Maine

We had a wonderful trip to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park in Maine, wtih a couple stops on the way north, and one on our return. Such a beautiful place this time of the year!

Many of my photos from our trip -- and others -- are also on my photography site, stevesickels.com. (The Maine photos, in particular, are here.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Providence, Rhode Island

Loaded up the car and headed to our first stop, Providence, Rhode Island. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in downtown Providence. After checking in, we walked around a bit -- Providence is a wonderful old town to explore on foot. Then dinner at The Dorrance, a fantastic restaurant! Delicious cocktails, too. And it's in a grand setting, in the tall-ceilinged first floor of the historic Union Trust Building. And here's another view.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

 

Lots of walking around in Providence, which was a pleasure. First we stopped in to the Rhode Island School of Design's (RISD's) Fleet Library, which is in a grand old bank building, close to our hotel.

An iPhone shot of the clock in the library.

Clock at Fleet Library

And we stopped in a cool little craft shop, Craftland, also close by. Then on to the main section of RISD campus, across the river from the Fleet Library and our hotel.

We passed by this loom and threads, which were just inside an open shipping/receiving-type door in an old and evidently repurposed building on campus. Taken with my iPhone from the adjacent alleyway.

Loom and threads at RISD

We spent much of the day in the RISD Museum of Art. I particularly enjoyed the exhibit America in View, Landscape Photography 1865 to Now.

Although not an exhibit, this museum rooftop scene captured my attention. Taken with my iPhone from an upper-floor glass-walled walkway.

RISD Museum of Art rooftop

This dynamic scene is, I believe, from Japan's Edo period (1603-1868), although I didn't make a note at the time, so I'm not quite sure...

Asian horse, RISD Museum of Art

We stopped briefly at an exhibit by the RISD interior architecture department. We were a day early for the exhibit's opening, but the folks setting the exhibit up were happy to let us explore. It was in the admissions building, a wonderful old mansion.

Dinner at Bacaro, which is along the harbor. Tasty food.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leaving Providence; Heading to Southern Maine

More exploring in the morning in Providence -- before heading off to Maine. Visited the State House, a beautiful building!

Here's an iPhone photo, looking up from the front of the building.

Rhode Island State House

And an iPhone photo looking up at the interior rotunda.

Here's a 360 degree view of the State Room.

And an iPhone photo of its ceiling. Nice clouds!

Into the car around noon, and off to Kittery, Maine. (Not a destination; just a place to stay along the way.)

On our way north, we decided to visit the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, (after sandwiches in Newburyport) which is along the Massachusetts coast, north of Boston. Nice views of a marsh along the western edge of Plum Island.

Shorebirds in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Our hotel was along the commercial strip, rather than in town. (Outlet malls! Which we avoided!) Had a tasty dinner at Robert's Maine Grill -- surprisingly good food, despite being across from all the outlets.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Georgetown, Maine

Off in the morning to see our friends in Georgetown, Maine.

Stopped for a few minutes to explore Fort McClary, Maine; an interesting place.

An iPhone photo of the fort.

Fort McLeary, Maine

And here's a 360 degree panorama I took of the fort's structures and grounds.

Made it to our friends' house in Georgetown in the late morning, and took a walk through the woods along the edge of a marsh on their property. A beautiful place! Then a short drive to a walk along the beach at Reid State Park. Then back to our friends' house for a tasty dinner.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Georgetown, Maine

Up early for some pre-sunrise photos on the marsh at our friends' house in Georgetown. The mosquitos were relentless, but I was (mostly) covered up.

In the late morning, a short drive, and then a walk through the woods to Squirrel Point Lighthouse. (Here's a Website about it.) Saw some seals swimming off in the distance.

An iPhone photo of the lighthouse.

Squirrel Point Lighthouse

Then northwest to Agusta, Maine's capital. Stopped in Hallowell ("noted for its culture and old architecture") for a tasty lunch at the deli at Slate's Restaurant. (With a good "ginger brew," too!)

In Augusta we toured the Maine State Museum -- lots of cool exhibits. (I particulalry enjoyed the archeology exhibit, and one on the looms in the old textile mills.) We took a quick walk around the perimeter of the State House (next to the museum). And then back to Georgetown for another dinner with our friends.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

 

Up early again for sunrise photos -- and a more colorful sky than the previous morning. And it was cooler too -- so no mosquitos. Yay!

6:28 am.

Sunrise, Georgetown, Maine

Four minutes later, from a slightly different perspective.

Sunrise, Georgetown, Maine

6:57 am.

Sunrise, Georgetown, Maine

Out with our friends for hike through wonderful woods near their home -- in Reid State Park, starting near ice pond, and then heading to a bluff next to a marsh.

An iPhone photo looking down from the bluff.

And an iPhone detail of lichen along the trail.

Lichen in Ried State Park, Maine

Said goodbye to our friends, and Georgetown, and headed to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, in Brunswick -- not too far from Georgetown. We thoroughly enjoyed an exhibit of art by William Wegman (the wiemeraner guy). Fun!

