We left Camden Hills State Park on the morning of June 19th excited that our next stop would bring us very close to Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area. After all it had been a number of years since our last visit to the Acadian environs and we were anxious to see our friends and check out all our old haunts. Our actual destination would be the the Narrows Too RV Resort in Trenton, Maine. Trenton is on the last point of mainland before entering Mount Desert Island (aka MDI) and is considered the “Gateway to Acadia”.
One of the reasons for staying at Narrows Too was to visit our friends who are work campers there for the summer. It is big rig friendly and it is centrally located to the sightseeing destinations of Acadia National Park (15 minutes), the town of Bar Harbor (22 minutes), Southwest and Northeast harbors (22 minutes each), and the retail destination of Ellsworth (15 minutes). But if you don’t feel like driving, one nice amenity of the resort is that it (as well as several other campgrounds) is on the LL Bean sponsored Island Explorer bus routes, so you can opt to take the free bus to go to most places on the island.
MDI is the largest island off the coast of Maine and is where Bar Harbor (or as the natives say “Bah Haba”) is located. It is also the home of Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain which, with an elevation of 1523 feet, is the highest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard. Bar Harbor is so named because of the sand bar that is exposed at low tide.
By the way, Mt. “Desert” is pronounced like dih-ZERT, similar to what is served after dinner – it’s from the French word for “deserted”. French explorer Samuel de Champlain observed that the summits of the island’s mountains were free of vegetation as seen from the sea which led him to call the island “île des Monts Déserts”, or Island of the Bare Mountains.
Although the island has a year-round population of approximately 10,000, it is estimated that over two and a half million tourists a year visit Acadia National Park making it the 9th most visited National Park in 2014. Yikes, that’s a lot of tourists! It’s pretty common to see one or more cruise ships anchored in Bar Harbor. So many tourists are great for the economy there but the traffic and congestion created from the influx of so many people must be difficult for the residents. This year it would be two and a half million plus two – guess we were going to add to that congestion!
Our friends Betsy and Nancy (RV-A-GO-GO) were work camping at Narrows Too for the summer so we were looking forward to seeing them and seeing their new 2015 Entegra Anthem that they had recently purchased. Even better, the Nealys On Wheels were here too! We met the Nealys and RV-A-G0-Go last winter for the first time at Topsail Hill in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. On top of that our Riverbend friends Clayton & Gail live in Ellsworth during the summer so we had plans to meet up with them too.
How cool is that being able to rendezvous with friends in different parts of the continent! About a week after we arrived the Nealys headed up north to explore the Canadian Maritimes but not before we all had a chance to enjoy some fresh cooked lobster bake get togethers.
And as if having friends there wasn’t enough, family was arriving too! Rob’s aunt & uncle, Linda & Herb came up to join us for a few days, they arrived on June 26th for a five night stay. Obviously there was a lot of partying and socializing during our stay!
Anyway, back to our trek….it was a short and straight run up scenic Route 1, passing through several quaint towns, like Prospect near Bucksport, where the Fort Knox fortification and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge are located. This majestic 2,120 foot cable stayed bridge has the tallest bridge observatory in the world. Very cool! More about that in a later post.
When we checked in at Narrows Too, we were pleasantly surprised by the lovely views of Mt. Desert Narrows, the body of water that separates the mainland from Mt. Desert Island. After much deliberation and help from Betsy, we decided that site #505 would be our new home for several weeks. It wasn’t one of the premium sites located right on the water but it was directly across from it and it had lots of vegetation providing privacy. Fortunately for the first few nights no one was in the site (#312) across from us so we had a great view of the water without paying the high rate. Pretty neat watching the water view become a moonscape of rocks at low tide. The tide differential in this area is as much as 14 feet.
Our original plan was to be part of the tourist population until the morning of July 7th but we were so busy and the time flew by so fast, that it was easy for Betsy and Nancy to convince us to extend our stay until the morning of the 12th. To extend our stay, we had to move to a different site, #600 – no direct views of the water but this site was larger, a bit more private and had no issues with satellite reception (or carpenter ants – more on that later).
We did so much during our stay – long walks, exploring Acadia National Park, sightseeing and shopping in Bar Harbor, taking several day trips, revisiting old restaurants and trying new ones and obviously with friends and family here lots of socializing. Good thing we stayed longer!
Stay tuned to hear about all the fun!