At Arcadia National Park
July 17th, 2019 12:25 am
We pulled out of our campsite this morning at Rockport, happy to be moving on. Not a long drive today but we have been positioning ourselves to get to Arcadia National Park. It’s considered the jewel in the crown of the Maine coastline.
Arcadia National Park is 47,000 acres of preserved land on Mount Desert Island. There are walking and cycling tracks through it and roads for the car (probably not the coach). There are also carriage trails which were designed and implemented by Rockefeller and other philanthropists around the 1930’s. We haven’t explored yet and tomorrow it is due to rain so we won’t get to explore until Sat.
It’s colder here-such a contrast to our days in Florida where it was too hot to go outside. We are now in the land of deer, moose, bears, whales, seals and puffins.
Our first day of exploring had us waking up to a pea soup fog, so we waited for a while for it to lift and then thought we would explore anyway. We drove first to Bar Harbor which looked very nice but didn’t stop as even by then it was busy with tourists.
There are two main areas to explore, the east and west arm, we explored the eastern arm in a clock wise fashion. Arcadia is full of little bays with yachts and lobster boats heading in or out or on anchor. We are absolutely staggered at the number of lobster pots submerged with their floats on the top of the water, how can there be so many lobsters in the sea? Every bay has a ‘lobster pound’ where they are cooked up or sold live, usually 4 or 5 huge pots on the boil at once.
I asked a chap that was shelling some lobster if they really are caught at sea, or whether some are farmed. He said they are all caught at sea, that there used to be so many lobster off the coast of Maine that they would wash up on the shores where they would be collect and fed to the prisoners!
The landscape here is hilly which is unusual, it’s been pretty flat since Florida! The land here is covered in lovely trees, firs, pines, birch, maple, oak, and many more I don’t know the names of. They are mostly deciduous and the fall brings a second wave of tourism to this region to see what must be a magnificent colour change.
I wasn’t expecting many houses at Arcadia, I thought it might be like Gt Barrier, but there are many houses, and on this eastern arm there are some very grand and pretty houses. I try to imagine what it must be like to live here through a winter-it’s gets down to -40deg and they must get some howling gales blowing in off the sea.
We found some pretty Azalea gardens…
After doing nearly a full loop of driving we decided we would go for a cycle ride on one of the famed carriage ways. These carriage ways are for all forms of transport that is non motorized, not even E bikes are allowed. We cycled to a place called Jordans Pond which was very pretty.
The going was good on a mostly flat, gravelled and wide pathway.
We decided to take a track called ‘around the mountain’. After a long and very hard ride it became evident that this should be called ‘around and up and over the mountain along a series of strenuous switchbacks! We still had a way to go, I was getting tired and my knee was getting it’s biggest test so far!
Eventually we got to the top with some great views, and then a fast, free ride to the bottom. Husband is like a 6 year old on a bicycle, doing skids etc but he has more stamina that I!
On our cycle ride we passed over a few of the bridges that were very well designed and built.
The mountains in this region are made from a reddish brown granite that is very beautiful.
Time to get home for a well earned beer!
The following day we explored the western arm which was far less pretty and seemed more remote. Nothing special to see. We did a walk out to coastal area which was pretty but having seen the best of Arcadia the day before we returned to the coach early and I spent a lovely afternoon painting!