I woke up with an aching back. Not only did it remind me that I am getting old, but it was my body’s way of saying 4 days camping in a row is enough. I think Stef could do more but the last two sites didn’t have showers so I don’t know how much more she could have handled. Thankfully, we had a hotel booked for the next night. It was a Motel 6 in Augusta, which is a small town in our 26th state, Maine.
Maine is known for its lobsters and this was evident from the drive to our hotel. It seemed like every other restaurant or snack shack sold the best lobster rolls in Maine. There were so many to choose from. As lobster is my favourite crustacean, a quick Google search showed that a place down the road was a huge favourite with the townsfolk of Augusta. It was called The Red Barn and was about a 10-minute drive from our hotel. As we neared it, we could see the car park, which was rammed. Our stomachs were rumbling and the fact that people were queuing out the door wasn’t a good sign. We managed to find a parking space, after waiting for someone to leave and went to join the queue. As we made it through the door, there were people everywhere waiting to be served. However, the queue moved really quickly and before we realised it, we were at the front. You could hear our stomach shout a “yay”. We both ordered a portion of lobster claws and fries each with a side of battered mushrooms. We found a table and waited for our name to be called out. As we looked around whilst we waited, we realised that maybe we shouldn’t have ordered the mushrooms, as the main courses were absolutely MASSIVE! We couldn’t even eat half and had to take the rest back to the room for later.
The next day, we headed to Acadia National Park that is on the far East coast. It’s sort of a massive island but it’s attached to the mainland. Not technically an island but I’m saying it is. We pulled into the information centre to be told that one of the two campsites were full and the other one had only 4 free sites – and that was 3 hours ago! We quickly jumped in the car and arrived at Blackwood campsite about 30 minutes later. As we got to the turning we saw something we didn’t want to see. A “Site Full” sign. Noooooo!
With both camps full, we decided to turn into the Blackwoods Campground and try and blag something. As we approached the office, there were 4 cars already in front of me. They had obviously had the same idea as me, but did they have the London Charm like I do? To cut a long story short, we got a space, but it was only for one night and not the two that we’d hoped for. Something’s better than nothing I suppose. Acadia National Parkis a place where you could spend a whole week there, doing the trails and seeing the sights. We had a day and a bit. After setting up the tent, we headed out to see as much as we could before it got dark.
As we travelled towards Schooner Head Overlook, the sky got very grey and very dark. There was a severe storm when we were in Augusta the previous day and I guess it had caught up with us. We parked up and made it to the lookout. As we stood on the cliff edge, with our arms spread outwards, it was the closest we’d been to the UK in 8 months. We wouldn’t be getting any closer until we fly back in November. Picture taken, it started to hail and not small hail, it was the size of large peas! It was the first time we had both ran for as long as we could remember. And boy did we run, as the hail really hurt as they smashed against our bodies! We decided to cut the tour short and head back to the tent. As we did, the sun came out and the blue sky appeared. Typical. But at least it was dry enough for Stef to cook dinner.
The next day, we packed up early and made it to the first spot. It was a 3-mile return Ocean Trail. It took you to three points along the coast. The sun was out and it was a great day. As we pulled into the car park, we saw a sign that said it was full. We’d used our luck the day before, so I parked up just outside. First up was the beach. With the name of “Sand Beach” you’d think there would be sand there right? Well there was – they were very imaginative with the names. It was in small cove and it looked very tempting to just crash on the beach for the day but we couldn’t. As far as beaches went, it was a typical beach. It had sand and it also had the sea. Two things I look for in a beach. I once went to a beach and it only had sand. No sea. Just sand. Turned out I was in a quarry. But moving on.
We started the trail along the coastline. Normally there would be big fences to stop you from getting near the edge. Here, they encouraged you. It was worth it though as there were some great views. Within 15-20 minutes, we were at Thunder Hole. As the waves crashed in, it would shoot water up though the rock, causing a loud thunder sound. It happens when the tide is coming in. Unfortunately for us, the tide was going out and we didn’t get to experience it. However, I doubt it would be as amazing as the ones we’d witnessed in New Zealand.
We carried on walking and every now and again, we’d be on the cliff edge. It didn’t seem to worry Stef as she’d be right up to the ridge! People would be sitting there just listening to the waves crashing. It was very peaceful and relaxing. There was even a woman who had brought her own chair and was doing a spot of knitting. Hardcore.
The last point was Otter Cliffs. Here you could abseil down them. Being professionals, we chose to opt out of this. Nothing would beat doing it down a glacier into an ice chasm like we did in Alaska. After this, we wandered back to the car and drove to Cadillac Mountain.
Now there were a few ways you could do it. There were a few trails that started at the base, you could get a free bus or you could drive it yourself. We chose to take our motor as we really could walk any further. We’d walked so much the last week – so much so that Stef’s toenail had fallen off! No lie!
The windy roads took us to the top of the 1530 foot mountain. The views were spectacular and you could see for miles. We were at the other side of America and it had taken us just over 2 months. With a few ‘couplies’ under our belt, we set off out of the park and on to our next hotel.
As we had planned to be camping that night, I had not booked anywhere. The route to the next state took us back through Augusta, so we decided to stay another night in the same Motel 6 we had been at a day before. This was the first time we had stayed in the same hotel twice. They should be honoured. Because we always book hotels online (it’s cheaper and every ten nights you stay at a hotel, you get one night free AND 10% cashback– thank you Hotels.com and Quidco.com!) we had to find somewhere with Wi-Fi. Now McDonalds would be anyone’s first choice. However, back at the start of July, we decided to grab a quick burger at McD. They were the worst burgers ever and we decided to boycott them no matter what. So, we hunted around but nowhere had Wi-Fi. We then found a place called Governor’s Restaurant And Bakery in Waterville. It seemed like a small family run restaurant. As we used their free Wi-Fi to book the next hotel, we dined on a lobster roll and lobster stew.
It was so tasty and we were glad that we went. If it weren’t for the boycott, we would have never experienced it.