American Locations 25 – Cobstock Bay State Park

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

From Schoodic Peninsula we drove north on 186 to Hwy. 1, then turned north. At the Narraguagus River we turned off onto Hwy. 1A and continued north. We were soon back on Hwy. 1. This route kept us fairly close to the coast. At Whiting, at the head of Denny’s Bay, we turned north onto Rural Rte. 1. This took us along the waterfront to Cobstock Bay State Park.

The park is on a peninsula that juts out into Denny’s Bay. This bay is the westernmost reach of the Bay of Fundy. After setting up then relaxing after our scenic drive, we went on a hike.

Down to the bay.

We saw a pier.

So naturally we walked down to it.

And out on it.

There were boats anchored out in the bay.

We saw these birds feasting on a pile of fish. I don’t know where the fish came from.

Some kayakers were paddling around these 2 little islands.

You can tell by the watermark this was nearly high tide. Here are the same 2 islands at low tide.

Amazing, isn’t it. The Bay of Fundy has the most extreme tides in the world. This Internet article can describe it better than me:

Wedged between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy experiences tidal flows reaching up to 53 feet, or the height of a five-story building. Twice each day, over 175 billion tons of seawater surges in and out—more than the flow of the world’s freshwater rivers combined. And, according to my colleague Henry Huntington who is Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic science director, the volume of water going into and out of the bay is so large that it alters the region’s gravity, making Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lean slightly towards the bay at high tide, and relax away at low tide.

The Bay of Fundy’s tides act this way because of its special features: a conical shape and a coincidence of timing called ‘tidal resonance,’ where the water in the bay, which naturally sloshes back and forth like a bathtub, moves in sync with the ocean tides creating a resonance.

The next morning we hiked back down to the bay to see what it looked like at low tide. You can see how wet everything is right up to the trees. That land gets covered with water twice day.

Another island left high and dry at low tide.

This is something we found growing all over. At high tide it is covered in water, and at low tide it is exposed to the air.

After witnessing the extent of the tides here, it made me wary of setting up camp too close to the water. We could get washed away while we sleep.

Next Location – Shackford Head State Park

American Locations 24 – Acadia National Park: Schoodic Peninsula

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

Early in the morning we drove north on 3 off Desert Island onto the mainland. We turned onto Hwy. 1 and headed south. We then turned onto 186 and drove down Schoodic peninsula. We turned 186 into the park. This section of Acadia National Park is across the water from the main body of the park on Desert Island. Directly across from Schoodic Peninsula is Sand Beach.

I made a mistake early this morning. I saw the flashing sign saying no motor homes or pulled campers were allowed on the narrow winding road through this part of the park. But our motor home is only 23 feet long, and I’m so used to driving it anywhere I ignored the sign. A park ranger pulled me over before I made it an eighth of a mile. He made me park our motor home at the visitor center and catch a tram. At least he didn’t give me a fine, or kick us out of the park.

The first tram stop put us out on the southernmost point of the peninsula. Unfortunately, it was the foggiest day we’d had yet.

You could still see the ocean.

A little bit of it.

I think the birds were lost in the fog, too.

If you squint really good you can make out a boat in the next 2 photos.

So there was nothing to do except scramble around on the rocks.

This spot reminded me of Thunder Hole, but it was quiet, too.

We caught a tram back to the visitor center, climbed back into our motor home, and drove on north up the Maine coast.

Next Location – Cobstock Bay State Park

American Locations 23 – Acadia National Park 4

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

After my wife’s kids and their families left, we stayed several more days. The first place we hopped off the tram at was the Natural Garden at the Nature Center.

Then it was off on another hike. Bubble Rock. As you can tell, it was foggy.

After hiking to the top of Bubble Rock, my wife had had enough. She went back down and caught a tram to the campground, while I hiked on to Eagle Lake.

The lake had a bit of a sandy beach.

I hiked down to the lake.

I saw some kayakers.

I hiked around the lake.

And through the trees.

Up onto a carriage road.

These were originally private roads actually used by horse-drawn carriages. Back before this was a national park it was the private estate of John D. Rockefeller. He donated thousands of acres to help found the park. Now the gravel roads are used by hikers and cyclists.

It passes under the motor roads, accessing parts of the park you can reach no way else.

I got totally lost on these roads. I ended up at this mossy pond.

Lucky for me, it was next to a road, and a short walk down this road led me to a tram stop. I had a long winding relaxing ride back to the campground.

Next Location – Schoodic Peninsula

American Locations 22 – Acadia National Park 3

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

My wife’s son and his family joined us in our campground at Acadia National Park. They pitched tents several sites away. The first thing we did was head for the top of Cadillac Mountain to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, the trams don’t run that time of morning, so we drove up in two cars. We weren’t alone.

It was a good sunrise.

After, we were ready to head back to the camp for breakfast.

Later that morning we hiked the Precipice Trail. This is looking up from the parking lot at what we would be climbing.

Unlike the Beehive Trail, this one started out hard.

And got harder.

Like Beehive, this trail offered great vistas.

Although it seemed like we had climbed for hours.

