2018 – Moody Beach Thousand Trails – Wells, ME


The timing of our August stay at Moody Beach Thousand Trails put us in a popular area at its most popular time. Traffic up and down Highway 1 was more often than not backed up. The campground, too, was filled to capacity nightly. This campground is tight. There are many “parallel parking” spots that were laid out before rigs got as large as they are today. Some would work but many would be a challenge for the average big rig. In the “back” of the campground there are several pull-through “back to back” sites. The camper on the driver’s side is very close. You then share a front yard with the camper on the passenger side of the camper.

Depending on how people park their rigs this setup works fairly well. One complicating factor is that many sites have been rented out to long-term campers. Those folks tend to spread out to the very limit of their campsites. If you happen to have permanents on both sides of you it can feel even more packed in that it is already.

Because of the narrow roads and placement of trees I couldn’t get into the first site we tried. I moved to a different one and got in okay. Getting out was a bit of a challenge because of how the permanent site next to us was set up, keeping me from making the left hand exit I should have been able to make.

Getting satellite TV anywhere in the campground is a challenge. Some people manage it, but you shouldn’t arrive expecting to get satellite TV. My Verizon signal was marginal but generally usable. We paid for campground WiFi. I would give it a B- grade. Weekend evenings were pretty sluggish. I think all the sites are FHU – many are 50 amp.

Aside from the above, here are a couple of things you might want to know. First, the campground is behind a large miniature golf course and not visible from Highway 1. Look for the big Wonder Mountain Fun Park sign. Next to that sign is, indeed, the Moody Beach Campground sign. You turn there, as though you are going to the miniature golf course. Second, the campground offers shuttle van service to Footbridge Beach. The price is nominal and parking at the beach is high and packed.

Honestly, we thought our stay at Moody Beach was the least of our four campground stays in Maine on this trip. We didn’t enjoy Wells and Kennebunkport because of the traffic congestion. The campground continued the “congested” theme and by the end of the week we were ready to move on.

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2018 – Sightseeing Wells-Kennebunkport, Maine


Our final week in Maine on this year’s adventure brought us to the Wells-Kennebunkport area. My best memories of this area are enjoying fish and chips at an area restaurant, eating some great ice cream, and taking a very nice (but congested) coastal drive to Kennebunkport. While there we enjoyed a few quiet moments at Saint Anne’s By The Sea which is a historical Episcopal Church with a wonderful view of the ocean. Nearby we also saw the summer home of President G.H.W. Bush (from a distance, of course!). Honestly, although our campground was in town and only a few minutes from the beach the August traffic and parking issues made it a major effort to go anywhere. Even if we did find a parking spot that would accommodate our truck the charge for parking made it prohibitive for us. There’s a local shuttle that can be ridden for a nominal cost of just $1 a ride, but it battles the same traffic. The result for us was that we just hung around the campground a bit more where we could avoid the traffic in this very popular tourist area.

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2018 – Schoodic Woods Campground – Acadia National Park, Maine


As we began thinking about our 2018 Adventure we decided that Maine’s Acadia National Park would be our primary destination. I started researching the area and began seeing rave reviews of the NPS Schoodic Woods Campground, located on the Schoodic Peninsula section of the National Park. This is considered the “quiet side” of the park with Mt Desert Island containing all the famous landmarks and Schoodic being more laid back. The campground receives universally high marks. Ultimately, we decided to spend a week in the middle of the action on Mt Desert and then spend a week enjoying the serenity of the Peninsula. The booking window is 6 months and I got online the earliest day I could book for the dates of our stay. At that time there were only a few remaining available sites.

It was a great choice. We certainly wouldn’t have wanted to miss the famous side of the park, but this campground is just great. It is located just outside the small town of Winter Harbor. The pull-through sites of Loop B are some of the longest we’ve ever seen. Spacing between the sites is also more than generous. We can see our neighbors through the trees but there’s a great feeling of privacy throughout the campground. The sites in this loop all offer 50 amp electric and water. There’s even free campground WiFi. Here’s a tip for WiFi – book sites nearer the restrooms for the strongest WiFi signals. My Verizon worked okay, ranging from 1 to 3 bars of 4G and I had no problem getting satellite TV.

