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Ruins, Lighthouses, and a Seaside Jaunt at Fort Williams Park – Cape Elizabeth Maine

DSC_0213I am feeling full of myself again. My energy is nearly back and I was delighted to go out today and spend the greatest time scampering along the Maine coastline. In honor of this month’s theme Haunted New England I decided to go in search of a castle ruin. I had found one article online boasting, “Take a hike and see a castle in Maine!” Sounded pleasant, though there were no photos or any real description just the cryptic remark that I could find it in Fort Williams Park. Okaaaay… I knew it was on the coast somewhere and figured it’d be in some quiet out of the way place, perhaps a nice nature trail through the woods to some burned out ruin like Madame Sherri’s but alas no. I started to get the hint this wouldn’t be the case when I found myself driving through the traffic clogged shoreline of Cape Elizabeth.

DSC_0115The park was busy! Wow! And the weather? Freakishly warm. I was wearing a T-shirt while staring at the frigid Maine seashore and I was sweating balls. My calendar says October but mother nature apparently thinks it’s June. I can go with that. I passed by some sort of abandoned building driving in and wondered if that was the castle or part of it. There were so many people but where were they coming from and where were they going? I couldn’t tell so I just started to walk, pretending I knew. I ended up at a beach, a really lovely little beach surrounded on all sides by rocky outcroppings and the remains of an old fort. Beyond the harbor there were two lighthouses. Bonus for me.

DSC_0003The first thing that really caught my curiosity was a decrepit ruin jutting from the rocks and looking very uninviting. Could I scramble over the rocks and get to it? Was I allowed? I decided to try it, all the meanwhile expecting someone to start hollering at me but alas no, this is Maine, where Darwinian population control is encouraged. It turns out it was the remains of an old mine, bolted shut with a metal door. Damn. There’d be no retrieving Lassie’s bones today.

DSC_0106After that I decided to see where some of the actual paths attached to the beach went. I was delighted to find myself outside an old battery. It looked rather castle-like but it was still obviously a fort. However not far away I could see something that looked far more castle like. Third time’s a charm. But first I wanted to go harass some funny looking sea birds so I scrabbled over some more pointy rocks to take a few snaps of them doing their birdy thing. I looked around me and on this jagged seaside cliff there were a few precarious benches. Yep, I’m in Maine.

DSC_0160I came upon the castle from the back and through the little snippet of woods. It made a coy entrance into my life using the trees like a shy bride uses a veil. OK so maybe it was just a burned out stone mansion and not a castle but still I couldn’t help but adore it. Today was awesome. People were awesome. I got asked if I had been here before by an old man. Nope! We sat and chatted for a good fifteen minutes. Poor dear lives in Los Vegas. Pity that. Had a lot of people smile, laugh, and compliment the hair. Apparently orange hair makes me more approachable? Well that’s a relief. Scientific studies seem to think wearing orange makes people more hostile towards you…

DSC_0115From there I hobbled my way up the “cliff path” to the lighthouse. There was a bride and groom below on the rocks lying there as if they’d just gotten hitched and suddenly decided fuck it, let’s do this suicide pact. A drone above took what it probably believed were romantic snaps of them sprawled out there. All the tourists looking by  kept saying what I was thinking – that wasn’t romantic, they looked like they’d just jumped off the cliff. “That looks TRAGIC.” I heard one woman say. I wanted to snap a photo but people kept looking in my direction…

DSC_0215I stuck my tongue out at the drone and snapped it’s photo instead. GOTCHYA you buzzing little spy bastard! (Yes, I know, wedding photography, public place, it had a right to be there but still. Drones. UGH.)

I think I spent a couple hours walking this tiny stretch, taking photos and talking to people. It was really amazing. I needed this little excursion. And I am getting jaded getting to see all these things… fort ruins, castles, oceanside beaches, lighthouses… How am I going to live this one up?


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