Which brings me to the recent visit from our good friends from Florida, Kelly and T. Who wouldn’t want to escape 90-degree weather and unbearable humidity for cool Maine ocean breezes? Since we are hanging out near Mt. Desert Island that means there is plenty to do.
First up was a visit to the Acadia National Park (NP) Visitor Center for a viewing of the 15-minute orientation film before we were off for a hike. A favorite hike of ours on the less-popular carriage road called Paradise Hill that brings you upward for spectacular views of Hull’s Cove and Frenchman Bay and back around to Witch Hole Pond.
The “carriage roads” of Acadia National Park were the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Rockefeller realized that the presence of automobiles on Mt. Desert Island were going to interrupt the peaceful island lifestyle that was desired by the aristocrats living here in the early 1900’s. Names like Vanderbilt, Ford, Morgan, Astor, and Rockefeller were commonplace as these families came to Maine to escape the hustle and bustle of large New England cities and enjoy the beautiful Maine summers. Ironically, these early visitors were labeled “rusticators” having left their cushy lifestyles back home to summer in rustic Maine. The 47-mile system of carriage roads have remained free of automobiles which makes for a pleasant place to walk and bike in the park.
Next on our tour was an Acadia NP “must see” – Cadillac Mountain. Adventurous people can hike up to the 1,500 – foot summit, but for the rest of us, driving up to the top is a better (and less strenuous) alternative. The views are spectacular! Off in the distance is downtown Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, and the surrounding Islands. With views like this, it is no wonder Acadia NP regularly ranks as one of the Top 10 National Parks in the Country.
Another one of the iconic scenes in the area is the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse – which claims to be the most photographed lighthouse in the country. The lighthouse was built of brick in 1858 on a stone foundation and stands a meager 56 feet above mean high water. But it is the majestic setting and steadfast operation that makes it so appealing to onlookers and mariners alike.
In the midst of all the busy sightseeing, we could not neglect the rumbling of our stomachs that were calling for something to fill the void in them. Maybe it was the bobbing lobster buoys off the coast of the lighthouse that gave us the idea for lobster, or maybe it was that Betsy hadn’t eaten it for two days that led us to Thurston’s Lobster Pound. Lobster was a great addition to our perfect day and we were so glad our friends decided to pay us a visit.