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Published: July 11th 2013
Acadia National Park
Gull on Mt. Desert Island
"She was, she was as beautiful as rainbows in the sky
She was so beautiful and not at all am I"
With the mellow sounds of Jacques Brel's "La Fanette" drifting over us and providing a soothing start to the day, we headed out for Acadia National Park. The park was established as Lafayette National Park in 1919, but the name was changed to the present form in 1929. It is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi. The park has wildlife, but we saw very little other than gulls. It is perhaps best known for its craggy, rocky shoreline vistas. We spent the day in and out of fog (mostly in), and therefore we saw a lot more of craggy and rocky than of vistas.
The park includes the better part of Mt. Desert Island and several smaller islands that are accessible only by boat, and also includes a significant part of the Schoodic Peninsula just to the north. Mt. Desert Island is dominated, we are told, by Cadillac Mountain, at 1530 feet the highest point on the Atlantic coast. Unfortunately, the cloud ceiling was several hundred feet lower than that, so seeing Cadillac
Mountain must be reserved for another visit. We drove the 27 mile loop road and it is clear (pardon the pun) that views would be spectacular minus the fog. As it was, we saw the ocean lapping at large rocks that are splitting and splintering from freeze-thaw effects, large seaweed collections on rocks, and roses everywhere. A native rose has established itself throughout the region, and is found along every road and shoreline.
The Schoodic Peninsula had far fewer people, and in our view (sorry) also had better scenery, at least for a foggy day.
We crossed the border into Canada at Calais/St. Stephens and were immediately treated to a much better road which took us to St. John. I don't know what I had expected there, but it is a fairly large town with abundant industrial activity. Unsure of parking, we took a taxi to dinner and had a wonderful dinner at Decimal 81, with some of the friendliest wait staff I have ever seen while traveling. Jan, of course, had lobster, but he rest of us had lamb which was delicious, particularly when accompanied by a lovely Ontario pinot noir. Our taxi driver took
us on a gratuitous tour of some of the city and acted as tour guide before depositing us back at our hotel.
Tomorrow: Bay of Fundy
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