Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 11 - Bar Harbor and Acadia

The continental breakfast wasn't anything special, but it was free. (Even though I sometimes feel that just because it is free doesn't make it worth it.) We ate mini muffins, fresh fruit, apple juice, and a couple hard-boiled eggs. We partook of a picnic bench that was partially in the sun to avoid the horrid diners inside. We were disgusted by the lack of courtesy or civility or even manners! We had stood around a little in hopes a table would become available. When one did someone that just walked in threw their backpack onto the table as Oilburner was sitting down. They didn't acknowledge anything. Just turned to get food. The same thing happened with the food. People would just walk up and shove in despite someone else waiting. The straw for me was the guy that stood in front of the bowl containing the shelled hard boiled eggs. He ate directly from, and over it, while standing there. There couldn't have been any crumbs since he shoved the entire thing into his gullet. But what got me, beyond that, was him reaching for another while he turned to walk away. His fingers scraped across half the bowl. Ugh! People can be so annoying.

Our plan today was to visit Acadia National Park. For a Monday, everyone else seemed to have the same idea. I must admit it was a great day to be out. We enter the park and see the visitor center crawling with brightly clad, screaming urchins. Not a tough decision to turn the opposite direction and head into the park.

Of course, we stop at the very first overlook. Oh, so lovely. It is a beautiful day and the weather is great. We know there is a Loop Road for one way travel through a portion of the park and we keep our eyes peeled. In the meantime we ride up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic Seaboard at 1532 feet. Another fun fact is it's the first place to view the sunrise in the United States from Oct 7 through March 6.

After my ride on Mount Washington I was still a little wound up over some of the tight curves up Cadillac. Luckily no tight hair pins and turn outs had walls. :^)

I know it is completely reasonable to have a lake on an island in the ocean. But the idea still just tickles me. Oilburner went rock climbing to get a better view. (Not nearly as graceful as a billy goat, hiking in motorcycle boots.)

Cadillac Mountain wasn't a three ring circus. Not yet. But soon. The place was crawling with kids, adults, pets, scout groups. All wanting pictures at the best overlooks. Oilburner and I strolled along a couple paths and took a few shots However, we were very eager to get away from the crowds and noise.

We continued through the park, looking for the loop road, bypassing most points of interest. As noted, it was very crowded. At the Carriage House I was glad we were on motorbikes. People had parked along our side of the road for about half a mile. It was a tight squeeze encountering on-coming traffic on the bikes. I would not have liked it in a vehicle.

Not much farther and we are confronted with a park exit sign. Whoa!! Where is the Loop Road? Ok Oilburner, do you want to venture back into the park or see where that road in front of us leads? We vote for moving on.

Acadia National Park actually covers multiple islands and peninsulas, interspersed between cities. Our vote to continue exploring was just to sight see and maybe look for that loop. (Forget about stopping and looking it up. Who needs a map?? hehehe) We wandered a few miles. More time was spent in urban areas than nature so we knew it was time to head back.

The area has a fantastic free bus system called the Island Explorer with "8 bus routes linking hotels, inns, and campgrounds with destinations in Acadia National Park and neighboring village centers." L.L. Bean donates a large sum of money to both the Island Explorer and Acadia. Way to go!! (If you ever purchase from L.L. Bean, know that they donate to some good causes.) And we just happen to have a bus stop in front of our hotel that will take us directly into Bar Harbor. Score!!

We time our arrival to the bus with a refreshing nap, and hop on to enjoy a drive through hectic vacationers that we are not responsible for. Such a nice feeling. The bus makes easy work for getting into town. No, not short. Buses rarely make travel time quicker, but it gave us a view of the side streets and even an interesting hotel we wouldn't have found on our own, all while relaxing and looking out a window.

We arrive downtown and worrier that I am, verify and photograph the pick up location.

Since we hadn't eaten lunch and are closing in on 4:00 we extract a "local" joint from an Acadia Park Ranger that isn't suppose to show favorites. We are drawn to the smell emanating from the pizza place next door to our original destination. We took the long way through the restaurant to reach the "hostess" area. However all waitresses/hostesses refuse to acknowledge our presence or make eye contact. Don't blame it on business since there were only five tables with diners, out of the thirty tables in the place. If this was service, we didn't want it. We left and just walked the 10 more steps to the Side Street Cafe. We order drinks and nachos for an appetizer.

Lunner (Lunch + Dinner) consists of Lobster Mac & Cheese for me (highly recommended by the waiter and I wanted to compare with Peter Ott's in Camden) and Oilburner opted for a meatball sub. Everything was rather bland tasting, nothing really sparking the taste buds. The Mac & Cheese was truly tasteless, not even a shadow of comparison to Peter Ott's. I barely ate any, and wished I had gone for the salad.

We finished up and went on a tour of downtown. The park near the harbor was well used by people reading, playing, picnicking, lounging. We parked our behinds and enjoyed the breeze and people watching. Having our fill we strolled up the street and popped into shops. We managed to leave with the pocketbook relatively unscathed. I purchase the mandatory blueberry jellies in tiny jars (Aren't they terribly cute?) to send to family. We purchased a few stuffed animals and a shot glass. (It used to be magnets. Why we have switched to shot glasses I haven't a clue. This means my "collection" is now a whopping 6! Don't buy me shot glasses!!)

Having our fill of civilization and shopping therapy we hopped on the bus back to the hotel where we promptly washed our atrocious riding gear. This gear had seen 2500 miles, many a rain storm, and gallons of sweat. It was getting stinky. So we dumped them in the bathtub and had an ol' fashioned stomping cleanse. OK. It was only me in there, but it was fun. Oilburner made some reference to an "I Love Lucy" episode with grapes. Yeah. I could get into that. :^)

Cleaned and rinsed they were relegated to drip drying on the bikes in the breeze. (Hopefully some of that dripping might clean the bikes too. hehe) Later in the evening Oilburner threw some clothes into the washing machine for good measure. No use having clean riding gear with dirty clothes.

