Friday, May 31, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
The rain stopped, replaced by a somewhat cloudy sky with spots of blue peeking out. The air still held a bit of chill; it felt lik a good day for a walk in the woods.
I headed to Maudslay State Park hoping to find spring color cattered through the park. The park was once an estate that included several gardens, with rhododendron and azalea scattered through the property (and the woods). Some were in bloom, some past, some yet to bloom.
I love walking along a trail decorated with pops of color!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 5:59 PM
Saturday, May 25, 2013
The forecast for today called for 100% chance of rain showers. That forecast was absolutely correct; light rain has been falling all day.
It was a day to sort through photos from Acadia.
It was a day to enjoy a good book.
It was a day for a walk in the rain.
It was a day to visit my favorite garden.
It was a good day.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 3:53 PM
I've been trying to keep an eye on the Memorial Bridge website in the hopes that the schedule for placement of the center span would be published in advance.
The span placement is scheduled!
I'd love to be there when they place the center section. Hoping that a reply posted at the end of the news item would result in an answer I posted a reply asking if the full schedule was known. Within 15 minutes I had an answer - the best day to see some action will be on the 10th when the float-in occurs.
RIVER CLOSURE – JUNE 10 TO JUNE 15 FOR FINAL FLOAT-IN
*** updated 4 June 2013: new dates are June 17 to 22 ***
The center lift span of the new Memorial Bridge will be put into place between June 10 and June 15.
In order for the installation to occur safely, the US Coast Guard (USCG) will be closing the Piscataqua River in the vicinity (300 yard radius) of the bridge to all marine traffic for this 5 day period.
The river closure within the 300 yard radius will begin at 9:00am on June 10, 2013 to approximately 9:00am on June 15, 2013. This river closure is necessary to provide for the safety of all waterway users and the construction workers during these bridge construction operations.
As posted in the Memorial Bridge News section of the bridge website.
I've scheduled a day off, and I'm hoping for a dry weather day. Fingers crossed...
Friday, May 24, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Wow! It's hard to believe we have been home from Acadia for a week now. I'm already ready for a return visit but I don't think we'll head back there until sometime in the fall.
Let's see, I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that Denise is still wandering through the photos from our wanders. She is making good progress but I know better than to rush her!
I didn't pose for too many photos this time - it was just too wet. I like this one though, on the rocks next to the ocean along the (short) open section of Park Loop Road.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I was delighted to be contacted by George from Chicago Metal Rolled Products as he was preparing to write about the new Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth and Kittery. George saw my photos of the bridge and called to ask permission to use several of the photos in his blog entry about the bridge. Why the interest and the blog entry? Chicago Metal Rolled Products curved the steel used to construct the bridge.
We had a discussion about the bridge design and bridges in general. I was happy to chat with someone else who shared my fascination with the structure and the design.
I think you'll find George's blog entry interesting. Click to read The First Gussetless Truss Bridge in the World.
Snipped from the Chicago Metal Rolled Products blog entry
George also gave me a link to what he considers to be one of the best articles on the new bridge, BRIDGE DESIGN: Truss with a twist.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
The sky was blue, the wind was howling, and the ocean was wild.
Two spots called for visits before I headed for home. The first was the top of Cadillac Mountain where I felt the wild wind as I soaked in the views. I walked the short loop around the summit, fighting the wind to walk in somewhat of a straight line.
Next I headed back to the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula to add a blue sky view to my foggy visit last Thursday. The wind was whipping there too. Watching the waves crash over the rocks was simply amazing.
The east side of the peninsula was a bit calmer, still beautiful. The beach here was composed of rounded rocks that tumble in the waves creating wonderful sounds.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The weather wizard's forecast was spot on; my four full days in Maine were gray and wet. I drove here in sunshine and it appears (I hope!) that I'll be playing in sunshine tomorrow. Today was the wettest of the days with bands of heavy rain interspersed with drizzle and sometimes with dry air. No matter... the rain gave me the incentive to find some places to wander.
Somehow I managed to be in the car during the heavy downpours instead of walking with my camera. That was equal parts good luck (in not getting caught out) and learning a little patience, waiting out the very wet spells.
I started my morning with a walk along a part of the closed Park Loop Road. I followed Kebo Street and Harden Farm Road in Bar Harbor to the closed gate at the entry to the park, walking in from there. I didn't have an end point in mind, walking in air that started out dry changing to a bit of drizzle. The heavy rain waited until I was back at the car.
