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

Henry David Thoreau

Trying to Speed Up

Wednesday August 23-Friday August 25, 2017                     Most Recent Posts:
Schoodic Woods Campground                                                 No  Where Near the Totality Zone
Acadia National Park                                                              Schoodic Institute, Lobstah and the Heath
Winter Harbor Maine


It was my intention with this post to pack at least 5 days in by just glossing over what we did toward the end of August in an attempt to move on to now.   I’ve spent a lot of time going through pictures and trying to see how to do justice to all the things we want to remember but make it SHORT.   Apparently I just can’t do it.   But my last post had 2 days, this one has 3 days, maybe the next one can have 4.  Still the number of details and wonderful pictures left out of this post is considerable.   It sure is harder to do the Cliff Notes version than it is to tell the whole story.  At least for me. But I’ll keep trying.  I’ll also be posting more often if I can get them written.   Really looking forward to being caught up and slowing down with this.


Wednesday August 23 – Bad Planning


Joe's Anvil to Schoodic Head  MapIf it’s Wednesday, it’s clinic day. David takes the car.   I take the bus to the trailhead of the Anvil trail and hike it up to Schoodic Head, the highest spot on the peninsula, and return by the Alder Trail.  

It’s bad planning on my part since it would have been a better hike if I’d done in it reverse. Well now I know and so do you. The reason is that the Schoodic Head Trail is really beautiful and should be hiked up, not down. Plus I think it is more difficult going down.  Lots of scrambling which I prefer to do going up.  It was my favorite trail of the 3 although there were a lot of blackberries for eating on the Alder Trail. A nice snack at the end.

There’s no real view at the summit but I’m told there are beautiful views on the way up. I don’t see any of them today because there’s too much of that Maine Coastal Fog. Oh well, it was a good hike even if I did it backwards and had no views.  Some days are like that.










IMG_2494The bus picks me up at the trail head for the Alder Trail and takes me into Winter Harbor where I treat myself to  what J.M Gerrish calls their  “Downeast Lunch”. It’s  $16.25 for a cup of Clam Chowder, a mini lobster roll and blueberry pie.   Gerrish is in the center of town and I was so hungry I didn’t take this picture of the restaurant until after I was walking away  when the lady in white was sitting at “my spot” in the corner.

The restaurant is a great old building and has seating inside and out.  The lobster roll was good although it was a regular mayo cold roll.  I didn’t realize that Gerrish’s will serve them cold with mayo or at room temperature with butter.  I found this out by listening to the folks in front of me be asked by the waitress if they wanted it mayo or “naked” which means no mayo just butter. My waitress didn’t ask me or for sure I would have had naked but I’m happy to hear they have that choice since it isn’t common.   Just means I’ll have to return to try it out. <grin>

 Living with the world’s greatest pie man, I know it’s all about the crust.  Gerrish’s pie would have been very good had the baker not be SO heavy handed with the salt in the crust.  Those wild blueberries really do make a wonderful pie.



After lunch, I check out the walking map of the town’s historic structures.  There is a lot of information on these two boards along the main street.  It’s easy to walk around and see all them all.  Notice on the map that Winter Harbor is literally held in the arms of the water. 

The building I’m most interested in is the wonderful library housed in the beautiful Channing Chapel named for William Elery Channing the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century. The library is only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. So I’m in luck and get to see the inside.



The books look wonderful here lining this warm wood paneled room.




They have turned the Chancel into a lovely reading room where I spend some time looking through their large collection of  “Maine Authors” where you can find books by authors who live in Maine, lived in Maine, wrote about Maine.  I wish every library would set aside their collection of “local” materials like this.




THURSDAY August 24 -  Up Buck Cove Mountain Trail


Buck Cove  Mountain Trail

Today we decide to do something completely different.  We’re going to hike the same trail but from different ends.  David wants to hike up the Anvil Trail and then back to the campground.  He takes the bus the same way I did yesterday.   I want to hike from the campground which turns out to be not such a good idea since the sun is in my eyes the entire way and pictures are difficult.

This is Schoodic’s longest trail at just over 3 miles from the campground to the summit at Schoodic Head.  Beginning near the group sites in Schoodic Woods, this trail skirts the edge of Birch Harbor Mountain,  passes through forests and highbush blueberries to summit Buck Cove Mountain and continue up the north face of Schoodic Head.

