Trip Journal – Bar Harbor


We are wrapping up our week in Bar Harbor and pulling up stakes tomorrow on our way to Lubec, Me. which is right outside Campobello Island, FDR’s former summer home.  We have enjoyed our week in in Bar Harbor. We are glad that we decided to come the week before Memorial Day. We have frequented the area before during the summer months and the traffic and crowds have gotten worse as the years have gone by. This week we were able to get to places with little trouble and park our large truck without too much difficulty.

Our campground, the KOA Oceanside, provided a spacious site with a full view of the Western Bay of Mt. Desert Island. The view through the windows in our TV sitting area afforded some spectacular sunsets. The wind off the bay during a couple of the more windy days kept the temperatures a little cooler than we would have liked. Our site included a slate patio with a built-in- fire pit, picnic table and a brand-new gas grill. In addition to several sites of all shapes and sizes, the campground has several new cabins for rent and sites that hold Airstream trailers which can also be rented.


Sunset on the Western Bay

We tried to do things that we had not done during previous visits. One of first activities was to walk the Shore Path. The Shore Path runs parallel to Main St. in Bar Harbor and starts at one end at Ells Pier. It is approximately a two mile walk along and paved path overlooking the rocky shore. The views of the many islands off shore, as well as some of the homes and hotels along the shore, are stunning. We stopped for breakfast at a pizza joint that had been recommended by one of the shopkeepers on Main St. Surprisingly Eileen’s veggie omelet and my pancakes were pretty good. They did offer breakfast pizza but we eschewed that for a more traditional breakfast.

Of course, any visit to Mt. Desert Island and Bar Harbor is not complete without a visit to Acadia National Park. As we are trying to stay active and find excuses for exercise as much as possible we chose the obvious – a walk on the Roosevelt Carriage Roads. I have still have memories of camping in Acadia with the kids and their droning complaints as we walked these trails several days. Walking and enjoying nature was not high on their list. This was even before the explosion of PlayStation and other distractions. They would moan and complain and we would make them hike and walk anyway.

We had plans to go to the Jordan Pond restaurant and have some of the best popovers anywhere. Unfortunately, we never got there. We did find a great restaurant at which to have dinner. Havana seems a bit out of place on the Maine coast but we decided that it sounded good and was different. Havana is located on the bottom floor of a house on Main St. We had mojitos and one of the best paellas I ever had. It was loaded with lobster, shrimp, scallops, muscles, chorizo and mixed with a saffron rice.  It was plentiful and delicious. We had a second meal from it the following night.

We went to the local YMCA a few mornings to workout. It is a good place to meet some of the locals and spend some time being reminded of how young we still are and what is coming for us before too long if we don’t try to take care of ourselves a little bit. I give credit to many of those who frequent the YMCA in many of these communities. Many are in the late 70s and 80s and still showing up a few times a week to take a water aerobics class, ride a bike or use the weight training machines. It is also a defacto seniors club where they catch up with each other. As can be expected much of the news is health related. Who is in the hospital or the procedure they just had.

Our new RV has less storage than our previous lemon. I considered leaving my golf clubs behind until we return in August. I was able to store them in the back seat so I brought them. I am glad I did. We passed Kebo Valley Golf Club a few times in our travels and it looked like a place I wanted to play. I did that yesterday. It was after lunch so I decided to play nine holes if they allowed it. Surprisingly they did. It is a beautiful course. It has lots of trees on its rolling hills and the backdrop of the local mountains create a breathtaking panorama. Many of the tee boxes are elevated providing stunning views on many holes.

I was a little stunned at how well I played given that I hadn’t played since Florida and the last few times I played in Florida were disasters. I was driving well and hitting it straight. Putting was still a struggle. Overall, it was a great round in a beautiful setting. The layout of the golf course was a bit strange. Most courses have the first tee, and the 9th and 18th greens near the clubhouse for obvious reasons. The guy in the clubhouse warned me that the 9th hole was as far from the club house as you could get. In order to get back you had to cross the entire expanse of the course. When I finished the 9th hole, the two guys I had asked to join me on the 4th hole were reading the course map and trying to assist with a route back.

I started the trek back and was following some of the later holes attempting the obvious path back. I was concerned that I was in the way of some of the golfers. I saw a path to the nearby road that was on the map and decided to brave the road as an expedient path back. It’s funny how slow a golf cart seems once you are on an open road. And if I had seen me running along the road, I probably would have either said what the —- is this guy doing, or I would have had a good laugh. I was running for a while and even made a turn onto another road. I was beginning to sense I had made a mistake when I saw a young man walking with ear buds. I stopped and asked if I was headed the right way for the clubhouse. Stifling a laugh, he said that I needed to turn around and go the opposite way for about half a mile.

I made it back safely and shared my ordeal with the young man working the carts. He had a good laugh and said that was the first time he had ever heard that. I was glad that I could be a spot of entertainment in his otherwise mundane day.

Eileen and I decided to hit the lobster shack right up the road from our campground. There were quite a few people having dinner despite the early time. Eileen decided to forgo the work and have a lobster roll and I decided to take on the task and get a lobster dinner that included a pound of muscles. That makes twice in one week I had eaten muscles. I had not eaten muscles in probably twenty years. We used to have them at Fishermen’s Memorial in Rhode Island. We would go down to the docks in Galilee and buy some fresh muscles and clams. Our friends Sue and Joe turned us on to stuffing cooking nets with the seafood as well as some cut up potatoes, hot dogs, and some vegetables of choice and steaming the bags until done. That was a great meal with some melted butter. After playing golf, a lobster, some muscles and a couple of Coronas hit the spot.

We returned to our site and built a fire. We enjoyed some conversation with our neighbors, Margot and Phil, who are visiting Maine in their fifth wheel from the St. Louis area. They have a nine-month old golden retriever named Molly who is full of piss and vinegar just like Murphy used to be when he was that age. The park was beginning to fill up a little at the beginning of the holiday weekend. There were noticeably more children adding some squealing, and yelling parents.

Today we learned that the little three-car, colorful train right across from us and next to the “Krustacean Station” actually moves. Some of the little ones and their moms have been towed around the campground having a ball.

It’s time to pack up and move in to the next stop and find a few new adventures and things to experience.

Categories: Campground Reviews, Daily Trip Journal, Restaurant Reviews, UncategorizedTags: , ,

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