Single Status Update
Technically it's Day One, but any day that you roll into town at 8AM after a 10-hour drive and spend the rest of the day trolling around half-asleep doesn't count. For any of you who don't read my blog with fervent anticipation, the trip started with a long drive to Bar Harbor, Maine.
The drive wasn't THAT bad, although Maine is a pretty quirky state. God help you if you have to get off the highway to find a gas station; it's half signs pointing you in the right direction and half intuition. Anyway, Bar Harbor seems to be one of those maritime towns that have a strong community of upper class. It's like they took Collegetown USA, spent a million dollars cleaning it up and put fences around it to keep the riff raff out.
Surprise, Bar Harbor is a coastal town. There actually is a college nearby, and there are a lot of students working the shops. Unfortunately, the only female element I've come across are either on their honeymoon, or fall under the age-inappropriate category.
It wasn't a good idea to have Denny's for breakfast if you don't know when you're going to have access to a bathroom.
Pretty high-class for a town that would fit inside a stadium parking lot. We aren't actually staying there; we're at a Holiday Inn. Which sucks, but the wireless internet is free.
Sweet yacht. Remind me to do a search on who might own this.
This is the "beach". Probably the strangest thing about being here is the fact that I'm used to mile-long beaches and bleached rocks. Instead, here you get mountain region features like seaweed-free stones, evergreen forests and the strange crag formations.
You'll find pretty unique houses up here. There are no developments or rowhomes; pretty much every block has a "dream house".
Maine has dozens of islands. It's a shame that there's no camera that captures the multi-layered horizon.
The hotel, for being a Holiday Inn, is surprisingly manicured. Look at the attention to detail. Why put big rocks on the lawn? They serve no practical purpose. THAT SPELLS "PURE CLASS".
I'm not sure if this little stone theater is actually part of the hotel, although it was on the property.
So it's off to my DNA-encrusted bed for another day in Bar Harbor. We'll be hiking through the mountains on the island, and the day after that we'll be taking the ferry to Nova Scotia. At that point, internet access is not guaranteed.
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Day four doesn't really count, as we were driving all damn day just to get closer to our next destination. So let's move the conversation on to day five...
We wake up on Glenora Distillery, where we checked in the night before. It's a great place to stay for any occasion.
Last night we sat at the bar listening to some fiddle & piano music and drinking their namesake. They make a unique single-malt whiskey; they're not allowed to call it scotch because it's not made in Scotland. So there you go. I don't care what it's called, I call it 'delicious'. I also had 2 glasses of the only good Irish Red I've ever drank. In the morning I took a few pics of the grounds. They had a tour of the distillery which would have been interesting, but since we were pressed for time we instead bought a few bottles of their brand and took off for the Cape Breton National Park.
There was some good scenery here as the northernmost part of Nova Scotia. There seemed to be a strong French presence for an area near a city called New Glasgow, in a province called New Scotland. Hmm. Anyway, in the above picture what you can't see are skinny dippers by those distant rocks. I didn't get the binoculars fast enough.
Heading up one of the peaks of the park. Dad was ready with the telescopic lens to get some pictures of moose. We were hoping to get a glimpse of one on the horizon somewhere.
We're now walking along the ridge, keeping an eye on the distant underbrush for a hint of moose antlers. Fun fact: bull moose grow their antlers in May, and shed them in late fall. It's better to eat them for their nutrients than waste energy lugging around 60 pounds on your head. So why grow them in the first place? *shrug*
Finally we get to see our moose! And she's taking a nap about 10 feet away from where we're walking on the trail. Jesus! I suppose they're well acclimated to the presence of tourists. To the left of this picture is its offspring, a male.
This is one of Dad's many expensive cameras.
Now we're at the end of the ridge, walking on wood boards so that we don't disturb the wildlife. That end part there that would be awesome to play badminton on? Off limits.
On the way back from our 7km trek, we discover that the moose earlier are now up and about. Unfortunately, they are dangerously close to the trail that we have to use. What to do: disturb the fragile flora, get trampled to death or set up camp?
Since I have balls of steel and brains of sponge, I decide the reasonable course of action is to stroll nonchalantly past a five-foot-tall, 300-pound moose. I assume if I act calm and rational, they may smell my casualness (like a dog can smell fear) and have no reason to flip out and kill me. My gamble paid off, because I am awesome.
Live action video of me being very close to a wild moose
Indeed, my father also had his day, as soon after we encounter YET ANOTHER cow moose with two very small foals (which probably isn't the official nomenclature but I haven't looked it up).
He's so proud. Later on we found a bull moose (again, not clear on the nameification) but that's on a different camera.
So now, we're at a Best Western with permanent stains in the carpet. I was constipated for the past two days but I managed to pinch out a lone turd as soon as we got here-- which, naturally, opened the floodgates just after dinner. We've got a long drive to Prince Edward Island tomorrow. I have no idea what we'll do there. Perhaps it involves lobster. I eaten a crapload of lobster this week and lobster is still awesome. I can't say the same for stone crab or haddock... tasteless mush.