Fog followed me from Mt. Desert Island to the Schoodic Peninsula. It was heavier closer to the mainland, easing off of the rocks at the tip of the peninsula.
I like the perspective of this young girl looking over the edge, with the background (sky) muted by fog.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Fog followed me from Mt. Desert Island to the Schoodic Peninsula. It was heavier closer to the mainland, easing off of the rocks at the tip of the peninsula.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
It was very gray this morning, gray but still dry. I planned one more morning of walking in the park before I turned towards home. My fingers were crossed hoping that the forecast calling for rain after noon was right.
It stayed dry right up until the moment that I started the car. I saw a single water droplet on the windshield, then another. It was sprinkling. I started around Park Loop Road thinking that I would walk along Acadia's Ocean Path, wandering onto the rocks at times, listening to and watching the ocean. I passed the Sand Beach parking lot thinking that I would start just a bit further down the road. But oops! just as I passed the lot a glimpse of the water behind Sand Beach in the rear view mirror caught my eye, and I knew I needed another Sand Beach visit. I parked my car in the next parking lot and walked back. It had stopped sprinkling, but something made me grab an umbrella.
Just as I started down the stairs leading to the beach it started to rain. It was light at first, turning into a downpour in no time at all. Heavy rain was accompanied by the crack of thunder and the flash of lightening. I had the beach to myself; I wonder why.
Was it worth the wet walk? I think so.
It was time for a quick stop to feed my car. Did you know I love my Prius? My wanders around Acadia gave me the best miles per gallon yet. I filled the tank in Bangor on my way out and again today on my way home. That means it was all non-highway driving, although there were a few sections of 50 mile per hour speed limits. That tank of gas gave me 58.1 miles per gallon. I'd say that's pretty good. (Yes, the car keeps track; I don't need to keep a log.)
The sky stayed gray but dry for most of the drive. It changed when I reached Wells (Maine) where a fog descended - but not quite to the surface of the road. Interesting, foggy with no visibility issues... until I reached the Maine New Hampshire border and the bridge over the Piscataqua River. The structure of the bridge was shrouded in fog, invisible until I was almost on the bridge. That was one of the many times on the drive home that I wished it was legal and safe to stop on the highway for a bit of camera play. I would have loved a shot of the bridge today. I think that's a photographer's curse - seeing things to capture in a place where it is not possible to stand. A mind picture will do for now.
Acadia is a favorite wandering spot, a place where I can reset my outlook, a place to share with other visitors, a place to gather (more) memories and photos. This was a good trip; I'm happy.
Monday, May 28, 2012
I feel like I've been in constant motion since I started my wanderings. Today? It was time for a quiet day, starting on the quiet side of the island.
Long Pond was my first target of the day for a walk along the western shoreline. The trail was sometimes right on the edge of the water, more often just a short distance inland. The water was always close. I can see myself returning there another time, perhaps combining the shore path with one of the mountain trails to make a loop instead of today's out and back walk.
Is there a difference between a lake and a pond? Until I moved to Massachusetts I thought that lakes were larger than ponds, but in Massachusetts that seems to be flipped. Now as I look at a map of Acadia National Park, I see that size doesn't appear to matter. I was at Long Pond this morning; it is larger than the body of water on the other side of the mountain, Echo Lake. On the other side of the island, Jordan Pond is smaller than its neighbor Eagle Lake. I suppose there aren't any naming rules (or someone is trying hard to confuse me!).
Next stop, Milagro Coffee & Expresso in Southwest Harbor. My decaf Americano was accompanied by a cranberry ginger scone. What a nice flavor combination, and better yet, energy for more walking.
I continued south, stopping at a couple of spots in the Seawall area of the park. One of the "beaches" was made up of beautiful rounded rocks. I love the looks, but walking on them is a bit challenging. How can perfectly dry rocks feel slippery?
My next stop was the Ship Harbor nature trail. It's a figure-8 trail that can be walked as a true set of loops or it can be walked as two out-and-back semicircles to stay close to the coast. The real beauty of this trail is at the furthest point where there are rocks, views across to the other side of Ship Harbor, and ocean views too.
