Acadia National Park

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
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Flag of United States  , Maine
Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, September 4th

We headed in to Bar Harbor and stopped at an information center for info about Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. We were able to get some good maps and then headed in to the Bar Harbor Campground.  This campground is a little bit different from other campgrounds and lets you drive around and chose your own site.  We picked one with sort of an ocean view that is close to the bathhouse and laundry room. 

We decided to stay at the campground for the night since it was close to dinner time.  We grilled up some delicious steaks for dinner and have some pasta and green beans to go with them.  After dinner we looked over some information to decide what we wanted to do tomorrow.  We settled on heading in to Acadia National Park to do some hiking and then heading in to the town of Bar Harbor if we are feeling up for it.  Then we hung out by the fire and roasted some marshmallows before heading to bed. 

Monday, September 5th

Today we got up early, got ready, ate breakfast and packed lunches so that we could head out to catch the free shuttle that runs around the island.  We took the shuttle to the Visitor's Center inside Acadia National Park to get more specific information about the park.  There was a park ranger there giving detailed information about all the hiking trails inside the park.  We purchased a detailed map with trails on it and watch a little video about the park. 

When we headed out of the Visitor’s Center we caught another shuttle that drives around the park loop road.  We got off at the first stop for the North Ridge Trail, which is a 2.2 mile trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain, which is 1530 feet high and is the highest mountain on the North East Coast.  The park ranger said that this was the easiest trail to the top of the mountain.  It covers the elevation change in the longest distance.  We decided that we would try it out.  It was definitely strenuous, but also gorgeous.  We started at 400 feet at the base of the trail and climbed the rest of the way to the 1530 feet.  We all really enjoyed the hike and were pretty exhausted by the time we got to the top. 

When we got to the top we walked around the top of the mountain to take in all the gorgeous views.  Then we sat down at a picnic table to eat our lunches we packed.  After lunch we ate some candy for dessert and looked at the map to decide which way we wanted to head back down the mountain.  We decided on a shorter distance that would be steeper.  We ended up starting on the South Ridge Trail and then connecting to the West Face Trail to come out by Bubble Pond.  It definitely was steep and a little bit scary at times.  We had to climb down on rocks, some of which were smooth and steep.  We definitely got our work out today between the climb up and the climb down. 

When we got to the bottom we all needed to relax some so we sat by Bubble Pond to relax before catching the shuttle back to the Visitor’s Center.  From the Visitor’s Center we caught a different shuttle to Village Green, which is in the center of Bar Harbor.  The bus let us off in to a park.  From there we walked around town, in and out of shops.  From the shops we walked down to the water and followed the road to a street where you could get down to the edge of the water.  This is actually a location where you can walk across a sandbar at low tide to Bar Island.   It was high tide though so we couldn’t walk on to the sandbar.  Jared did dip his toes in the water though. 

Then we walked back to the park to catch the 5:30pm shuttle back to the campground.  When we got back we grilled up some trout for dinner with rice and some veggies.  After dinner we had a fire and roasted some marshmallows and mountain pies for dessert.  After that we were all exhausted from our intense hike today and went to bed.

Tuesday, September 6th

We woke up today with the intention of heading in to Acadia early again today for some more hiking.  Unfortunately it was raining so our plans changed.  Jared checked the weather on his phone and said that the rain should clear up later in the day.  So we made some scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast and did some stuff around the RV for the morning.  The Bookhamers did some laundry and got their luggage packed up since they will be flying out tomorrow morning.  Jared did some of our laundry and I worked on catching up on some blogging. 

When it stopped raining we were just finishing up the laundry and ate some lunch before heading out to catch the shuttle to Acadia.  We took the shuttle to the Visitor’s Center and then transferred to the loop road shuttle.  From the loop road shuttle we got off at the Sand Beach stop.  We took Nash with us today because he is allowed to ride on the shuttles and is allowed on most of the trails.  He was not allowed on the Sand Beach so I stayed up top and waited for the rest of them to check out the beach.  Then we started out on the 2 mile Ocean Path Trail.  Along the Ocean Path we were able to stop off and climb on some rocks over the water to see some great views. 

We stopped at Thunder Hole, which is a cool spot where you can hear a thundering boom when the waves catch an air pocket and compress it.  It was pretty cool to stand down near it and listen to the booming.  Water would come splashing out of the area.  I think we caught it at the right time, which is about of hide tide.  The other spots we passed were Monument Cove, Otter Cliff and Otter Point.  Each location was pretty and it was to climb around out on the rocks.  The day really became gorgeous and the sun was shining brightly all afternoon. 

