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

Henry David Thoreau

Ice Cream as lunch, what a day!

Sunday July 21, 2013
Site 370 Narrows Too  Campground
Trenton, Maine


I blame it on Bill and Nancy.

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It was their idea to hike one of the historic paths to Bar Harbor.  They asked if we’d like to hike from Sieur de Monts to Bar Harbor in time to have ice cream for lunch and then hike back.  About 5 miles.

Our colds aren’t gone but I’m pretty sick of my cold running my life so I said you bet.  Hike for ice cream, right up my alley.  Not too far, not up a mountain.  I can do this even with the cough as long as they can stand to listen to me hacking.   They of course are gracious.   David is not a great ice cream fan but he’s up for the walk.



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So we set out at about 8:30 am to follow the Jessup Path to Bar Harbor.  The path goes through a wetlands and is up on a very nice boardwalk through long grasses on the forest floor.  It’s a very unusual environment seeing such tall grass under the tree canopy.  Lovely.




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Nancy has planned the hike and has the map but I think we take the Jessup Path until it crosses the Loop road and then we pick up the Meadow Loop trail.   Bill’s not sure.  We all trust Nancy, she’s very reliable.


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There are some really lovely views of the mountains along the way.  We pass one of the town cemeteries which has two Celtic Crosses.  I think I’ll stop to look at them on my way back  after ice cream.  ;-).


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OK now what??


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Whew there’s great Meadow Loop on the bottom.  This becomes the hike of the sign posts.

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The paths run out; the streets appear.


We enter Bar Harbor and walk down Ledgelawn Street admiring the flowers which nearly everyone has edging their yards.


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You see things in town that you seldom if ever see in the wilderness.  David and Bill spy an old truck and discuss what year it might be.


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Great bumper stickers.  This one is on a motorcycle.

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It’s still too early for lunch so we wander down to the Harbor where two cruise ships have come in for the day.


Their passengers, wearing tags around their necks, clog the streets and tourist shops near the water.   They don’t seem to stop to enjoy the park.


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One of the ships is anchored off shore.  These little orange things are ferrying the cruise passengers back and forth from the ship to Bar Harbor.  Back and forth, back and forth they go.   The harbor is a busy place when these ships are docked.


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I’m not sure how the town keeps the grass in the harbor front park so thick and soft but it is great for taking a load off your feet.


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We see the 4 masted schooner come in.

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One of the carriages comes by the dock to cruise for cruise passengers.  They have some takers.

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OK I’m watching my watch.  It’s time for ice cream!

Lunch time arrives and we try a new to me ice cream shop on Main Street called Ben & Bill’s.  I think it’s because of the name that the server  gives Bill and Nancy extra large dishes of ice cream.  So large they can’t keep up as the  ice cream melts and runs down the sides of the dishes.  Our server isn’t so generous with David and I, wrong names I suspect, so we don’t have those troubles.

Bill speculates that he can count on 2 or 3 fingers how many times in a year Nancy eats ice cream.  Today is one of them but it’s a lot for her.  So I jokingly tell her that I’ll help her finish it and she tosses me the dish.  Bill’s comment is that he’d break my wrist if I reached for his.
Which of course I never would knowing that he is every bit the ice cream lover that I am.   This is before Nancy gave up on hers but Bill still looks a little worried doesn’t he??


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We walk off the ice cream heading back up Main Street and just past the library we bid Bill and Nancy good-bye.  


They are returning to Sieur de Monts.  It’s 1:00 and David and I are going to go over to Reel Cinema to  join the Maine Sierra Club for the Bar Harbor Environmental Film Series.  Today the free film is ‘John Muir in the New World’.  John Muir is the founder of the Sierra Club and an amazing early 20th century environmentalist.

Inside the lobby the club has some information on issues of concern to them like the East West Highway, advocating for a Tar Sands free Maine, the Schiller Power Plant, and the hugely expensive border fence.


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They also have a free drawing.  I never win anything but David does so I put both of our names in the hat while he goes and gets a large refillable popcorn as our after dessert lunch.   Do not imitate these people’s eating habits!!


The film is excellent.  The cinematography is terrific, the scenery gorgeous.  Muir is definitely an inspiration.    As we leave, David takes a picture of me through the door with the movie poster or it.  The reflections make it pretty hard to see either me or John Muir clearly but look at my hat.   I WON a door prize!   A Sierra club hat.  Can you believe it!  What a great day this has been.  AND I didn’t cough once in the film although I did sit on the isle so I could hurry out if that happened.


Time to walk off all this junk we have eaten.  We try to retrace Nancy’s steps and don’t do a perfect job of it but we manage to find the cemetery where I learn that the larger of the crosses was given in dedication of the cemetery whose grave stones have a lot of Irish names on them.  The smaller of the two is the grave of an early priest of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.  Both crosses are suffering from lichen damage.  I love the Gaelic designs.  I have never thought of Irish Catholics as settlers of coastal towns in Maine.   I’m learning something new every day here.



