Geo: 44.3875, -68.2044
Finally a sunny day! The perfect day to do another drive into Acadia and see what it looks like when it's not covered in fog and drizzle. I got a relatively early start (a little after 8) and it turned out to be a good idea as the day went on. I thought a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain would be the best way to begin and would get me up there before the majority of the visitors. Cadillac Mountain, at 1,530 feet, is the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil. I find myself doing more and more of these steep drives as I travel. Mostly it's because I am by myself and there is no other way to get up there. Either do it yourself or don't do it at all and miss out on some amazing views! Luckily, this road is well paved and has few very sharp curves to it. There are many places to pull over and enjoy the sweeping vistas of inland and costal Maine. But the summit is really the high point. There is ample parking and it was best to get there early because tour buses begin
to arrive and then you have all those annoying older folks who just mosey along and don't seem to care if they get in your way! I enjoy the fact that older people, or any people for that matter, like to travel but bus loads of them just drive me nuts. Anyway, there is a very nice paved walkway around the summit area that is not too strenuous. Signs point out what you are looking at and one also pointed out that about 70% of the air pollution in Maine comes from points farther south along the coast, not from Maine itself. Something to keep in mind! There are several hikes leading out from the summit and you really can walk anywhere as long as you keep to the rocks. Acadia is very much a Leave No Trace Behind park. Footsteps on fragile plants can harm a whole ecosystem and it is important to watch your step. I should also point out the temperature was a chilly 55 degrees and a sweatshirt was needed!
The Park Loop in the sun is a very scenic route. Again, I recommend starting your drive early if you aren't using the shuttles. The
parking at Sand Beach fills up quickly and cars begin to line the right side of the road. Sand Beach is the only sandy swimming beach in the park, and maybe on the island. There are stairs down to the beach and that appears to be the only way to get there. I saved the beach for later and took the Ocean Path. This walk goes from the beach to the Otter Cliffs and is 1.5 miles. Most of the path is fairly even but there are some portions where you do a little climbing. Thunder Hole is .7 miles in on the walk. There is a small gift shop there as well as bathrooms and a bus stop. Thunder Hole wasn't as loud as it had been on Friday, but it was still a good spot to stop and take some pictures. The Otter Cliffs are also quite picturesque. There was one rock climber heading down when I was there so you could do that if you like steep cliffs!
I was pretty warm by the end of the walk and decided to get on the bus instead of walking back. Since the Park Loop is only one way at this area, the bus trip is probably longer than walking back, but its nice to sit and let someone else do the driving. By the time we got back to the beach, the lot was full and the road was also filling up. I stopped to change into my sandals and walked down to put my feet in the water. The ocean temperature is probably in the 50s and I did not see anyone actually swimming in it. Most people put their feet in, but one little girl was so excited while running away from the waves that she fell down and got all wet! I was glad that did not happen to me as the water was way too cold!
I tried to park at Jordan Pond to have lunch, but both lots were full so I headed back to the Visitor Center lot to try and catch a bus. Luckily I arrived right before the bus did and was back at Jordan Pond in a short amount of time. The wait to sit outside was longer than I wanted so I waited for an inside table. Afternoon Tea at Jordan Pond is made delightful by the mountains that surround the pond. I am not sure I actually understand the fuss over the popovers. I prefer a nice biscuit but they aren't famous for biscuits. The first popover I had today was a little burnt but the second one was better. They are best eaten quickly before they cool too much and become hard. They are served with butter and strawberry preserves. I also had the house blend tea and it was pretty good! It is nice to sit and relax after a morning of walking.
Caught the shuttle back, then back to the motel, shuttle into Bar Harbor for some shopping and then back to grab dinner at the lobster pound across the street. I have to ask someone why all these places are called lobster pounds. Anyway, I had a cup of lobster bisque and a piece of blueberry pie. The bisque was delicious! There were quite a few chunks of lobster meat and it was a cheap $5 which is better than paying $25+ for a lobster dinner. I think I have had enough lobster now!
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