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Maine: Bar Harbor on a Whim

By on December 31, 2015 in Maine Travel with 2 Comments

Bar Harbor, Maine“I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

Last week, work took me to Bangor and Ellsworth, Maine. My co-worker suggested I check out Bar Harbor before heading home. Why not? Sure, I was running on empty. But the seed had been planted, and my curiosity was piqued. My desire to explore a cute, little New England town overpowered my foggy mind and achy body.

I had no idea what Bar Harbor would be like, or what I would do when I got there. I figured I could have lunch, and then hit Acadia National Park. Or, maybe I could go to Acadia, then Bar Habor. I reached out to my Facebook friends, looking for some quick suggestions. Into my car I went, ready to explore the open road.

Brenda told me she had stayed at the Bar Harbor Inn. She suggested I walk the rocks to the end of the pier, where I would find a unique lighthouse made out of rocks. She said I could get a lobster roll and bring it to Acadia National Park. Deb suggested driving the loop around Acadia, as well as checking out Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole. Challenge accepted.

I plugged Bar Harbor into Google maps, but I got distracted when I saw signs for Acadia. I followed my new path, and off to Acadia I went. I was greeted by a desolate parking lot, which contained two cars. A young couple was checking out the map, so I hightailed it to where they were. I did not particularly care for the signs saying, “closed.”

The couple did not have a plan either, but their friends had suggested exploring Sand Beach. I made a mental note to add that to my list of things to do before heading home. They hopped in their car, and I told them I would be right behind them.

To my dismay, the road they chose was a dead end. I sidestepped the orange blocker of the other path, but the next blocker cut me off. I was tempted to drive through the “authorized vehicles only” route, but the road was going in the wrong direction. My gut told to move on. Off to Bar Harbor I went, but I was determined to find another way in after lunch.

Through Bar Harbor I drove, checking out the cute shops. Two little, old ladies were chatting on the street corner, so I asked them where I could find the best lobster roll in Bar Harbor. One of the women suggested the Dog and Pony Tavern by the fire station.

The water I spied straight ahead lured me over. The air was crisp, and the vivid colors of the buildings cascaded into the ocean. The smell of the salt ignited my inner spark, awakening my soul. I caught a glimpse of a picturesque, white hotel overlooking the ocean. My lips curled up, as I snapped a picture and texted Brenda. I stumbled upon her inn.

Bar Harbor Beauty   Bar Harbor Inn, Maine    The Path, Bar Harbor, MaineBar Harbor Maine

Of course the hotel was closed, but I was not deterred. An old man was walking his dog, and I asked him about the lighthouse. He had no idea what I was talking about, but he walked the path with me. Walking the rocks had slipped my mind as he explained the “street museum” and shared stories of when Mel Gibson had filmed in Bar Harbor.

Nice Man in Bar Harbor Maine   Mel Gibsons Hotel in Bar Harbor Maine

When we got to the end of the road, I remembered I was supposed to walk the rocks. This is where he left me as I climbed over the wall, making my way down the rocks. The last rock was slippery, and I could not stand on it. I thought about sliding down, but my big purse and winter coat were in the way. I also wondered how I would get back up.

Bar Harbor Inn and Ocean Path  Bar Harbor Ocean and Mountains

I climbed the rocks and the wall to the pavement. I started looking for an easier path down. I felt drops of water on my skin. I found the steps leading to the water and rocks, but the weather had turned. I knew I would not be able to walk those rocks in the rain, and I was hungry. Epic fail, but at least I know what to do for next time…Path Along the Ocean, Bar Harbor, Maine

I am sure I will be back, and now I have a plan. Running into random people and listening to their stories is quite entertaining in itself. My stroll was beautiful and invigorating, and I was happy I did not get stuck on the rocks by myself in the pouring rain. In reality, my walk was perfect just the way it turned out.

Into my car I went to find the Dog and Pony Tavern for the “best lobster roll in Bar Harbor.”

Ocean Path, Bar Harbor, Maine   Rocks and Water, Bar Harbor, Maine   Bar Harbor

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