The "Far East" - Acadia

Trip Start Jul 22, 2012
Trip End Oct 13, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The morning after our evening with Troy, Hannah and friends, we drove up to the top of Mount Batty above Camden. Clear blue sky, no fog, and the views went on forever. You really get a perspective of how rough the coastline is and how many islands are off of the mainland. Driving down into Camden we passed through town and out to Ocean Point between Camden and Rockport. This was a drive recommended for its beauty by Asa and Hannah, born and bred here locally. We weren’t disappointed, the road turned into a small land (a little claustrophobic for Blue) with picturesque waterfront scenes around every other curve.

Returning to Camden we left Blue in Hannah’s driveway and walked through the town and down to the harbor front. We gave into the temptation of some fresh baked goods from one of the many bakeries lining the harbor.

Heading north, we decide to head into Acadia National Park a day earlier than planned. On the way to Acadia we stopped at Belfast, billed as the prettiest village in Maine. Well, it was very attractive, however, the interesting feature was the unique collection of benches on the sidewalks. Every bench was a piece of art made to look like something, like a piano, or made from an unusual material, like surfboards or tree limbs. Not many of them looked comfortable. The town also featured a walking bridge over the river which served as its harbor. It made for some great views of the harbor front,

Coming into the town of Bar Harbor we followed the signs for the Acadia National Park Visitor’s Center. While Barb was in line for information, I called the campground and found out that they had one campsite left…first come, first serve. I pulled Barb out of line and we made a quick trip to Blackwoods Campground. Lucky, lucky…no one beat us to the site. We were placed in the middle of the full camp, but everyone was well behaved and quiet for the two nights we were there. We walked from our camp to the water and soak in the views until it was time to light the fire.

The next day we took the free park shuttle (thanks to L.L. Bean) back to the visitor’s center, It was time for another excursion on the water. Top choice was the mailboat to Little Cranberry Island (LCI) which offered a small museum on island life. We took the shuttle out to North East Harbor and had our lunch while waiting for the mailboat. The trip to LCI was entertaining as the little boat did take mail and freight out to LCI and another island. The crew was busy loading everything from soup to nuts on the roof of the cabin and then offloading and then loading and then offloading. The weather was again beautiful, 75 degrees and sunshine, a very pleasant day for being out on a boat.

Little Cranberry Island was very charming. The museum was as advertised, small. Mainly some memorabilia and collectibles with an insight into the history and previous residents of the island. Ten minute tour and we were back on the street. As we wandered up to the combination country store and post office we passed an honest to goodness lemonade stand! The proprietor was a darling little ten year old girl, who, being a shrewd business person, had diversified into offering to paint fingernails also! I passed.

Returning from Little Cranberry at around 6 p.m., we returned to the center of Bar Harbor at 6:30 and had to wait until 7:15 for the next shuttle to the campground. Perfect opportunity to take advantage of lobster happy hour at Lobsters….seafood chowder and lobster rolls…have I mentioned my weight gain?

Back to Blue for a relaxing evening and early to bed.

The next day we drove into the visitor’s center and took a short hike on one of the old carriage roads that John D. Rockefeller had constructed in the park. He wanted the area to be protected from the encroachment of man’s modern contraptions, so he bankrolled the use of horse drawn carriages. The Rockefellers donated the land to expand Acadia, the land for St. John National Park in the American Virgin Islands and Grand Teton National Park…aaaahhhh to be a wealthy robber baron at the turn of the century!

After our hike we took the Park Loop Shuttle out to Sier du Mont area for a visit to an archeological museum and another stroll through a wetland area. On around the park we went on the shuttle to finish up our stay in Acadia.

From Acadia we drove west away from the coast. That evening we found a great campsite at the Augusta West Lakeside Resort. One of those times when I said, “I want to stop driving in about an hour Barb, find us a campground.” She found us a place right on a Maine lake, with a dock, campfire ring and, of course, loons crooning in the background. Lovely.
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