Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Today is Brought to You by the Letter A

Today started out very foggy with a temperature of 61* and it was HUMID!!!

We left the cottage around 10:25 with our bikes to ride the "bike ride of the week" in the Acadia Weekly newspaper, The Little Harbor Brook Loop, aka Amphitheater Loop.  It leaves from the gatehouse on Rt. 198 in Northeast Harbor and is reported to take one hour.

Because I have apparently lost my ability to read a map, we took a wrong turn at the very first intersection, #18.  Instead of going right, we went left, which led us up a very long and very steep hill, where we came across #13...we were supposed to be at #19!  OMG.  We had to make a big loop, connecting with #12, then back to #19, then around the correct loop.  The only good thing about our mistake was the extra bridges we came across.

The Hadlock Brook Bridge, built in 1926...
and Hadlock Brook...

The obligatory "selfie"...
View from the Hemlock Bridge, built in 1924.
It's been so dry, I'm surprised there is any water in these streams.

The Waterfall Bridge...
I mentioned it was foggy.
Probably a nice view on a clear day.

The Amphitheater Bridge, built in 1931, was on the section of the ride that we did correctly.  This bridge is incredible, curved in a manor that reminds one of an amphitheater and the stonework is amazing.
We crossed the Little Harbor Brook Bridge and the Little Harbor Brook.
We managed to turn a one hour ride into two.

The parking area for this ride is next to one of the two gatehouses that were built in the park.  
From there we went to the Northeast Harbor marina and ate our lunch.  We were pleasantly surprised that the fog had lifted and the sun came out.
We could actually see Cadillac Mountain in the background. 

From here, we drove a short distance to the Asticou Gardens, which we haven't been to in several years.  It's a beautiful, calming, relaxing area incorporating water, plantings, lawns, sand garden and many quiet areas to sit and enjoy the solitude.
Even a couple of resident ducks taking a nap.
The last time we were here was earlier in the year and the azaleas and rhododendrons were blooming.  Not sure what the identity of this particular rhododendron is, but it could be the Yakushima variety, which has a suede-like brown coating on the underside of the leaves.
Whatever it is, it's very pretty and soft.

There were still some nice plants in bloom.
Campanula...aka Bellflower
no idea ;o(
Toad Lily
These were calling our names, so we sat...

We smelled a very sweet fragrance from here but could never identify where it was coming from.

There was just a hint of color in the woods, as well as around the pond.
Even one of the gates was appealing.

We spent about an hour in the gardens, which were quite busy, as was most everything in and around the park.  To complete our day, we had popovers and tea at the Asticou Inn, almost across the street from the gardens.

Normally, there would be a great view of Northeast Harbor, but the fog settled back in, obscuring everything, except the pool.
It started to clear slightly by the time we left.  If you look closely, you can just start to make out some of the boats in the harbor.
We drove back into Bar Harbor on our way home to pick up a couple of items at Hannaford. OMG!!!  I could NOT deal with that crowd every day, all season.  I would go insane.

Sat on our deck for awhile when we got back to the cottage, then had dinner.  Wendy and Dan came by and we made plans for tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by...

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