Thursday, November 12, 2015

MAINE JULY 2015




AND







Still lots of moose warning signs all along the way from Quebec to our stop in Greenville on Moosehead Lake.

And STILL no moose sightings.  :(


Greenville is a teeny, tiny town. It was a wonderful place to celebrate a good ol' fashioned Independence Day.  It had a very real Americana feel to it. 

The sign by the door of our B&B welcoming us.




So...
take a gander at the following photos and tell me if you think moose are kind of a big deal here.


Above our bed.



 On our nightstand.

In our bathroom.


In a restaurant's bathroom.

The puzzle in our B&B.

At the Ice Cream Shop.

 One of 2 stores in town.



At the other store in town.


This was an awesome store.
About as quintessential backwoods Maine store as you're ever gonna find.




Moose and more moose. And yet another. 
Can you tell why I was frustrated at not seeing one roaming around?  
I thought I'd see one (or more) everyday .




Yep.  It's a teeny, tiny town.



The main hang out place- the dock. 
It was very nicely manicured and kept.



People lined up very early to get their favorite spot to view the fireworks.







The view of the lake from our porch.



Some friends viewing the "show" from a front lawn. 



The fireworks were set off from a little floating dock not too far out in the lake.



Our B&B hosts told us where to go for the best viewing. 


Dale says this was his favorite fireworks display ever due to the proximity and the reflection
in the lake. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY
U.S.A.!
I LOVE YOU!


The next day was Sunday.
We drove about 45 minutes to the nearest church and shared a lovely  Sabbath with the good people in this area.

Following are some of the sights on the way home.











A tree tunnel!
( I love them if you haven't guessed by now.)


A little disconcerting, I must say.
A gruesome murder, we heard.





Again.
And still no moose.
Boo!
I didn't want to crash into one.  Just see one or two ambling along side the road.


Is it no wonder I was just sure I'd see one?
And I forgot to mention this fact about Newfoundland...
there are 4 moose for every person there!!!
And I didn't see any moose there either.
:(





Spent the remainder of the day doing missionary work and relaxing.
Beautiful day.


Taken from a moving car.
A bad pic but an overview of the lake.


Nestled among scenic mountain ranges, Moosehead Lake in Maine is the largest lake east of the Mississippi contained within one state. Moosehead Lake's island studded waters stretch as far as the eye can see and are surrounded by vast forested wilderness.
Located at the doorstep of Maine's great north woods, the Moosehead Lake region is steeped in history. Henry David Thoreau explored the region with Indian guides in the mid-1800's. A century ago, fashionable visitors arrived by train and summered at the grand hotels on the shores of Moosehead Lake's clear blue waters to escape the heat, noise and crowds of city life. The mid-1900's brought the flourishing logging industry, when the rivers were jammed with logs being driven downstream, and steamships towed huge booms laden with logs down the length of Moosehead Lake. Through each of these eras, Moosehead Lake has lured those seeking the beauty and serenity of this pristine wilderness.



Here comes a long story.
Seeing a moose was way up on my Maine bucket list.
And since I hadn't seen any I decided to take matters into my own hands.
One of the reasons we stayed here in Greenville and on Moosehead Lake is because they have 
"Moose Safaris". Yup.  Moose Safaris.
So, of course, I  had to sign up for that.

Now, here's where the story gets complicated.
Dale loves fishing.
We are at a lake famous for fishing.
He is such a good sport driving me all over the place and visiting so many places I want to see and doing things I want to do that I figured he deserved a special treat.
I called around and found out you can combine a moose safari with a fishing trip.
Perfect!
Since it was a private tour, we could do whatever we wanted.  Just tell our guide and he would accommodate us. 
Well...
as it turned out, when we showed up at the Northwoods Outfitters above and met our guide he told us that wasn't the case. It would have to be one or the other.  We had to choose.
So...
because of the afore mentioned facts about dear Dale I just had to let him have his fishing.
Yes, I gave up my moose safari.
:(



The lake was beautiful, the weather was perfect , and the fishing good!
We each caught about 4-5 small mouth bass.



Dale was proud of my casting skills.


 Our great guide.
Such a nice man.
Says he loves what he does. Comes to work happy and leaves happy.
In the winter, he works all night cutting holes in the ice to catch live bait the ice fishermen. Sounds completely miserable to me but he says he likes that too.
A true blue Maine-iac.




While he was loading up the boat back on the trailer I explored the nearby woods a bit.
I found what I figured would be the closest thing to a moose sighting I would get...
moose droppings.
I was excited because I hoped they were fresh but he said they were about a month old.









There was a line like this at this little place all day and everunight every day we were there.





Notice the flavors:
Deer Tracks
Moose Tracks
Maine Black Bear
Caramel Caribou
and Fly Fishing Fudge.













HOORAY!
YAHOO!
YIPEE!





We saw a moose!
Two in fact!

Our guide felt so sorry for me when he saw how disappointed I was we didn't get to do the safari
so he told us of a special spot that the moose often frequent around dusk.
 We made a beeline for that place about a half hour before sunset
and this is what we saw!
Two young ones.
One male and one female. 
I was thrilled.  









video

Bucket List:
See a moose in the wild.
CHECK!


