Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park – Trenton, ME

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This picture was actually taken in Southwest Harbor , which lies adjacent to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine

Trenton is a bordering town to Mount Desert Island, Maine. Our reason for staying there is that it offered all the conveniences of getting in and out of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park without actually staying on the island itself. The problem with staying nearer to the center of Mount Desert Island (“MDI”, as the Down Easter’s call it), is that any trips to a major grocery store or hardware store take 14 miles at 40 mph (when traffic is good, which it often isn’t right now because of construction on one of MDI’s major roadways).

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You can see a bit of Bar Harbor and the Porcupine Islands here. Both are located on Frenchman Bay

Acadia National Park comprises a major piece of Mount Desert Island as well as some of the outlying islands and a peninsula. The three major features to it besides the trees and coastline are Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond, and the Sand Beach. We did not see the latter because of the parking situation there.

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Main St. in Bar Harbor
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More of Main St.

The traffic in and around the park is fine, but the parking areas are a congested. There was no mistaking the fact that it was summer vacation for most people. Suffice to say that we had plenty of company during our visit.

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The very picturesque Bar Harbor
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This is the 151 foot long sailing vessel, Margaret Todd. They take three trips daily out of Bar Harbor for whale watching and cruising. There is another shot of it in action later
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Another shot of the harbor

Naturally, our first stop into Acadia was the town of Bar Harbor. It’s pretty, but you’ll probably have to park a mile outside of town if you go on a weekend. We got lucky and after driving around for 15 minutes or so downtown and found someone leaving their parking spot. We learned to go later in the day after all the tourists had been there.

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These little gems – Lobster Rolls – go for about $18 a throw. This is nine bucks sitting here. In our estimation, they are overpriced chicken salad sandwiches without the flavor. As for the clams, they are “soft-bellied clams,” and they can taste a bit like liver. We didn’t care for either as served by Smokey’s BBQ and Lobster Pound (maybe we should ordered brisket or ribs). I think this was the one and only lobster roll I’ll ever eat
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There is a scenic walk around the harbor that is worth taking. These are some of the pictures that were taken there
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This rock arrived in Bar Harbor after traveling from a location about 300 miles north during the last ice age (written as if we will have another, if you’ll notice). Geologist figured it didn’t belong here because of its composition. It does look a little out of place
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More from the scenic walkway around the harbor
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Here’s S/V Margaret Todd with sails being unfurled. You can see all the lobster trap floats in the water
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The walk around the harbor trail is worth it, and if you go on a hot day you can refresh in the cooler offshore temperatures
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This shot of the town of Bar Harbor happened to be taken on a little clearer day than the ones that follow
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Here’s a shot of Bar Harbor from the top of Cadillac Mountain, 1,500 foot in the air. You can see it was a bit foggy that day

Our trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain (about 1,500 feet elevation) and Jordan Pond in Acadia was done during a foggy day. It had been cloudy for a couple days prior so I figured we had better take our chance while we could.

