I knew my transition back into the US of A wasn't going to be easy, so I'd reserved a week-long stay at Acadia National Park for early September. My thinking was that it would be fairly mellow in the area as the kids were back in school and it wasn't yet leaf-peeping season.
What a surprise when I arrived on a Wednesday to a completely full campground, a cruise ship in Bar Harbor that kept the town bustling, and too many people in cars at the top of Cadillac Mountain as I reached the peak (on foot).
Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre Atlantic coast area marked by woodland, rocky beaches and granite peaks. So I enjoyed hiking a half-dozen trails that offered stunning views of the coast, and I took to the pavement and carriage roads by bike (thanks, Rockefeller). While I will say that campers' behavior made it clear that I had crossed the border, I expect that there could have been much harsher transitions!
I'm now enjoying a month in New England with family & friends that I'll capture in a single post within the coming week.
Indeed, I did cross the bridge and return to the US of A in early September. While my first stop (to regroup) was Acadia National Park, I'm feeling the need to share some thoughts from my summer to the north. When the mood hit me, I jotted down items that struck me for whatever reason! Perhaps you'll enjoy them, too.
You know you're in Canada when you ...
Each one of these brings me to a specific time and place. Up next, transitioning back in Maine.
It was a short drive and a double-ferry ride from St. Andrews to Campobello Island. What fun to have this unique commute as I simultaneously wondered if I really had to return to the US of A one week later.
Campobello Island is just 10 miles long and 3 miles wide with about 900 year-round residents; 10% of whom work at the main tourist attraction, Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The Island has no gas station, one small food market, a library, and a community room (which is where you'll meet the locals). It is a naturally beautiful place where you don't have to leave the shore to see porpoises, whales, eagles, and more. I camped, biked, walked trails from my tent, ate local fresh fish, met friendly people, and of course, visited the Park.
The Roosevelt Campobello International Park, established in 1962, is officially on Canadian soil, but is the only one of its kind as it's jointly staffed and funded by the peoples of Canada and the United States. The focal point, of course, is the Franklin D. Roosevelt 34-room summer cottage which I toured, and the nearby Hubbard Cottage where you can enjoy "Tea with Eleanor," all at no charge. The home was built in 1897 for Mrs. Hartman Kuhn of Boston, who grew fond of Franklin and Eleanor as they summered at his mother’s cottage next door. She offered her cottage to FDR’s mother, Sara for $5000 with a provision in her will that it would be given to the couple. Sara purchased the furnished cottage and 5 acres of land in 1909, and it's where FDR's family spent summers from 1909 to 1921.
I loved the natural beauty of this island and really had no interest in crossing the bridge to Lubec, Maine!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover