Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2005: 14

   We started our fall travels with our annual New England trip. We left the day after the equinox and headed to Boston to spend the weekend with Jack and Sue Beatty in Natick. We arrived mid-afternoon and drove with Sue into the city to meet Jack at his office. We ate a great dinner at the Florentine Cafe in the North End. After dinner we enjoyed chocolate chip cannolis from Mike's Bakery and cappuccinos at a nearby coffee bar. The next morning, Bill took an early walk to the Starbucks in Wellesley. Later, we all drove to the Science Museum in Boston and enjoyed a DUCK tour around the historic district and into the Charles River Basin. It was a gorgeous day and lots of fun. We ate a quick lunch in the museum after the tour and then viewed "Yellowstone" at the IMAX theater therein. We stopped at Fenway Park on the way out of town and took some photos of Jack and Sue with the new statue of Ted Williams outside the stadium. When we arrived back at the Beatty's house, we had some awesome shrimp for appetizers. Jack cooked delicious swordfish and filets to accompany zucchini pie and potato salad for dinner. We left for Maine at around 8:15 AM, leaving 15 minutes behind schedule. We had a very easy drive, stopping for a great lobster roll at Governors Restaurant in Waterville, and arrived at the Narrows Campground in Bar Harbor at 3:05 PM. Bill's brother Bob had arrived a bit earlier at the Bluenose Motel. Bob visited us at 5:00 PM and then drove us into Bar Harbor for dinner at the Bluefish Cafe, one of our favorites. We had lobster strudel and salmon for our entrees, thus eating lobster twice on our first day in Maine. On Tuesday, Bob picked us up to drive us to breakfast at the Rhinehart Pavilion, overlooking Frenchman's Bay. We enjoyed the food (all of us had oatmeal) and the view of the bay and the clouds and fog. We moved on to Acadia National Park and parked at Sand Beach. Cathy did two hikes in the area of the beach and Park Loop Road; Bob and Bill hiked to the Precipice Trailhead and climbed the steep trail. When they arrived at the summit of Mt. Champlain, it was blowing about 40 mph with driving rain. They hiked down the Bowl Trail back to Sand Beach and the waiting Cathy. Our collective hikes took just under 3 hours. We ate hot lunches at Jean's Chowda House in Bar Harbor. Then we did a bit of shopping at Cadillac Mountain Sports and drank lattes at the Cafe Milagro. We moved on to the Jordan Pond House and hiked the pond circuit for another hour of activity. Finally, Bob dropped us at the campground and started on a rainy 3 hour drive home. Due to the predicted steady rain, we ate a good tortellini dinner in our RV.

   The wind was blowing hard from the north, and it was sunny and cool as Tuesday started. We drove to Jordan Pond to hike a route described in Steve Perrin's book, "Acadia: the Soul of a National Park." We started on the east shore of Jordan Pond and took the Jordan Canoe Carry to connect to the Bubble Rock parking lot. Then we climbed to the summit of Mt. Pemetic via the Ravine Trail. Because of the overnight rain, there were many small streams of water accompanying us. This was quite a steep ascent with a section in a narrow ravine with a couple of wooden ladders. Some notable quotes: "I'm an arthritic old lady and can't do this!"; "I can't believe you're forcing me to do this!"; and, "I'm 64!" (actually, she's 63). When we reached the summit, we were rewarded with some of the best water views of all of Acadia. We descended on the South Ridge Trail. The hike's statistics were 3.6 miles and 3 hours. Happy after a good hike, we drove to Bar Harbor and parked in the RV area about 6 blocks from downtown. We ate a hot lunch in Geddy's Pub and then visited the Opera House Internet Cafe to upload photos and drink lattes. We shopped for the remainder of the afternoon and then returned to the RV so that Bill could shower and we could change for dinner. We ate at Maggie's and had a good dinner at a moderate price. We returned to camp at around 9:30 PM.

   Wednesday was a beautiful, calm day. We drove to Stonington (1.5 hours) to catch the 11:30 AM mail boat to Isle au Haut (pronounced "I'll ah hoe" with the emphasis on the last syllable and all run together). We walked around Stonington for almost an hour before departure. We had a lovely 35 minute ride out to the island followed by lunch bought at the island's only general store and eaten outside on a picnic table with a view of the harbor. We hiked the Duck Harbor Trail and walked back via an unpaved road. We had heard that there are only 45 year-round citizens on the island, but about 150 houses, some of them run-down shacks and some of them mansions. We managed to walk for about 8 miles for the day. We had hoped to catch a glimpse of Linda Greenlaw, author of 4 books that Bill likes, but didn't see her. We took the 5:00 PM boat back to Stonington and then drove to Bar Harbor. We ate dinner at Eden's, a vegetarian restaurant that we like.

   The weather forecast for Thursday was for high winds and rain. We decided to hike the Bear Brook Trail up Mt. Champlain to stay somewhat sheltered from the wind. After a nice hike with wind on the summit, we took a quick look at Thunderhole and then drove to Bar Harbor. We ate lobster rolls at the Harborside Restaurant with a window seat; the sandwiches were good, but not up to the ones at Governors. After lunch we walked out on the "bar" at Bar Harbor. We returned to the RV for computer work and showers before heading for the Opera House Internet Cafe. Because of the high gas prices and our meals out, we planned to dine at Poor Man's Gourmet for our last night in Bar Harbor for this trip. However, the promised cold front was very close, so we headed back to the campground to ride out the storm. It rained hard for hours and the wind was gusty, but we were snug in our RV and enjoyed a burger meal.

    It was cold overnight when the front passed by. We hit the road by 7:00 AM and ate breakfast at Kathy's Restaurant on the mainland in Trenton, ME. We enjoyed blueberry pancakes and a blueberry muffin. The day's drive was easy down through Maine, and then we had heavy traffic all the way to Easton, PA where we took Route 611 down to Tom and Katie's house. We picked up a pizza at Nat's in Doylestown for dinner. We didn't get a chance to visit with granddaughter Rachel until Saturday morning, when she was dressed in her Virginia Tech garb for the game with West Virginia at midday. Katie was off to work at 5:30 AM; the rest of us had breakfast in Starbucks. When Katie returned from work, she and Cathy went shopping for some clothes for Rachel and accidentally bought some clothes for themselves as well. Bill and Tom watched as much pregame stuff as possible on the TV and Internet and felt ready for the noon kickoff. Tom prepared his special gameday subs and we began to watch the Hokies beat the dog crap out of the hillbillies from West Virginia. At halftime, Bill and Cathy visited Mrs. Keely (Sue Beatty's mom). We were amazed as usual with her sharp mind and quick wit. On the way to the hospital, driving one of Tom and Katie's cars, a teenager on a cell phone banged into us from the rear. No injuries and no damage was done, but the kid hopefully learned an important lesson. We headed back to Cape May Beach at around 4:00 PM and arrived home just after sundown. We ate WaWa hoagies for dinner and were happy as always to be back home after a great trip.

        Bill and Cathy