Monday, September 1, 2008

A Month of Adventures: (Weeks Three and Four) Down East Maine

The Maine Coast

The view from the top of Mt. Acadia

Maine's state motto is: Maine, the way life should be. During the long (and sad) drive home from our two weeks of vacation in Maine this past Saturday, Eric and I thought up a couple more slogans for the state:

-Maine, where drivers know the meaning of the word yield and actually yield (gasp) to other drivers.

-Maine, you're not in Massachusetts anymore.

-Maine, more accidental hunting shootings than criminal shootings (contrast this to Baltimore where residents have converted the city slogan: "Baltimore, the city that reads" to "Baltimore, the city that bleeds" 'Nuff said)

-Maine, watch out for that moose.

-Maine, the wild blueberry state.

-Maine, more lobsters than people.

-Maine, if you can't boil it and dip it in butter, you are probably still in New Jersey.

For the past two weeks, Eric and I along with Zoe, T-Bone, Sobo, Okemo, and little Acadia have enjoyed exploring all that Maine has to offer. While we visited and explored Maine, we stayed in a cottage in Lamoine Beach near Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.

My, what a large nose you have....

"Now listen up Okemo," says Acadia

During our stay one of Eric's favorite activities was picking wild blueberries which we then used to make blueberry muffins, blueberry syrup, blueberry pancakes, and blueberry scones. We even grilled a pork tenderloin which we stuffed with apples, blueberries and shallots. Of course, we also purchased local lobsters (or as Mainers say: "Lobstahs") and boiled them. Of course, in addition to cooking at the cottage, we explored many of the area's restaurants. While there we enjoyed lobster at the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, two delicious pizzas at Pat's Pizza, as well as several other restaurants. Unfortunately, we never made it to tea at Jordan Pond House.

Maine Blueberries

Maine Blueberry bush

Steamed lobsters and blueberry scones

Dreaming of blueberries and lobsters....

Another favorite activity was kayaking. From our rental, we could access Berry Cove and the rest of the waters surrounding Mount Desert Island. Early in our trip, we decided to have a tandem kayak dropped off (the vendor referred to it as the "dog boat" since it had a small space for a dog) and went out paddling with T-Bone. During our "three hour tour" we stopped and explored numerous coves and rivers and saw many loons and other water fowl.

On yet another day, we hiked Acadia Mountain with Acadia and Zoe. Of course, we had to get some pictures of Acadia on the Acadia Mountain sign. From the top of Acadia mountain, we enjoyed outstanding views of Some's Sound, Northeast and Southwest Harbor. Once at the top, we continued down the other side of the mountain enjoying fantastic views of Some's Sound.

Eric, Zoe, Acadia and I hiking up Mt. Acadia

Eric, Zoe and Acadia with Some's Sound in the back ground

Eric, Zoe and Acadia on the way up Mt. Acadia with Echo Lake in the background

Some's Sound: The view from the top of Acadia Mountain

Eric and Zoe at the summit of Acadia Mountain

Eric and Acadia at the summit of Mt. Acadia (yes, Acadia is chewing on the sign)

Yet another kayak trip involved a wonderful paddle around Long Pond where we stopped briefly for lunch and cheese and crackers. Little Acadia, our then 10 week old Siberian Husky pup, accompanied us on that trip.

Kayaking is tiring even when the humans do the paddling

While on Mount Desert Island we also toured Acadia National Park via the park road stopping to explore Sand Beach, Thunder Hole (not thundering while we were there), Fabbri picnic area, and Cadillac Mountain.

The porcupine islands from Cadillac Mountain

Mist settles over Frenchman Bay

Acadia National Park: The rugged Maine Coast

Sobo at the top of Cadillac Mountain

Thunder Hole

Me and Acadia at Thunder Hole

Eric, Okemo and Acadia at Thunder Hole

We also enjoyed nightly campfires at our rental cottage and a day spent lunching and exploring Bar Harbor. Of course, we took plenty of time to give the sled pets (and the humans) plenty of rest and relaxation.

Sled dog, Okemo, dreaming of Moose Burgers

Even the humans got to rest...

Big brother Okemo and little sister Acadia

While on Mount Desert Island, Eric and I and the sled pets also enjoyed exploring many miles of the carriage roads that crisscross Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. On one hike, we hiked around Eagle Lake.

Sobo at Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake

The carriage roads of Acadia

Sobo, Acadia, Zoe and me in front of a carriage road bridge

Signs on the carriage roads

Zoe, Sobo, Acadia, Eric and me with the Bubble Mountains and Eagle Lake in the back ground

As we hiked the carriage roads around Eagle Lake, a bicyclist suggested we might wish to try out the private "Rockefeller Roads" surrounding Little Long Pond with the pups. The carriage roads surrounding Little Long Pond are particularly nice for hikers since no bicycles are allowed on these trails.

Heeding this suggestion, later in the week, Eric and I bundled Acadia and Okemo into the car and headed out for a hike and lunch on the private carriage roads around Little Long Pond (not to be confused with Long Pond where we kayaked). It soon became apparent that these trails served as the unofficial dog park where many local and visiting dogs came to socialize, romp and swim.

Little Long Pond

Hiking toward Seal Harbor near Little Long Pond

Cattail at Little Long Pond

Boat House on Little Long Pond where we stopped for lunch

Look Mom, no feet! Acadia jumps happily at Little Long Pond

"Vacation may be over but I'm looking forward to dog sledding season," thinks Acadia