Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield, we on a ‘Moose Country Safari’ aka a canoe trip on one of Maine’s many ponds.  (I learned the difference between a lake and a pond – depth.)  When my Dad, Chris and Liz went on this driving trip last year, they never saw a live Moose – which all the locals thought was unbelievable.  This year, my Dad found this canoe trip where seeing a moose was virtually guaranteed, via “Moose Country Safaris” with Maine Guide Ed Mathieu (http://www.moosecountrysafaris.com.)  We saw 4 moose during our 2 hour easy paddling trip on the 1st West Branch Pond.  We had a wonderful stay at Moosehead Lake that evening. 

Checking out the live Moose!    Moose Are Big! Moose walk within the lines in Maine!

        The Potato Blossom Festival was a lot of fun.  We took advantage of the many activities including the Yankee Pull Display, the Parade, the Antique Tractor Display, the Tractor pull, the Horse shows (English & Western), the Fireworks, and the Big Band Concert.  We even got to participate in some activities:  the Tractor Display ‘Peoples Choice’ Award, the Canoe and Kayak Regatta, and for me the 5 mile Running Race.   At the Antique Tractor display, I saw a potato picker (a first for me) and being the engineer geek that I am, asked a lot of questions about every one of the dozen tractors on display.

Potato Plants With Blossoms.  They come in white as well as blue.

The Yankee Hitch, Sponsored by the Fernald Lumber Corporation of Nottingham, New Hampshire  and driven by Mr. Tyke Frost http://www.yankeehitch.com

 

Participating in the Canoe & Kayak Regatta at the Potato Blossom Festival

 

Liz & Kathryn – Antique Tractor Display “groupies”

Two Potato Picker Machines

This small town, Fort Fairfield, does a great job with this event.  http://www.potatoblossom.org.  We stayed in Presque Isle while attending the festival.  We were of course one of the few ‘out-of-towners’ or “folks from away” as many referred to us.  The area was lovely, lots of farming, very well kept up, which is surprising to me given the harsh weather (tons of winter snow), but pride is a wonderful thing.  At every event, we were welcomed.   The people were very friendly and outgoing.  I highly recommend this as a great place to visit and a fun festival to partake in.

 On the way home, we stopped at the State of Maine, Maine Wildlife Park in Gray Maine, a good day trip visit (http://www.state.me.us/ifw/education/wildlifepark).