The trail includes narrow bog bridges, rocky areas and mostly gradual climbing. By the end of the hike, we will have climbed more than 1,000 feet because of the many hills.

The trail I took is marked in red on the best map I could find but it’s a bit fuzzy for my liking.  I wish I’d just turned around at the head and retraced my steps since the light would have been more in my favor.  David took blue and then red back to the campground.  His was the better route for morning although I would have done the Alder to Schoodic Head trails to Buck cove and would do that route again if time permits.


From the campground to Buck Cove Mountain




Today on the way up the views are clear and beautiful.



I can even see Winter Harbor Lighthouse.




David makes it up to Schoodic Head for his first visit.  I make it up for my second.




He heads down the Buck Mountain Trail and gets better pictures.


IMG_2882On my bus ride back I stop off at the Pickled Wrinkle restaurant in Birch Harbor that a lot of people recommend. The bus stops right in front of it, pretty nice for the restaurant. Outside it looks like a long low building with a huge parking lot. Inside it looks pretty much like a bar to me. I see signs for music groups playing here most nights so perhaps that’s its local popularity, music and beer.

The people eating outside are complaining about how long they’ve had to wait for their food. I think well perhaps there are tons of people inside but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. When I get back on the next bus, I ask the two women across the isle from me if they ate there. When they say yes, I ask them if they had the famous Pickled Wrinkles and how they were.   Like eating shoe leather was their reply. Well OK then. I think between my experience and theirs, I can scratch the Wrinkled Pickle off my list of restaurants to eat in.  But then I don’t drink beer and probably go to bed before the music even starts.  Your mileage may vary.







It’s wonderful to be in a place with dark skies


FRIDAY August 25
Park Loop Road and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge



IMG_0001On Friday we finally decide it’s time to actually drive the park loop road and stop anywhere we want.  The bus will  let you off at any spot they safely can but then you have to wait 15 or 20 minutes for the next one.  That would have been fine since we would have been willing to spend that much time at each place we stopped but we wanted to also squeeze in a trip to Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge nearby.

It’s clearly low tide at our first stop headed from the campground to the point.   Sometimes there are views on both sides of the road.  You really do have to pull off and walk around to see all there is including several short trails leading to hidden treasures.



You can also ride your bike along this protected bike way although it only goes over the bridge.  On the rest of the loop road bikes go along the side of the road.




We found this down one of the unmarked trails we noticed as we slowly drove down the road.






At another point we got a great look at the Winter Harbor Lighthouse complete with lobster boat passing by






When they are pulling in their catch, lobster boats are popular with the gulls.  I guess the lobstermen throw overboard anything that got caught that isn’t a lobster.



Another little path took us here.





We stop at marshes with herons who decide to  leave when we arrive.





David picks up some kind of kelp which is all over when the tide is out like this morning.  Could we eat it?   Probably.  But given the smell we don’t bring it home.  I do like kelp especially in salads.




We’re only half way around the drive when we have to cut it short to make it to the wildlife refuge in time to do anything there.  On the way we see this little cutie sitting in a field beside the road.  One of Winnona’s cousins on her father’s side.





The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge contains more than 55 offshore islands and four coastal parcels, totaling more than 8,200 acres. The complex spans more than 250 miles of Maine coastline and includes five national wildlife refuges.  The National Wildlife Service manages these sanctuaries to provide habitat for colonial seabirds such as common, Arctic and endangered roseate terns, Atlantic puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, Leach’s storm-petrels, laughing gulls and common eiders.  We certainly can’t visit all this but we’re going to do what we can and that starts this afternoon at Petit Manan.


IMG_0127Petit Manan, 28 miles from Schoodic Woods,  is one of 5 wildlife refuges that make up the Main Coastal Island National Wildlife Refuge.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service preserves 2,195 acres as part of Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses several islands and three other mainland properties. The refuge protects key nesting habitat for sea-birds and songbirds, as well as such upland game birds as the woodcock

Today we’ll  hike the 4.0-mile Birch Point Trail which we happily find  starts out crossing  an open blueberry field before winding through an upland forest. This IS the place to come for blueberry picking until you drop.  We can tell by their red leaves that they are nearly finished by now but we find some just the same. IMG_3131




Birch Point trail mapC

The trail then leads 2.2 miles to the salt marshes and mudflats of Dyer Bay. Along the way it goes through jack pine stands, coastal raised heath peatlands, freshwater and saltwater marshes, cedar swamps, granite shores and cobble beaches.

