Wednesday, June 17 (Bar Harbor/Mount Desert Island)



Today was pretty much a perfect vacation day on our book! I woke up super
early, before 4 am, and then got rather restless as it was getting lighter
outside (we are far north, and it’s almost midsummer–so this feels like
northern Germany in the summer in terms of daylight hours!), especially
since the weather forecast had not lied and I caught glimpses of a clear
sky. At 4:25, I finally gave up on going back to sleep–I took my shower
and told Mark I would go watch the 4:47 am sunrise from the porch in front
of our motel room. Of course he was a good sport and joined me–it was
great to see the sun come up over the ocean. We then had some quick tea and yogurt and packed our stuff to head into Acadia National Park early. We
drove up to the highest elevation in the park, Cadillac Mountain, which at
1500 feet feels as alpine as it gets, given how shirt the growing season is
here. At 5:30 am it was bright and sunny up there, but also extremely windy
and quite cold. But so beautiful! The blue water, lush green foliage and
harsh pink granite make for a fabulous mix, and we loved the little islands
we could see (Maine has thousands of them; these were the Porcupine Islands, and they looked like the ridge on a stegosaurus back to me).

We then drove the same route through the park we took yesterday, but this
time with sunshine and views! We stopped at virtually every pullout, but
our favorites were Sand Beach (a dumb name in any other place, but actually sandy beaches are a total rarity here; this is the only one in this area) and Otter Point, which has a great view and then a path to backtrack to it along the cliffs right by the shore. Beautiful.

At about 8:30, we made our way out of the park and drove to nearby Northeast Harbor. We had coffee, a pastry and a to-die-for fresh-baked cake donut for a snack, and then found the boat that we were booked to take a harbor/bay cruise on. Our friends Richard, Lorraine and Rebecca (from Hastings) met us on the boat. The tour was about 2 1/2 hours long and included a ranger as a guide and a stop in one of the few remaining islands in Maine that are occupied year-round, Little Cranberry island. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and our guide, but the absolute highlights were the seals that were sunning themselves on a rock, including a very sleepy seal baby, and two osprey nests. We also saw a bald eagle from a distance, but it was quite a distance! The island visit was mildly interesting, but I was surprised to see so many cars in such a small island–about a dozen right by the harbor, even as only 85 people live there year-round–300 in the summer when the summer residences kick into gear. Bathe last part of the cruise led us into the actual Somes Sound (a kind of fjord, but apparently missing some sort of trait that would really make it a fjord in the strict sense) and we had the coast very close to us on both sides. The guide talked a lot about the wealthy mansions on both sides, which was a bit boring–but it IS great that the original super rich who moved here in the 1880s and then for the next five or six decades, tended to follow the Rockefeller example and donate their land to the government.

We got back to Northeast Harbor a little before 1 pm, and had lunch with
Richard, Lorraine and Rebecca at the old and authentic Azicou Inn. We sat
on the terrace, which had a fabulous view of the entire harbor, and had a
good, although not outstanding, lunch including a popover, which is
apparently traditional here. I had a lobster roll, but it was just ok; Mark
had a standard hamburger. But we had a good time and the view was truly

After this late lunch, mark and I drove back to Bar Harbor through the park,
and took a short nap to recuperate from the already long day. We got back
up at 4 and walked downtown, because we wanted to catch the low tide and
walk back over the sandbank “bridge” to Bar Island and hike to the top.
That was fun, as was rambling around the sandbank, which we had seen fully submerged on Monday night). Then we found ourselves a restaurant for a lovely salad and a good pizza, walked over to a main-drag ice cream store for a scoop of overpriced ice cream , and walked back home (5.89 miles without an issue, yay) to call it a day. A fabulous day!


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