Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The 'Quiet' Side of Mount Desert Island

Ship's Harbor Trail

On Tuesday we decided to do a little exploring on the western side of the island, the "quiet side" as the locals call it. We ate cereal (and some delish pastries from Little Notch, I'll admit)  at the cottage, and then bought some bread and cheese, some apples and a bar of chocolate at Sawyer's Market so we wouldn't have to stop for lunch.   Prudy was just up here last week and told us about a great trail near Seawall, the Ship's Harbor Trail, so we decided to try that and we really enjoyed it. It's only about a 1.4 mile loop -- you walk through woods for awhile with glimpses of water and then all of a sudden, whoaaa, the views are breathtaking.  You can walk out on huge ledges of granite rock and sit and enjoy those amazing Maine views. We sat there for a long time, taking pictures, relaxing, enjoying the sun, having a snack, and saying over and over 'isn't this amazing?'

Ship's Harbor Trail

Ship's Harbor Trail

We stopped by the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, still a working lighthouse,  hoping to get closer. You can take a trail down to the rocks and get a little closer, but I still didn't get a great view. This is the only lighthouse on the island you can get to--the others are all on islands. I'm fascinated by lighthouses now, after reading the book The Light Between Oceans. It must have been such an interesting life to be a lighhouse keeper, the isolation and keeping all those meticulous records. I would have been an excellent lighthouse keeper.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

We took the long way back, down around the other side of the island past Bernard, Tremont, Seal Cove, and Pretty Marsh Harbor.  Not a lot going on there, I can see why people call this the quiet side.  Before going home, we stopped at the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor. Wendell Gilley (1904-1983) was a master plumber on the island who did woodworking for a hobby. He eventually became so well known for his realistic bird carvings that he quit the plumbing business and started selling his wood carvings to collectors.  In fact, he used to sell miniature birds to Abercrombie and Fitch for $3.75 a piece!   The museum displays many of his pieces and also has a workshop where carvers work. Walt really enjoyed talking to them and is inspired to start carving again.

Wendell Gilley Museum in SW Harbor

We had an early dinner at Thurston's Lobster Pound, highly recommended to us by Eileen and Prudy both. I wanted to get there early so we could enjoy eating on the porch and maybe watch the sunset. It was fun to sit there and eat lobster, along with corn on the cob and coleslaw and a few beers, watching the lobster boats coming in to the harbor, and thinking about the life of the lobsterman.

Thurston's Lobster Pound

Lobsters waiting to be cooked

The view of the harbor from the porch where we ate

I could take pictures of this harbor all night
Coming home to Southwest Harbor at sunset

1 comment:

  1. OK, this does it. I am going to move to Maine! And I didn't know Walt was a carver! Interesting. He must start doing it again. I keep saying it, but your photographs are brilliant. You are going to hate leaving.