Sunday, September 25, 2016

Haiku for You

Fall is in the air
Sweet and crisp as an apple
Put a sweater on

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Big Payoff, Little Effort

We said good-bye to Wendy and Dan as they headed home today. ;o( We left the cottage around 11:30 to hike the Beech Mountain Loop Trail, a new one for us.  I liked it right from the beginning due to the bathroom in the parking lot!  
This is the only hike in the park with a fire tower at the top.  It was fairly steep but only took us about 20 minutes to reach the summit.
Pretty incredible view from the summit and we were able to climb to the first level of the fire tower. 
Cranberry Islands
We had our snacks at the summit and we got to meet this pretty girl from Boston.
Hi Sugar!
Her owner said she was nervous around people but he brought her over to say hello and after a few sniffs and head scratches, she rolled over for some tummy rubs.  A very sweet girl.

We hiked down the rest of the loop trail and were glad we did.  It was a much more gentle trail which took us about 30 minutes; however, we stopped to enjoy the view of Long Pond.  It really was a spectacular day with a light breeze and temps around 77*.
We left there and drove to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse where we ate our lunch among the rocks and the shore.  
Love this speckled rock!
The tide was in so we couldn't get a good view of the lighthouse but it's there...
There was still time for a short bike ride so we left Bass Harbor and drove to the Visitor's Center where we changed into our bike shorts in the car.  Not an easy task considering the limited amount of space ;o)  Mission accomplished and we headed off to ride the Witch Hole Pond Loop.  

We have ridden this loop before, but never starting from the VC.  Wendy and Dan have ridden it several times from this direction, describing the beginning as the "worst hill in the park", which we initially doubted. wasn't terribly long but it was VERY steep.  Wendy texted us to ride it without stopping.  HA, I had already stopped twice by then, as had Bill.  It was so steep that when Bill pushed off to get started again, the front wheel of his bike came off the ground, tipping him over backward.  He fell off and ended up running DOWN the hill to avoid being hit by his bike.  I missed it all as I left first and didn't stop until I reached the top, where I was waiting for him by this sign.
No Shit!
Thankfully, he wasn't hurt and we proceeded on our way.  This is a nice easy ride, not too many big hills and we didn't make any wrong turns.
Witch Hole Pond
Half Moon Pond
It was fairly late in the day and I really loved the way the sun struck this field, turning it a beautiful golden color.
As it turned out, we rode this loop on the same date in 2009.

We watched a beautiful sunset from Cadillac Mountain,

then drove into town for dinner.  Our plan was to have pizza at Little Anthony's but the traffic was so bad we couldn't get near the place, so we ended up at Pat's Pizza on the other end of town.  We got back to our cottage around 8:00 after a very nice, full day.

Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hiking Separately, Together

Wendy and Dan made crepes for breakfast, which we all enjoyed in their cottage.  We filled them with blueberries, strawberries and bananas, then covered them with maple syrup and whipped cream.  Yum!  The day dawned clear and sunny, which was perfect for our hiking plans.  We left the cottages about 9:50 in two cars.  We parked and left Bill's car at the Champlain North Ridge Trailhead, where Wendy and I were going to hike.  
Trail we go!
The guys took Dan's car to The Precipice, which they were going to hike.  Our plan was to meet at the summit and all hike down the CNRT together.

Wendy and I started our hike at 10:30 and reached the summit at 11:35. 
Overlooking the Porcupine Islands
This is a fairly easy hike, although quite steep in some places.  It offers wonderful views of the Porcupine Islands and Schoodic Point.
We waited at the summit for about an hour before Bill and Dan made their appearance.

The Precipice is considered the most difficult hike/climb in the park as it is virtually straight up for one mile.  No wonder it took them such a long time.
The trail is there somewhere...
These photos were taken by Dan and I'm not sure what the correct order is but it gives you an idea what the trail is like.
Um, no thank you
Warning sign at the summit of the Precipice Trail 
There they are!
Well done!
We picked a nice, sunny spot with a good view to have our lunch.  
I think the guys could have fallen into a nice deep sleep if we had left them to their own devices.  We started the hike down at 1:11 and reached Bill's car at 1:54.

From there we picked up Dan's car and drove to Sand Beach.  After a quick trip to the bathroom we took a nice walk along the Ocean path, past Thunder Hole to a nice spot on the rocks, in the shade.  

Sand Beach
Otter Cliffs
"Stay away from the edge!"
We sat quietly, listening to the sound of the sea and watched the clouds appear and disappear, little wisps of white in a blue sky.

On to the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor for popovers and tea/coffee on the deck.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

Wendy and Dan drove "home", while we drove into town for gas, then back to the cottage.  We sat on the deck and the three of us tried a beer they brought over (A Tiny Beautiful Something) and Bill had a Ginger Beer (Bundaberg). 
We borrowed their grill (which they brought to our deck) and fixed hamburgers for dinner.  What a great day!

Thanks for stopping by...

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...