This weekend in order to escape all things related to the election, I booked a flight to Maine on Thursday to leave Friday after work. I figured that I would be safe of politics in Acadia National Park. This place has been on my “short term” places to go to for awhile now and I decided to just go ahead and do it.
I flew to Portland and landed around 11:30pm Friday night. I did not get a hotel this night knowing I had very limited time in the state and needed to make the most of it. Instead I grabbed a rental car and started driving North on US-1, the scenic route to Acadia. I looked up the best spots to see the sunrise in Acadia and hands down, Cadillac Mountain on the island is the go-to spot. I honestly wanted more seclusion, and finally read that there is a place in Acadia on Schoodic Peninsula called Schoodic Point that is much more remote and just as amazing. I also read that most people only go to the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia, so I decided that Schoodic Point was going to be my sunrise spot!
I stopped a few times for coffee/wake up breaks and finally reached the park’s entrance on Schoodic Peninsula. I was the absolute only person in the park, which was both awesome and a little scary! You take a one way road down to the point on the water and all of a sudden there was a GIANT tree blocking the road. I kind of (ok I totally) panicked and drove thru the tree. I just said a little prayer that the damage wouldn’t be too bad. I just had a little scary movie moment and kind of freaked. Thankfully that was the only tree that was down. I got to the end of the Peninsula and parked. I figured that I could take a quick nap, since I had about 2 hours still until sunrise, but I was mesmerized by the amount of stars in the sky and a little to terrified to actually sleep. I haven’t seen anything close to that many stars anywhere. For the first time I saw the Milky Way and it really just took my breath away. About 6am the sun started to peak out and I made my way down to the rocks where I sat in complete solitude and watched the sun rise. It was just as beautiful and peaceful as I had imagined it would be, and it did my soul good. I think the best part was that I got there in PITCH black and it was pretty crazy to see where I actually was as the sun came up.
I stayed on the Peninsula for awhile then headed to Bar Harbor to take on the bulk of what Acadia has to offer. I had read that there was one visitor’s center open but after a few hours and no luck finding a bathroom or an open visitor center in the park, I finally found a map. I did several hikes, hit most of the “must see” spots and also journeyed to the top of Cadillac Mountain. The views from the top were just as good as what I had been told. Around 3 I decided to grab a bite to eat in Bar Harbor, a really cute city on the water right next to the park. I obviously had a lobster roll which was so good but was shocked when I got my check and that it was $27…not sure it was that great.
That night, since I hadn’t slept at all since Thursday, I decided to get a room for the night. I found a bed and breakfast in Ellsworth, about 30 minutes away. The town and the room were fine, but nothing really overly exciting.
The next morning I headed to Minot which is about 30 minutes from Portland and was able to see some family, which was absolutely great. After spending most of the day there, I headed back to Portland and checked into my hotel for the night before flying back Monday morning at 6am.
I love a spontaneous trip, and this one did not disappoint. I can’t wait to go back to Acadia when I have some more time to explore!