Ah, yes, Tuesday. It’s the rain day you’ve all been waiting for (you knew it was coming, right?!). We awoke disappointed but determined to enjoy the day anyway. Our activities began with breakfast at Jeannie’s, where I had pancakes again (banana this time) and Rich ordered the French toast made with thick slices of Jeannie’s homemade oatmeal bread.
By the time we finished eating, the brighter spots that had shown in the sky while we were waiting were once again dark, and the rain was coming down hard. Knowing how vastly different the weather can be at different points on the island just miles apart, we decided to take a drive down to Bass Harbor. Of course we had our sights set on a tri-station, but flexibility is the key on wet days like this. The lighthouse would look nice in the mist, and even going for a drive would be scenic and adventurous enough, if it came to that. But I was really hoping for decent weather and decent access to the tri-station (BASS HARBOR RESET, PE1836).
As noted by us as well as another geocacher, the aerial photos show a rather distinct trail or old road heading nearly directly east toward the tri-station from the road to Bass Harbor Head lighthouse. Before heading out, Rich and I had used USAPhotoMaps to find coordinates for the apparent intersection of the trail and the road. At the site, though, wandering around in the mist, we couldn’t find a single access point or even any indication of an old road. We find this strange because the aerial photo is just over 10 years old.
The only hint of a trail we found (and promptly lost) began at the lighthouse parking area. We entered the woods and headed northeast on this trail and then bushwhacked toward the coordinates. There is a small network of trails in this area and, we were thrilled to see, someone has set up well-constructed wooden bridges here and there along the trails! (I won’t confirm that they’re for mountain biking, which isn’t allowed in the park except on carriage roads, but let’s just say I’d love to ride here.)
The woods were incredibly thick with pine, blueberry and other scratchy scrub trees which cut us up as we picked our way toward the coordinates. Eventually we reached an area clear of trees, although we were still waist deep in scrub. Small rock outcroppings appeared here and there, and though it took us a while to zero in on the bolt, we eventually found it just a few feet from a large pile of rocks.
The reference marks soon followed, fortunately, because by this point the mist had turned to a heavy sprinkle, and all our equipment was getting wet. We measured and photographed, and then picked our way back out through the moist mossy gnarled woods. Somehow on our way back we stumbled across some different segments of trail, and some new bridges. I’m very impressed with the quality of workmanship!
Tempted by Beal’s, we drove over to Southwest Harbor. It struck me that there were some USGS marks in this area; one was supposed to be on the post office, which appeared before us on Clark Point Road. The building was from the 1930s, so it was possible that this was the original post office, though it didn’t quite look right. We parked and rounded the corner to the north side of the building, making our way to the northeast corner. The mark was supposed to be set into the building foundation one foot above the ground and 12 feet in from that corner. Nothing matched up, though. Not only was there a wall from some sort of enclosure (admittedly a recent addition to the building) right at the 12-foot mark, but the concrete foundation didn’t stretch more than nine inches above the ground before the layer of brick began. There was no room for a mark. The young man in the post office was a new employee and had no idea about its history, though a man waiting behind us in line claimed that the old post office had been up on Main Street and was now the Little Notch Bakery. File that away for later.
We continued on Clark Point Road to Beal’s, but the place was packed. The indoor tables were claimed, and with rain was still coming down, drizzly and chilly, we decided to wait for another day.
Rich parked briefly back up on Main Street and I investigated the Little Notch Bakery building. There was even less here to suggest that a mark had ever existed on the northern side, so it’s back to the drawing board.
After a brief but lovely little nap back at the room, we drove (now in pouring rain) to McKay’s Pub for supper. In an atmosphere of dim light and quiet (no screaming kids! How we hate screaming kids, and the parents that let them scream!) we enjoyed a relaxing supper as we talked over our day. A couple pints of Guinness were the perfect accompaniment to (well, anything, but in this case) Welsh rarebit for both of us, fish and chips for me, and a bistro steak for Rich. I also had the McKay’s salad, a colorful combination of lettuce dressed with vinegar, pears, Cashel blue cheese, walnuts and golden raisins. Rich’s steak was cooked perfectly (which for us means barely cooked) and served with mashed potatoes and petite green beans in a mushroom and marsala sauce. Havana and the Burning Tree are much more exotic, but I was impressed both this year and last by McKay’s offerings, when we’re in the mood for something just a little less intense.
The rain was still pouring down on us when we walked to Cool as a Moose. I bought the “Life is Good – Cool as a Moose” shirt I’ve wanted for a year now, and Rich bought a hat (“Think Outside the [TV] Box”). Then, drenched, we hurried back to the car and then back to our room for a long night of relaxation. With the promise of the rain being long gone by morning, we slept well and dreamed of our adventures to come!