It was time to get out the passport and pop over to visit our northern neighbor. So I'm heading up Hwy 1! Here are the East vs. West versions of the signs! As you can see from the sign, they call this area of Maine (and Canada) "Down East". I've been subscribing to Down East magazine (the Maine equivalent of Sunset) for the past year. But I really didn't get it. I get "Up North", "Down South", "Out West", but not Down East.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I found that the origin of the phrase "Down East" is traced to nautical terminology referring to direction, rather than location. In the warm months most suitable for sailing, the winds along the coast of New England and Canada blow from the southwest, meaning ships sail downwind to go east. As such, the northeastern stretches were said to be "Down East" in relation to major western cities such as Boston. Ahah!