Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chapter 14 - Old Orchard Beach to Bar Harbor, Maine

June 21st, Day 25: One of the things that surprised us about driving on the interstate highways in the northeast and particularly here in Maine, is that it seems like every few miles we arrive at another toll booth. Last year we drove all of the way out to Seattle, Washington without finding toll booths, but today during our four hour drive up to Bar Harbor, Maine we had to stop at three different toll booths. I am not positive but I believe it has something to do with the fact that Maine is a Democrat voting state and loves to tax its citizens every way that they can. Anyway, we should not complain. It was a small tax and their highways are in good shape.  We arrived at our KOA campground on Mount Desert Island (Bar Harbor) just before noon and other than running out for a few supplies in downtown Bar Harbor, we stayed at the campground for the remainder of the day. It was a pretty and very quiet site. A good place to spend a relaxing afternoon.

We decided almost immediately upon arrival that we would spend three nights at this campground which happens to be our last campground before we enter into Canada. Our primary reason for the additional day was that we wanted to spend the entire morning and part of an afternoon of the first day touring only Acadia National Park.  We felt very strongly that we should arrive early to avoid the crowds. Once we have visited Acadia we decided that it was best to spend an additional day at least in the morning viewing the small town of Bar Harbor. The rest of the second day we will drive around the rest of this beautiful island of Mount Desert, its name being kind of a spinoff of the name given to the island by Samuel de Champlain who after visiting here in 1604 called it the I'Isles des Monts-deserts.

June 22nd, Day 26: Kathy and I have visited many of the national parks in our country including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, the Great Smoky Mountains, Everglades, to name just a few, but without doubt, Acadia National Park has to be one of the most beautiful of all of the Parks.  It is also perhaps one of the least well known of the major parks particularly since its location in northern Maine is somewhat remote. In our opinion what makes this park so fascinating is its diversity. There is its rocky coastline, its woodlands, its interior lakes, and the park features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States. Unfortunately our iPad photos of this park do not do justice to the beauty of the scenery.  One just has to visit Acadia National Park and this wonderful island.

The drive through the park is approximately 27 miles long with maybe one third of the distance showing views of the coastline and the remainder of the heavily forested interior as well as in part a large fresh water lake, named Jordon Pond. The last section of our drive was up the steep side of Cadillac Mountain which rises to 1540 feet above sea level. Views from this almost treeless and rocky top of this mountain are just breathtaking.

At one point during our drive along the Atlantic Ocean we could see across an inlet Bay what appeared to be a huge home. Kathy shouted out jokingly "I want to buy that house."  That "house" was probably not a house at all, but a hotel, but it's location right on the rocky coast of Maine placed it at the top of the world in our minds.

This photo of Kathy and Cabo looking out at the rocky shoreline tells it all.

This photo to the right shows Kathy with Cabo looking out at the lake named Jordon Pond located in the interior of Acadia National Park. While we did not take any photographs, there is a very excellent restaurant at the south end of this lake that serves an outdoor lunch each day on a large lawn area with a view of Jordon Pond.

This final photograph was taken of Kathy and Cabo at the very top of Cadillac Mountain.  The views were incredible in every direction.  While the photograph does not clearly show the detail, way down below Kathy and Cabo along the seashore is the Village of Bar Harbor.

As we stated earlier, our plan tomorrow is to explore the village of Bar Harbor as well as to take a drive down the western side of Mount Desert Island perhaps to see a more rural side of this beautiful Island. We also hope to find a small restaurant that will allow us to lunch with Cabo at our sides and finally get the opportunity to have the highly regarded Lobster Rolls. These lobster rolls are advertised on the signs outside almost all of the restaurants that seem to cover this lovely island.  As always, we look forward to our next days of travels.

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