Acadia

Bar Harbor Travel Blog

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"Sunrise" in Acadia

Acadia National Park is on the most-eastern edge of North America, which means the sun hits it before any other part of the continent each day.  Pretty cool.  In fact, except for some eastern reaches of Brazil, the sun arrives here before anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere each day.  Pretty cool indeed.  Brian and I agree that seeing the sunrise before anyone else on the continent is worth waking up early for.  So at 5:15am, the alarm sounds and we throw on some warm clothes (we're not in Texas anymore) and scurry into the car.  We drive the dark roads into Acadia and follow directions to the spot.  We immediately notice that no one else is here which is going to make this sunrise even cooler--now we won't have to share our "first" status with anyone else.

Our favorite photo from the park
  Then we notice the fog...lots and lots of fog.  As the sky around us brightens ever so slightly, there is no sight of Mr. Sun himself.  The world around us in enveloped in a thick and hearty layer of fog and it doesn't look like it will break.  We count down the minutes until the 5:55 sunrise while jumping and shivering (oh, we're really not in Texas anymore...what is up with all this coldness?) and the fog stays.  Sunrise comes and goes and we miss it completely.  D'oh. 

Since we're up, we decide to explore the park while everyone else is still sleeping.  We visit Thunder Hole, an ocean cove that sounds like thunder crashing when the waves hit.  Brian loved this place and took about a million photos of the waves, stopping only when I complained about all the bug bites I was getting.

Thunder Hole--one of Brian's MANY shots
  Next we visited Seal Beach and Seal Cove (no seals in either location--could potentially be the biggest lawsuit after the suit against the producers of The Neverending Story).  By now, it was 8:00am and we are cold, tired and hungry.  We head back to Bar Harbor for breakfast.   

We find a popular local place called Cafe This Way which is crowded, warm and smelling good--all signs of a good meal.  We both order breakfast sandwiches and take in the locals while we wait.  Two great things happen once the food is delivered:  1.  I order a white chocolate hot cocoa which could be really good or really bad and lucky for me, it's super awesome--the best hot cocoa ever.

But there are Seagulls...Maybe Sea'l Beach is just an abbreviation!
  2.  My meal comes with veggie bacon, which I persuade my carnivore-loving husband to try and...he likes it!  Yea!  Now I can serve something at home that we can both eat.  Yea!  BLTs, here we come (nevermind that Brian still won't eat lettuce or tomato...that's another battle). 

After breakfast, we go back to the hotel for showers and a morning nap (gotta love Saturdays).  We wake up at 1pm and head back to Acadia.  We've read in our travel guide that Acadia is full of "carriage roads," gravel paved trails suitable for horses and hikers.  One of the Rockefellers built the roads 100 years ago to enjoy the Maine surroundings and bequethed the lands to the park when he died with the provision that cars never be allowed on them.

Brian getting proof of my disorganized navigating!
  We drive to find these roads for an afternoon hike.  

Unfortunately for us, we have no address to go to so it's me, not Magellan, who's directing the way.  We follow a rough map in our not-very-good National Geographic guide and I know we're close, but I'm not sure where to turn.  Brian rattles off the names of some streets that we pass by and asks whether or not to turn.  I concentrate on the map and tell him to keep going.  After a while, it's clear we've gone too far.  "What do the driving directions in the guide say to do?" he asks.  I read verbatum from the book.  "Turn right on Park Road."  "Park Road that I just asked whether to turn on?"  "Um..yeah, that one."  Brian grabs the camera from the mess of books and papers that surround me and photographs "evidence" of my poor navigational skills.

One of the carriage roads
 

We finally arrive at the carriage roads and begin hiking to a supposed waterfall.  I say supposed because we never reach said waterfall.  The guidebook gave really lousy directions on where to go so we mostly just walk up a gravel path for 2 hours.  It's pretty, but not spectacular (I grew up in Washington--the terrain is very familiar).  It starts to rain so we go back to the car feeling like Acadia has been a bit of a bust overall (this park is usually ranked in the top ten of National Parks--how can it even been mentioned in the same breath as my beloved Yosemite??). 

We clean up and head back to Bar Harbor for dinner.  Brian has Citysearched good restaurants in town and we settle on a place called McKays (named after Dylan??) that is famous for its lobster mac-n-cheese.

Lobster Mac-n-Cheese--does it look cheesy to you? I think not.
  I'm not that keen on the lobster, but I'll try anything with mac-n-cheese in its name.  Brian orders haddock and chips and I get the aforementioned pasta.  Unfortunately, this mac-n-cheese is not very cheesy at all--in fact its very rich and creamy (not something I'm a fan of) and full of the lobster that I still don't like.  The best part of the meal is the fresh peas that are littered throughout. 

After dinner, we do a final walk through the town--walking along the harbor and watching the cruise ships sail out for another day--then pass last night's ice cream parlor for another 2 scoop cup. 

Hurricane Gustav is making his way up the coast and rain is predicted tonight.  We get back to the hotel, pack our stuff and get to bed early.  We're heading south first thing in the morning for a friend's noon wedding. 

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Sunrise in Acadia
"Sunrise" in Acadia
Our favorite photo from the park
Our favorite photo from the park
Thunder Hole--one of Brians MANY …
Thunder Hole--one of Brian's MANY…
But there are Seagulls...Maybe Sea…
But there are Seagulls...Maybe Se…
Brian getting proof of my disorgan…
Brian getting proof of my disorga…
One of the carriage roads
One of the carriage roads
Lobster Mac-n-Cheese--does it look…
Lobster Mac-n-Cheese--does it loo…
Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
Another artsy shot from inside t…
Another "artsy" shot from inside …
Ocean views with a typical rocky M…
Ocean views with a typical rocky …
Another rocky shorescape
Another rocky shorescape
More ocean views.
More ocean views.
Bird prints in the sand.
Bird prints in the sand.
Boats in the foggy harbor
Boats in the foggy harbor
continued...
continued...
Me walking along Seal Beach...noti…
Me walking along Seal Beach...not…
Our view from the top of our carri…
Our view from the top of our carr…
Bri and me doing a self-portrait o…
Bri and me doing a self-portrait …
Another view of the trail
Another view of the trail
Park sign
Park sign
A beautiful home along the Bar Har…
A beautiful home along the Bar Ha…
The public walkway along the shore
The public walkway along the shore
Another million dollar home with m…
Another million dollar home with …
McKays for dinner
McKays for dinner
The restaurant is a converted old …
The restaurant is a converted old…
Bar Harbor
photo by: vances