Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Acadia--the National Parks Adventure Continues

"Lake and Mountain" ©Mary Montague Sikes
A visit to Acadia National Park in  Maine was this year's adventure for our family. The park is lovely with nice lake views for the photographers. The Carriage Roads, built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. years ago, are in excellent condition and great for bikers, hikers, and horseback riders (some places).  There were so many bicyclists the days we visited that hikers had to maintain constant vigilance  for their own safety.

"Pond Pathe" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Eagle Lake, Aunt Betty's Pond, Jordon Pond are among the scenic waters that the Carriage Roads encircle. How very special that John D. Rockefeller, Jr. recognized so early the importance of maintaining the rustic beauty of the area.

Following his death in 1960, the roads went downhill for lack of maintenance for which he paid over many years. By the 1980s, much of the 51-mile carriage-road system was overgrown and in disrepair. Friends of Acadia and Rockefeller's son, David, started an endowment project to reconstruct the roads. Today, the Carriage Roads are in excellent condition, easy for children and the elderly to navigate as well as for the sturdy joggers, bikers, and hikers to enjoy.

L.L. Bean Shuttle Bus ©Mary Montague Sikes
The Island Explorer free bus service, sponsored by L.L. Bean, is a remarkable help for tourists. The buses which serve Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park allow visitors to park their vehicles and travel by bus to the Bar Harbor Village Green. From there, they can board other buses to explore the park, Bar Harbor, and other area sites. It saves wear on cars and frustration over a search for the limited parking spaces.

Acadia National Park and Maine are fun places to visit. One week is not nearly enough to see everything.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

U.S. Route 1, the End and the Beginning

US 1, the Beginning ©Allison Sikes

Within the last two months, we have visited the end of US Route 1, mile 0, in Key West, Florida and the very beginning of it in Fort Kent, Maine where the bridge crosses the St. John River into Canada. There is something special about seeing both ends of an historic passageway north and south in our country. Sometimes, despite its many traffic lights, we use US 1 for an alternate highway as it parallels I-95 in Virginia.

The highway is truly historic with a beginning in the 1920s, nearly 100 years ago. It is the longest north-south highway in the United States. The sign at Fort Kent indicates it has 2446 "original miles". Wikipedia says it runs 2369 miles. Much of it was built along the fall line, and it connects many of the major east coast cites, including Richmond, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Boston, and Miami.

US 1, the End ©Mary Montague Sikes

The End sign in Key West is far less dramatic than the beginning in Ft. Kent. However, there are other signs in Key West with significance, including Cuba being only 90 miles away. It is also the southernmost point in the U.S. Ft. Kent is close to being the northernmost point in the continental United States.

Interesting to have visited both during the past few weeks. Wonder how long it would take to drive the route from beginning to end?