Please forgive my absence over the past few months as I have been grieving the loss of my father. I'll be back soon!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Island Retreat: Robinson Point Light House, Isle Au Haut, Maine

Note: To enlarge click on picture then right click on "view" for full size image to show.

The highlight of my summer was visiting the remote island, Isle Au Haut, off the rocky coast of Maine. Staying at a lighthouse was on my mother's "bucket list" and I had the blessing of being her companion on the three day trip.


We stayed at the Robinson Point Lighthouse, Keeper's House Inn on the shores of Acadia National Park. The fully functioning lighthouse is owned by the town, while the keeper's house is privately owned, and off the power-grid. 

First views of Robinson Point from the mail boat.
Osprey nest near shore as we approached the island.
We arrived by ferry-the mail boat-from the main land which was an adventure in itself. On the boat was the daughter of author Linda Greenlaw, boat captain of "The Perfect Storm" fame, who was bringing a book to her mother to get signed. Another woman on the boat, was headed to the island to fill the pulpit of the only island church.


Our stay at the Keeper's House Inn for three days and two nights was an amazing retreat. It was so great to be "unplugged" for a few days. Although rustic in many ways, the inn was refined and the accommodations were very comfortable with a cottage type atmosphere of casual elegance.



The hospitality was wonderful and the meals were superb! We dined with gas lamps and candlelight each evening. Hors d'oeuvre were served at 6 pm and an elegant gourmet dinner at 7 pm with sunset views of the lighthouse! After an enjoyable meal and visiting with the other guests we retired to our room and read our books by candlelight and flashlight! It really was fun! We listened to the sound of the ocean from our window as we drifted off into sweet slumber.

Pictured are Isle Au Haut Post Office, Isle Au Haut Rural School, docks,
Black Dinah Chocolatiers sign, Island Grocery, Isle Au Haut Public Library,
Acadia National Park Ranger Station.

We biked into town one day and brought a picnic lunch, provided by the inn. It was great getting to experience a little bit of island life and learn about the culture of the islanders, a population of 73. It is so remote that their small community has to create their own entertainment. They were planning their annual talent show and road race. The woman who owns the only grocery store on the island was the chair person for those events. The one-room school house is attended by those in K thru 8, which has 3 students enrolled. High school students receive their education off the island so they must board. The post office is the size of a tool shed. There is a chocolatier who is famous for her homemade chocolates. Chocolate is a necessity no matter where you live. And we found the beautiful public library and I was invited me to send them some of my books!

Union Congregational Church built in 1857.

Isle Au Haut means high island in French. The Union Congregational Church rests upon one of the highest points of the island and was quite a climb to get to. Services are held in the summer, while in the winter worship is provided by the Maine Seacoast Mission who holds services aboard a boat.


Lobstering is the main industry on the island. It was amazing how a lobster boat would appear out of the fog as if out of nowhere. One of the first boats we saw up close was named appropriately, Perseverence, which speaks to the tenacity of the hard working fishermen. We ate our lunch one day from the rocks high up in the forest overlooking a cove. A lobster boat came to check their traps and I zoomed in with my camera. You can actually see one them tossing back a too small lobster. The shells were everywhere, even in the forest, apparently the food of some of the birds and wild animals.


It was wonderful exploring Acadia National Park where we enjoyed the flora and fauna of beautiful Maine, including some close up views of deer who were even found in town. One jumped out of the sea grass as I was approaching the shore.

What I think I may have enjoyed the most was the relaxing time we had enjoying the views from the lighthouse property which included fog, mists, sunshine, and sunsets. It was spectacular and certainly inspiring!

Built in 1907, Robinson Point Lighthouse was the next to the last traditional
lighthouse built in Maine and was automated in 1934. There were two keepers,
Frank Holbrook (1907-1922) and Harry Smith (1922-1933). It is currently solar powered.

Now I have the lighthouse fever and hope to visit some others.

Have you ever visited a lighthouse? Which one(s)?



16 comments:

  1. Great pictures, Carla, what a gorgeous place. I bet it was hard to leave. Sounds like a great place to retire. :)

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    1. It was very hard to leave! It would be a wonderful place to retire to, but it comes with a cost as it is so remote and a hard life. But the pay-off is wonderful!

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  2. Beautiful pictures. I envy your time there. Definitely on my "bucket list" now. We totally fell in love with Acadia this past spring and are anxious to go back and do more exploring.

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    1. Joyce, you would love it as I know you enjoy hiking. Such a great place to explore and enjoy God's beautiful creation. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  3. Loved this, Carla! It is so well put together. You helped me to relive the wonderful place and great time we had there.

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    1. It was the best and I'm so glad we got to enjoy it together!

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  4. Every photo was frame-worthy! Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you and your mother's eyes on your adventure.

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    1. Thanks, Daphne! It was a wonderful time and you know I just loved taking all those photos!

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  5. Oh, what great photos!! Thank you for sharing about your trip. What a lovely place. I thought this was cool because I am holding a Lighthouse photo contest for my next LIS release. If you happen to head to another lighthouse be sure to check it out. www.katyleebooks.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Katy. Your books sounds fantastic. I sent the link to my mom who loves lighthouses and LIH Suspense!

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  6. Gorgeous place. How special to spend that time with your mom. We've visited many lighthouses around the Great Lakes. My favorite is at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior.

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  7. That's wonderful, Pegg. I just went to the website for Whitefish Point. The museum sound interesting and all of those shipwrecks in the vicinity. I guess they sure need a lighthouse there.

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  8. Beautiful lighthouses, and what a charming place with so many flowers and delicious looking food in that quaint inn. Maine is known for beautiful lighthouses, but I've enjoyed many in our home state of Michigan. My parents have a place on Grand Traverse Bay, Lake MI and from my room, when I visit, I can look across the lake and see the lighthouse at Mission Point. There's a special feeling of comfort to see the light at night. Thanks for sharing, Carla. These are lovely photos~

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  9. That sounds lovely, Diane! How wonderful to get to experience that Mission Point lighthouse when you visit your parents, making it doubly special. I have heard that Lake MI has many beautiful lighthouses. Thanks for visiting with me.

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  10. Hi Carla,

    I don't know if you've noticed, but I have, that there seems to be a real obsession lately with lighthouses - especially with a lot of authors. As Katy mentioned above...

    I've actually had a similar thing happen where all I see are lighthouse images. I've been trying to figure out the significance but coming up empty. Still I decided to set my next story in Maine with the heroine living near a lighthouse! This was before I read about anyone else doing this. (I believe Jody Hedlund is setting her next book around a lighthouse, too).

    On our vacation this year, we visited Cape May, New Jersey and of course I had to see the lighthouse! My son and husband climbed the 199 stairs to the top and took pictures. It was too hot for me (I don't do heat well) so I stayed in the shade while they climbed. I did peek inside to see the windy staircase. Fascinating!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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    1. Yes, there is a fascination with lighthouses between authors and readers ~ a good connection there! That is a lot of stairs to climb for sure! I didn't get to go up in this lighthouse either as it was locked, but I peeked in and saw the spiral stairs. I don't think there were 199 of them though!

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