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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mount Desert Island ~ The Rocky Coast!


This morning, I expected to be socked in to a thick blanket of fog. It was dead quiet outside. I peeked around the blinds and did see a couple of tent campers moving around their tents. One guy held his hand face up and sort of looked up to see if it was raining. It wasn’t from what I could tell. I’m glad we have a truck camper. It isn’t too pleasant to pack everything when it is in a soggy state.

We got out of bed and had breakfast. Headed for the dump station to empty our holding tanks and fill-up with fresh water. Next stop was to the registration office to checkout. Before entering, I noticed a sign with today’s weather forecast. “Severe weather warning for later in the day, 90% chance of thunder storms with heavy wind”. It wasn’t raining or extremely foggy and we decided to explore the quiet side of the Island as long as the weather wasn’t a problem.

Bass Harbor Head Light

Sieur de Monts was our first stop after leaving Blackwoods Campground. Here we walked the Wild Gardens of Acadia at the Nature Center. Abbe Museum was here also, but we wanted to explore the outside as long as the weather held up and we bypassed this attraction. The Hull Visitor Center was next. We tried last night, but we missed the five o’clock closing. I wanted to get an Acadia National Park hiking stick pin. My collection of these pins is coming along very well. My hiking stick has about 16 inches of these pins on two sides. The stick was given to me by my grandson Sawyer a couple of years ago, when he was around nine years old. It isn’t an exotic species of wood. It’s plain old dog wood that came from our property. At the time, we were trying to make whistles with the dog wood. I started carving and first thing you know it was my prize walking stick.

Back to the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, the Bar Harbor side is full of tourists but the South West part of the Island is dotted with little towns, and coves. One gets to see the real coast of Down east Maine. I would say once you cross Somes Sound you are on the so called quiet side. Route 102 brought us down to South West Harbor. We stopped to get a few pictures of the boats anchored in the harbor. We walk up the highway a short distance to a pickup truck with fresh fish for sale. Helen bought some haddock. This vender did a good business this morning. He had several people stop for his products.
Sailing in the fog!

I turned off on RTE 102A which followed the coast line. A place called Seawall Picnic Area caught our attention and we walked the rocky shore line looking at rock shapes for our collection. The fog was still heavy off shore and we could hear boats moving up and down but we couldn’t actually see them. I managed to shoot a couple of pictures and still wound up with two souvenir rocks.

Seawall Campground came up and I drove in just to see if it was better than Blackwoods. I would say it’s about the same (heavily wooded sites with paved roads and the same type of restrooms). It would be an option, if we ever come this way again.

So far this weekend was working as I was hoping. The long adventure trip to Alaska wasn’t an isolated adventure. We were experiencing the same feelings of discovering new places, meeting people, sharing our experiences and generally having a good time.

Navigating the Rocky Coast

When you see pictures of the Maine coast, you are nearly always brought to this next spot that we discovered. It’s called “Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse”. It is not a well-marked road. What you do see is several signs that have (No RV’s). The road is very narrow and at the end is a parking lot that is small and hard to navigate. Our truck camper did very well, I backed into a spot and we were off… down the trail to the most scenic view of the “Rocky Coast of Maine”

Do You Think She Is Practicing Surfing?
The trail ends at a long set of wooden stairs down to the rocky ledge. The ledge is a little intimidating at first (at least for this baby boomer). It was best for me to shoulder my camera and have both hands available to maneuver over, around and up onto the beautifully colored rocks. Once I was out there, I felt safe and started to take those pictures I craved for. I was panning around with the camera and there I spotted Helen making her way out to take a look for herself. I couldn’t help take a few shots of her climbing the rocks. It gave scale to the outcroppings.  “Oh” I forgot to mention that the main reason for walking out here was also to shoot the Bass Harbor Headlight. This was not to be as I hoped. The light house was completely covered with construction staging and a green safety mesh. (Not the perfect ambiance for a light house). The pictures of the rocky coast will suffice. That’s what adventure is all about…the unpredictable!

The rest of the Island had a few more scenic coves, such as Duck Cove, Goose Cove and Seal Cove Pond. We passed Hall Quarry on this quiet side of Mount Desert Island. The quarry had samples of the polished Granite in several colors. The slabs were in the five by ten foot size. Priceless!
The Green Fence?

The weather was still holding up for us and we were back on the mainland heading for home. Most of the trip home was uneventful. We stopped in South Paris, Maine to check out the new Casino. It was only a mile out of our way. To our surprise the parking lot was full to capacity. I did manage to find a spot and we dashed into the Casino. Every slot machine was taken except for six or so. We donated a few coins and left. The first thing we heard on the radio was that emergency warning sound with the following automated voice saying…severe thunder storm warning with heavy winds and possible down trees and power lines for Lancaster, Lunenburg, Colebrook and Pittsburg, NH…  Take cover! It was just starting to drizzle and it was now night time and dark. I drove with caution and made it to Bethel, Maine before it really started to rain heavily. You know when your wipers are on high and you still can’t see anything. I slowed down to 20 miles per hour. The camper was still rock steady. It was windy, but not severe…yet! The New Hampshire border came up fairly fast and now we were only 20 miles or so from home. The lighting started. At first it seemed to be at a distance and then it was all around us. Down to 10 miles per hour, the traffic was light, but when a car did drive by it was hard to, or I should say impossible to see the road. The next twenty minutes was rough!  The town of Gorham soon was before us and the worst of the storm was behind us. We both had a sigh of relief. Our home town six miles up the road was the end of this adventure full weekend. The truck camper had lived up to its reputation of giving us adventure and fun for the weekend. I can’t wait to see where “Boomers on the move” will take us next.

That is what we saw and did

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