The more I thought of it, the more moving to a new campground became a bad idea. Not a catastrophically bad idea, just one that would eat into my touristy time at Acadia and Bar Harbor. Mabel and I marched up to the office and with our obvious influence, secured one of the shaded spots that ring the large open field. It was a different woman helping us this morning and she must have interpreted the map differently than last night’s desk person. She came out of the office upon seeing Mabel, and said, “it’s a dog friendly office, as long as on a leash”. Mabel was welcome inside and I didn’t need to tie her to the post. I always worry a little about her when I am inside a building as I usually hear “what a pretty puppy” or “it looks like a fox” or “I wonder if we can pet her?”. Mabel has been VERY good on this trip and I emphasize VERY. She has never even looked to snap at anyone but I don’t know what will happen if she feels cornered. So, I try to minimize my inside time and leave her where I can see her. The lady loves dogs and has had many rescues, usually from the Southern part of the country. She has a relationship with one of the county shelters in Georgia and either helps with placement or takes the dogs herself, usually transporting at her own expense. The recycle area at the campground asks for cans and bottles to benefit the local rescue agency. I have found that dogs bring people together and Mabel has paved the way to most of our conversations. I don’t know about cats, up until this point I haven’t seen any walked on a leash.
Now that our campsite situation is determined we go on the requisite morning walk around the campground and run into a couple from New Hampshire that had admired the camper in passing last night. They are on the road for 14 days and will get back just before the woman is to go back to work as an admin in the local school. The man is a manager for over 14 public housing buildings and likes his job. But retirement is on their minds as they pull their small trailer with a Can Am 3 wheeled motorcycle. The trailer is a little more utilitarian than mine but it looks like they have packed more stuff. I told them about the mill/factory closing and he has heard of many stories like this, sharing concern for the affected workers. He told me about his Dad that passed away a year after retiring, a camper on order that they never had a chance to use. The RV dealer tried to get his Mom to pay anyway until he threatened suit. This prompted a discussion on doing the “right thing” and how in life it doesn’t always occur. The RV dealer never should have put his Mother through that pain, I am sure the camper could have been sold, and it only would have taken some compassion or empathy. But the “right thing” is subjective and depends on your point of view which like a coin has two sides. At work, I have made decisions that were right for the company but not necessarily the team member. Conversely the company has done things that were right for me but not the company. I never saw Spike Lee’s movie Do the Right Thing which is surprising since I am such a big movie fan. But I am betting it covers some of what I spoke of above. The couple gave me advice and their car pass to Acadia and we continued on our walk. In Minnesota-Nice fashion I doubled back and left them two Steel Toe IPA’s, they weren’t around their camp, but the label will let them know who it was from.
The term “wicked” is seriously used here in conversation, on the radio, and billboards.
Last night, at my D1 site, a man was admiring the camper and told me his son thought it was pretty cool. We spoke more this morning and his optimism was contagious. A newly minted “on the road” family, they sold their home in Detroit and started on the journey a few weeks ago. So far, the experience has been great and they wished they had made the decision years ago. Both of their boys will be homeschooled as they tour the country visiting family and friends and spending the winter in the warm South. He is a web designer and can work anywhere there is an internet connection, which I have found can be spotty. To combat poor connectivity, they use hot spots through two different carriers. My hot spot works well, but only when I have a good signal and it has been used for a few of my posts. I have read about families like this (a North Shore Family doing the same thing emailed the blog) and have followed the Instagram exploits of others that have opted for a mobile existence. To me there is something about roots that prevent the plunge. I like having a permanence even though at times it can be an illusion. For many, us included, losing their home is one bad decision away, and I hope that’s not the case with this trip. The Arabella is comfortable, but not for the Salargo 5. For now, he uses two websites, Fiver.com and Guru.com, and like I said his optimism over shedding the shackles of Corp America is infectious.
Acadia National Park is beautiful. It is Maine as if Disney decided to create Maine, a perfect portrait of rocky shores, pine trees, and lobster boats. We stopped at the Welcome Center, now open and bustling with people asking questions or reserving bus tours. I didn’t have a lot of time so the Ranger advised that the car trip, expanded from my initial visit, will give me a good representation of the Park. After seeing the Park, I would have loved to hike it, many trails called to me but I was ill equipped and Mabel has little legs. We continued our drive, stopping often to take a picture, I’ll drop some in the gallery, as they do a much better job than I can of showing the Park’s beauty. Jordan’s Pond and Cadillac Mountain were high points, no pun intended. Actually, it was or I wouldn’t have written “no pun intended”.
The ride up Cadillac Mountain caused some nervousness, but nothing like I felt on Pike’s Peak. Thankfully in Colorado, Sheri was my safety net, and took over the driving responsibilities when I shut down. To be fair I did have a broken arm and driving was that much more of a challenge. The top of Cadillac offered stunning 360-degree views of the Harbor and surrounding mountains. It was well worth the trip and I hear the sunrises are amazing. It was time to head down, often providing more anxiety than going up, but Mabel talked me through it and we were back at the campground ready for another night.
I timed a visit to the pool (weird by myself), a visit to the beach, and then laundry all around dinner and clean-up. The pool was nice but all kids, with an 8-year-old boy giving me the stink eye when he jumped in a little too close. The sunset at Handley Point Beach was the highlight. We arrived early and I should have brought a book while waiting for the sun to disappear as Mabel, a surprise seafood lover, tried to eat the crustaceans that had washed ashore. The hill leading back to the campground was rather long so I exceeded my step goal for the day. Laundry is always fun when others are involved and you need to keep an eagle eye on your stuff, or it will be pulled out. So, I camped outside the small laundry next to a phone booth (yes, I found a phone booth but didn’t take a picture of it) until the laundry chore was done and I had only clean smelling clothes to wear. The simple things in life.
Mabel was waiting outside the camper, it’s nice to see her when I come back from wherever I end up going. We prepped for the night and finished Harry Potter 4 with sleep coming easy.