Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bar Harbor, Part 2

Sunday morning we drove into Bar Harbor for a wonderful breakfast treat--Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast.  We had discovered this place last year and it's just fabulous!  It's an institution in Bar Harbor and they are always packed.  You can get your traditional breakfast fare here, but they also have a very good vegan menu as well, and Jeannie and her whole staff are really friendly.  So, this being a Sunday morning, the crowd was especially big, with lots of folks waiting for their table to be called.  But we were so excited to eat here again that we didn't mind the wait, and the wait was sure worth it--oatmeal walnut pancakes and island tofu scramble, along with oatmeal toast and strawberry rhubarb jam--yum, yum!!  Jeannie remembered us from our visit last year, and it's so nice when that happens.  If you're ever in Bar Harbor, you should definitely put this on your must do places.

Now well fortified, we drove back to Acadia for another nice long bike ride on the Carriage Roads.  It was more overcast than it had been the day before, and there were some intermittent rain sprinkles, but fortunately not hard rain and not enough to keep us from riding.  Since the road surface is hard packed dirt and small gravel, we just had to be careful to slow down our speed on the big downhills, but we had a wonderful ride.  We just love this park, and the Carriage Roads offer lots of views of the mountains, the lakes, the woods--just a super place to ride.  It's so much fun to see so many folks, especially families, out riding in this national park.

That evening we went to see the Great Maine Lumberjack Show, just up the road from our campground.  We had seen this place as we passed it several times, but it got a good recommendation from our waiter at the lobster pound the first night we were here, so we wanted to see what it was like.  Sometimes places like this end up being pretty hokey and not worth it, but this one definitely earns a gold star.   There's a whole sport built around lumberjack events; like rodeo, this developed from lumberjacks showing their skills to each other in their down time, which of course led to competition among them, which eventually led to the development of a circuit of lumberjack competitions.  While logging has become more mechanized through the years these competitions feature showcase the skills of the early lumberjacks, with events like wood chopping, two person crosscut log sawing, speed pole climbing, chain saw carving and log rolling.  I think I may have seen a little of this in the past on ESPN, but never paid it too much attention.  So glad we went to this show as it was really entertaining.

This show is owned by Tina Scheer, but she goes by Timber Tina!  She grew up in Wisconsin, learning lumberjack skills from her brothers, and eventually she and her brothers all got so good at these skills they developed a show.  She did this for 15 years with her family and then 19 years ago, decided to start her own show here in Maine.  She has a team of athletes--and they truly are athletes, as these events involve a great deal of physical strength and dexterity, let alone concentration, since they are combining razor sharp axes and saws with speed.  One slip and you could kiss a couple of toes goodbye!  She puts on this show every night from mid-June through the end of August, and has a traveling show as well.  Over 20 years ago she founded the all women's competition at the Lumberjack World Championships, and she has an all-woman traveling show as well.  She's apparently been on the Survivor and Ultimate Survivor TV shows, but she really is the consummate entertainer.  She gets the crowd into the spirit of the competition right from the start, revving up the energy, teaching us all the time-honored yell of the lumberjack: "YO HO!"  She is just nonstop high energy, and all the team members, who work various day jobs in the logging industry, seem to be having lots of fun.  They start out with the wood chopping, with each person standing on a log and swinging this huge axe to cut the log in two, right between their feet!  They go so fast and it's quite impressive.  Amazing to see how fast they could climb a 50 ft. pole, but our two favorite events were the "disc stack" and the log rolling.  In the disc stack, they have a log about two and a half feet long mounted vertically in a stand, then the competitors have 90 seconds to see how many discs they can slice with a chainsaw as they go down the log, without having the stack fall.  Very impressive.  And in the log rolling, the last event of the evening, two competitors are on the same log floating in a big pool, using their feet to spin the log, trying to change directions, speeds, etc. in an effort to cause their opponent to fall off the log. Of course Tina was one of the log rolling competitors and she had everyone in the stands screaming and laughing with her antics on the log.  As we were leaving, she came up to me and wanted to have her picture with Santa, so she could post it on their website--what a hoot!  Just a great evening of entertainment.

Tuesday we walked around downtown Bar Harbor for a while, looking at some shops--saw some interesting and unusual pottery in one shop--enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful flowers.  The flowers here are really pretty downtown and we just love to see all the vibrant colors!  And, what would a day of visiting shops be without a stop at a yarn store??!!  Went back to Bee's, a yarn shop where Trisha had found some good yarn last year and she was able to find the perfect yarn for another of her knitting wonders!  And, it just so happened that we were right across the street from Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast at lunchtime, so of course we had to do one last meal there!  Chilled out the rest of the day and went to a lobster pound last night for a superb dinner.    Just love being here once again, and know we'll be back again!

On our bike ride Sunday morning, we passed the oldest bridge built when Rockefeller developed the carriage road system--really beautiful
 Looking down from the bridge

 A beaver dam in one of the many ponds and streams

 Love these huge concentrations of ferns

 Time for a little snack break!

 Looking out over Bubble Pond

 At Timber Tina's Great Maine Lumberjack Show
 Here's Timber Tina!!
 The target for the axe throwing competition
 The speed climbing poles
 Getting ready for the log chopping  event
 These axes aren't your basic Ace Hardware models--they are German made and cost between $700 and $1000, and their edges are as sharp as razors
 Amazing how fast they could chop through the logs

 Getting ready for one of the chainsaw events

 About to dash up this 50 ft pole!

 Getting the crosscut saw ready for when they let kids come up and learn how to use it--it's blurry, but you can perhaps make out the leather guards they put over the saw teeth near the handles on each end, to make sure no kids get hurt.
 Some of the kids who lined up to do the crosscutting were not so little!
 Eric made this little seat out of a bunny chain saw carving
 This lucky little girl got to come out from the stands and model the seat, and got to take it home as a souvenir!

 Yes, they did get wet, so Tina had a towel to dry off

Downtown Bar Harbor

Beautiful horses on this carriage
Love the flowers!

Looking out to the harbor

Check out the pizza and coffee cup these lobster claws are holding!
Liked this wood carving on this one storefront
and the moose on top of another building

Back at the campsite, Sophie enjoyed being outside!

At the lobster pound for dinner--though I had a nonalcoholic beer, they put it in this glass with the Goose Island Ale logo--this one's for all our friends back home, where we live in a neighborhood called Goose Island Hideaway!


  1. Looks like a fun time. I love those carriage roads and hope to see them in person one day.

    1. You guys definitely need to put Acadia on your bucket list!

  2. Nice tour, we loved both Bar Harbor and Acadia NP:)