Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Hey, it's Rover here. It's not too much of a surprise that Denise is still sorting through her photos from our quick visit to Acadia. I've been watching over her shoulder, and while she was out wandering on her bike today I decided to grab a few to share with you. Oh, you're right, sometimes I do join her on the bike. She was just wandering near home today so I decided to play on her computer instead.
The first photo is me near the top of Gorham Mountain, such a nice hike!
The next was taken not too far from there, looking from Gorham Mountain out over the ocean. That green spot of land is Great Head; Sand Beach is cradled between Great Head and Ocean Path, the path we followed along the shore to get to the start of the Gorham Mountain Trail.
The last photo shows the magical light on Cadillac Mountain at the end of the day.
Yes, of course there will be more photos... soon!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Denise really wanted to be on the outside of the bridge tower, but there weren't any doors. And there weren't any windows that opened. She took a few photos through the glass, thinking that you might like to see the view from the top.
What do you think?
My drive home was interrupted by a stop at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. I couldn't miss a change to visit the observatory once again, to enjoy the beauty of the simple angles of this narrow bridge.
I had a solo ride up the elevator to the observatory, an elevator with only two stops, one labeled 1 and one labeled 2. The 2nd stop is 42 stories up, a 55 second elevator ride, an elevator that conveyed no sense of movement.
A few more hours to absorb the wonder...
Sand Beach looked quiet this morning. An almost empty parking lot pulled me in, and I headed down the stairs to the beach to walk alone, to watch waves crashing, to listen to the ocean. Moving from sand to rocks, I headed south along Ocean Path, switching from the smooth graveled path to tilted granite blocks to a beach composed of (difficult to walk on) rounded rocks.
The time flew by, and I moved on. Up, up to South Bubble, the home of the glacial erratic known as Bubble Rock and a beautiful view of Jordan Pond.
It was a good last morning in the park. And yes, I will be back!
One more Holland Inn breakfast report for this trip... The breakfast twosome today was a vegetable frittata and lemon pancakes topped with a dab of sweetened sour cream. I've never had sweetened sour cream before. It had a nice, surprisingly sweet-tart taste. I need to remember that one - I suspect it would be a nice taste on a fresh fruit salad too.
My breakfast favorites this trip? It's a hard choice, I'd say a toss-up between the blueberry and lemon pancakes. Actually, my stomach says that a combination of the two flavors would be good.
I'm off now for a walk on the coast and a wander up the Bubbles for a view of Jordan Pond from on high.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I convinced Denise we should head into the park again a bit before sunset.
We went to Jordan Pond first to see the sun hitting North and South Bubble at the north end of the pond. There were ripples in the water, patterns.
And then, Cadillac Mountain called. We didn't go for the sunset, but to see the gleam of late date light on the pink and green granite at the top of the mountain. Oh! The light really changes the look of the rocks. I'm very glad we headed back into the park this evening.
Ah, another nonstop day...
A walk on Ocean Path along the rocky shoreline, from Sand Beach to the start of the Gorham Mountain trail, and then...
Up, up, following rock cairns and blue blazes marking the path up Gorham Mountain. Wooded trails near the bottom, changing into granite, rounded, sometimes steps, more often not. Up... Oh yes, there was a down too!
Close to the end of the loop I passed below the Beehive trail. I could see lines of people snaking up the steep rock. Oh - that's definitely not a hike for me. You would probably have guessed that from reading the description of Beehive: "Iron rungs on ledges of exposed cliffs, very steep".
Still walking, I heard sounds in the woods. I stood still and looked, hoping to see the source of the noise. Ah... a pair of deer were were running, leaping.
I walked across Sand Beach and was treated by sea gull smiles. There were a number of gulls swooping, flying high, swooping low, causing shrieks from beach-goers afraid of the quickly diving birds.
I walked across another favorite "beach", one lacking a good walking surface. The beach is made up of rounded rocks, slippery rocks that move underfoot. Low tide exposed rocks covered by green hair. I know, I know, it isn't hair. Perhaps it's an interesting form of seaweed.
