Acadia National Park Day 2- Aboard the Starfish Enterprise with Diver Ed

Day 2 of our camping trip in Acadia National Park in Maine started with a relaxing morning playing in the tidal pools, then we went on the Starfish Enterprise with Underwater Super Hero Diver Ed and we finished the day at our campsite watching the sunset. In case you missed my first post we were staying at Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA and more specifically site #255, which we loved.

Our boys had made friends with several other kids at the campground and they spent the morning playing on the rocks and looking for sea creatures.

At noon we headed to the College of the Atlantic where we boarded the Starfish Enterprise for an exciting adventure with Diver Ed and his crew. It was a two hour extravaganza for the whole family. We saw, learned, touched and laughed! We learned all about the sea creatures that live in Bar Harbor and also we learned about the Harbor itself. Diver Ed is quite the character and is extremely entertaining.

I was excited to take a boat ride around Bar Harbor and the views were breathtaking. The first part of the trip Diver Ed's gets suited up in his dive gear and heads to the bottom of the ocean. He has a microphone on so he reports all of his findings over the intercom. Then is wife Captain Evil tells us more about the things Diver Ed is looking for and she tells us stories about how Diver Ed sees sharks, seals and other things during his dives. After Diver Ed collects enough sea creatures he brings them back up to the surface where they are loaded onto the boat. Then he dives back down with a camera system and he takes videos of what he is seeing and we get to watch as he and Mini-Ed, in our case Mini-Ed #172, see the creatures at the bottom. Mini-Ed is helpful to let us see the actual size of the things that Diver Ed is filming.... but unfortunately for the Mini-Eds many of them don't return home.... hence Mini-Ed #172.

Then when Diver Ed returns to the surface with the additional creatures he has gathered while filming he brings that back to the surface. They are sorted in tanks of pinchy things and non-pinchy things. Everyone gets to hold all the creatures and learn even more about them from Diver Ed before they are safely all returned back to the ocean at the end of the trip.

Side note we waited at the Museum and got to take a tour before we got on the boat. I've never seen so much purple sea glass in my life!

As a special treat we got to see a lobster that was shedding it's shell. It was very fascinating.

It was such a fun adventure even for my youngest son who claims to not like going on boats. He wasn't trilled about the idea of going on a boat and asked a million questions about what it was going to be like. But he warmed up to the boat and had a great time! It is hard to not have a fun time around Diver Ed. I was so glad we went on this educational / entertaining trip. We learned so much and it really enriched our whole experience of being in Bar Harbor Maine.

After the boat ride we headed back to the campground where my husband got a lobster dinner and we relaxed by the campfire and watched the sunset.

Acadia National Park Day 1

In June we packed up our travel trailer and headed to Bar Harbor Ocean Side KOA in Maine. It was our first time camping in Maine and we only had five nights to fit in as much as we could. I did a lot of planning for this trip. I wanted to be able to get in all the best sight of Acadia National Park and not return home feeling like we missed a lot of the must see sights. I must say my planning was spot on and we not only had the most amazing time we left lots of things undone and we have many excuses to go back again in the future.

Although we might be glampers with our travel trailer we are always drawn to the mountains for our camping trips. We have a lack of them where we live at the Jersey Shore. So anytime we get to be in the mountains hiking and by water it is a win win.  Also being at a place where we could take our dogs just about everywhere including restaurants with us is an even bigger win! Taking the dogs with us means we don't have to rush back to the campground. Cheers to longer days of exploring!

We might have only been there for five nights.... but somehow I managed to take thousands of pictures! I am going to share a post for each day of our trip here on my blog. I hope to give enough information about the places we visited so you can get an idea if you would like to do some of the same hikes, excursions and all other fun camping experiences we had for our first time in Acadia National Park...... and a spoiler alert I'm sure it won't be the last time we visit Acadia!

Day 1- We woke up to a very overcast, zero visibility, gloomy morning. We had gotten in the night before and although we knew our site had a water view and we should be able to see mountains we couldn't see anything beyond 10 feet in front of us. But not to despair my itinerary for day one was as follows:

  • Get Park Loop Road Pass (pass is good for seven days)
  • Go to Sand Beach and hike the Great Head Trail
  • Visit Thunder Hole
  • Jordan Pond House for lunch
  • finish driving Park Loop
  • Low tide at campground 1:47 pm & sunset at 8:22 pm

We'll wouldn't you know we almost did all that, actually we did plus we walked around Jordan Pond!

After stopping at the visitor's center and getting our pass for the Park Loop Road our first stop was Sand Beach. I was hoping to go down to the beach and then get on the Great Head Trail, but dogs aren't allowed on the beach. But there was a back way to get there as indicated on one of the maps "If you have a dog you need to go here." So as I waited for my family to finish exploring the beach I read the signs about the beach. I love well marked trails and learning along the way!

