We are off on a new adventure to Coastal Maine and on to Quebec. We spent last night in the Parking lot of the L L Bean Outdoor Store in Freeport, Maine. Beans is one of those places that allows truck campers to stay overnight in their lots, though it always seems they make out financially from the deal as we spend way too much time in store. There’s always something we or the camper need. From Freeport we traveled Downeast along the coast. For those who are not familiar with the term “Downeast” it refers to travel in a Northeasterly direction along the Maine coast. Most folks would say “Up” the coast, but in Maine, which most definitely has a mind of it’s own, the term is “Down” the coast. This is because in the days of sailing vessels, the prevailing winds in the Gulf of Maine ran from Cape Cod, south of Boston, along the coast to far eastern Maine. Thus one sailed “Down” to Maine and “Up” to Boston. To this day ask a Mainer, traveling south on I-95, where he is going and he will tell you he’s going up to Boston.
We have been to Acadia National Park before, but never camped at Seawall. Seawall, which is named after a natural granite seawall that runs along the coast, is on the southwest lobe of Mount Desert Island, far from the crowds of Bar Harbor and the major attractions of Acadia. We arrived at Seawall to meet up with some friends before heading further Downeast to the very eastern edge of the United States. Seawall is a great place for some quiet camping, hiking, a bit of auto or bike touring, and sunrises.
The Bass Harbor Head Light is one of the attractions of this part of Acadia National Park. Built in 1858 the brick lighthouse stands 56 feet above the water at high tide. The lighthouse is not generally open for tours, but there’s a small hiking trail to get different views of this most photogenic lighthouse. The light, now on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Bass Harbor Head Light Station”, is now automated with a fourth order Fresnel Lens which makes it visible for 13 Nautical Miles. The US Coast Guard owns the light, but it is situated in the National Park. This is the first of Many lighthouses we expect to see on this trip.
We rode our bikes from the Campground to Bass Harbor Light and on the way back stopped for a short hike to Ship Harbor.
The hike to ship harbor was a loop hike, and on the return leg we found a Rock Gnome Construction Site.
It has become quite common in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, and on the Coast of Maine, to find extensive installations of rock gnomes. People spend hours, sometimes days, working on these stone sculptures.