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We didn’t lack for any company at the top of Cadillac Mountain. Here you can see the islands in Frenchman Bay
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Sorry, I didn’t shave that morning
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I believe this is Eagle Lake, as seen from Cadillac Mountain
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Once again, it is starting to become overcast
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It started clearing up again on our drive back down Cadillac Mountain
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Jordan Pond was pretty nice. It had a little beach, and the water was clear and warm, although we didn’t swim in it
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Here is Bass Harbor Head Light. It is an active lighthouse. It looks a lot more utilitarian than Maine’s oldest lighthouse on Cape Elizabeth. This lighthouse is actually found a little past Southwest Harbor
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Just on the backside of Bass Harbor Head Light looking toward The Atlantic
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At this point you are looking into the entry to Somes Sound from Bass Harbor Light
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We simply stumbled across this while driving Highway 3 and thought it was pretty. You can see a kayak out in the distance if you aren’t viewing this image on your phone and are using  something with a bigger screen
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This is Southwest Harbor. It was very picturesque, but there wasn’t a whole lot of retail or dining in Southwest Harbor itself
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I took the opportunity to stop at West Marine and pick up a $10 canvas sewing kit so I could repair my $8 Walmart chair
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More of Southwest Harbor, which sits at the entry to the Atlantic
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Evidence that Southwest Harbor is a working harbor. The traps are baited using dried salted herring or haddock (apparently, herring is preferred)
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This is the Somesville Library. We found it on the way back from Southwest Harbor. It has a very pretty area of water nearby
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I believe this is the very back (top) of Somesville Sound
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This must be where fresh water empties into the sound and becomes brackish. I suspect those lily pads wouldn’t be growing in salt water
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A collection of some sort of lily pad, although I can’t be sure
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As you start to drive the Acadia Park Loop, it becomes one-way heading south and starts winding along the southeast-side of the island before making its way back north. It takes about 2-3 hours to drive the loop, depending on how many times you stop to take pictures
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There is no shortage of coastline in Acadia (and no shortage of daredevils who like to climb rocks)
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More coastline
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At this point you start heading south and looking into the Atlantic Ocean
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I’m not exactly sure of the vantage point or location here
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This is looking out to the Atlantic with Otter Point on the left
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There is no shortage of seagulls, as usual
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We enjoyed a couple drinks and some excellent brisket nachos at Jalapeno’s restaurant. This was taken before the nachos arrived
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Alayne loves these goofy things

We stayed at Timberland Acres RV Park in Trenton. It is one of the better parks you’ll find, but I’m guessing the Bar Harbor market is pretty competitive, so the bar is really high (no pun intended). We had a clear view of the sky, so there was lots of star gazing, and our satellite TV worked fine. Our pull-through lot measured 65 paces, which was enough to park our RV and three more just like on the site. Although the pool was nice, the weather wasn’t all that warm to swim in it unless you were a kid on summer vacation.

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Timberland Acres RV Park is very well maintained. I’m guessing the market in Bar Harbor makes it near impossible for run-down parks to stay in business
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Campground yard art in Maine
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It looked very well kept, and the water felt warm. BUT, you never saw anyone using it once the sun went down and temperatures dropped into the 60’s. Interestingly, Alayne took these pictures on a relatively warm day (78 degrees) and you still don’t see anyone using it
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Someone on Google complained that the sites were too small! While there is an older section to the park, it is packed with seasonal (permanent) rentals. But that must have been the part they were referring to

I spent a few days doing some maintenance around the RV, such as replacing the AC controller that I purchased a year ago, and replacing a couple lift motors for the exhaust fans. I also got around to washing 2,100 miles of dirt and bugs off the RV. Unfortunately, and you should take note here, the auxiliary compressor has sprung a leak, and I had to develop a work around to keep it from running non-stop until we get home. Cha-ching, cha-ching.

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Our site measured about 180 feet long. You could have parked our bus and three more just like it on the same site

Maine lays claim to lobster. Many people don’t know it, but lobster didn’t start out as a glory crustacean: It was fed mainly to servants and prisoners during the 1800’s. However, this ugly-as-hell animal has crept into society’s heart and commands about $13.00 a pound in Bar Harbor. We tried a couple of them, including the lobster roll previously mentioned, and we were underwhelmed. Personally, I find a good Mahi-Mahi or sea bass to be much more palatable.

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In our continued quest to eat our away across the U.S.A., we had a lobster bake-off, trying the lobster at both Geddy’s in Bar Harbor and Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound within 3 days of each other. This is the fellow at Trenton Bridge showing me a lobster. They are banded so they don’t bite each other’s claws off, thus ruining the meal
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This is Larry, our pet lobster. Unfortunately, he could only join us for dinner. We found the lobster at Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound a little sweeter than Geddy’s. They both had sweet claw meat, but the tails are pretty tough. I had the crab sandwich at Trenton Bridge as opposed to the excellent seared Ahi at Geddy’s, and it was about as unremarkable as the lobster roll at Smokey’s

As for the term “lobster pound,” it refers to anyplace live lobsters are kept. As such, a restaurant labeled “pound” will have live lobsters that you can usually take home and, of course, eat there.

Well that’s it for Bar Harbor. Following a quick stop in Augusta, ME, we’ll be on our way to Vermont.

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