PA to Maine-Dixmont and Lamoine plus a simple tide experiment for the kids!

We left our hotel in Massachusetts after a filling breakfast and arrived at our first stop in Maine about four hours later.  We were headed to Lamoine, but stopped in Dixmont to see one of my husband’s old college professors and his wife.  Years ago this professor encouraged his students to refrain from mowing a portion of their future lawns, which was the inspiration for our current backyard habitat.  When we decided to make the trip to Maine, the couple kindly offered a stop off and lunch at their home.

Dixmont, Maine

Dixmont, Maine

The home is situated on a large piece of land and they were kind enough to take us on a walk and point out lots of interesting things for the kids.  We used nets to hunt for frogs, checked out the spot where Daddy camped as a college student and investigated a vegetable garden.  It was wonderful to meet the man who was the inspiration for a very significant part of our lives.

After a relaxing lunch, we headed to our final destination, the house we rented for the week in Lamoine.  We drove through Ellsworth, which included a Walmart, several chain and local restaurants and an LLBean outlet.  These were all about 20-25 minutes from our rental house.  Once we got closer to Lamoine, there was very little in the way of stores or restaurants.

Our rental in Lamoine, Maine

Our rental in Lamoine, Maine

We turned down the steep driveway of our rental.  From the outside it looked a little run down for the price we paid for it.  The cleanliness of the inside left much to be desired as well.  The rocky climb down to the beach was concerning with three young children, but once we were down there, we did appreciate the view.

The steep climb from the beach to the house

The steep climb from the beach to the house

The learning opportunities presented themselves immediately.  The habitat was new to us and there was much to discover.

View from the beach below our rental in Lamoine, Maine

View from the beach below our rental

Investigating the hidden crevices on the beach in Lamoine, Maine

Investigating the hidden crevices on the beach

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We found lots of crabs

DSC08983This rocky beach was the best part of the house and of Lamoine as far as we could tell.  We could spot seals from the deck, watch the tide come in and out and explore all the interesting things left on the beach at low tide.

Waking up on our first morning in Maine

Waking up on our first morning in Maine

Wading in Frenchman Bay Lamoine, Maine

Wading in Frenchman Bay below our house

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Exploring at low tide

barnacles

barnacles

sea cucumber discovered at low tide, investigated and returned to the water

sea cucumber discovered at low tide, investigated and returned to the water

Lamoine, Maine

Picnic on the lawn of our rental house

We explored this beach as often as possible during our stay and brought along nets, buckets and homemade underwater scopes.  We did a tide experiment by tying an empty plastic bottle to a rock at low tide with about ten feet of rope.  The tide rises and falls ten to twelve feet in this area of Maine every cycle and it is amazing to watch.  The experiment provided a great visual for the kids to see just how drastically the tide changes in twelve hours.

The bottle tied to rope at low tide

The bottle tied to rock at low tide

The white speck in the water is the bottle at hide tide attached to the ten feet of rope under water

The white speck in the water is the bottle at hide tide attached to the ten feet of rope under water

We also took a few walks at Lamoine Beach, which was a short drive from where we were staying.  Pretty place to walk in the day time, though the mosquitoes were killer at dusk.

Walking at Lamoine Beach

Walking at Lamoine Beach mid day

Lamoine Beach at low tide and dusk

Lamoine Beach at low tide and dusk

We had some valuable learning experiences exploring the beach below our rental house in Lamoine.  Most days, we made a 45 minute to an hour drive from there to Acadia National Park.  That was where some of the best parts of the trip happened for me.  I would likely skip Lamoine and stay closer to the park on any return trips to Maine.

Next up: Our experiences in Acadia National Park!

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