For those who think the Government shutdown doesn’t mean much, the shutdown does have its impact. For one thing, the National parks are all closed. Think of the thousands of tourists flying into the United States from all over the world who cannot see the Statue of Liberty or the Smithsonian. For that matter, we had to change plans in Maine because the Acadia National Forest was closed due to the shutdown. The politicians manage to screw up the common man’s leisure time for which they are even willing to pay! Like Jay Leno demonstrated – Fire Useless Politicians, which an emphasis on the letters F and U.
One of the best fall color trip is the Acadia parks and heights. I was thinking of driving along the Maine coastline but the front desk at the Courtyard suggested we drive down towards Bar Harbor around which we would have views of both the mountains and the water. We stopped at the Acadia welcome center and chamber of commerce at main street, Bar Harbor, taking 95 south and 1A south. The office was open and got us going with a map. There are a couple of loops to drive through one on either side of the center of Mount Desert Island. On the eastern part of the island is the Acadia National Park. The island is the sixth largest island in the US and has a population of about 10,000. The tourists flock to the island in Summer and Fall to check out the park and the water. It is peckered with quaint towns and two-lane highways where I found hardly anyone bothered to speed up – such is the charm of the place. If it was anyone speeding, it would be this guy from Pennsylvania trying to get to the airport on a Sunday evening, but that is another story!
Route 102A forms the loop on the western body of the island touching the towns of Southwest harbor, Tremont and Pretty Marsh. Rt. 3 weeds itself through the eastern parts through the towns of Bar Harbor near the north-east, Seal harbor at the southern tip and Rt. 198 North brings you back up to the main land. The eastern part of the island is where the Acadia National Park is. We took the eastern loop first. Our first stop was the town of Somesville which has a very pretty white bridge over the water near the ‘town’ center. There is a library on the other side of the road on the shore of Somes harbor. It was a definite place to stop and get our first photographs. Finding parking is always tough in a small town full of visitors. After some quiet time at the water we headed toward the park entrance. All this, knowing the park would be closed. At the head quarters of the park, we saw the park entrance barricaded. This didn’t stop the tourists from parking the cars and setting off on foot into the park. We did peak inside and caught glimpse of the colorful trees. By this time it was around Noon and we decided to drive up to Bar Harbor knowing it is a bigger town and finding lunch might be easier.