September 14:  Departure Day!

An early morning flight to Boston required a middle of the night wakeup!  Bags  packed, bike shipped, helmet in hand and it was off to the airport to start the first leg of another long distance bike trip.  The weather was relatively clear, so no surprises in flight.  Arrival in Logan Airport required some quick thinking.  Seems there is no way to get from one terminal to another without going through the parking structure and through security for the second time.  Makes for a very close connection!

But alas, Bar Harbor came in view from the window of a small commuter plane.  Nice thing about it is that everyone gets both a window seat and an aisle!!  Think about that -- just how small is this plane?

One after another we arrived at the hotel over the course of a few days.  Jan was the first after driving the van across the US.  Peg, Kathy, Candi, Courtney, Lee and Maxwell all arrived at scattered times next  -- Kathy, however, with no luggage or bike! -- Nancy, Mark and Sue landed on the scene today. 

Group assembled -- the first order of business was to eat lobster!!!  Lee used her contacts in the area and scouted out a great little lobster boil.  Up the elbows in melted butter, we survived and ate it all!!!  This is also the blueberry capital of the world, so blueberry pie with ice cream was a must for dessert.  Have to carbo load before a big tour -- rule number one in the Jan D Health Club Bike Tour guide book!

September 15: Bar Harbor "Test the Bikes" Day!

After a continental breakfast in the hotel's dining room, the group split up to test bikes, shop, kayak, tour the area or just rest before the big day coming on Saturday.  Kathy and I headed out into Acadia National Park to test our bikes and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery surrounding us.  Some of the others had done the exact same thing the day before, so were more interested in kayaking (Maxwell, Nancy and Mark) or shopping (Courtney and Candi) or resting (Peg) or preparing maps for the first day's ride (Jan) or visit with friends (Lee).  In all cases, everyone was taking it slow and easy and enjoying every minute.  

Bar Harbor was an old fishing town years ago when  whaling was in its prime.  Now it is a tourist town as a result of being the "jumping off" point for the ferry to Nova Scotia, for the whale watching boats and the cruise ships that sail the down the eastern Atlantic coast after crossing from northern Europe, not to mention it being the front door to a fabulous national park!  The streets are lined with gift shops, ice cream parlors, as well as great restaurants.

But now to the park.  Acadia National Park is the home of Cadillac Mountain rising out of the middle of the park surrounded by balsam firs and sugar maples.  The mountain itself reaches an elevation of 1530 ft above sea level.  From its top one can see 360 degrees with the sea to the east and the forests to the north, south and west.  Within the park there are trails for all levels of hikers.  Beautiful paths leading off to sights deep within its boundaries.  Also within the park is a nicely paved 22 mile one way road that lends itself beautifully to testing one's bike.  Hills and valleys, forest and meadows -- nice distractions to the road test.  Also, there sits at the crossroad of the paved way and a gravel carriage path a quaint restaurant that has existed for over a hundred years.  What had started out as a private home that would give passing vacationers a cup of tea and a popover became a carriage stop for the wealthy on their summer rides through the park.  John D. Rockefeller got in the act at the turn of the century in the  attempt to preserve the carriage route and built a "home/stable" for the carriages as well as defined the carriage pathways throughout the park.  One can stay away for the motorize carriages and ride all day behind a horse in peace!

The testing of a bike can be very tiring and a need to stop for a cup of coffee or tea and something sweet to round out the break is well deserved.  The restaurant was just the thing sitting high on an embankment overlooking Logan Pond.  Tough life, this test trial!!

Regrouping in the evening, the ceremonial "start of a long ride" dinner at a local restaurant highly recommended to Mark and Nancy was enjoyed by everyone.  To  bed to dream of that first hill in the morning.

Kathy road testing!

Our First Sign of Fall

Notice the Road Goes Up!

Logan Pond from Restaurant Balcony

Acadia National Park


And Another View!

One More!