Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor, Maine

DETOUR TRIP

About the Trip

Day 1

The time was 3:45 am. By 4:20, we were in the car where we began our 11 hour journey to Bar Harbor, Maine. We buzzed through Delaware and New Jersey. The sun rose when we were driving through New York. The silhouette of the city complemented the sky which looked like a billowy color changing quilt. It was breathtaking. We had a moment of silence for those that were taken on 9/11. Not surprisingly, we hit traffic on where else but the George Washington Bridge! That did not fare well for Dave and his hunger pangs. That was the only major delay that we hit on I-95, which surprised us both! We cruised through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. We did stop at McDonalds for breakfast in Massachusetts (yes, we splurge big time when we go on vacation. We were told by past travelers that it’s obvious when you enter Maine because the landscape immediately changes to pine trees…and they were right. Nothing but miles upon miles of pine trees. As soon as we entered the state of Maine, we knew that we were going to love this beautiful state. We pulled over once more to stretch our legs, and then less than an hour later, we had arrived at our destination: Bar Harbor, Maine. The “almost” fall weather was spectacular.

We stayed at the Windward Cottages, which is located along the Western Bay of Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor. Ollie is the owner of the cottages and he made us feel welcome and right at home before we even walked into the cottage. After settling into our cottage we realized that we had struck the perfect combination of solitude while being within close proximity to the conveniences of modern day living. We also realized that we were famished. Ollie recommended the Thurston’s Lobster Pound, located on the southern part of the island. Back in the car we went. What a cute place! It was right on the water, there were so many boats and so many vivid lobster buoys and crates. It was picturesque. I ordered the clam dinner with a medium lobster (it came with corn on the cob, coleslaw and blueberry spice cake and Dave ordered the lobster roll dinner.) While waiting for our meals, we walked out onto the dock and watched the lobster boats make their way back in after their long day at sea. The lobster…..pausing to relive the moment…….was perfectly red and piping hot and my surroundings became non-existent as I feasted on this delicious crustacean. Dave ate his very first lobster at this establishment….but he wasn’t impressed with the taste of lobster….he prefers fish. To each his own I suppose. After dinner, we headed back home for a quiet evening of relaxation. We brought our own snacks from home and cracked open a bottle of vino before bundling up and venturing outside to lay on the picnic tables and stargaze. We spotted dozens of shooting stars. Wonder if all of those wishes we made will come true!

PHOTOS

Day 2 AKA “Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary”

Dave loves my banana walnut pancakes so much that he insisted on bringing all of the ingredients from home. So that is what we had for breakfast along with coffee. The cottage had a nice little kitchenette which was stocked with all of the essentials. After breakfast, we headed out to check out the bay as it was at low tide. It was teeming with clams, snails, and barnacles. We enjoyed watching the seagulls drop the clams onto the rocks and eating what they are supposed to eat! After that, we headed to the Visitor’s Center to buy our Acadia National Park Pass. We also spoke to the rangers to find out what their most favorite hikes are before starting the day. We hiked the Sand Beach Trail. It’s a quick little jaunt along the coast with lots of great vantage points. Dave explored tide pools and we sat on the rocks and watched the lobster boats passing by while we ate our snacks. Then we stopped at Thunder Hole (only go during high tide, otherwise, drive right by it). We spent about 2 minutes here. Next we headed over to Jordan’s Pond House to hike some more. We hiked the Penobscot Mountain. It took us about an hour to reach the summit. We had the whole summit to ourselves so we sat down and ate our trail food (clementines and trail mix) before starting the descent. After we got off of the mountain, we walked around the Jordan Pond. This pond is ginormous! As you can see, we never ate an actual meal for lunch so we had to figure out our dinner plans so this is what we did… we drove off of the island and went to Walmart. There we bought half of our anniversary dinner-potatoes, brussel sprouts, and Oreo cookies. We also picked up some food supplies to get us through the rest of the trip. We stopped at Down East Lobster in Trenton, Maine, where we bought our take-out live lobster and clams. Dave of course got fish. We went back home and started cooking. Our 1st home-cooked lobster turned out to be a smashing success! We enjoyed another night of stargazing and wine-sipping.

PHOTOS

Day 3

We ate pancakes again. Then set out to hike “The Beehive Trail,” a very popular, somewhat challenging trail that offers rungs and ladders and will make you hyperventilate if you are a chicken like me. This was easy peasy for Dave, of course. I pretty much climbed this mountain on my knees, but the views were well worth the 45 minutes of fretting. This wasn’t even the most strenuous hike that Acadia offers….it is appropriately named, “The Precipice Trail.” Dave was planning on hiking this exhilarating 1000-foot vertical incline of a beast, but it rained on Day 4. Soooo….after we descended the mountain, we went to Jordan’s Pond House for tea, popovers, and seafood chow-dah. Best. Popovers. Ever. Smother them with butter and jam for the optimal experience. Following tea time, we spent a nice chunk of time chilling at “Otter Cliffs.” Park in the Gorham Mountain Trailhead lot and walk across the street to gain access to the Cliffs. The water was so clear that we could see the ducks diving down several feet into the ocean. Awesome. When we returned home, we decided to test out the kayaks at the cottage (free to use!) So, the first time we ventured out into the bay, we had to come right back because of the prehistoric mosquitoes. These suckers were huge and fierce! They were swarming all around us. So after dousing ourselves with bugspray, we gave it a second go and made it out just in time to catch a stunning sunset. We got a chance to meet our friendly cottage neighbors who came out to the watch the sunset too. A special thank you to Louisa for taking our kayak action shots for us! We finished off the day with a trip to the Trenton Lobster Pound for more take-out lobster and fish.

PHOTOS

Day 4

We woke up super early to watch the sunrise at the top of Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first point that the sun hits in the Continental United States, making us the first people to see the sunrise in the U.S on September 20, 2011. It was a beautiful sunrise that was almost threatened by a rogue row of clouds (which is what tainted our Mount Haleakala sunrise). We drove back to the cottage and went back to sleep. When we woke up again, we decided to spend our last day exploring the town of Bar Harbor. The weather wasn’t the best-scattered showers, but we made do. We walked around the town, stopped at Bar Harbor Brewery for a tasting (we enjoyed the Blue and Black Stout) and walked along the paved “Ocean Path.” On our way home, we stopped at the Atlantic Brewery, which is right down the road from our cottage for lunch and a brewery tour. We gorged ourselves with food and drink(Dave with the pork dinner platter and me with the giant chicken sandwich and 2 pints of Ale and Black and Blue Stout) After the brewery tour, we enjoyed some samples before heading to this giant junk/antique store. It had the coolest stuff! We purchased an old fishing buoy; a fitting Maine memento. We also learned that I have horrible haggling skills. When we finally arrived back at the cottage, we quickly headed out in the kayaks one last time to see the sunset before getting take-out lobster (again) and spending the evening packing and getting ready for the long ride home in the morning.

PHOTOS

WHAT WE BROUGHT

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  • Canon Powershot SD1000
  • Panasonic FZ8 camera
  • Warm weather clothing, i.e hats, gloves, scarves
  • Two Camelbaks
  • Athletic/comfy clothing
  • Sneakers
  • Food and Drink from our casa
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Visors/hats

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Show me the dough

Estimated round trip fuel cost from DC @ 40 mpg X 1400 miles=~$122.00
Toll costs: ~$60.00
Windward Cottages: $600.00
Acadia National Park Pass: $20.00
Walmart: $33.71
Food: $154.00
Magnets X 2: $8.00

GRAND TOTAL: $997.71