( I haven't mastered the art of adding videos to this yet.
For some reason if you enlarge it, it is a terrible quality.
I thought of deleting this but left it just to prove we really saw them, up close and personal.)



Goodnight Moosehead Lake.
You were good to us.





AND HELLO BAR HARBOR!




We are headed into some big-time bucket list checking off territory.

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
Check and check!




Maine towns seem to favor these ocean side walkways, much to my delight.







After our al fresco lunch ocean side and our lovely ocean walk we explored the charming town of Bar Harbor.














It's easy to see why so many all in love with this town.


Our Bed and Breakfast.
Emphasis on breakfast.
(You will soon learn why.)









Awe-mazing!




Pineapple Upside-Down French Toast.
With Maine blueberries ,naturally.





After this splendiferous breakfast, we headed for Acadia National Park.


Acadia National Park is a stunning national treasure on the coast of Maine in the USA. The views are spectacular and nature abounds. No wonder this is one of the most visited parks in the United States and in all of North America. 
Bar Harbor, a small seaside resort on the northeastern side of Mount Desert Island, has a unique symbiotic relationship with Acadia National Park. Together, they are like conjoined twins, both born of the same mother - and she is the land and ocean combined. 
Historical roots are at play here, a special blend of salty air and the classic Down East character that is recognized and loved by millions. Together, these “conjoined twins” offer an unforgettable Maine vacation.


The Maine coast at its finest.















Now these folks know how to spend a morning.  Comfy chairs. Check. Good books. Check.  Good food.  Check. Man's best friend. Check. Fantastic view. Check.





Included this pic for two reasons:
Notice the many variations in the rocks. 
Geologists must be in heaven here.
And notice the people walking along. More walking paths with views.  They are all over the Park.






And just look at these unusual rocks...










Jordan Pond is a glacier formed tarn with a maximum water depth of 150 feet (46 m). There are steep inclines on the left and right sides (West and East). The water is exceptionally clear with an average visibility depth of 46 feet (14 m) but this has been measured as high as 60 feet (18 m), the most ever recorded in the State of Maine. Swimming is not allowed. 

Those mounds are called the Bubble Mountains.
Cute.





Lunch including the famous popovers at Jordan Pond House was a must.

I love the fact that they allow so many to enjoy these beautiful views with tables set out on the lawn. 
We were able to secure an outdoor table ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed our refreshing and scenic respite. 





On our walk around the pond this little deer bounded right in front of us and proceeded to have her lunch just feet from us. They are obviously very used to humans.  Even dogs don't phase them. A family with their Golden came along and the deer didn't even flinch.








Carriage Roads & Bridges

The Carriage Roads and stone bridges in Acadia National Park were financed and directed by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., between 1913 and 1940, for hikers, bikers, horseback riders and carriages. The network includes 57 miles of woodland roads free of motor vehicles, of which 45 miles are within Acadia National Park . These allow seasonal cross-country skiing and limited snowmobiling. Twelve miles are on private land.






Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, at 1,530 feet (466 meters), is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. It is one of over 20 mountains on Mount Desert Island (MDI), Maine that were pushed up by earth's tectonic and volcanic forces millions of years ago. 




After we made the Park Loop Road around Acadia, we headed over to the other half of Mount Desert Island and made our way through lovely harbor towns and vistas until we came to the little lobster village of Bernard.









Bass Harbor Light . 
Best views are from the water- sorry.






Bernard.
This is a true blue working man's lobster fishermans' village.
I have never seen so many lobster traps and every boast here seemed to be a lobster boat.
It's out of the way and it's not touristy but...
somehow a lot of tourists (like me) seem to know about it.
And about the lobster dinners at Thurston's Lobster Pound.









And because the "secret" is out, we had to wait in line.




WE were entertained while waiting by watching the fascinating system they have here in steaming their lobsters. 
 Once inside, you choose your lobster by size from the bins seen below.
That gargantuan is Dale's.
He thought he would go big or go home.
Then they throw them in  those net bags with wooden block numbers.  Each number has a timer which is set once your lobsters are thrown in the steamer.




Inside seating
Not a bad seat in the place.




But we opted for outside.




So perfect.
I know this lobster doesn't look as big here as in the first photo but it was big!
2 and 1/2 pounds.
He had to open very wide to get that tail in his mouth.





By now you know this fact:
Maine Lobster
and
Maine Blueberry Pie
You can't have one without the other!







 Lobster trap overload. 

















Matchless, splendid, flawless day. 




BAR HARBOR 
DAY TWO



In honor of our granddaughter London, whose nickname is Lulu, we went out on this lobster boat for a tour and lesson in lobstering.
( Love you London!)






During your cruise on Lulu, experience a sample of the life and work of the Maine lobsterman. Watch as Captain John demonstrates how lobster traps are hauled. The Captain describes all the parts of a lobster trap and how the lobsters (and many other sea creatures) find their way to the bait inside. Learn all about the anatomy and life cycle of the Maine lobster. For example, did you know that lobsters smell with their leg hairs? Enjoy Captain John’s entertaining and informative style as he explains things like lobster boxing. 






