Michael and I kicked off our trip to Maine on Tuesday, August 12th after getting some much-needed rest at home. Our first stop was Portland, and we stayed at the Fireside Inn & Suites. Down the road from the hotel, there was a mall, the Maine Mall, where we decided to explore the evening we arrived. We ended up getting some hiking pants for Michael at Eddie Bauer and went on a search for mine. Because I am rather short, I needed to get a pair of petite or “short” pants. We must have checked three or four places, but had no luck. So we drove a bit further to a Cabela’s, which is rather similar to a Bass Pro Shops. It was very large, and I finally found a pair I was happy with.
After finding the water resistant pants, we were famished so we stopped at a Famous Dave’s for some good ole BBQ. We got the Feast for Two and selected the BBQ Pulled Pork vs. Beef Brisket and were delighted with all of the food! We ended up saving half of the feast for later meals while camping in Southwest Harbor.
The next day we drove about 3 hours to get to our campsite, Smuggler’s Den in Southwest Harbor, ME. On our way there we headed to an L.L. Bean Outlet, and it was my first time going to one. It was HUGE! It had sections with all sorts of useful items for our camping portions of the trip. And, we decided to invest in a larger 4-person tent so Michael could stand up in it! It was called the King Pine Dome 4. It was perfect because it had an outdoor screened-in portion so we could put our chairs there in case it rained outside. It was just high enough for Michael to stand and not feel confined. He also decided to get a hatchet to chop firewood. So we were very happy with our purchases.
The first night we got there it rained into the next morning. That evening we wanted to explore the Southwest Harbor area to see if we could find food. We came across the Quietside Cafe and thought it looked really cute. We ended up getting the seafood pizza which had lobster, crab meat, and shrimp sauteed in garlic. It was so yummy! And we topped it off with some blueberry pie with blueberry ice cream.
I noticed there was a bus that came through the campground area and inquired within the campground office to see how it worked. I discovered it was a free bus that went all over the area, including downtown Bar Harbor and through Acadia National Park. So I convinced Michael to take it with me downtown. It took a half an hour to get down there. And, the bus was actually very crowded so we had to stand the entire time.
As we got up there, the sun peaked through the clouds, and it was beginning to look like a beautiful day! We were very fortunate that it cleared up…just in time too! We ended up heading to the small shops and got our moose magnet. We also placed our Frisbee in a cache which was along the rock wall facing Bar Harbor Isle. It took us a while to locate the cache because it was so well-hidden behind the rocks, but we finally got it! After we got back from Bar Harbor, we decided to check out Echo Lake because there was a trail leading from our campsite directly to the lake. We went for a light trail jog, and it was about 2.5 miles round-trip. It was so nice to see the serene lake, and then take some pictures.
The next day we decided to hike up to Cadillac Mountain. We did the South Ridge Trail, which was 7.2 miles round-trip. It was a different landscape because we were not used to hiking with mostly roots and rock underneath us. But it was actually really neat to go through the woods and then come to an open area on top of the mountain. It was a beautiful day with clear skies. We got to relax a bit and eat our packed lunches: two hard-boiled eggs, some sunflower seeds and two pink lady apples. Yum! We just laid on the mountain for about a half hour and headed back down. We were exhausted after that hike so we slept pretty well afterwards.
The last day we were there, we decided to head back into the downtown area. We got to sleep in a bit so we were well-rested to explore the town again. We wanted to see the sand bar when it was low-tide so we got there just in time. It was so cool to see and there were so many people just wandering on the other island. When we got there it was already too late to get to the other island, but we ended up walking across the bar a bit and took some pictures. Before we knew it the tide already started coming in, so Michael piggy-backed me across the the water because he had his waterproof hiking shoes on and I had on my sneakers. We then discovered the Shore Path, which is similar to the cliff walk in Newport, RI, only without the cement boundaries.
After we got back, we decided to head to Beal’s Lobster Pier where we had our lobster dinner with a baked potato and a corn and crab chowder! It was pretty fresh because we got to select our own lobsters to get steamed…yummy! That was a nice way to end our trip to Maine. The next morning, Sunday, August 17th we packed our belongings into the MINI, and were were off to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for three nights.