Then, mid-afternoon, on the road to Bar Harbor (about a three-hour drive from Bowdoin).

Arrived at Mount Desert Island at dinnertime (at least, it seemed like time to eat!). On the drive we had called a few restaurants to see if we could get reservations, but none were available until late. (Quite a few restaurants in Bar Harbor were closing down -- or had already closed -- for the post-tourist season, and winter!) We ended up having very good barbeque and beer at Mainely Meat BBQ (operated by the Atlantic Brewing Company), on their last night of operations for the year.

Then on to our hotel -- the Bar Harbor Motel, which we really like. It's about a mile outside of town, and backs up to National Park lands. It's a bunch of small buildings; some of them closer to the road, and some farther away (which we like!). Quiet and peaceful.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park, Maine

Headed into the park for a walk in the Sieur de Monts Spring area. Beautiful birch trees, among other treats.

Birch trees in the Sieur de Monts area, Acadia National Park, Maine

Off to Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs, which I wanted to check out prior to a sunrise shot the next morning.

Then, off to Jordan Pond for the sunset colors.

Sunset colors at Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine

Dinner at Siam Orchard in Bar Harbor. (Lots of places seemed to be closed on a post-season Monday night, but this was a fine restaurant.) Then off to the local grocery store to get food for sandwiches and snacks during our stay.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

 

Up dark and early for sunrise at Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs. What a wonderful place! (I'm hardly the first photographer to hit it for sunrise shots, but, whatever, it was a treat to be there, watching the morning's light come to Mount Desert Island! And to get some photos. A real treat.)

It was rather cloudy, so no great sunrise colors this morning. Which makes for a good opportunity to do B&W!

Boulder Beach & Otter Cliffs, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

Boulder Beach & Otter Cliffs, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

Boulder Beach & Otter Cliffs, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

It was the last week for ranger-led tours in Acadia National Park, and we hooked up with one at 10:00 am: the Ocean Path Walk. This is perhaps the most dramatic section of shoreline in the Park (which includes Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs), and it was a pleasure to get a good introduction. I had no idea about the massive 1947 fire on the Island!

Stopped at Boulder Beach, on the way back to the car, for a different sort of boulder photo.

Boulders at Boulder Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine

Boulders at Boulder Beach, Acadia National Park, Maine

And a detail of one of the boulders.

Detail of a boulder at Boulder Beach, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

And here's a tree that caught my eye along the path to Otter Cliffs, quite close to the Otter Cliffs parking lot.

Tree near Otter Cliffs, Acadia National Park, Maine

Back to the parking lot where the tour started, which is also the Gorham Mountain Trailhead. Up to the top of Gorham Mountain! A relatively short hike, in spectacular terrain. (We had taken a longer version of this same hike the last time we were here -- it's a super hike!)

From near the summit.

Near the summit of Gorham Mountain, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

And here's a 360-degree panorama from the summit of Gorham Mountain.

Stopped at Jordan Pond (I think -- not 100% sure) on the way back to Bar Harbor, to see what sunset colors we might find.

sunset colors, Acadia National Park, Maine

A satisfying dinner at Galyn's, in downtown Bar Harbor. Nothing adventurous, food-wise, but we enjoyed our delicious seafood dinners.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

 

Up early (again), but this time up to the pre-dawn summit of Cadillac Mountain (the tallest peak on Mount Desert Island). It was foggy (up in the clouds), so no sunrise colors. But beautiful!

Cadillac Mountain, in the fog, Acadia National Park, Maine

Cadillac Mountain, in the fog, Acadia National Park, Maine

A detail on the summit

A detail -- rock and small plants and lichen, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

On the way back to our hotel, I stopped by Duck Brook where passes under a bridge leading to carriage road. Then (finally!) back to the hotel for breakfast.

We headed off toward the western side of the island, stopping along the way on the north side of Eagle Lake. Beautiful!

North shore of Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park, Maine

North shore of Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park, Maine

A red tree on the north shore of Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park, Maine

Back on the road, and off to Pretty Marsh, a wonderful (and small) section of the park for some exploring and a picnic lunch. We explored along the shoreline a bit -- I spent some time photographing a fascinating (to me, at least) boulder. Convoluted folding of different minerals.

Boulder detail, Pretty Marsh, Acadia National Park, Maine

Then up into the woods, which have the most amazing mosses and lichens. It's a magical place!

Lichens in the woods at Pretty Marsh, Acadia National Park, Maine

Lichens and moss in the woods at Pretty Marsh, Acadia National Park, Maine

By 3 pm or so it was raining gently. We had hoped to do some hiking (along Long Pond, in particular), but the rain was a bit too persistent. So we explored (mostly car-bound) the southernmost part of the island, including along the seawall and seawall pond. We stopped at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse -- with several hopeful photographers setting up for the perfect sunset shot (which I doubt even came that evening, unfortunately, given the clouds).

Back to Bar Harbor for dinner at the super-casual Rosalie's Pizza. The back to the hotel.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

 

Up early again (do you detect a theme?) and up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain for sunrise. Not socked in this time! Nice to get a view of the sunrise. (And, when you see sunrise from the summit, you're the first in the United States to see it!)

