Monday, August 6, 2012

Too HOT for a Hike! Let's Go for a Drive....

Bar Harbor, ME  Mount Desert Narrows   High: 81   Low: 63

We had every intention of going for a hike today...but it was in the middle eighties and after having day after day of 70's temps, today was muggy and hot, really hot. Sparky was actually the one that decided let's wait till tomorrow, we'll go early in the morning. (HOW early? wonders E. You have to get out on the trails before 8:00 AM, especially on the weekends before it gets really crowded or you can't get a spot in the parking lot.)  Really, the best time to go for a hike is late in the day, when everybody heads home for dinner. So, we went for a drive to the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island.

Down Pretty Marsh Road, on a winding road, past the national park's canoe rental and boat ramp--good kayak put in! Sparky made a note to come back another day. We continued on past little harbor towns.....It was wonderful....just a whole different world out there.... We drove the highway 102 loop on the west side of the island for about an hour. We saw Seal Cove and passed through the towns of West Tremont and Tremont on highway 102.

Sparky enjoyed looking at the Maine style houses--sort of Cape Cod looking, some of them, with the clapboard shingles styles. Everybody it seems, has a garden. Everybody has a HUGE stack of firewood in their yards. Either they are selling it to the campgrounds or they are stocking up for harsh winters! Sparky has fallen into the enticing hype of various publications out there about the hardworking, rugged easterners of Maine, who are a hardy stock. They grow their own vegetables, they fuel their houses with wood burning stoves, they pick their own blueberries ;-), they sustain themselves more completely than the rest of the U.S. population...Or not.....It's not hard to imagine that people who live here year round might not be more hardy than the rest of us, who's to say?...Life as a lobsterman certainly is a rugged, dangerous vocation and there are a LOT of lobstermen on Mount Desert Island...Some day we'd like to find out more about that....Bet this boat has some stories to tell!

We continued on the main highway 102, with Sparky telling Eldo to stop often, sometimes very suddenly much to his frustration.  ("WHERE? You want me to stop NOW?" ) and revisited Bass Harbor, where a great little restaurant sits on the water--Seafood Ketch--great clam chowder there. On the way back north up 102, we stopped to get photos of various Maine scenery....

Seawall and Southwest Harbor........
Southwest Harbor
We saw the Hinckley shipyard where some SERIOUS boatbuilding is going on!

We stopped at the visitor center once more, to find out about the peregrine falcons that are supposed to be nesting in the cliffs near the Precipice Trail. The nesting protection efforts by the park have not succeeded in keeping the falcons around, so the falcon watch has been called off, and the Precipice Trail is open this summer. Normally, it had been closed in previous years to protect the peregrine falcons.

Clean, modern West Street cafe w/outdoor seating
We passed Eagle Lake and back through the little town of Somesville, which sits close to Somes Sound, the only fjord in the continental U.S. By this time, we were getting hungry...time to try out another little restaurant....West Street Cafe in Bar Harbor. It sits on the corner diagonally from the Bar Harbor Dock. Eldy and I split a seafood Alfredo, a happy hour special for 13.99, which was very good, and some onion rings, which weren't. They serve a very nice sized mesclun salad green, green salad with LOTS of veggies in it, which is great. Wish the midwest would get smart and start serving better salads than slapping a head of iceberg lettuce on a plate and calling it a salad!  We had poor service and they missed a side with Eldy's dinner. We just really appreciate an attentive waiter with genuine, friendly attention, we didn't get that....

Back home we came, full of harbor sights and beautiful views....just love this town and love this area....(AND the weather! reminds E.) Yep, we sure do!

PS. Any negatives about where we are staying? Yes! Our mi-fi card from Verizon is down in the dumps, it's a VERY poor signal in THIS RV park, but they say the wi-fi is spotty all over the island and so is the cell service. We find that to be true with both the Verizon mi-fi and AT & T phones. The park wi-fi has a hot spot, but it's at the activity center and they make you sit outside with the bugs, gnats and mosquitoes and no outlet!  Phooey!

Tomorrow, the hike and we're gonna do it! Aren't we, Eldy?  :-)


  1. Great shots of life in Maine. I too am drawn to the rugged aspect of the Maine lifestyle, so much so that I moved there from Missoula, Montana back in the 70s. I wasn't prepared for almost all the businesses in Camden that closed in the winter, leaving one cafe and one grocery store. Not sure if things are still like that now, some thirty plus years later.

    1. I think things are still much the same...not sure about Bar Harbor, but you can see the little towns around struggling, even during the summers. The lobstermen are having a hard time getting decent prices for their lobsters this year. I'd still love to live in Maine...all year round.

  2. Love that first photo. So cool.
    I think any type of person who makes his/her livelihood as a fisherman has a tough life. There is so many factors that can make the catch a good one or bad. It would make me crazy.

  3. I wonder what the population of Bar Harbor is in the winter when all the summer folks go home and how many businesses close then. Would you really like to be in Maine with all that snow?? You are hardier than I am, that's for sure.