Bar Harbor, Maine hitchabout via Massachusetts | Plum Island, MA | Acadia Nat’l Park, ME

At the edge of autumn, September 2014, I planned a visit with friends and family in New England in the northeastern United States. I would be hitching from Pennsylvania.

So I googled to get directions, and tweaked them with my sister Barb's route suggestions.

So I googled to get directions, and tweaked them with my sister Barb’s route suggestions. 

opted to follow my sister's suggestion to take route 81 in PA through to 84 in NY

opted to follow my sister’s suggestion to take route 81 in PA through to 84 in NY

 

The reason for my ‘hitchabout’ to Bar Harbor, Maine was to visit family friends who lived in the same hometown, Palmyra, Pennsylvania. Visiting Byrne and Bill Erb was a warm and first class visit with fine homemade meals, lots of art and inspiration. It was a fine introduction to this lovely seaside island town in southeastern Maine and Acadia National Park located on Mt. Desert island.

hitch_description

hitch_description

trip_booklet

The entire trip was in essence; wisdom, positivity, education and enlightenment of the heart from the rides to my stop with my sister in Massachusetts en route and the time visiting with friends in Maine. We worked out the time convenient for my hosts. I was happier to go during the warm days, stoked to go for a swim.

 

One of the rides I had with a woman from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts was mind bending, mind opening that is. I felt that the information exchanged was in itself, worth the trip. She was articulate and educated. It was a 2.5 hour ride with a psychologist turned policy maker at the Veteran Administration hospital region of NJ and part of Manhattan. It was a life-changing interchange. We talked of her work and all that veterans face. She was warm and intelligent. In response to mentioning to her that I’m writing a grant proposal for my book, (which I was about to send) she had much to offer. She explained (as a person who has written several grants and reviewed them) that you must ‘cut to the chase’ in the 1st 3 lines, or you’ll lose them. “They’re sitting on a plane on their way to the meeting with a pile of grants on their lap”. The grant will go to that material demonstrating that the person is finely tuned, showing competency and already demonstrating that they’ve worked through the recesses of their plan.

She made it irrevocably clear that one must be very detailed about the entire process. “Not that you plan to find appropriate translators to translate the text into the other languages…but describe the process of deciding upon them and who the translators are – you’ve identified them already.

She mentioned several times that you’ve got to think of the ‘we’ factor, the village. The more people you bring in, to introduce your material for them to critique and contribute, the more depth this interconnected fiber will be. Certainly it depends on the context of the type of proposal you’re writing. Her savvy lead me to realize that you have to communicate to the grantor as completed of a worked-through plan as possible. She said that if it’s not you, it’s someone else who is going to be deserving. The village factor is in the direction of transparency, the more open-sourced and openness of the plan, the better.

She asked “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?” Leading me in to recognizing how important it is to clearly delineate one’s plans, if one is going to reach and actualize even a portion of what one sets out to do. She offered the information that those who are successful, often map out in detail – in writing – specifically what they can imagine for themselves. It’s not so important whether it takes place in exactly the way that you imagined these steps to go, just let them fall into place. But aim high. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’re going to get closer than if you’d done nothing at all.

It was like having a session with a life coach. She offered information for me to contemplate and digest, as mentor or advisor. She chose to direct her questions to subjects that caused me to think differently, see things from a different perspective; which she has encountered in her experience. It was certainly invaluable information for me to be exposed to. She mentioned the gap between vision and reality, that one is continually arching over, as an idea becomes executed. I came out of that ride realizing I have a lot of work ahead of me, and really feeling very grateful for having had this intelligent and genuine conversation with someone who reached out. She also mentioned the value of each of us to reach out to exchange ideas with people who are more successful in whatever it is that you wish to accomplish. These people can act as mentors, and will be happy and honored to share their successes and habits as productive and fulfilled people.

