About a quarter of the way down Westport Island’s main road, “Happy Hippy Lane” offers travelers a groovy place to stay and soak up some positive vibes.
Cary Huggins has provided lots of lodging on her property as an Airbnb host for the past seven years, but the “Hippy Bus” has always been a favorite, she said during an interview on April 26.
“I started doing Airbnb and then I started fooling around with the bus, and that became the hit,” Huggins said.
Huggins lives in a log cabin on Westport Island that she purchased in 2005. The compound boasts a few tiny houses where visitors can stay, room rentals in the log cabin, as well as the main attraction, the Hippy Bus.
The Hippy Bus is an old school bus painted and decorated in colorful and psychedelic themes. It is reminiscent of the original hippy bus, Further, which novelist Ken Kesey and his group of “Merry Pranksters” drove from San Francisco to the World’s Fair in New York City in 1964.
The property features a fire pit, craft shed, and 35 acres of woods to roam in. Business has been steady, due partly to the location on an island halfway between Boston and Bar Harbor, Huggins said.
Huggins promotes intentional and communal living at Happy Hippy Lane to ensure all her guests have an authentic and welcoming Maine experience. What she loves most about hosting are the genuine connections she makes with people from all over.
“Over the years, what I’ve done is have an authentic interest in people having a good time,” Huggins said of her Airbnb services.
Huggins said she is rekindling her Trips for Kids mountain biking program, where she takes kids aged 9 to 17 on bike rides, either on her property, at the Neptune Landing trail at the old Brunswick Naval Air Station, or behind the Wiscasset Community Center.
“Anything you do to help people challenge themselves or try something new is always going to be beneficial for them,” Huggins said.
She is currently looking for volunteers to help reestablish the program and get kids outside.
Huggins has always been heavily involved in social justice causes and volunteered for the last four winters in other countries through the Workaway program. Last year, she worked with a program bicycling in Tanzania, which prompted her to restart Trips for Kids back home.
“It re-inspired me to come back and help parents get kids out of the technology loop,” Huggins said.
Huggins ran a similar program while staying in her Hippy Bus on the H.O.M.E. cooperative living site in Orland, called Peddlin’ H.O.M.E., a number of years ago.
Huggins grew up in Hanover, which she said is the smallest town in Maine with 245 residents. She graduated from Rumford High School, where her father taught.
She received an English degree from Smith College, before moving out west, where she learned more about intentional living, permaculture, and sustainability.
Huggins received a nursing degree while living in El Paso, Texas and was a nurse at Camp Chewonki and Wiscasset schools for a period of time when her now adult sons were still in school.
“I really loved exploring the Hispanic culture, it was a very friendly place to live,” Huggins said of El Paso.
Huggins is also a master gardener who brews her own kombucha, with a large collection of SCOBYS, an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Kombucha is a health drink that is made from fermented tea.
For more information, visit the Midcoast Maine Trips for Kids Facebook page or call Huggins at 332-9977.
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