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Smilin' Bridge to Maine

Seafaring Couple

Ken & Ellen Barnes

Ken and Ellen are captains who know firsthand the effect nature can have on you. Arriving in 1978 to start their own business, the couple has been living and breathing everything Maine ever since. There are plenty of waterways and coastlines waiting to be explored and it’s not the current, but the sights and sounds that will pull you in.


It's time for our annual 3-week trip south. We pack our trusty family car, a.k.a. our 4-wheel drive truck, with some cooler clothes, plenty of Poland Spring water for the trip, a few audio action books, and some of our jams and condiments. We grow our own rhubarb, peaches and blueberries, so late summer is a busy canning time for us.

This was an especially good season. Summer was glorious in Maine. The Maine Windjammer Association fleet carried lots of happy passengers and the Captain Lindsey House Inn and the rest of the Maine inns were busy for the season, which now lasts until the end of October. All in all - good times.

We like to start our trip mid-morning so that we can stop at Moody's Diner for lunch on the way down. This is the time of year when we, who live here, can actually walk in and get a wonderful meal without waiting too long. I can still taste that lemon meringue pie.

We headed south and eventually said good-bye a bit sadly to our adopted state of Maine as we crossed over the Kittery bridge. We traveled between friends and relatives dropping presents and jams, laughing a lot, crying sometimes and eventually invited all to visit us in Maine this summer.

After two weeks we were longing to turn the truck north again. After all, the snow was waiting for us, and we were anxious to get home where the grandchildren were ice skating and skiing.

As we drove north, our spirits rose and finally coming through Portsmouth, NH, we saw it - the "Smilin' Bridge." We were about to enter our great state of Maine. We started across and midway we both broke out in big, wide, joyful smiles.

As we came through the first toll booth, the attendant asked, "Well, did ya have fun, deah?" We were home again.