We came off the trail just in time to catch the last loop shuttle that was running.  We took the shuttle to the Jordan Pond area so that we could try to have a cup of tea and a popover (it is kind of like a danish with fruit filling).  The movie we watched showed us people sitting out back the restaurant with a great view eating their popovers.  Unfortunately we were not allowed to do take out and they weren’t serving the tables set up out back.  They told us that we could tie up Nash outside a window and come in and eat at a table near his window.  We decided that wouldn’t be a good idea since Nash would just end up barking the entire time at us.  So we skipped the popovers and just took in the view.  Then we headed out to catch a shuttle right in to Village Green.  When we got in to Village Green we had an hour to kill before we could catch the shuttle back to the campground.  We walked around to some stores and then waited in the park with Nash.

When we got back to the campground we made a quick dinner of burgers, sausage and potatoes on the grill.  We wanted to hurry up and get dinner done so that we could have over to play mini golf at Pirate’s Cove before they closed for the night.  We had a great game and Jim won with a 43, Jared and I tied with a 45, and Sharon brought up the rear with a 51.  At the end of the game when we were turning in our golf clubs the girl at the desk spun a wheel that had the numbers 1 through 18 on them.  If the wheel lands on a hole that someone on your team scored a hole in one on you win a free game.  On the first spin we got whole 17 which none of us scored a hole in one on, but the girl spun the wheel again and it landed on hole 9.  Luckily Sharon got a hole in one on hole 9 so she won a token for a free game.  Because they are leaving tomorrow morning Sharon gave it to us so that we could hopefully use it since we are staying another night at the Bar Harbor Campground.  After the golf game we walked back to the campground.  Jared and Jim played cribbage, Sharon read and I worked on blogging.  Then we all headed to bed.

Wednesday, September 7th

Jim and Sharon’s plane was leaving at 6:30am today so we all got up super early to get them to the airport in time.  We left the campground at 4:30am to get them to the airport by 5am.  The airport was super tiny and I think the only major air carrier out of Bar Harbor is US Airways.  They were the first people at the airport, but Jared texted his mom when we got back to the campground and she said other people were showing up.  We set up the RV again and then went back to bed. 

We slept in super late and decided to have a day at the campground to do some stuff around the RV.  We were originally going to try to go in to Acadia again to do one of the hikes that has ladders climbing up some of the mountains.  They sounded super cool, but because of the rain they wouldn’t be open so we just decided to stay at the campground.  I worked on getting caught up on blogging and Jared did some laundry and got the RV back in order.

It was nice to have Jared’s parents with us for a week and a half, but since the RV is tiny we are enjoying having some space back to ourselves. Haha. 

We decided to just have leftovers for dinner and work on some plans for the rest of our trip. 

Thursday, September 8th

Jared and I got up in good time this morning to head back to Acadia to do a more strenuous hike that has wrought iron "ladders" to climb.  It was still sprinkling this morning some, but soon enough stopped.  We caught the shuttle, and decided to stop at the visitors center first to make sure the trails are open, since it did rain for the past 24 hours. The park ranger said there are two trails (bee hive and precipice), but it might be better to wait till tomorrow as they may be slippery. We already knew we weren't going to be here tomorrow, so we decided to check out the BeeHive trail and if it got to a point of being to slippery we'd turn back. It never did though, actually the hike/climb up the Bee Hive was great. We had some great views and our footing was solid the whole way up. Now the way down was a different story. The trail is a loop trail so you only have traffic coming up the ladders. The trail down was muddy and slippery rocks. This wasn't too dangerous as it wasn't very steep, but just messy.  The trail met up with the The Bowl, which was a pond up on top of the mountains, it was pretty. It was fairly calm when we came upon it, and we were by ourselves out there, which was pretty cool to experience.  As we continued down, there was some work being done on the trails by a big group of volunteers, apparently they are moving/fixing the trails some.  However, our map didn't have these new improvements, so we made a wrong turn that only took us on a little extra detour, till we realized we were headed back towards the top of the mountain. But we were soon headed back in the right direction, toward the loop road. After we got back to the trail head we timed it right to catch a bus to take us to the precipice trail to check it out. But as we were on the shuttle we realized our timing would make us pretty rushed on the trail to catch the last shuttle, and for everything we wanted to do tonight. So we just took the bus to the village green in Bar harbor and spent some time around town, and finished off our Bar Harbor experience, with free tasting at the Bar Harbor Brewery. We tasted some delicious beer, so we each bought a bottle to go with dinner. We caught the shuttle home and got home and at some lunch.  After eating, Jared continued planning our trip while I made strombolis. Since we had a free game of miniature golf, we walked across the street and played another round, this time on the 18 holes called Blackbeards challenge. It was an up and down battle, but Jared was victorious by shooting a 47. I shot a 48. We grabbed some ice cream for dessert on our way back to the campground. When we got back we baked the strombolis I made earlier and just relaxed for the evening.
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