Canceled July 31, 2013
We made it to Acadia late in the evening after driving for two days from Chicago. The excitement was tremendous. We ate our first Maine lobster prior to checking into our hotel. The Quality Inn was adequate. It was located just a few miles from one of the park entrances and walking distance from Bar Harbor.
The next day was Bill’s 43rd birthday. Luke and Winston planned a perfect day of hiking and did not allow Bill to even look at a map. The boys were in charge. The first hike was at Sand Beach where we hiked the Ocean Path trail. We started very early in the morning. No people were around yet, but the fog was thick along the high sea cliffs and pebble beaches. Thunder Hole and Otter Point were unique and enjoyable to witness.
The next hike was also located at Sand Beach. At this time traffic was plentiful and everything was crowded. We did not move the car and we hiked to the Beehive trail. Alisa was extremely nervous because it took us up steep cliffs with iron rungs. We could see the mountain and other hiker on the trail from the car. The extreme high edges had ladders on them. Alisa was frightened, but brave. She persevered and made it to the top. The top of the mountain had a rewarding breathtaking view. Furthermore, we had a relaxing picnic with fresh wild blueberries to pick and eat. There was different trail that we took to come down the mountain. However, with plenty of rocks it was a struggle for Alisa.
The final hike of the day was the Jordan Pond trail. We felt a little adventurous as we climbed another sheer cliff to the South Bubble. We thought the bubble was something water related. However, it just meant a small clearing on the top of this mountain. The view was spectacular. There was different trail to come down the mountain with plenty of rocks to make it a struggle once again for Alisa. When we got back down to the bottom the reflection on Jordan Pond was picturesque.
The birthday dinner was at an amazing Chinese buffet. We had a few moments before the night was over. Impulsively, Luke quickly drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain and caught the sunset at the perfect time.
On our second day we hiked the Ship Harbor trail along rough coast lines and evergreen forests. After, we went tothe Bass Harbor lighthouse and the natural seawall. Later in the day when it was low tide we went to Bar Harbor to hike to Bar Island. We walked across the bar and unto island. The peak has a beautiful view of Bar Harbor. Since the bar is covered at high tide this exploration was special.
On our way back to Bar Harbor we decided to go off trail to get some family solitude. Unfortunately Winston stepped on a wasp’s nest which triggered a swarm of yellow jackets to sting Luke and Alisa repeatedly. After calming them down we got to the shoreline. Everyone was safe as we relaxed peacefully and had a picnic. Finally, we briefly swam in cold water and hiked back across the bar to our car.
We reflected that afternoon and went back to Sand Beach to swim in the extremely cold Atlantic Ocean. We did not spend much time in the water and on the beach. That evening we walked to Bar Harbor and toured the historic city until after dark.
On our last day in Acadia we discovered our favorite places of the trip. The best hike was the Great Head trail. This trail was absolutely awesome! We hiked along cliffs and walked slowly down to the ocean. The huge rocks created a luxurious spot to stare at the crashing waves. We spoiled ourselves with a short nap and enjoyed our isolation. Next we drove to an overlook and hiked down off trail and discovered a cave. Exploring this unmapped cavern was wonderful.
Our final hike consisted of a drive to Long Pond and hiking up to Mansell Mountain and Great Notch. This several mile loop in the early afternoon was absent from other people. It took us a long time to finish the trail, but the isolation in an otherwise crowded national park in the summer was well worth the effort. Long Pond was very clean and the last part of the trail was along the pond shoreline. Our 47th cancellation was a great place that we want to visit again.
Enjoy your American National Park Quest Tee Shirt.