Jordan Pond is a popular stop on Mt Desert Island
We decided to do a little exploring around Mount Desert Island, which is mostly comprised of Acadia National Park, and also the towns of Bar Harbor and Bass Harbor. We were planning to do Acadia's Park Loop Road the next day, (That's a one way loop through the Park, where you pay the National Park entrance fee at the beginning... we're gonna get up early and check that out tomorrow) So today, we were just going to drive around a bit and find some lunch. Near the center of the island there is a place called Jordan Pond House, which I had visited a few times before and I knew was a good place to eat. We stopped by there, and boy, was it crowded! We circled the parking lot a few times.
Waiting for lunch!
.. no spots! We drove up and down the road, and finally found a small space alongside the road that Melissa's Toyota Matrix could fit. Good thing we didn't come in my truck! We walked about a hundred yards to The Jordan Pond House, which is not just a restaurant, but a gift shop and information center as well. It seemed like everyone in the park that day had the same idea! There was about a 15 minute wait for a table, so we put our names on the list and explored the gift shop. You have a choice of inside or outside seating here... outside is nice, because it overlooks a nice view of Jordan Pond, but today was overcast and it was starting to drizzle a little rain, so we opted for indoors. Quick service once we were seated, and the food was terrific! They started us with Jordon House popovers, a kind of fluffy baked roll with butter and blueberry jam.
Melissa's chocolate brownie sundae with blueberry ice cream
I could have eaten a bunch of these! For the meal, I had a honey mustard marinated chicken breast, and Melissa had crab cakes. Delicious! It was so good, I dug in right away, forgetting to take pictures to share with you guys. Oh, well! I guess that means we have to come back here! hehe. I did remember to take pictures of dessert, though. Melissa had a blueberry ice cream brownie sundae, and I had a delicious blueberry cobbler.
After lunch, we decided to walk it off by exploring some of the hiking trails in the area, and Acadia's extensive carriage road system. Around the turn of the century, John D Rockefeller, Jr built and donated 57 miles of carriage roads to the park.
I had a blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream
The park service has honored his wishes, in that no motor vehicles are allowed on these roads. Walking, bicycling, or on horseback are great ways to explore these roads through the Acadia woods. Plenty of walking trails are available as well, apart from the carriage road system. Most of these roads get little use today in our auto-centric society! Plenty of people do enjoy them for what they were intended, but they represent only a fraction of the total overall visitors to Acadia.
We walked down one of the trails that led off from the restaurant, and passed by a small creek with a series of wooden footbridges across it. There were a few other hikers around, but not many. The rain was light, but kind of on and off today.
No cars are allowed on the carriage road system
The trail was starting to get a little muddy, so we hopped onto one of the carriage roads and followed that for awhile. We did a long loop around, admiring the scenery, then we found ourselves back at the Jorden House parking lot. Our car was in the road just a little further past that, so we hopped in and headed a little further down the road. Our next stop was the Bubble Rock pull off, which was a parking lot near the trail head of an approxamately 3 mile round trip hike to Bubble Rock, also known as balanced rock. This is a large boulder, a glacial erratic, that seems to be precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff. This big rock landed here when the glaciers melted, and deposited it in just the right place to make it interesting.
lots of little creeks with small bridge crossings
I had hiked to it a couple times before, and wanted to show Melissa.... unfortunately, the rain started to come down a little harder at that point, and we were both in need of a restroom break. Now, I can pick out any old tree off the trailhead, but Melissa prefers an actual restroom, and there were none nearby. That fact, plus the worsening weather conditions, plus the already-pretty-muddy trail, made us decide to hold off on this particular hike until tomorrow. We were also starting to run out of gas... we had been up since 4:30 am, after all! In the end, we decided to head back to the hotel to relax and maybe take a little nap! Maybe tonight we could check out the hotel pool? I hope this rain clears up for us by tomorrow!
We intended to nap for only about an hour or so.
Bubble Rock pulloff
.. but all the activity and lack of sleep caught up to us, and we wound up "napping" for almost 4 hours! After that, we no longer felt motivated to go across the street to check out the other facilities... we just stayed in bed and watched the Red Sox game! Being rainy and generally crappy out, we didn't even go out to dinner! Oh, well.... tomorrow is another day!