Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to Winter Harbor, Gerrish’s and Acadia National Park

This last Friday was our 27th wedding anniversary. As a treat to ourselves and to get away from the asphalt and humidity of the city, we loaded the Grey Ghost with clothes for the weekend, pointed ourselves north and headed up I-95 in the general direction of Canada. The plan was to stop short of the border in Orono, Maine, to visit Susie’s sister Joyce and her husband Carl.

It’s been more than two years since we’ve been in the Great North Woods and we felt a return was overdue. Our first summer back in the US was spent in the cozy, seaside village of Winter Harbor where Susie got her first job as pastry chef at “J. M. Gerrish’s Café and Provisions.” In terms of professional development that summer of 2007 was defining for her: the freedom to create and bake, the ease and comfort of small town life, the joys of living so close to Schoodic Point, part of Acadia National Park, dwarfed the occasionally darker edges of that portion of our journey.

So, Susie picked me up from work at about 1pm on Friday and we drove to Orono, arriving just in time for burgers and billiards with Joyce and Carl at Woodman’s Grill. The weather up north was incredible: 73 degrees F., 40% humidity and it was even better by the ocean.

On Saturday we headed southeast toward the ocean, traversing the two-lane mess that leads toward Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. Just short of Ellsworth we veered hard to the northeast and drove another 25 miles or so until we curved down into Winter Harbor. Not much had changed during the past three years, although the road to get there is under construction – about 30 years overdue.

Schoodic Point was the same, though – and the four of us spent quality time strolling along the ocean. I even broke out my scooter. I can now say with confidence that I have scootered on Schoodic.

We headed back into Winter Harbor for lunch. Gerrish’s was still lively and is now run by a young couple bent on producing scratch food of the highest quality. Service was, of course, a bit challenged (and challenging) this being a resort community after all. The four of us sat outside munching on sandwiches, watching the world slip by, and enjoying a day of peace, quiet and just being together.

That even we grilled food at home – sadly Joyce had to work and so it was a threesome for dinner.

The next afternoon the four of us headed back toward Bar Harbor, this time driving right onto Mount Desert Island and into Acadia National Park. We parked near the famous “Thunder Hole” and strolled for a while along the top of the cliffs. Another gorgeous day and a grand time all around.

It was late in the afternoon by the time we drove back into Bangor. Joyce and Carl suggested we eat at the “Green Tea,” not far form their home, and where we were treated to some of the best Asian food we’ve ever had.

After a round of goodbyes Monday morning Susie and I were back in the Grey Ghost retracing our steps from Friday, heading south toward the heat, asphalt and life we’ve created for ourselves here in Providence.

I just keep telling myself say brih tah knee -- and Susie keeps studying French at Alliance Francaise. More of that next time.

Ciao for now,


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