Friday, September 12, 2014

Bar Harbor, Maine

We enjoyed our brief stay near Bangor, during which I was really happy to be able to upgrade my cell phone to a Samsung Galaxy S5 at the Verizon store. Don decided to accept my old phone, a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, as his new phone, and that enabled us to keep the unlimited data plan on my line, which we both use for Internet access. The only problem was when we got separated in a very large Wal-Mart later and tried to call each other, we discovered we had the wrong phone numbers – I couldn’t find Don’s number in my Contacts and he couldn’t find mine! When I figured out what was wrong and called him on my number, we went back across the parking lot to Verizon to get it straightened out.

Now we are in Bar Harbor (or “Bah Hahbah” as the locals say), which is part of the “Down East” portion of Maine. In Wikipedia you’ll find this term described as the “coast of Maine from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border, or sometimes the entire eastern portion of the state.” The article goes on to explain, "When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term 'Down East.'”

Bar Harbor is actually a collection of six villages: Town Hill, Eden, Salisbury Cove, Hulls Cove, Otter Creek, and downtown Bar Harbor. They are all on Mount Desert Island (originally Isles des Monts Deserts, meaning “island of barren mountains”), the largest island in Maine. The island is also home to Acadia National Park, which includes Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic coast.

So that’s your geography lesson for the day! For more information about the rich history of this area, follow the links or do your own research. Now, here are some pictures for you to enjoy.



Bass Harbor Head Light, built in 1858, is now automated and a private residence.


The waters off this point are dotted with one large and several small islands. The picture is looking south.


The harbors are all busy but not as packed with tourists as they would be prior to Labor Day. I’m so glad our visit falls after that “end of summer” marker!



Downtown Bar Harbor includes many quaint buildings occupied by restaurants, gift shops, spas and other businesses. The narrow streets, limited parking and congestion kept us from spending much time there.


You can get your fill of beautiful old New England houses. But note that most of them have modern conveniences such as electricity, telephones and satellite TV!



Many of the homes have been added onto over the years to accommodate growing and/or multi-generational families.




Some are still in need of TLC (tender, loving care).


What a nice setting for a library!


A visit to the Oceanarium – Maine Lobster Museum and Hatchery should be on everyone’s list when in the area. You can touch the arthropods in the Discovery Pool.


The starfish isn’t a fish.


The horseshoe crab has lots of legs and is a really interesting animal. Follow this LINK to learn a surprising fact about its role in modern medicine.


The lobster hatchery was fascinating. The vertical tanks each contain thousands of tiny lobsters in various stages of development.


This full-size lobster is in the tank in the foreground above.


Did you ever see a rare blue lobster?


There are lots of kinds of lobsters, and many have no claws!


This big guy was Don’s supper that night. Yummy!


Russ & Jane Darrow, with whom we crossed paths a few times in Newfoundland, were in Bangor getting service on their motorhome, so they drove to Bar Harbor for lunch with us and stayed for a nice long chat at our rig afterward. It was great to do some catching up with them.


Today we visited Acadia National Park, the first Eastern National Park. From one of the viewpoints we could see two huge cruise ships in Frenchman Bay off the coast of downtown Bar Harbor, using my zoom lens to the max.



Views from the top of Cadillac Mountain are spectacular! I’m glad we had a clear day so we could see a long way. But the brisk breeze made the temperature feel pretty chilly. This view epitomizes the term “barren mountain.”


See the cruise ships below?


We had lunch outdoors at the Jordan Pond House, overlooking – what else – Jordan Pond.


We saw a couple of Newfoundland dogs – one white, one black. Remember the photo scavenger hunt in Twillingate when we needed a picture of a Newfoundland dog and all we could find was one in a painted mural? Where were these guys when we needed them?


Our neighbors in this RV park (Hadley’s Point Campground) as of yesterday are folks we met the first time at Pippy Park in St. John’s, Newfoundland. We ran into them again on the ferry from Argentia, NL to North Sydney, NS. This seems to happen often in the world of full- or most-time RVers. We’ve enjoyed more chats with them and hope our paths cross yet again.