Cruising on Lulu is like making the prettiest coastal Maine postcard come to life. Captain John leisurely guides Lulu through Frenchman Bay. See different privately-owned islands close up. Observe sea birds, bald eagles and other marine wildlife in their natural environment. View beautiful summer cottages along the shores of Mount Desert Island. When sea conditions permit, many tours feature cruising very close to Egg Rock Light (shown left), one of Maine’s most picturesque lighthouses, as Captain John discusses lighthouse history.




Seal watching is the best on Lulu. Unlike the larger tour boats, Lulu can slowly and quietly approach the rock ledges where the seals rest at the lower tides. They think Lulu is just another of the hundreds of lobster boats they see every day. So, they are not frightened back into the water and remain on the rocks while Lulu’s passengers delight in watching their activities.



I have to give kudos to Captain John.  He kept his promises. We saw everything he claimed we would- even young bald eagles.
And the heavens were kind and gave us calm seas.
Very enjoyable excursion.



We also walked across the sea follow once again at low tide to Bar Island.
For three hours during low tide, 1.5 hours before and after the exact low tide time, a gravel bar is exposed connecting the town of Bar Harbor and Bar Island. The bar provide opportunities for investigating small tide pools. Once on the island, the trail gradually ascends through the forest on an old road. At the next  junction, bearing right leads to an old home site with a view of Bar Harbor. Bearing left, the trail gradually ascends to the highest point and provides another view of Bar Harbor. Time your hike carefully for exploring the uninhabited island. Be aware that the timing of low tide changes by approximately 50 minutes each day, so you should find a tide chart and follow it carefully.




Many many kids were kept busy for a long time building their won rock towers or leaving their special mark as below. 








How many of you have read "Miss Rumphius"?



Barbara Cooney's story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went.




I was so delighted to find these wild lupine meadows even if they were past their prime.




More Christmas trees.


Yes, it's a "working vacation".






Following our hike to Bar Island we walked around Bar Harbor a bit more.
Just can't get enough of these cute towns.


 Popcorn in a tourist town. Sure.
Maple and blueberry flavors?
Of course.


More of the mouse obsession.










During our stroll through town, we came upon two darling young sister missionaries and treated them to lunch.




Side  Street Cafe
famous for "Make your Own"- Mac and cheese and sandwiches.
We had the recommended Jeff's Mac and Cheese with black beans, ham, onions and jalapeƱos,
and grilled and stuffed avocado among other things.


And then we shared dessert:

GRILLED FLUFFERNUTTER SUNDAE You can’t find this anywhere else! A grilled Fluffernutter sandwich (peanut butter and fluff) topped with ice cream, whipped cream & chocolate sauce. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss and is big enough to share!




They were so sweet and so grateful. It made our day to share this time with them.







I have been looking for these all over New England.
 Chocolates made out of potatoes.
Yep. Potatoes.
Quite tasty!


If you're from Maine, odds are you've heard of needhams — a traditional sweet with a surprising ingredient.
While Maine is famous for its sweet blueberries and maple syrup, it has another, more earthy, local crop: potatoes.
Jon Courtney, a friend who lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, first stumbled on needhams a few years ago. Now, he's hooked.
"Basically it's coconut and sugar dipped in chocolate," Courtney says. "So if you were to pick one up, you'd be like, 'Oh! This is a homemade Mounds bar.' "
Almost ... just with potato mixed in to bind the coconut together. Intrigued, Courtney decided to make his own. Now needhams are his secret weapon at potlucks.
The origin of needhams is hazy, but lore centers around the late 1800s and a Rev. Needham. He either brought the candies to church as an incentive to get people to attend, or he was so popular that a local candy maker named the treat after him.
The needham may go way back, but Courtney says they've been upstaged by another Maine treat in recent years.
"Everyone still makes whoopee pies — that's the gorilla in the room in the Maine sweet world," Courtney says. But, he says, the needham has a nostalgia edge that still surprises people.
"The needhams are a little more obscure," he says. "So I think most people are like, 'Oh! I haven't seen these for a long time,' or, 'I don't know people who actually make them,' or, 'My grandmother used to make them.' 




Another food item I'd always heard about from Maine was a drink called Moxie.
We tried it. One sip was all we could stand. I barely got that down.


Unique Taste- well, they got that part right!





A mist rolled in in the late afternoon.
Very atmospheric.





As do nearly all New England towns in the summer, an evening concert on the village green or common was held.  It was delightful and added frosting to this already deliciously Americana town called Bar Harbor.
Old folks and young lovers alike held hands and children ran round the gazebo. Smiles were on everyone's faces as the old fashioned music and happy feelings wafted through the evening air. 





And so we say good bye to Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.
They were everything I dreamed they'd be.

We rejoice in the beauties of nature we have seen, the experiences we've had and that we have the opportunity to share our mission with people we meet all along the way.



















1 comment:

  1. It is great you got to see Moose roaming free. You have the best adventures.

    ReplyDelete