Next I headed to a new to me place that jumped off the map at me this morning, the Indian Point Blagden Preserve. It's a delightful place owned by the Nature Conservancy and nicely open to the public. I walked part of the trails, turning back before reaching the coast. The footing was somewhat slippery in light rain; I didn't want to risk a walk back in a downpour. I walked through a beautiful forest, trails interlaced with tree roots and moss. The predominant color was bright green, simply amazing. The coastal part of the preserve is the home of harbor seals and many winged creatures. I heard the sound of busy woodpeckers as I walked. Again, as I finished my walk and opened the door to my car a heavy downpour started.
The rain grew lighter as I reached Bar Harbor, leaving me enough time for an almost dry walk along the Shore Path. I thought about calling it a day at the end of that walk but then I found myself in the car again. I drove to Schooner Head to do another new-to-me short walk. As soon as I pulled in to the parking area a new band of heavy rain rolled over me. I sat for a bit, then decided to head back to Sieur de Monts again. Walking the boardwalk section of the Jessup Path seemed like a reasonable thing to do in the rain. I started in the rain and then it just stopped. Dry air tempted me to drive back to Schooner Head where I followed a paved trail to the ocean.
It was a good day.
photo by phone, at the Wild Gardens of Acadia
Saturday, May 11, 2013
What a funny day! It was dry as Denise and I headed for the quiet side of the island. We followed the Ship Harbor trail to the turnaround point and then it started raining. Oops! Luckily Denise stuck an umbrella in her camera pack so she just needed to pull it out. We walked back in the rain.
Before we started driving we looked at the map to find our next wandering spot. It needed to be flat; hiking up a mountain in wet and foggy weather didn't seem like a good idea. Denise decided we should head back to Park Loop Road.
We drove back to the eastern side of the island, parking at the Fabbri picnic area which is in the middle of a narrow peninsula. It's on the road right after the point where the open section of Park Loop Road ends. We headed out on the closed to cars section of the road, walking around Otter Cove, then turning back and making the long loop back to Otter Point and then past Otter Cliff. We passed from the closed section of the road back to the section where cars are allowed. There weren't too many cars today, and we only ran into one other person during our walk. We wandered on the rocks again. Denise was careful - she thought the rocks were just wet, not slippery, and she wasn't that close to the ocean so I thought she would be fine. No slipping today! I did a little bouncing on my own when the rain stopped but when the water was dripping from the sky I rode in Denise's camera bag. I could always poke my head out to see where we were wandering.
When we turned inland from the coast the fog lifted and the clouds did too. Since the road up Cadillac Mountain opened today we decided to drive up the mountain to see if the top was above the clouds. It wasn't. Oh! that was a very foggy drive.
After we emerged from the fog we took a minute to look at the map. Denise found a short hike to Compass Harbor, one that was new for us. She didn't remember seeing the trailhead before, and we drove right by it at first. It was right before a private road called Old Farm Road. Denise knew we missed it when we got to Schooner Head Road so we turned around and the tiny parking lot popped out at us. It was an interesting loop hike through the remains of George Dorr's estate. Oh, you want to know who George Dorr is? He was known as the father of Acadia.
It was a quiet day, very relaxing.
photo by phone
Friday, May 10, 2013
Fog draped over the landscape this morning, disappearing in spots, then dropping down again.
I started my day with a check on the colors at the Asticou Azalea Gardens. It's early for azaleas but there was color popping out of the fog. A cherry tree was in full bloom, accompanied by a few azaleas and some wonderful yellow flowers close to the centerpiece pond.
My next stop was the small open piece of Park Loop Road. I've always enjoyed the Gorham Mountain trail, usually hiking it as a loop starting with a walk along the coast from Sand Beach to the trailhead, a hike to the top continuing along the top to hike down to Sand Beach. That was the destination in my head when I started hiking (from Sand Beach). I stopped for a while near Thunder Hole, watching the waves pound the rocks and listening to the sound of crashing waves.
When I arrived at the Gorham Mountain trailhead the mountains were still hiding in the fog. Hiking uphill to no view at the end didn't appeal so I kept moving forward (not up). I walked a bit further before turning to retrace my steps back to Sand Beach. It was early afternoon by then. I drove the small piece of Park Loop Road that is currently open (2 miles out of a total length of 27 miles), turning inland on Otter Cliff Road. Just a short distance inland I could see blue above me, awesome!
Hmm... where to go? I decided to head to the Beech Mountain trail on the other side of the island. The road was barred by a gate when it crossed back into Acadia. Ah, time to park the car and walk up the road to the trailhead. The sun stayed with me as I walked although I could see fog starting to swirl back in as I approached the summit.
