More Acadia National Park and Camden Hills State Park

August 28 – 30, 2020

Maine pandemic message

We spent a day visiting portions of the Park outside the Loop Road, beginning in Bar Harbor, where we walked along the Shore Path.

Infinity pool overflow
Egg Rock – a protected haven for nesting seabirds.

Our next stop was Schooner Head Overlook on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island.

View east to Schoodic
Schooner Head – location of the former home Chatwold of Joseph Pulitzer, now apparently owned by an international tax law attorney.
Unusual boat storage technique
One design fleet in Seal Harbor at the southern end of Mount Desert Island.

We spent the afternoon at Thuya Garden and the Asticou Terraces in Northeast Harbor with its beautiful structures and vistas.

View out Northeast Harbor

We headed back up the east side of Somes Sound for dinner at Abel’s Lobster Pound located in the middle of Abel’s Boatyard. We were right on the harbor and enjoyed beautiful views from our private table.

Sylvie is quite comfortable parked alongside an inflatable. The last picture is looking back across Somes Sound to our campground.

Back at the campground our crowded site was evident, but the sunset light was nice under the rising moon.

Our last day at Mount Desert the sunrise was spectacular, foretelling the rain that would show up later in the day.

We went on one last hike nearby on the Fire Road in Somesville, where parking was still crowded.

We headed back to the west, met Doug’s brother Clay for lunch at Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast, and headed on to Camden Hills State Park. It is a beautiful park and the campsites are very private. The next morning we climbed Mount Battie from the west, or back side for a change.

A great day to fly a kite
Camden Harbor
Rockport Harbor
Rockland Harbor and Owl’s Head
Vinalhaven and Isle Au Haut
Schooner approaching a reef ominously named The Graves
Camden Harbor in the background
Rockland Harbor
Looking back at Mt Cadillac and Acadia
Blue Hill in the distance

We walked back down the hill to Sylvie and headed for home.

Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

August 26 – 27, 2020

Our campground was on the west side of Somes Sound, the fjord that splits Mount Desert Island. Our campsite “with water and mountain views” was not the greatest, but we didn’t spend too much time there. As I told someone upon our arrival, “We have a peek a boo view of Somes Sound and the mountains. Surrounded by babies and dogs from Massachusetts.” All very friendly.

We spent a day driving the Acadia Loop Road. We hoped to hike at the Bubbles or elsewhere, but there was a large amount of traffic, and parking was scarce in the most popular places. Unfortunately, the explorer buses did not run in 2020. Our first stop was the summit of Mount Cadillac with its spectacular views.

Looking East to Schoodic Peninsula
Looking northeast
South towards Otter Cove
Looking southwest
Looking northeast to the mainland
Looking north, and yes, Katahdin is out there somewhere.

The loop road runs clockwise around the eastern part of Acadia National Park. We headed south and stopped at Otter Point for lunch. We walked along the rocks along Otter Cliff.

Looking east towards Schoodic Point
Great Head on the eastern side of Mt Desert Island
Winter Harbor Light on Mark Island
The causeway crossing Otter Cove that we had seen from Mount Cadillac

Fortunately Anne had told us about a little known area of the national park, the former location of George Dorr’s House on Compass Harbor. He is known as the father of Acadia National Park, being instrumental in its creation and serving as the superintendent of the Park from its formation to his death. It is a lovely coastal walk.

The Dorr House built in 1878-80 and razed in 1951. George Dorr died in 1944 at age 90.
Compass Cove
Is there a face in there?

From Midcoast to MDI

August 25 – 29, 2020

We left New Harbor and Pemaquid for the trip north and east around Muscongus Bay, Penobscot Bay and Frenchman Bay to Mount Desert Island. Our first stop was the fishing town of Round Pond.

We headed north through Waldoboro and Union to Appleton, to visit our friend Caitlin on her farm and purchase delicious goat cheese and other treats.