After I was dropped off by her at a rest-stop where I figured I’d be staying for the evening, I went inside to orient myself, borrowing a map in the shop to identify where I was on it.

the woman behind the counter let me take a photo  documenting where i was

the woman behind the counter let me take a photo documenting where i was


The peeps behind the counter at the rest-stop let me do this (open up a map and take a picture of where I was). I had pretty much concluded in my mind that any further rides would probably not be too probable. Yet I approached one man whom I’d seen pass me as he was getting into his car. I mentioned that I was going to a small town on the northeastern tip of Massachusetts. As I was saying this a woman approached the passenger door. I know as a hitchhiker that couples rarely pick up hitchhikers. It turned out that these two were colleagues, not a couple. When she heard me repeat the name Georgetown, she said immediately as she walked to the trunk to move things around, “Put your things in the car”. I asked incredulously, do you KnoW where Georgetown is? He answered, it backs-up to the town we’re going to. It’s literally another small town next to my sister’s town. They were environmental engineers, something I’m very keen on, as a growing environmental activist myself.

I needed to return from the Maine hitchabout to attend the Climate March in New York city the following weekend, September 21st, 2014. Right on! good hitching Karma!

Therefore I was able to make it to stop in Georgetown, about 5 miles from the New Hampshire border. I visited my sister’s home there. She lives close to the Interstate highway 95 that continues into Maine through New Hampshire.

 

They were environmental engineers returning from a conference that day in Philadelphia, PA. Their company purchases thermoplastic pipesthermoplastic composite pipe from manufacturers in Germany and the United States. They talked of these as being much more ‘green’, in that they don’t have seams that can crack with pressure or become unsealed at their joints, risking leaking deleterious toxins. They also spoke of the technique of directing storm water runoffs into pipes channeling the water into the ground where it can be naturally filtered, and out of streams that would be carrying all the toxins and garbage that heavy rain water floods can sweep along with them. Here’s a link from Ohio State University in which the US Environmental Protection Agency further explains the subject; “Stormwater runoff has two major adverse impacts. One is related to quantity. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff entering sewers, lakes, rivers, and streams may cause flooding. Second, stormwater runoff often carries pollutants that may severely impact water quality. These discharges can result in fish kills, the destruction of spawning habitats, loss in aesthetic value, and contamination of drinking water supplies and recreational waterways that can threaten public health (USEPA, 1999).” Let’s not even START to talk about the deleterious effects of the impact of fracking on groundwater. In an article written for the Rolling Stone, “The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind Aubrey McClendon’s Gas Boom“. Jeff Goodell states that “McClendon dominates America’s supply of natural gas the same way the Tea Party-financing Koch brothers control the nation’s pipelines and refineries.

I offered what I know of a hotel in Taos, New Mexico that treats its own sewage into becoming grey water that is further used on the property. They do this through a system that includes a lovely terrarium type room ‘biolarium‘ where water filters over rocks. The Living Machine, is the “El Monte Sagrado” resort in Taos, New Mexico. The building is a recycling machine; collects rainwater, has energy independent heating and cooling systems, utilizes an ecological treatment of sewage to reuse wastewater, has environmentally friendly water disinfection, composts and re-uses organic waste material, which feeds their onsite food production and use of earth-based building materials.

the biolarium of the  El Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, NM

the biolarium of the El Monte Sagrado resort in Taos, NM

We met my sister at their office, in the next town around midnight. The following day she and I visited Plum Island, a lovely protected wilderness area off the seaside town of Newburyport.

Newburyport, Maine

Newburyport to Plum Island MA

Newburyport to Plum Island MA

Plum Island is a nature reserve that my sister Barbara drove us to where we walked around among tempestuous waters during the high tide and moody skies.

These pictures Plum IslandIMG_0013
IMG_0015 It was at the tail end of our walk that we came upon this fence there.
fence Plum Island

There was a reddish hued sand on the beach. red hued sand Plum Island

Later I took pictures of my sister’s home, particularly her art work displayed in different rooms.

artwork created by Barb Keiter

artwork created by Barb Keiter

Barb Keiter's illustrations

Barb Keiter’s illustrations

and her Hearth with a hand painted cloud mural behind.

Among her painted furniture is this mural painted by Barb Keiter

Among her painted furniture is this mural painted by Barb Keiter

More pictures of the entire trip are here. The shots are chronological;from the beginning of my trip with pictures of the sunset in Pennsylvania

sunset in the Pennsylvania skies on the eve of my departure.

sunset in the Pennsylvania skies on the eve of my departure.

then the trip heading northeast through Pennsylvania via New York state to Massachusetts.

