Day Four: Saturday, October 2nd, 2004
        Up bright and early this morning. Ate breakfast once again at the Holmestead Restaurant, checked my email at the library, and then packed up the tent and everything else and set off for Yarmouth, bidding Dunromin goodbye.

        The ferry left at 4pm but we had to show up an hour early so that we could sit around in our cars and wait for a security guy to ask us whether we had any firearms, hunting knives, explosives, or pepper spray on us. He then proceeded to search in all the obvious hiding places like under the front seats and in the glove compartments, ignoring the numerous worthwhile hiding places which anyone serious would use. I suppose they are simply trying to keep everyone safe from total idiots.

        Once onboard I was disappointed to find that there was only one small section at the rear of the ferry where you could actually go outside and get some fresh air... I was even more disappointed to find that the fresh air was polluted by everyone going out there to smoke. Still, there was a very nice view of the waves kicked up by the motors as well as their poorly designed tennis courts. It also had a rather funny warning written below the railing. Nice to see them so concerned about our butts.
        Everyone must've gotten really hungry during that hour of waiting because I seemed to be the only one not lining up to stuff my face when I got onboard. Of course I was technically broke for the duration of the trip since I had let my Canadian money dwindle and had not yet obtained any US funds. No bank machines on board, though you could use VISA with a minimum $10 purchase. I wasn't quite that hungry.

        The trip took three hours and it was pretty uneventful. They were playing two different movies: one I had never heard of before on the left hand side of the ferry and "Finding Nemo" on the right. Of course when they started up I was sitting in the middle so I was able to hear both but see neither. I figure they should've had a more balanced selection of movies, for fear that everyone would go to one side to watch the favorite and topple the ship.

        For the first while they kept making announcements concerning how soon it would be before the casino and the duty free goods store would be open. Ahh, the wonders of being at sea.

        Thanks to the time change we arrived at 6 instead of 7pm. Still, the sun hadn't changed much so it was still almost dark when we got in. I expected a long delay getting off the ferry but things went pretty smoothly. I'd already filled out my little form saying who I was and whether I was bringing in any fruits or beef into the country so after a brief wait in the lineup and a show of my driver's license, I was officially in the US.

        Being almost out of gas I made a quick search for a station and then started my quest for a campground. After a little wandering about at night in unfamiliar territory I finally tracked down the Black Woods Campground. Only $20/night, but since it was part of a Acadia National Park I needed to purchase a week long pass as well for another twenty bucks.

        I got to my campsite and tried my make the best of my late arrival. Managed to get a campfire going with some fallen nearby branches as well as some partially burnt logs from the previous visitors here. The tent was almost impossible to put up. The only way the supports will stay in place is if the pegs are secured tightly into the ground. Otherwise, they just spring right back up, hauling the pegs right out. I found this out because the soil where I pitched my tent was more like sand. I was extremely frustrated by the time I finally got it standing precariously.

        Much warmer than the previous night but with my rechargeable lantern almost going dead I called it an early night.

Day Five : Sunday, October 3rd, 2004

        Or so I thought... At some point around midnight or so it started to rain. It started to rain ALOT. Did I mention that I failed to bring along the extra rain cover for the tent? It probably wouldn't have been so bad but my tent was beneath some spruce tress and they must've collected the rain and then released it in great big drops down onto the tent. Things were starting to get rather damp when I finally had enough and made a series of quick trips from the tent to the car, quickly setting everything up in the back do that I could sleep there. I left the poor tent to fend for itself in the downpour.

        Despite everything, I managed to get a pretty good sleep. The futon may be bulky and awkward to lug about, but it makes for very comfortable sleeping, wherever it may be.

        I packed up the soaking wet tent, all ready to set off somewhere new, but then realized that the best thing to do would be to stay another day to let the tent dry out (the rain had stopped during the night) and explore some of the surrounding park. So, I reluctantly put the tent back up again, seriously thinking about getting one of those magical tents that pops right up at a touch, and paid for another night of camping. (I felt much better about getting two nights for $30 each instead of one night for $40.)

        Then I went in search of the showers. Unlike the last campground, this one did not have showers. However, there was a 24 hour shower spot just a mile or two away. These guys were a little more expensive: 4 minutes for a dollar. No time to relax and enjoy the hot water this time. I had to hurry! Oddly enough, one of the signs stated that quiet hours were between 10pm and 6am. Quiet hours at a shower? Does that mean no singing?

        Once I got cleaned up I set off in search of breakfast (there appears to be only one place in all Bar Harbor that serves breakfast) and then decided to take a drive up Cadillac Mountain. It was nowhere near as immense a climb as I had remembered as a kid, but the view up top was quite wonderful.

        Then it was off to the Bubbles! Two big mounds situated side by side. I am sure they have some other nicknames. I couldn't actually see them until later on so I wasn't actually sure where I was going. But it was a nice hike up to the top of the "south bubble" and it also featured a giant rock sitting precariously close to the edge. I tried to push it over, but didn't have any luck.

        After a couple more simpler hikes down by a lake, I was totally bushed. I went back in to Bar Harbor and wandered around a bit. Got an ice cream, contemplated using one of the internet cafes ($2.95 for 15 minutes) and then eventually came back here to find my tent had dried out. Much to my annoyance I found that the $3 bundle of wood I got was soaked. (Not freshly cut, not left out in the rain, but more likely sitting in a puddle for the last couple days before they sold it.) Fortunately, I was able to gather enough dead wood around the campground to make myself a decent fire anyway and feast on some hotdogs.

        Tomorrow morning I am setting off for Camden (its library has free wireless access) and then I am going to cross into Vermont. Not quite sure what I will do once I get there, but I am sure I will figure something out.

Day Six : Monday, October 4th, 2004

        Up bright and early and on the road. Eating at a Denny's this morning, about to enjoy a French Toast Slam meal. Passed a lot of "NO C.A.R.B." signs on the telephone poles: No Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Bush. The roadsides are littered with tiny signs supporting Bush or Kerry, such a waste of wood. And does it really have any effect whatsoever? Will some schmuck driving by suddenly see a Bush sign and decide to vote for him? Maybe whoever has the most signs up will win.

        From Bar Harbor it was off to Camden and the lovely library there which offers free wireless internet access. I spent a few hours there catching up on things, sending off a few emails, and just generally getting my "fix" of the internet. A beautiful area there. I was actually somewhat tempted to stay at the local campground for a day or two. But I decided to push on instead.

        I decided to head northwest for a bit and go up into the White Mountains and enter New Hampshire there and eventually cut across into Vermont. However, after spending a bit too much time in Camden, it was obvious I wasn't even going to make it to New Hampshire before nightfall. As it got dark I was getting a little annoyed at not finding any campgrounds. I started passing through a peculiar area where all the places seemed to have European names such as Norway, Poland, and Paris. Things were not looking good when the only campground I found was all closed up for the winter. Then, just around 9 or so, I came across the Pleasant River Campground in West Bethel. By then I was just a few miles from the NH border.
        The place was lit up but there was no one at the office so I went in and took a spot before returning to the office to give my money to a guy fresh out of the shower wearing a towel. Just $15 a night and the showers were free! A very beautiful camping location with all the ground covered in a layer of pine needles.

on to the next day...