by Dick Rauh
MJ Brush planted the idea, then announced that she will be on sabbatical, cruising the Atlantic during all the planning stages, but in touch via email.
Oh well, it will be a nice quiet conference, down east and homey, after the incredible intensity of Cindy Shaw's Richland meeting, and the glamour of Pedro Salgado's Portugal meeting.
Herring gulls and fog, and tidal pools; mountain climbs and whale watching, a clam bake for a banquet and a barbecue with contra-dancing. Mount Desert Island (reachable by causeway) where Bar Harbor is located, is the East Coast answer to Eden. The home of the only National Park in the northeast, it boasts rocky coast, pine-covered hikable mountains, America's only natural fjord, a museum celebrating the art of bird carving and the charms of New England Yankee hospitality.
I have agreed to chair
the affair, having had a love affair with the island for the last thirty
years or so, and I'm excited about introducing you all to this spectacularly
beautiful place. The College of the Atlantic is where we will stay and
they think we're a great fit with their ecology oriented program. We will
be the only group on this small campus then, and will have full run of
The college is situated slightly outside of the town of Bar Harbor (a fifteen minute walk) along the shoreline. Bar Harbor has become a world class tourist town, with a range of restaurants, night spots, high quality gift shops along with the usual tourist schlock, and will be bursting at the seams while we are there. Fortunately, we needn't get involved. We'll be self-sufficient, with plenty of parking on campus, for those who chose to drive. We will be eating all our meals on campus, except that box lunches will be provided for those going on field trips. The campus, which I believe was originally a series of private estates, has dormitory facilities scattered around campus. Some are relatively new facilities, others in converted cottages. The main campus buildings are all relatively recent, including the auditorium, meeting rooms, dining hall and classrooms. Adjacent to the eating facilities is an outdoor covered terrace. See Gretchen's report on the College under Lodging.
I've also spoken to
the National Park Rangers, one of whom is a member of the Guild; they
are enthusiastic about working with us.
The island is about a ten hour car ride from the New York City area, and there are airports in Bangor (about an hour away) and Trenton (Bar Harbor Airport), which is actually on the mainland about twenty minutes from downtown Bar Harbor. For those who will like to extend their stay, I would suggest an early reservation of motel or campground, or perhaps a trip on the catamaran that shoots up to Nova Scotia in under three hours. Bill Townsend, our member Ranger, suggests that this is a bird watcher's dream. It is possible to make the round trip in a day.
I look forward to
introducing you to this incredibly beautiful stretch of New England.
Copyright © 2001 GNSI - Guild of Natural Science Illustrators