After being dropped off at a rest-stop along I95, I noticed this bus, and wound up riding in it.

my ride through New Hampshire to Bangor, Maine.

my ride through New Hampshire to Bangor, Maine.

The bus is to transport the two piece band, the Hornitz. This was a great ride with the driver of the Hornitz bus, coming from a musical festival where he left the band behind in Massachusettes, and was preparing for an upcoming music festival in Maine.

Bar Harbor hitch sign

the magic bus of the Hornitz

the magic bus of the Hornitz

sketch with ink of shade coming through trees while driving on the bus

sketch with ink of shade coming through trees while driving on the bus

My ultimate destination was to visit family friends from Pennsylvania who now live in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine Notheast US

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine Notheast US

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine Bay Fundy

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine Bay Fundy

Bar Harbor - Mt. Desert Island - Maine

Bar Harbor – Mt. Desert Island – Maine

The town of Bar Harbor is located on an island named Mt. Desert.

Mt. Desert Island, Maine

Mt. Desert Island, Maine

I was treated graciously by my friends and hosts with wonderfully prepared meals from breakfast

beautifully prepared scones and fruit

beautifully prepared scones and fruit

to dinner

dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine

dinner in Bar Harbor, Maine

in lovely ambiences.

The protected land of Acadia National Park stretches over most of Mt. Desert Island, of which Bar Harbor is just on one corner.

Here’s a photo of a map of Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Mt. Desert Island

The area was originally inhabited by the Wabanaki people.

Acadia National Park reaches over most of the island, preserving the beauty of the wilderness.

Acadia National Park free shuttles

Acadia National Park offering free shuttles throughout the park.

Here’s a wiki link regarding more details and history of Acadia National Park.


from  the town of Bar Harbor
sandy beach in Acadia Nat'l Park

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island

rocky cliff Acadia
rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park
water through pines Acadia Natl. Park
rock water  Acadia Natl. Park

 Acadia Natl. Park

Acadia Natl. Park

rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park

rock ledges Acadia Natl. Park

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

geological coolness

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

I swam by this beach, verrrrrryyyy cold water.

scattering from the rocks everywhere I looked were these tiny black spiders sunbathing. I swam by this beach, balancing on the rocks and in verrrrrryyyy cold water, even colder (in September) than the waters by San Francisco.

It was just a great time!

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

Acadia Natl. Park, Maine

more pics of the entire trip as the link above indicated.

Return sign towards Hartford from BarHarbor to Pennsylvania

Return sign towards Hartford from BarHarbor to Pennsylvania

I encountered police en route a number of times. All were pretty chill. The first actually rescued me, after a driver had left me at an inopportune spot at dusk next to the highway. It was along the correct route, but literally in the middle of nowhere along the highway, with the next gas station 10 miles away. Two highway patrol officers helped me out by delivering me to the next restaurant/truckstop. However, they had to handcuff me to do this, because they were driving with an automatic weapon between them and no glass between their passenger and themselves. I was grateful. That’s where I got the excellent ride with the psychologist policy maker. The other time was being transported to a ‘more appropriate location’ a ‘non-private’ gas station, with a cordial and interested police officer. On the way home at an odd place a police officer was alerted to the dangers of stray cats walking into a place late at night, another all night gas station. That’s the one I walked to along this unlit road through a field that was lit by fog rising throughout, before the sun had risen. It could have been spooky, yet it was hauntingly beautiful. Somewhere in Massachusetts, I watched the fog snuggled against a field as the sun rose.

Massachusetts dawn

Massachusetts dawn

Great trip.

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About carolkeiter
Aspiring writer, artist, musician and composer who was born and raised in the United States and has resided in several European countries. Communication is my forte; both through using various tools and in approaching people of divers backgrounds to gather information. Speak conversational - advanced intermediate - French, German and Spanish. Love interacting with people in cultural centers as much as going to remote places to learn more about the different creatures that share our planet. Love of the outdoors and of a variety of outdoor sports. Driven to learn and expand my own consciousness and understanding through curiosity and love of life. Creative skills merge with analytical ones, leading to an interest in a myriad of topics; ranging from politics, economics, science to environmental. Motivated to use my art, music and writing to support and educate people towards humane practices that support and respect all of life, including practices supporting a healthy planet.

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