We proceeded on to Northeast Harbor at Mount Desert Island. Our friends Anne and Robert hosted us graciously in their beautiful home. Anne is one of the most loyal followers of our blog and is also a wonderful cook. Her pandemic special is Pad Thai – delicious!

Post storm rainbow over the Cranberry Isles
Beautiful view from Anne and Robert’s deck to Bear Island Light and Isleford

We hiked the Beech Cliff Loop and Trail and the Valley Trail, both in the western portion of Acadia National Park. Below are views from Beech Mountain.

Southwest towards Southwest Harbor and Great Gott Island
South towards Greening Island and Western Way
The beach at the south end of Echo Lake
Northeast over Echo Lake

After our hike we had a nice outdoor lunch at a Bass Harbor restaurant.

Midcoast Maine

August 23 to 24, 2020

We started this trip in Boothbay, mooch-camping at our friend Chip’s lake house. There are interesting sculptures in beautiful scenery. It is great swimming, although it was a little daunting to have the Canadian geese sharing the lake.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse from a western point.

We left Boothbay and spent time touring the Pemaquid peninsula, beginning in Damariscotta.

These lovely ladies were visiting the midden, too.
We stopped for lunch at Christmas Cove in South Bristol.

The reconstruction of Fort William Henry is at Pemaquid Beach. Near the mouth of John’s River, it is the site of several forts beginning in 1630, until the reconstruction of the current structure in 1908 by the State of Maine. It is a beautiful site and views from the top of the fort are spectacular.

Fort William Henry 1692-1696

The history displays reminded me of a paper I wrote in college about Baron de Saint Castin, the Frenchman who married the daughter of the Wabanaki sachem, Marie Mathilde. They met at Castine and had a relationship that is romantically recalled in story and poetry. The Baron of St. Castine by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow appeared in The Atlantic in March 1872, and more recently For Jean Vincent D’abbadie, Baron St.-Castin was written by Canadian Alden Nowlan in 1967.

We spent the night at Sherwood Forest Campsite, a nice spot in New Harbor.

Peaks-Kenny State Park

August 8 to 9, 2020

We left Houlton early in the morning and were treated with a view of Mount Katahdin from the highway. We also saw two moose grazing in a marsh just off the highway! We drove west from the highway at Howland through Lagrange, Milo, and Dover-Foxcroft to Peaks-Kenny State Park on Sebec Lake. We arrived early enough to snag a non-reservable campsite.

After settling in we headed out on a hike through the park.

It is a rocky hike with lots of interesting trees and flora. There are a number of trees with roots grown over the top of boulders. The light coming through the trees was interesting.

Near the high point of the hike is a picnic table sculpture by artist Wade Kavanaugh.

And a rare sighting of the photo-taker.

After the hike we swam in Sebec Lake – beautiful! We will definitely return to Peaks-Kenny when we have an opportunity.

And the next morning we headed home to Cumberland and our pileated woodpecker.


August 6 and 7, 2020

We drove south through Westfield to Mars Hill, the site of a substantial wind farm, then through Bridgewater, Monticello, and Littleton.

Irrigation equipment
Saturn! A model of the entire solar system is built along Route 1 in Aroostook County.
Windmills on the hill tops.

Our campground, My Brother’s Place, was close to the Canadian border. Unfortunately, there were many empty spaces that would normally be occupied by Canadians. It was nice and spacious and surrounded by hiking paths.

Shelter over the picnic table.

The next day Doug played a round at the Houlton Golf Club, with its strong loon theme – even the tee markers are loons. Judy walked the first nine holes with him.

Sylvie at the golf course.
Rolling fields and farmland in the distance.

East to Houlton

August 6, 2020

After three nights in St. Agatha we headed east and south to complete our tour of the Crown of Maine. We returned to Route 1 in Grand Isle and followed it along the St. John River and Canadian border through Lille, Notre Dame, and Keegan to Van Buren.

