Greetings from the Harraseeket Inn!  We've had a great summer thus far, gloriously sunny, and we hope you have, too.  Drought conditions plague parts of the state, but for vacationing, the weather's been just perfect.  Hard to believe it's almost time for the kids to be heading back to school.  They started this week up in Aroostook County, where the kids get a two week vacation during potato harvest time in September to help out on the farms.

Marshall Dodge was a legendary Maine humorist perhaps best known for coining the phrase, "You can't get there from here"(Which way to Millinocket?  Bert and I) in response to a tourist asking directions to Millinocket (or anyplace else in Maine, for that matter).  But the fact is, you can get here from there, and in more ways than ever.  The Amtrak Downeaster is becoming increasingly popular for those seeking a "car free" vacation, and with the train station just two blocks from the inn, it couldn't be more convenient.  We'll give you a complimentary cab ride to and from the inn if you arrive by train. Just give us a heads-up in advance. You can also take the train into Portland for the day.  Then there's the  Cat Ferry , Portland to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in six and a half hours, a gorgeous trip and you can bring along your vehicle to embark on an extended adventure. And for our well heeled friends, yet another option.  Check out this fun article from a travel writer who chose Elite Airways to fly from Halifax to Portland, Maine in one hour.  According to the article, your dog can ride first class with you, all you have to do is buy another seat.  No dark and dangerous cargo hold for precious Fido, not on this airline. The article doesn't mention the cost of Elite's airfare but my guess is, if you have to ask, better gas up the car and start driving.  And that's okay, because when it comes to making family memories and bringing your dog along, road trips rock.

The annual Perseid Meteor shower occurs every August and peaks around the middle of the month, but this year the talk is all about the total eclipse of the sun on August 21.  I was at the feed store this week up in Fort Kent, picking up animal feed, when someone called to ask if they carried "eclipse glasses". That's how far north the frenzy has spread.  Maine won't see the total eclipse of the sun, but that's okay, we get a Tavern Fireplace pretty stellar display of the heavens every clear night. Our dark night skies are perfect for star gazing. If  you haven't taken your vacation yet and want to incorporate a little hiking, kayaking, shopping and star gazing in your plans, head to Maine.  We have it all and we'd love to share it with you.   Come for a visit and make some great memories. Try out our seasonal menus in the Broad Arrow Tavern and Maine Harvest Restaurant.  Our farmers and growers are supplying us with an incredible harvest from land and sea and our chefs are the best in Maine. If you can't spend the night, bring your vouchers and treat yourself to a wonderful meal. 
Cattle grazing at Wolfe's Neck Farm, Casco Bay in background.

Speaking of farmers and growers, just a short drive from the inn is one of the most beautiful salt water farms on the entire eastern seaboard. Wolfe's Neck Farm is an educational organic farm on the shore of Casco Bay, adjacent to Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, complete with hiking trails and a campground, a farm stand, animal barns, pastures, gardens and ongoing agricultural programs and apprenticeships that actively engage both young and old alike.  They love to have visitors, and kids love to visit.  Check out this five minute video which captures the spirit of a very special place that preserves the history and cultivates the future of sustainable organic farming.  Take a drive out to the farm while you're here.  Pick up some fresh produce or naturally raised meats at the farm stand or an ice cream at the snack shack. We'll pack you a lunch if you want to enjoy a picnic while sunning on the ledges along the scenic coastline at adjacent Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park.  The shopping is what brings most folks to Freeport, but it's these little side trips to Maine's beautiful places that fill us with calm.

Upcoming Events and Special Offers:

Maine State Music Theater calendar of performances! 

* Nordica Theater   Shows and Showtimes 
*August and September Fairs and Festivals   It's fair season again and there are lots to choose from. Two of our perennial favorites are the Common Ground Fair and the Topsham Fair, but they all offer a great experience for kids and adults.
* L.L.Bean Summer in the Park   All kinds of fun activities are going on this summer, along with the Saturday night free concerts. Check out the schedule and mark your calendars!

* The Great Maine Adventure with L.L.Bean is a terrific seven day, six night  package that includes biking, sea kayaking, lighthouse tours, schooner sail, lobster bake and three nights at the Harraseeket Inn!  This is a one of a kind adventure and a great way to make memories, learn new skills and experience the best Maine has to offer with the best Outdoor Discovery School on the planet! Check out the available dates and start planning your big Maine adventure!

* Freeport USA: calendar of events and special back-to-school sales! 

*September 9th; Mark your calendars for  Maine Open Lighthouse Day!  See how many lighthouses you can visit in one day and get your exercise climbing all those stairs, then come have a sumptuous lunch or dinner with us. 

* Freeport Fall Festival October 6-8  Art, Food and Music. Fun for all, check out this year's schedule!

* Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands offers a great line-up of activities for   those who enjoy the out of doors.

Last month's trivia question brought new meaning to the saying that you know you're a true Mainer when you've made a meal out of Jordan's red-dyed hotdogs, a bag of Humpty Dumpty potato chips and a can of Moxie.  The Moxie Festival trivia question got tons of great responses, and it was surprising how many of you were familiar with this popular (or unpopular) Maine drink.  We might have to start carrying it on tap in the Broad Arrow Tavern. There are already a few drinks mixed up with this peculiar beverage, including the Country Girl (Moxie and bourbon) and the Ninja (Moxie with vodka and orange juice).  They both sound disgusting, perhaps it's an acquired taste.
 This month's trivia (You CAN get there from here!) is an easy one that takes you on a little road trip to a wonderful working farm just a short eleven minute drive from the inn. Take a left out of the inn's driveway. Across from LL Bean turn left onto Bow Street, this becomes Flying Point Road. After approximately 2.5 miles, turn right onto Wolfe's Neck Road. Travel 1.5 miles, then turn left onto Burnett Road.  Continue over a little bridge to reach the Little River House, barns, a farm stand and gardens. You see cattle and sheep in the pastures and spy the glittering waters of Casco Bay through the trees. You've arrived at your destination and it's a beautiful place.  Where are you?  All correct answers win a voucher worth $5. toward food or lodging on your next visit.  Be patient with my replies, it takes a long time to respond to all the emails.  But if you haven't heard back in ten days, re-send your trivia answer.  To respond to the trivia, just reply to this email.  One voucher per household, please.  You may redeem up to 12 vouchers at one time, a $60. value, preferably in the year they were won.  Good luck!

Enjoy the rest of your summer, don't stare at the sun during the eclipse without wearing those special glasses and we hope to see you soon!
Best regards,
Penny Gray
The Gray family
   Wolfes neck state park