A Solo Drive Down U.S. Route 1 from Maine to Key West
I’m embarrassed to say I’ve taken so long to post something on Peter’s wonderful site about one of my favorite roads: U.S. Route 1. In 2014 I drove every single mile of this great American highway, from Fort Kent in remote, forested Maine to bucolic, artsy Key West. I was so inspired about the experience I wrote a book about it: “U.S. Route 1, Rediscovering the New World.” It’s still kicking around on Amazon and elsewhere if you’re ever interested.
This particular recollection involves that bright, sunny yet cool day I finally arrived in the warm embrace of Fort Kent to start my solo drive south in late June, 2014. The town has a collection of marble markers and signs marking the start (or is it the end?) of Route 1, aside the beautiful chugging waters of the St. John River and Claire, Canada, across the water. The town has done a wonderful job with its own history and that of the highway. The Fort Kent Historical Society continually searches for and preserves for display mementos of this town and its strong connections with French-speaking Canada across the border. I can’t think of a better starting point for a drive to see the East Coast! The Fort Kent campus of the University of Maine is also a great place to visit. There’s a treasure trove of relics and collections of memorabilia dating back to the region’s history before and at the time of the Revolutionary War.
Down the road a bit, near Lubec, Maine, is the historic Quoddy Head lighthouse — at the easternmost point in the continental U.S. If you want to be the first person in America to see the sun rise each day, head there!
Mark Marchand ME Saint John Plantation Oct 30, 2023 Highways History Nostalgia
Location: Saint John Plantation, ME
Mark Marchand Oct 30, 2023
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