I got into Acadia later than planned, about 8pm. I’d thought about just over-nighting at the walmart just outside the park, although it happens to be one of the walmarts where the local ordinances don’t allow over-nighting in their parking lots. I thought however I’d drive into the park and look for a camp site anyway and use Walmart as a back up. I’m glad did for two reasons. First, the campground was nearly empty and beautiful. Second, while looking at the campground board another solo camper drove up, fully equipped with kayak, bike and skis on her roof and Washington State plates. After a quick hello I invited her over to the campfire I was planning on later. I wanted to burn the wood I’d now hauled from Cape Cod and through Canada that I didn’t really want to bring all the way back to Pennsylvania. Anyway, it was great to have another random friend met on the road to chat with by the campfire that night. Amy was on a three month hiatus before starting a new dream job for her back in Washington, Hippotherapy (Occupational Therapy using horses).
In the morning I awoke to a incredible forest around me. I couldn’t just drive out of the park as I’d planned… now a couple days behind schedule to get back to Pennsylvania in time to get “things” in order before picking Elena up from the Philly airport. I figured another half day wouldn’t be the worst thing, so I took the morning to walk with the dog along the Otter Cliffs. Acadia National Park is the only (as far as I know) national park that allows dogs on their trails. Why this is I suspect goes back to the origin of the park which was primarily private land donations, rather than the usual Federal Government purchasing. After a beautiful walk along the Otter Cliffs, under clear skies I took Amy’s suggestion (Amy grew up in the area, Conneticut IIRC) and hiked Pememtic Mountain. The hike ended up being much longer than I had planned, and shortly after starting the clouds moved in. In spite of the wet weather the hike was wonderful and tucker certainly enjoyed running like crazy up and down the steep trail. The trail was categorized as “moderate”, which almost turned me off from it. I thought about switching to a trail categorized as “difficult”. I’m glad a didn’t… Acadia has a reputation for rock and root strewn trails, legendary for twisting ankles… this trails was no exception. Tucker of course took it all in stride running up steep rock section that had me using hands to make my way up, and jumping down cliffs that I carefully negotiated descending with my still recovering sprained ankle. Again, the best pictures end up on Flickr, so go look there for more photos from Maine/Acadia.
It was all worth it and I made it most of the way down the marvelous Maine coast before sunset. I was headed for Pennsylvania, but also wanted to stop by a friends in Harpswell Maine. Well, friend isn’t quite the right term. Jon is a mechanic, a Volkswagen mechanic and partners with the guy who imports and sell the engine conversion I have in my Van. He has helped me out by phone many times over the years and I really wanted to say thank you in person. The thank you took a little longer than planned… my scheduled arrival back at Matt & Em’s had already slipped form 5pm to 7pm to 10pm thanks to the hiking in Acadia and now was after midnight… and of course it was raining again…. raining hard again.
Thankfully I arrived safe and sound… close to 3am and Tucker and I were greeted by two very happy dogs 🙂