Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On the edge of Spring

I used to think of swamps as being filled with “gators”, snakes, and panthers. You know, with temperatures in the 90s and mosquitos all over the place. Well now I know swamps are everywhere there is lots of water. There is lots of water here in Maine and not much topsoil for the water to sink into. So there are swamps here. But they call them meadows.

We have camped near swamps. Sometimes we have been right on the edge of a swamp. This, however, is the first time we have camped in a swamp.  At the moment we are camped in what the campground here calls site S57. Maybe the “S” stands for swamp.

We could have moved to another spot.

Just after I unhooked and set up one of the campground people,“Uncle Steve”, came to us with good and bad news. The good news was $26 they overcharged me at check in. The bad news was that we were in the wrong space. 

Here we made a mistake. We showed Uncle Steve the map where they circled site S57 and drew arrows on how to get there. We should have jumped at the chance to move. We said we would move but Uncle Steve wanted to make things right since it wasn’t our mistake. So here we are in the swamp, in the trees, in the shade, in the rain.

This was the first time I had to use four wheel drive to get into a campsite.

We are in Bar Harbor, Maine. It is raining. It is a balmy 53 degrees. It is 4 PM. Mosquitos are breading in the fire ring at our site.

A sailboat in our fire ring.

It should be good birding whenever the sun comes out.

At about 09:00 AM on Memorial day we left Massachusetts for Main. We reached it at about 10:30. What a beautiful drive. The little roads we were on led through one quaint town after another. Each town was having a Memorial Day event. We dodged most of the events only getting stuck in one tiny town for about 15 minutes. That was just enough time for the mayor to finish his speech, for the chaplain to say a prayer, and for the High school band to play a song or two.  I think that is the perfect amount of time to be at a Memorial Day event.

Memorial Day in rural Maine.

After miles and miles of great back roads we found the Maine back roads (and the New Jersey back roads) to be pretty bad. It looks like they may have bad weather here, judging by the potholes and such. A couple of times I was sure that I busted springs. So far there is nothing showing strain except my nerves.

This is what driving the country roads in Maine looks like. Note the trees

The road signage here is also a little weak. There will be one signpost with several highway numbers and arrows pointing up, down, and left, and right. About the time you figure you should have turned you are past the corner. Usually this results in your ending up on a very small back road. This is serious when you are hauling a rig like ours because you might go miles before you find a place big enough to turn around. And I have. Probably by now we have driven maybe 15 miles extra looking for places to turn around.

We did have some serendipity on the drive. We happened to discover the LL Bean is headquartered at Freeport, Maine. The flagship store is there. We decided to swing by and see the quaint little thing. We only spent a coupe of hundred dollars.

Brenda entering the quaint little LL Bean flagship store.

We have also reached the edge of spring. Here in Bar Harbor some of the trees are just starting to leaf out. Those trees that have leafed are showing new-leaf chartreuse green.

These trees are just beginning to leaf out. Spring has arrived.

Seriously though, Maine is beautiful. We are having a good time and not letting the rainy swamp we’re sitting in dampen our spirits  – much.


  1. Bar Harbor -- great place. I hope you go (went?) out for some lobster. When we were there, we found a place that had an early-bird lobster dinner for $16! There are some nice walks/hikes and drives in Acadia Nat Park. Love the "swamp" camp sites -- been there done that, but never needed 4x4 -- yikes! Sounds like you're still having fun. Hope you have good birding.

  2. We actually haven't gotten to "down town" Bar Harbor. I did get some lobster yesterday at Southwest Harbor. We had a great walk on the edge of Arcadia National Park. This is really spectacular country. Too darn many trees to really see the birds though! Before we take off from here we will do more sight seeing, I hope. Tomorrow we take a boat trip to see off shore birds maybe Puffin.