Things to read...

If time is short, I'd suggest reading at LEAST The Prologue and Legend of The Pinto Bean Posts!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bar Harbor! Now where's those crazy "Most Dangerous Catch" guys? What? ohhhhh....

Good morning all! I'm well rested and ready to entertain today! A special thanks to Susan, Robertta, and Karen, who organized (very hastily) a "welcome" for me and the real star, Rocky. It was pleasant to get to sleep in a bed, eat hot food, and best of all meet lots of people! Now onward to the adventures!




I spent the night in what may become my new free camping spot, the Park&Ride(andsleep) parking lot somewhere in southeast Maine. After a lovely night of intermittent snoozing and occasional awakening to alternately kick Rockstar for barking (softly of course), and doing battle with the apparently Bald Eagle sized mosquito that was wielding a soda straw sized probiscis that managed to somehow enter and go unsdetected into my cave, I was ready for a beautiful day heading to Bar Harbor. So of course, it was pouring down rain. I comfort myself knowing that when I reach the southwest, a drought and heatwave of biblical proportions will no doubt be gripping the area as I and the one Pinto Bean of the Apocalypse pass thru. We'll see how much I whine about rain then. Nevertheless I broke camp while RTD tried hard to stand in the middle of the truck and stay dry while simultaneously getting in the way as much as possible. I must comment that this is the first time on record Rockstar was smart enough to get OUT of the rain.


Well we headed north on the interstate (yuck) but I wanted to get there with enough time to SEE stuff, and given the "raining cats and dogs" situation, I didn't feel i'd miss much. Rocky slept in the back, and occasionally passed some gas. I think this was because of my "gentle coaxing to be quiet" all night, and now he was taking full advantage of the "window's rolled up" situation. After a bit I turned off onto a nice two lane and headed south to Bar Harbor. Now one thing I've noticed here in Maine is that the speed limit is a suggestion. It is in the south, too, but there it is a suggestion of how SLOW to go. Here it is a suggestion of how FAST to go. Few people do, and I find myself passing people while i'm going below the limit. The Bean likes this. The bean likes this a lot... Makes the Bean feel like a real hoss. Just wait till west Texas... I understand the attitude though. Many of the roads here feel a lot like the Rural Route (ie dirt roads) of West TN, and those are pretty bad! I knew I was getting close to Bar Harbor by the logarithmic increase in "Fresh Lobster" signs and restaraunts as the miles ticked (slowly) by. Something else I noticed were the forests... They looked a lot like the ones in TN again. They were beau... I mean they were very pulchritudinous (look who found the thesaurus! Thanks Ernie!) The thing about forests is that their color is dicatated by the trees therein. Well, Duh! You say... I mention this b/c the hardwood expanses of the Blue Ridge and the states below Maine are such a radiant and bright green. The foilage appears as a dense and rolling carpet of lighter green and lime colored hues. As more pine gets into the mix, it REALLY darkens up the outward appearance. The darkness of the conifer blends with the brilliance of the deciduous trees to give a much darker uniform color overall. If it were a crayon, one might call it "Forest Green". Maybe I should trademark that if no one has yet!



As I rolled into Bar Harbor, I was really taken with the scenery of the surounding countryside. Once into Bar Harbor though, I must admit it was much more touristy then I'd expected. Now this isn't a bad thing per se, just not what I expected. The streets are lined with beautiful stores all selling every variety of trinket and t-shirt ones little heart could desire. They also seem to have another favorite ite0 here, ice cream! Every third store or so was a homemade ice cream store. The only other non-clothinglike store I saw in abundance here were micro-breweries. I knew then that Maine-ites and I would get along, because if there are two things I like, it's ice cream and beer! Can't say i've ever had those together, but hey i'm game. Perhaps and Dark Beer float? I wonder what looks i'd get if I asked for a pint of Guiness over Rocky Road? Oh... it's already on the menu you say? So much for my ideas... After a walk around town to take pics and buy touristy stuff, I drove around a bit to see "the rest of the town". I can hapilly say that unlike so many other tourist towns I've seen, the rest of the town was quite quaint and fine in appearance :) After that I decided it was time to see the forest... enter, The Garminator...


Now while much of this trip is "unplanned" I still brought along a Garmin C330 GPS to give me something to play with and make the Bean feel a little more sexy, as well as guide me to where I need to go when the map fails me. I have come to a few conclusions though.... 1st off, Garmin apparently mapped Maine using a covered wagon sometime in the late 1800's. I know this because the Garminator spends much of its' time trying toi show me how i'm obviously driving thru fields and forests, miles from the nearest road. Now I'm no doctor (yet) but I KNOW when I'm on a road, and I know when the Garminator is lying... Eventually it tires of attempting to convince me that I'm in a field and moves on to another of its' tricks. It now tries to to tell me that while I AM on a road, I need to turn around. Sadly, I've fallen for this little trick several times. I always feel great when 45 minutes later it has me driving back by the turn around point, whilst I hear a tinny laugh coming from its' little box. Fortunately it hasn't mastered the trick my computer loves, the infamous "Blue Screen of Death!" I'm sure if I give the Garminator time it'll get it... Nevertheless, if I ignore the "turn around" message long enough, the Garminator gives up and will occasionally take me to my destination. Sometimes though it whips out one last trick, and this is its' favorite. It takesme all the way to the "destination", usually in some industrial complex or "bad side of town" and cheerfully anounces my arrival, then sits back and awaits my impending mugging. Thanks Garminator, be glad you've not bounced down the highway yet...