Views from Van Buren across to Canada. Unfortunately, this is probably the closest Sylvie will get to Canada in the year 2020.

After a fun, brief, socially distanced visit with a Van Buren attorney with whom I have worked for many years, we headed southwest on Route 1 through beautiful farmlands.

We stopped in Presque Isle at the Veteran’s Park for lunch. Who knew that George Washington founded the Purple Heart?

South of Presque Isle is Aroostook State Park, Maine’s 1st state park! It’s a beautiful spot on the west side of Echo Lake, and a place to which we plan to return. We could hear the young eagles in the nest, but only spotted one adult.

St. Agatha and Sinclair, Maine

August 5, 2020

We took a long hike around St. Agatha, following snowmobile trails through the woods and fields of potatoes.

Potatoes in blossom.

Over the hills and through the fields we came upon a view of Long Lake again.

It is a pretty town, with a wonderful name for its schools, and prairie dogs???

We had to climb the hill back up to Lakeview Campground, back to that beautiful view of Long Lake and home to Sylvie.

For dinner we headed to the much acclaimed Long Lake Sporting Club, and our dinner did not disappoint. Views are beautiful, though we could not understand the flocks of seagulls so far inland.

The loons are beautiful.

Back at the campground, Aroostook’s Big Sky displayed a beautiful sunset.

The Crown of Maine

August 4, 2020

Look at a map of the counties of Maine and you can see why Aroostook is called the Crown of Maine.

The morning after our arrival at Lakeview Campground in St. Agatha, the weather was brighter and we headed out to take Sylvie as far north and west as we were comfortable. We went to a point just before “Little Black Checkpoint” on Map 66 of the DeLorme Atlas and Gazatteer.

The Bridge at Dickey, part of the town of Allagash, looking south across the St. John River (both above and below).


The St. John River looking east

We headed back east to the junction of the Allagash River with the St. John River. The Allagash comes in from the south to the east-flowing St. John.

Looking north from the Route 161 bridge over the Allagash to its merger with the St. John.
GPS view

Fort Kent, where U.S. Route 1 begins or ends, according to your perspective. Yes, we were at the other end of Route 1 earlier this year.

Madawaska, Maine and Edmundston, New Brunswick are linked by a mile-long pressure pipeline that carries pulp created in the Twin Rivers plant in Edmundston across the border to the paper mill in Madawaska. It looks like one big town. Most of the structures in the following photos are in Canada.

It’s all about the timber industry.
We continued along the top of the Crown to Grand Isle, then headed inland to see potato fields in bloom.

Then we ran into this yearling – oops, bad terminology, not literally!

On our way back to St. Agatha we drove through Pelletier Island in Long Lake, connected by a long causeway to the shore.

Heading North in Maine

August 2 – 3, 2020

Since we could not go out west this summer, we accomplished another travel goal closer to home, spending some time in Aroostook County. We started up I-95 and visited at my alma mater, the University of Maine.

We had lunch on the bank of the Stillwater River in Orono.
Achoo! (not C-19)

We took a quick spin through Millinocket to have my National Parks Passport stamped for our trip last fall to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. There are rusting abandoned railroad cars taking up the tracks between Millinocket and East Millinocket, emblematic of the local area state of affairs after the mills closed down.

Our campsite at Katahdin Shadows Campground in Medway.

The next morning we headed north on Route 11 and soon began to realize how big and diverse the State of Maine really is.

Beautiful farmland.
And streams.
But it was getting stormy.

We reached Eagle Lake, the home of esteemed legislator John Martin, former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and longest serving member of the Maine legislature.

Eagle Lake

We finally reached Fort Kent, with its French-Canadian influenced architecture.

There are reminders that this is a border town and that is Canada right across the sometimes very shallow St. John River.
Judy worked on photographing the views of Long Lake for which Lakeview is named.

The first evening we made reservations to eat at the Lakeview Restaurant – no one told us it was “all you can eat wings night”. Too many people for our comfort.