TBT: Here’s What 2020 Bar Harbor Looked Like With No Tourists
I wrote this at the beginning of the pandemic, and thought it was an interesting look back at Bar Harbor in the summer of 2020...
There's one thing that is very important to point out immediately. I have nothing but the deepest respect for the hard-working residents and business owners of the whole Acadia region. What's happening to them isn't their fault. While it's way beyond simple politics, obviously every one of them would rather be having a normal summer.
And while you hear on social media and on the news that the streets of Bar Harbor are pretty freakin' quiet, you don't really know until you see it with your own eyes. My wife and I had our anniversary recently, and spent the day down there. While certainly parts of it seemed like business as usual, others were almost spooky.
It was one of those surreal moments where everything seemed like any old normal day.
We started our day hiking around Jordan Pond, and just breathing in all the delicious piney air. There were birds, and chipmunks, and deer. The few people we ran into on the path were very friendly, and everyone was keeping appropriate distance, etc.
When we headed in town to get some food, we had zero trouble finding parking in a lot that under normal circumstances, would be almost impossible to get into. We were asked to mask in and out of the restaurant we went to, and sat outside. It was great. Again, that normal feeling crept back in a little.
Until we walked around downtown.
There were no cars. There were hardly people on the street. Little shops that would normally be spilling out onto the street were wide and clear. It felt like a Hitchcock movie. And then I started to have a more panicked feeling, because I've owned a small business before.
These folks need us right now. Everywhere all over the state. Bar Harbor isn't alone. Boothbay and Rockland and Belfast are probably feeling the same kind of pinch. Even though I selfishly enjoyed moving freely around Bar Harbor for the first time ever, I felt the need to all but empty my wallet.
These fellow Mainers all over the state, from restaurants to book stores, and everything in between, need us to be the tourists right now. So if you're wondering what your weekend plans might be, consider some in-state tourism. After all, the way I was brought up, we all helped each other out if we could...