Narrow Gauges and Comic Pages: A Day in Portland, Maine

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Every day for the past few weeks has started the same for us; over breakfast, High Five has asked us if we were going to ride a train today.  We were all pleased to answer him with a big “Yes!” this morning as we set out to ride the rails at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. We loved the hands-on feel of the museum, and soon we were in costume conducting trains, punching tickets, and perfecting our Morse Code. Of course, the real highlight came when we boarded the train to take a short ride along the Portland waterfront. While most of us on the train winced and covered our ears every time the steam whistle bellowed, High Five just laughed and clapped for more.

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After the ride ended, we took a short walk along the Eastern Promenade pedestrian/bike trail to check out the Maine Comic Arts Festival at the Maine State Pier. Although it was quite crowded, we slowly made away around to the different vendors to check out the latest in comics, artwork, and graphic novels. This also gave us an opportunity to meet the authors and artists themselves. We spent a lot of time admiring the work of Joe Quinones, an artist for Marvel Comics who displayed some awesome prints of Star Wars characters. As tempted as we were to buy our favorite prints we stayed strong knowing that the Mazda5 is very short on space. However, we did buy a few educational zines from artist Gynn Stella of Dandelion Studios, who we had the pleasure to meet on the train ride just an hour before.

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There is so much we will miss about Maine as we head out later this week for our summer in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. It is comforting to know, however, that as we eventually make our way out West to continue our pattern of short-term rentals and full-time travel, we will have a head start on getting to know the locals.

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