Bar Harbor: August 10, 2021
Asticou Inn & Gardens and Popovers
Lobster or lobstaah is definitely popular here in Bar Harbor, but I am guessing the second mouth-watering delight sought out by visitors here is the popover.
Jordan's Pond House Restaurant in Acadia National Park is known for their popovers. People wait in line for hours to get one. I need to clarify, they wait in line if they can find a place to park at the restaurant. I spoke with a couple who missed their reservation because they could not find that golden scarce parking spot. I told them about the Island Explorer, the free bus that travels between Bar Harbor and the park. Alas, it was too late, they were heading home.
I got a great scoop, from a local person here about popovers. The story goes the chef at Jordan's Pond responsible for these famous popovers left and went to work at Asticou Inn. So, off I went to Asticou Inn for my popover adventure.
Asticou Inn is a beautifully restored 19th century country inn at the foot of Acadia National Park and overlooking Northeast Harbor. I had a lovely lunch complete with two popovers. Two were required so I could try both strawberry and blueberry jam with them.
From the inn's restaurant I could look out over the Northeast Bay. Looking down on the lawn was a giant chest game. Across the street from the inn are the gardens. It was raining the afternoon I was there, but it was still serene and beautiful.
Back to Acadia National Park
I hiked the Ocean Path recently. First stop, Sand Beach, a gorgeous little beach nestled between mountains and rocky shores. It is the only beach in the park with sand, but not sand like we are use to in Michigan. This unique sand is comprised of shell fragments created by the pounding surf. The water temperature here rarely exceeds 55 degrees in the summer, but that did not stop people from venturing out into the water. Ocean Path rises above the pounding water and there area so many beautiful vistas along the way.
Second stop, Thunder Hole, a small inlet, naturally carved out of the rocks, where the waves roll into it. At the end of this inlet, down low, is a small cavern where, when the rush of the wave arrives, air and water is forced out like a clap of distant thunder. This occurs at high tide, and I was there at low tide, so a trip back during high tide is required.
Below is my new friend, Carol, from Arkansas. Carol lives in one of the pods were I live and also works at one of the Acadia Corporation Shops.
Is was a warm sunny day with cooling breeze coming off the ocean . . . great for a hike!
On my bucket list while here was kayaking. I love to kayak. I have one of my own, however my kayaking experiences have been on Michigan's small lakes and rivers. I have never been out on big water. I have been trying to get on a kayak tour since the second week in July, however was told they were sold out until mid-August. So, I either went to the store or called almost everyday I had off hoping for a cancellation and a spot for me.
Yesterday morning, a spot opened for me! I did my trip with Maxwell, a guide with National Park Sea Kayak Tours, and a registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide. Before I began my four hour paddle through Somes Sound, Maxwell coached nine others and myself on paddling techniques and safety.
I learned the 3-Ps . . . Pound, Pull, and Push . . . in the event of the kayak capsizing. So this is how it goes. First, when you become aware you are going to capsize pound on the side of the kayak. This let's Maxwell know you are conscious and aware of what is happening. Second, pull the loop of the skirt around you which keeps water out of the kayak. This prevents being weighted in the kayak by water gathering in the outside of the skirt, which the weight of the water could hinder you form exiting the kayak. Finally, bend your knees and push yourself up and out of the kayak. Now, do you think this caused me a bit of trepidation? Indeed!!!!!!!
First thing that would happen if I thought I was capsizing, I would be peeing myself, then I would pass out. Now, let's suppose I just pee and stay conscious. Do you suppose I would still have enough sense about me to grab the skirt loop and attempt to loosen the skirt? Probably not, but I'm pretty sure I would still be peeing. Finally, I do not weight 110 pounds and my knees are not that flexible, so how in the heck am I going to lift myself out of that kayak. Well, Maxwell assured all of us, he has never had a capsizing event with a group. So off we go.
It was a four hour trip. I did it! We did it! All ten of us remained upright!!!!!!!
I am not a napping person, however , a nap was needed after that paddling.
It is grocery day. I packed up my backpack and other bags and set out for groceries and to learn how to return pop (opps, I mean soda) bottles. OK, they were brown bottles and contained neither pop or soda.
Clynk is the system here for bottle returns.
At a little kiosk in the grocery store I signed up for Clynk. Once I successfully completed the application the machine printed a receipt and bag tags. A receipt is required to obtain ten free green plastic bags. I placed the bottles in the bag and secured it, then attached a bag tag to the bag. After making my way to the bottle receptacle hidden behind the grocery store, I scan the bag tag and magic a small windowed door opens for me and in goes the bag. Now, I wait until the bag is processed and a credit is issued for the bottles. All of this to learn there is a nickel refund per bottle.
I have not put any gas in my car since New Hampshire six weeks ago. It is amazing to me I have been here for six weeks already. It is all good! Until next time . . .
Love from Bar Harbor xoxoo