Mount Desert Island

Somes Sound from campsite
 Most of our driving days are limited to 3-4 hours max.  Moving from Stonington to Mount Desert Island, we drove less than an hour and it still took us all day, funny how that works for us.  Stocking up on groceries for the week, a stop at Wal-Mart for RV necessities, a stop for firewood, a stop for fresh produce, a stop for fuel, next thing we know our trip has extended into 5 hours.   At Somes Sound, our campsite overlooking the glistening water was worth the wait.  Arriving mid-afternoon, we relaxed, read and enjoyed the cool temps and light breeze, as we watched sailboats moving along the waterway.

Bar Harbor View
View from Cadillac Mountain
Exploring Bar Harbor the next day, we remembered why we had avoided the town the last few times we’ve been in the area.  Even as the town is coming to the close of peak season and with no cruise ships at the harbor for the day, the sidewalks were packed with tourist shopping in the multiple gift shops and almost everyone with ice cream in hand (including us) from the numerous ice cream shops in town.  The view from the downtown park on Frenchman Bay is still lovely.  We decided to travel through Acadia Park; Sand Beach with its pink sand and 50 degree water draws crowds of lookers but not many swimmers.  Ocean Walk looks back over the beach and down over Thunder Hole and continues to Otter Point.  Cadillac Mountain, at 1532 feet, is the highest point along the North Atlantic coast and provides a spectacular overview of Mount Desert Island.

 Southwest Harbor is a working harbor with shops, galleries and restaurants lining the main street through town.  Visiting “The Salty Dog”, the gallery for one of Alan’s art instructors, Phillip Steele, we were invited for dinner by his wife, Joan.  Mussels were on the menu.  Our contribution came in the form of harvesting mussels from the nearby rocks.  Misunderstanding the menu, we showed up with probably 10 pounds of mussels as dinner for 6.  Turned out this was the appetizer, so needless to say, there were a lot of leftovers!  These mussels were small and sweet, and exceeded even the Prince Edward Island variety that we had the opportunity to feast on last summer.  Visiting plein air landscape oil painter, Charles Dickinson and his wife, Debbie Boon, an artist and retired professional performer, (Grand Ole Opry sound familiar?) provided after dinner entertainment with songs and guitars, along with Phil on a harmonica and button accordion.  Made for a fun evening. 

Fishing at Seal Pond Cove
While in Southwest Harbor, we scouted out Seal Pond Cove and decided this would be our kayak site the next day.  Off the beaten track and down a dirt road, the crowds paddling on Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond had not found their way to this spot.  Deciding to try some fishing, we headed out with a variety of lures and worms.  Surely we would entice something to bite.  We caught copious amounts of grasses and lily pads, but no fish.  After a few hours, we called it quits and paddled back in.

Alan in line for pie
In our travels around the nearby communities, we had noticed a local church sign—“Pies- Wednesday-Noon”.  Discussing the need for pies in our tiny refrigerator (since I can’t eat them anyway), we decided to forego this event.  As it turned out, we happened to be driving past this church at 11:45 on Wednesday.  Alan turned quickly into the lot and secured the last parking space.  He was lusting after some lobster quiche.  What are the chances, I thought.  Turns out this is the only type of quiche they had available.  After lining up and waiting the last few minutes, he quickly snatched up one of the quiches, fresh out of the oven and then returned to the line to get a Lemon Meringue Pie.  The whole show was over in less than 15 minutes.  It was amazing; the stacks of pies- apple, apple crumb, blueberry glace, blueberry rhubarb, an assortment of 50-60 pies disappeared.

Eagle Lake portion of the Carriage Road
Visiting Acadia National Park without visiting the Carriage Roads is almost sacrilegious.  The 45 miles of trails were a gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr.  He played an integral part in all aspects of the road development.  Sixteen feet wide and constructed of broken stone, the roads were considered “state-of-the-art” in early 1900’s.  They continue to be the finest trails we have ever had the opportunity to bike on.  Through the years we have biked on most of the trails, some of them a few times.  Biking or hiking through the varieties of evergreens and maples, with views of mountains or lakes frequently on the trail, provides a wonderful experience (and a great workout.) 

We are now heading west.  Leaving the coast a day early to avoid the rains and winds of Irene.  We leave Florida for the summer and somehow this is the second year in a row a hurricane has tracked us down.  What are the odds?
Bass Harbor lighthouse

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