Crossing in to Maine we took a lot of the smaller county roads and experienced some amazingly scenic countryside. There was a lot of road ahead of us since we were trying to get as close to Acadia National Park as possible and start there as a home base to do some exploring. We made out first pit stop at the little town of Harrison, Maine.
We pulled into the parking lot of a city park right next to Crystal Lake. It has a great park, a beach and small boat docks for water activities.
There was actually a sign posted on a tree that this park was for Harrison city residents only but I just can’t help to try and imagine what could have happened here to have the city banned the use of their parks to travelers.
The girls love swimming and it has been awhile since they got to. This was their chance. Let’s hope the mayor doesn’t show up to kick us out.
Of course since we are in Maine, we have to dive our taste buds into some lobsters. A lot of friends have recommended places to get them so we did out best to sample as many as we can. At today’s lobster prices, it’s more like as many as we can afford.
Being that it is smack in the middle of summer, Acadia National Park is really packed. Even though Maine is not particularly populated, Acadia is the closest National Park to some of the world’s most densely populated areas. And here is where they go in the summer.
We didn’t even bother with campgrounds and went straight to the Elks Lodge in Ellsworth, Maine. It is just outside of Bar Harbor and wins for the smokiest bar at any Elks Lodge we’ve every been. On the positive side, we had a huge parking lot right next to some nice trees all to ourselves.
One of the first things we did at Acadia National Park is to check out the coast and do some tide pooling.
The rocks were a little slippery and tough to scramble on but we did see a few interesting things in the water. None of them include this dead crab shell that Mila found.
Here you get to see the first sunrise in the whole country so I assume this is also where it sets for the first time. Let’s just go with that.
On top of Cadillac Mountain in the park is really the place where people in the United States get to see the first rays of sun every day.
It is the highest peak in the park and furthest east so coming here to see the sun come up is actually a thing.
We thought no one else is this crazy to drive up a windy road just to see the sun come up in the dark but I was clearly wrong.
This place was packed and cars were parked illegally all over the road when we got to the top. And yes, the kids are grumpy this time of day. I don’t blame them. I am too.
This is Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. The sand is made up largely of sea shells, sea urchin spines and pulverized local lime stone.
You can pick up a handful of sand and looks closely to see all of the details.
Even during the busy weekend, the park rangers gladly take the time to work with the girls to earn their Junior Ranger badges.
The sometimes even make an announcement to the entire visitor center. This time they did it to a packed room full of hundreds of tourists which should explains the look on Ava’s face.
At the Jordan Pond House in Acadia we were told that we must stop and eat one of their famous popovers. A popover is basically 10 cents worth of ingredients dropped into a piping hot oven so it poofs up like a cream puff sold for 4,000% profit. Sure it tastes pretty good with butter and jam but wouldn’t most things?
We of course had to stop in Bar Harbor but finding parking for the van is pretty impossible. We eventually got lucky and found a tight spot to parallel park in.
From Ellsworth we took a day and drove north further until we were basically a stone’s throw from New Brunswick at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. We drove up the border alongside Passamaquoddy Bay just outside the border town of Calais to check out St. Croix Island International Historic Site.
In 1604, an attempt to colonize this area by the French was attempted and ended up in failure.
The harsh winter caused the expedition to run out of supplies and many became sick with what is believed to be scurvy. More than half of them perished that winter and the effort was abandoned.
There is no public access to the island but an interpretive center helps visitors get a sense of what it was like that winter.
Being that it is an International Historic Site, the uninhabited island is shared between the United States and Canada.
Well, this was a Junior Ranger badge that most people probably wouldn’t make the drive for. It was totally worth the trip in my opinion.
I know I might sound crazy but I kind of like this area more than Acadia.
As we left Ellsworth, we started making our way south towards the shores of New Hampshire and eventually Massachusetts.
Of course that is not until we get a couple more lobster rolls. These things are tasty but with its popularity, most prices have skyrocketed to nearly $20 a roll. If you try hard, you might still be able to find the elusive $5 roll but they won’t be around for long.
We stopped for a work break after some driving to come to Fort Williams Park so we can get our hands on the famous lobster rolls from Bite into Maine.
While I worked in the Airstream, Marlene took the kids to Goddard Mansion in Fort Williams park.
Here is the Goddard information on the mansion if you Goddard feel like reading about it.
I did like these lobster rolls from Bite into Maine and they make them in all of the traditional styles. Just be ready to pony up some green backs for them.
As we left Maine and crossed into New Hampshire again on our way to Massachusetts, we were contacted by a couple who aspires to travel with their kids so we planned a play date at Odiorne Point State Park.
This is Casey and Ashley with their boys. They were really awesome to hang out with. What is even more interesting is that we had been communicating with another traveling couple who is also from here that invited us to spend the night. It turns out that Casey was his college roommate. What a small world.
This is Corey and Emily’s Westfalia Vanagon.
They have been staying at Corey’s parent’s house which is a pretty amazing piece of property in the woods of New Hampshire.
We only got to spend a night here with them but got to share lots of stories of the road.
They are staying here making some more preparations to get back on the road and will be heading out once again when the weather gets too cold around here.
Does anyone else have solar panel envy right now?
Before we left to head south, Corey made us his signature pancakes. We also took a hike around the trail of the property where he spent many years as a child.
The girls got to learn about salamanders and fern spores. And yes, they are wearing their Maid of the Mist ponchos. You can spot these southern California gals from a mile away!!
We can already tell that the traffic is starting to jam up around here. We will soon be heading into some of the most crowded places in the country with our Airstream.
over and out,