Well after numerous turn arounds and a short visit to the Bar Harbor power plant, I turned off the Garminator and relied solely on my Aviator Catlike Skills of Navigation. Basically, I read the signs on the side of the road, and into Acadia State Park I went! The place is stunning, and well worth the drive. While Bar Harbor may be for the tourists, one would be doing themselves a disservice to not see the park. This is where the mountains meet the ocean, and the end result is spectacular. I stopped by a little clear lake to walk the Rockstar, and snap a few pictures. Of course, RTD was having none of it. As soon as he was out he was heading for the water. Now another thing about RTD is he is too stupid to swim, or at least he was. his first ever experience was when I was throwing his ball at my dad's pond. he'd get it in the shallows, but as soon as it got too dep to touch, he'd stop. Well one time the ball went too far, and I had to load up the boat to go get the ball. RTD hopped in the little boat and I started paddling out. No sooner than we got within three feet of the ball, RTD was out of the boat and after the ball. Sadly for Rocky (and me) where was no shallow area here. Rocky immediately panicked and began thrashing and generally drowning. I dropped the paddle over the side in my hurry to get to my then new dog, and save him. I managed to reach over the side and get a handful of scruff, and haul his sputtering and coughig doggy self into the boat. After he was safely in the boat i turned my attention to the paddle, now floating away. That was when I heard the noise. The noise was RTD, jumping back in after the still unfetched ball. Repeat the above, except now when I get RTD in the boat, I have to hold on. Did I mentiom that my dad was standing thirty feet away on the bank laughing hysterically as I, now soaking wet, and hold Rocky, now both wet AND dumb, sat there with no way in. After he recovered, I think he waded out and grabbed the lead to the boat and hauled us in. Rocky's swimming has scarecely improved... He now can swim, barely. He'll walk out until his back legs no longer touch bottom, and then thrash his way vertically towards the ball using his front paws. he seriously stays straight up and down while churning the water violently and making little forward progress.... He REALLY is kinda slow...




Well as soon as Rocky saw the lake, he headed for the shore. I figured he wanted a drink and let the slack out on the lead. Once at the shore he bailed on in and headed out. I realized RTD was a dog on a mission... Apparently he saw the stumps in the middle and assumed they were small animals. B/C they were small animals, it fired up his instinct to go drool on them, so off he went. I jerked him back into the reeds because there was no way i was getting wet today, and hoped to end this. Rather than turn around and come in, he instead stood up on his hind legs and bounced like a sixty pound meerkat. I'll post a pic of a meerkat, and you all can imagine the rest... Once he was FINALLY safely back on shore RTD started into another of his favorite pastimes, eating the local vegetation. Now I have no idea what grows here, but I didn't want to see it again in the back of the Bean, so I pulled him off, much to his chagrin. Yup.... that's my dog, the salad eater...






Eventually I got the tripod set up for the requisite man and dog pics, and then struggled thru about ten shots before finally getting one worthwhile. Here are a few select "attempts". Notice the look of ezasperation and defeat on my face. notice RTD's intense stare in the direction of the stumps. After that debacle we hit a few other scenic overlooks where Rockstar attempted to befriend various seagulls, with predicatable results... I'll let your imagination handle that in lieu of a lack of photographic evidence....












At the end of my park tour, we headed back to Augusta where RTD and I were warmly greeted by some followers of the blog and the localk ATT call center (if memory serves!). Rocky was thrilled to see everyone, as evidenced by the large amount of drool he expended while attempting to personally greet each and every person who was unfortunate enough to get within range of his leash... Finally we loaded up, got dinner and a warm bed provided by the good folks of Maine and the Fairfield Inn, and called it a day. now while my intent isto avoid hotels, I'll not reject hospitality if possible, and let's face it, I smelled like pinto beans by this point... Today I'll head towards Syracuse, and the tomorrow, Niagra and points beyond! Have a wonderful day everyone!!










































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Take #20, Success!!

3 comments:

Clay said...

Man, those are some great shots. Looks a whole lot better than the water shed behind your dad's house. Looks like RTD is having a good time too. Does he ever ride shotgun? Or does he stay in the back? Looks as if the "Bean" is doing quite alright, must be the MSD under the hood! The Bean's pacemaker. Well, be careful on the roads. Oh, when you get back to this area, holler at me and we'll go out and do something.

Miss Em said...

Hello Daniel

I know how you feel when it comes to taking pics of you and your 'pride and joy' {??} pet. I keep trying with a know-it-all cat. I'm glad i got a digital now. At least I can now see what I'm getting before I have them printed. So much cheaper this way.

Thank you for sharing the pics of the Park. N I C E !!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your adventures! :)

Cracking UPPPPPPPP!!!

G