Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lunch at Thurston's in Bass Harbor

Right next to Thurston's is "lobster central". We could watch the boats unloading and loading traps during our lunch.

Thurston's is right on the water's edge of Bass Harbor
Thurston's in Bernard, ME (www.thurstonslobster.com) is down the end of a long road past Bass Harbor. There are signs leading the way, about 30 minutes from Bar Harbor. It's right on the water, next to a busy lobster fishing wharf and the seafood is fresh. There is often a line but we didn't wait long. You pick out the size lobster you want and side orders. We chose steamed clams and cole slaw plus one order of corn and potato salad. The seafood and cole slaw were particularly good. There is a interesting choice of beers and a smaller selection of wine. It's a basic place with a great view and we had a wonderful lunch.
We spent our last night with Alan and Jeanette at Ann's Point. The weather was perfect for drinks and hors d'oeuvres out on the deck but we moved inside for dinner. The next morning after another great breakfast we were on the road, all too soon. Our route took us past Lake Winnipesaukee and although pretty was much too long - 7.5 hours. Our only consolation was fried clams for lunch - completing our "need to eat while in Maine" list.
A big mug of local brewed beer is a perfect accompaniment

To our steamed clams and lobsters

Our lobsters were "medium", about 1 and 3/4 pounds each

Sailboats and Trawlers share dock space with lobster boats

Back at Ann's Point Inn, Alan sets up some wine and his
 own brewed porter for tasting, along with guacamole
and mango salsa

Our room had a private deck where Heather
enjoys her morning coffee

Hiking and Kayaking in Acadia

The rocky coast near the lighthouse
Bass Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1858 and stands at
the entrance to the harbor and Blue Hill Bay
We started our hike at the south end of Long Pond and
climbed the steep cliffs on the west side of Beech Mt.
You can get an idea of how steep in this shot of
Scott below me on the trail
JPL, Scott, Trudy, Heather, Jane, Jim, Jeanette and Alan -
all cooking dinner in the kitchen
Our kayaks wait for us down on the beach

Our hosts recommended the Beech Mt. Trail as moderately difficult and very scenic. We started from the south end of Great Long Lake. We took Seal Cove Rd off Route 102 just north of Southwest Harbor village and then took a right on Long Pond Rd and followed it to the end. There is a parking area for cars and two trails leave from there. We took the trail along the lake that soon climbed the steep cliffs on the west side of Eastern Mt. The trails in Acadia National Park are often "improved" with stone stairs and the blue trail marks were easy to follow. The trail leads up to the fire tower at the top. From there we continued south along the ridge on the Beech Ridge Trail, staying right at the next junction. This ended up back at our parking lot. This downhill trail was easier and longer (1.5 miles to the 1 mile up). The weather was mostly cloudy on the way up but the fog rolled in as we made our way down. We were really glad we'd taken some pictures of the views earlier. Nevertheless, the forest and the rocky shelves were still beautiful. The trip took us 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
Everyone pitched in on dinner that night and the kitchen reminded me of the movie "The Big Chill". Jane was our executive chef and directed the action. She planned a salad buffet that was as delicious as it was beautiful. The sound track was Jim Cohen's CDs. He is a very talented pedal guitar player. You can see him on You Tube and buy his CDs at www.jimcohen.com.
The next day was perfect for our reserved kayak trip with National Park Sea Kayak Tours (1-800-347-0940, 39 Cottage St. Bar Harbor, ME, www.acadiakayak.com) Our four hour tour started with a great introduction by guide Lou, a many generation local from Mt. Desert Island. He outfitted us (some even with fleece pants) and we were off in the van with our boats on top. We put in at Bartlett Island and with the wind and currents with us, paddled around Moose Island to Seal Cove. The kayaks were easy to steer with foot pedals and it wasn't as strenuous as we feared. Lou was a terrific guide and filled us in on island history, wildlife and geology.
Our guide Lou was knowledgeable and funny
We watched lobster men hauling their traps 
The rocks from this perspective were really dramatic
Scott and I pose for a picture with Trudy and JPL
And paddle away
It's a beautiful day for rowing too...

Scott, JPL, Trudy, Lou and Heather after a great day on
the water.

Friday, June 08, 2012

A Visit to Acadia (National Park that is)

This statue of Paul Bunyan welcomes you to the town
of Rumford. That's Scott standing next to him so you can
judge the height.
 It's a long drive from our home in Cuttingsville, VT to Mt. Desert Island in Maine - seven hours no matter which way you go. Google would send us down to Concord N.H.  and up the coast on Rt95 but we chose the shorter slow trip over Route 302 and 2. Our good friends Alan and Jeannette Feurer own and run Ann's Point Inn in Bass Harbor (www.ann'spoint.com). They invite a few friends/family up for the first week of the season to practice on before welcoming their regular guests. We volunteer every time. It's worth the long drive for sure.
We were ready for a rest stop when we entered Rumford Falls, Maine and were welcomed by Paul Bunyan. A beautiful park overlooks the falls by a graceful bridge spanning the Androscoggin. A number of iron cutout statues are scattered around commemorating the indian tribe that originally lived here. A memorial to Edmund Muskie, Maine Senator and U. S. Secretary of State was dedicated here in 2000.
A wrought iron moose stands watch over the
Pennacook Falls, the highest waterfall east of Niagra,
falling 177 feet over granite.
 A close up of the top section of the falls
The view from the bridge
Our beautiful bedroom at Ann's Point Inn in Bass Harbor
Relaxing with glasses of wine in the living room
The tide was half way out when we arrived. The Inn is
on a peninsula and every room has a water view
We arrived in time for drinks, dinner and great conversation with our fellow guests. We plan to do some kayaking and hiking while we're here but I'll save the details for a future post.
Our first morning's elegant breakfast; baked blueberry
french toast, smoked salmon and fresh peaches
The "trial" guests; Scott, Jane Hulting-Cohen,  our hosts
Alan and  Jeanette Feuer, Trudy Burke, Jim Cohen and J.P.L.