Pre-sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine

Sunrise colors on Cadillac Mountain, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

Sunrise colors on Cadillac Mountain, Acadia Natinoal Park, Maine

Back to the hotel for breakfast, and then back out for a short but lovely hike on Great Head.

Great Head, Acadia National Park, Maine

Great Head, Acadia National Park, Maine

Here's a 360-degee view.

Then, in the early afternoon we headed off for another hike, the "Gorge Trail" along Kebo Brook, which turned out to be just fantastic. A beautiful creek flows north in a narrow valley (not really a gorge) nestled between Door and Cadillac Mountains. This was perhaps my favorite hike on our trip -- although there's lots of good competition!

Kebo Brook, Acadia National Park, Maine

We had made reservations for dinner at the small and wonderful Mache Bistro in Bar Harbor. The Yelp rating average is four, but I'd certainly give it a five!

Friday, October 12, 2012

 

Up early and back to Boulder Beach (which I had been to on Tuesday morning). No doubt about it; another treat!

Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs, before sunrise, Acadia National Park, Maine

Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs, at sunrise, Acadia National Park, Maine

Boulder Beach and Otter Cliffs, after sunrise, Acadia National Park, Maine

The morning brought rain, so rather than exploring outdoors, we stopped in to the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, which is devoted to Native American culture in Maine. We had been there on previous trips, and enjoyed visiting again and seeing the current exhibits.

Starting from the same bridge over Duck Brook (where I took some photos on Wednesday), we took a walk on the carriage road that loops around Witch Hole Pond. It was a bit breezy for foliage photos, but I did manage to get a few that I liked. And it was chilly for our picnic lunch at the edge of Witch Hole Pond!

Fall colors along a carriage road, Acadia National Park, Maine

An orage tree on Witch Hole Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine

In the mid-afternoon we drove to Bubble Pond.

Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine

Then we walked to the nearby Eagle Lake. Elizabeth spotted a river otter crossing a carriage road near the lake. We spotted him in the water, doing all sorts of just-below-the-surface summersaults -- perhaps to stir up food in the mud below -- ?? Whatever it was up to, it was a treat to watch! I wasn't quite quick enough with my camera to switch from landscape settings to wildlife settings, but I did manage to get a few so-so photos of the slinky-like creature.

River Otter near Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park, Maine

Earlier in the day we had made reservations at Cafe this Way for 6:30. (Cafe this Way is just around the corner from the Abbe Museum.) However we were back in Bar Harbor at 5:30. What to do?? Drinks! So we went to Blaze, which has all sorts beers on tap. (Also quite close to the Abbe Museum -- Bar Harbor is not a big town!) A nice place to spend an hour! (I had a Big Wicked IPA, Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME, and Elizabeth had an Alpine Black IPA, Otter Creek Brewing Company, Middlebury, VT. Both were delicious!)

Then on to Cafe this Way. Good food!

Sunday, October 13, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts

Set off early from our motel in Bar Harbor, heading for Boston, our mid-point stop on the way back home in Virginia. But first... a "detour" to a tree branch I photographed yesterday, which was along the road just north of Bubble Pond. It was a bit breezy yesterday, so I wanted to come back for another few photos. It was just a little bit calmer, and I think this was the best photo of the colorful branch.

A colorful branch; fall colors in Acadia National Park, Maine

Then, on the road to Boston.

But on the way we stopped at Smuttynose Brewing Company for the 1:00 pm brewery tour (which we had signed up for prior to our trip). They make my absolute favorite beer, Finestkind IPA. Smuttynose is evidently doing quite well, and is in the process of building a larger brewery. Good for them! The tour was great, and we got to sample a few of their limited-production beers, which was nice.

We checked in to our hotel, the Omni Parker House, in the middle of downtown Boston, at about 4:30. Then off for a walk through Boston Common, through Beacon Hill, and on to the casual Ducali Pizzaria & Bar for good pizza and draft beer.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

 

Breakfast burritos at Boloco, across the street from our hotel. And then on (on a drizzly morning) to Faneuil Hall. Here's a 360-degree view -- a little scrambled, but most of the view is coherent.

The National Park Service is set up in the ground floor of the hall (below the famous meeting room). We were there just a bit before 10:00 am, and it turned out that there was a free ranger-led tour of downtown Boston leaving in a few minutes. The ranger leading our tour was great! A historian with a gift for explaining Boston's rather dramatic history.

We spent the majority of our day at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Many wonderful exhibits and a great place to spend the day. A particular favorite of mine are the John Singer Sargent paintings.

This striking Dale Chihuly sculpture -- "Lime Green Icicle Tower" -- is in the museum's new atrium. (I'm not a huge fan of Dale Chihuly, but I do like this one.)

This reflective glass installation was amazing.

We walked from the museum to a fantastic bistro for dinner: Stella's. Casual, with delicious and flavorful food. And then back to our hotel after a good day in Boston.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Heading Home

Breakfast burritos at Boloco, and then on the road to home after a great vacation!