The campground has a “dark skies” policy. That means there are no strings of LED lights, bug zappers, etc. It also means that you can sit out at night and count the shooting stars and watch satellites gliding across the sky with the backdrop of the Milky Way clearly visible.

The roads are paved and the sites are gravel. The restrooms were always clean. You want to know that there are no showers at the campground. A few businesses in town offer showers for a price.

There’s a NPS shuttle bus that serves the Peninsula, including stops in the two nearby small communities where there are restaurants, a small grocery, and a few shops – all can be visited without starting your own vehicle.

If the campsites here were full hookup, or if, at least, showers were offered, I’d give Schoodic Woods a perfect score. As it is, though, it ranks as one of our favorite campgrounds of all time.

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2018 – Sightseeing Schoodic Peninsula Maine and area

After our active week at Bar Harbor this has been a wonderfully quiet week. We have been on the “quiet side” of Acadia National Park, on the Schoodic Peninsula of Maine. Our campsite is just a few minutes walk from the visitors station and Island Explorer Bus stop. This bus goes around the Island stopping at several points to allow visitors to get off, stay awhile, and then catch another bus to continue exploring. We enjoyed the scenery, especially at Schoodic Point. The route includes a stop in the small village of Winter Harbor where we looked in the five and dime store and a had a sundae at the local restaurant. The local event of the week was the town’s Lobster Festival which included craft booths, food trucks, a lobster dinner that we enjoyed, and lobster boat races. The lobster boats used in the races are the real deal, although I think the engines are souped up a bit. I loved seeing the waves crash on the rocks at the coast but my best memories will will be the times we sat out at night seeing the shooting stars on the clear nights we had here.


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2018 – Mt Desert Narrows Camping – Bar Harbor, ME

This was our first visit to Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park. The area has three Thousand Trails – Trails Collection campgrounds. My first choice was Narrows Too because it has full hookup sites and is known for its larger campsites. From my earliest booking window it was full for the time we wanted to be there. Another option was Patten Pond which is a bit farther out from the National Park. I could have gone there, but really wanted to be able to ride the shuttle and avoid some of the traffic that makes driving anywhere sluggish in this popular tourist area. That left me with Mt Desert Narrows which is the closest to Bar Harbor.

This campground has a variety of campsites, including an impressive tent camping area right on the bay. There are also back-in water/electric sites on the water but they are packed in with neighbors right on top of each other. Up away from the water there’s a large section of full hookup sites, some 30 and some 50 amp. Unfortunately for us, none of these sites were currently available to people who come in on the Trails Collection program.

However, we were given a nice, grassy water/electric 50 amp “parallel parking” site near the activity center and pool. Really, no complaints. We had neighbors in front and behind us but there was room for parking, etc. Our front lawn was somewhat narrow with the road passing by. Again, no complaints. The pool is heated, making it nice even on cooler days. The staff was always friendly and helpful. We enjoyed free ice cream one afternoon and when I asked someone if my fire pit could be cleaned the fellow cheerfully stopped right then and took care of it for me.

We really enjoyed having the Island Explorer Shuttle stopping right at the campground. Using the shuttles we could make connections to downtown Bar Harbor and most of the famous spots in the park. We had to drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain because the shuttles don’t go there. Aside from that the pickup was left parked except for a couple of trips to the grocery and for church on Sunday.

The campground WiFi was decent and several sites have cable TV. We happily used their WiFi but I sat up the satellite dish so we could watch the Astros games (for some reason the local channels fail to air our Houston team, what’s up with that?). I had a weaker but usable 4G Verizon signal.

I think on a future trip I would again try to get a spot at Narrows Too just to have FHU but otherwise I would return to Mt Desert Narrows, no complaints.

