The great news is that this was the “second annual” PDC trip to drive the carriage roads of Acadia Park inMaine…..the sad news is that there was only one PDC turnout that made the trip! Carl and Caroline Cox brought their half bred “Black Boys” north again for a fabulous week-plus of driving. The weather was unbeatable! Club President Anne Watkins generously offered a cottage at her family compound on Mt. Desert Island so the three of us (Carl, Caroline – that would be ME, and Anne) made the very best use
of every wonderful moment. We drove every day, save one when rain “threatened”. This group always looks forward for an opportunity to shop, so it was rather nice to turn the horses out for a rest and hit LL Bean, a huge shoe outlet, and possibly the BEST “kitchen” store I, Caroline, have ever seen. ( Fortunately for Carl, there was a large wine selection in the basement level……) There’s nothing quite like being on “the Island” with Anne – she’s been spending summers there for 20? 30? 40? Years and knows ALL the best spots! Like us, our horses were boarded in the very lap of luxury. No mucking/feeding/wondering what to do without turnout……such is the situation at the Park Stables….the Black Boys stayed at Wild Iris Farm, where their every need is met. (If you are not familiar with this place, you MUST “google” it. Your horse is treated as one of their own!)
We met up with last year’s PDC hosts, Gail and Ham Clark, for dinner one night and for a coupleof carriage rides through the Park. The Clarks also hosted a cocktail party for us and several other carriage driving buddies at their spectacular residence on the water. Our friends (and hard working doctors!) Tom and Lisa Sherman (formerly of Warrenton, Va. And now of Rye, N.H.) happened to be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in Bar Harbor (yikes, could they be that old?), thus weput together ANOTHER carriage drive and picnic lunch (with Champagne of course!) in their honor. We were fortunate as well to spend a little time with fellow 4-in-Hand Club member Jimmy Granito. Unfortunately, plans we had to drive with him had to be cancelled due to a situation back at his South Carolina farm.
All in all it was a fabulous trip, well worth the arduous drive one must endure to get there. Maybe nextyear we will have more Club members come up….maybe next year we’ll stay longer….maybe next year we’ll take 3 days, instead of 2, to get there. One thing is for certain, we WILL find a way to gather again at Acadia with as many driving friends as possible! There are still a couple of carriage roads we have not travelled over….. and perhaps a couple of restaurants where we have yet to sample the lobster?!