Moving back to the eastern side of the island, I stopped at Eagle Lake to enjoy the light of an interesting gray sky afternoon.
It was a quiet day.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
It was another good day today, a day of two ups and downs plus some other walking on the side. I guess I should say it was good other than Denise getting dive-bombed (and bitten) by black flies on our second hike. Yikes! I was very lucky; the evil little bugs don't seem to like me.
Back to our day...
It was a blue sky day, cooler than yesterday but still shorts weather. Denise wanted to do the Gorham Mountain trail as a loop, so we left the car at Sand Beach and headed down the Ocean Path. We stopped often to soak in the scenery and to chat with other people walking on the path. When we reached the Gorham Mountain trailhead we started our first up of the day. This is one of Denise's favorite trails so we knew it would be a good walk.
It's usually quiet when we're here, but the three-day weekend plus beautiful weather means that both the trail and the park were a bit crowded. Many of the people we were sharing the trail with were hiking up Gorham Mountain then turning around and returning the same way. For some reason many of them turned around before the true summit. The trail has a number of wonderful viewpoints near but not at the top. There were a few other people who kept hiking; we chatted with them at the top, and they were happy that the hordes didn't continue. Wow - that means it's not just Denise who likes to hike in quiet.
Oh! I don't want to forget to tell you this. We stopped for a few minutes at a viewpoint, and after looking at the scene below us Denise looked around the space where we were standing. She saw a lady slipper tucked into the vegetation surrounding the rocks. It was pink and perfect, so nice!
We stopped at the summit before heading down the other side. Down, down... The trail on the down side is a bit harder than the trail on the up side. There are places where I decided to ride in the camera bag; Denise was hopping between rocks so she didn't get her feet wet or mucky. I think the trails here could be a bit nasty if in wet conditions.
Close to the end of the trail we stopped again to watch people climbing the Beehive. It's not a trail that we'll do because Denise doesn't like the kind of exposure that is part of doing a trail where you need to climb up iron rungs pounded into the rock. There were lines of people snaking up the cliff. Amazing.
Ah, the end of the trail... It was time for a snack, then time to decide on our next hike. We headed to the west side of the island for our next wander.
Up again... this time up Beech Mountain. The trail headed through the woods. It split fairly close to the bottom of the trail so Denise stopped to check her trail guide. Both trails ended in the same spot, but the one to the right was supposed to have better views. As the trees opened up we could see Long Pond and beyond. There is a fire tower at the top, and it's possible to walk up one level in the tower. That wasn't the top, but it was high enough for Denise; both the structure and the stair treads were open metal. the stairs were really really steep too. It was a good view from there, but Denise preferred the view from just a little lower.
I think we'll be walking Beech Mountain again on another trip. Maybe the next time I can convince Denise to do the big loop, heading out the Valley Trail to hike down to Long Pond, then completing the loop by climbing back up the mountain.
I wonder where we'll wander tomorrow.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I'd better finish our journal entries for today. I think Denise needs a bit of a rest... we did a lot today! While I bounce down the trail with Denise, sometimes I jump into the camera bag for a ride. It's nice to be able to rest in the middle of the day, isn't it?
Today's Schoodic wander was wonderful. Denise was delighted to have a bit of fog. It's funny, I think most people want clear skies, but Denise really likes having variety in the sky.
We got back from Schoodic at about 3:30. I thought maybe we were going to have a short day, but nope! Denise ran into the grocery store to get more bananas, and then she got a nice bowl of clam chowder from a little shop in town. We walked to the shore and sat on the grass to enjoy soup and sunshine. The temperature was in the 50s the entire time we were wandering the Schoodic Peninsula, but during our late (sort of) lunch break it was 80 degrees.
We headed back into the park for a late afternoon hike around Jordan Pond, following the trail in a counter-clockwise direction. We were on the still sunny eastern side of the pond to start, finishing in the woods on the western side. The trail on the west side is a bit funny. There's a long section on rocks right on the water's edge. Then there is a long section made up of split logs raised above the forest floor. The part you walk on is flat, but Denise said she felt like she was walking funny. The logs are side by side so she was walking with one foot on one log, one on the other. I think maybe her feet weren't the normal distance apart. I didn't have any problems with the logs, but I'm a really small dog.
