Archive for June 26, 2010

Day 26: A break in the clouds

June 26, 2010 10 comments

Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Miles Driven: ~110

Total Miles: 4,929

So before I went to bed at the Peacock House, Sue told me breakfast is served at 8:30AM.  Late that night I realized I wasn’t sure what time zone I was in.  My phone was on Atlantic Time, but the alarm clock in the room was on Eastern Time.  Most people, I think, would side with the alarm clock that’s a part of the bed and breakfast, but I got a bit nervous and, at the risk of missing breakfast, I set my alarm for 7am Atlantic Time.  Sure enough I saw Sue at 6am EST time, and she confirmed EST was the right time zone.  Caught a few more zzzs, then got ready to eat.

Delicious breakfast made by Dennis. Not sure what you call it - French toast bowl?

Over breakfast I got to meet Dennis, Sue’s husband and co-proprietor/chef of the b&b.  I also got to know the other guests staying in the house, and learned about some of the local attractions from them and Sue.  This is exactly one of the best parts of being out on the road – getting to meet new people and learn about the places they visited.

Dennis and Sue (and the Captain), the nice owners of The Peacock House Bed & Breakfast

If you are ever on the east coast of Maine and need a nice place to stay, I can’t recommend this place more.  Check out their site here.

Hannah and Marsha. These two told me about some places to visit across the border. Good luck to Hannah as soon she'll head to Paris Island to become a Marine

Chris and Jennifer. This well-traveled duo consists of two very skilled photographers. I'm anxious for when Chris gets the photo website up

Thanks to all of these kind folks for recommendations on things to do that day.  My initial plan was just to head south to Acadia National Park that morning, but after talking with everyone, I lined up good amount of activities through the afternoon before I would make a drive of any big length.

First stop – the West Quoddy Head lighthouse on the easternmost part of the U.S.

Another foggy day, but a nice day

So I found the origin of that fog horn I was hearing the last night before I went to sleep.  There’s a small building right next to this lighthouse that houses the horn.  It’s loud, but it’s a strangely soothing sound.

Did some walking around the inside of the lighthouse which is a mini-museum with some art exhibits, and came across this sign:

So now I've been to the Easternmost point of the US, The Southernmost (two previous trips), and I'll try to catch the Westernmost and Northernmost later on this trip

Ran into Chris and Jennifer at the lighthouse, and ended up taking a stroll along the water.

The next item on the agenda was to visit Franklin Roosevelt’s summer home on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada.  It wasn’t a far drive at all, and I made it through Customs without incident.

Border crossing

I didn’t even know FDR had a summer home, let alone one in Canada, so I checked out the visitor’s center to learn more.  Thanks to my friends at the b&b for recommending the free film – it was well done and explained why the Roosevelts had a place here.  The visitor center was also great at explaining American/Canadian relations from early colonial days to modern times.  Fun fact: US trades more with Canada than all of the countries of the EU combined.

The visitor center was right next to the summer home, so I spent some time wandering the grounds and exploring the inside of the home (gorgeous, by the way).

Plaque outside the visitor center

FDR's summer home

FDR's Presidential chair from the Oval Office

After some sightseeing, I left the grounds and made my way North towards the East Quoddy Head lighthouse.  I was informed earlier that, when the tide is out, I can walk across the ocean floor and make my way to the island of rocks that the lighthouse sits on, and around 3:30PM would be the time the path would be clear.  I got there around 2:45, took a nap, and then started the mini-trek towards the lighthouse.

The lighthouse in the distance

You had to make your way across one small island first, then cross the seabed one more time to get to the lighthouse.

Tide's out, but those ladders still are slippery

A little closer

Wonder what it looks like when the tide is in?

Finally made it over!  It was a fun time – not often you can walk across the ocean floor.

Hiked my way back to the car, grabbed some fried shrimp at a local restaurant (happened to catch Chris and Jennifer again as they were headed out), and then headed back towards the US.  Not sure if I was randomly selected, or if it was all the junk in my car, but I had my car searched at Customs.  Fortunately no problems, and then got onto Hwy1 to head Southwest towards Acadia National Park.  Arrived at the Schoodic Peninsula potion of Acadia a few hours later.

For years I had wanted to visit Acadia, and now I was finally here.  And what timing – finally, the clouds of the past several days were breaking, and I could actually tell where the Sun was.  How lucky I was to arrive here just as the sky was clearing up.

Acadia is absolutely beautiful.  I made a few loops around the Schoodic peninsula portion of the park that night.

I decided I’d hang out by the Schoodic Point area for a while and just enjoy watching the waves hit the rocks.  The sun was coming down, and I figured it would be a good way to end the day.

I think that bird was looking for some food from me

Sun begins to set

Great end to a great day

I drove to nearby Bar Harbor, Maine, to get some sleep for a few hours.  My goal was to catch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, where it is said that some of the first light of the sun hits the U.S.  Thanks to Nick for finding the sunrise time for me – 4:17AM.  Early day, for sure, but it’ll be worth it.