A beautiful blue sky stayed with me as I headed back to Bar Harbor. Given that the forecast for tomorrow is for rain I wanted to take advantage of the bright afternoon. It was close to low tide so the sand bar connecting Bar Island to Mount Desert Island was exposed, a good time for a walk to the island. When I reached the beach I was greeted with a splash of white across the pure blue sky.
Here are images representing the two pieces of my day, coastal fog in the morning, a bright cloud painting in the afternoon.
photos by phone
Thursday, May 09, 2013
It was afternoon by the time we popped back onto Mount Desert Island but it wasn't time to stop wandering. Denise parked the car just past the park entrance near the Wild Gardens of Acadia and we walked in. As it turned out the parking lot at the gardens was open - it was just the entrance to Park Loop Road that was blocked.
We walked past a lake and then down a trail leading to the gardens and then to the Jessup Path. I like the Jessup Path - it's a boardwalk through an area that's a combination of wet and trees. It's so beautiful! And the boardwalk means I can bounce along comfortably. Denise was fascinated by the lines the boardwalk made. It looks straight as we looked at the sections where we were walking but there were places where if you looked far ahead you could see little squiggles in the boardwalk. Cool!
While we were in the woods it seemed like the fog was clearing but when we got back to the car it was really foggy again. I thought we were going to head back then but Denise decided to head to the small part of the loop road that was open. She has always been fascinated by the water behind Sand Beach; she thought the foggy conditions this afternoon would make for an interesting view. And oh! she was right!
I told Denise I thought it would be a good idea to grab a couple of photos with her phone so you could see a little of what we saw today. The first shot is a view as we were facing the ocean from Sand Beach. The second is of the water behind Sand Beach - the mountain that stands there is hiding in the fog.
photos by phone
I woke up this morning not sure of my wandering spots for the day. The sky was gray as predicted and heavy rain started as I was eating my "Evin special" breakfast. I always know I'll have a good food start to the day when I stay at the Holland Inn!
Given the wet weather I took my time heading out. Evin suggested a visit to Deer Isle, a new spot for me. Her suggestion made sense since it is south and west of here and the rain seemed to be moving to the north. I headed off island planning to turn to the left in Ellsworth. Oops! The right turn leading towards the Schoodic Peninsula grabbed me first. Schoodic is a favorite spot and the chance to see it in possibly foggy conditions pulled me to the northeast.
I drove through a bit of light rain, no downpours. There were places where fog hugged the road and places where it lifted. The temperature hung in the low to mid 50s, very reasonable for walking. I was the only human walking on the rocks at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, sharing the space with a few sea gulls. There were the always present pools of water sitting on rocks that were also wearing a gleam of water from the occasional rain and drizzle. Waves crashed against the rocks providing a focus for my eyes and music for my ears.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Oh! Denise and I are about to start our drive to Bar Harbor and I decided to check the Acadia National Park web site once more. I thought we wouldn't be able to drive up Cadillac Mountain, but guess what! The road up the mountain is opening earlier than the full Park Loop Road.
We'll be in the park the day it opens. I just told Denise and she smiled.
Delayed Openings UPDATE
May 6, 2013: The entire Park Loop Road will open on May 17, but the Cadillac Mt. Summit Road will open on May 11. Enter at Cad. Mt. entrance on Rt. 233. Also, the 2 mile regular winter driving route, including Thunder Hole and Sand Beach, is open.
From the alerts section of the Acadia National Park web site
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Monday, May 06, 2013
Sunday, May 05, 2013
It's May; that means it's almost time to visit Acadia. Denise usually tries to get there twice a year although I think I might start planting the idea that we could easily wander there more than twice. For now I'm just happy to know that we'll be heading there in just a few days.
This trip will be a little different because (most of) Park Loop Road is still closed. Denise called the park service to make sure it's only the road that is closed. The answer was the one she expected and wanted - the park is definitely open. We'll just need to find some alternate places to park and walk in to the sections of the park that we want to visit if they happen to be along the closed road.
Oh, don't tell Denise! I just checked the weather for Bar Harbor and the forecast shows a chance of rain each day that we're there. It's probably a little early to check but you know me, I just had to look! Luckily Denise likes cloudy skies.
March 29, 2013: Operational Change Due to Sequestration - THE PARK LOOP ROAD: The entire Park Loop Road will open on May 17. The 2 mile regular winter driving route, including Thunder Hole and Sand Beach, is open now, via Schooner Head Rd. in Bar Harbor.
From the alerts section of the Acadia National Park web site
I know she is really looking forward to this Acadia wander, and I am too. Soon!
This photo of me is from our visit to Acadia last October.