The last time I was to Blackwoods Campground, Louise and I camped there in 2015. We’d been there before, back in the ‘90’s and had a great time with the girls. The 2015 trip was in lieu of a cross country trip. It was complicated, but we were in Blackwoods because I love her. I had great difficulty last night looking across the table, and her not being there. This is the first National Park I’ve returned to without her. When you love someone so much the quote from the Bible “ . . and the two shall become one . .” becomes true, you develop a perception of normality, and when your normality becomes askew, you subconsciously look around to see why. You don’t think, you just am. Is she outside? Oh. No. Where is she? Oh. No. I’m going out to make a fire, want . Oh. No. I really hope that with my nieces as my companions, and seeing the new in their experiences, revisiting some of the spectacular places Louise and I frequented, later this month, will help in that aspect. I hope.
There is no cell service at the campground, which made catching up on my writing a little difficult, especially after being throttled with data in Canada, where the Cell service was, well, less that nominal. Last night was very nice evening, relaxing, and early. I was in no rush to wake up this morning, since generator hours only start at 8 AM, and I was going to treat myself to a big breakfast. There would be toast. The breakfast was big and great, and shortly thereafter I was off to Bar Harbor.
So, there I was straight off to Bar Harbor. Last time I was there, there was this ballfield with parking designated for RV’s on a side road. Back then, there were spots open all day, and shade on the field. It was a very nice place. I arrived at 10:00 AM to find the area that was previously open to RV’s was filled with cars. Every available parking spot I saw was filled with cars. There was traffic on the streets, and cars parked everywhere. It’s 10AM during the summer and Bar Harbor looks like a business park at midday. Doesn’t anyone here get off to a slow start?
They moved the parking lot for RV’s over to Route 3, and now charge for parking. Actually, everywhere you looked in town, there were either metered parking, or nicely painted yellow zones. The parking costs $1.50 per hour. There are fancy computerized kiosks where you put your license plate in and pay the robot the money. There is an app you can download, so you don’t have to rush back to the robot to increase your parking time. The shame of it is, I’ll wager that the town is making less than half the revenue on the parking. I’ve been in municipal work for stuff like this. The cut the town gets is not so hot. Of course, the town doesn’t have to do anything, and given the fact that I was essentially in the same spot all day, and never saw a parking enforcement agent, it seems that the town is content to get what they get, and spend no money on the back end at all.
Bar Harbor is being loved to death. With cruise ships in the harbor every day it seems, and everyone in the northeast crowding here to see nature before it disappears, the place is being strangled with people. I certainly will never come here again with an RV. Cadillac Mountain is off limits, there is little or no parking away from the designated spaces, there is no room in any of the parking lots on the coast drive since they are crushed in SUV’s and the occasional automobile. I would never come here in a car because it’s so damn expensive. The shame of it is, the town seems to be doing nothing proactive about this. It certainly isn’t looking for exclusivity. It seems content with packing more and more people in and just seems to be cruising along ignoring what’s happened. Lets hope Yogi Berra;’s saying isn’t true. “No one goes there anymore, because it’s so crowded”, or words to the effect.
So I stayed in my $1.50 an hour parking spot where there was full connectivity and I completed my plans for the rest of the trip home. I caught up on most of my writing. I took a shower and had ice cream for lunch. Dinner time rolled around and I had a wonderful dinner filled with the best company you could wish for, with a high school friend, Pat Maestranzi and her husband, John. I’ve reminded her for over 40 years to introduce John to me, and I’m glad she did. He’s a great guy, and they are blissfully in love. Like the teenagers we all once were. It was very gratifying to spend time with them. Hearing about their life, their kids and life made me smile with joy.
The purpose of the trip to Prince Edward Island and back was twofold. The first was as a precursor to taking my nieces out west. The second was an opportunity to travel and think about the third half of my life; an opportunity to try to integrate where I’ve been and how it will effect where I’m going. The trip didn’t cure everything for me. It made me understand that there are some things in life are just really, really difficult to understand. Love, principals, and death. Understanding them requires some form of rationalization. Integrating them into your life is the difficult portion of understanding them. I suspect that this search will take a while.