BLACKWOODS CAMPGROUND - WEEK 2 (ME)

Blackwoods Campground has been our home for two weeks now and although we didn't spend a whole lot of time on the campsite it has still been a great place to stay. It's centrally located near all the park's main attractions and has clean bathrooms with a local business provides a place to get a hot shower for $2 right outside the gate.

One other big advantage is the is a Park Bus depot right in the campground. The park buss routes can take you to just about anywhere in the park with the exception of the summit of Cadillac Mountain. The buses are propane powered and just don't have the horsepower to climb the steep roadway.



MONDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
139 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Today's sightseeing trip is going to be a visit to the easternmost part of Acadia National Park known as the Scoodic Peninsula, it is located just outside of the city of Winter Harbor, ME. One of the three National Park campgrounds is located here and we just had to go see what we were missing.

The Scoodic Woods Campground is the only Acadia National Park campground with water and electric hookups. It also has more privacy between sites and was less crowded than ours, due mostly to the fact that all the major attractions of the park are an hour on more drive away. If we ever come back this way we will probably plan a stay here instead of Blackwoods Campground.



TUESDAY

WORK DAY @ THE LIBRARY
15 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Thank You Northeast Harbor Library in Northeast Harbor, ME



WEDNESDAY

WORK DAY @ THE LIBRARY
17 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Thank You Northeast Harbor Library in Northeast Harbor, ME



THURSDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
12 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Today we got up early and drove the short distance to the town of Bar Harbor, ME. The town has a nonstop schedule of events planned for the holiday and we wanted to experience it all.

By 7:30AM we had found a safe place to park ROVER for the next 14-15 hours. It was in a city owned parking lot at the end of one of the downtown streets. It was there to service a small park with a wonderful water view and a great place to enjoy a typical summer day. But today is not typical, it's a holiday, and the forty or so parking spaces were filling up fast.

We were all prepared to spend $28-$30 for the parking fee which is normally $2 per hour. As we were approaching the parking meter to swipe our credit card we got a big surprise. Today the price to park was not $2 an hour, it was FREE! The meter simply read HAPPY HOLIDAYS - FREE PARKING, what a nice way to treat the tourists and the town people on this special day.

While driving through town to locate a parking space we notice the streets were lined with empty chairs all along the parade route. We decided to join the long line of chairs by placing ours in a prime spot, right next to the judges station. With our chairs in place we walked four short blocks down to the YMCA athletic field where the local Rotary Club were holding a fund raising event by serving up blueberry pancakes, sausage and egg sandwiches on a croissant. I had to make sure I got one of each, after all the money was going to a good cause.

“Pancake
For hours they were pumping out pancakes as fast as they could!

After breakfast we walked across the street to the craft fair going on and checked out a couple dozen vendors booths. There were lots of beautiful handmade items, artwork, pottery and jewelry. But we don't have space for anything like that, what we do have space for is honey!

We came upon a booth manned by a guy who blends his own honey flavors. We of course got a jar of blueberry honey, but also some garlic honey for glazing BBQ chicken breasts and pork tenderloin. We can't wait to try that flavor!

He also makes creamy honey flavors and spent several minutes explaining the labor intensive process it takes to create them. He told us he is recently retired and took his part-time hobby, and passion, for making honey and turned it into quite a sizable enterprise. We purchased two flavors of his creamy honey, chocolate and cinnamon. Of course all of this was after a free taste test of each product.

“Start
Every parade starts with a police escort right?

We then went back downtown the four blocks to check on our chairs. We left unattended on the side of the road and yep they were still there right where we left them. We purchased some cold drinks and waited for the 10:00AM parade to start. After the parade we took our chairs and made our way down to the marina and waterfront area.

This afternoon there will be local musicians performing at the waterfront pier in front of a large grassy hill that is also another public park. This will also be the viewing area for the big fireworks show after sunset. There were already hundreds of chairs and blankets reserving space for the afternoon and evening entertainment, so once again we added ours to the collection and started making our way to the National Park Tour Bus.

“Concert
Our vantage point for the music and fireworks!

We have two o'clock reservations on a Ranger led bus tour to three of the park's main attractions, two of which we have avoided visiting thus far so we could see them first with the tour. The first was a drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, we have been there three times already since arriving, the second stop was the Wild Gardens of the Sieur de Monts Nature Center and lastly was Thunder Hole along the coastline of Otter Point.

Thunder Hole is a large cave when at mid-high tide the waves push up inside of it and make a thunderous sound when the air inside gets compressed by the sea water. Unfortunately our timing was way off for that experience today and the seas have been extremely calm ever since our arrival here 12 days ago, so no thunder for us, just another beautiful spot to enjoy the scenery.

“Sunset
A sunset sail. I hope they're back in time for the fireworks!

