~Monday, September 20, 2021~
A few items on the to-do list today before heading out for more sightseeing. With the heavy use of the trailer, things are expected to wear out. Case in point….one of our kitchen drawer slides seems to be failing (not closing all the way). What we’ve learned is due to long lead times (especially these days) for any replacement part, it’s best to order more than you need, depending on the cost and size of course. Like the drawer slides….they’re a heavy use item and inexpensive at $1.50 a pop. We’ve also thought about getting a backup water pump, since that too is being used a lot! If we were boondocking and that went out, we’d be in quite a pickle if we didn’t have a replacement. Anyway, we phoned our go-to girl (Raeshell) at Lance to order not 1 but 4 more slides. I found out sadly, that she had been out for 3 weeks due to contracting COVID and just returned to work. Her children also got it and then it went rampant through the office. Her boss has been in ICU for 2 weeks and is now home recovering. So scary. And what are people experiencing with sick pay if they’re out for even more than a week? Once I heard her story, I felt like crawling in a hole after asking for such a stupid little part, when they’re dealing with much more serious issues.
Finally headed out to downtown Freeport mid afternoon. O.k. people…..I have never seen a retail store this huge in my entire life. As many of you may know, retailer L.L. Bean got its start in Maine. It began in 1912 by avid outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean, with a mission to provide quality, outdoor gear. To this day, they pride themselves on quality, customer service and upholding Bean’s love of the outdoors.
Obviously the “mother ship” would be large, right? But L.L. Bean is not just large, it’s humongous (if there’s a difference).
They have a total of 4 stores which take up a large chunk of the downtown, with a “campus-like” feel; the “Home”, “Outlet”, “Boat, Bike & Ski” stores in addition to the flagship store which opened in 1917. They went 24/7 in 1951. It is definitely the “Maine” attraction in Freeport, with over 3 million visitors each year, and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Wow, does anyone need a sweater that bad at 3:00 a.m.?
The flagship store has an indoor pond with live fish in it, and an endless amount of clothing to choose from. But the high point for us was a unique display called “The Final Charge” (2 taxidermied moose with their antlers locked). Evidently, in May of 2006, Adella Johnson from New Sweden, Maine was walking her property when she found the remains of two bull moose on her property. The moose had died from exhaustion in trying to unlock their antlers, in turn from a lack of food and water.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife contacted retail giant L.L. Bean to partner up and bring these moose back to life by recreating their battle at a cost of $55,000. So that’s our experience in seeing moose in Maine…..as good as it gets. The last time we saw a moose in person and alive was in Canada, and the last place we’d expect to find one would be in a store. Three shirts later, we left with a whole new appreciation for retail therapy.