We left Meadowbrook and headed about 100 miles up the road to Ellsworth, a mid-sized Down East town on the mainland outside of Bar Harbor. We really enjoy Coastal Maine in general, the Bar Harbor region in particular, and the Ellsworth Moose lodge specifically. I have said it on this blog before: of the 28 Moose Lodges we have visited, none matched the welcome we received at Ellsworth. It made such an impression on us that during our visit last year we transferred our home membership there. More on the Moose later.
During our first trip here in 2016 we split time between Mount Desert Narrows (until the Passport America rate ran out) and Bar Harbor Campground (a first come, first serve park that got us through the July 4th weekend.) We enjoyed Mount Desert Narrows enough that in 2017 we splurged on a full month there, a rare occurrence for us outside of Key West. It was nice, but considering the steep price, even on the monthly rate, we resolved that this year we would stay closer to Ellsworth and pay a bit less, even if we weren’t right on the water.
After research we selected Timberland Acres RV Park, technically just outside Ellsworth in the small town of Trenton. The office cooperated with our request for “green stuff near our site” and placed us against the tree line with another row of trees on one side. The site was of moderate size, but the tree lines plus rarely having a neighbor made it seem far more spacious. It wasn’t cheap: power and water for $38 a night for the first four (off season rate) and $43.50 for the last six, and those rates include a 15% military discount. It’s all about location and amenities: this park aimed for the resort end of the campground spectrum and is located close to the popular tourist destinations of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
I believe we went to the Moose every other day, and always had a great time, but particularly so on Rosemarie’s Birthday. I had put the word out that if any of the members could make it we would be providing cake. We had about a dozen people there, and we couldn’t buy our own drinks all evening. The cake, provided by Shaw’s, was beautiful and delicious as well. We really look forward to coming back (in two years, we think) and visiting this Moose once they have moved into their new, nearly renovated building.
During an outing to Airline Brewing Company another couple there introduced us to the Maine Beer Trail, a fold out map and listing of all of the craft breweries in Maine. Fantastic by itself, but it also offered a challenge: get dated signature from staff at 10 different breweries, get a free Maine Beer Trail hat, visit 15 get a t-shirt, and visit them all get a secret special prize. Count us in! We only wish we had discovered it while we were still in Phippsburg since we hit three breweries in the region and would have been willing to go to more. We would already be over ten by now!
Oh well, in addition to Airline (great building interior, good food) we found Fogtown (a very hip, youthful vibe) in Ellsworth, and Atlantic (fantastic “Mainely Meats BBQ” on premises) on Bar Harbor. During a day outing the Beer Trail map led us to Strong Brewing Company in Sedgwick, where we got to meet the actual owners and brewers. I don’t know how many states have beer map with incentive concept going on, but I highly recommend it.
Did we Geocache? Of course we geocached, but only a little bit during already planned outings. No dedicated afternoons searching, just seven or so caches during our stay while out and about.
Rose discovered that Ellsworth had a twice a week farmers market, and after emailing in some information we were invited to participate as drop in vendors for up to two events. We opted for a single Saturday, and set up on the designated small parking lot on a beautiful sunny day with light winds. There were only about a dozen total sellers, but we had a steady stream of people and ended up doing very well.
What could make the day even better? How about a Shriners Parade? The Maine Shriners were having their annual convention, which is held at the current Potentate’s (head guy, president, etc) home town, or at least home area. I don’t recall ever seeing a Shriner’s parade, just a few of the funny little cars included as part of a larger event. This was all Shriners, and it was far bigger and more complex than I anticipated. They had dozen’s of different groups of vehicles, a couple of bands, marchers, trucks, clowns, a score of classic and high end convertibles, and more. Since we had just closed up from our market we had our chairs ready and time enough to set them up in a prime location for the show. What a great day.
That’s it for Ellsworth. We had made loose plans to go straight to Canada, but a recommendation from Jim had us look at one last Maine local before heading across the border, so that will be our next post. Oh, and only 12 days behind on the blog now!