After our backpacking adventures in New Hampshire, the pine tree and lobster state of Maine awaited. The girls and I made cupcakes and a cake while Colter drove us to our destination of Ellsworth, Maine. If cooking isn’t hard enough on level and steady ground, try doing it with Colter driving a 31 foot Class C RV, in the dark, around corners. The girls had their seatbelts on around the table, but I felt like it was surfing. We only came to any incidents once, while we were at a stop light and I didn’t have my balance before we started driving again. I almost fell completely over. The balancing act made it that much more exciting. Making cupcakes on solid ground won’t quite hold up to this experience.
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
On our way to our spot for the night, we saw the most beautiful sunset. It was at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. The bridge is beautiful itself but the sunset made the drive that much more incredible. We pulled the RV off the road and stopped to stretch our legs and soak in the sunset. Idaho, where we live, has beautiful sunsets and this one reminded me of home with its brilliant pinks and yellows against a darkening blue sky.
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is right by Fort Knox. The bridge has an observatory, which was closed for the day by the time we drove through. The two pillars that hold the bridge in the middle are modeled after the George Washington Monument, which stands in Washington D.C. While driving on the bridge, the massive cables supporting the bridge are tied into cement that rests in the middle of the road, allowing opposing traffic to feel isolated with lights, cables and pillars on one side and the guard rail on the other. It was the perfect night to drive on the bridge.
On our travels, we try not to stay in too many parking lots, mostly for the lack of beauty and the sound that usually accompanies large stores, but we did stay at a Walmart parking lot in Ellsworth, Maine. Bar Harbor and Acadia National park were a short drive away, plus we could go grab groceries, or anything else we needed with a quick walk.
The best part of this Walmart were the friends that we were able to make. We pulled in late, got parked, along with many other travel trailers and RV’s, when we heard a knock on our door. My first instinct when someone knocks on a door, is that something is wrong, or we shouldn’t be here. Luckily, it was our RV neighbor.
I don’t remember what he initially came over for or for what he asked, but I do remember they had a young family like ours and we were both from the Mountain West. I don’t think it is very common for us westerners to get ALL THE WAY TO MAINE! We bonded instantly.
Bar Harbor has an island (Bar Harbor Island) that you can walk over to on sand when the tide is low. There are tide pools for the kids to play in and the adventure of the island if you are interested. People can even drive all-terrain cars across to the island. Just don’t get stuck on the island when the tide comes back up. Apparently there is a number you can call, and this guy might come get you and if he does, it is a minimum of $500. If your car gets stuck and swamped, I am sure that is a whole other issue. Just pay attention to the tides.
We walked over to island and let the kids play in the tide pools. At the end of September isn’t the warmest time to go, but we all bundled up and had a good time. Colter even saved a crab from a bird. We think the bird got one of the crabs eyes before we put it back in the water.
Sail boats, rowing boats and others are also really fun to watch go in and out of the harbor as your stroll along the sand. We saw a massive sail boat with eight, huge, orange sails going across the water while we were walking to Bar Harbor Island.
The next morning we were on our way to Acadia National Park and stopped by the path to the island and it was all covered up. Blakely thought that was crazy. I wondered who was the last person that got stuck over on the island and how they would have survived the night until the next low tide. I think it would be fun to backpack
Bar Harbor also has a lot of shopping and souvenirs. The cruise lines stop here so you might see a lot of people in peak tourists season. There was a shop that had some books and I got one. It was called, “I met a Mouse in Maine.” The kids still read it to this day!
Acadia National Park
We love to go on hikes and this Gorham mountain trail seemed like a good one where we could possibly get cell service so Blakely could log-in with her online teacher. Where the Maine coastline is so rocky, normal dirt trails like we are used to in the Rocky Mountains, don’t exist. On rocky areas, pathways are marked with cairns. These cairns are built to have the pointed end of the rock show which way the path leads. It was a fun learning experience for us all. Blakely had school and Colter needed to work so we found a little overhang/ledge where we had cell service that looked out to the ocean and we stopped to get some work done. It might have been one of Colter’s favorite places to work!
We took a different path on the way back down and had fun standing by massive rock walls and walking through a little cave.
Another day we loaded up our bikes and tried to bike around Jordan Pond. It was cold. There were some railroad ties that made up part of the trail and the kids had a hard time, so we actually turned back around and went on the horse trail that wasn’t so much around the lake. It would have been a better hike than a bike ride. We turned around on the horse trail shortly after we started and were done. I wanted more of a bike ride so I headed up the road, back toward home while Colter loaded up kids and bikes. I got a couple of miles on my mountain bike before they caught up to me, I loaded up and we left.
We stopped by Cadillac Mountain on our way back from Jordan Pond, but didn’t stay long here either (we didn’t get good service here and Colter had some meetings and Blakely might have had some more school). It was just cold and windy that day in September. This is the spot to go though if you want to be the first one to see the sun rise in the United States!
Lobster Boat Tour
That same day we did the Gorham Mountain hike, Blakely and I went on a lobster boat. We learned how they trap lobsters, the difference in the colors of surface buoy (that float on top of the water) and many other fun facts and information about Maine. Did you know that each buoy is registered as it’s colors and the fishermen only use their color of buoys to mark their cages. The fishermen have to go through a lot of steps to actually be able to fish in those waters. It is totally worth going on a tour. Blakely fell asleep on part of the boat ride, but we even were able to see lighthouses and seals.
Lobster and Clam Chowder
On our way back to camp Walmart, we stopped by a lobster place. You could pick out a lobster from a cooler and they would cook it for you by boiling it in a lobster pot. You pick your lobster, they weight it, and then they put it in a net, and boil it. We were able to go watch them put the lobster into the pot. Unfortunately, Saylor was between me and the lobster pot and she put her hand out and touched the surface of one of the boiling water pots. It burnt a small portion of her palm. It didn’t look too bad right after, but the next day, it had blistered. We kept it really clean, moist and wrapped it up. She would tell people she burnt her hand on a “monster pop.”
The lobster and clam chowder were delicious! Two of my very favorite things, and they were all so fresh!
From the rocky coastline and lobster tour, to the magnificent beauty and uniqueness of Acadia National Park, Maine is in the top of my favorite states to visit. The friendships and memories we made here were incredible.