Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Echo Lake Paddle

Monday July 3, 2017                                                                            Most Recent Posts:
Acadia National Park                                                                           
Two Bubbles and a Nubble
Bar Harbor, Maine                                                                               Sieur de Monts



IMG_5587My previous post was on a great hike to the top of the Bubbles and Connor’s Nubble.  That was the last nice day we had for 4 days in a row.  In between the fog and rain on Saturday and Sunday we checked out the various kayaking ponds and lakes to see where the best put ins were and which ones we’d like to do.  Now we’re ready to go.

So today we headed out early and are at the put in at 7:15 greeted by two young women who have been swimming laps from shore to shore at Echo Lake.  Looks like brrrrrrrrr to me.

There is a really easy put in at what is known as “Ikes”.   It has a nice wide launch area which you can drive your car to and then take it back to the parking lot next to the put in.  So easy!


Which is up and which is down on this beautiful day?




I’ve hardly turned South when I hear the chatter from this group.  I’m calling them Juvenile Red Breasted Merganzers.  Feel free to offer other opinions.



Following the leader, they really are just toooo cute!


We know there is a swimming beach at the south end of the lake but we can’t imagine anyone being there this early so we head that way to start out when we find all these boats.


As we pass by we see platform tents, I remember these fondly from girl scout camp.  



What fun!  I wonder if this is a family camp.  I see the initials AMC on one of the boats and when I look it up later I find that this is Appalachian Mountain Club’s Echo Lake Camp



In addition to the cabins and the boats, they have a dining hall that provides all meals and this swimming dock among other things.




Our attention is completely distracted when we see a loon paddling in the oppostite direction toward the north end of the lake.



A closer look shows his amazingly fine detail.



We paddle down to the swimming area where there actually are 3 people before 8:00 in the morning.  No one is swimming.  Not sure what they are doing since I’m again totally distracted when I see, on the far left at the edge of the water and the swimming area, this female loon sitting on a nest.




What in the world would motivate her to put her nest so close to this place of such high human activity.  The lake is 237 acres and most of the shoreline is uninhabited.




We leave her alone and head back up the other side of the lake toward the north.   The beautiful mountains on the west side are the Beech Cliffs and behind them is Beech Mountain.








The winds pick up as I come around a bend and see an island in the center of the lake.


It’s just a very little island and must be privately owned since there is a house on it.



I think about how much trouble it must have been to get the building supplies out here and that “picking up something at the store” takes on a whole new meaning.


There are a few other homes along the shore.  Most of them are at the far north end.  We found the hammock on the deck and especially the way it was hung, particularly interesting.   Notice the long wire/rope or whatever strung from tree to tree.




Pretty unlikely wildlife on a rock by the shore.  Looks  like she’s considering something in the water.



Part of Echo Lake’s eastern shore runs right along the road although it is only when you are close and at the north east end of the lake that you hear it.






Waves are up as we head into the home stretch.



It’s been an interesting morning on Echo Lake from Merganzers to nesting loons and from swimmers to greet us when we arrived to launch and paddle boarders to greet us when we return to get out.

We are definitely surprised to find at least a dozen paddle boarders coming toward us as we bring the boats in to the shore.  Glad we got here early and are leaving now.



Two Bubbles and a Nubble

Thursday June 29, 2017                                                                                   Most Recent Posts:
Acadia National Park                                                                                      
Sieur de Monts
Bar Harbor, Maine                                                                                           The Highs and Lows



Remember the picture of the Bubbles from our hike arouned Jordan Pond?   Well today Nancy and Bill and I are hiking up there.  On the map below, we are starting at the blue star and going to South Bubble following the yellow arrows then we came back down and up the green arrows to the left and continue on to Connors Nubble to check out the blueberry status and then along Eagle Lake and finishing up on the Jordon Pond Carry Trail.


Of course we start out climbing but I’d rather go up first and down at the end.


Beautiful Sheep Laurel is along our path.



