Trip Start Jul 23, 2011
7Trip End Jul 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
Parkhotel De Panne
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Flew from DC to Bangor via Detroit, then shuttled 75 miles to Mt. Desert Island
My feelings about VBT are not as positive as when they were formed over a decade ago; this time, there were quite a few disappointments about the provided bicycle itself and the lodgings, although not about the service of the guides themselves. I suspect the shortcomings originate in cost cutting efforts driven by the current economic realities. However, my overall feelings about the trip are positive. Companions were all a pleasure to be with; my curiosity was stimulated; Wanderlust satisfied; homecoming welcome; and spirits renewed. I empathized at the time (and still do) with the opening passage of my accompanying literary diversion, Moby Dick:
"... I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation
Well, a bicycle is not exactly a boat, but Acadia NP is chiefly an island (“Mt. Desert”) along the New England coast, and the motive is about the same among all seafarers - and all travelers - perhaps.
Both towns we stayed in, Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor, are now sophisticated, New England seaside resorts. Formerly, they were both where high society went before they got really grand in Newport, RI. I believe the Yankee esthetic still had influence among these affluent pioneers of modern tourism, even if they were not dominated by the regional mantra:
"Make it do;
Wear it out;
Use it up;
Or do without."
So what "cottages" survived the devastating fire of 1947 today make fine bed and breakfasts
Bar Harbor is worth 2 or 3 nights because the town is very attractive and offers excellent recreation and dining. But next time, I don’t need to cover the whole park on bike again, the best rides being near the 2 towns we stopped in - Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor. The Loop Road and carriage road that run by Eagle, Jordan and Witch Hole Ponds were best. I would enjoy repeating them, particularly when the leaves are turning. In terms of flora and fauna, this mid summer ride was not impressive; perhaps I am spoiled because the Potomac Gorge, where I ride regularly; it's truly "one of the country's most biologically diverse areas" as the NPS brochure says. I suspect much of the animal wildlife goes to higher ground, farther inland in summer; that's what I want to find out when returning as the seasons change in a couple years.
My Review Of The Place I Stayed