Oh, we got there from here, boy howdy.

Trip Start Jun 25, 2010
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Trip End Jun 27, 2010


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Where I stayed
KOA Oceanside

Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kathy and I haven't been to the coast in quite a while.  Neither of us have been to Maine in over 20 years.  Kathy has a particular affinity for the ocean, so we decided to take a trip to Bar Harbor, ME.  The KOA campground is located on Mt. Desert Island in Bar Harbor by Acadia National Park.

Day 1 - Thursday July 15
We arrived this evening after a six hour-plus drive through mostly back roads until we hit Interstate 95 four and a half hours into the trip.  The scenery was very nice and we found some good spots to stop off at along the way.  I'll tell you this... traveling with a house on wheels sure has some advantages.  Kathy made some lunch and snacks, we had our own private bathroom and there were no worries at all.

Once we arrived at the campground, I found that the hook ups were too far away from the trailer for the water and electrical connections.  No sweat, though, as the very friendly and helpful manager promised he'd bring over extensions for us.  While I was taking the dogs for a walk, he had come by, hooked everything up for Kathy and we were in business. 

We plan on not having many plans.  A vacation is something that's eluded us for many years, so having these four days to do whatever we like is most welcome.  The campground is nice.  There are lots of other people here being the busy season and all, but this place is remarkably quiet.  There are kids playing and people bicycling and walking around, but there's absolutely no noise.  As I write this I'm sitting outside at a picnic table and the two things I hear are our air conditioner and the campfire crackling away in the next camp site.  Pretty nice way to spend an evening.

Tomorrow will be interesting as the lady at the registration desk told me that the Obama family is in town, so getting around the island may be a hassle.  Had I known the President wanted to see us this badly, I would have rescheduled for a more opportune time.

Day 2 - Friday July 16
Due to the site availability at the KOA, we had to relocate to a new site.  WOW!  What a site.  When they tell you you're right on the water, they mean you're RIGHT ON THE WATER.  High tide left the waves lapping no more than 20 feet from our camper.  How's that for right on the water?!  The view was spectacular, the smell of the ocean couldn't be beat and the site was nice and private.  After walking around, Kathy and I really think it was the best site in the campground, hands down.

The tidal changes were pretty dramatic and during low tide, everyone would take strolls along the gravel shore and collect rocks, shells and crabs. 

The marine layer moved in later in the day and we were socked in with a cold fog.  But I didn't mind.  I love the ocean in all seasons and conditions.  When the dank chilly air drapes itself over everything, the feel and smells of the sea change and permeate everything.

Day 3 - Saturday July 17
What a day this was.  The weather was perfect -- sunny in the low 80s and nice and dry.  The early part of the day was spent just bumming around, taking the dogs for walks and wandering around on the immaculate campground.  We've never been to a KOA before, but this place was very neatly kept.  All the campers were respectful, there was zero litter and the grounds are beautiful.

Every night between 5:00 and 8:00 a guy steams lobsters and will be happy to sell you two dinners for 39 bucks.  We didn't anticipate this, but we really wanted a nice lobster dinner, so we had to scrounge together the money between what we had in our wallets and loose change in the truck to pay for the cash-only transaction.  Holy cow, was it worth it.  The lobster guy -- who looks like Jonathan Winters  -- used to own two restaurants until he moved to Florida (then moved back to Bar Harbor, but now splits his time between here and there (eight months down there, four up here on his 12 acres just down the road... -- you learn about people when you're RVing... but I digress)).  His nephew is a lobsterman in Bar Harbor, so each day he picks up fresh lobster and some buckets of sea water.  He steams corn and lobster together and serves it with the most outstanding cole slaw you'll ever have (his own recipe). 

While I was waiting for the dinner, I struck up a conversation with a couple visiting from Holland who were here on a five-week vacation.  Very nice folks.  They arrived in New York and rented an RV, were staying up here and then were heading back out of Boston when they were done.  They, too, were waiting for their dinner so during the middle of our conversation, the lobster guy brings over their two lobsters, two ears of corn in the husk and plops it all down in a big bowl on the table.  The husband and wife both went bug-eyed, then looked at me.  The wife asked, "What do we do???"

I smiled and asked, "You've never had lobster served like this before?"  She could only shake her head.  "Welcome to New England!"  I said.  The couple laughed and the lobster guy came over and abruptly showed them how to tear one of the crustaceans apart.  They howled at what was to them a ridiculous method of getting at dinner.  Lobster Guy walked away after his speedy demonstration and started to package up my dinner.  The Dutch couple were sitting with smiles on, but looking helpless and confused.

"Just keep tearing away the shell until you get to the meat," I offered, but the husband was already at work and seemed to be getting the hang of it quickly.  I wished them luck, thanked Lobster Guy and took my dinner-in-a-bag back to the camper.

Kathy and I sat outside at the picnic table facing the receding tide.  We started in on the corn and lobster which was, without exaggeration, the very best we've ever had.  Come to find, steaming them in sea water makes all the difference, Lobster Guy told me afterward.  Boy, was he right.  I have never had such soft, sweet lobster before.  And as we sat there relishing a timeless dining tradition of lobster on the Maine shore with the ocean gently lapping just feet away, the setting sun in our eyes and the warm ocean breeze in our faces, we determined to return to this very spot.

So after one of the finest dinners we've ever had, I made my way to the office and grabbed five days and four nights in October at this very same site.

When I got back to camp, we started a fire in the fire ring and watched the orange sunset.  People walked and gathered along the shore to enjoy it, too, and that wonderful hot summer day transformed into a gorgeous cool, breezy night on the rocky Downeast beach.  As darkness set it, lots of other folks started fires in their fire rings and you could hear lively crackling all around as the orange glow bathed surrounding RVs in flickering, dancing firelight.  You could hear distant laughing and conversation as kids played and adults gathered together to enjoy each others' company.

I took the dogs for another walk after our fire was through and took in the wonderful atmosphere at the campground.  People were settling in, hanging out with their campfires, listening to low music or going for walks.  And I could instantly understand the appeal of RVing.  Could it possibly be any better than this?  Beats me, but we're determined to find out by planning more trips this season. 

Day 4 - Sunday July 17
We regrettably left today, leaving behind just a few days of activities, but memories for life.  We met many wonderful, gracious folks and had a ball seeing new places and doing new things.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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Comments

Carol Anello on

hey guys, I love it. You are living my life long dream with the RV. I am so glad you are enjoying it so much. I hope to do a cross country National Parks tour some day...... See you on the road woohoo!!!!!

Larry Coyle on

K & L: What a good time you're having in a beautiful spot. I'm sure you did right to reserve a few days in the Fall. Meanwhile, you can continue to tour around like a couple of turtles, carrying your house with you. I'm sure you're the envy of a lot of folks.

As Roy Rogers would say, "Happy trails to you..."

Lindsay, only you would think to compare a map of your travel route to an EKG!

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