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.

DSC_3196

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.

DSC_3204

The trail started so innocently and flat.

DSC_3208

But soon we saw the steps, and began to go up.

DSC_3209

DSC_3211

DSC_3212

DSC_3219

DSC_3226

Here’s David doing his Lewis and Clark impersonation, I think.

DSC_3234

I insisted that he join me in Kate’s pose for this photo.

DSC_3235

Here was our first viewpoint on the way up. Keep watching, because it’ll get better. That’s Frenchman’s Bay in the distance.

DSC_3238

DSC_3239

See, the color is really peaking in spots. I think we’re in for an early winter.

DSC_3246

Not quite Inca quality, but this was still an impressive little staircase.

DSC_3258

DSC_3265

The stairs just went up and up. We quoted “Lord of the Rings” a lot, and hoped we’d never find Shelob.

DSC_3268

DSC_3275

DSC_3277

Getting higher…

DSC_3279

DSC_3283

DSC_3285

DSC_3286

DSC_3289

DSC_3291

DSC_3292

DSC_3301

Another alternative to Kate’s pose is Fonz pose.

DSC_3305

DSC_3315

DSC_3322

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.

DSC_3325

DSC_3334

DSC_3340

Here we’re taking a breather and waiting for the photographer to catch up.

DSC_3345

DSC_3351

DSC_3362

We don’t know these people. They’re scale while I’ve scampered farther ahead.

DSC_3365

DSC_3366

That ugliness in the trees is Jackson Laboratory. Their work is so important, though, that we can forgive them for intruding on the trees.

DSC_3371

DSC_3390

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.

DSC_3391

Here is is. Didn’t I promise you a big cairn?

DSC_3394

DSC_3396

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.

DSC_3400

DSC_3403

DSC_3405

Resting, wishing there was banh mi in that backpack. We had to make due with granola bars.

DSC_3409

DSC_3422

DSC_3436

DSC_3468

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.

DSC_3482

Wow, that cruise ship looks so tiny in this picture. It was enormous.

DSC_3483

DSC_3484

Hi!

DSC_3485

Here’s another alternate pose. I’m a little tea pot.

DSC_3491

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.

DSC_3492

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.

DSC_3502

DSC_3505

The trail comes into a dark part of the forest. I happened very suddenly.

DSC_3521

And then we were back out on flat land again.

DSC_3522

David and I were absolutely bushed, but we took a small detour onto this long boardwalk, humoring our photographer. Glad we did.

DSC_3528

DSC_3530

DSC_3531

DSC_3532

DSC_3544

DSC_3549

DSC_3567

DSC_3574

DSC_3579

The boardwalk has these very helpful stopping points. We took advantage of all of them.

DSC_3585

DSC_3592

DSC_3598

DSC_3602

Here we are outside a (closed) visitor center. Luckily the water fountains weren’t affected by the government shutdown.

DSC_3604

DSC_3605

This is a traditional-style hut. It’s actually made out of birch bark, not animal skins as I assumed.

DSC_3608

DSC_3616

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.

DSC_3626

DSC_3632

DSC_3644

DSC_3648

DSC_3652

DSC_3653

DSC_3657

DSC_3659

DSC_3662

DSC_3669

DSC_3670

DSC_3693

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.

DSC_3694

DSC_3700

DSC_3701

DSC_3706

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.

DSC_3729

DSC_3734

DSC_3735

DSC_3736

DSC_3737

DSC_3742

DSC_3746

DSC_3749

DSC_3754

DSC_3761

DSC_3766

DSC_3768

DSC_3774