After we finished our looping walk we headed to the top of Cadillac Mountain to see the light. Wow! There were a log of people wandering around up there. I'm glad we took the time for a quick visit to the peak. It looked very different than it did on Thursday; no fog or clouds this time.
I woke up this morning with the thought that today would be a wander the Schoodic Peninsula day.
Breakfast first, good food and conversations gave the day a proper start. This morning's taste delight was nicely spiced eggs, a variation of french toast mixed with cream cheese and blueberries, and a bit of watermelon. Energy restored, it was time to head out.
As I headed off of the island fog started to appear. It got thicker, dulling the edges, changing the landscape. And it followed me as I drove to the north east, to the next peninsula up the coast. It stayed with me for the entire morning, suddenly clearing to blue skies at about 1pm.
Crossing bridges and seeing fog over the water made me stop twice. The first time was crossing to Thompson Island (in between Mt. Desert Island and the mainland. The second was the bridge on route 1 leading into West Sullivan. Luckily there were places to pull off the road just a short walk from the bridges. The fog does an amazing job at changing the landscape.
The fog continued decorating the landscape as I entered the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park. My first stop was at a long spit made up of "roll-y" rounded rocks. They are not my favorite walking surface, but better rocks that slide under my feet than solid stable rocks wearing a coating of invisible slippery stuff from the ocean. The light was wonderful, a mixture of clear and fog, pulling me to walk to the end of a long section of rounded rocks. When I reached the end I met a couple from Ohio who were traveling with their two dogs. Today was a day of meeting other people who are also addicted to visiting Acadia and who make sure to visit (at least) once in the spring and once in the fall.
Next stop, the magic rocky coastline at the tip of the peninsula. The park service brochure describes it as "a windswept coast with dark diabase dikes that intrude between pink granite ledges". The colored rocks were decorated with occasional pools of water.
The tip of the peninsula is a good place to walk (carefully), to enjoy the shapes and colors of the rocks, to watch the waves crashing against the rocks, to enjoy.
Schoodic definitely contributes to my Acadia addiction.
Friday, May 25, 2012
It was misty this morning, and it stayed that way for much of the day. The mist was accompanied by fog too; hikes to viewpoints will wait for another day.
I started my day at the Asticou Azalea Garden. As I was driving there I was thinking I might need to go back again on a sunny day to see the reflections of the flowers in the pond. I was quite surprised to see the azaleas decorating the space above the water and decorating the smooth surface of the water with reflected color.
The colors of the flowers offset the gray of the sky perfectly.
My next garden stop was Thuya Garden, also in Northeast Harbor. I chose to park by the water and walk up the Asticou Terrace trail to get to the gardens. This garden contains more summer-flowering plants so it showed more green than color. That made the few flowering plants really stand out. I'd love to see this garden in peak bloom but unless I change my Acadia visiting schedule I suspect I'm not likely to see it then. I suppose I could convince myself to add a third Acadia visit.
Next stop? Well, it was really two stops. I passed a pond that pulled my eyes as I drove to Northeast Harbor this morning. I looked at my map and found it wore the name Long Pond. That seemed a bit odd since there is a Long Pond on the western side of Mount Desert Island. When I looked for more information this evening I found references to this eastern side of the island Long Pond as "Little Long Pond".
As I drove back to the east, I passed a parking area that indicated it was for Long Pond. I pulled in and started walking. The walk was longer than I expected, through woods decorated with many colors of moss. When the trail started through a grove of skinny trees it started to not look like a trail any more. I turned around at that point, thinking I could easily lose the trail on the way out. Back at the car, I headed east once again. I quickly came to the pond and a small amount of next to the road parking. There was room for me, so I stopped. As I got out of the car I saw where the trail I was on earlier ended. I could have walked back on the road. Ah, no problem. I had a good walk in the woods, and finding a spot to park at the end of the pond allowed me to head out walking again - this time at my desired destination. I walked along the side of the pond, watching as the fog started to roll along the water. Beautiful.
