27 May 2017 (posted 30 May 2017)
Last time I was half in the time before that. This time I would be in the now, in Bar Harbor for four nights, unrestrained by any schedule, free to go where I please and stay as long as I want.
Jack has never been to Maine. I promised him lots of moose paraphernalia. He promised he'd be a good sport if I were to sit on a rock and watch the ocean. We're going to spend from Saturday night till Wednesday morning in Maine. Then we'll drive to Saratoga Springs, NY, for one night. The next day we'll drive to Ithaca, where Jack will bury himself in manuscripts at the Cornell library and I'll join a handful of Hill Slugs for a long weekend of hilly rides. Once again, Jack is being a good sport.
Both of us want simply to chill out. Work has been stressful for both of us lately. Demands on our free time has sapped us both. It doesn't help either that preparing for a trip stresses me out: there's so much besides packing that has to be done before we leave the house. That I was in the lab ten hours the day before we were to set out didn't help one bit.
In the back of the car is Miss Piggy and five rides' worth of clothing. Our bags form a ring around the blanketed lump.
We hit the road an hour later than I'd wanted to. Without stopping, from home to Bar Harbor is between 8 and 9 hours of driving. I drink coffee while I drive. We stop a lot.
There's almost nobody on the road at 9:00 a.m. It's Memorial Day weekend. We don't hit traffic until Connecticut (surprise!), but even there, we only come to a complete stop on Route 84 once (that's got to be a record).
At the Maine border we pull off the highway for a rest at the Welcome Center. It's on Delorme Drive. We pass Garmin headquarters. I still haven't called them about the $500 Piece of Shit I'm taking on this trip. If it weren't past 5:00, I'd have half a mind to march right in there with the thing in my hand and demand, well, I don't know what. Good thing it's after 5:00.
On the plus side, there is this moose at the rest area:
We pass road signs that warn us of moose in the roadway. We should be so lucky. We aren't; Jack has to settle for the signs. He's getting snarky on Facebook as I drive.
At 8:00 we reach the hotel, the Bluenose Inn, a mile or so from the center of Bar Harbor. Our room is on the second floor. It has a balcony. I step out and get my first look at Bar Island and Mount Desert Narrows.
Bar Harbor is crowded. I find a parking spot near the docks.
And there it is. The ship that photobombed half my harbor shots last year. What is this thing?
This late there aren't many restaurants still open, but Stewmans is. I'd suggested it because I'd remembered the name from last year. While we wait for our table, I walk to the edge of the dock.
And start bouncing up and down like a little kid.
I'm in Bar Harbor! Mount Desert Island! Acadia National Park! Again! Sunsets! That cold, low-tide smell! Granite rocks and pine trees! Waves crashing on the crags! Barnacles and snails and seaweed! Boing, boing, boing!
We have to have ice cream, so up the hill we go to Ben and Bill's, because I remembered it from last year. But, um, lobster ice cream? Not for the natives.
We walk back to the car. I show Jack the rooftop moose, a beacon.