The moment we crossed the bridge onto Mount Desert Island, a bald eagle flew right over us – a harbinger of the beauty we were about to experience.
Our adventure in Bar Harbor began the moment we arrived….one day early! I take full responsibility – I did the planning on this part. Pulling into the campground after a long drive and hearing we did not have a spot reserved almost gave me a heart attack – you can’t put a rig this size just anywhere! Luckily, the friendly campground hosts quickly determined that they had one open space that we could fit into for the night. Disaster averted!
Of course, that meant backing into a spot, unhooking the truck (it wouldn’t fit attached), bumping out, and then doing everything in reverse the next morning. To top it off, the people who were supposed to be in “our” spot for the night never showed up.
Our first evening here, we drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain to watch both the sunset (amazing) and the rising of the Perigee moon. It was such a special event a bagpiper arrived and played for about 1/2 hour. The sunset was gorgeous and the moon huge!
Due to deciding to stay an extra week after we had initially made our reservation, we had to move yet again after 9 days…back across the street. We met Pam and Bob from Michigan and also had a nice time getting to know them. Our new neighbors included a family in a small camper with 6 young children. There were times we had to close the windows to block out all the screaming, crying and fighting. That’s a trip, not a vacation.
Throughout the time we were at the campground, we were amazed at how often people came and went. Every day we saw people arriving and leaving, sometimes after only a night or two. Watching a couple or family move in or out can be revealing. They tended to get nicknamed…”angry guy”, “foo-foo dog”, “laundry people”, “Brady Bunch”, etc. Every night after dinner, we’d hear a little bell ring and the “Pie Lady” would drive around selling pieces of fresh home-made pie…better than the Good Humor Man!
Acadia National Park is a must-see for anyone within striking distance. It consists of most of Mount Desert Island and a few surrounding islands near Bar Harbor, Maine. There is a 27-mile “park loop” auto road which goes around the main park, and there are 45 miles of well-maintained carriage trails winding through the park which are amazing for mountain biking. The carriage roads are nicely graded, wide, crushed gravel roads only used for walking, horse riding or biking, so you can actually ride next to your fellow riders without fear. The views are stunning. You are either surrounded by tall pines, streams, and waterfalls or enjoying amazing vistas of lakes, mountains and the ocean. Riding those trails, I automatically felt exhilarated and right in the moment thinking “Yes! This! Right now! This is living!”
Bar Harbor is not only visitor-friendly but also environmentally conscious. A free bus takes you from any campground or hotel to Acadia Park, where you can continue on free buses to all the main attractions such as Sand Beach, Thunder Hole – a cliff area you can walk and picnic on, and Jordan Pond – a very scenic lake surrounded by mountains where there is also a visitor center and restaurant. The bus will also take you to the Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor, the airport, or the grocery store. It’s truly amazing. I took full advantage of this bus to explore the park and hang around downtown. It’s clean, friendly, and always on time.
Angela and Allan Shoemake visited us for a long weekend, driving all the way from NJ after just flying home from California. We had a great time biking, doing the town and cooking over the campfire with them. I think Allan enjoyed photographing the amazing scenery too 🙂 Angela got a great video of Jeff demonstrating his mosquito-frying skills with “The Executioner”!
It was great to see them and enjoy the park with outgoing friends who aren’t afraid to sleep in a tent! I think we turned them on to whoopie pies too!
One challenge which was resolved on this trip was getting Monty cleaned. I had naively planned to do that in our driveway before we left…right! Pack up your entire house, figure out what you are bringing, and wash and wax 2000 square feet of RV… Not! “I’ll have plenty of time to do that on the road,” I thought. The problem is that most campgrounds will not let you wash your rig. But then our new neighbors, Kathryn and Manny, had a service come and do a beautiful job on theirs. After some wrangling (the man who did it is trying to get out of the business because he can’t get his teenagers to work anymore 🙂 he came and did ours too. While on the roof, he noticed that there was quite a bit of caulking to do, and he was able to do that too. Phew.
What draws me in is that a trip is a leap in the dark. It’s like a metaphor for life. You set off from home, and in the classic travel book, you go to an unknown place. You discover a different world, and you discover yourself.
5 thoughts on “Bar Harbor”
Sounds wonderful! I went there as a kid, as well as Boothbay Harbor and Kennebunkport. Wish I remembered more of it, but I know we loved it! A friend of mine owns a cottage resort in that area, “Anna’s Quietside”. Never went to Prince Edward Island, but always wanted to as a child , as I was obsessed with Anne of Green Gables. We did go camping for 2 weeks in Nova Scotia and remember it as breathtaking. I am really enjoying your posts – keep em comin!! We miss you at CT!
If you loved “Anne”, you must visit here sometime. They’ve got a whole industry built around it from tours and life actors to a full blown musical production. Thanks for the feedback – I think of you guys often and miss you too.
Sounds beautiful! I want to mountain bike those carriage roads!
It’s nice to read more about Acadia National Park. Our time there a few years back was much too short to go into detail the way you did. It sounds as if you had a great time. Did you have popovers at Jordan Pond?
Jeff, we didn’t have the popovers but we did bike around the pond from every angle! The cafe and restaurant were very crowded – Jordan Pond seems like the biggest destination for car visitors. Maybe next time – we’ll definitely go back again.