Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Islesford & Great Cranberry

We caught the ferry out of Southwest Harbor yesterday to the Cranberry Islands, Great Cranberry and Islesford (Little Cranberry).  Technically speaking, there are several more "cranberry" islands, including privately owned Sutton Island, Bear Island, and others, but we just visited the two larger islands, neither of which is actually large.

The "cranberry" islands are so named because they were once covered with wild cranberries.  In my homebrewed D&D campaign setting based on Mount Desert Island, I've made the Cranberries (called the "Blueberry" Islands in-game) home to a pirate clan, but in reality, they were once a shipping way station based on their location and the quality of their natural port(s). Later the islands became home to fishermen and farmers, and that's still the case with Islesford. Great Cranberry has become an upscale artists' community and tourist destination, however.

We liked Great Cranberry. They have a General Store and a terrific little cafe along with a museum dedicated to the history of the region and its people. They also have a pair of nature trails that lead out to secluded rock beaches and a working ship-building operation. 

Little Cranberry is less of a destination. They too have a museum, but it's owned and operated by Acadia National Park, and it's solely dedicated to the island's lobster trade. Islesford is home to a lobsterman's collective, and while it was cool to be in-and-amongst Maine's locals working at their living, I felt like I was walking uninvited through the middle of a random suburb of regular folk. It's a nice museum, and the people were nice enough, but I cannot recommend it as a tourist destination. 

The lobsterman's collective:

I don't know what's up with this sign, but we saw it several times. 

We saw lobster traps stacked everywhere on Islesford.

A private beach on the far end of Isesford. 

Sadly, Islesford's cafe was closed. 

We biked today, and I think we all enjoyed that more, but it wasn't conducive to pictures. Now we're in Bar Harbor (Breakwater Bay in-game), and I'm at a bar called Cherrystones while the girls shop. Life is nice, but I keep getting emails from work, and it looks kinda ugly.

I think they miss me. Ugh. 

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