My last stop of the day was Eagle Lake. The wind was so strong it was creating waves on this long skinny body of water. Ah, sitting on a large rock at the edge of the lake was a nice change of pace.
I think I'm getting spoiled...
Breakfast at home is usually a mix of cereal and fruit. That works for me, and makes me quite happy. Breakfast here is an absolute treat and quite a change from my routine.
Today's start to the day consisted of a custard-like nicely flavored french toast, rosemary scrambled eggs, and a fruit salad of melon, kiwi, strawberries, and grapes.
And now? I'm ready to hike!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I headed up Cadillac Mountain this evening about an hour before the sun was due to drop below the horizon, hoping for interesting light.
Clouds capped the islands of Frenchman Bay. Looking to the southeast I could see clouds forming patterns, edging folds of the mountains. Beautiful.
I moved to a slightly lower viewpoint to watch the sun drop, coloring the edges of the sky, highlighting wisps of clouds.
The wind was absolutely howling, pushing, making it very difficult to stand without moving. At the bottom of the mountain, the air was still once again.
The gardens of Northeast Harbor provided color to start my day. Individual blossoms pulled me in, and colors reflected in water continued my fascination.
Heading to the coast, I stopped at Seawall for a quick walk. I could see some far off low-lying clouds (fog?). And then... the fog started moving, quickly changing, expanding, hovering. Before moving inland to find blue skies once more, I stopped at Bass Harbor Light.
Next, time to hike. My initial plans were to head up Beech Mountain, a hike classified as moderate. Beech Mountain rises between Long Pond and Echo Lake - but a larger body of water called to me. I headed up Acadia Mountain which promised views of Somes Sound, the only fjord (or almost fjord, depending on where you read about it) in North America.
From the National Park Service geology fieldnotes on Acadia National Park:
"The centermost valley on Mount Desert Island is connected to the sea. This deep valley, known as Somes Sound, represents the only fjord-like feature on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The unique features of Somes Sound include its extreme depth (50 m/150 ft.), a shallow sill at its entrance (10 m/30 ft deep), and a hanging valley waterfall on the west shore (Man o' War Brook)."
The Acadia Mountain trail was graded as moderate / difficult. Hmmm... there were sections of steep rock stairs, sections of easy graded trail, sections requiring clambering over steep sections of rocks.
Hey, this is Rover jumping in. You do know that Denise doesn't like steep downhills, don't you? She did well though, helped by my encouragement, plus by sharing trail-finding tips with some other people on the trail.The trail was well worth the effort. A view of Somes Sound was the reward waiting for me at the top.
It was another good day.
All I need to do to be spoiled is to stay with Evin. Breakfast this morning was a fiddlehead frittata accompanied by blueberry pancakes and a crunchy apple-based fruit salad.
Yum! That was a good start to another busy day.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
These words on a sign near the park visitor center caught Denise's eyes today... Walk softly, leave no trace.
We did a lot of walking and wandering today. We didn't leave anything behind, but we took things away with us - memories of beautiful sights, the sound of a fog horn, of waves. Oh! I think Denise probably took some interesting photos too. She really liked the big puddles on the rocks at Schoodic.
The sky was funny today. I could see wisps of clouds against a creamy colored sky. I peeked at some of the photos on Denise's camera and there were some with a "regular" blue sky too. I wonder what color the sky will be wearing tomorrow.
A quick update on June 19th... I thought you might like to see some photos of today's wanders, so I've added a few. You can always jump to our trip photo galleries to see more!--- Rover
Oh! We met this fellow standing by the road as we traveled down the Schoodic Peninsula. He was hanging out before Winter Harbor, and I just had to stop and chat. So nice of him to welcome us to our wanders!
Ah, Evin created some good magic with this morning's breakfast. I can't give the egg dish a name, but... eggs, cracked open on top of black beans and chick peas and corn along with some extra flavors, then baked. It was a protein fest with amazing flavor.
