Thursday, September 27, 2012
Yesterday's clouds have disappeared, and it's a gorgeous day!
Sunny and mid 60s, with great visibility. Tom slept in while I
drank coffee, then around 10:30 we drove the ten minutes over to
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is the second most visited national park in
the country, which I find hard to believe, because it sure doesn't
seem to be on the way to anything. Well, luckily, all those people
aren't here today. I guess late September is a good time to visit!
By the way, the most visited national park is the Great Smoky
Mountains, near our home in East Tennessee.
We spent most of the day along the 27-mile Park Loop Road on
54-square-mile Mount Desert Island, the largest and most visited
section of Acadia, stopping at many scenic overlooks and waypoints
and taking a couple of nice hikes along the way.
Jana at Acadia National
Sand Beach is one of the few sand beaches along Maine's rocky coast
and the only ocean beach in Acadia. There we hiked the Great Head
Trail, a 1.5-mile, steep trail that climbs the cliffs of the Great
Head Peninsula and offers spectacular views of Frenchman Bay, Sand
Beach, and a cute little hill called the Beehive.
Frenchman Bay from the
Great Head Trail
We stopped for lunch at Jordan Pond House, where we bought
sandwiches and a blueberry soda in the gift shop and went out on
the deck to eat, overlooking the beautiful, glacier-carved Jordan
Pond and two rounded hills called The Bubbles. Then we drove a mile
north to The Bubbles trailhead, where we hiked about a mile to the
top of the South Bubble.
Jordan Pond and The
Jordan Pond from South
Cadillac Mountain, elevation 1,530 feet, is the highest point on
the Atlantic coast north of Brazil. You can drive to the top on a
3.5-mile road off the Park Loop Road. At the summit there is a
half-mile trail with panoramic views of Bar Harbor, the islands of
Frenchman Bay, most of Acadia National Park, and beyond. The views
Frenchman Bay from
Away from Park Loop Road, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is located at
the southernmost tip of Mount Desert Island, west of Somes Sound,
the only fjord in the eastern United States. We visited late in the afternoon,
not the ideal time for photos, as the lighthouse was backlit. I
wasn't going to get the iconic photo anyway, since it turned out
the lighthouse was surrounded by scaffolding. You can see a great
picture, though, on Tom's brother Steve's website.
Bass Harbor Head
We went back to the hotel for a bit, then headed to Ellsworth for
dinner at a place called The Mex. My crab enchiladas were okay, but
Tom's sausage fajitas weren't quite right. Even though we were
grading on a curve since, after all, we were pretty far from
Mexico, it was still pretty mediocre, and definitely way
overpriced. Oh, well, we should have known better.
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