Acadia National Park


In a year of trips and travel, my wife and I added one more – a week in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor or, more phonetically, Bah Ha Bah, where we pahked ah cah in the yahd and ate labstah.

I got a shock when we arrived at what I thought was our rental house, mistaking the abandoned house next door for our rental.  The actual rental property was very pleasant.


Along with plenty of seafood, we got to see the sights of Acadia – lighthouses, seashores, beaches and the Carriage Road Bridges.  Well, I got to see one bridge and will save the others for another trip.


Added to our previous trip to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier, I made it to four national parks this year to add to a total of 16 out of 62 US National Parks.  I’ve gotten to some heavily traveled ones – Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon – and a few uncommon ones – Dry Tortugas – but I doubt I’ll make it to all 62.  Some of them require quite a hike:  American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Voyageurs in the middle of Lake Superior as well as two above the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

We met a fellow at Acadia who was sprinting his way through most US National Parks, sometimes visiting two a day!  The US National Parks are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, not raced through like a marathon.

What is the most remote or least traveled park you have been to?

Coastal Maine

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.

Bar Harbor at sunset

Acadia near Thunder Hole

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.

Acadia: Jordan Pond

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.

Overlooking Bar Harbor from Bar Island

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.