10th May 2008 – Bangor, ME to Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor Maine Photo

Mass informed me in the morning that he and the OAP had rolled around in the back of her Jeep for a couple of hours and that he tried to put his hands in places that no self-respecting man should do with a woman old enough to be his great grandmother.

We drove on towards Bar Harbor, Maine, which, as the name would suggest (had the Americans used the correct spelling for the word Harbour) is on the coast. First though, we stopped to abuse our bodies with a fry-up at Denny’s.

Denny’s is a very popular chain “restaurant” that has been going in the States since 1953 and now has in excess of 1,600 outlets worldwide. It specialises in greasy, unhealthy-looking meals at a pretty reasonable price, and to Mass and me it’s like a second home. Whenever I walk into a Denny’s I’m always excited about how much damage I can do to my body by eating one of their breakfasts. Usually, a quick glance around at the obese regulars gives me my answer pretty quickly. I’ve also noticed that after a while, some of the customers even start to look like the food on their plates.

We shovelled down our food, and Mass, in his hung-over state, generously tipped the waitress a whole 98 cents for her trouble. With tips like that, she’ll be able to retire soon.

In the afternoon, we arrived in Bar Harbor on the east coast. The town is set right next to Acadia National Park, which, I was surprised to learn, is America’s second most visited park. We drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain (470m high) and took some nice pictures of the picturesque bay, which has lots of small islands scattered across it. Fortunately there were no actual Cadillacs up there to ruin the views.

The town itself is actually situated on an island, called Mount Desert Island, and it has a population in the region of 5,000. It has just the one road connecting it to the mainland.

We were staying in a motel called Cromwell Harbor Motel and it was very nice, albeit quite pricey. The town itself was pretty quiet at this time of year and many businesses were still closed for the winter. It wasn’t hard to see why – it was bloody cold at just 9ºC.

After walking around the town for a while, we visited a few pubs in the evening and then returned to the motel for a quiet night. To be honest, I needed the night off because the combination of bad diet and lots of beer had been taking its toll. Who’d have thought it? It felt good to be in bed and sober, and it’s not often that can be said.

Mark Jackman is one half of the Jackman Brothers, who have written a trilogy of humour books set in the fictional town of Old Liston. He has also written a number of travel diaries, including the Mass and Peahead series about his road trips through America with his buddy Mass.