Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Friday we drove to Bar Harbor, ME, one of our favorite spots.  We were here last year for a week in Acadia National Park, fortunately we had changed our schedule to come here before our trip to Boston to see family, rather than after, since the government shutdown started just as we were leaving, and the park was closed.  So we were excited to be back in another extremely beautiful area of the country.   There are a number of places on the Park Loop Road where with beautiful, arched bridges across them, but most of them are only 12 ft. clearance, so we knew we wouldn't be able to make it to the campground inside the park where we stayed last year.  But we found a wonderful campground just a few miles from the park, Timberland Acres RV Park in Trenton, and we lucked out with the site they gave us.  As it turns out, the plat has a site next to ours, but they told us it was too small for any rigs, so it's a perfect place to park the toad.  There are a number of sites here nestled back into the woods, but in a lot of them, you'd have to have a pretty low rig to make it under the trees.  Fortunately our site is clear and we didn't have to worry, but there are woods behind and to the side of us, which makes it nice.  The staff here are very nice and when we were checking in they of course asked if we had any pets, and we had to show Sophie's shot records so they could scan that to be sure she's up to date on all her shots.  But before they asked for her records, they produced a little doggie bone treat for her, as well as a couple of little chocolates for us--nice little touch!

We got settled into our site and met some nice folks near us.  The couple directly beside us is from Quebec, and they're with another couple a few sites down--the men are obviously brothers, and may very well be twins; so we're enjoying hearing the lively conversations in French around their campfire each night!  Soon after we got all set up, we drove toward town and found one of the many lobster pounds along the road that looked inviting, so we stopped for dinner--have to step down off the vegan express for our one lobster roll while we're here!  For those who may not be familiar with this part of Maine, a lobster pound is a place where you can pick out your lobster from a tank and have them steam it or boil it and you pay by the pound--usually a small place, sometimes with a table or two inside, sometimes with some outside picnic table seating, and sometimes with no tables at all, just where you go get your lobster and take it with you.  There are big cauldrons steaming away with the delicious smells of cooking lobster, and it's quite wonderful.  This place had the added, but seemingly quirky, feature of offering BBQ, so they had a huge smoker going with Texas style BBQ.  Struck us as an odd combination, and wondered how many calls they have for BBQ here in the land of the world's greatest lobster, but I suppose they sell enough of it to keep doing it.  Of course, while we  may digress from our vegan eating from time to time to indulge in a local delicacy, like a lobster roll, we were not ready to go so far off course to do BBQ!  Anyway, the place was full of happy folks, and we sat outside and had a delicious lobster roll and slaw meal.  We love a casual place like this, where people are having fun and enjoying themselves.

Came back to the campground and sat outside for a while with Sophie hooked to her long leash and stake so she could be safely near the road to watch the action, and it didn't take long for her to meet a new friend.  A man came walking by with a shih tzu named Harvey and they had a good time playing with each other.  She's such a social little thing, she's never met a stranger, canine or human!  It's fun to watch her--when she's inside the RV she sits by her little window looking out to see who may be coming along, and when she's outside like this she loves to greet everyone who comes along.  We were commenting on how last year all along our trip, we kept looking at ads for dogs, but never found just the right little one--we're so glad we found her in Sarasota in January--even though having a dog along adds another dimension, including having to watch our time away from the RV or finding a boarding place, she adds so much to our enjoyment and we wouldn't have it any other way.  She's definitely become a significant member of our family!

Saturday morning we hung around the campsite for much of the morning, as Trisha's beach girls group was gathering at our friend Rhita's house for breakfast, and Rhita had arranged with Trisha to call them once the whole group got there.  This has been such a wonderful group of friends for Trisha--long time readers of this blog may recall that this is the group that's been going down to Sarasota around Mother's Day together for 28 years.  It started out that this was a good getaway for the moms, and all us dads kept the kids---31 in total--in Atlanta.  Now, of course, all the kids are grown and some of them have kids of their own, but the girls still enjoy this tradition.  Last year Trisha flew back from Albuquerque to make the trip, so it's really an important part of her life.  It's been a great support group for them, as we've all gone through some major life changes together.  Rhita has always been the organizer of this illustrious crowd, and she periodically gets the group together in Atlanta, so she wanted Trisha to "be there" by phone, and it was good for her to talk to everyone and catch up on all the kids' and grandkids' doings.  Gave me a chance to clean the RV and do a few maintenance items, too, so it was good.

Then we headed for Acadia, and a wonderful bike ride along the Carriage Roads.  When Rockefeller owned this land and eventually gave it to the Park Service, he developed a series of roads within the park that were just for horse drawn carriages.  Today there are still horse drawn carriages for hire along this system, walkers and joggers, but mainly a lot of bicyclists.  The roads are nice and wide and very well maintained.  Some spectacular views of the various lakes and mountains within the park, and we had a great ride.  The weather was perfect, sun was out but not too hot, the ride taking us through shaded areas as well as along the edge of some of the mountains.  We loved it!  Came back to the campground, but not before stopping for some wild Maine blueberries, which are in high season now.  They are much smaller than the ones we picked in Bayfield, WI, but very sweet.  Since we've already depleted some of our supply from Bayfield, we wanted to make sure we replenished the stash!  Trisha had made a pot of delicious minestrone Friday night, and Saturday she made the wonderful vegan fruit pie again, this time with the wild blueberries taking center stage--boy did we eat well that night!!

Our site is right across the road from a pavilion, where the campground holds various activities, and Saturday night was a country music duo who played for a couple of hours.  They were not bad for a cover band and it was so nice to be able to have a concert to accompany our dinner, without ever having to leave our campsite!  Lots of folks were dancing, especially this one young family, with a little girl who looked to be 4 or 5, who was having so much fun dancing with mommy and daddy--such fun!

 Driving into Maine from New Hampshire

 Saturday morning ride along the Carriage Roads in Acadia--is this beautiful or what??!!

 Thank you Mr. Rockefeller for this wonderful system of roads where no motorized vehicles are allowed!

 Some good climbs along the way, as you can see we're quite a bit higher up than the first couple of shots

 Stopped for lunch beside a lovely little footbridge over clear water, tumbling down over the rocks
 You can see how clear the water is here

 Driving back toward downtown Bar Harbor

 Had to do a little trimming on Sophie Saturday night and she picked up a little fur in her mouth!

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