Road trip to Southwest and Bass Harbors

Today marks the end of two weeks on the road.  Seems like longer than that!  Guess it’s been all the miles and places we’ve been so far.  We slept in and Bob cooked a nice bacon and eggs breakfast for us.  We usually save that for Sundays, but tomorrow we’ll be on the road again.  We left the campsite this morning at 10 AM and took Highway 102 south to the town of Southwest Harbor.  Southwest Harbor was having their Flamingo Festival today starting with the Flaming Parade.

We wanted to avoid the parade, but arrived as the parade participants were dispersing.  

Traffic was a a standstill going into town, but a few floats passed us on their way out of town, throwing beads at the cars as they went by.

Bob caught some for me.  Now I could get into the spirit of things with my bright pink beads.

Other people were dressed for the occasion in flamingo shirts and shoes or wore bright pink shoelaces and hats.  Plastic pink flamingoes were everywhere.

We even shot a wave to Miss Blueberry as she drove by.

It seems the whole town got into the spirit.  Once traffic started moving again, we found a place to park and took a walk around Clark Point at the lower town dock where the US Coast Guard has a station.

The tide was out, but lobster fishermen never stop working.  The boats were moving in and out of the harbor, emptying lobster traps and heading out again.

We stood out on Beal’s Lobster Pier checking out the action in the processing plant.  

The live lobsters are placed in these crates and kept in salt water until they are sold.  

This harbor holds as many pleasure boats as lobster boats, but Southwest Harbor is known for its boat building.  Hinckley, Wilbur, and Ellis Yachts are made or were made here at one time.

We drove to the other side of the bay to the town of Manset.

Here we found Great Harbor Marina….the first real marina we’ve seen……complete with a West Marine store. It was full of pleasure boats.

We had a yearning to be out on one, as the calm water looked so inviting, but that’s for another time. They charter sailboats out of this harbor and that did sound like fun!

Most of the homes in both Manset and Southwest Harbor are white with forest green shutters like you see in this picture of the Moorings Inn.  Everything looks so crisp and well-taken care of.

As we drove farther down the highway, we came to the town of Seawall–aptly named for the natural seawall that was formed there.  When the tide is out as it was today, we could see the exposed rocks that are covered by the highway which forms the top of the seawall.

We continued south on the peninsula to the town of Bass Harbor–a genuine fishing community.

Everything is geared around fishing.  We stopped to watch a lobster-fishing family–mother, father, and son off-loading their crates of lobster onto a dock to be hauled away by a truck.

Bass Harbor is famous for its lighthouse as well.  We drove the narrow road down to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse is a private residence inhabited by a Coast Guard family, but we walked down the path to view the lighthouse from outside.

It has a red light that can be seen for 13 miles.  It is very unusual to have a red light.  We have never heard of that before in all the lighthouses we’ve seen.

We continued around the peninsula to the “quiet side” of the island less frequented by visitors.  It is more like the island was before it became a resort area.

We were still on the lookout for moose, but we had no luck.  We filled up with gas for our departure tomorrow and headed back to the campground.  We both felt a little queezy from something we ate, so Bob rested and I sat outside with Auggie.  We passed what was left of our park pass to our new neighbors from North Carolina who had arrived while we were gone.  They would be touring the park tomorrow they said.  There was a steady stream of new campers coming in all day long.  The campground would be full tonight.  It was a warm day away from the water, but there was a nice cooling breeze near the shore.  Today was the first, mostly cloudy day we’ve had in awhile, but the sun peeked out every now and then.  Temps were still in the 80’s (shore) and 90’s (inland).  It is supposed to remain hot for the coming week.  Good thing we’ll be staying along the shoreline for awhile.  We sat outside reading and doing some trip planning before dinner.  After dinner as I was doing the dishes, we heard thunder.  Once outside, we could see the dark clouds.  We decided to take Auggie for his walk before it started to rain.  As we returned to the trailer, we saw lightning and knew the rain would start shortly, so we put away our lawn chairs.  Auggie got nervous with the thunder, so he and I went inside.  It started to rain heavier, so Bob joined us and it rained off and on until dark.  We didn’t get to have our campfire tonight, so we’ll take our bundle of wood with us and have one at our new campsite tomorrow.  At least the rain washed off all the road dirt and everything got a bath.  I guess they did need the rain.

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