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This really is my lucky day, ice cream, popcorn, a hat win and………



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We get ourselves back on the Great Meadow Loop and ultimately to the Jessup trail where we are enjoying once again the grasses and the views.









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We arrive at the boardwalk and haven’t walked very far along when out of the corner of my eye I see something VERY LARGE float by.  I stop on a dime and turn my head to see what it is.   And there less than 3 yards from me on the right on a tree branch is a barred owl.  I look into his big black eyes, he looks into mine.  We stare at each other.  It is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.  I reach for my camera and he turns his head away.

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I wait patiently for him to turn back but he’s clearly finished with me so I take these pictures. 

Just as silently as he came in, he flies off down the board walk.  Not a sound does he make.


I’m as excited as a kid at Christmas as I walk on down the boardwalk. Did you see that?  Did you see that?  I ask David.   I step beyond a large tree and there on my left even closer to the boardwalk he sits again and stares at me.  This time I do pick up my camera and he replies by silently gliding back further into the woods to stare. 

This time I get his picture.  

He’s magnificent!!

I only wish you could see the deep wells of his eyes as I did.

What a day!
How grateful I am to have been in just the right place at just the right time!


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  1. wonderful flower photos, and terrific owl sighting! Woo-hoo!

  2. Another great post! Love to "walk" with you. Great pictures of the owl! I remember years ago my kids found a baby owl in our wooded back yard. They brought it to me and for some strange reason I was surprised that it looked like an owl. I had always heard that a Mother bird won't go near a baby if it has been touched by humans, but I had a feeling she had to be nearby so I told them to put the baby right where they had found it. Sure enough, along came the Mother. The baby couldn't fly yet, but she stayed near it and within a few days, they left. That makes me remember that I was "Mrs. Owl" in a school play in third grade. My Mom went through great lengths to make me a beautiful owl costume. I mean she made me an unmistakeable owl. My only words were, "Hoot, hoot, I'm Mrs. Owl". I either forgot them or had stage fright, but I never said them...the teacher from behind the curtain did a fine job as she yelled from behind the curtain, "Hoot hoot! I'm Mrs. Owl."

    I smiled at the old truck. I came across one the other day--very similar. 1953 Chevy pick up. My son owns a vintage vehicle and belongs to some clubs. It was for sale so I got the number and sent it to him in case someone was interested. Glad you were well enough to take the hike AND eat the ice cream.

  3. wow! no colds in this post, hip hip hooray! you fought it off with the ice cream, I am sure!

  4. How cool to see the owl! Ice cream for lunch is a great idea. I'm glad to read that there are campgrounds within walking distance to towns. These are the places I need to add to my travel bucket list.

  5. I'm not a hiker, but my sister is coming in a few weeks and insists we go on a hike we started last year but didn't finish. The reward of the hike is a beautiful waterfall at the end. Tamanawas Falls. Deep in the woods, it's not a nice board walk or paved trail. But I plan on having fun. I had to laugh about the owl. All my life I thought they were "barn" owls.... Now I hear they are "barred" owls. Glad you told us that. Was that Ford truck a 1953? I love the ice cream for lunch thing. Did you get coconut flavor?

  6. Ice cream... Yum! Absolutely beautiful owl pic. Eye contact with the owl is really special.

  7. Sure glad you have your priorities right when it comes to ice cream but I thought you were a healthy eater. ;) I don't get the whole cruise ship thing yet have never done it. Any film about Muir should be good. Congrats on your hat. A shame those celtic crosses are disintegrating. All this topped off by the magic of the owl. Another great day in Maine.

  8. You had me on the ice cream but then and then ... the owl! how cool is that?! jeeeez I wanted to be beaver slapped and now I want to see an owl like that looking at me. dang

  9. I never turn down ice cream :) We have yet to see an owl in the wild..too cool for you!

  10. Beautiful day... Wonderful walk... Thanks for the help with the ice cream;o)) Glad you got the "up close" owl experience!!!

  11. Ice cream is the cure-all ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Great encounter with the owl.

  12. What a great day. Ice cream for lunch, popcorn and a movie afterwards and best of all an encounter with an owl. Wow!

  13. Bill and Nancy are bad influences...well Bill is, anyway! :cD

  14. Wow-great day! You had ice cream and won a sierra club hat-how fun :) And the owl..
    how amazing - such an experience that probably few have. Beautiful walk and crosses..so glad you went with Bill & Nancy despite the colds!

  15. Love your blog today--you own shots are outstanding, what a cool experience. And ice cream for lunch--the best!

  16. A giant bowl of ice cream and an owl sighting in the same day. Doesn't get much better than that!

  17. Loved spending every part of this day with you from the walk, the ice cream, film, cemetary visit, and magical owl encounter. Glad to know you are feeling better!

  18. Living the dream -- beautiful hike, ice cream, movie, popcorn, beautiful hike. Sounds like a perfect day!

  19. Indeed, this was a GREAT day with some discrete experiences to make it stand out among all the other great days! The Muir documentary & the owl sighting put this day over the top for me. Congratulations on your win!


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