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Daniel Tours America
Boulder Loop, Conway, NH
7th Jul 2008
New Hampshire to Maine; Bar Harbor

Today started as another uneventful day of driving, the intention being to get to Maine's coast from New Hampshire.  In the morning I took a 2-hour hike to ease the conscience (it would have been terrible to have been in the White Mountains and to have not hiked). I went up the easy Boulder Loop trail, so-named for the scores of huge boulders that little the forest. 

There was even a delightful covered bridge in the middle of nowhere.  I was told that covered bridges are to keep animals calm as they are driven over the river, but this bridge was in the middle of a forest halfway up a mountain, so I doubt animals were ever driven over it.

The drive was fine until I reached Maine, where the signage that is normally pretty crap all over America suddenly gets appalling.  Routes are labeled at junctions, but not with their cardinal points, so it was easy to turn in the wrong direction.

American signposts do not favour symbols whatsoever.  In Britain it's almost impossible to see a road sign with words on it (except "Stop" and "Give way", favouring symbols.   Here in the US they spell everything out using sentences that are far too long to read at 70mph.  Instead of a symbol they instruct me that "Right lane must turn right", that this junction has a "No right turn on red" policy, and that "Left turn must yield to oncoming traffic on green (except commercial vehicles) (pursuant to city ordinance 1234)".   Pfff.  They do like to use both miles and kilometres here in Maine, perhaps for the benefit of the Canucks.


Bar Harbor is a beautiful fishing village on the isle of Mount Desert Island.  Its narrow tree-lined streets are filled with lobster restaurants and ice-cream shops, its harbour is full of small fishing and pleasure boats, and it attracts tourists from all over the US.    In the evening I took a wander around the town and ended up in a bar that served delicious local Maine beers at exceedingly bizarre prices.  I was confused by the scale:  $5.50 a pint, but I was drink halves so that I could try several different brews; their price was $5.00.  Odd.

I slipped into bed late in the night, frustrated at the lack of a private bed, as of course is the nature of hostelling.

Next: Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park
Previous: Vermont and New Hampshire

Diary Photos

Boulder Loop, Conway, NH

Conway, NH

Covered bridge, Conway, NH

Covered bridge, Conway, NH

Bandstand, Bar Harbor, ME

Main road, Bar Harbor, ME

Shops on main road, Bar Harbor, ME

Fountain and ocean, Bar Harbor, ME

Shops and ocean, Bar Harbor, ME

Sunset over Bar Harbor, ME

Lobster shack, Bar Harbor, ME

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