Maine lobster is a sought out sweet and succulent delicacy. This wasn’t the case 200 years ago. Not only did early Maine settlers use lobsters as fertilizer, it was the main menu item for prisoners. Lobsters live on the ocean floor for seven years before they reach the legal catch size of 1.5 pounds. Each lobster fisherperson catches their prey using box shaped wood or wire traps called pots. A wood or Styrofoam individually painted buoys marks the trap’s position. No two buoys painted color codes are alike and also registered with the State of Maine.
100 million pounds of lobster were harvested in Maine in 2016. We dined on tasty lobster at Bernard’s Thurston Lobster Pound Restaurant. Patty took one of her favorite pictures of sunset clouds on the lobster shack covered with old trap buoys next to this restaurant.
MOUNT DESERT ISLAND: ACADIA NATIONAL PARK AND BAR HARBOR, MAINE
Native peoples known as the Wabanaki, inhabited the island before the first Europeans landed in 1524. In 1604, French explorer Samuel de Champlain named the island Isles des Monts Deserts, meaning “island of barren mountains”. In 1760’s settlers lived on the western side of the island near the sailing routes but later moved to the eastern half for better farming soil. The eastern side of the island is where Bar Harbor is located.
Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island. Acadia National Park protects and preserves 47,000 acres of most beautiful mountain, forest, small offshore islands, and granite rock shoreline on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean. We slowly drove on the 22 mile paved route road called Park Loop Road. This offered us magnificent views of Frenchman Bay, moreover a lovely picnic on Sand Beach. The beach is composed of billions of bits of crushed seashells and water too cold for swimming.
We stopped at the Jordan Pond House and admired the views of Jordan Pond and the Bubble Mountains while dining on traditional popovers and homemade raspberry jam. We then rode off our calories on a wonderful bike ride on the carriage trails and over quaint granite and cobblestone bridges.
One day we hiked up Cadillac mountain 1,532’ to the top of the bald granite dome. The spectacular views of Mount Desert Island, Frenchman and Blue Hill Bays gave Patty the well-deserved rest and time to silently cuss herself out for being so out of shape.
We took the Sea Princess boat tour out of Northeast Harbor along Sommes Sound on the southern shore of Mount Desert Island. It was a nice boat ride past Bear Island Lighthouse, osprey nest, and a stop at the 200-year-old fishing village of Islesford on Little Cranberry Island. There were lobster boats bringing in their catch and a quaint church with windows made out of sea glass.
BAR HARBOR, MAINE
Bar Harbor is a cute town on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s Frenchman Bay. From the town pier, the Shore Path winds along the Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Porcupine Islands.
Europeans first settled the community in 1763. Incorporated on February 23, 1796 as Eden, after Sir Richard Eden, an English statesman. On March 3, 1918, Eden was renamed Bar Harbor, after the sand and gravel bar, visible at low tide, which leads across to Bar Island and forms the rear of the harbor. The name would become synonymous with elite wealth. There was a wealth of drinking at the Atlantic Brewery tour and tastings. We liked the rich malted chocolate taste to their Coal Porter Ale enough to buy plenty for our journey through the Northeast.
FREEPORT, PORTLAND, KENNEBUNKPORT, OGUNQUIT, CAPE NEDDICK NUBBLE LIGHTHOUSE, MAINE
Freeport is home to the giant LL Bean store as well as multiple outlet shops. Patty was amazed at the beautiful sunsets in Portland Maine. We took a trip along Highway 1 from Portland Maine south to York Village. We explored Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunkport, Wells Beach, Ogunquit, Cape Neddick, and York Village.
Before we toured the fantastically expensive shops at Kennebunkport, we drove on Ocean Road to Walker’s Point. This is the summer home of former US President George H.W. Bush. Heading farther south we visited Ogunquit’s small landlocked harbor at the mouth of Josias River called Perkins Cove. The fishing pleasure and party fishing boats have to signal the bridge tender to raise the drawbridge. Perkins Cove is one of the most picturesque parts of southern Maine.
Please click on individual photo to go to Gallery.