WATERFORD — A Michigan couple celebrating their wedding anniversary returned this week to Maine where they spent a one-night honeymoon 33 years ago and fell in love with the state’s beauty.

Jane and Dallas Handrich were spotted at a Keoka Lake public beach, having their picture taken by a group of local kayakers Friday. The couple had stopped to take in the view on their way from Portland, where they flew in Thursday night, while enroute to Bethel to visit a gem museum.

The Handriches said they decided to come to Maine to celebrate their anniversary and see much more of the state than they had three decades ago.

“We didn’t get in until yesterday because we were delayed in Chicago,” Jane Handrich said. A fire last week at a regional air traffic control center disrupted thousands of flights across the country for days, including those at Chicago airports.

The Handriches said they stayed at a bed and breakfast in Portland and ate pizza at Otto Pizza in Portland, which they saw featured on the Food Channel.

“It was amazing,” Jane said.

They set off Friday morning for the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel, which they saw on a flier they picked up in Portland. After that, they planned to drive to Wales to stay at a Mennonite bed and breakfast.

“You Mennonite your way” across Maine, she said of staying at such establishments.

There are from one to five Mennonite congregations in Maine, as opposed to some 130 in Michigan, according to Internet sources.

“There are not that many (Mennonites) in Maine who open up their homes,” she said. “You have to be comfortable doing that.” 

From Wales, the couple will head to the Rangeley Lake area and to Bar Harbor for the duration of their stay.

While kayakers Noreen Edwards of Otisfield, Celeste Pascarella of Pownal and Anne Carter of Oxford, who had stopped for lunch at the beach, tried to convince the couple to head south again to visit the Pie Tree Apple Orchard, the Handriches were on a tight schedule.

Not deterred, the kayakers gave the couple a brief lesson on how Stephen and Tabitha King helped bail out the orchard when it was financially strapped and have helped communities across the state finance everything from local libraries to fire department needs.

“You might just decide to live here,” Edwards called out to the couple as they got into their rented car.

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