Last night was a beautiful, starry night. Even with the few lights on in the campground, the sky was black and the stars were out. The temp dropped down to 59 degrees overnight, so an additional blanket was needed. This morning, we turned on the fireplace to take the chill out of the air. We got ready and were on the move at 9:15. By now, the temp was 69 degrees, but the sun was out and only a light fleece was needed at times near the water. We took the highway towards Bar Harbor and turned off to enter Acadia National Park.
We were driving the Park Loop Road today, which is a one-way road going clockwise for most of its 27 miles along the coast of Mount Desert Island. Entering the park, we arrived at the Visitor Center which was crazy busy, so we decided we could pick up a map at the next park entrance station. We drove on, thinking we were on the Park Loop Road, but we discovered that we weren't and so we had to backtrack a little. We didn't want to miss any of the points of interest. Once we got back on the right road, we were all set to continue.
We used our Lifetime Senior Pass to enter which gets us into any national park, recreation area, or monument for free. Acadia has a bright green plastic holder that they give you to put your card into and then hang from the rearview mirror. That way the rangers can see it from a distance when you park your vehicle. It's a cool system. The drive took us to many overlooks, access to hiking trails, phenomenal views, and along some scenic roads.
On the cliffs overlooking Bar Harbor, we caught our first glimpse of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Adventure of the Seas, which arrived in Bar Harbor at 7 AM and departs at 6 PM tonight.
Good thing, we saved our visit to Bar Harbor for another day. There would be 3000 more people in town today. We could also see a large yacht anchored in the harbor there.
The park puts out a weekly booklet called the Acadia Weekly which contains a boatload of information for visitors to the park. It has a day-to-day calendar of events happening in the area, area maps, tide tables, sunrise and sunset tables, cruise ship arrival times, and a motorists guide. It was very helpful. We would save the drive up Cadillac Mountain and the hike/visit to Sand Beach for Tuesday. We stopped at this overlook and were able to see Egg Rock Light.
The road took us past Champlain Mountain (elev. 1058 ft.) where we saw climbers in the process of ascending this rock face. We could also see hikers who had made the climb to the top. Can you see the climbers on the rock face in the middle and at the top?
It was about 10:30 when we arrived in Seal Harbor for the first time. The tide was out–way out–and we were able to walk out onto the rocky beach quite a ways to the water's edge.
Bob checked his phone app to discover that there was a 13 foot tide swing today. He stood out on the raft that would normally be floating in the water, but not now. It was high and dry until the tide came in later today. (Compare this to our picture later in the day.)
We took our time on the drive today, stopping at most of the overlooks and walking to some. There were many people touring the park today and many of the parking lots were full, so we had to park along the side of the road. The next stop on the drive was at Thunder Hole.
Thunder Hole is a cave, eroded by crashing waves. There were lots of people waiting for Thunder Hole to perform.
Continuing on our drive brought us to the Otter Cliffs–a truly spectacular view of the rocky cliffs topped with evergreens against the blue sky and water.
We could see a lobsterman working his traps from the cliffs above. We were too high up to see if he had any lobsters in this trap.
I took a walk along the cliff path while Bob waited for me. When I returned, a kind lady offered to take our picture while we were standing on the cliff overlook.
The road took us under some beautiful stone bridges and over some dry tidal pools that eventually would fill up with the incoming tide.
We eventually left the Park Loop Road to visit the town of Northeast Harbor on Somes Sound.
As we approached Northeast Harbor from up on the cliff, we could see the marina below filled with all kinds of sailing and power vessels.
In town, we were lucky to find a parking place on the street. We walked past many boutiques and a few eateries on the main street in town.
This "creature" in front of one of the stores, was made out of mussel shells.
We walked up one side of the street and down the other. From there, we made our way down the hill to the marina for a look. Bob needed his "boat fix".
On our walk to the marina, we came upon the Docksider Restaurant and our stomachs were telling us it was lunch time.
We ordered a lobster roll and some sweet potato fries to share. Yummy for the tummy, but no lobster bibs!
When we left we noticed this sign at the restaurant. We had never seen something like this before, but it was a good idea as long as the dogs behave themselves.
We finished our walk down the hill to the marina with our bellies full. There were all kinds of boats and a few yachts docked there. Bob noticed a Wally boat–a high-end, custom built, 52' boat made in Italy. It was a sleek black color with an axe bow (vertical front bow).
He had read about it, but never seen one himself. It was very unusual to see one here.
There were ferries coming and going to the Cranberry Islands.
We were able to walk out onto the main pier a short ways to get a closer look at the yachts.
We stopped again at Seal Harbor to check out the tide situation. It was around 2:00 and high tide was at 3:00. What was exposed beach on our first visit this morning, was now fully engulfed by ocean. The raft that Bob had stood on this morning that was dry, was now afloat. What a difference a few hours made.
From there, we hopped on the park road for our drive back and saw a couple of wild turkeys along the roadside.
We wanted to stop and pick up some cooked whole lobsters at the nearby lobster pound to have for dinner tonight, but both places were closed on Mondays. I guess they were out catching those lobsters for my dinner for tomorrow. Back at the campground, we sat outside and relaxed with Auggie who was renewing his solar energy by soaking up the sun and keeping watch.
Bob did a little RV maintenance with our plumbing. We sat and watched the kids enjoy the pool from our campsite. Around 5:00, we went in search of more lobster for dinner tonight at one of the lobster pounds down the road. We ate at the Down East Lobster Pound.
We ordered to 2 soft-shell whole lobsters.
The meat is sweeter and its easier to eat and crack the shell. They were soooooo good!
They had a store there, so we bought 2 whole cooked lobsters for dinner tomorrow. This lobster is 3 1/2 pounds. It was a big one!
We came back to the trailer and I took Auggie for his evening walk. It was starting to cool off already as the sun was going down behind the trees. We watched a little TV before calling it an early night. Tomorrow we want to get an early start for our drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain and then do our hike at Sand Beach before the crowds get too big and the parking becomes a problem. It was such a great day in Acadia NP. The stars were out and the moon was an orange sliver in the sky! It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.