Thursday, October 13, 2011

Acadia Interlude

Below the Summit - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

I've always wanted to visit Acadia. Since my seventh grade English teacher Miss  Rogers spoke of Longfellow, Evangeline, and the descendants ofthe French called the "Acadians," I've wanted to see the marvelous sights of an unspoiled wilderness on the Northeast Coast of the USA. 

Emerald and Blue Gem  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann
I recently had the opportunity to spend eight days there, and I can tell you: it was worth the trip. Every day was resplendent with new trails to explore, rock studded mountain paths to climb, and scenic vistas that took my breath away. 

Even with a week of exploring the mountains, the lush undisturbed forest and the rocky coastline, we barely scratched the surface of the map.  Mount Desert Island, which is also home to a few quaint and interesting towns (Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and the more well known Bar Harbor), comprises the Ice Age transformed landscape and web of ecosystems  that is Acadia National Park.

If you are interested in visiting Acadia, the internet has many sites that offer information.  Here are some scenes from the lovely and gorgeous parts of the park that we were lucky enough to experience.  I'll be featuring other scenic views and landmarks of Acadia in subsequent blog posts, so watch for those if you're interested in hiking and nature. 

Here my husband is perched on an overlook on Beech Mountain, overlooking Echo Lake.  We hobbled up the steep boulder strewn path without breaking an ankle or taking a tumble, but this shelf halfway up the mountainside was challenge enough.  The cliffs above were just a tad formidable for us to attempt, making the summit out of the question.  But who knows how brave--or foolish--we may be on a future trek!

We've since purchased "trekking" sticks, those aluminum poles that look like ski poles that you occasionally see walkers toting.  It's amazing how well they aid and abet your balance, especially when treading over steep, angled and jagged boulders and rough terrain. 

Perched Over Echo Lake - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann 

Never have I seen such jewels of green and azure!  Well okay, I have seen some similar beauty before, on our hikes, but these scenes were definitely was among the most gorgeous vistas of peace and grandeur we've enjoyed.

Awesome View  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann 

If you look closely at the next photo, you'll see tourists clustered at the far edge of Cadillac Mountain, looking down over clouds and islands and rich green stretches of fertile and undisturbed wilderness interspersed with vast reams of granite.  Cadillac Mountain is so far north and east, that it's the first spot on the North American continent to be graced with the first rays of sunrise, each day.   

Distant Crowd on Cadillac Mountain  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

I could easily spend a month up there on Cadillac, absorbing the fresh, sweet air and gazing at the ocean to the east or the islands and larger land mass to the west.  Cruise ships off of the town of Bar Harbor are sometimes visible from the summit, and they look small and surreal from that height.  As do the clouds that shroud the horizon--so far beneath our line of vision and strange to look down upon.

The Islands Below  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Lush and Barren  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Cadillac's rich pink granite is rounded and buffed by Ice Age glaciers that moved over it, thousands of year ago.  The pink boulders are deeply fissured yet rounded at the edges; they seem to fit together in a sort of free-form jigsaw puzzle.  Very dramatic and sculptural and beautiful in their own right.  The variety of colored lichen and arctic shrubery adds to the beauty and richness of the scene, and multiple ledges and paths beckon in all directions. 

Have you ever been to Acadia?  Do you have have any particular stories of adventures  there, that you'd like to share?  

I'm looking forward to showing you more photos of our trip, next time I publish!

Natural Color  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann
Sweep of the Land  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

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