Improving weather at Bar Harbor

After the monsoon-like conditions of the previous day, we went to sleep relieved by the weather forecast that the rain would be gone in the morning. It was with some consternation then, that we awoke to find that a light rain was still falling. A quick check of the weather radar revealed that we could be dealing with a light rain for most, if not all, of the day’s trip out to Bar Harbor, Maine. Yuck.

I knew that rain would not be as debilitating today since our route would be entirely two-lane highways, eliminating the drowning spray churned up by tires of speeding cars and trucks on your typical interstate highway. On the other hand, the trip would take a while because US1 between Brunswick, Maine and the Bar Harbor area would be weaving along the Atlantic coast and into dozens of small towns with congested main streets.

We loaded our mostly dry gear onto the Cruiser, donned our raingear, and headed east on US1. The light rain and light low-hanging cloud cover gave the small coastal communities a dreamy quality; distant features were in soft focus, colors were deepened by being wet, mist hung from trees and hovered over valley bottoms.

We got a good look at several attractive small towns, rolling through them at two miles-per-hour due to the congestion. On a dryer day, we would have been stopping to look around, take photos, shop a bit, etc. Today? Nope. We rolled on, intent on reaching the day’s destination on Mount Desert Island.

Soon enough, our destination was upon us and I raised the question of following the plan and heading to our campsite on Hadley Point or venturing further to try and find a hotel room. Karen was game to try to camp so we ventured forth to the Hadley Point Campground to leverage our reservation. They had reserved us a nice sheltered campsite in the woods. With very little rain falling, we pitched our tent and unloaded the Bike.

One of the cool features of my Nemo Morpho AR tent is the convertible vestibule area. The tent has a single-wall construction but the three front-facing doors are covered by a separate fly. In wet conditions, you can unhook the door “wall” from under the fly and pull it back so it hangs like a curtain, creating a sheltered vestibule for wet gear that would otherwise be inside your tent getting everything wet. We put the dry Thermarest pads, sheet, and sleeping bags inside the tent and everything else went in the vestibule.

We then remounted the Cruiser and headed into Bar Harbor, which is a nice little town with multitude of shops offering a pleasant mix of trendy upscale art items and cheap touristy crap. We were exceedingly lucky that we were slowly idling our way though town when a driver pulled out of their parking spot right in front of us. While this doesn’t sound lucky, and would usually prompt me to lean heavily on the horn button, it left an open parking spot right on the main street of Bar Harbor. Anybody who knows about living on the east coast of the US, parking spots are almost cherished more than winning lottery tickets. We darted into the open spot and engaged in a little shopping.

It wasn’t too comfortable wandering through shops with wet raingear still on. Luckily, after a first “lap” around the shops in the main street, the rain had completely halted and we took off the raingear and left it back at the Cruiser. It was then that we noticed that the two-hour parking limit we had would extend until after the 6pm end of enforcement. Bonus!

Slightly more comfortable, we wandered around a bit more and found a good place for some food, Geddy’s, and indulged in a couple of lobster rolls and a tasty beverage or two.

After dinner, the evening sky had broken cloud cover illuminated from below by the purple-orange rays of the already set sun. This sight was not only breathtaking, it was encouraging since it reinforced the forecast that (again) predicted that the following day would be sunny and rain-free.

We stopped at the grocery store for something to snack on that evening and headed back to the campsite for a campfire. I splurged on two bundles of (thankfully) dry wood and quickly had a roaring fire bathing our little corner of woods in a wavering orange glow. As the moon rose and shown through the trees, we were able to remove our boots and dry them off on the stones around the fire.

Aside from the late arrival of our neighbors, a family of six in a minivan who did a very good job of keeping quiet, the evening slowed quietly and calmly to a sleepy end.

Tomorrow would be our tour of Acadia National Park.

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