Day three began with a morning run going nowhere in particular, but taking us past a school play structure that looked like something out of a fairy tale. Log forts, turrets, spiral slides, and all manner of things that would never be allowed in any “sensible” playground. It was refreshing to see that kids can still be kids when the emphasis is on having fun, rather than an obsessive concern with safety. It inspired us to live a little dangerously, and ditch the GPS. Well, not quite ditch it, but at least turn off the sound and largely ignore it. We decided to go retro, and buy a map. You know, a real paper map, and use that for navigation. It helped us get off the beaten path and drive through the Maine countryside, where we found a number of villages that figure in Stephen King novels. You see, Ian is a big fan of Stephen King.
We had already decided to stop in Bangor for lunch, just to get a feel for the place. Good choice. It is a small town, and on this Sunday afternoon, almost everything was closed, except for the pub that turned out to also be the best restaurant in town. Based on the burgers we had, I believe it. And of course, interesting beer was also involved, though I unfortunately had to limit myself to a half, since I was driving. We had lunch in Bangor because of the Stephen King association, but we weren’t about to do any more than that. Or so we thought.
The drive from New Brunswick to Bangor goes through some very isolated countryside, and along the way I suddenly realized that I’d forgotten to fill up with gas. We had enough to get to Bangor, but that was about it. This led to some fairly tense moments as we approached Bangor. We stopped at four gas stations, and still ended up with less than a full tank. The wrong type of fuel, too busy, pumps that weren’t working properly; everything seemed to conspire against us. So after lunch we made one final stop to see if we could finally fill up the car and buy a map. Success.
The clerk was friendly, and while filling the car, he asked about our trip. I mentioned that we had stopped in Bangor because Ian is a Stephen King fan, and he asked if we had seen the house. Turns out it was three houses down the street. And that is how our journey through five gas stations and lunch at the best pub/restaurant in Bangor led to us driving past Stephen King’s house.