Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Bass Harbor Lighthouse and Friends of Acadia

Thursday August 17, 2017                                                                   Most Recent Posts:
Seawall Campground                                                                     Shut Out on Acadia Mountain
Acadia National Park                                                                    Moving INTO Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, Maine


For our last day at Seawall David and I do two different things.

He leaves early to volunteer with the Friends of Acadia trail maintenance crew.  He’s been wanting to do it and today is his last chance.


A 8:00  the crew gathers in front of one of the administration buildings at Acadia National Park and assignments are chosen.



There’s a chart with the different projects for today with information about each project.  It’s volunteer’s choice.  David chooses the bottom project although it didn’t turnout to be a cleanup.  It turns out to be a continuation of some new trail creation on the Jordan Pond trail which we had hiked previously and had to go around the work in progress.  So that was very cool that he was able to work on the project where he first learned about the opportunity to volunteer.   Don’t you love the “difficulty” ratings?



Heading down the trail to the work area.


The team leader on the front left is explaining the work plan to the volunteers.


First work is on the cribs.  I call them platforms for the boardwalks.  Each stake marks the location for the crib frame to establish where to lay the walking planks across to make a continuous boardwalk from one end to the other.  Unfortunately Acadia is experiencing a real drought although it’s lucky for this trail work since little damage is made to the area by all the walking around.




The volunteers are split into teams and begin the work   David joins the young people’s team.  He describes the girl as experienced, had done this before, knew how to operate all the tools while the young man on the left didn’t have much experience or confidence.  Nice switch of gender roles I thought.



Here’s David with an in motion swing with a pick axe.



At this point he isn’t actually working on the crib but on the landing point where the first boards are intended to be flush with the ground and extend to the first crib.  The use of a level was critical at all times.  The grade from one crib to the next could not be more than 3%.  The group leader would decide which crib needed to go up and which down to create a nearly flat walking surface that would be no danger when wet.   They don’t want anyone to slip on a slope.   Beyond the young woman, a second team is considering another section.








The team leader is checking out the first span from David’s entry log to the first crib.  He’s checking out the level and considering whether it needs to be raised or lowered or perhaps a step added.  From the smiles it looks like he must be fairly happy with the work.




Here’s a look at the progress being made.  The far end shows the in ground piece David had done with the plank to the first crib.  They decided to raise the first crib a bit to line up better  to the second crib.  




The information when you volunteer says that you will come at 8:00 and work until noon and then everyone will have lunch here afterwards.   But only David had brought his lunch and stayed.  He was disappointed not to get to share some comments, experiences and stories of the morning with the members of all the teams.

He says it was a great way to spend a morning and he highly recommends it.   No doubt he would have done it more had he known about it earlier in our stay.




While David is off with the volunteers building those important environment protecting boardwalks, I’m playing.  Doesn’t seem fair does it but I’m not much of a handy woman.  More of a helper go-fer.

I have some chores to take care of first so I don’t take the bus until after 10am.  My goal ultimately is to go to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse but I first want to stop and check out Eat-a-Pita & Cafe 2 in Southwest Harbor.  Not sure why such a cumbersome name but I showed some pictures of it on my last trip to the little town.  Today I’m actually going to have brunch there.

The cafe is located right on the Main Street.  It has tables inside and outside under awnings.  Outside tables areseparated from the town sidewalk by lovely flower/vegetable boxes.




It’s just before 10:30 when I arrive and many people are at tables both inside and out.




Still there are many open tables to choose from although  while I’m there, every table fills.  I pick the one at the far in the corner next to the flower boxes.




I order and while I wait I spend my time enjoying some Mary Oliver as the cars move slowly by.  I have hot water with lemon and love that they bring me a pot of water in addition to just a cup.  The breakfast is delicious.  Everything is cooked to perfection.  I rate the potatoes as outstanding.




After breakfast I have some time to walk a round a bit before the bus comes that will take me to Bass Harbor Light.  In the post office parking lot I find this seriously decorated truck.   What a riot!!   The owner definitely has opinions and wants to express them.





Here’s a couple of close ups.  Wish I”d moved my camera up just a bit on the picture on the left.  I intended to include the two stickers above including Erosion Happens and Earth Got the Blues.





The bus driver very kindly drops me off, not at the formal bus stop across from Bass Harbor Campground, but at the top of the road that goes down more than half a mile to Bass Harbor Light.  Saves me maybe 1/4 mile walk.   Island Express bus drivers are wonderful.  Just raise your hand anywhere they are coming toward you and they will stop and pick you up.  They will also drop you off anywhere they can safely stop.



