Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Maine: Freeport and Acadia National Park

Egg Rock Light Station

In June of last year, almost a full year ago, while we were busy clearing out our house and outfitting the RV, I presented Lance with a birthday card that said "this card good for flyfishing classes in the location of your choice", and a few basic flies.  It had always been a desire of his to learn to flyfish. A little later down the road he selected the LL Bean headquarters in Freeport, Maine and we decided June should be a good weather window.

Lance practicing his 4-part cast on the lawn at the RV park

Freeport is an adorable little company town, in this case the company being LL Bean and other like-minded stores. When I booked the class they directed me to the free RV parking onsite, a block away from the outlet shops and right in the middle of their adorable little downtown, a park-like location which was very convenient to shopping and dinner. It was also our first urban boondocking experience, there will be more to follow. We made friends with other RVers who parked nearby, also Californians who had been following the weather, as it turns out we'd stayed in many of the same places at the same time, and were heading to the same park near Acadia National Park next.

Lance thoroughly enjoyed his flyfishing class, and even caught a fish in the LL Bean pond. The staff was so quick about unhooking it and putting it back in the pond he didn't even get a picture of it, so  without photographic evidence to the contrary the fish gets bigger every time he tells the story. Last time I heard him tell it that trout was as big as a truck! The bottom line though, is that the moment that fish was caught, the person really hooked was Lance. We bought a flyfishing rod and he's been practicing his cast as often as he can since. I expect we will be investing in a license to cast into actual water when we get to New Hampshire.

Private residence on Mount Desert Island

The jump from Freeport to Trenton's Narrows Too RV Park was a short one. We selected this park because it was just on the outskirts of Acadia National Park and we asked to be tucked away in the corner. They put us in the back of the park by the dog park, and it's a pull-in site (a first for us) so all day while I work I am facing the forest and the dog park.  I received the supplies for making the window shade system, and will tackle it when I get a moment, but I'm not feeling rushed about it here since there are no prying eyes or baking sun. Our next long stop will be in Gorham NH, that seems like a good spot to take on that project.

Truly seaworthy vessels at rest in the SouthWest Harbor

We've spent nearly every free moment circling through Acadia National Park. Cadillac Mountain in the middle of the park has a height of 1530', and is the tallest mountain on the East Coast.  It is the first place in the continental USA to see the sun each day, and The Thing To Do is go to the mountaintop and greet the sunrise. At this latitude and this close to solstice that means sometime not long after 4am.

The Sunrise as viewed from Cadillac Mountain reveals the Porcupine Islands hiding under their own individual cloud layers

The majority of the park was once property owned by some Rockefellers, and they installed carriage roads along the lower elevations of the park with beautiful gatehouses. Nowadays you can walk, pedal your bike, or ride in a horse-drawn carriage on these same roads, no powered vehicles are allowed.

Gatehouse along the carriage road

While driving around the Park Loop one day we came across a sign for "sand beach". Lance laughed "of course it's sand, what else would a beach be made of".... well come to find out it's the only sand beach around here for quite a long ways, the rest of them being large round rocks or jagged volcanic rock. On sunny warm days locals and tourists alike stretch out and soak it all in but nobody is swimming, the water is 40 degrees. Yipe.

Shawna tide-pooling on a typical Maine beach

Chloe carefully supervising the harbor seal activity
We bought tickets for the local tour boat and went in search of puffins and lighthouses.  We found a lighthouse but no puffins, oh well... nature, whatareyagonnado. Bonus surprises were a pair of bald eagles, a harbor seal rookery and porpoises. The weather on the water that day was typical Maine, meaning layers are a good idea even in June. It went from coffee-cup-embracing/burrowing down into my jacket to stripping down to tee-shirt and sun-worshipping to zipping the jacket all the way back up again in the course of our two-hour tour.

Bald Eagle #1 of 2 on an otherwise uninhabited island

Yesterday we drove without purpose around the island and discovered SouthWest Harbor and Quietside, where the pace is even more laid-back. On that side of the island most of the boats in the harbor were fishing boats and there were stacks of lobster traps everywhere, the homes are more modest and the property more sparsely populated. We drove a little further along the coastline and discovered a neat wind-swept beach, campground and picnic area and a cool lighthouse, as it turns out there are a lot of them on the island.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse on the Quietside

The RV park where we are staying belongs to a collection of Thousand Trails and Encore parks, and after careful consideration we decided to buy into the program. If we choose our landings carefully we should be able to save quite a bit of money on the next year's worth of our RV park stays. I'll keep track of how it works out and report back on that later when I have some data compiled.

1 comment:

  1. Internet Speed Comparison @ Narrows Too, Trenton ME
    Sampled 6/12/18 at 5:32am
    AT&T – 0.23 down, 0.23 up
    Calyx (Sprint) – 0.0 down, 0.0 up
    Jetpack (Verizon) – 1.65 down, 7.06 up
    Phone tether (Verizon) 0.39 down, 2.51 up
    Park wifi – 0.51 down, 0.08 up