Good food, conversation, a chance to look forward to today's wandering spots...
My target for this morning is the Schoodic Peninsula. It's about an hour's drive from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor, the start of the peninsula drive, and it's well worth the travel time.
Friday, May 21, 2010
The road extended to the northeast, a ribbon of gray wending through trees in varying shades of green.
Somehow I managed to control my urges to stop on the side of the road as it crossed water, showing reflections of trees and blue sky in the quiet water. Stopping on a highway to play with my camera isn't a good idea, tempting, but... yes, I behaved!
Now I'm happily settled in the Ship Harbor room at the Holland Inn. So comfy...
Tomorrow will be a good day for wandering.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I was using Denise's computer today when I saw an email come in from Evin at the Holland Inn. Oh, look! It was a confirmation of a reservation for this Friday! I know that Denise has been watching the weather, trying to find a good time for a visit to Acadia National Park.
The weather wizard is predicting a good swath of days so Denise is keeping her fingers crossed and we're popping up to Acadia for four days of wandering. We have a lot to cram into our four days... the Schoodic Peninsula, wandering Park Loop Road more than once, sunset on Cadillac Mountain and maybe a sunrise too. I'm going to need to push Denise out of bed for sunrise though. Yikes! sunrise right now is at 4:59 with civil twilight beginning at 4:24. Hmmm... I wonder what time we would need to hop in the car in the morning. Let's see, what else? The gardens in Acadia and Northeast Harbor must be showing some bright colors, and there's Bass Harbor light, and...
Only two sleeps before we leave!
Just a reminder for those In case you haven't seen my blog entries before... I always write with slanty letters, so if you're reading and you see entries with slanty writing - I wrote that entry. Denise's entries use straight up-and-down writing.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I think I was lucky to end up in my chosen destination today. I flew to Philadelphia for a weekend away, and when we landed...
There were big storms in the air, storms that closed part of the airspace. We left Manchester a little late as we waited for a routing around the closures. We landed in Philadelphia close to on time. Then it was time to pull off of the runway and wait.
The pilot made an announcement that the ramps were closed due to the storm, and that until the airport reopened the ramps we would be sitting in the plane. Ah, at least we were on the ground. I wasn't sitting next to a window, but I could still see frequent flashes of light and heavy wind-driven rain. It was a forty-five minute wait. At least we were on the ground and in our target airport.
Finally, we pulled to the gate and deplaned. As I walked down the concourse, I could see a mostly clear sky decorated with high flung clouds (through the windows) to the right, and an absolutely black sky to the left. As we drove, there were still jagged flashes of lightning decorating the sky. Beautiful.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:47 PM
Thursday, May 13, 2010
This has been a somewhat wacky week so far. My late afternoon wander was very much needed, a view of the simple things.
My walk started with a conversation with a rabbit. I opened the door and stopped. I looked at the rabbit, the rabbit looked at me. What a beautiful creature!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:53 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I saw a cyclist riding a bicycle on one wheel today. I've seen people riding unicycles before, but this was a small-wheeled bicycle.
The rider looked very comfortable, pedaling, moving forward. The rear wheel was (obviously) on the ground, front wheel raised, frame at an angle to the ground. There seemed to be a magic balance point. I wonder how long it took him to learn that somewhat odd skill.
Oh, don't worry - I'm not going to try it!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:29 PM
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Yesterday's rain has moved away from the area, pushed by a howling wind. Listen...
As I headed for the coast in the middle of the afternoon I saw a hawk floating, swerving, riding thermals, pushed by the wind. How strong was it? I found it to be quite difficult to stand in one position without swaying.
I started my walk along the waterfront in Portsmouth where I was treated to the sight of a lift bridge opening to allow a large ship to pass through. I continued down the coast, enjoying the crisp air, a blue sky decorated with puffs of white, a quiet ocean at low tide.
For more images from today's wander, jump to my gallery New Hampshire's short coastline.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 10:05 PM