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  • Writer's pictureWine & Whiskey

Back to "The County" Maine

Back to northern Maine we go. Remember the Madawaska debacle? That's in "The County". Whiskey got a work assignment in Grand Isle, the town southeast of Madawaska; I got the chills.

The travel time to Grand Isle just shy of seven hours if you don't stop. But with dogs, and a disabled dog (Homer) our travel time is longer due to the multiple stops we need to make.

Before we get to The County, our first work stop is close to home at the beautiful McDougal Orchards in Springvale Maine. Whiskey was there to inspect a pump that was vandalized. While he worked, I visited the lovely farm store in a large barn. Watch the video in the link down below where I tour the barn and learn about apple varieties.

Our home is an hour from this farm, yet we never knew it existed because it runs parallel to the main road we take when driving through the area. We recommend getting off the main route to visit the orchard and farm stand in the barn. The McDougal homestead has been in the same family for seven generations.

Let's get back on the road and get dangerously close to the Madawaska border. I take the wheel and drive, and drive, and drive while Whiskey works on his laptop. We have a 300-watt inverter that runs off the auxiliary power outlet formerly referred to as the "cigarette lighter". Between the inverter and the mobile hotspot (when service is available) Whiskey, is able to do reports and send and receive emails. It is very efficient.

Sidenote: the cell coverage along I 95 and RT 1 & 1A is good with Verizon. Vermont is the complete opposite with lots of dead zones.

Since I don't have much office work to do, I am now the driver on these work destinations. This allows for longer trips to work assignments in faraway places. It gets us out of our bubble and to some remote and rural places that not many do not see. "We go there so you don't have to". Remember how that got the Madawaska mob after us? (See backstory below)

But seriously, The County is so remote it is challenging to go there for a work assignment due to limited lodging and dining options. Having the mobile condo / office makes going remote doable. We bring the food, wine, whiskey, and our own house; not having to rely on any motel or restaurant to be open. Parking overnight is a challenge but getting easier. For this trip we parked at the farm where Whiskey was going to inspect a combine harvester.

Don't let the restaurant icon fool you. They serve 8-3.

We arrive to our destination at 6:30PM and it is just about dark since we are in the farthest east in the eastern time zone. The farm store is closed and there is no one around. We park and settle in for the evening; we put on the tunes, pour our favorite bevies, and I get started cooking.

For those that are world travelers this may look a bit lame, but as people with dogs this is the best we can do. Our crazy bulldog and disabled dog make leaving them in the care of boarding or in-home dog sitter impossible. So we make the most of it.

The next morning, we are up early, and ready to get work done and on the road south for a bit of pleasure sightseeing. We thought we'd check out the farm store that opens at 7am.

It's a cute store serving food after 8am. We are sure they recognized us from our infamous Madawaska video because we are completely ignored. We get it, we're not from The County. So, we bought nothing, and I then cooked up breakfast for Whiskey as he waited for the person he was to meet.

After work is done, we head south on RT 1A in search of freshly harvested potatoes at one of the many farm stands we saw on the way north. We brought home twenty pounds of potatoes. I will serve the potatoes with the comfort food dishes now that the cool weather is here.

Potato stop one was a bust when we only had a $20 bill. We really didn't want to buy forty pounds of potatoes of one variety.

Stop two we bought a 10-pound bag of russets, a10-pound bag of Yukon golds, and butter cup squash which is my favorite. Score!

Apples, potatoes, and lots of driving in the video plus our tiny house in this video.

Next post will pick up in Midcoast Maine for leisure time, the Harborside RV Resort, Penobscot Marine Museum, downtown Hallowell, ending at Lost Valley Ski area / brew pub.


Backstory: We took a trip to Madawaska in early May 2019 which is off-season for tourists so there was not much activity. I had to practically beg an RV park to let us park for the night because they weren't open yet and there were no Harvest Hosts in that area (currently there are only two). I did a video and titled it "We went to Madawaska, so you don't have to". I titled it that because I knew no one we knew would be motivated to drive seven hours from NH or twelve hours from NJ to see "nothing".

The haters came at us hard. Honestly, I didn't think anyone besides a few friends would even watch it. I didn't say anything negative in the video. I just stated that nothing much is happening there, especially if you are not an outdoorsy type of person. After being stalked online by haters and harassed and threatened by one I took that video down. I changed the title and reposted the same exact video and the trolls left me alone. Watch it here if you want to see more of The County. This is the most boring video I have posted, at least I think so.



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