Heading North

Bar Harbor Travel Blog

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Can't go wrong with a motto like New Hampshire's.

We begin our day with a healthy breakfast of the aforementioned Dunkin donuts and some chocolate milk.  Luckily for us, there are Dunkin Donuts everywhere...the first one we see is within a block of our hotel (and if you happened to be unfortunately positioned on the other side of the street there is another Dunkin Donuts on that side as well).  I can think of two donut shops that I've seen in all of Austin.  I'm sure there are more, but I can think of two that I've passed.  Boston seems to have two per block.  What is it about donuts that appeals to New Englanders so? 

As we ponder the greatness of donuts, we drive north.  In no time, we are out of Massachusetts and onto New Hampshire (you gotta love these little states).

  We don't spend much time in New Hampshire (we're out of it in under 15 minutes).  We have just enough time to see some tree-lined highways and a dozen or so license plates emboldened with the state motto "Live Free or Die."  And as far as state mottos go, I have to admit that this one kicks ass. 

Finally we're in Maine!  Our rental car has been outfitted with a GPS navigational system.  Brian's been calling in Magellan which I thought was an awfully clever name to give a "navigator," but it turns out that's the brand name (I was hoping to override him and call it Captain Cook).  So we cruise to Magellan's helpful directions ("In two miles, turn right...") as we pass by more tree-lined highways.  Maine is starting to look awfully boring (and similar to both New Hampshire and Massachusetts) so we decide to give Magellan a challenge.

They're everywhere!
  We detour from the recommended route and head for the coastline.  Magellan is confused at first ("Make the first legal U-Turn...When it is safe to do so, turnaround..."), but finally gives up and replans our route in a more scenic fashion.  We pass by coastal cities, lobster shacks and roadside produce stands that sell not only wild blueberries, but also moose antlers (and they even accept food stamps!).  During spots along the coast, we unroll the windows and soak in the salty sea smells. 

We stop for lunch in a town whose name we failed to record.  We photograph "the World's largest lobster"--a metal sculpture and dine on haddock chowder and bread.  Afterward it's back on the road and on to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Typical by-the-road sign in Maine
  We get into town just after 5pm and check into our hotel room.  It's getting dark and I haven't been on a run in two days.  I lace up and head out to explore the small town of Bar Harbor. 

Bar Harbor is a great town to explore by foot.  It's small so it's easy to get around and there's natural surroundings everywhere.  I run from our hotel into downtown and check out the harbor.  I also scope out some places for dinner later on.  It's pleasantly cool here compared with the stifling oven that is Austin in early September so I'm running super fast and passing fleece-covered tourists like crazy.  I find a sea path (originating from the 1880s) and run along it past million-dollar oceanside homes and then into a forested grove that leads to another part of town.

The "World's Largest" lobster.
  Since I have a notoriously bad sense of directions I loop back and head for the hotel and come back even faster than I went out. 

I shower and change and Bri and I head out for dinner.  We choose a place called Stewman's because it's on the water and it was bustling both when I ran by earlier and when we show up around 8pm.  The dining room is built on a dock in the harbor and we settle in for some authentic Maine food.  Bri and I decide to split a few items so we can enjoy a little of everything.  We choose to get a seafood fondue with tortilla chips, a lobster roll (or what I would call a lobster salad sandwich), fresh corn on the cob and a bowl of clam chowder.  The food is fast and casual.  It all tastes good, but nothing is fantastic.

Proof that not everyone in this country speaks English!
  In fact, Brian and I are perplexed as to whether we even like lobster...it's a bit chewy for my liking. 

After wrapping up the meal, it's time for dessert.  Stewman's offers $8 carmel mudslides that sound appealing, but we decide to get ice cream instead.  There are a ton of cute little ice cream parlors scattered all over downtown Bar Harbor.  We choose one called "Debbuh's"  (Is that Maine-speak for Deborah's??) and are happy with our choice--fantastic flavors and the can't-beat-it price of $1 a scoop. 

We stroll through the town as we eat our ice cream then head back to the hotel.  We plan to rise before dawn tomorrow to catch the sunrise which means we'll be getting up early!

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Cant go wrong with a motto like N…
Can't go wrong with a motto like …
Theyre everywhere!
They're everywhere!
Typical by-the-road sign in Maine
Typical by-the-road sign in Maine
The Worlds Largest lobster.
The "World's Largest" lobster.
Proof that not everyone in this co…
Proof that not everyone in this c…
Brian chowing down on some chowder.
Brian chowing down on some chowder.
No meals complete without dessert!
No meal's complete without dessert!
Yes, I really do mean there are DD…
Yes, I really do mean there are D…
Just a few blocks past the last on…
Just a few blocks past the last o…
Bar Harbor
photo by: vances