A loop on a road, a loop of a trail, loops and loops...
Our morning wander started with Park Loop Road. There are still colored leaves decorating trees in the park. It's seems to be past peak color but it was still beautiful. We stopped a few places to absorb and to try to capture the colors.
Denise really wanted to get a photo at a spot where she took photos on our last two autumn Acadia visits but the trail was really mucky. It didn't look like it was possible to walk there without ending up with hiking shoes covered in mud so we turned around. I think we'll try again later in our visit. In the meantime I've included the photos of that spot from our October visits here in 2010 and 2011.
Our first longer stop was at Sand Beach. It was two hours after low tide, a good time to be on the beach. It's funny, instead of staying on the ocean side of the beach we usually wander behind the beach. There is water there too, calm water that sometimes reflects the mountains and the trees. It was beautiful back there this morning; we even saw it from two different places.
Next we hopped back in the car and drove the the Gorham Mountain trailhead. That surprised me because we usually walk down the coast from Sand Beach and do the trail as a loop. Denise thought maybe we would walk up the mountain then turn around and walk back down the same trail. I knew that wouldn't happen but I let Denise figure that out herself. The up trail has some steep bits, really just some big steps up rocks - I didn't think Denise would be happy coming back down a few of those spots. We walked up to the high point and just kept going in the same direction, doing the trail as a loop. The really good thing was that we needed to walk along the coast to get back to the car, and when we came down from the mountain it was high tide.
Oh! the ocean was crazy! I could hear it crashing against the rocks when we were still coming down the mountain. I think I started hearing it when we were still at least a quarter of a mile from the end of the trail. It was loud!
We walked the trail by the road, occasionally moving out onto the rocks. We stood at Thunder Hole for a while. The ocean was so wild that you couldn't stand at the end of the walk at Thunder Hole - when the waves came crashing in it was under water. There were people standing high on the rocks just inland from Thunder Hole. They moved when the waves splashed up to the top of the rock and over the edge.
There are some spots where there are rounded rocks on the edge of the water. I could hear the rocks rolling and hitting each other, an interesting sound when added to the sound of the crashing waves.
We kept driving around Park Loop Road, stopping whenever Denise saw something interesting. Then we popped off in another direction, driving into Northeast Harbor late in the afternoon. We've never seen the Asticou Azalea Gardens this time of year. The flowers are long gone, replaced by trees wearing colored leaves, reflecting in the pond. That was beautiful!
It was a good day, a good start to our October wanders.
photo from 2010, colors close to peak
photo from 2011, with a tiny tinge of color