Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island, Somes Sound Campground, Beech Mountain, Echo Lake
Maine has so many things to do and so many places to explore that there is simply no time to be bored. You can spend your day filled with activities or just relax and fill your heart with calm. To me Maine is like time traveling. Going back in time when the world was simpler, cleaner and quieter.
Of course this camping trip in Maine needed to be an extended weekend because it takes 8 hours of driving from Danbury Ct.. So we left on a Friday and came back on a Monday. If you are not a good map-reader or good with directions, I suggest having a GPS and a Rand McNally Road Map. Having these two tools makes road traveling a lot easier. The only downside to road travel these days is the gas prices. Itís just a freaking crime that it takes $75.00 to fill a gas tank. And to top it off the High Gas Prices are all because of Wall Street Corruption making the struggling Middle Class and the Working Class Poor suffer even more. Why is this corruption still happening? I donít know, oh well, letís go camping.
So how many Weekenders does it take to replace the benefits a full vacation? Iím still trying to answer that question. I believe that the answer depends on the type of experiences a person needs rather then the amount of time a person has. In order to benefit from having time off and unplugging from your everyday life you really need to know yourself and know the place youíre visiting. So planning and preparation is absolutely necessary if you are going to maximize your experience without adding any undo stress. So itís not just the amount of time but how that time is spent. What a difference a day can make, and what a difference a weekend can makeÖ
There is one thing that I found to be necessary when it comes to getting the full benefits of a short vacation. That one thing is writing about your experience. Reliving an experience is one of our greatest gifts. I believe that if I didnít write about my experiences I would not fully enjoy the experience or benefit from the experience as much as I should. Writing about your experience not only helps you relive the experience, but it also helps preserve the experience and makes it a lot easier to share the experience with others.
Our First landmark diving into Maine was The Highest Observatory Bridge. The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is located on the west bank of the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine, right next to Fort Knox. Pretty cool looking bridge. Didnít stop to go into the observatory but we did drive across the bridge, weee!
As we are getting close to our campground in Maine the weather was clear and sunny, unlike my first two visits to Maine that had rain, clouds and a lot of fog. Now that the weather is clear and sunny I can now see just how beautiful this place really is. The only down side to nice weather in the summer is that the vacation spots have a lot more people and the parking is a lot harder to find. This makes the Shuttle Bus definitely more appealing. The Shuttle Bus has many stops around Bar Harbor area so you donít have to drive everywhere or worry about parking.
Our campground was in Somes Sound View, which is just a few miles from Acadia National Park. Each campsite has a waterspout, which is very convenient. They also have Little Cabins, which they only had one window so they were pretty warm. I suggest a fan or a small air conditioner if youíre expecting hot weather. The Ocean Side Campsites looked awesome, maybe next time. The campground also had showers. The showers only took tokens, probably to deter thieves? One dollar is a 5-minute shower, which is all I need. After setting up camp it was time for a Cold Jump in the Atlantic Ocean and then followed by a warm dip in the Swimming Pool. Swimming in the quarry was not allowed but they did allow Paddle Boating.
The first night was a bit warm. I didnít need a sleeping bag or did I need to put a rain fly over my tent, which is awesome because the night sky in Maine has Billions of stars to gaze at. The air is also refreshingly clean which makes breathing a pure pleasure. This makes you appreciate places like Maine even more and makes me like my hometown of Danbury Ct. a little less. The Danbury night sky has very little stars and the land below is crowded, noisy and contaminated. So thank you Maine for staying so natural and thank you Maine for your continuing efforts in minimizing the negative impacts from ignorant humans. And just to think that my hometown of Danbury was voted the number one city to live in 1988. They seriously need to reexamine those qualities that make a city livable. Donít get me wrong I still love my hometown of Danbury, but just like most Danburians I like the old memories of Danbury a whole lot better. This is another reason why traveling is so important. It helps you compare and gauge where you live to other places and have a better understanding of whatís good and whatís bad, well hopefully anyway.
I just love My Tent. The top half is almost all screen so that you can enjoy the night air, stare at the night sky stars and enjoy the sunrise. Somes Sound summer night was filled with rhythmic ribbiting from the Frogs in the Quarry. In the mourning the birds were singing. Most of the bird sounds I could not recognize except for the sound of a single crow nearby. Another thing that I noticed was that the bug count was low, which made this weekend even more enjoyable. Actually Iím seeing less bugs almost everywhere, is this good or bad?
