Thursday, October 20, 2016

Parking Meters and Traffic Lights

Nothing ruins the feel of a small friendly village more than traffic lights and parking meters, yet it appears both are about to make their debut in bar Harbor, Maine.  At some point in the not too distance future a traffic light will be placed at the intersection of the Eagle Lake road and Mount desert Street.  Now if anyone knows anything at all about traffic lights, once you have one, they seem to multiply faster than rabbits ( just look at Ellsworth).
And yes, parking meters, it appears, are also arriving.  In fact, walking down Cottage street the other day I came upon the very first parking meter to be installed here, a few parking stalls up from Route 66.  They are electronic parking meters with a nice friendly sign on them, Welcome To Bar Harbor.
This one parking meter said to swipe your credit card and select your stall.  As more go up, if you don't have a credit card with you your screwed because these parking meters don't take money, only credit cards.  Oh, and it also said you get to park there for up to eight hours for a dollar.  Nothing says progress like parking meters.
Sadly the town of Bar Harbor didn't do their homework because in most of the Maine towns where parking meters were installed they have long since been removed - nobody likes them.  Go to Boothbay Harbor and for many years after the parking meters were removed those ugly iron posts were still in the ground, it was just an unsightly mess.  But I guess the dollar signs have town officials believing parking meters will work out well  here when they have failed in other places in Maine.
Stay tune, because as more go up, I will post places where you can park and avoid these parking meters altogether.

UPDATE'''''

The towns efforts to install parking meters across town has been defeated by the people of Bar Harbor - AMEN.  So for now, there will be no parking meters, period.
As far as the first traffic light in town, sorry to report, it has been installed and is in service.  So if your driving down Eden Street, route 3, when you reach the intersection of route 233, Kebo Street and Mount Desert Street, a brand new set of traffic lights will be there to greet you.
To avoid the traffic lights, take a left from route 3 onto West Street or cottage street, drive down to Maine street on the other end, and turn right, that will get you onto route 3 again if your headed for Otter Creek, or Blackwoods Campground
It will also get you into downtown Bar Harbor while avoiding the lights.

 Map does not show side streets but you can see how to avoid the traffic lights.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Black Bear Spotted at Blackwoods Campground

There are few bear sightings on Mount desert Island, and what sightings do accrue usually take place on the quiet side of the island, so when this weeks paper came out with news a Black Bear has been spotted by a number of people by Blackwoods Campground, it got people's attention.  The paper even published a photo of the Black bear in question.
Years ago the Park Service had a program in place where Black Bears were removed from the island, but that is not the case today.  Thankfully 99.9 percent of bears in Maine fear people and want nothing to do with them, so what bear population is here on the island for the most part goes unseen.
Over all the years I have lived here on the Island I have  only seen one Black Bear, and that was on the quiet side of the island along the Lighthouse road in Bass Harbor.  The woods over there are loaded with wild berries, which in turns attracts bears.
The most famous bear incident took place years ago, when a Black Bear wandered  down onto Cottage Street and climbed high up into a tree in front of the Town Office. 

UPDATE

In the past two weeks three more bear sightings have been reported in the Bar Harbor area.  One Black Bear came up to some one's back door after they left some trash outside.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trump Makes News In Maine

The Donald made news on his recent visit to Portland, Maine, reading from notes he made the statement that not only are illegal  immigrants a threat to America, but also legal  immigrants are a threat to our country.  It is worth noting that two of Trump's three wives were  immigrants, so I am not sure what we are to make of his statements that all  immigrants, borh legal and illegal pose a threat to America.

Friday, July 22, 2016

COMPASS HARBOR AND OLD FARM

In this weeks paper the Park Service announced its plans for Compass Harbor and Old Farm, the name of the George B. Dorr site.  I think there plans come as no surprise, the area will be treated as a natural area, which is code for they don't want people finding the location.  The stone steps will be fixed so they don't wobble, the foundation of Old Farm will be spruced up, some tree's removed, and that is about it.
No mention of putting up a monument to honor George B. Dorr, and the very tiny hard to find parking lot will stay as it is, which means Compass Harbor and the site of Old Farm has to be treated as an abandoned site, much like the Hanging Steps, the Great Cave and Anemone cave are.
This means that if you or your family want to visit the site and make use of its two beaches, you will have to google the area for directions.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Man falls 40 feet to his death at Acadia National Park

Park officials are investigating how and why a 68-year-old man fell to his death in Acadia National Park on Monday, the National Park Service said Tuesday.
Mark Simon of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, fell from a bluff between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole. Simon was a summer resident of Southwest Harbor.
He and his wife had stopped on the Park Loop Road so he could photograph the sunset from an area off the Ocean Path. Simon’s wife waited for him in the car, but became concerned after the sun had set, and waved down a passing park ranger.
Rangers located Simon’s backpack, and then saw his body at the bottom of a 40-foot drop. He was lying motionless at the water’s edge.
Because of the steep terrain, park rangers could not reach him, and the U.S. Coast Guard was called to assist in recovering Simon’s body, which was only reached once the rising tide carried it into the water.
While the fall appears accidental, the National Park Service said it would continue to investigate the circumstances Tuesday.
In the photo below police, park rangers and emergency personal gather at the end of the Bar Harbor town pier before boarding the Coast Guard vessel to remove the body.

