Acadia NP & Bar Harbor, Maine

June 1-9 2019. State #42. One week in Maine. We chose Acadia because I love National Parks.

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We stayed at Smugglers Den so we could explore Acadia National park easily. This park is right next to Echo Lake- so close in fact we could walk to it.

Saturday, after we arrived, we hung around the campsite playing badminton and cooking out. I was wearing a sweater and jeans while I was playing and grilling out our dinner. There were little black flies all around me but I just kept shewing them away not knowing I was being bitten until Mackenzie walked up to me and said “Mom, you are bleeding!”. I was surprised, “That’s weird, why would I be bleeding?” I went inside and discovered 18 spots were I was bleeding. I researched and found out that Maine black flies inject an anti-coagulant when they bite so you bleed for hours.  The season for these little devils is Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. Each spot swelled up and the itching lasted all week. Abby got several bites and Chris was bitten twice all week. Mackenzie escaped the whole experience. Needless to say, I didn’t want to hang outside without being doused with OFF. That’s the only thing that saved me the rest of the week.

 

We tried s’mores made with Fudge Striped cookies instead of graham crackers for the first time…umm why have I not known about these all my life! YUMMY!

The pool was heated to a nice 82 degrees, so the girls swam all week. We met a nice couple from upper Maine that vacations here every year.

Sunday we scoped out the national park, picked up maps and drove to the top of Cadillac mountain. Unfortunately, it was so foggy we couldn’t see anything.  But we did enjoy a nice hike.

We stopped by Sand Beach (only sand in the park) and had our lunch.

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Monday we set out to explore Echo Lake. It’s the only lake in Acadia National Park you can actually swim in. The rest are used for drinking water. The beach area is tiny pebbles not sand. I love to run my hands through this. We watched the CommonLoon’s swim around and learned about the habitat the park made for them to nest. Apparently, people come from all over to watch and photograph the loons here.

We searched around for a trail and hiked half way up the mountain. We stopped on a ledge and had a snack while lookin down at the lake. We tried going further but it was steep and Abby fell into a patch of poison ivy so we turned around and headed back. As soon as we got back, she used Tecnu and never broke out.

We packed our dinner and went to watch a sunset but it was still too foggy.

 

 

Tuesday, Tim and Karen flew in and arrived before dinner so we met them at Jordon Pond House at 5:30pm to try the famous Popovers. They serve them with butter and blueberry jam because Maine is known for their blueberries. I was disappointed in the restaurant. I had made a reservation so I was hoping we’d be seated near a window to look out on the pond, but we were far from it. We were looking forward to trying the Blueberry Lemonade but they had run out of sugar. How does a restaurant run out of sugar? They suggested we try it and add our own sugar packets that are on the table but of course that didn’t work and we were still charged for it.

 

After dinner we took a hike to the North and South Bubbles, the mountains in the background of this picture.

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North and South Bubbles and Jordans Pond.

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There is a boardwalk around the lake. The loop is 3.5 miles long.

 

Wednesday, we met Tim and Karen for lunch at the BBQ restaurant, Mainly Meat, attached to the local Atlantic brewery. The food, beer and staff were great! Chris headed back after lunch to work while the rest of went on the brewery tour and tasting. Karen and I loved the Blueberry Ale and the girls loved the Blueberry Soda.

After that we headed to an old car museum, Seal Cove Auto Museum,  that we could get in free with Time Travelers reciprocal program pass. Jay Leno sat in the same car we were able to sit in. The girls built lego vehicles while we roamed around.

We loved seeing the ‘car’ that Bertha Benz drove.  She and her husband, Karl Benz, worked together inventing the automobile.  In 1888, she was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance. Her husband couldn’t get an sales and was about to give up. One night, Bertha and her two sons, got in the car and drove 65 miles to her parents house to prove the car would work. Along the way, several things broke and she had to repair them or invent new ways of doing things. In doing so, she saved the Benz Motorwagen got the company its first sales.

We stopped by Echo lake with Tim and Karen to show them it’s beauty.

Chris met us at Beal’s Lobster Pier, where we pick out our own lobsters for dinner and sat on the pier watching the lobster boats come in. The lobster wasn’t as cheap as we thought it would have been, but worth it for the ambiance.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1858, marks the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay and is 56 feet tall.

