Monday, October 08, 2007





While heading east on US 2 in the northern part of New Hampshire, we were clipping along about 55 mph, only 5 mph over the limit, when all of a sudden a rather large bull moose came charging at full speed out of the forest just ahead of us and to the right. Something must have spooked him because he was really hauling ass. With his nostrils flaring, we could see his breath in the cool morning air. The size of our rig must have deterred him from crossing the highway and causing major damage to him and us, for at the last second he turned left as I swerved left. The dirt was flying as his hoofs dug in to the soft earth at the highways edge. As he passed to our right heading west, and his antlers just missing our side mirror, we made eye contact with each other. We could see the whites of his eyes and the look of terror in them. I’m sure he saw the same in ours.

After getting our breathing back to normal, we continued on, arriving in Bar Harbor by mid afternoon. Bar Harbor owes its existence to Acadia National Park, which basically surrounds the town, and the cruise ship industry. It is in a beautiful setting with the downtown business district encompassed in 5 blocks of restaurants and tourist shops, and Main Street ending at the wharf. Everyday two cruise ships arrive in the early morning and by 10 AM several thousand passengers have disembarked and jammed themselves into those 5 blocks. It is human gridlock, with blue haired ladies crowding into the shops buying t-shirts for the grand kids, while grandpa stands outside in the middle of the side walk blocking traffic.

The national park is on Mount Desert Island, with the 1500 foot Cadillac Mountain at its center. The park is really beautiful with forested seaside cliffs and some fall colors. The area was once, and still is, the summer home to the rich and famous. John D. Rockefeller had a home here and between 1913 and 1940, built forty-five miles of carriage roads so his horse carriage did not have to compete with automobile. Today the roads in the park are open to hiking, biking and horse drawn carriages. There is a modern road to the top of Cadillac Mountain for some great views. One is told that sunrise at the summit is a must. For those of you who follow such things, it was at sunrise on Cadillac Mountain where Jenna Bush accepted a proposal of marriage. So one morning we got up at 5 AM and drove to the top so watch the sunrise. We had a beautiful red sky and with the cruise ships arriving below which made the early hour worth it. I was going to ask Cathie to marry me, but I was afraid her answer wouldn’t be the same as Jenna’s, so I didn’t press my luck.

We’ve had rain the last couple of nights and it’s getting colder, with temperatures in the 50’s during the day. The weather up to this point, except for some occasional rain showers, has been unseasonably warm for this part of the country. So it is here at Bar Harbor, that we make another right turn and start heading south. While heading towards Portland, Maine, we saw some of the best fall colors of the entire trip, along I-95 of all places.

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