Our stay here began in a special way. A local listener to our RV Navigator podcast invited us to Sunday brunch at a historic inn overlooking a lake. The food was great and the conversation stimulating. Their family camps and has travelled internationally, but they are looking ahead and making plans for the time when their children will be out of the house and a lifestyle more like ours will be possible. They asked us lots of good questions and shared their lives with us a bit. These encounters are often somewhat jarring since our listeners know so much about us and we know nothing about them unless we are lucky enough to meet them. Their current life - homeschooling three children, mom working as a doctor, dad as a paramedic, took our breath away. We were left wondering how they find the time and energy to travel at all.
Then we drove into Bar Harbor, whose charm was partially obscured by the fog. BH is a touristy town that has catered to the hoi polloi in its day. We had a good time wandering the main street reading the funny and sometimes profane sayings on the T-shirts for sale. There were many fine places to eat, but after that wonderful brunch, we weren't interested.
Today started out foggy again, but we had some errands to run. We stopped at the post office to mail our passports to a visa service so we will have what we need to travel to Tanzania in October for our next travel adventure. And of course, a week doesn't go by without a trip to the hardware store. We need a better way to keep our freezer shut when we are on curving roads.
By the time we made it to Acadia National Park, the sun was beginning to burn off the fog. Acadia is one of the most popular national parks in our country, partly because it is fairly close to major population centers in NJ, NY and MA. It is in danger of being loved to death. A free shuttle bus system tempers the crush of cars a bit, but it was a challenge to find a place to park at times. The views from Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the eastern seaboard was wonderful. The landscape architect Charles Eliot is credited with the idea for the park. George B. Dorr, called the "father of Acadia National Park," along with Eliot's father Charles W. Eliot (the president of Harvard), supported the idea both through donations of land and through advocacy at the state and federal levels. It became a national park in 1919. John D. Rockefeller financed a network of carriage roads through the park, so his wealthy buddies could explore in style. We're hoping to ride our bikes on some before it's time to leave. Most of the picturesque seashore is rocky, but there is a large sand beach. I remember putting my feet in the water the first time we came here and feeling the warmth being sucked out of my body by the icy water. There were few people in the water past their knees today.
For dinner we stopped at a popular lobster pound, so popular that a Chinese tourist parked his car in front of ours so we couldn't leave when we were finished. There are many Chinese tourists here. They travel in large groups, which makes them seem noisy. At the pound we picked out our lobsters and by the time we paid they were cooked. They are mostly soft shells at the moment, which makes them easier to eat. We learned that when lobsters molt, there is a period of time when their shells have to harden after they crawl into the new ones. They are cheaper per pound, because part of the weight is sea water that seeps into the roomy shell until the lobster grows into it.