We still had a ways to go.

In some places there were railings.

In some places there were bridges.

In some places there was hardly a trail, you just had to scramble up over rocks.

We were getting close to the top.

What a view we had on the way up. The road at the bottom left was our starting point.

Almost there.

Just before reaching the top, there were several sets of steel rungs fastened into the rock face we had to scale.

More good views near the top.

I zoomed in on a cruise ship.

We crashed after reaching the top.

We wandered around a while on top.

We had a good view looking down on Bar Harbor.

Then it was time to start back down.

And down.

And down.

I was lagging behind by this point. Getting tired.

I caught up with them by the time we reached the trees.

We crashed at our camp site for several hours, then were recharged and ready to take off on the trams once again. Our first destination was Sand Beach. Note how many are on the beach and how many are actually in the water. The water was frigid.

I could play on beaches a lot of places, but there aren’t many places with rocks like these to climb around on. A lot of people agreed with me.

Some were just for looking at. Too dangerous to climb on.

Next it was back to Thunder Hole, to see if any thundering was going on.

Nope, not today, either.

Still, there were the rocks.

And poses to strike.

That evening we went to Bar Harbor for dinner. Here is the park where all the trams converged.

We walked down to the waterfront and saw some more interesting ships.

See the whale watch ship? We tried to book a cruise on it, but were told a storm was moving in and the water would be too rough for any more excursions during the time we would be here.

There is a path along the waterfront.

Note the trail marker on the rock. Must have been put there at low tide. Water is way too cold to swim out there to place it.

It was an easy stroll, compared to what we had hiked that morning.

After, we walked back into town and found a restaurant with some more good seafood. Then it was back to the campground, exhausted once again.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 4

American Locations 21 – Acadia National Park 2

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

The next day we caught the tram out to Thunder Hole.

Only it wasn’t very thunderous that day.

Still, we walked all around on the rocks.

Like everyone else.

We got back on the tram and went a little further, getting off at Otter Rocks.

Didn’t see any otters, but did some more rock walking.

This guy looked comfortable.

The next place we got off the tram was at Jordan Pond.

They served meals. We weren’t really hungry, but we would have been interested in a snack and drink. But it was way too busy. So instead of standing in line we walked around the lake.

Like a lot of other people.

And more people. The park is crowded, but it’s also huge. Plenty of space to spread out.

One thing that’s good about other people is you can swap cameras. Much better than selfies.

The last stop of the day was Seal Harbor.

Another picturesque place.

This wasn’t just a tourist stop. A lot of work went on here. See all the lobster traps stacked up?

Especially at the place we were headed.

To eat a good lobster dinner.

After we stuffed ourselves, we rode back to the campground. Enough for one day.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 3

American Locations 20 – Acadia National Park, Maine

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

The next morning we hopped on I-295 and headed north. It led to I-95, which led to Bangor. From there we got back on Hwy. 1A and headed southeast. At Ellsworth we turned onto 3, and drove south onto Mt. Desert Island. We followed 3 to Bar Harbor Campground, where we had reserved a site. Once we were settled in my wife’s daughter and her 2 sons joined us. They had reserved a nearby cabin.

One of the great things about Acadia National Park is its tram system. The park is huge, 47,000 acres, yet the trams will take you anywhere in the park. For free. There are 10 different routes. All routes run to a central location in Bar Harbor, and from there you can switch trams to any section of the park you wish to see. And there was a tram stop right outside Bar Harbor Campground. So once our motor home was set up we never had to drive it anywhere. We could ignore the traffic, sit back and relax, and enjoy the passing scenery. Since I’m the one always driving the motor home, this was a treat for me.

Our first destination was to the top of Cadilac Mountain, the highest point in the park.

Which gave us a good view down into Bar Harbor.

And of the Porcupine Islands spread out in the harbor.

In the following photo notice the cruise ship. There was one docked here during our entire stay.

In the following picture you can see the natural land bridge out to one of the islands in the harbor. The island it connects to is accessible at low tide. You just have to be sure and get back to the mainland in time or you’ll get your shoes, or more, wet.

There are great views from up there in different directions back over the park, also.

Of course, we had to engage in some rock climbing while up there.

Next we went back into Bar Harbor to walk around. Tram central is in a small park in the middle of town, several blocks up from the waterfront, which was where we headed on foot.

I like the ghost moose on top of the building in the next photo.

There was a waterfront park.

With a gazebo.

And a fountain.

This ship in the harbor looked interesting.

There were a lot of interesting ships.

But we needed to do some hiking. So my wife caught a tram back to the campground, while I & her daughter & her 2 sons caught a different tram that took us to the Beehive Mountain trailhead. It was a gentle hike starting out.

But we gained elevation quickly.

The trail soon became more fun.

The views kept getting better and better.

We stopped for rests.

The trail was crowded, so frequently we had to stop and wait for traffic to clear. Which wasn’t a problem, as it gave us opportunities to look around.

I like this mansion I could see off in the distance.

It’s always good to finally reach the top. 2 smiling, 1 gasping for air.

A chance to look around.

A better shot of the mansion.

