Travel by Any Means Necessary

Tag: Mount Desert Island

Mainely Acadia: On the Quietside

Bass Harbor Head Light in the Fog

After spending a week in Southwest Harbor, we headed out to see some of the highlights of the Quietside. As I explained last week, we had about 6 hours with nowhere to call home base, so after visiting the Gilley Museum, we continued around the Quietside, first with a stop at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (top).

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is probably the most popular photography spot in Acadia National Park. If you want to shoot it at sunset, better get there early because as I wrote about last year, photographers get there early and they will not budge to let you get one quick shot. Luckily, we had some interesting fog on the day of our visit that made for interesting shots even in the middle of the day. What these iconic photos don’t show you, is that to get this shot, you have to stand on jagged rocks. If getting this shot is on your Acadia bucket list, bring sturdy shoes and make sure you are surefooted. You wouldn’t want to damage your camera gear and yourself just trying to get a picture. After the fuss of getting a shot last year, I think this lighthouse is overrated. You want a unique Acadia shot? Getaway from the crowds and do some hiking! You can catch sunrise or sunset from the top of a mountain and unlike Cadillac Mountain, you will have the mountain all to yourself. Hopefully soon, Chris will share some of his early morning hikes in Acadia.

Waves crashing on the seawall.

After leaving the Lighthouse, we headed over to the Seawall (left). In Michigan we have seawalls, but they are mostly concrete barriers that keep the water from eroding your lawn. Acadia’s seawall is natural and made of jagged rocks and gravel. Being on the Quietside really makes a difference for the crowds and the seawall is a great spot to capture the crashing waves without the people you will see at Thunder Hole. You may remember, this was a favorite spot of yours on our first trip to Acadia because we stayed at the Seawall Campground and drove past every day.

If you are planning to visit Acadia, make sure to get away from the crowds and spend some time on the Quietside of the island. To read more about this trip, check out the Mainely Acadia Trip Report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Mainely Acadia: Wendell Gilley Museum

A Gilley duck on display in the Wendell Gilley Museum.

Have you ever made a stupid mistake when planning a trip? On this trip, even though four people were sitting around the table when we booked it, somehow we managed to book our flights a day later than our house in Southwest Harbor. Luckily, the owner of our house sent us a reminder the day before so we had time to find someplace new to stay. The bad thing was that we had several hours to kill between when we needed to be out of our house in Southwest Harbor and when we could check-in in Northeast Harbor. Luckily, there is plenty to do to kill time on Mount Desert Island.

We started our day at the Common Good Cafe, an interesting coffee shop/breakfast place that is entirely on donations to support the soup kitchen they run in the offseason. We enjoyed popovers and coffee outside on our last full day in Maine while we listened to local musicians. It was a unique dining experience, but it was good to know that you were supporting the local people and the popovers are just as good as Jordan Pond House!

Carved Puffin at the Gilley Museum

After breakfast, we headed to another Southwest Harbor establishment, The Wendell Gilley Museum. Wendell Gilley was a Mount Desert Island plumber who gained fame for his wooden bird carvings. The museum opened in 1981 and features many of Gilley’s pine and paint bird carvings. The carvings are very intricate and amazingly lifelike. The museum is small and typically features a non-carving exhibit among the many carvings. If you’re in Southwest Harbor with time to kill or looking for something to do a rainy day on Mount Desert Island, The Gilley Museum is not a bad place to check out. They regularly have a carver on hand and it is very interesting to watch them work!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by next week to see where else we went to kill time on our last full day in Maine. Be sure to read about previous entries in our Mainely Acadia trip, as well. To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Mainely Acadia Trip Report

We have returned from our second trip to Maine and Acadia National Park. We were there for 7 full days, which is the longest I have stayed in one place on vacation ┬áin years. Luckily there is a lot to do on Mount Desert Island to keep a traveler busy. Here’s a run down of our itinerary.

Day 1: Drive from Manchester, New Hampshire to Southwest Harbor, Maine

Day 2: Acadia National Park – Park Loop Road and Wild Gardens of Acadia

Day 3: Hike South Bubble Mountain, Explore Bar Harbor, and Sunset Nature Cruise

Day 4: Explore Southwest Harbor and Asticou Azalea Gardens

Day 5: Drive to Schoodic Peninsula and rainy day shopping

Day 6: Bike the Carriage Roads

Day 7: Killing Time: Wendell Gilley Museum, Explore the Quietside, Return visit to Park Loop Road, Lunch and Tour at Atlantic Brewing Company

Day 8: Carriage Tour and Explore Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse on the way back to Manchester

As you can see, this was a busy trip without much down time. Chris did a lot of solo hikes on this trip that I didn’t mention. I will have to have him write up some of his experiences at some point during this trip report.

One of the things that made this trip different than any others was that we brought my mom and my grandmother along with us. They are definitely not used to our speed of travel which made things challenging, but we were able to go off on our own a few times and do things they would not have wanted to do.

Be sure to check back next week as I begin recounting our trip in detail! Until then, thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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