Three years later, we returned to Maine. October of 2014 was our first time touring New England for Victor's birthday, however this trip of 2017 was a completely different experience traveling with the RV. We went back for two reasons: to cross off Acadia from our National Park list and to get a wall for a Greetings from Maine mural in downtown Portland. Permission came through to paint, but the location had too many obstacles at the time. We still considered this trip a success considering we got to travel throughout Maine for both research and leisure.
Starting out the trip with a busted refrigerator was not ideal. The RV had been in storage for two months while living in Victor's Queens apartment for the summer, so this wasn't a big surprise. We sourced the problem ourselves, but went without a home cooked meal for 3 days. As a result, we both felt sluggish. Our rule on the road is no fast food, so we ate at local lobster roll spots, but they still served huge portions. Craigslist was the answer to our RV problem, so we met up with a repair man that had a small shop in Maine who only charged us $5 for a new valve including install. In the year 2017, that kind of service is pretty much unheard of! His excuse was that he didn't want to take all of money for our trip. After about 10 minutes, we were on the road again.
Sidenote: If you are full-time on the road or thinking about living on the road, we highly suggest checking out Craigslist for repairs. We have found the larger RV corporations don’t charge fairly and take usually two weeks before you can even get an appointment.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Unlike the other National Parks, Acadia shares a community within. There are still good hiking trails and viewpoints, but it feels a little less remote with shopping centers, bars and historical neighborhoods inside of the park perimeter. The park provides free shuttles to most trailheads and villages. Be sure to pick up a map when you enter for schedules and drop off points.
CAMP For two nights we stayed at Bar Harbor Campground located just outside of the main park. After being in storage, we needed a full hookup to recharge the RV. If you get there at a good time, they have large secluded sites to choose from. Amenities include a pool, showers, laundry and a beautiful view of the bay. They offer shuttles from their entrance into the National Park. We took advantage of this because some areas of the park cannot clear RVs.
HIKE A favorite hike in Acadia is Jordan Pond. We started out with the easy loop and then halfway around, we hiked up the moderate/advanced steep trail of South Bubble to Balancing Rock. The view at the top is worth the effort. We got back down and finished the rest of the loop. An easier hike we liked was the Ocean Path Trail you can get from Sand Beach. From there, we jumped on a shuttle to Ba Ha Ba (Bar Harbor) and Northeast Harbor.
FOOD After hiking Jordan Pond, we walked over to Jordan Pond House to try the acclaimed popovers with jam. If you are visiting in the summertime, we recommend waiting to sit inside. They mentioned an 'bee problem' and we thought no big deal, but it really was.
After visiting Acadia, we made way to the very top corner of the US East Coast. We saw the classic West Quoddy Head Light and learned that area of the US is on a different timezone! Heading west into Maine, we went to Baxter State Park, stopping along the way at Reversing Falls State Park where you can camp overnight for free in the middle of nowhere. At Reversing Falls, the rising tide creates a reverse waterfall and you can watch seals playing in the natural whirlpools. Making it to Baxter, we learned the whole park does NOT allow RVs! Oops. Luckily, we were able to get to the entrance and camped at Abol Bridge Campground where we hiked a bit of the Appalachian Trail and up to the Blueberry Ledges Trail.
Making way back to our apartment in Queens, NY, we made stops at more lighthouses, blueberry stands with alpacas out front and looped back to Portland again to hang with some good old friends. Leah and Matt from Ohio were heading up to Acadia, so we ate at Portland Lobster Company (again) and shared some spots they should check out.