A lighthouse on one of the rocks in the harbor.

Worn out, we caught the tram back into town, then switched to the tram that would take us back to the campground. A good start to the week.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 2

American Locations 19 – Portland, Maine

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

We wound our way north to 9, then continued north on that, which kept us close to the ocean front. Another beautiful drive. Eventually we turned onto Hwy. 1 and drove on north into Portland.

There are some sandy beaches here.

All of them are not crowded.

But most of the coast is rocky.

Which I found out about the hard way.

We took a harbor cruise.

It took us past a lot of lighthouses.

Some of them looked like they’d been abandoned for a while.

There were also a lot of boats out in the harbor. Pleasure boats.

And working boats.

And big boats.

We also saw some wildlife.

We left Portland after our harbor cruise and found a private campground north of the city.

Next Location – Acadia National Park, Maine

American Locations 18 – Perkins Cove, Ogunquit Beach & Kennebunkport, Maine

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

We drove north along the coast on 1A. A beautiful drive. In Portsmouth it joined Hwy. 1 to cross the Piscataqua River into Maine. Just across the York River we cut back onto 1A so we could continue along the coast. We stopped at Perkins Cove.

We walked around the harbor.

Before leaving the area we had to choose a restaurant for some fresh seafood.

Then it was off to walk the Marginal Way. As you can see, it was a foggy day.

The Marginal Way is a 1.25 mile paved path along some of the most picturesque New England coast you will ever see.  

We saw several artists along the way with easels set up painting the scenery.

Although the scenic view is only on one side of the path.

Some of the resorts on the other side are striking.

It is an easy walk that is rewarding to the senses. As you can see, there are flowers all along the path.

Although there is scant sand, people are still determined to enjoy the undeveloped beach.

There is a small lighthouse along the way.

The Marginal Way ends at Shore Road. From there it is a short walk to Beach Street, where you turn right and walk across a bridge onto Ogunquit Beach. This is a nice sandy beach, but upon arrival you realize why some people opted for the rocks. Ogunquit Beach was crowded that day.

And cold. Very few ventured into deep water.

We walked back to the Marginal Way and walked back to our motor home parked at Perkins Cove. We drove north on Shore Road to Hwy. 1, and continued north out of Ogunquit. In Wells we turned onto 9 and drove into Kennebunkport. We parked along the Kennebunkport River.  

After we finished wandering around the waterfront we found some more good seafood before leaving.

Full once more, we drove on Ocean Ave. back to the ocean front, then turned north on Shore Rd. Not long after we pulled over to walk out onto a rocky promontory.

To where we had a good view of George Bush Sr.’s compound.

We saw a fishing boat off the shore, tailed by a pair of black speedboats. We were told that was ex-President Bush in the fishing boat. The two black speedboats were secret service. I don’t know why they were black. It’s not like that helped conceal them, or make them less noticeable. I guess it identified them as secret service. We never saw Bush catch anything.

Next Location – Portland, Maine

American Locations 17 – Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

We drove north on Hwy. 1 out of Massachusetts into New Hampshire. We took Hwy. 101 to Hampton Beach, where we found a good seafood restaurant and gorged on fried cod, clams, and shrimp, with fries, slaw, and hush puppies on the side. A feast. We then drove south on 1A and secured a site at Hampton Beach State Park.

The next morning we drove back north up 1A to Hampton Beach.

Where we found this cool statue.

I don’t know if there was a sand volleyball tourney going on, or if the game is always this popular here.

I do know there was a sand sculpture competition taking place.

It was free admittance, and not too crowded.

There were a lot of entries to admire. There were some corporate sponsors.

But most of them were more inventive.

Some were making a statement, although it could be difficult understanding what it was saying. This one I believe was commenting on all the trash washing up on the shore.

Whoever would have thought sand could be erotic?

The night before a storm had hit, and rain had damaged some of them. Some artists were still repairing the damage while we were there.

Although on this one the damage actually works. It looks like the characters imprisoned in the cube are smashing their way out.

After relaxing on the beach for a while, and eating more good seafood on the boardwalk, we continued north in our motor home along the coast on 1A.

Next Location – Perkins Cove, Ogunquit Beach, & Kennebunkport, Maine

American Locations 16 – Newburyport & Plum Island, Massachusetts

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

Time to shift gears. Nearly all the previous posts have been about other trips taken to sites in the Boston area, other parts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Now to resume the camping trip. From Boston we drove north on I-95 to Newburyport. Our first stop was at Maudslay State Park, to the east of the city.

We hiked some trails.

We walked along the Merrimack River. The park was on its east bank.

After driving into Newburyport to eat lunch, we drove on to Plum Island, just to the east and south of the city. We started at Newbury Beach.

It was surprisingly sandy, and not rocky like you expect a New England beach to be. We then drove south into the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

We parked the motor home and hiked some wetland trails.

Thoroughly worn out, we climbed back into the motor home and drove through more of the refuge.

Late that afternoon, we left Plum Island and the Newburyport area and headed north out of Massachusetts into New Hampshire.

Next Location – Hampton Beach, New Hampshire