I finished my day in Acadia, with a walk along the path next to Park Loop Road from Sand Beach to just past Thunder Hole (and back again).
Breakfast this morning was a fiddlehead frittata and blueberry pancakes. Yum! I'd never eaten fiddlehead ferns before Evin introduced me to them last year (or was it the year before?). What a delightful taste treat!
It's gray and a little bit misty this morning. I think I'll head to Northeast Harbor and the Asticou Azalea Gardens to start my day. It may be early for flowers there, but it's always worth a visit.
From a visit to the azalea gardens in May of 2010:
Thursday, May 24, 2012
After our morning walk we took a quick banana break. Denise walked to the market to pick up bananas while I looked at the map to plan our afternoon stops. Park Loop Road beckoned, as a walking and sitting and enjoying the park destination. After a quick snack we headed back into the park.
Oh! Denise didn't turn to start Park Loop Road. I was sure that's where we were going... When I asked what was up Denise said she saw an interesting swath of clouds when we turned a corner - so she decided we should head up Cadillac Mountain first. There were interesting clouds below us, hanging over the water. That was a good change of direction; it's so nice not to need to follow plans.
Park Loop Road was our next wander after we finished soaking up the views from Cadillac Mountain (for today, that is! I know we'll be heading back up there).
There was fog and mist decorating the park. We walked behind Sand Beach to see mist rising from the water in places. Even with the mist there was enough clarity in other spots to see reflections in the water. Denise was busy with her camera; I didn't even need to suggest any shots to her this afternoon.
Funny, as soon as we left the park the sky was painted blue again. Denise was happy with the fog; I was happy too.
This morning I asked if there was a trail that leads from Bar Harbor to Sieur de Mont Spring. Somehow walking instead of driving appealed to me. And hey - there is!
The Great Meadow Loop starts in Bar Harbor and links up with the Jessup Path in the park. What a nice walk! It was a bit of out-and-back, a bit of a loop. I started the Great Meadow loop, then switched to the (newly rebuilt) boardwalk of Jessup Path. I stopped to wander in the Wild Gardens of Acadia, then continued along the Tarn Trail, skirting the edge of a small lake. At the end of the lake I reversed direction, walking the Jessup Path again and following the other half of the Great Meadow Loop. If (when) I do the trail again I'll probably stick to one side of that loop - I preferred the section I walked first this morning.
Jessup Path was my favorite part of the walk. I'd walked it for the first time when I was here last October; it's just as beautiful with the trees wearing their spring green. There were stands of white birch trees, and other less dressy trees too.
As I walked I heard the birds talking. I saw a pileated woodpecker, many little birds, a frog sitting in the middle of the path, a deer bounding through the woods, and a snake slithering through the grass. It was a good live creature day.
Lady slippers in the Wild Gardens of Acadia were in wire enclosures. The holes in the wire were pretty big so it probably wasn't meant for little creatures. Based on a photo from last May's visit, I think they are trying to discourage rabbits.
It's funny, I started this morning by telling Evin that I don't like hikes that are only in the woods. I like to be able to see around me, to walk through the woods to a destination. This morning's walk was an "in the woods" walk, and I loved it!
It was a very good morning.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It was a good afternoon for a drive.
The morning rain cleared leaving visible blue in the sky decorated with billowing white clouds. Occasional sections of gray appeared with visible bands of rain in the distance. I drove through several cloudbursts, going from dry pavement to a torrential downpour. It seemed like the rain lasted only for a quarter of a mile, and then dry pavement reappeared. Even when I was in the middle of heavy rain I could see blue sky around me.
It was a three state day, a bit of Massachusetts, the short side of New Hampshire, and then Maine for the bulk of the drive. I followed I-95 to Bangor, then headed to the coast, ending at my home away from home in Bar Harbor, the Holland Inn.
Monday, May 21, 2012
It felt like a good time for new sunglasses for wandering outside. I thought about ordering online (my usual habit), then thought again. A comfortable fit is important, so yesterday I headed to REI to see what I could find. There was a crazy sale going on which meant that the store was packed with people in spite of the beautiful weather. Luckily there were plenty of staff available to help; the checkout line moved very quickly.
