We spent a day visiting portions of the Park outside the Loop Road, beginning in Bar Harbor, where we walked along the Shore Path.
Our next stop was Schooner Head Overlook on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island.
We spent the afternoon at Thuya Garden and the Asticou Terraces in Northeast Harbor with its beautiful structures and vistas.
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.
We walked back down the hill to Sylvie and headed for home.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
After our hike we had a nice outdoor lunch at a Bass Harbor restaurant.
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.
We left Boothbay and spent time touring the Pemaquid peninsula, beginning in Damariscotta.
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.
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.
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.
We drove south through Westfield to Mars Hill, the site of a substantial wind farm, then through Bridgewater, Monticello, and Littleton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
We finally reached Fort Kent, with its French-Canadian influenced architecture.
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.