It was daylight by 5 am this morning. We were up soon afterwards and it was just as well. We needed to get moving as our plan for the day was a drive to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
We packed the ice chest, snacks, maps, cameras, sunscreen, etc. and headed out by 8:00. We enjoyed the drive of about 50 miles and soon found ourselves at the
Hulls Cove Visitor Center. While I was getting the stamp for my passport book, I saw this
booklet and thought it would be helpful as we made our way through the park.
The loop that we drove today was started in 1922 and was not complete until sometime in the 1950's. This loop is not intended as a throughway, but as a meandering scenic experience...so if you are ready, let's go.
Frenchman Bay Overlook, you get a glimpse of the ferries docked at Bar Harbor. These ferries used to make the trip back and forth to Nova Scotia. However, as of last August, Nova Scotia no longer wanted to finance the ferries...so no more trips out of Bar Harbor or Portland.
As far as Frenchman Bay goes, sailing vessels have come and gone from here for centuries. The first recorded visit was in 1604.
If you watch the tide and the time, you can actually
walk out on the bar. The bar is passable only for about 3 or 4 hours.
Continuing on, we stopped at an overlook where in
1947, a fire swept through the area. The fire was officially declared out after 26 days. It burned one third of the forest destroyed over $11,000,000.00 worth of property in Bar Harbor.
Today, fire regulations are strictly enforced.
As we rounded the next corner, there were lots of folks out beside the road, along with a couple of rangers. They were all looking up at the
top of this mountain. As we joined them, we found out that they were waiting on a young Peregrine falcon. Peregrines have nested here since 1991 and draws people back year after year to watch their activity on the nesting cliff. We did finally get to see him flying, but too far away for my camera.
The next stop was my favorite, Sand Beach. Because where there is water, and where there is sand...
there my feet will be! And, always a
message in the sand.
This was a great area, and lots of
folks enjoying the beach.
I would have loved to have been here at high tide
to catch a little more action.
But, time to leave
Sand Beach and head for
Thunder Hole. Here the ocean is burrowing its way into Mount Desert Island. When the tide is right and waves are high enough you can
see the water rush in, slam against the back of the void and
produce a thunderous sound as it pours back out to the ocean.
There were lots of
rocks here to walk around on, or just take a quick rest before heading on to
this little waterfall that comes from under the bridge and flows out to ocean.
the top of the mountain. At 1,530 feet, we were at the highest point of land along the Atlantic coast. During certain times of the year, if you are standing here in the early morning hours, you would be the first to see the sunrise in the United States.
But, even if you don't get there early enough to see the sunrise, you can come a little later and see
Seal Harbor and Cranberry Islands. Or if you look the other direction and see
There is an easy foot trail around the summit, less than a mile that allowed us to see some of the same things that we had seen at sea level.
Stewman's for a a late lunch/early dinner. We were seated on the patio with
Our food soon
arrived. A lobster roll, sweet potato fries, and cole slaw. Yummy!
As we were enjoying lunch, a brief conversation with our waiter revealed that
this chair was the very one that President Obama had sit in just two days ago while he and his family were vacationing in the area.
After finishing our great lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon walking the
streets of Bar Harbor and enjoying the sights and sounds of the
We returned to our little town of Hermon as the sun was going down. I am glad the sun came up at 5 am this morning and that we got an early start. Otherwise, just think what I might have missed!