In our journey to visit at least one new national park every year, my love and I traveled north to Maine to explore Acadia National Park. The last time I traveled to Maine was six years ago for a volunteer vacation with the American Hiking Society. (Remember when I stayed in a cabin with strangers for a week?)
As a writer, stops at bookstores are mandatory on out-of-town travels. We stopped at the Owl & Turtle Bookshop Cafe in Camden just as rain started to fall. This cozy two-story book store has a substantial local author section (no, not just Stephen King 🙂 ) and unique baked goods. On this trip I learned that Maine is not solely boastful of their lobster. They are mad proud of their blueberries and potatoes, and this bookstore’s blueberry-lavender shortbread cookies shine with berry delight. In an antique shop next door, I found a vintage postcard bragging of Maine’s potatoes, proving these roots (pun intended) run deep.
Maine’s oldest bookstore, Sherman’s Book Shop in Bar Harbor, has a progressive sense of humor noted in the genres on its shelves, like “Not Nonfiction”.
We also explored the south end of Mount Desert Island and happened to visit an old used bookstore on its last day in business after, I think the owner said, 35 or 45 years. On our drive around the island, we passed this industrious author’s home:
I guess he sold out? I’ve seen folks leave eggs for sale on the honor system on the side of the road, but have you ever seen books? Maine truly loves their authors!
We also passed a library that has to have the most adorable setting on a tranquil harbor. Could this place be more inviting to readers and writers?
As a human, stops at doughnut shops are mandatory on out-of-town travels. Maine’s potato love surfaced again at The Holy Donut in Portland. Potato donuts! Their main selection is made with a blend of potato flour and wheat flour, but they also have gluten-free varieties only made with potato flour. Sweet potato ginger glaze was my favorite!
While we did some challenging hikes (check out The Beehive Trail!) in the park, the reason we planned our trip to Acadia was to attend the Acadia Night Sky Festival, a free festival that I cannot say enough great things about. One night we went on a bioluminescent paddle (fee required) under the dreamy belt of the Milky Way. Another night we took a complimentary shuttle to the top of Cadillac Mountain where 60+ telescopes–some homemade–were set up by volunteers pointing at Andromeda, Mars, and other celestial marvels. I saw the rings of Saturn for the first time–it looked like a cartoon!
No potato, blueberry, or lobster constellations seen. We might need to go back to double check.