We did have a Screen House just incase of rain and bugs. We also had a big cooler. I suggest having Dry Ice because itís more economical. You donít have to keep buying a bag of ice everyday. Some of our foods consisted of trail mix, chips, whole wheat tortillas for sandwich wraps, pasta salad, hotdogs, hamburgers, steak, salmon on cedar plank, energy Nutrition Bars, pancakes, burritos, beer, wine, bagel and cream cheese. I tried that Starbucks instant coffee to see if it was worth it. Itís convenient but the taste was not as good as my coffee press with regular ground coffee. So next time I will do the coffee press, it tastes better and itís cheaper. Camping Food Tips & Ideas
Camping can sometimes be physically demanding. Sometimes waking up from tent camping can feel like waking up from surgery. You feel a little off, a little disoriented and definitely not yourself. But with a little food, a little coffee, a Bowl Movement and a shower, youíre good to go. Sometimes I like to eat and run and other times I just like to take my time around the campsite and slowly choose a direction or activity.
First Day: Beech Mountain, Fire Tower, Echo Lake, Somes Sound Fishing
Ahhhh, our first whole day in Maine. Itís time to hike Beech Mountain (839 feet). The trailhead started at the Echo Lake parking lot. Nice loop trial. Here is our Hiking Route that was recorded using my brothers cell phone that has MotionX. Thereís 2 ways of getting to the Fire Tower. We took the long route and my Aunt in her 70ís, and my Uncle in his 80ís, both took the short route. Not to say that it wasnít any easier it was just shorter. Of course this is just my opinion. And when it comes to figuring out whether a trail is easy or hard, try not to rely so much on other peopleís opinions because that is never enough information to help you gauge a trails difficulty. Like when this one lady told us that the part of the trail we were approaching was really easy ďAnyone can do it,Ē she tells us. After several iron ladders down a stone cliff I kind of laughed, that lady was definitely crazy. Our dog of course could not go down iron ladders, but luckily there was another trail back down to the parking lot, which my brother took with another person. Then on top of that the dog suffered heat exhaustion and needed extra water just to make it down the rest of the trail. Iím still amazed that my cousin carries his son on his shoulders nearly the entire hike. I myself decided not to bring a backpack. I put a water bottle in back pocket, small camera in one front pocket and a sandwich in the other front pocket. You donít have to bring everything as long as others are caring the other stuff that you might need. Like extra food, first aid, knife, cell phone. I also like to wear synthetic shirts that are light, breathable and wick away sweat and moisture. The only downside, unless you have a Antimicrobial T-Shirt, is that the body odor is pretty bad with wicking t-shirts. I donít like to wear deodorant so I use this Crystal Body Deodorant Rock made of 100% Natural Mineral Salts which eliminates odor by leaving an invisible protective barrier against odor-causing bacteria. Of course I forgot to bring it with me. Sorry everyone for stinking up the place. Now that we are finished hiking we can now enjoy a clean and refreshing dip in Echo Lake. This lake had a perfect temperature and was very clean with no bad smell or funny taste. Unlike my hometown Candlewood Lake, which is little polluted and a little smelly. After our swim in Echo Lake it was time to get back to the campsite.
Fishing in Somes SoundÖHoly Mackerel!! I only fished for 10 minutes and I only got a nibble using a spinner. I had more fun watching the kidís fish. They actually were catching small mackerel and loving every minute of it. The only down side about dock fishing is when a bunch of kids start casting their fishing poles you have to watch out and not get accidentally hooked by a Fishing Lure. The Fjord like Somes Sound is approximately 175 feet deep in areas. Besides mackerel, there are bluefish, striped bass, black sea bass, herring, tuna, skate, haddock, halibut, sharks, alewife, smelt and winter flounder. The state restricts the catch of some threatened species, including Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, cod, bluefish, Atlantic blue-fin tuna and sharks. Consult the Maine Department of Marine Resources for complete laws and regulations. Saltwater fishing does not require a license and there is no set season for ocean fishing, but the best time of year might be July through September, when mackerel, bluefish and striped bass are running. If you are thinking about fresh water fishing you can get a fishing licenses from tackle shops and sports retailers who sell fishing licenses to everyone. Nonresident anglers over the age of 12 and Maine residents over the age of 16 need a license to freshwater fish in Maine. The freshwater fishing season lasts from April through September. Freshwater Species Brook trout is the most widely distributed game fish in Bar Harbor, appearing in all of the cold-water fishing spots. Other cold-water species include landlocked salmon, lake trout, sunfish, white perch and brown trout. More varied fishing awaits at the warm-water ponds, with brown trout, chain pickerel, smallmouth bass, sunfish, yellow and white perch and white sucker.
