Dorr Mountain and Great Head (Acadia National Park)
We started the morning off with breakfast at Morning Glory Bakery in Bar Harbor, then headed over to a rental shop to see about some sea kayaking. There were several groups ahead of us, and we heard over and over as people rented bikes, “So, the park is closed… Here’s a map of the park. You can enter here, then take this trail…” No one was really put off by the closure.
We discovered that kayaking was only available in the morning and in the middle of the afternoon, and we decided we didn’t want to cut our hiking short to make an afternoon appointment. So we skipped the kayaking and headed out for a longer hike. With all of the lots closed, we parked along the side of the road. This was our view when we stepped out of the car.
See that mountain behind us? David and I are getting ready to climb it in this picture. You’ll also notice I’m wearing a jacket. It was in the mid-60s, which means you want to start with a jacket in the morning, and you’ll finish with it again in the evening. But during the day if you’re moving around, you’ll be happy in short sleeves.
The trail started so innocently and flat.
But soon we saw the steps, and began to go up.
Here’s David doing his Lewis and Clark impersonation, I think.
I insisted that he join me in Kate’s pose for this photo.
Here was our first viewpoint on the way up. Keep watching, because it’ll get better. That’s Frenchman’s Bay in the distance.
See, the color is really peaking in spots. I think we’re in for an early winter.
Not quite Inca quality, but this was still an impressive little staircase.
The stairs just went up and up. We quoted “Lord of the Rings” a lot, and hoped we’d never find Shelob.
Another alternative to Kate’s pose is Fonz pose.
You might be wondering whether our knees were tired by now. Not really. There are typically a set of stairs, then a little winding path. Then stairs, path. You’re never going upstairs so long that you get really worn out.
Here we’re taking a breather and waiting for the photographer to catch up.
We don’t know these people. They’re scale while I’ve scampered farther ahead.
That ugliness in the trees is Jackson Laboratory. Their work is so important, though, that we can forgive them for intruding on the trees.
And now… You’re not there yet! But I think a lot of these people thought they were. This is actually the junction of all the trails that lead to the top. But the actual top? That’s to our left about another 50 yards and behind some trees. I don’t know how many people go all this way and then never get to stand next to the big cairn. Lesson: always see what’s around the bend.
Here is is. Didn’t I promise you a big cairn?
Behind is Cadillac Mountain. Both David and Yen started in with, “It’s not that far up there…” I shook my empty water bottle at them.
Resting, wishing there was banh mi in that backpack. We had to make due with granola bars.
Now we’re heading back down. We decided to take a longer, less direct route down. A few times, we saw people headed up. Yen tried to warn them there is a shorter way, but they wouldn’t listen. Later we saw them returning the way they’d come having learned the hard way and given up.
Wow, that cruise ship looks so tiny in this picture. It was enormous.
Here’s another alternate pose. I’m a little tea pot.
You can see there were three cruise ships docked in Bar Harbor, and later we saw the cute little old men with bright socks pulled up to their knees to prove that a ship was nearby. I imagine they were on foliage tours and making their way down the coast to Boston and Newport.
I didn’t like the trail down very much. Boulders instead of stairs. At one point when I fell, Yen said without even looking, “Careful, Kate.” He just knew that if someone fell, it would be me.
The trail comes into a dark part of the forest. I happened very suddenly.
And then we were back out on flat land again.
David and I were absolutely bushed, but we took a small detour onto this long boardwalk, humoring our photographer. Glad we did.
The boardwalk has these very helpful stopping points. We took advantage of all of them.
Here we are outside a (closed) visitor center. Luckily the water fountains weren’t affected by the government shutdown.
This is a traditional-style hut. It’s actually made out of birch bark, not animal skins as I assumed.
Did I mention how tired we were? Well, Yen had one more thing to show us. But with the park closed, we couldn’t go directly in. We drove as close to we could, then had to walk probably half a mile down the Park Loop Road (along with a lot of other tourists) until we came to the parking lot and the trail head. Then we found ourselves on a little piece of coast that juts out into the water.
After that last little trek was complete, we headed into town to find a restroom, to walk around a little, and to locate an early dinner. Check out this restaurant/house, all covered with ivy.
After a good night’s sleep, we had to pack everything up and head back to Boston for David’s flight. It was far too short a trip, but we felt as if we’d made the best of us. After we said goodbye, Yen and I drove home through Lexington and stopped for a few more shots of the falling leaves.