It’s an out and back hike with a side trail to Lobster Cove and a loop at the end along a cobbled beach with views of Sally Island . In preparing this blog I actually found a sort of map of the trail. I’m kind of glad we didn’t have it when we were hiking since it was all wonderfully surprising.. The trail goes from the parking area to the fork with Lobster Point, which overlooks Carrying Point Cove, on the right and Birch Point on the left. Sally Island is the little green circle just at the start of the cobble beach section on the water of Dyer Bay.


The Fish and Wildlife Service has installed the nicest and most creative interpretive signs I’ve ever seen which explain each habitat and the Refuge's management activities.   They are made of lovely wood with beautiful carvings.  Each has  four tabs to pull out and read.








We come to the fork in the road.  It has a place marker.   Which way to go first?  Lobster or Birch Point?


After studying the skull, we decide we like lobster best so it’s turn right.  We’ll catch birch at the end.



How sweet, adirondack chairs at Lobster point.  Don’t mind if we do.  Don’t know exactly what we’re overlooking since we don’t have a map.  Turns out it is Carrying Place cove.





Walking around the longer trail and loop we come to a peat bog.   After reading the first three information boards, David does as he’s instructed.



It’s true, even in this months long drought, the ground is spongy.



Next up is a salt marsh with the appropriate signage telling us all about it.   Really nicely done.



At Birch point we find another two pair of adirondack chairs perfect for seeing Sally Island and the lobster boats going to and fro..






Last stop on our tour is the cobble beach which unfortunately is mostly under water since it is clearly high tide.  We cannot walk all the way down what looks like a long cobble beach but it’s just as well.  It’s time to go back and fix dinner.




  1. Nice views! I searched and searched that trail and did not see a single highbush blueberry even though a ranger volunteer had told me I might. Still a very rewarding hike I thought.

  2. What beautiful pictures and words. Your posts have certainly been bringing the Maine coast to life.

    Celebrating the Dance

  3. Just when I was going to have to look up a definition of a pickled wrinkle, you posted a photo of the sign explaining it. :-) The Schoodic Peninsula looks absolutely wonderful. Even without views, those trails are beautiful. And Winter Harbor looks so sweet, especially that library!

  4. Wonderful shots! That stained glass appeals to me particularly.

  5. Must be tough having to live with the world's greatest pie man. Somebody has to do it, right? ;c)

    Nice of someone to lug those chairs all the way up so people can enjoy the view. Show there are still wonderful folks out there.

  6. Full speed ahead...you are really doing a great catch-up!!! You have convinced us that we need to return and spend time on Schoodic Point:o)) So much to see and do everywhere in that part of Maine.

  7. Beautiful few days and yet another impressive blog. You are skilled at your craft! Love the pictures and that they have paired Adirondack chairs on thos points. Very nice. The little library is cute. Sounds like I, too, would have skipped the Wrinkled Pickle. Interesting to know about though. Just looking at that crust, I like Dad's better ;). No doubt it was flaky, but too much salt, no good.

  8. Loved the adirondack chairs at the lookouts.

    Spent a long time at a cobblestone beach up there when the tide was coming in. Love the sounds the stones make rolling back and forth.

  9. I love your thorough stories with marvelous photos that put me there with you. That is a lovely library. Pickled Wrinkles doesn't even sound appealing and I like pickles. Seems Fish and Wildlife refugees often get overlooked for special natural places.

  10. I enjoyed all the photos, and would love to spend some time sitting in one of those beautiful Adirondack chairs!

  11. While I'm interested to know what you're up to in real time, I'm glad you didn't leave out any of this! After the lovely hike, the tasty lunch, and the serenity of that beautiful library, I'm afraid they would have had to wake me up in one of those comfy chairs to send me home at the end of the day!! Beautiful pics along the drive, I love all the little cut outs over the water. Bogs are such interesting eco-systems! Delightful to spend my morning coffee time getting caught up on your Maine posts.

  12. Hey, I've got a Maine author for you! My mother's cousin, I've bought her "How Maine Changed the World" book but haven't read it yet. Here's a link to her Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Griffin/e/B000AP9JSY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1517113410&sr=1-2


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