Finding Inspiration in the Colours of Maine

Although summer will always be my favourite season, there’s no denying that fall brings inspiration with its beautiful colours. In Maine, we’re treated to these colours in full display.

Bar Harobr, Maine, & Acadia National Park: Fall colours in full display, www.marianamcdougall.com, colourful trees in background

October 9th-10th

Driving to Maine

After a wonderful time in PEI, we made our way back to New Brunswick to get to Maine. Before leaving, I purchased a large Play Doh canister for the children, and on the next few rainy days, the kids fully enjoyed their new toy. I purchased it both for an activity for rainy days, but also for my little ones to practice their fine motor skills. All three children love it.

 

Three children playing with play doh at an RV kitchen table

 

October 11th

Brewen, Maine, and Holden Family Campground

As the rain falls and it becomes obvious our children are ready for a change from the RV, we decide a visit to a library is an excellent idea. The Brewen library is small and cozy, and the librarians friendly. A small room welcomes young children, who read and play to their heart’s content. Initially, only our children are here, but a 4-year-old girl later arrives and makes fast friends with them. 

 

three children playing at a library.

 

As K-girl reads countless books and G-boy and M-girl play, I decide to wander through the library for a few minutes. I come across an excellent children’s book about a children’s librarian and the Japanese American children she loved. Ms. Breed exchanged letters with Japanese American children who were sent to interment camps during the second world war.

It’s hard to imagine the hardships these children endured, but the book manages to address a serious and heartbreaking topic, while also sharing the love the children were able to feel because of this librarian’s courageous acts. During an extremely difficult time, Ms. Breed managed to provide some hope to those who were treated unfairly, and used her pen to bring awareness to the mistreatment of Japanese Americans. Writing is a powerful act.

As I continue to walk through the library, the decorations catch my eye. One is a house sculpture made of toothpicks over a wooden frame. I’ll later learn that Maine is the largest producer of toothpicks in the country.

Toothpick house sculpture in Brewen, Maine Library

There is a chart with rocks from the area, a cricket model showing the digestive system of the insect, and several other educational displays. After reading some books with the children and playing for a while, we return to Holden Family Campground for the evening, where I work at the clubhouse for a while.

October 12th

Bar Harbor, Maine

The colours in Bar Harbor, Maine, proudly announce that fall is in full swing. While summer, which is full of life, laughter, and warmth, is my favourite season, the beauty of the colours in fall is awe-inspiring. Here in Bar Harbour, pinks, yellows, greens, and reds combine to form a scenery that inspires art.

Fall colours in Maine

 

Although I consider myself an amateur in art (and in almost everything), I nevertheless had to capture these inspiring colours in something other than just photos. So I grabbed my coloured pens, and drew this.

 

fall colours trees sketch by Mariana Abeid-McDougall

 

The gorgeous colours continue through our drive to Acadia National Park. The park is gorgeous, but be aware that to get to the Visitor Center, you must be able to climb several steps. 

 

Acadia National Park

 

Another important thing to know is that there are impassable places for a tall RV in this park. So we go to the Visitor Center, watch a short film about the area, grab Junior Ranger activity books for the children, and continue our drive to discover other places in Bar Harbor, Maine.

One recommended place to stop is the Abbe museum, where you can learn about the indigenous people of Maine, their struggles, their customs, and their beautiful art. We park the RV on the road, where fall colours once again greet us.

 

Bar Harbor, Maine, fall colours, RV parked

 

At the Abbe Museum, it’s interesting to read about the settling and birth of the United States from the perspective of those who were here before the Europeans arrived. You can also admire the talent of club carvers, basket makers, and canoe builders, in displays that are as awe-inspiring as they are sobering.

 

Basket at Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, Maine

 

Intricately carved clubs displaying stereotypical images of indigenous people stand in stark contrast with simple clubs from earlier time periods. Later indigenous carvers saw an opportunity for trade, and catered to the tastes of the tourists in the area, perpetuating myths about what real tribe life was like in order to attain economic survival.

 

carved clubs at Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, Maine

 

War Club history at Abbe Museum

 

Root Clubs at Abbe Museum

 

The museum is interesting, and provides a different perspective than what most people my age learned from high school history books. In addition to beautiful and informative displays, the museum also has a great children’s area, where kids are encouraged to interact with traditional indigenous toys, learn indigenous creation stories, play with animal puppets, and learn about the solar system. Our kids spend most of their time here, and enjoy themselves fully.

 

Abbe Museum Children's Area

 

Girl with an indigenous art puzzle at Abbe Museum

indigenous dolls and books at Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine

 

Toy canoe at Abbe museum, bar harbor, maine

 

After exploring the Abbe Museum, we walk back to the RV, taking the time to observe the gorgeous fall colours, as well as some funny Halloween decorations.

 

Halloween decorations in a garden. Witche's legs and broom are upside down in a pot of flowers that look like the bottom of a ruffled skirt.

 

Before leaving Bar Harbor, we pass through Acadia National Park’s Seal Cove, where the children explore rocks and tide pools, and where the beauty of the water once again brings me wonder and peace.

 

Seal Cove, Acadia National Park

 

As seagulls fly overhead, our children explore the beach to find unusual rocks, crab claws, and shells.

 

Three children walking in Seal Cove, Acadia National Park

 

Before we leave Seal Cove, a lone red maple leaf reminds me of the season we are in, and somehow, makes me feel more Canadian, even here in the US.

red maple leaf on sand at Seal Cove, Acadia National Park

 

Bar Harbor’s fall colours and majestic mountains continue to amaze us as we leave the town. We fully enjoyed our time here, and will probably be back one day.

 

moutains and road in bar harbor, maine

What is your favourite thing about fall?

 

 

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