Traveling in the Time of COVID – Another Great Day Exploring Acadia National Park, Part 1 – Bar Island

Sunshine and a clear blue sky greet us this morning bringing the promise of perfect weather for today’s activities. We breakfast on rolled omelets – eggs whipped with heavy cream then poured into a sheet pan and baked. The eggs are then filled with shredded cheese and rolled up. Light, fluffy and delicious.

During breakfast, we meet Peter and Betty, a lovely couple who live outside Augusta and suggest walking over to Bar Island for a hike. Twice a day, the tide recedes revealing a sand bar making for easy access to the island. It is a bit surreal to walk on something that most of the time is under water. It is short but must-do hike. TIP: Remember to dress in layers. Even though the water has receded, it can be cold and windy walking across. We urge Peter and Betty to go on ahead as I am still aching from the Great Head hike which is causing me to walk slowly. I don’t want to impede their progress.

My goal on this trip is to locate the stone ruins of the foundation of an old house on the island. I remember the unmarked path (that used to be marked with a private property sign) branches off to the right of the main trail. It is a bit further up than I remember but we do figure out where to turn off. We wait until there are no others on the trail so no one notices the path or us going off so we have it all to ourselves.

We walk through a small overgrown meadow with some old apple trees. As we enter a more wooded area, we find the stone ruins. You can imagine how the house must have looked with what remains of the walls, one with a window looking through the trees and out over the water back at Bar Harbor. There is a step down leading to what might have been a patio. It is rustic with no electricity or modern amenities. What must it have been like to live here cut off from the mainland twice a day? For the answer to that, read “Finding Moosewood. Finding God” by Jack Perkins who was a great champion and voice of Acadia National Park and lived on the island for several years. His house was close to these ruins, but he had it torn down when he moved to Florida to leave no trace.

Standing there in the shade of the woods surrounded by all this beauty, I understand why Perkins and his wife lived here. There is such a sense of peace. I imagine a quiet laid back life. Maybe one day, I could live this type of life – one that brings me closer to nature allowing for seeing and appreciating the beautiful details of it and capturing it, freezing moments in time in photographs and written observation. It would certainly be good for the soul, providing joy gained from experiences. I do admit though I still desire at least the conveniences of running water, indoor plumbing and lighting. I could find the outhouse in the dark with a flashlight. I just chose not to have to.

We push further into the woods surrounded by trees robed in their gold fall finery. While the original goal was to make it to the far side of the island, our late start forces us to start our return across the bar before the tide comes in or being cut off could be a real experience. (Based on the tide times that day, the next low tide would have occurred well after dark!)

While walking back down the main trail, some guy comes by whistling very loud, ruining the mood. Idiot!

Once back to where the bar meets the island, we realize we have a bit more time so we sit on an old driftwood log to take in our beautiful surroundings. On the way back across the bar, I observe shells in the sand, a seagull resting on a seaweed covered rock that will soon be covered with the tide forcing him to find another perch or float on the incoming tide, a washed up lobster trap. As we walk on the beach at the back of the inn, I look down and see evidence of a an earlier visitor – deer tracks in the sand. It really is about the little details.

We walk up the sloping lawn and I settle in a rocking chair on the back porch overlooking the bay, taking it all in. I can’t bear to go inside yet. The breeze off the blue water is cool but caresses and comforts. I want to keep this wonderful feeling of pure bliss forever. A phrase leaps to mind to describe it – #Saltairhappy – after the inn we are staying at that affords us the view and experience. Reluctantly, I gather my camera equipment and go inside.

#Saltairhappy view

About J. Matlock, Director of Fantasies

Jeanette's wanderlust started as an Air Force brat crisscrossing the US visiting almost every state. Writing has always been a part of her life. While earning a BA in Journalism from the University of Central Florida, Jeanette found photography was the perfect compliment to writing. She is always on the outlook for what she calls "Right Time, Right Place" photographs that capture a once-in-a- lifetime moment. Her adult travels have taken her to Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and all over the US and she continues to crave going to places to experience adventure, great food and lifestyles. She has written travel journals for the web site IGOUGO.com to share her experiences to guide and encourage other travelers. Her descriptive writing style makes one feel as if they are there sharing the experience. Her love of writing is based on this simple truth: "When I am writing, I know that I am doing the thing I was born to do." (Anne Sexton).
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