Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Acadia National Park

(Holden, ME) Hi 86 Lo 60 – Today was bright, sunny, and warm; a perfect for a day of exploring Acadia National Park. We left around 9am for the 45 minute drive. On the way we stopped at Mt. Desert Narrows RV Resort in Bar Harbor for a short visit with Karen, an RV-Dreamer we met once before at the Tampa RV Show.

Karen’s husband Al was running an errand, but we spent a nice hour or so with Karen and she gave us some great tips on what to see on our driving tour around Acadia. Thanks Karen, it was great to see you again.

Acadia National Park is on Mt. Desert Island. We split off the highway that leads to Bar Harbor, which brought us to the Park Visitors Center. We stopped briefly to get a park map, and were quickly on our way around the 27-mile long Park Loop Road. It wasn’t long before we were pulling over to park so we could take in the wonderful scenery. Here’s some examples. (click pictures to enlarge)

I was able to zoom in my camera enough to see this lobster boat. Looks like he has a full load of lobster traps on deck.

The road was wonderful, very smooth and not too curvy. It did have a few low bridges, so we’re glad we weren’t towing our home through the park.

Everyone we talked to who knew about Acadia told us not to miss the drive up to Cadillac Mountain. It was a 3.5-mile drive up a winding road (but again, very smooth), which offered some spectacular views on the way.

We reached the top, some 1,500 feet above sea level. It’s the highest point on the island, and the views all around were incredible. This is Bar Harbor in the distance.

Here’s a closer view.

We were surprised how many islands there are just off the coast of Maine. You can really see them from up this high.

Here’s a view of the road on the way back down to sea level.

After completing our way around the loop road it was 2pm, so we were getting pretty hungry. Our plans for today included another lobster dinner for Dee. She’s really been looking forward to enjoying fresh Maine lobster, and one of the best places for it is Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bernard, on the other side of Mt. Desert Island. So we headed that way. By the time we got there (about 15 miles away) we were famished. Here’s the restaurant, which sits right on a beautiful harbor.

Is this the perfect coastal Maine scene, or what?

Next door to the restaurant is a lobster house.

There were dozens of lobster traps in the dock.

At Thurston’s you choose the size lobster you want and they reach into one of several tubs (segregated by the size of the lobster) and show you your future meal.

After you pay up, they take your lobster, add an ear of corn, and put them in a net bag and throw them into the large cooker on the back deck.

After it’s cooked to perfection, they pre-crack the claws and get it ready for serving.

Then they call your name, and you go to the window to pick it up.

I’m not a big lobster eater, so I had a steamed clam dinner.

Naturally, the food was excellent. Dee got a 2-lb lobster, which is big for her. She usually gets a 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb lobster, but these are soft shell lobsters, which have a little less (but sweeter) meat in them. Needless to say, she was in heaven! She’s become quite the expert at cracking open a lobster, and I love watching her enjoy herself.

We had one more stop before leaving the island. Just a few miles from Thurston’s is the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. It’s one of the many lighthouses on the Maine coast. It’s down a short path from the parking area to a fenced in area that kind of restricts your opportunity for a good photo because you’re so close.

It was a full day! Acadia is a beautiful place. I know we could spend days here exploring every nook and cranny of the park. Most people who spend multiple days are hikers. We saw many trail heads with dozens of cars parked nearby, so hiking is very popular in the park. We’re satisfied that we saw the best the park has to offer.

Tomorrow we’re going back to Mt. Desert Island, but this time to check out Bar Harbor (or as the locals say, Bah Hahba!).


owensontheroad said...

I have been loving all the pictures from all the Dreamers who are in Maine this summer. Looks like George and I will put that on our list!

Gin and Syl said...

We absolutely loved our time there in July! It's absolutely awesome! Glad you had a beautiful day there to enjoy the Loop Road and Cadillac Mountain.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Wow, beautiful scenery and lobster to eat. Doesn't get any better than that!!

A couple of newer paintings 2019 said...

Jealous! Loved that area. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Beach Lovers Martha & Lee said...

This is our second year workamping in Maine. We love it here. There is so much to see. Moosehead Lake is beautiful and the Rangeley area and the Height of the Land are awesome. We have been to many remote areas but are still waiting to see a moose. Our next day trip is Baxter State Park. We went there last year but couldn't take the dually. We have the car this year.

Bill and Nancy said...

Glad you had a great day to ride the loop road and head to Cadillac Summit!! I am still going through Acadia withdrawal;o( It is an AMAZING National Park:o)

Rod Ivers said...

I'm certain that Dee was in heaven with such a big Lobster.. but I am with you... Why do I have to clean my dinner right on my dinner plate...? But I do like Lobster Rolls after someone else does that messy part.... LOL

Janice Williford Evans said...

I posted almost the exact same pics of your Park Loop Tour on our blog Monday, and of Thurston's and Bass Harbor on Tuesday. . .so funny!

Hope y'all continue to have a great time. . .don't miss Schoodic!

Anonymous said...

While you are alone, take the short & easy drive to Bucksport (it parallels the Penobscot River) & eat lunch at Crosbys. They have the most delicious fried clams & lobster rolls...not fancy but a great place to eat!