Before Mount Desert Islsnd became Acadia National Park it was a summer playground for the rich and famous, including the Rockafellers, and during that time John D. Rockafeller built a network of carriage trails so visitors could enjoy the mountains and views from the comfort of a horse drawn carriage. Today these carriage roads are open to hikers, bikers, and horses and they allow for some fabulous bike riding! Dad has been talking about riding the carriage roads for years and today I finally got to experience it!
We started at Jordan Pond house and headed out on the Around the Mountain carriage road. Most of the time you are in the woods so it's like hiking, only on your bike. The road is crushed gravel and it's very smooth, not like riding off pavement elsewhere. There are hills and historic bridges and great views! It's a great way to see the park!
For the most part the Around the Mountain Carriage Road was rolling, a little up followed by down, followed by some flat, then up, down and around. We did have a long uphill climb that was steep in sections and very long, but at the top there were excellent views of Somes Sound, the same sound we were looking at yesterday, as well as the mountains around it! After the views it was mostly downhill back to Jordan Pond House.
Just after we began going downhill I felt something stinging the back of my thigh! I reached my hand down to flick it off and it held on tight. Keep in mind that I was careening down the side of the mountain, trying to steer and stop the bike, while also trying to remove the offending insect. By the time I stopped the bike, the insect was gone, but it left its mark! I have no idea what insect it was, most stinging insects like bees & wasps only sting when provoked and I don't think I provoked anything. My guess is that it was a super sized Maine biting fly of some sort! It hurt like a bee/wasp sting, but didn't swell up like they usually do. Just got red.
On the way back to the campground the Jeep started making its funny noise again. I told Dad that if he wanted to go back to Ellsworth he was on his own, he could call me and I'd come and get him, but I wasn't going with him! This began spending a portion of another afternoon dealing with car issues.
When we got back to the campground we had lunch and then headed out to a local car repair place, but the guy wasn't able to work on it right then so we went over to Sommesville for the Annual Mt. Desert Island Historical Society Strawberry Festival.
The Stawberry Shortcake was amazing! Fresh strawberries, with very little, if any, added sugar, a fresh biscuit, and whipped in front of us fresh whipped cream! The ladies of the historical society all had their kitchen aid stand mixers whipping heavy whipping cream! No Reddi-Whip here! YUM! Everyone was really friendly and we chatted with a lot of nice folks from all over!
After that we went back to Bob's Auto shop to get the Jeep looked at. While we were here we met a guy who drives a Subaru and likes hiking, and he appeared to be single...we didn't get his name, but he was fun to chat with!
While we were waiting Dad noticed that the rear tire of my bike was flat so after we got the car fixed we headed into Bar Harbor to the Bike Store. The guys in the bike store were very nice and fixed my inner tube up very quickly! They said they get a lot of flat tires because the rocks on the Carriage Roads are sharp! We teased that they coat the the Carriage Roads with glass to generate business!
After getting the bike fixed up we headed out route 3 to Sweet Pea Farm Cafe for dinner. It was AWESOME! They serve mostly local, farm fresh foods and the owner just moved here from DC! We chatted with her through our whole dinner! We had an awesome beet salad, wood fired pizza, orange lavender panne cotta and yummy cookies! This dinner was so much better than the lobster pound! Real veggies and nothing that might show up in Biology class!