So there I was
having dinner with Leesh talking about my move to Washington and my half-assedly planned hiking/camping trip to Washington when she mentions Acadia National Park. I pull up Google Images and to take a gander, and well… I went to Maine!
Naturally, I am well aware that Maine is not on the way to the west coast from Virginia. However, I did say that my route out west would be nonsensical and loopy.
[Read with sarcasm]
Acadia sucked. You should never go. I mean, ocean views, clear summits (though quite small; none of them top 1500 ft), sunny weather, and nice people: who wants that???
If you find yourself heading out to beautiful Acadia, make sure a cruise ship isn’t in. The number of people crawling about Bar Harbor and up on the hills was a bit overwhelming, but they were very nice so I can’t complain too much.
I highly recommend stopping in at a local coffee joint to chat with fellow hikers / travelers to get their recommendations on hiking and food! The only thing I ate in Bar Harbor was ice cream – don’t judge. When you ask for a hot fudge sundae, you don’t typically expect a milkshake sized serving, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t absolutely delicious! If you’re in the mood for the wonderful, sweet, cold, amazing-ness that is ice cream, check out Mount Desert Island Ice Cream.
The First Night / Day:
I got in around 5:30pm, so only enough time to set up camp and get down to a lighthouse for the evening skies. Racked out pretty hard that evening then spent the next day driving around Mount Desert Island (aka: Acadia) to figure out where everything was. To be fair, I was also pretty tired. The few days leading up to me actually getting to Acadia were long and somewhat stressful so I wanted a chill day.
The Second Day (Final Night):
I got up early, though I still managed to miss the sun as it began to rise, but still managed to catch it early enough to make me happy. Instead of heading directly for a hiking spot, I decided to drive through the park and climb out of the car to see a little hidden beach I’d passed the first day. It was fairly reminiscent of Kodiak Island which gave me the warm fuzzies of childhood. The universe was apparently with me that day because I had Little Hunter’s Beach all to myself for two hours. I scrambled along the rugged coastline and watched a tiny crab in a tide pool make algae it’s bitch, which was pretty baller considering that poor little dude was missing all but one leg on his left side.
Once people started showing up, I hopped off and went up to Cadillac Mountain as my starting point because yours truly went sans map (the one recommendation from a local I wouldn’t take again). Regardless, the drive to the top is GORGEOUS, but the number of people is less than awesome. I laced up my boots, strapped on my pack, and found the trail out to Dorr. You do a bit of scrambling up and down Cadillac, Dorr and down to The Gorge and it’s all mostly on granite. Lesson learned: Maine has a lot of granite.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t decided which, the National Park Service decided it’d be a great idea to mark all of their trails coming off Dorr with blue… all of them. Yup. A quarter turn in the wrong direction after coming back up to Dorr’s summit from The Gorge had me going down another trail that doesn’t intersect with Cadillac. Not a big deal considering I’m pretty good with land nav, so I recognized that the path was wrong fairly quick.
It was a hot one up in the hills – somewhere in the 80-degree range and I was sweating my butt off! Even with that heat, there was a great breeze and I managed about 5 or so miles on a hot, beautiful day, and met some great people along the way.
Well, people of the universe, I am off on my next adventure: Whatever that may be!