That was how the story appeared in the papers, I just happened to be walking around town that night when we noticed something going down on the end of the Bar Harbor town pier.  There was police, park rangers, coast guard people, so I took out my camera and began taking photos.  I sent some in to the local paper and the following photo was used in their coverage of the accident;


I knew at the time something had happened in the park and that most likely someone had died as a result, I read the above piece online the following day.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

IS ACADIA NATIONAL PARK ABOUT TO BAN SOME VEHICLES

I just heard someone connected to Acadia National Park tell someone else that a lot of people are going to be angry in a couple months from now.  He said that Acadia National Park was going to ban some types of vehicles from using the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road. 
If this is true, it could be BIG NEWS for some, we will know in a couple months...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

FAST FOOD SHOPS IN BAR HARBOR MAINE

Many tourists are surprised when they walk down Cottage street and spot a true fast food shop - Subway has been doing very well in Bar Harbor for years now.  They are surprised because many of them have heard that Bar Harbor has banned fast food places.  The fact is they have not banned them, but they have banned drive throughs, which has the same effect as banning fast food places.  Since Subway doesn't use a drive through window, the ban doesn't effect them.
It's not that people haven't tried to make a fast food place work in town, I remember many years ago when I first moved to Bar Harbor there was a burger joint on Cottage street.  When its lease was up, the rent was increased to a point that the burger shop could not afford to stay there and a restaurant took over the building.  Others have tried since than and failed for the same reason - very high rent increases.
What many don't know about Bar Harbor is that the majority of the buildings in town are owned by people from away.  The result is this game of musical chairs that is played each year with shops always having to relocate or close. 
So if you are ever walking down a street in town and asking yourself - wasn't that shop on the other end of the street last year, or wasn't that business on another street in town last year, your probably right and it was most likely a victim of this crazy game of musical chairs that gets played out at the start of each new tourist season.

YES - BAR HARBOR HAS AN AIRPORT

Not everyone who visits the area is aware of it, but Bar Harbor does have an airport, but not in Bar Harbor, not even on Mount desert Island for that matter.  The Bar Harbor Airport is located in Trenton, Maine.
That may be a good distance away, but you can still watch planes land and take off while in Bar Harbor - if you know where to go.
My favorite place to go just before dusk to watch planes land and take off is to hike up to the summit of great Hill.  Once there you can sit down on the bald summit and look out across the darkening sky toward Trenton and watch as approaching planes circle the airport and come in for a landing.  It's the best night time view on the island and your surrounded by stars above and complete silence.

THE BAR HARBOR EXPRESS

Many  know that once there was a cog train that carried passengers from Eagle Lake to the summit of Cadillac Mountain (than called Green Mountain), but did you know that once there was a train known as the Bar Harbor Express?  In it's day it was one of the fastest trains in New England, carrying passengers in luxury  cars as they made their way toward bar Harbor. 
But the Bar Harbor Express never reached Bar Harbor, it only went as far as Hancock, where passengers stepped off of the train and onto one of several ferry's which carried them to Bar Harbor.  At one time old maps show a building on the end of the town pier owned by the railroad company where tickets for the train were sold.  So to travel to the actual train station in Hancock, you had to purchase two tickets in Bar Harbor, one for the train and one for the ferry which got you to the train.
One of the original locomotives which was part of the Bar Harbor express was recently purchased from the city of waterville, Maine where it has been on display for many years.  The train is being brought back to life and will one day soon be making excursion trips in the ellsworth area.

THE STORY OF THE CARLO'S NIGHTMARE

Once there was a pizza shop on cottage street named Carlo's Pizza.  It was always a very busy shop with people often waiting for a table to become empty.  One day Carlo's came up with an idea for a new sandwich - I am not sure what that sandwich was first named, but it soon was renamed The Carlo's Nightmare. 
This happened when someone placed a very large order of the sandwiches for an event, something like 150 of them.  By the time Carlos had finished making all those sandwiches, he changed the name and that's how the Carlo's Nightmare became to be one of the most popular sandwiches in Bar Harbor.
Sadly, Charlo's went on vacation one day to Florida and passed away, and for many years the famous sandwich seemed lost because his once famous pizza shop cloed without him.
One day I decided to send a letter to the local paper asking if there was anyone out there who knew what went into this famous sandwich.  as it turned out, there was.  Someone who use to work there and make sandwiches recalled exactly how they were made. 
Not too long after that, another local pizza shop in town began making the same sandwich but with a slightly different name - it is now called the Rosalie's Nightmare, sold at Rosalie's Pizza and sub shop on Cottage street.  The sandwich is a huge hit with the locals and if you haven't tried one, you don't know what your missing.

Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 ROAD CONSTRUCTION UPDATES

In this weeks Mount Desert Islander  a few major construction projects were announced for the upcoming summer and fall months, two within Acadia National Park and the other involved a major road rebuilt of a long section of route 3 as you approach Bar Harbor, Maine.
The section of route 3 will be rebuilt, not merely repaved, so backed up traffic and delays can be expected.  Even if traffic is rerouted you can expect it to add some to your travel time.  As far as an exact start date for this project - it has not yet been set but is expected to begin this fall.  The stretch of route 3 to be rebuilt is from Ireson Hill all the way to Mount Desert Street in downtown Bar Harbor.
Acadia National Park has two sewer projects that will begin this coming September, one will be at the Sieur de Monts Spring area and will reduce parking there to one third of  what it normally is, and will mean the Island Explorer Buses  will not be stopping there during this time.  This construction project is expected to end by the end of next May, and anyone wanting to go to the area of Sieur de Monts Springs will have to ask to be let off the bus on the nearby Park Loop Road.  This area of the park includes many of the popular hiking trails such as several trails up dorr Mountain, the Jesus trail, and the popular Kane trail, as well as the Nature center and the Wild Gardens of Acadia.
A second sewer project in Acadia National Park will also run from September of this year through late may of next year and will take place at Seawall Campground, located on the quiet side of the island along 102A.  The Park Service has stated Seawall Campground will close early this year because of the construction work.  The result of this most likely will be that other nearby campgrounds, including Blackwoods Campground, could see camp sites harder to come by during this time period, so make sure you put in your reservations early this year.