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July 25, 2011 / mws

2010 New England Sept

On Saturday morning, we packed up the Rav4 and headed north. This was our first driving trip in quite a long time, but we had our itinerary and we were ready to explore New England. We had some preconceptions on what we thought we would encounter on this trip.

September 11 2010 The first day we drove to Johnstown, New York without incident, which is always a good thing. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown and it was very comfortable. For breakfast the next day we enjoyed some of the best blueberry pancakes we ever had!

September 12 2010 From Johnstown, we drove east across Vermont and New  Hampshire and out to the Maine Coast. Our first stop was in the Cape Porpoise Harbor to see the Goat Island Lighthouse. Then we drove to Kennebunkport and stopped to see the George H W Bush Compound. We stayed at the Lodge at Turbats Creek in Kennebunkport after having our first seafood dinner in Cape Porpoise.

September 13 2010 We drove north towards Portland Maine today and got on Rt 295….Road Construction. We were backed up in traffic for about 1/2 hour…not too bad. We made our way east again to the coast and stopped in the pictureque town of  Camden, Maine.

Camden Maine

Camden Maine

We spent some time here walking around, having lunch and taking pictures. We continued north along the coast and finally arrived on Mount Desert Island. We drove southwest to the Seawall area where we were lodging for the next three nights at the Seawall Motel. We decided to explore a little before turning in for the night. We could see the ocean from our motel room and on the other side of the road were some ponds and inlets…..and wildlife.

September 14 2010 It was a little rainy today, but we started out towards the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. The lighthouse was established in 1858 and includes a keepers house, an oil house and a barn. We stopped at a countryside art gallery and pottery place to do a little shopping in hopes that the weather would clear up a little. It did stop raining, so we decided to try the Wonderland trail. This is a 1.4 mi round trip  from the parking area to the ocean and back with viewpoints along the way. Just down the road was the Ship Harbor Trail. This is another ocean view trail, but is a little more rugged with exposed tree roots and rocks. This was a very enjoyable trail.

Ship Harbor trail view

Ship Harbor trail view

September 15 2010 This was our full day to drive the Acadia National Park Loop. We started out VERY early…4AM wakeup call.  We drove up Cadillac  Mountain to arrive for the sunrise. We arrived in pitch dark but before long the first pink rays appeared. One minute after the sunrise it started to rain and everyone but us left the area.  After a few minutes, the sky brightened and we were all alone on Cadillac Mountain to see the start of a beautiful day.

We drove back down the mountain and started along the Acadia Park Loop Road. A stop was made at the much read about Thunder Hole. I was unimpressed, but it was scenic. We continued around the loop, stopping at various viewpoints, including Otter Cliffs. The Wildwood Stables are located in the park and carriage rides are a big tourist attraction. We stopped at the stables to take a look around. Another good tourist stop is the Jordan Pond area. There is a restaurant here and a lovely outdoor area around the pond.

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Our last stop on the loop was the Wild Gardens of Acadia, with late summer blooms and nice nature trails. After the Acadia Loop, we drove to Bass Harbor and had dinner at the Seafood Ketch right on the harbor…very good!

September 16 2010 Today, as we were leaving Mount Desert Island, we stopped in Southwest Harbor. We really enjoyed this small harbor, and stopped to take pictures of the picturesque musuem and gardens by the historical society. We headed east to the much less visited part of Acadia National Park…Schoodic Point. We stopped at Winter Harbor Lighthouse and then continued around the scenic loop. We drove to north central Maine to Millinocket and went into Baxter State Park. The park is over 200,000 acres of forest and wilderness. The roads are gravel/dirt and full of potholes. It costs out of state visitors $14/day to enter and facilities are very rustic and geared towards camping. We parked at the Roaring Brook Campground and hiked out to the Sandy Pond area. We were rewarded with a moose sighting.

Baxter Park moose

Baxter Park moose

September 17 2010 The Golden Road is adjacent to Baxter State Park, and the road is actually owned by a conglomerate of Paper Companies that own the  forests in the area. The paper companies tolerate the tourists and so we set out  to see the scenic area along the Golden Road. First stop was a hike along a logging road and thru the woods on the River Pond Nature Trail. We stopped at a campground and met one of the campers who told us about a waterfalls that spans a river along the Golden road, so we thanked the kind camper and went in search of the falls.  This turned out to be the place we took the most pictures…it was so pretty!

Golden Road Falls

Golden Road Falls

September 18 2010 Today was a driving day with multiple stops. First stop was Sebec Lake in Peaks Kenny State Park in Dover-Foxcroft Maine. Some of the rest areas in Maine are very scenic, so we kept stopping and getting more photos. Next stop was Moxie Falls which included a nice little hike to the falls and an impressive waterfall.Before checking into the Moose Mountain Inn in Greenville, Maine, we went out to the Blair House and took sunset pics.

September 19 2010 This was our only day and night in New Hampshire. About 15 years ago we stayed in Colebrook, New Hampshire at the Northern Comfort Motel The area is well known for moose sightings and is very scenic as well.

September 20 2010 The drive today took us north to Derby Center, Vermont about 5 miles south of Quebec Province, Canada.  In the town of Derby, Vermont we found the Cow Palace with the resident elk herd. Driving south we came through Stowe, Vermont and saw pumpkins for sale!

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

Continuing south, we encountered the Moss Glen Falls……very pretty. For the next three nights we stayed at the North Shire Lodge in Manchester,  VT. We really enjoyed our stay here…the view was great and the hosts have a guest-only pub where we had delicious meals.

September 21 2011 Today was spent touring  Vermont.  We drove through villages, stopped to shop and looking around the area. We found some early fall colors today.

September 22 2010 Covered Bridges Tour…starting in Arlington, Vermont with the West Arlington Bridge and nearby church.  Next we stopped at the Wayside Country Store….fun time with the locals there. Also in Arlington, Vermont we found the Chiselville Bridge. We moved onto Bennington to the Silk Road Bridge.

Along the way I saw a sign for the Bearatorium, so off we went and found a fun  store and a nice area. Next bridge was the Henry Bridge in Bennington. The last bridge of the day was the Paper Mill Bridge…with the waterfall in front of it.

Paper Mill Bridge, Bennington, VT

Paper Mill Bridge, Bennington, VT

Our final stop was the town of Arlington Vermont with the lovely Arlington Inn  property and St. James Church.

Some final thoughts on travelling to New England in Sept 2010
1. The baby boomers are alive and travelling! In the last two years of vacationing  in May and September. I find that these months are no longer shoulder seasons, but just an extension of high season.

2. Middle class Americans are better off than they are letting on….people are helping the economy as far as the tourist industry…hotels, restaurants, gift shops, etc. OR the recession really is over.

3. Pennsylvania is NOT the only state with terrible roads….we found road improvements needed throughout New England.

4. It’s always lovely to meet people from other regions in the United States. New Englanders welcomed us and assisted us with local information and directions. We enjoyed all the people, our ONE moose and all the beautiful scenery!

To see more photos from our 2010 New England trip, click here
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