Although it had been overcast the entire time since we left the campground the clouds parted and the view of the beach was amazing! We even got to see The Beehive and see the crazy people climbing it! But as soon as the clouds had parted they came rolling back in.

As of the marking on the trails we followed the blue marks on the rocks. The kids loved being the first to find the next marker.

I had done a lot of planning for this trip and my family didn't know about each place we were planning on visiting each day. So they didn't really have any preconceived ideas about what we would be doing and what we would be seeing.  As I was sad about the dense clouds and limited visibility my nine year old son stopped during our hike and turned to me and said "Mom I always wanted to know what it was like to walk in a cloud. Now I am walking in a cloud and it is amazing." To him and my other son they could see the tops of the mountains in the clouds and they couldn't believe they were actually in a cloud. I wasn't sad about the visibility after that comment!

 

Our next stop was Thunder Hole. This was one of my kids favorite spots. We parked the truck and left the dogs in the car and the walk down to Thunder Hole was right off the street. I was able to take a few extra pictures here since I wasn't holding onto the dogs or climbing over rocks! They say the best time to visit Thunder Hole is two hours before high tide. I did my best to plan the timing right, but it didn't work out for us on this trip. Hopefully next time. But we did get to experience some nice loud explosions coming from the crashing waves, just not the full blast that it can have.

We were starting to get hungry and I knew Jordan Pond House was on my list of possible stops for lunch and the timing was perfect. But I wasn't sure what to do with the dogs. So we walked up and tried to find a quick grab and go. They did have a little shop, but everyone wanted to try the popovers. Thankfully a person that worked at the Jordan Pond House asked me if I'd like to get a table. I mentioned the dogs and she told me dogs are welcome at the restaurant on the lawn. Well if I didn't think Acadia was amazing enough at this point that just blew my mind. So of course we got a table on the lawn. Lunch was amazing! Rocky & Rudee really enjoyed getting their own water dish at the table. It was like a slice of heaven. I don't know what we enjoyed the most: the views of the mountains, the views of the pond, the friendly staff, the popovers, the dogs enjoying a meal with us, the food! I can't pick.

After we finished eating we began to explore the trail around Jordan Pond. We hadn't planned on walking the entire way around..... but we did! I think it was a good choice especially on a cloudy day when the views from Ocean Drive weren't the best. The walk around the pond had beautiful views.

Side note: I wanted to climb up to Bubble Rock (which we could access off the Jordan Pond trail) but that would have added about a mile to our already long day of hiking and I didn't want to push the kids any further. We would have parked at the parking lot on another day to climb up to Bubble Rock and pretend we were pushing over the rock, but we never got a chance to park since the parking lot was full. That is on our list of things to do when we return.

After we finished our hike around Jordan Pond (which by the way is 3.3 miles) we get in the truck and planned on finishing up the park loop road. As we were driving the clouds started to clear out giving way to beautiful blue skies!!! We decided to head up to Cadillac Mountain to check out the view. It was amazing and the views were breathtaking! It was also extremely windy!!!!!

After taking in the views we drove back to our camp site. We finally got to see our water front views for the first time! They didn't disappoint!!! We grabbed some fresh lobster rolls that were made at our campground and headed back to our site for a campfire and some cocktails. Our first day in Acadia National Park was an amazing experience and we even got to end the day with a beautiful sunset.

 

 

 

 

 

Wolves

I visited Lakota Wolf Preserve this past weekend as part of a Tamron Photo workshop. The event was hosted by The Photo Center.  I had the most amazing time at the preserve and I learned so much about these beautiful wolves. I used my Canon 5 Mark III and I as able to borrow Tamron lens. Most of the images I took were with the Tamron 150-600 G2. I was very impressed with that lens and I hope to get my hands on it again in the future.

Gone to the Mountains Hat

I have released a new knitting pattern in my Ravelry Store. It is called "Gone to the Mountains Hat". I designed this hat with the purpose in mind to help RV Family Travel Atlas Go Fund Me page to raise money for Tents for Troops. They are raising money to buy an RV that will be at a campground for active military members and their families to use when they are on leave. The ultimate goal is to raise $10,000.00. As of right now they have raised $5,176.00. I will be donating all proceeds of the sales from this hat to the Tents for Troops Go Fund Me page until the goal is reached. 

I really enjoy RV Family Travel Atlas's podcasts and I think it is a great thank you to them as well for all the amazing content they produce with all of the podcasts, blog.... and so much more.

 

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If you are interested in donating to the Tents for Troops you can go to this site- https://www.gofundme.com/rvfta

This hat was so much fun to design and knit! It is a great stash buster and a good pattern to use up miscellaneous hand spun yarn! You can buy the pattern in my Ravelry Store by clicking here.

Happy Knitting!

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along