I have to admit that, although I loved our exploration of Maine, I had a strange, niggling sense of homesickness for Ontario!
That said, Acadia National Park lives up to the hyperbole of the letters to sent to President Woodrow Wilson in the early 1900s supporting the creation of a National Park on Mount Desert Island. Rocky shores and craggy cliffs, golden beaches, cool green woodland, mountains, lakes, a fjord – it is astoundingly beautiful and I am so glad to have experienced it.
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, ME Coast path, Acadia National Park, ME Coast path, Acadia National Park, ME From Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME Coast path, Acadia National Park, ME Coast path, Acadia National Park, ME Coast path, Acadia National Park, ME Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, ME From Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME Strange shadows on Cadillac Mountain From Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, ME
As seems so often the case, it was art, in this case the artists of the Hudson River School in the 1800s, that drew the first visitors to the area. The resultant influx of the wealthy of ‘the gilded age’ and their elegant summer ‘cottages’, the formation of the national park, and the construction of 57 miles of Carriage Roads by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for hikers, cyclists and horse riders, all contributed to the unique sense of nature at its most beautiful made accessible to all.
Another confession; it is rare for me to choose destinations that are a focus for mass tourism. Bar Harbour, Mount Desert’s main town, seemed to be the exception that proves the rule! As well as its natural beauty, perhaps it retains some aura of those golden years. We particularly enjoyed the shore walk, awestruck by a single vista encompassing storm clouds, a rainbow and clear blue skies over the harbour and ‘bar’, the sandbar that links the town to an island at low tide.
A 'cottage' in Bar Harbour Bar Harbour An even bigger 'cottage' in Bar Harbour The Bar Harbour Shore Path The Bar Harbour Shore Path The Bar Harbour Shore Path The 'Bar' at low tide, Bar Harbour The view from Bar Island The 'Bar' at low tide, Bar Harbour Bar Harbour
Why the sense of homesickness? Hard to define really, though there was an implicit acknowledgement of how incredibly lucky we are to have so much beauty on our doorstep – we hardly need to venture across borders to do so many of the things we enjoy doing. And, although people were gracious and charming, there was a sense, as someone else expressed it to me, that Americans are perhaps not quite as free to be individualistic as Canuks. Coming back across the border, we found a more open friendliness, a delightful quirkiness, and knew that we were home.
To be continued . . .