Farewell Visit to Acadia and Bar Harbor
Topsham, ME - Events of Wednesday, August 21, 2013
On Wednesday, which was our last day in the area, we took another drive around the loop road in Acadia National Park. We didn't have any particular destination in mind; but as we said before, everything looks different at different times of the day and at different levels of the tide, so we just wanted one last look at some of the beautiful scenes of the rocky coast in Acadia National Park.
Our first stop was at Sand beach, which is one of the most popular locations in the entire park. As usual, it was very crowded; but after making three very slow passes around the main parking lot, we finally found a space.
As crowded as the beach was the first time we were there, it looked even more crowded now because the first time we were there was near low tide. This time, it was near high tide, so a similar number of people were on a smaller beach.
The beach is crowded, but the water isn't because the water temperature is only around 50ºF. All you could hear were little girls screeching with each wave.
From the far end of Sand Beach you can see a hill called The Beehive.
There is a trail that goes to the top of The Beehive, and we could see hikers up there.
As we left Sand Beach, we stopped to admire the view south toward Otter Cliff.
We drove along the loop road a little farther and found another parking space, so we stopped and walked along Ocean Path for a short distance and took several side excursions out onto the rocks to sit and watch the waves and to take photos.
Janice and Dave had been checking out the bridges along the carriage roads, and they gave us a tip on a particularly picturesque one that had parking right by the bridge. Duck Brook Bridge was completed in 1929, and is interesting because it has both triple arches and turrets.
Lowbush blueberries grow wild all over the area. Like so many other places in Acadia, there are lots of blueberry bushes at Duck Brook Bridge, but few blueberries. Late summer is blueberry season in Maine, but most of the bushes we have seen have been picked clean. However, we have seen one or two berries here and there like the one shown in the photo below.
Maine is well known for its wild blueberries and there are stands along the roads that sell them by the pint and by the quart. Wild blueberries are small - only about ¼ inch in diameter, and they have a more delicate flavor than the large, highbush blueberries that are commonly available.
As we said, we saw very few blueberries in the wild, so we stopped at a roadside stand and bought a pint early in our stay. Margery made a delicious blueberry sauce that we had on pancakes. The pancakes were delicious. We then tried some of the blueberry sauce that we had left from the pancakes on vanilla ice cream, and we liked the blueberries that way even better. We liked it so much, that we ended up buying two more quarts of blueberries during our stay.
Paul has been wanting to get some real, good New England clam chowder (or chowdah as the locals call it). The restaurants on Mount Desert Island in general and in Bar Harbor in particular cater to tourists and are on the expensive side, but Margery found a little tavern in Bar Harbor called the Thirsty Whale that got rave reviews for its chowder, so we headed there after we left Duck Brook Bridge.
We found a parking space on a side street not too far from the restaurant. It was low tide the first time we walked Shore Path, and we were curious to see the views at high tide. Since it was a short time after high tide when we got to Bar Harbor on this stop, we decided to walk part of Shore Path before we ate.
This time, not only did the view of Bald Porcupine Island have more water in the foreground, there were also a lot more boats moored in the harbor.
The water was all the way up to Balance Rock.
From Balance Rock, we retraced our steps to the beginning of Shore Path then made our way 3 or 4-blocks to the Thirsty Whale.
Sandwiches and burgers range in price from about $6 to $9 and include one side. We each had one of their specials that included a fried haddock sandwich and a cup of clam chowder for $10.
The fish sandwich was good, but the coating could have a bit crispier. The chowder, however, was outstanding. It was loaded with clams and had lots of flavor. No wonder their chowder gets such good reviews.
After our lupper, we drove back to the motor home. Even though it was late afternoon, we squeezed in a few pre-departure chores after which we headed over to Janice and Dave's motor home to say our goodbyes before heading out the following morning. We'll tell you where we went in our next post.