Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tales of the Island, Day Three

An addendum to my last entry: The Hurt Locker is really an impressive film. There's a lot of action but I wouldn't say it had a lot in the way of plot. It's more of a character sketch and a damn powerful one at that. While in line at the theatre, we met the local Line Nazi. She's a local woman who is apparently sick to death of the tourists. She took it upon herself to herd the ten people waiting in the very small lobby to the line to get seats. She was very forceful with Joe and me and was not happy until we had taken the two steps to the left so we could stand in line. Of course, standing in the line she had designated meant we completely blocked the way of the people leaving the theatre we were waiting to enter.

Today Joe and I decided to hit the Jordan Pond loop trail. It was listed in the Acadia Weekly magazine as one of the hikes of the week (actually, the only hike of the week. Usually there's two though) and I always like the do the hikes of the week if we haven't done them already. We did part of the Jordan Pond Loop trail last summer when we looped around Eagle Lake and them summited Conners Nubble followed by North Bubble and South Bubble. We ended up on the Jordan Pond Loop trail on our way back to the Jordan Pond House to catch the bus back to the village green.

But today the plan was to complete the entire loop, a total distance of 3.25 miles. We arrived at the village green early and sat down to wait. Joe contemplated the server problem and then got irritated with me when I wrote a note about it in my notebook. Dude, you know I'm going to blog about this. That's all I have to say.

Anyway, the bus showed up and Joe and I got on. Then a lot of other people got on too. There was a cruise ship in town for the day and they were all in the village green, eager to take a tour bus around Acadia. They chose our bus because it was going places like the Bubble Pond and Jordan Pond and Seal Harbor. What they didn't really seem to realize was that it was a shuttle bus. Not a free sight seeing tour.

The reason I know this is that, once we began moving, they began complaining. There was no air conditioning. There was no bathroom. And you couldn't see anything. There was nothing but trees. Trees with lots of green leaves. The leaves hadn't even changed color, for crying out loud. And where were the moose?

That last question led to a particularly hysterical conversation that went a little something like this:

Cruise Guy 1: Where are the moose? Aren't there any moose? Mooses?

Cruise Woman 1: My daughter took a picture of one. She went to New Hampshire. And Maine. So you have to go there. (Pause) We are there.

Cruise Woman 2: Isn't there any air? I guess you have to pay for air.

Cruise Woman 1: Isn't there anything to see? I guess you get what you pay for.

The woman in the seat behind spent some time on her cell phone. The cell phone she didn't know how to use. Finally she got ahold of her daughter and talked about her granddaughter's first day of school. Good news...Gabby likes her teacher. Grandma's going to get her a tee shirt as a souvenir.

Later, I helped the cell phone woman open her window and thus the problem of no air conditioning was solved.

By this time, we were in the park and pulled into the Bubble Pond Parking lot which was the first stop on the schedule. This is where things really got fun. Because there was a gray Volkswagon sedan from Massachusetts parked in a non parking spot, which blocked the bus's path out of the parking lot.

So we sat there while the driver contemplated his options. And while we sat there, a number of cars pulled into the parking lot behind us and also sat and also waited while the driver contemplated his options.

The cruise ship passengers had several suggestions. Break the windows. Leave a note. Call the cops. Get the car towed.

I got my trusty Acadia map out so I could see if there was another way to reach the Jordan Pond Loop trail from the Bubble Pond parking lot. There was, but it was a whole lot of hiking to reach the hike we were actually striving to get and Joe was a little unsure about his hiking abilities.

After a few minutes, the cruise ship guys got off the bus and started redirecting traffic. They made cars turn around and stopped others from coming in the parking lot in the first place. Then they stood and helped guide our poor driver as he attempted to back the bus out of the curving tight fit parking lot.

The going was slow, but he made it and everyone got back on the bus. The cruise ship ladies clapped and cheered their husbands and our driver and then we were once again on our way.

A few couples got off the bus with Joe and I when we finally reached the Jordan Pond House and later, we came across one of the couples on the same hike. It was a nice hike but really, really busy. I know it being Labor Day weekend wasn't helping anything but I guess I like the less popular trails more. Less annoying groups.

Like the really big family group that was filled with giggly teenage girls with no idea of trail etiquette. Just saying.

But I think the real highlight of the trail was the bird we saw, perched on a rock just off the trail. I took a couple of pictures of him but just missed my opportunity to get a shot of him taking a big ole piss into the public drinking supply. Other brushes with nature included a garter snake slithering away from us (I managed not to scream. I suspect the other couple on that part of the trail with us had something to do with that.) and a pair of very frisky, amorous chipmunks.

Upon the completion of the hike, we waited again for the bus. This time, we rode with a different group of cruise ship guests and even helped them out with which bus they needed to take where.

We went to the Chinese restaurant for lunch and who should be there but the large family group with the giggly girls. Unfortunately, Joe's waitress with the nice ass was nowhere to be seen but fortunately, no children vomited in the street (last time we ate there, this little kid projectile vomited in the street right in front of the restaurant. We were sitting in a window seat and had a front row seat for the whole thing.).

So now we're just hanging out at the hotel and resting up. We're planning on going out this evening and experiencing the Bar Harbor nightlife. Wonder if the cruise ship will still be in town. Could be a lot of fun. As long as there's A/C.

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