Friday, September 9, 2016

Bar Harbor, Maine

 

Thursday (September 1):

We packed up the Duchess and headed south from Saint John, NB towards the US border in Calais, Maine. As I mentioned before when we headed into Canada this section of highway is one of the nicest we ever driven on. The weather was clear and sunny and there was very little traffic on the highway as we travelled along.

We pulled up to the border crossing just as the guards were doing a shift change. Once we pulled up to the gate we were asked: (1) how many people on board, (2) was there anything on board that we did not enter Canada with and (3) did we have any animals. The border guard did come into the RV and did a quick walk through although he did not asked us to open anything. We ended up having a nice conversation with him since his dad owned a motorhome and travelled to Florida each winter in it. We could have kept all of our fruits and vegetables along with Connie’s herbs if we had only known what kind of questions/search we would be subject to.

We continued south and then east in Maine to make it to our next campground: Hadley’s Point Campground. We pulled into the campground and were assigned to Site A-2. We have 50 amp electric and water but no sewer hookups. If we want to pay $12 they will pump out our tanks during the week. We checked on the showers here at the campground: they were nice but there was a charge to use them.

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Friday (September 2):

Today we decided to visit Bar Harbor. There is a free shuttle bus that runs from several of the campgrounds on this side of the island to Bar Harbor and from there you can take other free shuttles to different parts of Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor is a tourist town with all of the trappings: lots of t-shirts/trinket shops, restaurants that charge a lot for a meal and arts/craft stores. Most days there are least one cruise ship docked in the harbor with several thousand passengers and crew that visit Bar Harbor. We walked around town for several hours, ate lunch and wandered through the shops.

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We took a “historic” walking tour of the town, got lost and then found our back to the main part of the village.

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We visited the tasting room for the Atlantic Brewing Company located next to the Village Green in the middle of Bar Harbor. We tasted several of their brews which were “OK” in our opinion, but not that great.

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Saturday – Sunday (September 3-4):

With it being the Labor Day weekend, we decided to take easy in the campground and not venture into either Bar Harbor or Acadia National Park. We met one of our neighbors, George and Susan Viscarelli, who are from Maine and are headed towards Canada. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them and especially the fact they allowed us to join them at their evening campfires.They are both retired and travel in a 30 foot Copper Creek 5th wheel.

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Monday (September 5):

We decided to venture out today to visit the other side of the Mount Desert Island. There are several other small villages on the island that we ended up driving through: Bernard, Bass Harbor, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor. The village have lots of very large houses (some would call them mansions) that are mostly hidden behind fences and hedges. We also drove on Sebastian Drive which runs along the Somes Sound Fjord which is the only fjord in the lower 48 states. The small villages are nice but they are not as picturesque as the one we visited in Canada. There is a natural sea wall that we visited as well as we drove around.

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After finishing our drive around the western side of the island we drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. This is the tallest point in this part of the USA and from the top you have a 360 degree view of the island. We were lucky with only some fog and haze in the air when we visited the mountain. The views are spectacular and would be even more so on a completely clear day. The photos we took did not do it justice.

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We stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items before returning to the campground.

Tuesday (September 6):

We had met another one of our neighbors over the weekend, Randy and Sue Ann Creamer, who were from Ohio. They were going kayaking today with some friends of theirs who are also staying here in the campground, Tim and Carol, on Long Pond. We asked if we could join them and they said: sure, the more the merrier. After a late breakfast we headed over to Long Pond where we launched our Sea Eagle inflatable kayak. Tim & Carol had brought their own kayaks while Randy & Sue Ann rented one from the shop across the street from the launch point at the north end of the pond (they call it a pond but it’s really a small lake). We paddled around the pond for about 3.5 hours before the wind started to pick up and all of us were ready to come in. While we were on the water an eagle flew across the pond in front of us (we didn’t have our camera out at the time). There were a couple of loons on the water that seemed to follow us for a while. As we headed to shore low clouds started to roll in over the hills surrounding the pond.

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At the end of a long day on the water all of us decided to eat Maine lobsters at Thurston’s Lobster Shop located in Bernard on the other side of the island from our campground. This is the place recommended to us by several people here in Bar Harbor as the place to eat lobster. We ordered our soft shell lobsters (Connie and mine were just over two pounds each) at the counter, found a place to sit down and read the flyer telling us how to eat a lobster. Our lobster arrived a few minutes later and Tim gave us a step by step instruction to get the meat out of the lobster. There is not any way to eat lobster without getting it all over yourself. The lobster was great and we enjoyed the conversations at dinner.

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Wednesday (September 7):

Today we decided to go into Bar Harbor to do some last minute Christmas gift shopping (actually Connie was shopping while I enjoyed the nice weather in the Village Green). After we finished shopping and have a quick picnic lunch in the Bar Harbor Village Green we were off to do some bike riding on the carriage trails in Acadia National Park. After going to a couple of parking area that were full we ended up at the Visitor’s Center and started on the trails at that point. The carriage trails are a holdover from the days before there were cars on the island and have been converted into hiking/biking trails. The trails are nice and wide with enough room for hikers/bikers going in both directions. We did a trail that took us around Eagle Lake. This trail was either going up or down an incline and we had to get off our bikes a couple of times on the longer uphill sections of the trail.

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After finishing up our ride we came back to campground and started packing up for our departure south to get our slide looked at tomorrow. We had left the kayak and other gear out in the sun to let it dry during the day.

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Thursday (September 8):

Since we not in any rush to leave the campground (checkout time was 11 AM) we took our time getting ready to leave. Connie cleaned inside the motorhome while I did some outside cleaning. We emptied our black/grey water tanks at the dump station in the campground before heading to Mountain Road RV in Sabattus ME which is northwest of Portland. We stopped at a rest area to eat lunch and arrived at Mountain Road RV around 3:00 PM. The battery on the Jeep had discharged during our trip due to a problem with the automatic locking system, so we had to put the charger on the battery to be able to start the Jeep. The owner of the shop came out and diagnosed our slide problem: the motor that moves the paddle arm back and forth has broken. A new one was ordered and we will be back here next Thursday to have it installed. Since there was no reason for us to stay overnight at the shop we got a recommendation from them for campgrounds close to them. We ended up at the Freeport/Durham KOA which is about 20 minutes away from the shop. We got set up in the campground where we will be for the next week.