Thursday, August 11, 2016

Our Second Maine Event

Our Second Maine Event

Our trip to Maine last November whetted our appetite for more of this state, and so shortly after we returned to Ohio, Max got busy and made two more reservations for us this year, one in June and one in September. Our June trip promised to give us significantly more time in Acadia National Park since we were staying in Bass Harbor, which is adjacent to the south edge of the park instead of the 90 minute drive we had last November, and also because the sun sets late in June instead of the 4:15 sunsets we experienced in November. This trip also gave Max and I the opportunity to visit our 45th state, Rhode Island. For more on this see:   Rhode Island: our 45th State. Max found a beautiful old Victorian Air BnB for our night’s stay in Providence.

After a delightful breakfast we left for Maine. Max had been looking forward to this trip since we planned it and had been working hard to build up her endurance and strength for our planned hiking in the park. She was exercising daily and had started some serious yoga classes. Then tragedy happened just before Memorial Day and after a challenging yoga class. Max’s knees revolted and the resulting osteoarthritis of two knee surgeries from 4 decades earlier hobbled her. Walking in our house was difficult and we knew that hiking on the trails of the mountains of Acadia was out of the question. We considered just not going and defaulting on our paid for trip that was not refundable. After much discussion we decided to ask Matthew and Sarah to join us.  See Max's Musings:  Not quite the trip I'd dreamed for her account.  In her post Max did mention a quiet stream by which she sat and read but given her limited ability to walk she couldn't get down to a place to take a good picture.  Here is a picture of that stream.

The four of us were all together for breakfast  and dinner every day, but Matthew, Sarah and I hiked the vistas of Acadia and Max religiously did her physical therapy and found her own new adventures that didn't require the difficult hiking Acadia provided.  The following is a photo record of the three of us hiking the trails of Acadia and the evening sunsets we all shared together.

On our first hike we took the Gorham Mountain trail to the top using the spur route along the Cadillac Cliffs.  The picture below shows how rocky this route is as it skirts along the cliffs.

The view from the top at an elevation of 525 feet gives a great panorama of the Atlantic and the Cranberry Islands.

We came down the mountain to the park loop road and walked along the rugged shore line on Ocean Path back to our car.

Our second day we hiked up Acadia Mountain at 681 feet and then dropped down the other side to Somes Sound which is Acadia's version of a fjord and then back up to the top of San Sauveur Mountain at 679 feet.  Parts of this trail were more climbing than hiking, but the views from the top made the effort well worth it.

The third day we took an easier route and hiked the Great Head.  This is a hike that Max and I took on  our earlier trip and had a much more reasonable hiking trail, but still too difficult for Max's knees.  Right off the side of the trail we heard some noise and saw this Pileated Woodpecker tearing up a rotting birch tree.

The Great Head trail circles out and around a short peninsula with views of the rocky cliffs that go down to the Atlantic.

And the return trail gave us great views of the ridge line of Gorham Mountain that we hiked on our first day.

On our last day we hiked up to the Beech Mountain fire watch tower, then took a long loop down to the Valley trail and back up to the Beech Cliff trail.  The views and the flora were spectacular.

The next three are from the fire tower.

These pics were taken during our walk back up the valley trail

I never did find the name of these flowers, but they were all along this valley trail.

The ferns were thick and lush and in some places were clinging to and hanging over the large boulders that lined the valley.

On the Beech Cliffs trail we had a wonderful view of Echo Lake.

And on  our way back to our cabin, we stopped at a field of Lupines.  There were fields of these flowers all through the park

But we didn't just hike during our stay.  We drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain to watch the sun set one night.

And we caught another glorious sunset after dinner one night at Bass Harbor

And of course, a visit to the Maine coast is not complete without at least one picture of a lighthouse.  This one is the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

And on our last day we did get a group photo with Bass Harbor in the background.

Our next trip will be in September and will take us to the interior of Maine to a cabin on Sebec Lake.  Max is recovering and we are hoping that we will be able to do some less mountainous hiking in the woods of Maine.