Date: May 31st, 2016
I waited on the steps of my cabin. Every car that passed by made me perk up like a dog waiting for his master to get home from work. I was excited to get back on the road and to see a friend I hadn’t seen in years. The past few days I was going a bit stir crazy on the homestead. Sameness is not something my trip across America is about.
Finally, a car pulled in and a tall brunette got out.
I grabbed my backpack and walked up.
“Are ya ready for an adventure lass?” I said in an Irish accent for fun.
Christine laughed and said “Oh yeah.” We hugged and she opened the passenger side door for me and I busted out laughing.
“Is there room for me?” I said looking at the mountains of food, clothes, and camping equipment.
“Yeah, we’ll just have to rearrange some stuff. Does this place have a bathroom?”
“An outhouse,” I said and laughed, then showed her to it.
I got my pack in somehow and then we got on the road.
We talked about my trip and she told me about her job doing tree surveys for Asian Longhorned Beetles (An invasive species) for the Department of Agriculture. We rocked out to some good tunes and ate the entire way to Acadia. Christine brought enough food to feed an army…or the two of us.
When we got to Acadia, you couldn’t have wiped the smile off of Christine’s face if you’d tried.
“It’s so pretty,” she said so often that I began keeping count.
We stopped and took a few pictures on Park Loop Road and then stopped at the Thunder Hole. I knew from my previous time there with Harley that the best time to go to the Thunder Hole was two hours before high tide, which was something I’d looked up before we got there. We were pretty close to perfect on the timing. It gave a few roars and we both smiled and laughed as we took pictures and videos.
Then we went and set up our campsite. After I had my hammock and Christine had her tent set up, she brought the food out of the car while I got firewood. When I got back, the picnic table was full of food.
“I can’t tell you how happy that makes me,” I said gesturing towards all the food on the picnic table.
“Oh, that’s just the snack stuff. Come with me!” she said and we went to the trunk of the car, where she pulled out a huge box of food. It had pasta, beans, graham crackers, Hershey’s chocolate bars, marshmallows, and tons of other stuff.
I set to cooking some pasta and beans with chicken over the fire, while eating snacks the entire time.
That night it was hard for either of us to sleep because we were excited for the morning.
I woke up early and began gathering firewood for breakfast, but got in trouble for it when I was bringing a load across the road and a ranger spotted me. Apparently, you can’t gather firewood in Acadia. You have to either purchase it from a camp store or go to one of the stations where you can get some of the greenest firewood imaginable…
After breakfast we got underway. I took Christine to probably my favorite trail I’ve been on since I started this journey…The Beehive Trail.
As we climbed Christine identified trees and soon had me doing it. She helped me with my tree I.D. skills, which are a bit rusty. She also broke out the binocs and we did some bird watching. We saw a lot of warblers and we think a Golden Eagle. I was excited when I heard the familiar call of the Northern Parula. A bird I whose call I learned in Florida and now was hearing up north. It’s call sounds like a build up to and then a sneeze.
The view from the top of the Beehive trail is beautiful and we stopped and took it in. The sandy beach and blue ocean gave a great contrast to all the spring green coming back to life.
We walked down the other side towards the bowl (a trail that goes around a lake on the other side of the Beehive trail).
“You know what sounds good?” Christine asked.
“Donuts,” she said and my mouth watered.
I laughed and said “We literally ate all morning…and now we’re hungry again.”
We talked food and everything we were going to eat for a while and then we got to the shimmering Bowl Lake. I didn’t hesitate and got down to my skivvies and jumped in.
“Definitely warmer than last time,” I said laughing thinking of how cold it was earlier in the month when me and Harley had jumped in.
Christine was happy to soak her feet and take in the beauty of the lake.
After I dried out a bit, we headed out and down the other side of the mountain. When we got back to the car we gorged ourselves on snacks. I ate the cheese-its and fruit roll ups Christine had got me and she had her donut.
We then headed to the Bubble Rock trail, but sat in the parking lot and had lunch.
“This is what I’m going to remember,” Christine said.
“What is?” I asked
“Sitting under a Sugar Maple, having lunch on a beautiful day, looking at Bubble Rock when I’m doing surveys in -20 degree weather.”
I laughed, but thought that it was a good memory to have. We scarfed some PB&J, some peaches, and bananas, then headed up the trail.
I could tell Christine was getting tired because I kept pulling ahead, so I slowed my pace. We kept going on the trail, but Bubble Rock was nowhere to be found. Finally, we rounded a bend and looked down and there it was.
While Bubble Rock was cool, the view from up there was breathtaking.
After we took some funny pictures with Bubble Rock and the surrounding scenery, we headed back down. Originally, we were going to do the Pemetic Mountain Trail as well which was right across the road, but Christine was gassed. So we decided to just drive up Cadillac Mountain.
The sunny day made the view even more beautiful than the last time I was there. We took a few pictures and then began the drive to Gulf Hagas.
A place I will cherish for the silence, the beauty of the waterfalls, and the funny story of how we got locked in…but for that, you’ll have to wait for the book.
Forever your friend,