Here are Nancy and Bill at the summit marker for South Bubble.  This knob on the bubble is apparently the highest point.



Another picture of the summit so the sign can be read.



The thing about the summits in Acadia is the fantastic views.  Every summit in nearly every direction has a view of the sound, a Bay, the Atlantic or the ponds and lakes on the island.





One of the big attractions of South Bubble is the glacial erratic known as Bubble Rock.  I’m not the only one who has tried and failed to shove it off its perch.



More beautiful views.  I think this is Jordan Pond from which the famous twin bubble pictures are always taken..  Maybe Nancy will correct me if I’m wrong.



The trails in Acadia all seem to have the most wonderful bird song especially early in the morning.  I can seldom see the singers even when I look but today we are lucky.  This little Common Yellowthroat was just singing his heart out.  What joy!




Whoever attached the adjective common to this gorgeous bird must live in a different world from mine.



Before we leave, Bill points out our next destination, North Bubble.   But we have to walk back down to get the path back up.  Remember the map.





When we get back down they are both grinning as they point the way back UP.


And up it is.


Up and rocky.



North Bubble is a tad taller than South Bubble so our views different.  I’m thinking this is Eagle Lake.  If so, we’ll be down there later walking around the western shore on our way back.



It’s the blue team on top of North Bubble.  Today’s second summit sign for Bill to add to his collection.





We wander around the top enjoying the fantastic day.  It’s in the 70’s, blue skies and clear.  Perfect hiking day.



Another singer in a spruce tree.  I’m really not sure of this one at all.  In some of the pictures I took he looks like a Junco but this one shows a lot of white.  Perhaps it’s the wind ruffling his feathers.




Time to head back down to go on to Connor’s Nubble. 






For most of the hike, we’ve been following the Bates Cairns which were first developed here in Acadia. The park has a new initiative to implore hikers not to add to the cairns or create their own cairns either of which might mislead other hikers and cause them serious problems.



Another cairn in the foreground.



We’re back in the woods when we spot this woodpecker working near the bottom of the tree. 




Now it’s a rock scramble up to Connor’s




But we do make it to the “summit” of this 383 foot nubble. I’m not sure how many of the 30 “peaks” on Mount Desert Island Bill has already bagged but he’s added 3 of them today in his quest to do them all in the two months we are all here this summer.  Pretty positive they’ll do it.




We wander around the nubble checking out the blueberry status and Nancy predicts 2 more weeks until picking time.



Today they have just a tinge of blueish purple.   We’re dreaming of fresh blueberry pie.  There really are no blueberries like Maine low bush.   Absolutely DElicious!!


Off we go down to the Eagle Lake shore line for our trip back to their truck.






I think Nancy gets a kick out of my “I stop for mushrooms policy”.








The path along Eagle Lake is heavenly.  A soft carpet of needles to walk on and that delicious smell of balsum fir in the air.



We stop along the lake for lunch and Nancy takes this picture of me after I’ve finished.  Thanks Nancy!




In addition to cairns up on the bubbles and nubble, there have also been the blue blazes which signify the National park Trails.  You can see one here on the rock as the Eagle Lake trail begins to change from friendly forest to rocky road.



Not sure any of us was expecting this.  I know I wasn’t.  Watch your step now.



The views of Eagle Lake from the trail are wonderful and make me think about kayaking on it but it’s the second largest lake on Mount Desert Island at 436 acres and that means lots of boaters even though they are limited to 10mph.  Still, early enough in the morning we could at least have a go at a few of its acres.



I spot this guy peeking out and of course have to stop.




Nearlng the end of the Eagle Lake trail where it joins the Jordan Pond Carry trail, Nancy stops to get a close listen at a sweet babbling brook.





Last leg of the hike.  A little more than half a mile to go.







Many thanks to Nancy and Bill for planning the hike, leading the hike, driving to the hike.  They did everything but pack my lunch.  How lucky can I get??   Wish you could have been here David.