September 30, 2003


To their credit, the Lucerne Inn was gracious about accepting our early departure. They offered another room when Becky told them we were leaving due to excessive noise. There were so many other things that bugged us that we declined.

We headed east on 1A towards Ellsworth in search of Curves since we weren't able to find one yesterday. A check of the phone book showed that there was one on Main Street. We figured we wouldn't have any trouble finding Main Street, but we were mistaken. 1A has seen extensive development of endless strip malls and there's hardly any signage for any of the original streets in the town. After a couple of u-turns (my specialty) we did get there and I was able to whip into a parallel parking space just a few feet from the door. While B did her workout I browsed a nearby toy store and a slightly-less-close-by used book store. Didn't buy anything, though I was tempted by a Bendo on clearance at the toy store.

From Curves we continued down on 1A and then 3 over the bridge onto Mt. Desert Island and on into the town of Bar Harbor. There were a whole lot of people there! We thought on a Tuesday it'd be pretty dead, but the joint was jumping with people walking around all over the place and other people driving around all over the place. We got out of there pretty quick. On the road out of town we went right past the Jackson Laboratory which Rachel specifically asked us to take a look at. It looked like a lab, Rach. (They breed lab rats there so it probably smells like rat food all the time.) Sorry, enough private jokes. Shortly after seeing the lab we stumbled onto an entrance to Acadia National Park.

Acadia Park is scattered across parts of a couple of big islands, a handful of tiny ones, and a mainland peninsula. The largest contiguous part is on Mt. Desert Island and our travels today took us through only about half of that. It's a big park. The island is called Mount Desert because some explorer guy saw its glacier-scalped summit and thought it looked like a desert up there. It's not as bare as all that. The whole island is heavily wooded, but as it's also largely exposed granite and other stone, there are stretches of bare patch as well. After a couple of days of rain, it was beautiful and clear today, perfect for appreciating the varied terrain of the park.

Becky communing with the Atlantic Ocean
We started off at Sand Beach, and you can guess what happened there. Jeff and Becky at Sand Beach in Acadia National ParkA nice gentleman offered to take our picture so you get proof that I'm actually on the trip and haven't been replaced by some imposter. Half-a-mile around the park loop road from Sand Beach we found a nice rocky beach that's more what I think of as the ideal ocean experience. This is no doubt from my childhood visits to the rocky Northern California coast, which this strongly resembles except for the completely different kinds of rock. Jeff communing with the Atlantic OceanThe sound of this beach was really cool. When the waves were going out, the stones would bounce and churn against each other. Rocky beach at Acadia National ParkImagine you're rolling half a dozen marbles around in your mouth. Now imagine that the marbles are the size of your head (and your mouth is commensurately larger!), that's the sound of this beach.

We stopped for a snack from our stores at a picnic area where we had to fight off ferocious chipmunks. I didn't take the camera there, but you know what chipmunks look like. These had a wicked gleam in their eyes that said they'd happily kill us for the nuts we were eating. They reminded me of monkey pox-infected groundhogs, only smaller and cuter.

Bar Harbor, ME from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National ParkRefueled, we decided to make the drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island at 1,530 feet. The view from up there was spectacular.

We took a drive over to one of the other towns on the island and did a little shopping (very little), then headed back to the mainland.

We headed west (woohoo!) on highway 1 and fetched up in the town of Bucksport where a motorlodge set back from the road caught our eyes. Pricetag: $62 with tax and an end unit to boot. The walls are as thin as those at the Lucerne, but at this price point, it's a lot easier to take. The owner suggested a restaurant so we went to MacLeod's and split the two seafood specials. One was haddock in a very light pesto sauce, the other a combination of shrimp, scallops, and haddock in a cream sauce. Both were yummy. The scallops in particular were cooked perfectly and delicious. Becky had raspberry shortcake and I had lemon meringue pie. We split a half carafe of a nice Chilean Merlot/Cab. Total bill including tip: $65. A wonderful dinner and a night's stay for $20 less than last night's lame motel.

We were feeling stuffed so we took a stroll up the street and saw that there was a book store in town. Much to our surprise, it was still open (M-F 9-8). The store is called "BookStacks" and has an impressive selection of books and a mindboggling array of magazines plus a bookstore cat in training (cute little polydactyl kitten I had fun playing with). It turned out that the owner was sitting right across from us at the restaurant with his family and came into the store after us.

So, Becky's favorite kind of beach, my favorite kind of beach, lovely scenery, a decent motel room, a delicious meal, and a fine bookstore. Not too shabby a day for our fourteenth anniversary.

Posted by jeffy at September 30, 2003 08:55 PM
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