We have arrived at our big destination for this trip, Acadia National Park in Maine. After our arrival day, driving through Bar Harbor and dodging the tour buses and cruise ship tourists, we set camp in Blackwoods Campground. Nice wooded spot in the spruce woods, dry camping but we have a full tank of water and plenty of propane. Of course we had rain overnight, so the chairs and footstools we set out got wet once again, but they will dry. Cold and dreary morning, but we set out anyway to explore.
Our first stop on the loop road, some of which is one-way only, was at Jordan Pond. It has the only restaurant in the park and the pond (more the size of a lake) has two mountains as the backdrop known as the bubbles. This morning it was pretty socked in, so we really couldn’t see much. Nice gift shop where we might end up buying some long-sleeved tee shirts.
As we drove further on and upward along the roadway to Cadillac Mountain’s summit, the air started to clear and by the time we reached the top it was clear blue skies east toward Bar Harbor, but still low clouds on the west side. Wisps of mist and cloud would roll over the summit from time to time. We had a gorgeous view of the harbor, the cruise ship in port and the out islands. The pictures will tell you how awesome it was. We walked around the summit trail, down along the rocks for a better view of the harbor and back to the car. We continued along the loop road to the visitor’s center, watched the short film and then continued on the loop road until we got back to the motorhome to eat lunch and let Kodi out.
Since it had turned out to be a much nicer, sunny afternoon, I thought we should try one of the hiking trails. Our book listed the Precipice Trail as challenging but about 1.7 miles and I thought it sounded like fun. When we reached the start of the trail, Jackie was very cautious, in fact she really didn’t think we were up for it, but I was a bit stubborn about it and said we should try. Well, I might have been wrong on this one. It was definitely a challenge, mostly because it was way longer than it should have been. I am certain it was closer to 3 miles before we were done.
So what was it like? Well definitely more of a rock climb than a hike. We climbed our way up a boulder field, over some big rock faces using iron rungs and grips, along other sheer rock slabs, under boulders, up stone steps and down stone steps … it really was a workout for us both. We reached an intersection where the trail either continued further up the mountain (ohhh, no) or down to the roadway. But that trail back to the road still went up! It was a long way back. But we did have one cool moment that ALMOST made it worthwhile. While chatting for a break with some other hikers headed the other way, we spotted a porcupine ambling along. Seriously. He seemed as curious as we were and we quickly snapped pictures. Further along we saw another porcupine, or perhaps the same one. He might have made faster progress than we did.
Ok, once back in the car and headed back to camp, I was told firmly to listen to the advice of my partner in these adventures and if it was a “no way” then that is what it should be. But we both kind of admitted it was a huge personal challenge to have done it. We both took showers and hit the sack pretty early.
Day 3 in Acadia was a rare sunny day that got rather warm – upper 60’s. We heard it was to be nice, so we packed a lunch and hit the loop road along the shoreline to see some of the rocky coast.
Sand Beach was just that, a nice sandy cove. Thunder Hole was rather tame, but loaded with the tour bus crowd. It is a spot where the surf roars into a slot in the cliff and makes a big splash and a lot of noise. But not if the water is calm like today.
The coast has lots of cool vistas and the rocky shore is very picturesque with the clear, dark water. We circled back to Jordan Pond and got to see just how scenic it is. But crowded, with parking spots at a premium.
One cool bit of architecture is the gatehouse beside the gated carriage roads put in by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
We had lunch at the edge of the ocean in one of the coves, then drove around to the town of Bar Harbor to play tourists. Just as crowded as the first day we drove through, but the harbor is a pretty sight. A different ship was in port today and if you were careful, you could spot many of the crew around town on shore leave (seemed like the hospitality and entertainment group). After buying some long-sleeved t-shirts we found our way to a wifi spot that served beer. Yes, we found yet another brewery: Atlantic Brewing. Actually, their beer was darn good. We loved all their ales, but particularly the Weiss and Scottish Ales. Blueberry Amber Ale was a close second. We met some folks from Michigan and had a chat about beer and some of the places we saw and that was fun.
Since we have yet to find a laundromat, Jackie washed some essentials back in camp and we hope they will dry by morning. What started as shorts and t-shirt weather today has quickly turned to much colder air and we expect 50’s and rain for the next few days, Who knows, maybe it will change. It was a good day all around.