Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bar Harbor ME (Day 2)

Spent a lazy morning over two pots of coffee and a bowl of granola. Love those kinds of mornings. And.....sorry, in advance, to all our working family and friends who pounded out the door this morning! But, thanks for keeping the economy going. Just adds to our pensions!!

Oh, I forgot to add these pictures to yesterday's campground shots:


You turn off the little Hwy 3 that goes into Bar Harbor and then goes about 1/2 km
(1/4 mile) down this little country road to get to it. You can just see their sign
on the right. This was taken this evening, but you get the picture!

We headed out to Acadia National Park today. It is about a 8 kms (5 mile) drive from Hadley's Point Campground. Luckily, in December when we crossed the border at the beginning of this trip, we bought a National Park pass. It has come in quite useful. Of course, you are merely paying in advance for entrance fees but we find them quite handy. 

Anyway, the entrance fee for the park is $20 (for 7 day permit). This allows you the ability to drive the 43.5 kms (27 mile) park loop road as often as you want in that time. But, because we have the season pass, we can go in and out as many times as we like. So, here we go. There is a lot to see and you know what that means....LOTS of pictures.

You actually go up a bunch of steps to the big visitor centre.

Company!! It's no moose but I'll take it anyway!!

So, I won't bore you with all the details about who made the park and why. Suffice to say that these areas are treasures for all generations, all Americans and all visitors alike. We love our National Parks and we always endeavour to buy National Park passes each year to help do our part to support them. (That reminds me, ours for Canada is about to run out!!)
The park loop is great. Just to jump ahead, this drive today took us about 5 hours. We stopped often, walked all over and many times just sat and enjoyed the views. Super great to be able, once again, to do this without lots of people around. This is due to the slight "off-season" that we are still travelling in.

It doesn't take long before you start to get a view....
Frenchman Bay below.

They have a number of these old bridges. Above it is the carriage roads that you can walk,
bike or ride the horse-drawn carriages (on part of them). I imagine that they used
to be the real roads before things got busy. But they do warn you that big motorhomes
will not fit under some of them!! Be aware everyone!!

Cool beaver lodge. Did you know how to tell if a lodge is active? If it looks all
dry and dead like this that is an active lodge. If it has grass and weeds growing
out of it, it is no longer used because they would eat all the greenery!



Doug, my mariner guy, spent time watching the harbour.....

Egg Rock Lighthouse....


We kept on driving and got to Schooner Head Overlook area. It is
about 1/2 mile way down an old path. Pretty neat walk.... 
...and this is your reward!!


You have been waiting for it, admit it!!
It seems that we can spend a lot of time at each spot but we always have fun. Next stop was Sand Beach (below) and guess what?? It WAS indeed sandy!! Super cold water though!!'s all sandy!!

Next up was Thunder Hole. It is one of those craggy rocky tunnels meets ragging ocean things. At just the right tide and ocean surge, it comes crashing upward to drench anyone and everyone with a vengeance!! We saw this same thing in Ensenada on the Baja a few years ago. It was called La Bufadora (Buffalo Snort) because it made a huge snorting noise when the waves came up.
Luckily, today it was a lower tide so it was quite calm. Still there were a few surges that were fun to see..... 

 Thunder Hole....


 Okay, there isn't any incoming tidal surges is there....SMILE!!!


Wow, after all this in and out of the van and walking around, we figured that it was time for lunch!! We drove around to an area called Otter Cove and sat way above it for quite awhile. Because they have put many, many pull-outs on the road, it makes it easy to stop and enjoy. Also, it is a one way loop so that helps traffic too.
Nice view for lunch, don't you agree?
Yes, says Euri!!
A little further along the loop you come to Hunters Beach. Not sure why it is named this. It is down a steep set of wooden steps and the entire beach is rock. But, the cool thing is that they are all smooth and SO warm to the touch. Doug thought it would have been a good place to just sit and contemplate life!! 

There is quite a large stream that runs beside the steps and goes down onto the beach area and then, poof!! It just disappears into the rocks on the beach and you cannot see it come out anywhere else!




Then I found a large heart-shaped rock. Being a Nat'l Park of course,
you aren't allowed to pick things up and bring them home. Otherwise....

Another of those old bridges...Euri contemplates if he will fit!
Our friends, Paula & Jerry (who you will meet again soon when we are in Nova Scotia) told us that we simply MUST go to Jordan Pond and have popovers and strawberry jam on the grass with a cup of tea or cocoa. Naturally, we dutifully continued onto the Jordan Pond House area. Our mouths were practically salivating, waiting for this scrumptious treat.....
The gift shop was open but the little restaurant, sadly, was not open until June 1st. We tried crying at the door to the maintenance staff to no avail. NO ONE was going to make us popovers.......We carried on, undaunted. Here is a little information panel about the tradition.

Paula - don't we look sad????

