Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back on the road - Acadia National Park

After 6 wonderful weeks in our former "home town" of Philadelphia we are now back on the road for our second round of North American travel. We had a great time visiting friends in and around Downingtown PA and we'll look forward to seeing them on our return next year. 

We set out on July 2 for Bar Harbor Maine, stopping for one night in Massachusetts on the way up. Unfortunately, the first 2 days here were a washout due to tropical storm Arthur which dumped a lot of rain. But today was a beautiful day and we took advantage and toured the National Park. 

Acadia is a beautiful rugged park on the coast of Maine filled with granite mountains (well... more like hills) overlooking rocky cliffs. It reminds us a bit of the Pacific coast. 

The rocky coast of Acadia National Park

Acadia is the first National Park established east of the Mississippi and is one of the smaller parks in the US. It's proximity to population centers of the Northeast means that Acadia is one of the most visited parks in the country (9th at last count). The name "Acadia" probably stems from a name given to the area by the explorer, Giovanni Verrazzano, in 1524. The shoreline reminded him of an area in Greece named Arcadia. Verrazzano went on to bigger things, being the first European to enter New York Harbor. In fact we crossed his eponymous bridge on the way to Maine. 

We took a hike up to Gorham "Mountain" (525 feet) and managed not to get lost due to the fantastic signage.

At the top of the hill we met a new friend, a 9-year old Golden named Zoe. She reminded us a lot of our beloved Skye.

Zoe at the top of Gorham Mountain
The bay across from Bar Harbor is called Frenchman Bay - it reminded us a bit of the Virgin Islands (if you use your imagination a bit). The good news is that the bay is full of lobster and you can find it everywhere on the island prepared any number of ways. 

Frenchman's Reef, Acadia National Park
We also stopped at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - unusual because it has a red cover over the lens. The lighthouse is now automatic but the house is still occupied by a Coast Guard family. 

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Overall we had a very nice day in Acadia. We'll be here a few more days before heading into Canada. 

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