July 22, 2012 – Sunday we headed over to Sieur de Mont Springs and parked the car. We walked through the woods and around The Tarn, where we found a few dozen small frogs (and one very large frog) sunning themselves. Once we were past The Tarn the stone stairs started up the mountain. We both enjoy the Ladder Trail approach to Dorr Mountain, it’s usually a quiet, pretty, mostly shaded hike.
Once we got to the top we took a break to admire the view and enjoy the nice breeze before heading down and then up the saddle to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Along the way Louisa had an unfortunate run in with a rock; fortunately her ankle sprain wasn’t too bad, and the gift shop at the top had free antibacterial ointment (probably thanks to all the tourists at the top who would do silly things and run into rocks that they shouldn’t be climbing on).
We like Cadillac, but tend to think people should respect the mountain, rather than using it as a tourist hot spot. If you are not a fan of crowds, we would recommend visiting early in the day. We didn’t stay at the top, and instead quickly headed down via the Gorge and Hemlock trails. The Gorge Trail, then back to the car via a wide, flat, carriage-path style road.
We headed into Bar Harbor for a few hours. First up was lunch at Gringo’s. We ordered two large burritos, one fish and one steak. Each was excellent, as were the drinks – a local beer (good) and blueberry margarita (excellent). They also had house made lemonade and ginger tea which looked quite good. We would definitely recommend Gringo’s for good burritos.
Next we wandered towards the ocean walk and wandered down the shoreline. This is also a nice way to avoid the mass of humanity that seems to populate Bar Harbor during tourist season. We each got a medium waffle cone from Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium. Tony tried a triple chocolate concoction, while Louisa got a scoop of Moose droppings (chocolate mousse with malted milkballs) and birthday cake (rich and creamy vanilla birthday cake ice cream with fudge swirls). All the ice cream flavors were excellent, and we were fortunate to find an empty bench in the town square where we could sit and eat.
On the way back to the car we stopped at a local olive oil shop called Fiore Artisan Oil & Vinegar; they offer free tastings (though we passed since we just had ice cream), many different oils for sale, and hand-crafted Canadian bowls to put the flavored oils in. We picked up one of the little dishes, and can attest that it’s perfect for holding flavored oils (for dipping bread in).
Then we got on the road, stopping at a rest stop to get Quiznos. The traffic wasn’t bad, except we did lose time near the NH border, and about 40 minutes to construction once we were in MA. It seems the best time to leave is either around 4:15 (if you do stop for dinner), or 5 (if you don’t stop for dinner).