Camping Shirts 2011 (Acadia National Park)

Lobster Shirts 2011

Our annual camping trip this summer was to an amazing place – Acadia National Park.  We are lucky to live so close to a national treasure.  Now, that may sound pretty hokey, LOL, but it really is a beautiful place….even in August when it’s overrun by tourists from all over the world.  To be honest, it didn’t even really feel overrun to me.  I think that might be part of the beauty of it.

In honor of heading to Mt. Desert Island for our camping trip, the boys requested lobster shirts this year.  I picked out bright green shirts, and red paint (of course!) for the lobster.  They turned out excellent!  I was going to go the easy route and find a template online that I would just trace, but it wasn’t as easy as that sounds like it should be.  I did find a nice looking stencil, but it looked funny to me.  What was wrong with it?  Oh yes, the poor lobster only had 3 sets of legs!  I’ve eaten enough of the miniscule meat out of those little legs that I knew that there should be four!  I just ended up freehand drawing my own lobster actually and they turned out great.  I only used two coats of red fabric paint.  I give instructions on how to make a freezer paper stencil in my prior posts from 2008 (bears), 2009 (moose) and 2010 (bald eagle).

In the picture above, the boys are also posing with their Harry Potter magic wands that the Hubby and I made for them.  A post on that later!  They are well-loved.

Early morning at the campsite

We camped at Mount Desert Campground and had a great time.  It’s in a wonderful, central location, and as tent campers, we appreciated the wooden platforms and the fact that they only allow trailers less than 20 feet.  Being located right on Somes Sound didn’t hurt either!  The boys really enjoyed fishing for crabs with hot dogs off their kayak docks.  We had an amazing time hiking up South Bubble (and an even more amazing time hiking down the cliff side!).  J, who just turned 7 in June, was a mountain goat and had more endurance than the rest of us.   The hike up to South Bubble (and Bubble Rock) was not that difficult and appropriate for most ages.  Instead of going back the way we came though, we decided to go down the opposite side facing Jordan Pond.  That was a steep climb down that involved quite a bit of two-handed rock scrambling (I think it’s called the Bubbles Trail).  The boys did a great job!  We then headed north around Jordan Pond, and went back up the Bubble Divide.  Then went straight up rock stairs to the ridge and then back down again before meeting back up with the original South Bubble trail.  Whew!  That one was a doozy!  Total was about 3.5 miles and the kids did great.  (Okay, I’ll admit it…it stretched my limits.)

Can they move bubble rock?! Glaciers are super-cool.

Top of South Bubble looking out over Jordan Pond. J is wearing his bald eagle camping shirt from 2010.

Down the Bubbles Trail

Back up the Bubble Divide. Only picture I took because I was huffing and puffing too much after this.

We also spent an afternoon biking on the carriage trails and did a 5.5 mile loop on the Witch Hole Pond trail.  There is a beautiful stone bridge halfway along where we stopped for some creek playing and a snack.  J just learned to ride his bike without training wheels a few months ago, and he did a great job keeping up.  He still needs to practice his gear shifting though.  Some of the hills were hard for him.

One of Acadia's famous stone bridges

On the touristy end of things, we did the Diver Ed excursion one morning.  It was awesome!  Diver Ed takes you out in his boat where he dives off the side and collects sea creatures which he brings up for the kids to touch in touch tanks.  All with some awesome video equipment and a 60″ LCD on the boat!  The kids loved it, and it was nice to take a ride out into Frenchman’s Bay.  We were lucky to have some pretty amazing weather.

Morning fog on Frenchman's Bay

Sea Star!

We only live two hours away, and can’t wait to go back for some bike riding for a day trip one day this fall.  If we can find time between K playing travel soccer and J doing the local rec soccer program.

Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake in northern Maine is absolutely beautiful.  Last year we went camping there at Lily Bay State Park (great camping!).  This year we decided to rent a cabin.  We went up with some good friends whose boys are near to the same age as our boys.  So, awesome fun all around!  Lots of being lazy, swimming, reading, playing, and feeding ducks.  One day we took the shuttle boat out to Mt. Kineo to hike to the top.  Awesome hiking.  Highly recommended if you are up in the Moosehead region.  Mt. Kineo is on a peninsula jutting out into the lake.  The boys are 7yo and almost 9yo, and didn’t have any difficulty with the climb.  It was definitely rough terrain and a pretty big incline up the mountain, but certainly do-able for the boys.  I’m sure I was huffing and puffing much more than they were, LOL!  The view from the top of the fire tower is amazing, and we need to go back again during fall color season.  It would be amazing.  We brought a lunch and had a picnic at the top before hiking back down the Indian Trail (more steep than Bridle Trail).  So, our week in pictures….

Swimming and being thrown around by Daddy

Our friends jumped off the bridge near the cabin into the river

Flying kites

Mt. Kineo on Moosehead Lake

There's even a Letterbox to find!

Hiking up the Mt. Kineo trail (Bridle Path)

Family shot -- almost at the summit, another 0.4m to go

Have to go up the fire tower for the best view. Just try to not look down through the open metal staircase.

View from the top of the fire tower on the summit.

The boys loved the hike and I think we all agreed that it was maybe our favorite thing of the trip.


Blueberries, originally uploaded by tinasquirrel.

We have been on vacation in Downeast Maine / Canadian Maritimes. We collected lots and lots of stones from the beach and even found a bunch of sea glass. And on the way home, we stopped on the side of the road and bought 20 Pounds of wild Maine blueberries. Yum.

Now what does one do with 20 pounds of blueberries?? Well, so far, I have canned 20 jars of blueberry jam, made one killer blueberry double-crusted pie, lemon-blueberry scones and blueberry muffins. DH made blueberry ice cream and is trying out some blueberry vinegar. I have individually frozen about 2 quarts, and I still have two quarts left in my refrigerator that I need to do something with. I think I will just freeze them for later use.

It was the first time that I had ever made jam, and the first time that I ever used a boiling water bath canner (is that what it is called??). In any case, it was easier with the second batch, and I’m excited to do some more canning as more vegetables/fruits come in. Hopefully, our tomatoes will start turning red soon!

My cool picture mosaic seems to be getting cut-off, but in my HTML-ignorance, I have no idea how to fix it. Sigh. Ah well, we can’t all be perfect, right? If you click on the picture, it will take you to Flickr where you can see the whole thing. And yes, that is a huge geodesic dome in the upper right that looks like a giant blueberry. It’s Wild Blueberry Land!