I found just what I needed, a pair of Tifosi Optics Wisp sunglasses with variable tint, changing from a very light gray to a darker but still reasonable gray in bright sunlight. The sunglasses weren't on sale but I was able to use my "20% off on one item" coupon to drop the price a bit.
I wore my Wisps yesterday, riding and walking. Perfect!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:21 AM
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Denise and I are headed to Acadia National Park, soon...
Acadia is a park that we visit twice a year (even though I know Denise would like to visit more often). Sometimes we hop into the car at the last minute, sometimes Denise plans ahead. This year is a plan ahead year. She called Evin a few weeks back to reserve a room for our stay - for six nights. Wow! That gives us a lot of time to explore, to revisit favorite spots, and to find new ones too.
I'm counting the days (and I think Denise is too)! I even bounced around the house and pulled out the trail guide and map.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Blue skies and relatively warm temperatures greeted me this morning, a good sign for the day to come. Today was the first open house at Bedrock Gardens, and the first Saturday that Fuller Gardens was open for the 2012 season. The two gardens are very different from each other, both favorite wandering spots for me.
I was introduced to Bedrock Gardens last year and immediately fell in love with the place. It's beautifully landscaped with flowers and sculptures throughout, a wonderful place to walk, to soak in the beauty, to smile at the unexpected.
Fuller Gardens is primarily a rose garden. Mid-May is much too early for roses, but perennials were starting to pop up in the back garden.
More photos can be viewed in the galleries Bedrock Gardens - 2012 and Fuller Gardens - 2012.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:31 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Toddler birds make me smile.
I don't know what made me throw my camera into a small day pack when I headed out for a "get some exercise" fast walk this evening. I was glad I had it with me when I encountered a pair of Canada goose adults along with a pair of goslings.
I stood and watched them scamper over the grass for a while.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:33 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Morning, a good time for a wander in Maudslay State Park...
It's mid-May; the azaleas and the rhododendrons have started their spring bloom. There are places in the park where the colors seem to be at peak, and others where they haven't yet started. The colors are amazing.
More photos from this morning can be seen in the gallery starting with this photo and ending here.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:01 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2012
It's always a good day to wander at the Wells Reserve. Saturday's visit was at high tide. I think that more time was spent along the edge of the estuary rather than on the ocean-facing beach.
More photos from this visit can be seen in the gallery Wells Reserve - 2012.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:14 AM
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
It was a gray and rainy day today. It's funny, sometimes I find it hard to head out on a walk when the weather is dreary. Luckily I know that once I start walking I'm happy.
A walk in the rain, a walk accompanied by the patter of raindrops against my rain hat - now that was a good walk!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:30 PM
Monday, May 07, 2012
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Spring is a good time of year for a walk in the Boston Public Garden. The park wore bright colors from flowers, from people walking, from the swan boats. Ducks & geese were paddling in the pond, smaller birds were flying, and squirrels were skittering across the grass and up and down tree trunks.
What a beautiful place!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 10:39 PM
Saturday, May 05, 2012
It was a good day, a day shared with my sister Suze, a day of sharing some of my favorite wandering spots.
We started with a drive to the Wells Reserve. We walked across a field and down a road through the woods, a road that ended at a pristine beach. It was high tide, but there was still plenty of sand to support our walking. We headed north along the beach, turning inland at the estuary, continuing through both solid and soft, waterlogged sand. We stood and watched two pairs of sanderlings chasing each other along the ground and through the air.
Reversing direction, we walked back to the ocean then headed south along a widening beach. Back to the car, it felt like time for food. Our lunch spot was the Maine Diner, a good place for (local) food. Afterwards, it was time for more walking in the next state down the coast. We spent some time in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and then we followed the coast further south. One last stop, for a low tide walk at Jenness State Beach.
Photos? Of course there will be photos! I'll post a gallery link when they are ready for viewing.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:25 PM
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
As I was driving to work this morning I realized that spring has crossed a milestone moment; the trees are all wearing leaves. Many trees are showing spring colors, the light greens and reds of first emerging leaves. The (overall) color of the moment is green.
I wonder when the darker greens will pop.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:59 PM