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Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

<– Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic  | Trip Overview | Day 28 – Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring –>


Bob, Ann and I at the Nubble Lighthouse near York, Maine.


Thursday’s drive from Warwick, Rhode Island, to Portland, Maine.

On Thursday spent some time in Rhode Island, then headed to Maine.


Downtown Providence, RI

We started in Providence, Rhode Island, walking the Green Mile. Actually, it was more like two and a half miles. The Green Mile is a downtown loop marked by a green line called the Independence Trail that weaves visitors through the cities history as they stroll through the buildings.

Every so often a painted marker on the ground appears with a phone number and an extension. You are told to dial the phone number, enter the extension, and (theoretically) a voice describes the significance of the location. However, due to some winter storm damage (not sure how the winter weather caused problems with the phone system . . .) the system needed updating. So, it didn’t work well for us.


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Despite the technological flaws, downtown Providence was fun to explore and the idea of walking the line worked, because we ventured to places we wouldn’t have otherwise.



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One fun place was the local design college, which had a store and a museum. The store had some beautiful blown tumbler glasses that Ann desperately wanted. I had to remind her we’d have to sleep on the street a few nights to afford the $45/per glass cost. To her credit they really were cool, but I can drink out of $1 glass and received similar satisfaction.


From Providence we drove towards the Massachusetts Coast. One site that surprised us were the old factories (garment?) that we spotted while driving through Fall River, Massachusetts. They were an unexpected site.


We neared Cape Code near Bourne, Massachusetts, on Highway 6 when hunger struck. Eventually, we made it to our food destination. There, we enjoyed our first lobster roll. It consisted of a toasted piece of bread topped with green leaf lettuce and lobster. Pretty simple. We enjoyed it. The fried clams were good, too.


Barlow’s sits on Highway 6 in Bourne, MA.




A picture along the river off of Highway 6.

With lunch over, we rocked on over to that sacred geological spot in Plymouth where a group of pioneers landed and carved 1620 into a large stone. I came, I saw, and was ready to go. Even my wife was bored by it pretty quickly. Besides, it was 2:30pm and we needed to get through Boston before traffic got too bad.


Down below me is Plymouth Rock. In my hands is a cell phone. The cell phone won my interest.

After passing through Boston, our next planned stop our goal was to meet with a reader named Bob. But, before we got there, we decided to turn off at Portsmouth, NH, just to see what that town was all about. We never made it to the city, because we got distracted by the USS Albacore (you can see the sub if you zoom in on this google map link)

This was one of those times where timing and dumb luck intersect perfectly. We were waiting at a stop light waiting for it to change when I looked over my left shoulder. I blinked, squinted, looked away, looked back, shook my head and looked one more time. Thirty yards and a fence away was a submarine. It looked like it was docked in a park. Ann asked what I was looking at then spotted the sub also. My astute wife verbalized what I was thinking, “That’s a sub! What’s that doing there? We gotta check that out!”

Like any lustful tourist who’s spotted a golden travel nugget, I jammed on the gas pedal, careened across traffic, and yelled, “Tourist! Sorry!” . . . Ok, that might be overdramatized a bit!

At this point I could launch into the history of the USS Albacore and how it floated to it’s current dry dock in the middle of a private park, but you dear readers might miss the most important fact: exploring this sub was really really cool!

The cost was five dollars per person. After paying the money, we boarded the sub for a self-guided tour of the tight quarters of this metal tuna fish. No one else was on board, so we had the whole place to ourselves.

There are knobs to twist, buttons to push, and recorded narrations we listed to. Ann manned the periscope and spotted traffic traveling over a nearby bridge. I took control of the ‘com’ and barked orders. We reverted to our ten-year-old selves and played sub for a little while. That’s a sure sign we were having fun.


Cool place to visit!


All aboard!


I tested out the bunk. I don’t fit.


I’m working the controls. This place was awesome! I can’t imagine working inside it though.


She’d been happier if she could have fired at something.


She was all sexy until her brace got stuck on the door . . . then is was comical


I think I can could steer this.


Following our unexpected sub adventure, we abandoned our plans to explore Portsmouth (we’ll save it for next time — our next time list is growing very long) and headed to Bob’s place in York, ME.

Bob’s a retired Army helicopter pilot who is a regular reader of eWillys. He tries to save and restore a few vintage jeeps every year. He recently spotted and saved a MB Slatgrille from wasting away in a junkyard. He brought it home and found buyers for nearly all the parts.

Bob’s current jeep is a neat CJ-2A he bought for a song: the rear of the body was fabricated from leftover lumber mill parts (or a mill of some sort — now I’m doubting it was lumber related). It has wood sides, pipes to add strength, a custom gas tank, and fork lift seats. He’s been driving it for six years and says most of the neighborhood kids have gotten rides. It’s a favorite at local birthday parties, too.






Bob grew up in York and knows its history. After he told us a few stories, he suggested I drive us over to the local Nubble Lighthouse. Naturally, I jumped into the jeep before he could change his mind. It was a perfect evening for a drive. The engine purred as it powered us along the narrow, rolling seaside road. The weather was in the mid eighties. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful drive.


Bob and I cruising in the jeep. I did have to get a lesson on how to use a foot starter, since I’ve never started a jeep with one.

We quickly arrived at the Nubble Lighthouse and took some photos. Bob shared that he’d had the opportunity to sleep there several times when it was manned. Now it’s automated. It’s still beautiful!


Eventually, we had to get on our way, so Bob directed us toward a serene shore drive with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way we also saw many signs for fresh lobster. So, of course, when we arrived at our home for the evening, Ann requested that we have some for dinner as a special treat. After all, how can you come to Maine and not enjoy at least one lobster?

After gorging ourselves on lobster, we ended the night at a motel in Portland, Maine.

On Friday we’ll be visiting with Glenn, taking a tour of a wiring harness factory. Then we will head to Acadia NP for some camping.

<– Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic  | Trip Overview | Day 28 – Fri. May 31: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring –>


10 Comments on “Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters

  1. Bob

    I was stationed in Portsmouth for three years in the Air Force and loved it up there. I’ve been to the Albacore a few times. Portsmouth is such a great little town.

  2. Andy C.

    I just wanted to point out that the “river off of Highway 6” is actually the Cape Cod Canal! Love the blog, it’s one of my daily reads! Keep up the good work!!

  3. mom

    Had a great time on your travels yesterday. I giggled and laughed out loud. Best journey I’ve had in a few years and you know that is true.

  4. Bill

    Come back to the albacore tomorrow as the MVMVC ( be visiting as part of our annual spring tour.

  5. Rolfe French

    I am in Rye, NH next to Portsmouth with my ’61 CJ3B. When are you coming back down from Maine?

  6. Andy C.

    BTW Dave, if you’re out this way again, with the CJ, you should make a trip to the Outer Cape an explore the Cape Cod National Seashore. The National Parks Services sells passes to 4 wheel on the beach.

  7. mmdeilers Post author

    Andy . . . I sure HOPE I can make a second visit towing the jeep. That will mean I’ve become a successful writer!

    – Dave

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