Monday, May 11, 2015

maine | exploring schoodic point

Maine 2014
I mentioned that Acadia National Park is made up of many pockets of land, and some of them aren't even located on Mt. Desert Island. On Tuesday, we decided to explore one of the outlying areas of the park: Schoodic Point. To get there we had to drive off the island and onto the mainland and then down to a peninsula east of Mount Desert Island. Not many tourists make it over to this part of the park (which is one of the reasons we went!), so it felt private and secluded.
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After checking out the views, we set out to hike the Anvil Trail. Or at least, we started on the Anvil Trail. Several miles later, I'm not sure what trail we were on, but it was a fun and scenic hike nonetheless.
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I definitely didn't expect so much climbing and rock scrambling, but later found that this is pretty common for trails within the Acadia.
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Thankfully, I was hiking with my own personal tow rope, Larry:
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#teamwork

It was a very up and down trail, but the climbing was worth it.
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The whole trail was dripping with Maine blueberries. I had certainly heard of the famed Maine blueberries before (and eaten them in blueberry muffin mixes!), but I never knew what made them so special. They actually looked pretty puny compared to the blueberries we're used to around here. But one mouthful and I discovered why: those tiny berries were the sweetest blueberries I've ever tasted. We picked handfuls and stuffed our faces as we hiked.
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After a full day of hiking and exploring, we headed back to the cabin for the usual: reading, relaxing, and walking down to the lake in our pajamas and hiking boots with mugs of beer.
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Using the rocks as a tripod, I attempted to take some long exposure pics of the stars over the lake in the dark:
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Maine 2014

Friday, May 8, 2015

maine | biking the carriage roads and the perfect day

Maine 2014
Sometimes the best days are the ones with the fewest pictures - probably because you're living in the moment instead of trying to record it. Monday, September 8th, 2014 was like that. After Larry and I fell in love with biking in Wyoming, we knew we had to rent bikes in Acadia, especially since the park has a network of 57 miles of carriage roads financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr in the first half of the 20th century. Just like our ride in the Tetons, I chose not to bring my camera along for the ride and instead focused on enjoying the experience. My photos are limited to a handful of poor quality point-and-shoot and iPhone photos, but I think my words from that day say it all:

From my travel journal postcard of September 8:

"Today was the BEST day. Spent the morning snuggling in bed. Drove into Southwest Harbor for pizza at Little Notch Bakery and to rent bikes. We took the bikes to the north end of Eagle Lake to ride on the carriage roads. The beginning of the ride was a little tough - low grade long climb on wonky rental bikes on a gravel road, but we persevered. We rode past Eagle Lake, Bubble Pond, and Jordan Pond and stopped at Jordan Pond House for a break and a reward of their famous popovers (so delicious), veggie stew, and blueberry crisp. Great place with an amazing view of the pond and mountains."
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collage - biking in acadia
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"The ride back was great - although chilly! I think I had gooseflesh the whole way. There was a tough climb, but the rest of the return was downhill and we flew along the path as the sun went down, casting long shadows and illuminating the lake. We ended up riding 16 miles and I am so proud of us! After we returned the bikes, we went back to the cabin for the evening and Larry lit a fire in the fireplace. Brr! It's cold here in the evenings, but cozy in the cabin. At midnight, we walked down to the lake to see the full moon reflecting on the mirror-like lake."
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Maine 2014

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

maine | exploring acadia's coast

Maine 2014
Our first order of business when we travel is getting the lay of the land. And so, after a relaxing morning waking up in our cabin surrounded by trees and water, and eating veggie pitas for lunch in Southwest Harbor, we set out by car to get our bearings of the island. Mt. Desert Island is shaped like a pair of lungs. The land belonging to Acadia National Park is scattered throughout the island - the majority of the land on the eastern lung is within the park. There is also a big chunk of land that belongs to the park on the western lung (where our cabin was located). And then there are random smaller parcels of land scattered throughout MDI that also belong to the park where residents of the island have donated pieces of land to the park. (In fact Acadia is one of the few national parks created almost entirely of donated land.) But the eastern part of the island is where most of the major points of interest (and entrance stations) are located, and that is the area we set out to explore on our second day in Maine.

For me, the priority was hitting Sand Beach. Just because the water temp only reaches a high of 55 degrees here and swimming would require a wet suit (or a very large set of cojones), doesn't mean you can't spend a day reading a book with your toes in the sand. It's a beach after all, and a pretty perfect one at that. Sand Beach is located in a beautiful secluded cove surrounded by rocky outcroppings, pine trees, and clear blue water. Oddly enough, it actually reminded me of the beaches on the east coast of Maui.
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Anyway, back to spending the afternoon relaxing with our toes in the sand. One of us was into it...
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...and one of us was not. Yes, this is what he wears on the beach:
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Must. Not. Let. Sand. Touch. Skin.

Larry also doesn't like "sitting around on the beach", so after we read a bit and he waited for me to take photos, we got back in the car to explore a few of the other sites along the east coast of the island. (If it had been up to me I would've spent the whole week reading my book at Sand Beach - definitely my happy place!)

The Maine coast looks exactly like you'd think it would. Rocks, pine trees, blue water:
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As the sun was going down, we headed back to the western side of the island for the evening - dinner outside in the town of Southwest Harbor as the sun set, and then back to Sans Souci where we wrapped ourselves with blankets and sat on the deck gazing at the stars.