After the tour was over it was back to our chairs to listen to live music and to wait for sunset and the fireworks to begin. After the 30-minute long fireworks show it was time to wait in all the traffic exiting the city and when we finally arrived home it was well after 11:00PM. What a long and memorable Fourth of July!



FRIDAY

RELAXATION DAY
44 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Today started out as a work day but quickly turned into a relaxation day after our busy and long day in Bar Harbor yesterday.

We did make a drive over to the Northeast Harbor Library to check email and such, but our main reason for traveling over here was to pick up some mail we had forwarded to the Post Office via Priority Mail.

“Eight
Felt uneasy following behind this guy, there are 8 bicycles hanging off the back of this SUV.

Before we started on our RV travels we had saved several thousand dollars worth of gasoline gift cards that we purchased when Publix ran their special "$50 gas card for $40 when purchasing $50 in groceries". Sometimes we purchased as many as three each week. For years while we were both still working we took advantage of this offer and put them away for our planned travels. That's a 20% savings, much better than putting the money into an investment account and the cards have absolutely no risk!

After 14 months on the road and paying for gasoline only when we couldn't find a nearby station for one of the cards we had left, we are down to our last $300 worth of cards. Gasoline is our third largest expense on the road, right after food and camping fees, so it's important we save as much as possible.

I spoke earlier about an app called Get Upside, which gets you cents off per gallon at participating stations, problem is there are very few participating stations outside of the larger cities, which is what we usually try to avoid. But we'll continue to use it when offered.

Two of our credit cards offer 5% off gasoline, but that only lasts for three months at a time and then the category changes to something else. I needed a better solution so I started to look around for a credit card that gets us 5% off all year long. I finally found one that does exactly that and that's what we're here to pick up at the Post Office today, our shiny new credit cards! No more paying full price for gasoline, ever!



SATURDAY

WORK DAY @ THE LIBRARY
13 MILES DRIVEN TODAY

Thank You Northeast Harbor Library in Northeast Harbor, ME



SUNDAY

SIGHTSEEING DAY
xx MILES DRIVEN TODAY

After running a few errands like gassing up ROVER and refilling a couple of our propane tanks at the Tractor Supply Store in town, we thought with this being our last day here at Acadia National Park, it would be a good idea to revisit several of the wonderful locations we have seen over the last two weeks.

Our favorite by far is Cadillac Mountain, so we made the 3.5 mile drive up the Summit Road one more time. We bought a couple of Old Soaker Root Beers in the gift shop and found an empty scenic pullout on the side of the road to just relax and enjoy the view. Tricia pulled out her cell phone and was playing her favorite game, glancing up every once in a while to take in her surroundings. I pulled out a chair from the back seat of ROVER, went about ten yards down to a flat spot on the mountain and listened to my favorite playlist of songs on my phone.

After about an hour we moved on to our next location, Sand Beach. That's right, there is a sandy beach along this jagged coastline of Maine. It's only about 100 yards long but it reminded us of the beaches back in Florida, except the water temperature was somewhere in the 50's instead of the 80's. Tricia got her toes wet but I declined to follow her into the water!

Next up was nearby Thunder Hole. It was totally the wrong time to be there to here the thunder, so for about ten minutes we had the place all to ourselves. Then about a half dozen people from Iowa came down the stairs to join us and said they had just seen a porcupine on the upper sidewalk. We went up to see for ourselves but couldn't locate him. There was a Park Ranger there in her vehicle and confirmed the sighting up didn't know where it might be now.

We checked the time and saw we could just make it over to Jordan Pond House before they closed so off we went around the rest of the Park Loop Road. We were seated about 15 minutes before closing and each ordered a pair off their Famous Popovers, just like we did on our first day here. They weren't as good as the first time we had them, probably had something to do with the fact they were closing very shortly. We still enjoyed them, along with the view of the mountains and the pond out the huge dining room windows.

By the time we got back to THE POD it was after 9:00PM and we need to get to bed because tomorrow we get up early, pack up all of stuff and head out to our next campsite.



ATTENTION EVERYONE!

After extensive and grueling research for the last three weeks
a determination has finally been rendered.

When it comes to Blueberry Soda here in Maine there are three major contenders all competing for you hard earned dollar. Since we arrived in Maine I have been drinking blueberry soda almost exclusively, my only deviation has been water when outside, at the library or taking my meds at night.

All three use cane sugar (no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners) and are caffeine free. Both Capt'n Eli's and Old Soaker list grape juice on the ingredients label and it really comes out in the flavor. Maine root brand soda does not and it's the one that tastes the most like blueberry. Isn't that the reason for drinking it in the first place?

So without any further ado here are my results:



Who will be the first to correctly guess our next location?
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