After fishing and eating it was time for Camping stories and Jokes, with some of the stories being funnier then the jokes. Note: You should have good jokes to tell and know how to tell them because you end up looking stupid instead of being funny, which is not funny at all, trust me I totally bombed, it was embarrassing. Luckily one of our campmates decided to bring a Remote Controlled Fart Machine. I could not tell the difference between the fart machine or someone passing gas, which makes it really funny because everyone is pointing a finger at everyone else. As the nightfall's itís time for music and marshmallows by the campfire. My cousin has friends who are musically talented and love to entertain us around the campfire. Marshmallows and a crackling fire is a great way to end the day. Some of the kids love S'Mores Pie, a Chocolate Pie With Marshmallows and Graham Cracker. I donít care for them that much. I love chocolate and I like Graham Crackers but I just prefer the old fashioned Marshmallow all by itself, you canít beat the original.
Second Day: Bar Harbor, Bar Island, Loop Road, Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole
Our first stop was Bar Harbor. Pretty little town. We decided to walk across the Sand Bar Bridge at low tide so that we can climb Bar Island and have a picnic lunch and enjoy the lookout at the top. Very nice view. Time to hike back down the mountain and make it back across the Sand Bar Bridge before the High Tide comes in and makes the sand bar bridge disappear. Being stranded would ruin the day. Now it's off to Acadia National Park. You can take the shuttle bus or drive your car. My brother and I decided to drive because of the dog, but everyone else took the shuttle bus. We decide to meet at Sand Beach by way of the loop road. The loop road is a pretty one-way drive. It is also dangerous because people are constantly stopping in the middle of the road, so be careful. When we arrived at Sand Beach we could not find a parking spot. So instead we headed to Cadillac Mountain, which is 1,532 feet above sea level and the highest peak along the eastern seaboard of the USA. What a gorgeous day with beautiful views.I can see clearly now the rain is gone was playing in my head because of my first two visits I could not see anything through the thick clouds. After Cadillac Mountain we decided on some more Scenic Driving. Our next stop was Thunder Hole or Blunder Hole I would like to call it. The Thunder Hole really needs perfect conditions in order for that perfect wave to hit the natural crevasse and make that thundering sound as a wave shoots up and over the rocks, but this was not that day. But the weather was great so this made the rock cliff ocean coast line really beautiful, so just hanging out was awesome. Plus it was kind of amusing watching all the thunder hole tourists come and go, waiting for something to happen that never would come. Then there were the people who played on the rocks at ocean level waiting for a big wave to come in and knock them off and then carry them out to sea, which is not that rare because it has happened. Well not on this day. So no blunder hole or crazy tourist accident today, time to get back to camp. Since it was the last night of camping it was time to eat all the food that we can so it doesn't spoil or go bad. After we ate we enjoyed some more campfire music, some more marshmallows and some more fireside chatting, which the women really love to do. Couldn't get a word in edgewise.
Last Day The next day we broke down camp and headed out for breakfast in Bar Harbor and then some last minute sight seeing around the coast. Did you know that Maine has 51 more miles of coast line then California? Not to say that there's actually a comparison between the two, it's just an interesting tidbit. The long drive home was quite and reflective. We stopped for some Wild blueberry jam and some raw buckwheat honey at one of those roadside stands, very tasty. All in all it was another great annual camping trip up north with family and friends, a perfect family vacation.
A ten minute video clip & photo slideshow of some of the highlights of camping in Maine.
La Bamba Lyrics in Spanish
Para bailar la bamba Para bailar la bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia Una poca de gracia pa mi pa ti
Y arriba y arriba Ay arriba y arriba Por ti sere, por ti sere, por ti sere
Yo no soy marinero Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan Soy capitan, soy capitan