Maine heaven

LOCATION: Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine

CAMPGROUND: Seawall Campground within the national park

WEATHER: Glorious! Warm sunshine with cool ocean breezes

Today was just about perfect, although we had a few close calls. The island has a free bus service with routes all over the island, to help keep traffic down. We took advantage of the bus and rode it to downtown Bar Harbor. The bus was scheduled to arrive downtown at 10:50, and the ferry we were hoping to catch left at 11:00. The bus driver warned us that he couldn’t guarantee an on-time arrival due to traffic and construction. He told us that in the winter, there are 9000 residents here, but the population swells to 3.1 million in the summer!

We arrived downtown on time, and rushed to the ferry dock. We weren’t sure where to go, as it was a bit confusing since there was a big cruise ship in the docks. I left George behind carrying the picnic lunch and ran to the boat By this time it was 10:59, and they directed us to hurry and board. Whew!

We took off for a one-hour ferry ride.

As we departed, we passed by the Bar Harbor Inn, where we had eaten last night with our Rochester friends.

We were headed to Winter Harbor, on a peninsula across one of the wide inlets. Part of this peninsula is also Acadia National Park. Only a few people live here, and there isn’t much commercial business. On our way we saw some porpoises frolicking in the water and some iconic lighthouses on little islands scattered around the bays.

The national park runs a bus shuttle service there, too. The bus was there to greet the ferry and we hopped on to make the loop around the peninsula. Our first stop was the campground. We wanted to check it out for future stops. It is brand new and looks superb. It is also part of the National Park Services. We hopped on the next shuttle, a half hour later, and got off at Schoodic Point, an Indian word for Eastern Rocky Point. It is fabulously beautiful.

We sat on the rocks and enjoyed a nice picnic, watching the water spray on the rocks.

Then, we boarded another shuttle (I had to hold the bus while George meandered slowly back from the bathroom) and finished the loop bus ride just as the ferry approached to take us back to Bar Harbor.

Back in Bar Harbor, we caught a bus back to the campground. By then, it was getting a bit late. We had planned to buy a fresh lobster to cook over the campfire, but most places were closed by then. So, we decided to go to a lobster “pound” and let someone else do the cooking! We stopped at the island’s brewery on the way. Their BBQ smelled awfully tempting, but we were determined to have lobster, since after all we are in Maine.

The lobster pound is located in a small village in a pretty cove. We highly recommend – Thurstons. (Www.thurstonforlobster.com). We discovered that it is quite popular, and we had to stand in line for awhile. However, as were in line we were able to watch the cooking process…..

We watched them take people’s orders, put the lobster (and/or clams or mussels) in a labeled mesh bag, then drop the bag in a huge boiling vat. After a few minutes, they pulled the bag from the vat and brought your order to your table. I had a lobster BLT that had been highly recommended; George had a whole lobster. He got the soft shell kind as it is easier to eat.

What a great day! A fun ending to a really nice stay here at Acadia. We want to come back!

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