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Bar Harbor and the Loop Road

On Sunday, July 16 we attended Calvary Chapel Downeast in Trenton, Maine in the morning and met some lovely brothers and sisters in Christ while getting spiritually fed studying Acts 11. We've had rain, heavy at times, throughout the night, so we planned to take advantage of the Island Explorer bus after church. We returned back to the Bar Harbor Campground and picked up the bus from there.

The fare-free Island Explorer features bus routes linking hotels, inns, and campgrounds with destinations in Acadia National Park and neighboring village centers. Clean propane-powered vehicles offer Mount Desert Island visitors and residents free transportation to hiking trails, carriage roads, island beaches, and in-town shops and restaurants.

Our first stop was the Bar Harbor Village Square. We had yet to visit since arriving. Over-priced restaurants and typical souvenir shops lined the main square and the street down to the marina. I found some interesting subjects for a photograph: an old church and graveyard and a beautiful inn on the water. But honestly, Karen and I could not wait to leave after an hour and a half of "sightseeing" a majority of the town. In my opinion, Bar Harbor is a quaint town that has become commercialized.

We walked back to the Village Square to take a bus to Acadia National Park's Hull Cove terminal to change buses. We wanted to take the Loop Road bus (Route 4) around the park. Arrived early enough to change to the #4 bus and got a different view of the park while someone else did the driving. We stopped at Sand Beach for ten minutes, so I got out to capture a couple of images. Believe it or not, people were actually getting into the 55ºF water, which the park service warns is "Wicked Cold". Once back on the road we continued on to Jordan Pond. It was almost 5 PM and we decided to stop at the Jordan Pond House for "Tea Time".

In addition to tea we enjoyed the Specialty Tea Time Tray with cucumber tea sandwiches, berry scones, smoked salmon canapés, seasonal fruits & pastries for $ 24.99. And we had to order one of their famous popovers, served with Maine made strawberry jam & butter. The popover recipe they use at Jordan Pond House is now used at the Asticou Inn, in nearby Northeast Harbor.

The Jordan Pond House traces its history back to 1847. The first settlers conducted a logging operation, establishing a small mill near the foot of the pond. The original farmhouse was built by the Jordan family of Seal Harbor, for whom the pond and house were named. It is situated at the southwestern corner of the Park Loop Road, overlooking Jordan Pond from its southern shore. Two rôche moutonnées, known as "The Bubbles", provide the backdrop to the view from the house's lawn at the rear of the 60-acre property.

Jordan Pond House was established as a restaurant by Melvan Tibbetts in the early 1870s. In 1883, Bostonian Charles T. How, one of the first to develop real estate in Bar Harbor, bought the property. In 1895, Mr and Mrs Thomas McIntyre took over the business, which would remain in their hands for the next half-century. Near the end of this reign, John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the property and donated it to the National Park Service to ensure its continued existence.

We finished our tea time visit at Jordan Pond House and caught the last Island Explorer back to the Visitor Center and then back to our campground. We stayed dry, despite the rain and decided to skip a big dinner when we got back. A pleasant and relaxing "day of rest".


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