I wasn’t long ago that I returned from a grueling trip through the Pacific Northwest and now I was off in the opposite direction to check out Acadia, the only National Park in the Northeast. I was to meet my brother and his girlfriend in Boston, rent a car, and make the 5 hour trip up the coast. I have never been to Maine, and was expecting cold temperatures.
Here is the Itinerary of the trip
I flew in a few hours early and since the rental car was in my brother’s name I had a few hours to kill. I boarded an airport shuttle at the airport and headed towards the Embassy Suites for a drink. They arrived soon enough and we stopped for dinner at an Italian place in the North End of Boston. Yes, I know that is a bit redundant. It was a nice place, too expensive for my tastes as I struggled with the pronunciation of their very basic dishes, thereby revealing my low-class lifestyle.
We were off, stopping for the night at a hotel outside of Portland. We shared a room, and I tried my best to turn the place into an icebox by bottoming out the AC. The next morning I got every bit of the complimentary breakfast and we followed the scenic coast route out to Acadia.
Checking in about noon at the visitors center, we got the low-down on trails, campground and were to procure live lobsters. We then waited 30 minutes at the entrance gate due to a combination of government-run inefficiency and inept visitor requests. Eventually we headed into the park, following the 1 way road on the East side of the below Map
Here is the National Park PDF map which is more detailed.
He Headed to Otter Point, following our guide to hike along the cliffs on Ocean Path Trail to Sand Beach and on up to the top of Bee Hive trail. Eventually returning to the car via Gorham Mountain Trail. A relatively tame 6 mile loop.
We parked the car and were surrounded by people dressed like butterfly catchers looking for tidal pool classes. We followed then down to the water and made our own way along the cliffs
In a former life I could tell you what type of rocks these are. I did try to taste them and can at least tell you that they are not salt.
Below are some of the tide pools. I was told you could see starfish and other sea creatures but I only saw some crab shells.
We did get a chance to do some bouldering a bit. I made a couple moves I probably should not have, but I was just too lazy to backtrack when I got stuck. I was concerned for Lisa, but in fact she was much more capable then me at this time of sport.
We would jump back and worth from the trail to the rocks, which were actually off-limits but no one seemed to adhere to that request.
Our first look at Sands Beach.
I was hoping to get a glimpse at some seals frolicking in the surf, but only children. I was surprised as I figured the water would be ice cold up here. Not sure about the water temperature, but the air was around 80 degrees, unseasonable warm for this time.
Some parts of the trail followed right along the road
Here is where the trail heads due west away from the coast up the vertical Bee Hive Trail.
The trail was not really that bad, but there were a few people on the trail that would have to turn back before certain death from heart attack or falling.
The trial was made more mane gable by the iron rungs the park placed to aid weaker mortals.
The top was pretty flat
We immediately headed down the pack of the peak and on towards Gorham Mtn.
Ending around 4pm we decided to skip the campground for now and head into town to grab supplies for our big feast. We stopped at a grocery store for beer, corn, potatoes, and plates and then headed over to a local pub to sample the Maine Blueberry ales.
Bar Harbor is about a stone’s throw from the park. It was a quaint little town that is beginning to become dominated by ice cream shops and T-shirt stores. But the bars and restaurants still look authentic, which is really all that is important. Lobsters are everywhere; T-shirts, snow globes, lawn ornaments, etc.
We stopped at Parsons
We had a tip that they sold live lobsters. The lady could not have been more helpful. Everything was working out to perfection. She was selling Soft Shell Lobsters (easier to crack open with hands) for about $6/pound. We loaded up about 6 two pounders
She also lent us a cooking pot and a bucket full of ice for our beer. We headed back to the campsite with the lobsters in the back struggling to free themselves from their paper bag. Stopping at a woodpile we gathered about 100lbs of wood, which were a few pounds over our allotted amount.
The campsite was typical. We set up shop and had the water boiling in about an hour. The lobsters could not wait to get wet, so we obliged. I was expecting all this screaming and pleading from under the lid, but all I heard was a quiet soothing whistle. I think they should add the sound to those devices people uses to fall asleep. A music box that plays white noise, waves crashing, rain on a tin rook and lobsters dying.
After much discussion on when to take them out, we removed one at 20 minutes and sampled
He looked the right color, but was a little soft. We left them in for another 5 minutes and they were done
It turns out we probably could have taken them out at 20 because the claw meat may have been a little tender, but the tail would have been perfect. In the end the elbow meat was the best, with the tail being a little tough, but no one complained. The potatoes we threw in a little before the lobsters and the corn a little after.
I followed my usual protocol of falling asleep by 9:00pm and had a lot of tossing and turning until first light.