Sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean at Acadia National Park! We crawled out of our tent about 4:30 in the morning to make sure we captured the moment. It was absolutely serene watching the sun come up over Otter Point and paint the sky and water, first in pastels and then in vivid blues and pinks. It was one of those moments when it was if all the elements of nature had converged to gift us with a picture perfect glimpse of this point in the universe. The tide, winds, clouds, sun, air, sea, salt, and even the passing gulls and geese, each played their part in turn, as if performing a dance to welcome the new day. It was a spectacular performance and it is even more amazing when you consider the fact that these same characters have been gathering every day for thousands of years to put on this same show morning after morning – not caring if any human is watching or not. It was an honor to be part of this day’s pageant, even if only as an observer.
Only a few days earlier we had welcomed home the owners of the house we had been sitting. We got to spend a couple wonderful days with them and share stories of our respective three months. They shared about New Mexico and Hawaii and their traveling companions and we shared about all we have learned of Maine and the antics of Zipper and Bobbie, the two cats we have come to love as our own. It was hard to say goodbye. Mary and Roger feel like kindred spirits and spending time chatting or playing Mexican Train was just like spending time with old friends. (Thanks so much, you two, for entrusting us with your home and loved ones. We look forward to meeting up again soon!) Our route north took us through areas we had explored during the winter and on to things we had not yet seen, like the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. This was an amazing structure with the traffic lanes running along each side of a single line of cables. It is built right next to the Maine Fort Knox which we did not visit as we were trying to get on to Acadia. I hate passing up a good fort but Acadia was waiting!The weather in Maine for our time in Acadia was amazing. We were there mid-week and the visitor’s season has not really started yet so there were no crowds. We spent hours being mesmerized by the sea with hardly anyone else around. There was just no end to the various rocks and beaches to choose from to sit and watch the tide come and go – with no two spots ever looking the same.This artist had found one such picturesque location to capture in oil and in turn became part of a perfect picture captured digitally. (Who knows, maybe there is a selfie on some other visitor’s phone with Amber and I in the back ground taking this picture). Speaking of selfies. Here is one we took near the Thunder Hole visitors center. We spent a good amount of time here sipping a blueberry soda and watching the waves crash in. Not everything to see at Acadia is on a grand scale. Some of the most striking beauty appeared when we stopped looking out at the sea and explored around our feet. After spending hours traversing the rugged shores the park is famous for, it was a little surprising to wander on to the sand castle quality beach of the aptly named Sand Beach. We kicked off our shoes and rolled up our pant legs to get into the waves! I have noticed that no matter how many times I do that, I never seem to get the pant leg rolled up high enough. The waves are always breaking just a little higher on my leg than where the cuff is. I don’t know why that is!Of course, in addition to it’s coastline, Acadia has other terrain to explore. We climbed to the top of Cadillac Mountain. What a contrast! The wind-swept granite is not an environment host to excessive vegetation. However, the flora that does thrive here is stunning!2016 is the park’s centennial. Acadia has been through a number of stages of development the last one hundred years and is the result of efforts by a number of people including, philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and family. Rockefeller built forty-five miles of carriage roads that wander through the mountains and valleys and are noted for 17 stone faced bridges built from stone quarried locally. Each one is a work of art in itself!Sadly, we only had time to see about a third of what the park has to offer. There were more mountains to climb, sea shores to explore and trails to wander but we had to get headed north and ultimately west. We did have time to make a quick stop in Bar Harbor. Once again our timing was perfect. The sun was shining and the shops were open but only a handful of tourists wandered the streets that would be packed with thousands beginning in just a few weeks. We sampled some of Maine’s famous ice cream while we sat in the park overlooking the harbor. I could not help but admire the park’s fine example of imposing lawn decor and Amber got another chance to pose with a local!
Coming up: the easternmost city in the U.S. and saying Bonjour to Canada!