As you arrive in the parking area, there is a path to the right of the building that leads to the lighthouse and great ocean views. There is also a walking path to the left that leads to a stairway that will take you down the face of the cliff to an observation area. This is how you get to view it from the cliffs. The path to the left was roped off and ‘closed’ but as I was standing there with a disappointed look on my face, a guy walked up with a camera and said everyone still goes down. Mackenzie and I crossed the lines while the rest of the crew sat in the car and waited.

They were repairing the observation deck and that was the reason for the closure. Mackenzie and I climbed down on the rocks because it was low tide. There were several photographers down there taking long exposure shots. We patiently waited and then grabbed a quick photo and headed back up.

We didn’t stay for sunset because it doesn’t set until 9:45pm these days. This would be an ideal place to watch it though.

We had dessert back at the campsite and celebrated Tim’s 70th birthday.

Thursday we met Tim and Karen at their hotel, the Asticou Inn. We set out to drive the Park Loop Drive with them. We ate picnic lunch at Sand Beach again. The flies were bad so I had to sit high on the rocks to get away from them.

 

The girls turned in their Junior Ranger books at the nature center because the main visitor center was closed due to renovations. Also at this nature center is the smaller Abbe Museum and walk through garden.

Lunch at Sand Beach. The to Thunder Hole. We didn’t make it to Thunder Hole the other day with Chris so we made sure we stopped by today. You have to plan to arrive 2 hours before the high tide to hear the thundering sound.

Vistas on Park Loop.

Carriage road bridges and Cadillac mountain.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. wanted to travel on motor-free byways via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island, so from 1913-1940 he constructed 45 miles of rustic carriage roads. This part of the park is perfect for hiking, bike riding and photography.

Chris met us for dinner back at the Asticou Inn. More popovers, lobster, Harbor views and quality family time.

Everyone gave Abby their small crunchy fries because those are her favorite, just like her namesake, Grandpa Ray.

The Azalea Garden across the street from their hotel.

It wasn’t foggy today so we were blessed with an amazing sunset.

Friday, Chris took off the whole day from work. We started the day in the dark by getting up early at 3:00 am to watch the sunrise on Cadillac mountain. This is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise.

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Here is the first glimpse of the sun in the US at 4:49 am. Can you tell it was 40 degrees up there? We have experience with sunrises on top of mountains so we were prepared.

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After the sunrise

The only place open at 5:30am on the island was Jordan’s (not the same as Jordan’s Pond House). It’s an all day breakfast restaurant with delicious blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup with a side of blueberry muffins!

We all took naps and then at 1pm, Abby, Chris and Tim went to play golf at Kebo Valley Club.

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Mackenzie and I packed our lunch and headed out to Thunder Hole again to see if it was any louder if we came an hour before low tide.

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Everyone else ate lunch at the golf club.

Karen, Mackenzie and I went shopping in Bar Harbor while the other three golfed. We also visited the Abbe Museum. The museum has two locations; one in Bar Harbor and one in Acadia National Park at the Nature Center.  The museum explores the history and culture of Maine’s Native people, the Wabanaki.

More exploring in Bar Harbor. Yummy Ice Cream at Jordon Pond Ice Cream and Fudge store.

 

Bar Harbor is named for the Bar that appears everyday for 3 hours that allows you to walk across to Bar Island. We walked over at 4:00pm to get a ‘before’ picture.

The golf crew met us for dinner and we all walked over to Bar Island together. They have signs stating that you have to follow the tide charts so you don’t get stuck over at the Bar Island. They charge a lot of money to come rescue you.

After we walked back to the car, I took the Jeep across it- just because I could.

Saturday we spent the afternoon on a Schooner boat. The 2-4pm Frechmann Bay Cruise was a Ranger Led program so I booked that one. It’s expensive but so worth it. The weather was perfect! The boat was only half full which was nice so we could move around a bit.

We saw a Bald Eagle and a lighthouse as we cruised around the bay and the the Porcupine Islands.

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We were asked to help raise the sails.

Wonderful memories.

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Love this park!

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Park map and lobster facts. Acadia NP is located on Mount Desert Island. It’s interesting to note that the locals refuse to call pronounce it ‘desert’. They pronounce it ‘dessert’.

We drove past this bridge all week so on the last day, I stopped to take a picture. Across the street people sit all day waiting to take pictures of the Osprey and King fishers.

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Updated map

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