Because I got there on a Wednesday afternoon in the off season, the campground was only about 20% full and there were a lot of empty sites and it was very quiet. When traveling alone I always try to "borrow a family" by setting up camp somewhat near a family or group… as a solo female it can be tempting to sort of hide yourself away in order fly under the radar of anyone who may want to pester you, but it's actually better to be very visible in everything you do. Nobody minds a quiet solo neighbor, plus parents are parents no matter where you go and there is almost always a mom happy to make sure you feel safe regardless of whether she actually knows you ;) I still had plenty of privacy and space.
When the camp office opened I bought some firewood, asked for a recommendation for dinner and was sent on my way with a map down to Bass Harbor, on the Southwest corner of the island, where I got a lobster roll as big as my face and a slice of raspberry pie on the side from Thurston's Lobster Pound. While I was waiting I roamed around the idyllic working harbor taking photos of lobster boats unloading their last catch, old boats in various state of faded beauty and lobster buoys! So many lobster buoys.
I wish I had gotten a photo of my lobster roll. It was intense.
Due to the spur of the moment nature of this trip I didn't do a ton of planning or researching, but I chatted with the kitchen staff at Thurston's while they were tossing lobsters and shellfish into the boilers outside and got some good tips on what to see (Side note: always, always ask locals or other travelers where they'd go if they were visiting. It can change your life.) I made my way to the other side of the harbor to see Bass Harbor Light, where there's a pathway that leads down to a clearing below the lighthouse, and jagged rocks to scramble over to get right down at wave level.
I got there just in time to perch on a rock a few feet above the waves and watch an intensely vibrant sunset behind the lighthouse, and then watch the waves crash and swirl through little canyons in the dimming twilight. While most of New England's coast is sandy shore, the coast of northern Maine has a lot of exposed bedrock which looks similar to the Washington coast, where I grew up.
Back at my campsite I sketched and wrote for a while. And then the best part of camping...
I've been trying to teach myself the ins and outs of star photography and am (clearly) still learning, but these do an okay job of showing just how amazing the night sky looked from the edge of Somes Sound. With no light pollution the Milky Way was a bright streak of stars across the entire sky and there almost seemed to be more stars than blackness. It was incredible! Sadly, I didn't have a remote shutter release with me so most of my photos are a bit blurry from manually holding down the shutter for 60-80 seconds in the very cold air, but it was still fun to get to practice on such a beautiful cloudless sky. Crashing waves and billions of stars have a lovely way of making one feel tiny and infinite at the same time.