We secured us an interior spot for a 3 day stay at Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Bar Harbor, and one of the only close campgrounds available. The campground was fairly empty and although we only wanted to pay for an interior site, it was right across from the empty waterfront sites, so it was like having a waterfront site for a few days, with hookups of course. After checking in, we headed straight into town so we could explore before the forecasted rain set in. We found a (not so) secret parking lot at Grant Park and watched a cruise ship depart while meandering down The Shore Path into town, admiring the balanced rock formations along the way. It was sprinkling on and off so we had to hop from store to store quickly to stay dry. Unfortunately, we left our newly acquired raincoats in the van, but luckily most of the stores were dog friendly so Lucy didn’t have to wait outside in the rain, not that she would mind. By the end of the day we were cold and wet, and against my protest Humz ordered Chinese food…It was not great.
The next day we went to Jordan Pond House for their famous popovers and jam. We missed afternoon tea on the back lawn overlooking the pond, but luckily were just in time to snag a table for dinner before the crowds hit. They were super dog friendly and even let Lucy wander around inside the restaurant with us to enjoy the rooftop deck while we waited for our table on the back patio to be set up. Humz tried what was probably his first and last lobster…not because it was bad, but because it just wasn’t his thing. Although I grew up in New England, my parents often joked about withholding lobster rolls from me so I would never develop a taste for them, and hence save them money. So, it looks like we’re not lobster people; but I will take those savings and spend it on shrimp, mounds of glorious shrimp...or Christmas ornaments! We finished dinner with a short walk and photoshoot around the pond using the Double Bubbles as our backdrop before heading up Cadillac Mountain, Comet’s first test at major inclines. He did great, while scared-of-heights-Humz white knuckled it all the way to the top. We missed the sunset and the wind was starting to whip, so we decided to come back the next day. The park ranger at the Visitor’s Center at the top said those heavy winds at night are completely normal. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see any stars, but there is a great spot at the top to star gaze when the weather is nicer.
We did go back the next day, but the weather on top of the mountain was ever worse than it was the day before, with mist pelting us in the face and 0 visibility. So we abandon our hopes and dreams of getting some epic panoramic photos and headed down the mountain to Bar Harbor to watch a US soccer game at the Dog and Pony Tavern. If you’re ever in Maine, get any drink, or really anything that’s made out of blueberry, one of Maine’s specialties, and much better than our Lobster experience. I got a blueberry vodka soda, which helped take the edge off the near US loss…Luckily they tied against Hondurus. I later washed that down with whoopie pies from the Pink Pastry shop…definitely go there if you’re in town. And we also made a stop at Ben and Bills, which much to my surprise I thought was only in my hometown of Oak Bluffs, MA, but they have another location in Bar Harbor. Although we failed at getting some fantastic photos from Cadillac Mountain, we did get whoopie pies, so that’s an even trade off, right? We’ll always have other people's pics on google to remind us of what we missed.
Acadia National Park/Cadillac Mountain Pro Tip: There is a $25 admission fee to Acadia National Park from May to October. This will get your vehicle and anyone in it into the park for 7 consecutive days. If you buy the Inter-Agency Annual National Parks Pass, it is $80 for access to parks all across the country, valid for 12 months from the purchase date. We sucked up the $25 admission fee for Acadia, but now have the Annual Pass since we knew the pass would pay for itself in a minimum of 4 park visits, based on the Acadia fee. Check out www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/fees.htm for more information on Fee Free Days and where to buy the passes. There is no entrance gate to the park, so we didn’t know there was an entrance fee until we were at the top of the mountain, but the ranger there said that they do check and will ticket if we didn’t have a pass in our car, so we bought one. Hey it goes to protecting wilderness, right?