VERMONT TO MAINE

Woke to another chilly, drizzly morning in the 40’s and set about hitching the tow dolly to the motorhome and ramping the car up onto it.  We will need to fill the gas tank on the drive today, something that you need to plan out in this area, since gas stations are pretty sparse.  Rolling through Groton one last time and across the pastures and hillsides, we marveled at the houses, barns, churches and cemeteries that made for such gorgeous scenery.  And the turkeys. We have seen lots of them along the roadsides and in the pastures, groups of six to twelve. All is fine, until you stop to snap a picture and then … off they scurry.  Guess they know their days may be numbered this fall.

Our route took us across New Hampshire again, just north of the White Mountains and Franconia Notch.  But today is an overcast day with intermittent rain and low clouds that obscure the tops of the hills and mountains.  But the leaf colors were just vivid orange, red and yellow interspersed with dark green spruce. We did fill the gas tank and found our campground, the Troll Valley Resort.  This was kind of a weak link in our reservations, since it seemed a little iffy online. Right location for a mid-point in the drive to Acadia with full hookups, but as we found out — “resort” was stretching it.  Jackie asked if the spot was a pull-through. “It can be,” was the reply, and the owner showed us how to just drive across the spot to reach the hookups yet make a drive out without unhitching the car. OK then.

I don’t know why I was complaining, the lounge area had a camper’s library (see the picture and note the lovely bird’s nest), dank bathrooms and showers in the converted garage/basement AND a very well maintained disc golf course.  Oh, and I spotted a possibility for our next camper — downsized VW camper that needs just a bit of work.

Well, we did get to dump, take a nice hot shower in the van and fill the water tank prior to our 6 day dry camping at Acadia National Park.  No rain overnight, either. We pulled out and headed east under cloudy skies, but by Bangor it cleared to a blue sky sunny day. Yippee! Timing was great, since we got to Bangor just after noon and found a perfect free parking spot along the curb next to Sea Dog Brewpub.  Ahhh, a flight of beer with lunch, how novel. Some nice choices, but we agreed that the Pumpkin Ale and Brown Ale were the best. We split a barbecue chicken flatbread and hit-the-spot cups of butternut squash bisque. It truly feels like fall with temps in the 50’s and all the associated flavors of the season.  I even succumbed to the Pumpkin Spice craze with a box of PS mini shredded wheat. I must be nuts.

So we stopped at the information center just before crossing to Mount Desert Isle (where Acadia NP is located) and was asked by the staff how tall our vehicle was. “Twelve feet, 3 inches.”  “Oh, that may be a problem. The entrance road has a low bridge of 12’ 2” … “ Hmm, that was a surprise and a head scratcher.

It took a little time to look over the roadway options, but we finally figured a route that took us through Bar Harbor and OVER the bridge in question and on to the campground.  Not out of it yet, though, since the roadway was under construction, limited to one lane of traffic going east (as we were, thank goodness) and pretty much gravel. Oh but it gets better. The traffic, human and auto, in Bar Harbor was crazy. A cruise ship was in town, so it was flooded with tourists (as if we are NOT), and cars were parked on both sides of very narrow streets.  I had a sharp right hand turn to make and then some squeeze plays to make it without stripping the paint off. We found the campground in short order, unhitched the car and slipped into a really nice wooded spot. Jackie began to breathe again and her knuckles returned to normal color.

 

Next morning our plan was to drive the 27 mile loop road around the park to get a sense of what it was like.  Cadillac Mountain is supposed to be a great spot to see all around the coast from 1,500 feet, so that will definitely be a stop if it is clear weather (and it better be).

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