The phone would ring. I would pick up to answer. I’d hear a familiar voice ask, “Wanna go to Maine for some lobster.” I’d answer, “Meet cha at the airport.”

The first person to arrive at the airport was responsible for getting a rental car and picking up the other curbside. Thus, began the 20-year-long adventures with my best friend from college, Beth. As it turned out, after college Beth and I were both excellent salespeople. We used our frequent flyer miles and our long weekends to explore our country.

I was the designated driver, although there was no such term back then. By back then, I mean way back in the day. There were no cell phones. There was no Siri nor Google Maps. Thinking back, I often wonder how we managed to get anywhere safely.

Beth rode shotgun and was the navigator. Given the fact that Beth did not know her left from her right adds to my pondering of how we got where we were going and back home.

Part of the equation was we really did not have a specific destination. We had a general direction and a mission. On every adventure we would venture forth with youthful vigor, a Rand McNally map, and wander lust.

We never took the road less traveled, nor the less beaten path. With little or no planning, we beat our own path.

Our path found us on the I95 Expressway in Boston.

Worthy Side Note: Without a doubt, Boston drivers are the most erratic and fastest drivers in the country. They will run their own mother off the road to make a four-lane change exit. Even without seat belt laws, we always buckled up for the ride.

As we headed North, we decided our destination would be Acadia National Park, approximately a 5-hour drive from Boston. We only stopped along the way to get gas, coffee, snacks and make a ‘clean sweep’ of the car. Once we reached the Southern portion of the park, we headed on the one-way portion of Route 3 which landed us in the middle of the Southeast section of the park.

Welcomed and surprised by incredibly interesting cobblestone roads still used by horse-drawn carriages, we knew the park was an important place in US history. We learned how historically important as we walked and read sparsely scattered signs marking paths and providing just enough information to intrigue us to learn more about the natural beauty and tranquility we were enjoying.

Come to find out, because we were never taught in any History classes, Acadia is the only national park in the Northeast. It is the first national park to east of the Mississippi River. It was designated by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 as Sieur de Monts National Monument. The park was renamed Acadia National Park in 1929.

Mr. Eliza Homans first donated 140 acres of land. Many land purchases and donations would become Acadia National Park. Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. acquired and donated 11,000 acres of forest, shore land and scenic areas to the park. Mr. Rockefeller also paid for the construction of the 51 miles of Carriage Paths in the Park which thoroughly inspire us.

On our drive out of the park, we took the one-way Park Loop Road which took us past Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake. Hiking solely on adrenaline, we made our way to both, where we saw the most amazing color of waters either of us had ever seen. Seeing signs we took a detour to Cadillac Mountain, 1,530 feet above the Gulf of Maine. From the peak of the mountain, we could Mt. Desert Island and a sea full of other islands. It is a view we would forever have in our memories.

We drove on the one-way Park Loop Road on the Eastern side of the Island. We stopped to walk the trails to the lookouts and took in the views from Otter Creek, Thunder Lake and South Beach.

We continued South until we came across a tiny waterfront restaurant boasting a Lobster Meal complete with corn on the cob and coleslaw for $5.99. We hunkered down in an outdoor eating area to savor every bite of the lobster for which we came. Adventure accomplished.

Whether you are planning or just daydreaming, I hope my travel memories remind you or inspire you to make your own travel tales and trails to bring back stories to family, friends and our Hope community.

 ** In memory of Beth Sayer 1964- 2010 **