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A C A D I A   N A T I O N A L   P A R K   -   D A Y   # 1

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

After a night of restful sleep in the van, I now find myself wide awake at 6am in Ellsworth, ME. Parked on a residential street somewhere near village center, muted voices have pulled me from my early morning slumber. The voices appear to belong to two morning joggers, but, I'm too lazy to get out of bed to verify my assumption. As I lay in the dark, I quickly sense something bad is going to happen. I'm not at all sure where the feeling is coming from. However, it's a strong one, and it's telling me to leave the area ASAP. So what do I do? I rollover and go back to sleep of course...

...30 minutes have passed and I'm wide awake once again. I notice bright light is now streaming into the van's front windshield, and up and over the top of my privacy curtain. Could this be a sunrise wake-up call? It seems too early for the sunrise. Was seeing a sunrise even possible? I recall parking the night before in a place that didn't have a clear view to the East. So, what gives?

I'm feeling a bit unsettled now, something is really wrong! I creep out of bed and slowly make my way over to the privacy curtain. In a slow, continuous movement, I peer over the curtain top. Oh God! I now understand the source of my sunrise, it's the headlights of a cop car. Damn! I'm getting busted!

A knock soon comes from the van's side door. Hmmmm. Could it be my visitor wants to say hello and welcome me to the neighborhood? I reluctantly open the door to an Ellsworth Police Officer, who greets me and asks me what I'm doing here. Rather than go into my long spiel about my cross-country trip and how I park on the street to camp-on-the-cheap, I just tell him I was weary from my travels the night before and for safety reasons decided to pull over to get some shut-eye. It is mostly true, I drove over 300 miles the night before, I arrived early in the morning, and I was rather tired. Well, he buys my mostly true story then gives me directions to Acadia National Park, today's destination.

Looking on the bright-side, I decide this latest cop encounter will be my last. Having grown rather tired of these impromptu and somewhat unpleasant police encounters, I now find myself a changed man! No more camping on the street for me, no sir! It's either campgrounds or Wal-Marts (they let you RV camp in their lots) from now on. Nothing worse that getting busted, I HATE that feeling! You just don't know what's going to happen.

For the next few days I'll be visiting Acadia National Park. As you can see from the topography map above, the park itself is an island (Mount Desert Island) possessing many coves, harbors and tall mountains, the two most notable and highest being Cadillac Mountain and Penobscot Mountain. Today's drive will be a short one since I'm not far from Acadia. Located near the coastline, Acadia's Blackwoods Campground will be my final destination.

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