I’ve hit the trifecta – photography, travel and food in one post.
I have mentioned several times that I love the idea of traveling but hate to travel. One of the travel goals of many US travelers, including the less adventurous like me, is to travel to all fifty states. The rules are pretty lax – in fact, there are no official rules – but it seems reasonable that you should see at least one notable sight in each state to have it qualify as a visit. Since I had never been to Maine, I just got back from a trip to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.
Is it possible to take a bad picture of coastal Maine? I guess so but I wasn’t able to do it, not with my version 1.0 digital camera or with the camera in my cell phone. All the usual phrases apply: rugged coast lines, scenic byways, crystal clear streams and lakes, picturesque and laid-back towns (though Bar Harbor, at the height of tourist season, was bustling) and an abundance of fresh lobster.
The lobster comes in every form imaginable – lobster bisque, lobster rolls, lobster thermidor, steamed lobster, lobster tacos, lobster quesadilla, eggs benedict with lobster and lobster ice cream (yes, that’s right, lobster ice cream) – to name a few. There is currently a lobster glut in Maine. So much so that lobstermen are refusing to go out for a daily catch because they cannot sell lobsters at prices that pay for their expenses. Bad for lobstermen but good for lobster foodies.
The Island Explorer bus service in Acadia offers free shuttle buses in the summer months to many locations in Acadia National Park. In fact, it is possible to visit without a car at all. Fly into Bar Harbor airport (technically, the Hancock County Bar Harbor airport), take the shuttle bus to your campground, bed & breakfast or hotel and then catch the bus to sightsee throughout the park. While your car will take you some places that the buses don’t go, you avoid the hassle of looking for a parking space in heavily crowded parking lots at favorite locations. And you get to see more of the views and less of the road, which is the whole point of a vacation. You also get the convenience of being dropped off at one spot, walking or hiking to another and then getting picked up and taken back home.
Now in case you are worried that I have become a softie for someone who professes to be a curmudgeon, let me point out that being there was wonderful; getting there and back was a different story. The cattle car atmosphere called modern air travel can spoil the best of vacations. I’ll leave that complaint for another time and give a big thumbs up to coastal Maine.