The rest of the evening was spent lounging, playing on the computers, and packing the "care package" we were sending home in the morning. Reclaim the space in our saddlebags from the souvenirs and some clothing that we hadn't used.


  1. Lori:

    wow, so many sequences of unfortunate bad co-incidences. Bad service, screeming urchins (whatever that is), missed the loop road, bad service then left, then bad food. What a horrible place to stop for the night. then so many rude people.

    I remember that I love lucy show crushing the grapes. I have always wanted to do that and I have the feet to prove it. When I get to your place I want my jacket to get that cleaning treatment too. Dual purpose washing. Clean jacket and clean feet at the same time

    lots of memories, but not necessarily good ones

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. It wasn't like it was a bad day. Just disappointing. We still had fun, just showed us that we were supposed to take the day easy. :-)

      And as rough as this day might have seemed, tomorrow completely negated it. Acadia, Lands End, Portland...aaahhhhhh

      And I will arrange for the tub in which you can wash your jacket and tootsies.

  2. For a disappointing day you came away with some beautiful pictures.

    You managed to touch on one of my pet peeves with 'complimentary continental breakfasts". Fricken rude and oblivious people, both young and old alike. We usually try to sneak in early but every once in a while we are later and it always amazes me how people push and shove. In Eastern Oregon we went to toast bagels. It was a 4 slice toaster so we each had a bagel in (two bagels, two halves is 4 slices) A lady came up and tried to stuff her bagel on top of mine and she reached around me to do it. I told her I was using it and she had a confused look and asked both sides? Uh yeah - that is why it is glowing red and there is a freaking bagel in it already.

    We usually go find the nearest coffee shop and pay for breakfast or carry protein bars to tide us over until later in the day.

    I saw a sign the other day that said "Common sense is so rare now days, it should be considered a super power". Sad but true.

    Great job washing the nasty gear. Who knew it would get so grimy.

    1. Hi Trobairitz! Wow, you had an horrible encounter at the breakfast bar too. I was wondering if it had something to do with New Yorkers or something, but I'm guessing it didn't if you are getting it to. We just forget to pack some snacks...I keep putting it on the list, and it keeps getting dropped. It just seems it gets broken to crumbs or melts. :) Since we aren't really coffee drinkers, we never consider the coffee shops. And anything else that is easily take away are pastries and gooey. Which I love! But would prefer protein in the morning. And suggestions for carry alongs besides bars? I'm beginning to do some searching on that.

      Common sense as a super power. Such a sad state of our times, huh? I wouldn't mind them lacking common sense if they were at least geniuses. But I doubt that is the case in most circumstances. Hehe

      I always wonder how dirty the gear really is, but since we have a front loader, water saver, it is hard to discover. The bathtub was definitely telling...

  3. Shot glasses are usually the cheapest thing you can buy to prove you've been someplace. I have a bit of a collection myself. One hint.... If you see one of those old wooden boxes with the dividers for carrying around old glass soda bottles, pick it up. They make a perfect display case for shot glass collections.

    1. Hi Ray! Agreed, they are inexpensive. That is why we went the magnet route. They can be had for a couple bucks. I would like to think that we didn't find many appealing magnets, but found a couple cute shot classes...moose and all. ;)

      Thanks for the hint on the divider boxes. Display and easily reachable for "use"! hehe

  4. Mediocre food, rude tourists, screaming kids, but an absolutely beautiful area. It looks like a good choice to take the bus into town, especially since it was so convenient to your motel.

    I would agree with Trobairitz that the "free" breakfast is rarely worth the hassle.

    1. Hi Richard! I would definitely go back to Acadia. It is beautiful! Since I'm not one that cares too much for crowds...I would do it in the off season. :)

      Agreed on breakfast. Sometimes you just have to try. Do you also carry around snacks "just in case"?

    2. Yes on the snacks. But I usually will try and grab some fruit from the breakfast bars if it is available. Snacks are fruit bars, crackers and maybe some cheese if I find something interesting along the way. From my field work days, I usually have small tins of smoked oysters or kippered herring. Tasty and enough protein to carry one through the day. I also always have these low-calorie G2 powdered drink packets to mix in my water bottle. Much handier than buying it at the gas stations.

      This snack discussion is making me want to get back out on the road....

  5. Sad to say but that rudeness isn't just in one least in my experience. Far too many in our society have lost much of their charm, and the word "Free" seems to just make it worse.

    I'm so glad you didn't let 'them' ruin your day. I would love to see Acadia..especially after reading this post!

    1. Very sad if this is a sign of the times...I love the way you refer to it as "losing their charm". I just have to say it the way of the belly dancer in Bond's "The Man with the Golden Gun."

      More pictures of Acadia coming soon. :) When you go, hike or bicycle!!

  6. Dear Beemer Girl (Steel Cupcake):

    Maine is one of the most beautiful states in the Union, with some of the most haunting seascapes. And some of the prettiest places are remote peninsula's that end at the water's edge.

    The trouble with many motel/hotel breakfast nooks is that the free aspect attracts real jerks. On a motorcycle trip, I would never eat at the motel where I was registered. I'd always look for a breakfast joint in town. There is something about eggs,sausage, toast, and home fries, accompanied by a slice of pie in a crust someone's mom made, that makes the day worthwhile.

    I did like your choice of hotels in this segment. Did you book it in advance or trust to chance? I am going into detail on how we met on my blog this week, or next, and I would like to steal a picture of you and Mr. Oilburner if I could. There were two nice ones in these set.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads