Bar Harbor, ME Day 6 Biking with Mary/John

July 1, 2023 It was a rare morning because we didn’t have fog in the campground. Bob finally got rid of his cough a few days ago, but it took about 2 weeks for the virus to work its way out of his system completely. He’s good as new! We got ready to head into the park again to ride our bikes on more of the Carriage Roads. We left our bikes on the rack overnight, so we had one less thing to do in the morning. Mary and John came by at 9:30 and we were on our way. We followed them on Highway 198 into the park and located the parking lot for the bike trail.

It’s Saturday so the parking lot was full, but we had another option just down the road another mile. We found 2 empty spots, so we both parked and unloaded the bikes. Then we were ready to start our ride today. Of course, we had to check the map first.

It was cloudy, but there was no fog in the low areas. There was no rain in the immediate forecast, so we were excited to get started on the “Around the Mountain Loop”. The road would take us around 5 mountain peaks–Bald Peak (974 ft.), Parkman Mountain (941 ft.), Gilman Peak (1036 ft.), Sargeant Mountain (1373 ft.), and Penobscot Mountain (1194 ft.) for a total of 11.3 miles. The road would take us across 7 bridges today. I took pictures of the bridges as we encountered them and the date marker when they were built. Some of the bridges had absolutely beautiful designs. The first one was Waterfall Bridge built in 1925.

The next unusual bridge was Chasm Brook Bridge built in 1926.

Another bridge we crossed was Amphitheater Bridge built in 1931.

Most of the bridges crossed rivers that were flowing from higher elevations causing beautiful cascades and waterfalls running down the hillsides. Mary spotted a small snapping turtle making his way across the road. He had a ways to go, so we gave him a little help.

We ran into 2 people who were observing 2 red squirrels chasing and playing with each other, so we had to stop and take a look ourselves.

Along the way we saw more bikers and hikers on this carriage road. I assume it was because it was Saturday. We ran into a family of bikers who were picking wild blueberries.

We did some searching and picking ourselves, but most of the berries had not ripened yet. It was a little early in the season.

We got some great views of Somes Sound from high up on the road. Amazingly, we could see pretty far off in the distance.

We got to the top of the loop and checked the map. We had to take quite a few switchbacks the higher we climbed and then also on the descent.

Bob kept the mood light.

About 2/3 of the way on our ride, it began to rain. We continued on until we could stop and find some shelter under some overhanging trees. We stood there about 20 minutes hoping it would let up so we could continue on our ride.

It didn’t seem to be letting up, so we said “what the heck” and just kept on going. It rained on us for 2 more miles and we were soaked by the time the rain ended. I had to put my camera inside the bike bag to keep it dry, so my picture-taking was non-existent for a short time. For the last 2 miles, the rain had stopped, but we were wet and cold and anxious to get back to the parking lot. Once we got back, we loaded up the bikes and were ready to go. Close to the entrance of the parking lot, I noticed the other gatehouse entrance. This was Brown Mountain Gatehouse. Built in 1932, the Brown Mountain Gatehouse, the lodge keeper’s quarters, carriage house are unified by the fence surrounding it. The stonework on it was gorgeous. It reminded me of a castle. Both the Jordan Pond and Brown Mountain Gatehouses are used as staff housing. How lucky are they?

On the drive back, it continued to rain and we had the heat going to dry us out and warm us up. We stopped at the campground office to pick up an order of 10 gallons of DEF that Bob had ordered from Walmart that they delivered while we were gone. Back at the campsite, we put all the wet clothes into the dryer and put on more clothes to get warm. By then, it had stopped raining and the sun came out. We did some business by phone and then sat outside with Auggie and watched some Nascar racing on the outdoor TV. There wasn’t any rain in the forecast today, but those rain clouds blew up offshore and moved across those higher elevations to rain on us. Mary and John were going to visit a friend of hers who lived in the area for dinner, so Bob and I grilled a steak and watched some TV after Auggie got his walk. Later in the evening, the campground used their bucket truck to hang this American flag for the 4th of July.

The campground began filling by the time darkness fell. I’m sure we’ll be full for the 4th of July.

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