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2018 – Sightseeing Acadia National Park and area

We enjoyed our week near Bar Harbor, Maine where we focused on seeing the Mount Desert Island section of Acadia National Park. The Island Explorer bus stopped at our campground so we had easy access to Bar Harbor and the National Park. There are many shops and eating places of all kinds around Bar Harbor. Mount Desert Island is full of history and the scenery is amazing. Again, our focus was on the national park. Sand Beach is beautiful and I loved seeing and hearing the waves crashing in the rocks. At Jordan Pond restaurant we dined on their famous popovers with butter and jam. After eating we walked down to the pond. The water is very clear and the view of Jordan Lake was great. The Bubble Rocks out across the Lake complete the beautiful scenery. We took one half day to drive up Cadillac Mountain to see the views that include the outer islands off in the distance. We wanted to get there early as this this a major attraction in the park and parking is limited. We arrived about nine am and not many people were there because of the fog and no view whatsoever. We looked around the gift shop and then walked on out to the ledge trail, found a comfortable spot and waited for the fog to lift. As the fog cleared the islands off in the distance and far below us came in to view. During the winter months Cadillac Mountain is the first United States real estate to see the sun rise. Later we drove a scenic route, exploring portions of Mount Desert that are outside of the national park. We found a beautiful spot along Somes Sound where we enjoyed some quiet time, soaking in the beauty. Not too far from our campground we visited a L.L. Bean Store and enjoyed looking around, even though it wasn’t the main store. We enjoyed our experience here and can see why it has been a vacation spot for all ages through the years. I’ll have more to write about Arcadia next week as we are going to spend the week on the Schoodic Peninsula, which some people call the “unvisited” part of Acadia National Park.

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2018 – Homestead on the River Campground, Biddeford, Maine

We enjoyed our time at Homestead by the River Family Campground, at Biddeford, Maine. The campground is on the Saco River and has a variety of campsites including many seasonal sites, grassy water/electric sites, FHU back-in sites, and a number of tent sites near the river. We opted for a 30 amp, FHU spot and really liked it. Our site was spacious and bordered by evergreens on both sides, providing a nice level of privacy. The campground has several farm animals, including horses, and a large children’s play area. There’s a nice swimming area on the river that got a lot of use over the weekend. The campground wasn’t cheap, but compared to many in the area it was as good or better than most. We think Homestead is a nice campground and we recommend it to those looking for a spot in the area. My Verizon data was good and I had no problem getting satellite TV. The free campground WiFi was usable, but a bit slow. You can pay for an upgrade to campground WiFi if you want.

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2018 – Sightseeing Portland, ME and area

We had a wonderful time sightseeing Portland, Maine and south along the coast. We started by visiting Lenny, a life-sized chocolate Moose at Lenny Libby Chocolatier. There was also a bear and two cubs made of chocolate in the diorama. This candy shop has a wide variety of chocolate, salt water taffy, fudge, ice cream and gift items. Of course I bought some chocolate to take with me. From there we went to the Holy Donut shop for a unique experience. We bought a maple bacon and a potato donut with chocolate icing topped with coconut flakes. A tasty treat!

We then caught the city bus and enjoyed seeing the historic homes and buildings we passed on the way to the wharf. There we caught the Casco Bay Ferry Mail boat and rode along on a three hour mail run to several of the islands in Casco Bay. During the summer there are two of these runs a day and many people buy tickets to ride along. We heard a description of the historic lighthouses and other features along the route. It was interesting to see the crew load and unload the cargo and watch the people meet the boat to pick up their items as they were unloaded. Much more than mail was included in the cargo. For instance there were several mattresses and box springs that were loaded into the back of a pickup on delivery as well as a golf cart. A couple of times the sea fog rolled in adding to the adventure.

We also spent a fun afternoon seeing the beautiful coastline and visiting a few lighthouses just south of Portland, Maine. They are all historic but one that stands out is Portland Head Lighthouse. It’s construction was begun in 1787 at the direction of George Washington. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the parks and beautiful homes in the area.

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