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Visit to Chebeague Island, Maine
Part 1; The Journey
Summer 2000
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Chebeague Island Journey 1

First time Chebeague Island visitors should plan to be in no hurry. First you leave your car at the new parking lot in Cumberland near the Yarmouth line just outside Portland, ME. Pay your parking fee, get your ferry ticket and load your stuff onto the school bus. The bus takes visitors to the Cousin's Island dock and backs down a steep road, a thrill worth the price of admission. Until 1955 Cousin's was an island too, but is now connected to the mainland by a long thin bridge. For all the background data check the web site.

M/V Islander

Visitors then board the M/V Islander for what has to be the shortest ferry ride in Maine. Chebeague is a great bicycle island with many miles of paved roads. Visitors load bikes, kayaks, dogs, groceries. Cars travel via a separate ferry. We saw an air conditioner and a microwave loaded on with us. It's a great inexpensive getaway for NH and Maine locals as well as the usual NY, CT, MA crowd we met en route.

Ferry Ride

Our goal on this hazy July day was to capture the annual patriotic parade of the Chebeague Islanders. About 300 people live on the island year round, either fishing or servicing the fishing village. That number swells to about 1,800 in the summer and yet the island seems all but abandoned to the outsider.

Chebeague Arrival

You can see nearby Cousin's Island close by in the background. Islander kids go to school on Chebeague until middle school and spend plenty of time on the ferry. The dock on this end of the island is a significant walk from the only hotel. If you don't know anyone on Chebeague and don't bring a bicycle, you better have good comfortable shoes and strong legs.

Vintage Car

Be nice to the owner of the Chebeague Hotel and he might just pick you up in this little number. Because of the distance between key locations, most islanders have cars. You'll see incredible wrecks and old beaters that look like rejects from a Stephen King novel. The place is like a car museum. Locals seem to drive pretty fast, but they give bikers a wide berth.


Disposable photos by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.

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