Oh, here is the lovely lawn we were to sit on,
complete with sprinklers going at full tilt!
So, we had to take matters into our own hands. If we can't do popovers and jam here, then they will come with us and we will do them in NOVA SCOTIA!!! Paula, get that oven fired up for popovers and jam at your kitchen table. It will be more fun anyway!!  
Safely tucked away in Euri van!!
Last thing left to do in this part of the park was to go up Cadillac Mountain. So, we really started to climb....
Love the old, hand cut boulders at the sides of the roadway....

This is wind blown!!!


Looking west....and nearly at the top of  the mountain.

Don't jump Doug, it hasn't been THAT bad has it??


We are at the top!!! This mountain top treat affords you a pretty panoramic view of the entire Bar Harbor area. Of course, on camera, it is never quite the same. We thought is was beautiful. It is 1530 feet (466 meters). Anyone remember the height of the Freedom Tower in New York? It is actually 1,776 feet so that means you would look down on us on Cadillac Mtn. by about 246 feet. That seems strange, doesn't it?? 



This looks east. At certain times of the year, this is the FIRST point in the
USA to see the sunrise. We thought that was pretty cool.....

Nothing but a very big ocean out there now!
Of course, it never seems to take as long to go back down the mountain as it did to come up, even if you are driving! Soon we were exiting out of the park and heading a bit south and east to another area. We wanted to check out some of the camping at Seawall Campground. (sorry, I did not take any pictures) There are actually 2 separate areas of camping. The Blackwoods Campground is open year round but the Seawall one just opened in the past few days. There are no services at these campgrounds. The sites are very nice though. They are pricey too at $20 per night. There are bathrooms although we didn't go check them out. No wifi of course. But you still have to include your weekly park pass in that total, so it is actually about $23 per night for camping. At the campground we are at, we are paying $25.92 for all services and wifi so for us, who do not have solar panels or any wifi carrier, it is a better thing for us to be here for $2.92 more!! Lucky for us that the park is so close by to visit. In about 10 minutes, we can be back on that loop road and stop anywhere we want to hike, bike or ponder life.......
After campground inspection we wanted to see the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. It was a little ways from the Seawall Campground. Every corner of this area is beautiful....





This isn't such a great picture but I wanted to show our daughter-in-law, Kathy
(who complimented us the other day on our huge improvement in taking selfies) that
if a person can do a selfie with their eyes actually CLOSED, they have hit the big time!!
Lighthouses have the best view, don't they??
Nice country drive home.....


Back through Southwest Harbor. This town wins an award for
the worst roads in the Bar harbor area. But, they are slowly fixing them!!
Southwest Harbor.....
Phew!! How did you all do on that excursion?? It only took us about 20 minutes to get back to our "home" from the lighthouse. All toll today, we probably drove about 50 miles. Not much for distance but it is slow driving to enjoy it all. We were gone for a total of about 6 hours and loved every minute of it!!
Tomorrow it is off to the town of Bar Harbor. We will probably go in the early afternoon so we can scout around and walk up and down the streets. There are lots of nice little shops and galleries to gander about. Then it will be a lobster feed!! I can hardly wait and I am packing myself a bib especially for this occasion!!
Below is my favourite shot of the day. It was while we were having lunch and when Doug was looking out to sea, he looked over and I was laying on my stomach trying to get just the right angle with my little camera (You know, the one that I now have to beat on the back of my hand to get the #$*&% lens to open). Just wanted to share the ENTIRE visual thing with you all!!

 Love from us and Acadia National Park....
Thought for the Day: A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it's old dimensions.


  1. Thank you for setting this one up for me . . . Hey, Nanc and Doug, want to pop over for some popovers? :-) We're sure looking forward to that! Yum! Sorry the restaurant wasn't open but you did get to see the lovely views from the lawn and imagine yourself sitting there under an umbrella chowing down in the sunshine. Thanks for the lovely tour and bringing back some great memories for us! You're going to love the town of Bar Harbor. I always find wonderful treasures there and it's a lovely place to stroll c/w more great eateries and scenery. Enjoy that feed of lobster today - great practice for the one you are going to have at our house next week! We have the bibs ready for you! Can't wait, friends!

    1. Dear Paula....Please do NOT encourage Nancy to buy any more "treasures" the van is already full of them!! She is only allowed to window shop now.....Sincerely Doug :-)

  2. Great pictures of places that we can only hope to some day be able to see with our own eyes.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Thanks Rick - it is an amazing place but you would not want to pull the trailer under those old bridges!!!

  3. Hi Nancy:
    These are wonderful photos - thanks. I can hardly believe how much territory you've covered - definitely a trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to hear all about your visit to Nova Scotia and Jerry and Paula. Give them my best wishes - as I do every time we communicate; I know you're in for a good time with them and their home territory.

  4. Doug, no worries! We have already found a sweet little trailer for you to tow behind Euri. Let's shop til we drop, Nancy! :-)
    Mary-Pat, best wishes go right back to you. We look forward to seeing you here one day soon!
    Nancy and Doug, the countdown is ON!

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