Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Popham and Harpswell

It was another good day today, from an early morning wander at Popham Beach to a drive down one of the very narrow peninsulas in Harpswell.

Popham Beach is a favorite place for a low tide wander. It's a combination of beach, sand bars, and a meandering river. At low tide you can walk to Fox Island after wading across the Morse River.

My last visit there was back in 2010, and the beach has changed since then. My curiosity led me to the Maine Department of Conservation page on Storm and Channel Dynamics at Popham Beach State Park. Very interesting...

reflecting clouds, Popham Beach

After leaving Popham Beach, I headed up the Phippsburg Peninsula then turned to the west on Route 1. At Cook's Corner I headed out the peninsula leading to Harpswell.

The drive through the town of Harpswell was both beautiful and a bit frustrating. Like many back roads in Maine, the road was narrow, two lanes without shoulders. I did find a few places to stop although there were many places where I wasn't able to stop.

It was well worth the drive to see the bridge linking Orr's Island and Bailey Island. The two islands are connected by the granite Cribstone Bridge. It's a one-of-a-kind structure, made of granite slabs. From the Bailey Island bridge page in Wikipedia:

It was decided to build a cribstone bridge using granite slabs from local quarries on the border between Yarmouth, Maine and Pownal, Maine. Granite slabs were considered sufficiently heavy to withstand wind and wave, while the open cribbing allowed the tide to ebb and flow freely without increasing tidal current to any great degree. Some 10,000 tons of granite were used in the project. A concrete road (now part of Route 24) was built on top of the cribstones.

I'm fascinated by the fact that the granite slabs are not connected in any way; they apparently are simply stacked and held in place by gravity.

Cribstone Bridge joining Orr's Island and Bailey Island