Yesterday, my husband and I had an appointment in Greenville, so we loaded, Blae, our faithful Border Collie, into the back seat and headed north on Route 15 towards Moosehead Lake.
Mud season came early to Maine this year. Buds are bulging on tree branches when folks are usually still snowmobiling and ice fishing. An odd weather pattern is breaking records with three days in a row this week reaching into 80° F range. So, it was definitely mud season yesterday, a month or two ahead of schedule as we traveled through the farmland and small towns that melded into each other, as the hills grew taller and the population grew smaller.
|26 Greenville Road in Uptown Monson, Maine Photo by Gail J. VanWart|
Along the way, we encountered many quaint destinations that offer experiences one can only run into on this particular Maine route. Up until a few years ago, you might have thought about going to Monson, Maine, with a population of about 700, only if you needed some slate for some reason or another—or was perhaps hiking the Appalachian Trail. Now there’s another reason to go there, its a rustic little eatery called Spring Creek Bar-B-Q, which is, by all means, a rare one-of-a-kind place folks seem to run into by accident the first time, then go out of their way to revisit. From its small town location, right on the main drag near the edge of Lake Hebron, to its colorful ambiance and witty signage, Spring Creek Bar-B-Q is a picture of times gone by that’s alive and well in the here and now. If you are looking for the best barbecue this side of Texas, you’ll want to eat there.
Mike and Kim Witham are the owners and purveyors of fine smoked meats served there. Mike designed his own smokers and custom grilling equipment for the operation that’s one of only a few places to grab a bite within miles. People who have stopped in by chance on their way to the Moosehead Lake region, or followed the White Dots to their door while hiking the Appalachian Trail, have generated a lot of word of mouth promotion that’s gained them detailed customer reviews on www.YouTube.com and a 4.5 star rating on www.yelp.com, plus a fair share of media coverage. An article by www.pressherald.com billed Spring Creek as “smoky fare as good as BBQ gets”. Dress is casual and the menu is a full compliment of pork, beef, and chicken barbecue you can order in or take out. Keep in mind though, the ribs aren’t ready till after 4 p.m. but its well worth the wait. They also offer catering services and even put on a big Bar-B-Q Swap Meat that coordinates with Monson’s annual summer celebration. This year the event falls on Saturday, July 12th. Just bring your own pit and enjoy a day of good eats, live music and fun. You can find more details at http://springcreekbar-b-qmaine.com.
|Mud Season Hours Photo by Gail J. VanWart|
Blae and I highly suggest, when you’re in Maine hankering for something deliciously different and yearning for an off the beaten track adventure, a trip to Monson will be well worth the journey. Spring Creek Bar-B-Q is a place you can surely get your fill of both character and good grill. But, remember, right now it’s mud season. Until it’s officially summer, you better check their hours first, especially if you aren’t within sight of their porch.
Oh, by the way, if you’re looking for summer work, they’re accepting applications.
© Copyright Gail J. VanWart 2012
All rights Reserved
Basic and interesting facts about Monson, Maine can be found at http://www.monsonmaine.org/facts.html
If there is a place in Maine you'd like me and Blae to sniff out for you, just send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Nosing Around Maine" in the subject line, cause you can get the-ah from he-ah.