Wednesday, September 14, 2016

GTT Days 41-44

September 10 - Acadia National Park, Maine, Blackwoods campground.
We left Fundy in drifts of fog but with a gorgeous red sunrise behind us. The road led us to the main highway that went past the city of St. John and down to St. Stephen where we crossed quickly and uneventfully into Maine. The roads were pretty quiet this early on a Saturday morning, at least until we got to Ellsworth, the nearest town to Acadia. Then it got very busy especially since some of the main roads in town were being replaced. Road work! We get stuck somewhere several times every single damn day.
We were very low on supplies so we picked up a bunch in town before heading down to Mount Desert Island, through Bar Harbor and south to our campsite. Luckily we had reserved 2 nights before we left home because it was full! After getting settled we walked down the trail to the park's scenic loop road to see the view:
We had a good time watching the diving ducks and the endless beauty of the waves. That was about it for our first day in Acadia.
September 11 - Acadia NP, day 2.
Today dawned rather hot and sticky but overcast. It had rained a little in the night too. We decided to take advantage of the free shuttle bus and take it into town. Bar Harbor is your classic seaside tourist town. Streets of cute little shops flogging souvenirs and food:
Plus picturesque hotels and B & B's. Here's the schooner Margaret Todd that was tied up to the dock plus a cruise ship that was anchored out:
You can see what the weather looked like, can't you? Not nearly as nice as yesterday.   
We were determined to have something with lobster for lunch so we went to the same place we ate at last time we were here:
It was very windy so we sat in the covered deck area. I had a lobster Cobb salad:
And Thom had a lobster roll:
Plus he had a beer and I had the most delicious margarita. Big yum!!
By that time we had walked all over town, stuffed ourselves silly and were waddling back to the bus. Luckily it was waiting at the stop because just as we got inside the heavens opened and thunder and lightning flashed! One flash hit the lightning rod on the top of the fire station right across the street from us. Yikes! I jumped about a foot and let out a squeak it was so loud! The bus driver complained that his seat was wet because he took too long to shut his window and several people who were waiting for a different bus came in to get out of the rain. It didn't last long however. By the time we got down the road to Sieur de Mont it was only sprinkling. 
Sadly the museum and the nature centre at Sieur de Mont were closed but we enjoyed the garden very much. All the plants are native to Mount Desert Island and each one is labelled, just the way I like it:
Everything was wet and very green:  
I love identifying everything! Then we caught the bus the rest of the way back to camp. It takes the scenic tour around part of the loop road first which gave us some nice scenery to ogle. We found the bus system very easy to use, the drivers friendly and helpful, and even though they have regular stops they will also pick you up or drop you off wherever you want on their route as long as it's safe to do so. Not bad for a free service! Sure saved us trying to find parking in the busy town anyway. Two thumbs up.   Since we had been to Acadia in 2013 and stayed longer then, we had already seen all the sights and weren't unhappy that we didn't get to see as much this time. Apparently it's one of the most visited national parks in the US and I can't imagine how crazy it must be in July and August.   September 12 - New Discovery State Park, Vermont.
Today was a long drive so we got up even earlier than usual and hightailed it out. We had to cross all of Maine and New Hampshire plus part of Vermont before we got to this gem of a park in the Groton National Forest. The park guy, Don, actually remembered us from 3 years ago! Of course he was a big help that time with our bad oil change problem and finding another shop to change to the proper weight of oil. He was glad we had made it home safely and very happy to see us again. How sweet!
This time it wasn't raining and we weren't all stressed out with car trouble so we were able to hike the trail around the lake:
Can you see that the trees are just starting to turn? They're going to be spectacular in a couple of weeks or so but sadly we can't wait around that long! The trail was quite a challenge, covered in roots and glacially smoothed rocks but we made it all the way. I loved this plant:
I have no idea what it is but the leaves are quite large and it seems to be quite common. Anybody know?
September 13 - Voyageur Provincial Park, ON.
This was another one of our multi-state/multi-province jumps. We started in Vermont with another morning of sunshine and drifting fog. So pretty! We crossed to the western edge of the state and then north across the Lake Champlain Islands. The road crosses a series of causeways and bridges linking several of the large islands together. It was a really lovely drive and we were glad we went that way even though it was slower than taking freeways all the way. At the top of the island chain we turned west into the very top corner of New York and crossed over the border into Quebec at a little side road. Once we got back to the freeway though it was big roads all the rest of the way, sneaking south of Montreal and heading over the toll bridge on the St. Lawrence and up to the Ottawa River. Our campground is just inside the corner of Ontario and overlooks a small bay in the river:
We watched a boat dredging back and forth across our bay in front of us and found out they were scraping off the tops of an invasive European water chestnut species. Only diligent work has kept it from taking over the waterways.
Then we went for a walk. Some of the trail is mowed grass and some is in the deep forest. In winter it's all cross-country ski trails. We surprised a lot of these on the grassy part of the trail:
Can you see the frog? It's a big one, larger than the palm of my hand, but it blends in pretty nicely. We also walked over the boardwalk in the marshy part:
It would be even prettier if we weren't being munched by mosquitos while we were trying to enjoy the view. Not surprisingly we ended up sitting in the van with all the netting up when we got back to camp.
Tomorrow it's off through Ottawa to Algonquin Park and maybe some wifi to send this with at the Visitors Centre. My fingers are crossed.  

No comments: