After we left Italy, we returned home and decided to spend a week at our regular campground in Maine. We drove all night, and arrived in front of the ranger station at about 5:00 AM, and went to sleep, second or third in line. When the rangers opened the station, we were able to set up our tent as usual, in the “A” loop (the closest to the sea) of the Seawall Campground. No sooner had our tent gone up, it began to rain, and it rained without stop for six of the seven days we were there that year. It wasn’t that there was nothing to do when it rained, but it just felt nasty and cold, especially after the splendor of the weather in Italy. It was a disappointment, but there were things to do on the island.
Each year there was a book sale in Bar Harbor Library, where each year we checked out the books without buying any. I have no idea why we went, possibly just to avoid the rain, but we also went when the weather was good. Each year I also needed shirts for work, and we always bought some of those at the Hathaway discount store.
Linda and I also seemed to need shoes when we got to Maine, and the Dexter Shoes outlet always had some shoes we could use. Those stores are gone now. What remains are the barns full of moldy books and other assorted junk sold as “antiques.” We explored them all. However, it was impossible to do any of Linda’s beloved mountain climbing and quite difficult to do any hiking at all, although we did do some when the rain let up to a drizzle.
On the afternoon of our last day on Mt. Desert Island that summer, we visited the Jordan Pond House, a combination restaurant and gift shop, whose specialty was serving popovers with butter and strawberry jam at about three o’clock each afternoon, on tables set up on a lawn overlooking the Jordan Pond and two distant small mountains at the other end of the pond, The Bubbles. It was a beautiful setting for tea time, but since everything was either damp or wet outdoors, we had to settle for our popovers indoors.
When we left the Jordan Pond House, before we reached our car in the lot, I happened to glance up, and there it was! Overhead was the most beautiful double rainbow I had ever seen. It seemed to signal, as in the old story, the end of the flood. It had finally stopped raining, and we stood there, looking up, watching the double rainbow fade away.
The rain had stopped, but it was now late in the afternoon, and we had to get back to our campground where we had supper at our almost dry table. After supper, I built our usual campfire, and we sat in front of it, reading by lantern light, overhead trees and stars. Later in the evening, we walked over to the beach to look at the millions of stars and count meteors, if there were any. When we got to the rocky beach at high tide, just above the horizon, floated the largest, brightest moon I have ever seen. We sat there on a log and took it all in. It almost seemed that the afternoon’s rainbow and this full moon were trying to apologize for the terrible weather of the past week, and they succeeded. I barely remember the rain, the drizzle and the cold, but the splendor of that rainbow and that Moon, were simply unforgettable.