I’ve been here before so I know that there are two views of the lighthouse.  One is the famous one over the rocks, the other is the one that shows the attached keepers house from the other side.   I check out the keeper’s house first

Bass Harbor light was built in 1858 at a cost of $4983.35 with an additional $50 for the land.   I’m swooning over the price for this land.  Originally it had a 5th order Fresnel Lens.  Presently it has a 4th order Fresnel.  The lens was electrified in 1949 and automated in 1974.


I walk down the drive to the keeper’s house.  All of this is Coast Guard Property.  Not sure if they use the house as living quarters or not.  If so, I feel very sorry for the occupents with all the people wandering around their house all day every day during the season.



Thes light is obviously attached to the keeper’s house.  The fog signals here were all bells, two of which are on display.  The sequence of bells is very interesting.  1876-hand bell, 1898-Steam Operated Bell, 1902-Pyramidal Bell tower,  1949-Electric Operated Bell and 1974- Bell Buoy which is still operational. 



The bell tower was just on the right edge of the picture above.






From there I have to go back up the hill, through the parking lot and pick up this path at its far end to see the classic view of Bass Harbor Light.




Several flights of wood steps and then rock steps are required in order to get near the foot of the cliff for the view.





At the bottom of the steps, the lighthouse is not visible and I saw a number of tourists  without the proper shoes for navigating this rocky way.





There are some large obstacles to negotiate for even this sliver of a view.




I get closer and closer but it’s still not the view I’m looking for.




This is a little better but the view I really want is WAY over there and I”m not sure I’m up to even more navigation of these rocks.




I think this one will have to do for my postcard attempt.  I do love lighthouses and am a bit unhappy that I can’t get the shot I really want.   But how lucky am I just to be here on this beautiful day ahead of the big mass of tourists I’ll find when I head back up.




Not that there aren’t any people here but the later it gets, the more there are.  And who can blame them.  What a fantastic spot!



Just before I leave I make a selfie attempt and then take these two pictures with my phone which uncharacteristically did a pretty good job. 






My selfie is photobombed by a woman being very careful on the rocks.  Climbing is definitely the safest way on this uneven and slick surface.



To get back, I’ll walk back over the rocks, up the steps, half mile up the road and then another bit down Route 102 toward this bus stop to catch the bus back to Seawall.   Imagine my surprise when I get to the parking lot and see that it is packed full and cars are lining the road.  Cars everywhere and in line for the next parking space in the lot is David who has come to rescue me.   My hero!!   What a surprise!  He’s right on time!!
Thanks David.
He’d already waited 10 minutes so he opted to just turn around and head back.




It’s about 2:00 now and I’m glad he’s come to get me.  We have packing up to do and this saves a lot of time.  Tomorrow we head over to the mainland to the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia National Park.  

As you’ll see from up coming posts, there just isn’t any end to all there is to do here on the coast of Maine.


  1. That lighthouse is a beauty! Wonderful shots.

  2. How nice of David to volunteer with the park! Helping create part of the trail you hiked was extra special. Great job, David!!

    Looking forward to what you find in the Schoodic Peninsula sections. Friends were just there and the new park is wonderful.

  3. Sorry to have missed that breakfast with you, but I see you had Mary Oliver there - probably better company. Working on the trail crew was fun for me, I like that kind of outdoor work. Too bad it was so crowded at the lighthouse.

  4. I'm experimenting with different ways to make scrambled eggs. Were those all puffy, or more solid? They look really good.

    Virtual hugs,


  5. Thank you David for your volunteer work. All of these iconic places are crowded. But your delightful photos still have me wanting to see Acadia.

  6. Yay, David! So cool that you volunteered -- and looks like you signed up for the most difficult work, swinging a pickaxe. Sherry, how lovely to have breakfast with Mary Oliver. You had a gorgeous day for your lighthouse hike. :-))

  7. Really neat to get to volunteer. That's terrific! Great work with the axe and good for that woman looking busier and more helpful than all the younger men! Your morning looked good, too Mama. Mary Oliver and outstanding potatoes! Love the lighthouse pictures. Pretty spot!

  8. You know, I just noticed today that both of us have a quote from Thoreau on our blogs and it was on the bumper sticker you photographed here as well. I was reading in "Fantasyland" the other day that the author found Thoreau's claims of roughing it a bit overstated as he was a half hour walk from town and he spent most of his life living in Concord. I'd never bothered to look into an overview of his actual life story, but a quick glance shows that it's all a matter of perspective for while he did return to "town" living he lived relatively simply and still spent time in nature including climbing Mt. Katadin - and all through recurring bouts of tuberculosis. A reminder that we don't all view the same information or even the world through the same lens. If you're interested I found this link today, it piqued my interest enough that I'll probably look into some biographies if I can


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