We have been here long enough now that we can almost speak Maine without Rs! Our journey for the day was to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. We found a great place to park in the shade of a tree near the harbor and used that as our base for this part of the day. It was neat to see the four masted schooner Margaret Todd which will take you out for 1 1/2 hour cruises 2 times a day. At that time there were no cruise ships in but this is a destination for many cruise lines. And the view is awesome! Then we walked uphill onto Cottage Street and had a destination for lunch and T-shirt shopping. Our favorite restaurant from years past had changed hands so we went into Dinks Taxi/ Route 66 at 21 Cottage Street. The original highway Route 66 was no where near Maine but this restaurant was built in 1986 when the original building was severely damaged by fire. Some of the unique features came from an old church in East Vassalboro, Maine. The collecting began then and took 13 years to complete. There is a large collection of metal toys and lionel trains. Tin and neon signs decorate the walls. Antiques and memorabilia are displayed everywhere. This is the largest restaurant museum on the island and maybe in the state. So what you have is a fun place for lunch and lots to look at while you eat. After lunch we walked down to Bebbah’s T-shirt store and picked up some shirts for friends and family. Lots of neat stores in this small town and provides you lots of exercise but we headed back to our truck so we could go on into Acadia Park before it got too late and the clouds were moving in.
Acadia Park is located on Mount Desert Island. The French explorer Samuel Champlain sailed into the Bay in 1604 and named this Mount Desert Island because of its landmark bare top. In the mid 19th century, rusticators came up to the island to enjoy its beauty and to escape the bustle of large cities. They followed many of the existing paths and trails up mountains, through the woods, and along the ocean shoreline. Among the rusticators were Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole and Fredrick Church. Their renderings of the island attracted city dwellers to experience the Maine coast. Many of those who traveled to the island by train, coach and steamer were very wealthy. They built 80 and 100 room “cottages” in which to pass their summers. Many of the old cottages have been turned into Bed & Breakfasts or Inns. Forty five miles of rustic carriage roads weave around the mountains and through the valleys of Acadia National Park, the gift of philanthropist John D Rockefeller, Jr., and family. Rockefeller, a skilled horseman, desired to travel on motor free byways via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island. His construction efforts, from 1913 – 1940, resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close up views of the landscape. Originally created as Lafayette National Park in 1919, the first National Park East of the Mississippi, it was renamed Acadia in 1929. It is a small park with miles of paths and trails very popular with hikers. We stopped at Sand Beach and went down with the Basenji girls, then found out they were not allowed since many people are brave enough to actually swim these cold waters and not all pet owners clean up after their pets, so we all had to climb back up to the parking lot! Then we drove up to Cadillac Mountain which was named after the French Explorer of the same name, and is on the eastern side of the island. Its green, lichen-covered, pink granite summit is, because of a combination of its eastern location and height, one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise. And it was cold and windy up there with a light mist coming in! After that we were ready to return to camp for a dinner of grilled chicken and veggies on our outdoor grill. Good day!