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L.L. Bean Bootmobile turns quite a few heads at Gifford's

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L.L. Bean Bootmobile turns quite a few heads at Gifford's photo by Jodi Hersey

BANGOR - Seeing a 13-foot-high giant boot on wheels on Maine's roadways will definitely cause you to do a double take. Those who were fortunate enough to visit any of Gifford's ice cream locations over the weekend got the chance to glance at the famous L.L. Bean Bootmobile as many times as they liked. Some even took the opportunity to snatch a photo beside it and talk to the man behind the wheel.

"I think it's pretty cool," said Allison Kent of Connecticut. "The driver said they were just in Connecticut but I missed it."

Eric Smith is one of the Bootmobile drivers. He said the vehicle, which is a replica of L.L. Bean's famous winter boot, was specifically made to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary.

"It's a brand new 2012 F250 with a clean burning diesel engine. There's just over 13,000 miles on it right now," said Smith. "We've driven just under 7,000 miles the last several weeks."

What people might not know is that if this vehicle was a real boot it would be a size 747 and the person wearing it would have to be 143 feet tall. That's 32 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

"It's kind of quirky," said Janice Kanzler of Newburgh. "I've seen the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile and the Dunkin Donuts [coffee] vehicle."

Now she can add the L.L. Bean Bootmobile to her list of sightings. Kanzler and her longtime friend Allison Kent decided to stop by the Bangor Gifford's to check it out and taste the ice cream shop's muddy bean boot ice cream, a flavor that was inspired by the Maine made footwear. It combines Gifford's old fashioned vanilla ice cream with caramel ripples and small brownie bites.

"It was to die for," said Kanzler.

"Gifford's ice cream in general is delicious," said Kent. "I've never had it before today."

If you didn't get the chance to see the boot on wheels in person, no worries. The L.L. Bean Bootmobile plans to clock a lot more miles over the summer. This coming weekend, it'll be at the Rockland Lobster Festival and then it'll return to Bangor on Aug. 12 for the Senior League World Series at Mansfield Stadium.

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