Acadia Adventures 2017 – Day 11

Everything came together perfectly on this “lobster day!” Here’s a little context: Rosalie’s is closed on Mondays, and we knew we wanted to have pizza one more time before we leave for home on Tuesday. That meant that tonight would be pizza night. And we typically have lobster for lunch on a day when we’ll have pizza in the evening. And we knew we’d want basically a rest day, so today was it!

We spent some time this morning in heavy fog at the farmer’s market. We missed it last Sunday—somehow we forgot about it, actually, until we were on the bus heading somewhere else and happened to pass by. Everything looked great, but we have no way to bring produce home so we stick with items that don’t need to be refrigerated—of course, with the exception of goat cheese. We can purchase as much as we can fit into our tiny cooler.

Sunset Acres had a stand at the market, as expected, but I was also so thrilled to see that Yellow Birch Farm was back! They make a fig and kalamata olive goat cheese that I just love. They were absent from the market last year and I thought maybe they had just dropped out for whatever reason. I didn’t expect to see them here again so it was a real treat, and yes, they had the fig and olive cheese and several others I couldn’t resist either! We bought the fig and olive, a “plain” garlic and dill, and Lichen, which is aged, ashy, spicy and just indescribably delicious. I wished I could have bought more, but we only had a small cooler and it was already nearly full.

Well, after we bought the cheese, salami, trail mix and two pasta sauces we headed back through town and decided to stop at the Hannaford to see if they might have a bigger cooler. We were in luck! They had a big Styrofoam cooler for 4 dollars. Now we could buy more cheese, and we did. We went back to the room and got redy for our day, and then returned to the farmers’ market on our way to Southwest Harbor. I ended up buying three more cheese at Yellow Birch Farm, the lavender fennel, honey lemon, and herbes de provence for Kristen.

Artisan goat cheeses from Yellow Birch Farm
Artisan goat cheeses from Yellow Birch Farm

The ladies from Yellow Birch Farm thought it was so cute/cool that we had bought a larger cooler so we could buy more of their cheese! They’ll let us know if they obtain the necessary license to ship out of state. They also gave us a free bar of goats’ milk soap for our enthusiasm, which was a cool treat. I chose the one scented with balsam and cedar.

Rich finishes up his beer after our feast at Beal's!
Rich finishes up his beer after our feast at Beal’s!

By now the fog had lifted, and we were soon on our way to Beal’s in Southwest Harbor for lunch. We chose a table outside in the sunshine today, for the first time ever. (Often, we save our lobster lunch for a pick-me-up on a miserable day, so we end up eating indoors.)

Everything was fantastic! We started with live lobsters (only softshell were available this year for some reason) and plenty of melted butter, and Lobster Ale to drink (fortunately, it’s not lobster flavored!). Rich devoured his lobster in no time. He said he thought it may have been the fastest anyone has ever eaten a whole lobster, and I would have to agree. It took me a lot longer to pick out every bit of meat. Somehow we were still looking for a little something else, so next Rich went inside to order a lobster roll, Centennial style (with dill mayo) and a slice of blueberry pie for us to share. Yummy! They were excellent too, and now we were really stuffed.

The plan for the rest of the afternoon was to search for some survey disks in the OPUS system on the western side of the island: some others in the University of Rhode Island series (like MARS and GHEAD) as well as some NGS disks that we just hadn’t been aware of in the past, for whatever reason. Our first target was at Wonderland, a popular trail near Seawall. We took a nice third of a mile hike to the disk, which was in a protected area. Somehow even though the trail was super busy today, no one came by while I was behind the rope “barrier,” which is always a relief. I did my best to step only on the bedrock and not on the lichen or mosses growing on it.

Next we drove out Bernard Road to the water’s edge at Rice Road, where we found two tidal marks. One is a disk and is set into a ledge right by the parking area. The other requires a walk along the rocky, shell covered beach (best at low tide!) that’s not nearly as slippery as it looks. That mark is a chiseled cross in an outcrop.

Chiseled cross on ledge
Chiseled cross on ledge

The next one on our list required a little backtracking; we had passed it by earlier because I didn’t realize exactly where it was until I took a close look at the map after finding the tidal marks. This mark was an old USGS disk, K 14, set in 1934. It was in an outcrop in someone’s yard so we didn’t want to just recover it without getting permission.

This was quite the place, 193 Tremont Road! The yard was filled with discarded toys, tools and garden implements. I was a little leery of just who would come to the door when we rang the bell, but the man who eventually emerged (from a shed in the back, not from the house) was very pleasant and accommodating and said he had no problem with us documenting the mark. He knew exactly where and what it was. And he had a pretty vocal guard dog, but at least the dog was restrained indoors as he barked like mad.

While they can be more complicated to search for than marks on publicly accessible property like parks, I usually enjoy finding marks on private property. We’ve met some really interesting people—some of whom can tell us more about the survey marker than we knew beforehand, and some who know nothing about it, so we have a chance to share what we know with them.

USGS Bench Mark Disk K 14
USGS Bench Mark Disk K 14

The next mark was further up Route 102, also on private property but not very close to the buildings on the property. I’m not sure what’s here, but it appeared to be a vacant (at least today) business. We had no problem just stopping and taking our photographs and then continuing on.

NGS Bench Mark Disk H 145
NGS Bench Mark Disk H 145

And finally, we thought we’d check out the mark along the Long Pond Fire Road. We’ve ridden our bikes here years ago, but I didn’t realize that we could drive on this road. That helped a lot! We parked within 300 feet of the mark, and I headed into the woods. It was thick in there! Three hundred feet is quite a distance in those conditions. The disk was set on a nice open ledge, but it sure wasn’t easy to reach. Of course on the way out I was able to find and follow the path where people had obviously walked before. It was nearly impossible to find that faint “trail” from the road.

We weren’t quite ready to end our beautiful day of touring, so Rich drove us through Northeast Harbor and along Sargent Drive to take in the beauty of Somes Sound in the sunshine!

Supper was at Rosalie’s as planned … medium pizza, half “pizzaroni,” accompanied by Shipyard Export Ale. Wonderful warm conversation and delicious food in a relaxed place, looking over the map with Rich—what could be better? Well, just topping it off with a cone of real strawberry ice cream that we shared as we walked back to our room!

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