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

Henry David Thoreau

Two out of Three isn’t bad

Sunday July 14, 2013
Site 79 Blackwoods Campground
Acadia National Park

 

 

I’ve got a great plan for the day which will take us on 3 hikes next to or overlooking the water.

 

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The plan is to head out for the Great Head geology hike and hope to have Stephanie as our ranger.  From there we’ll walk the Ocean Path and then head up the Gorham Mountain trail and take it back to the head of Ocean Path where Ruby waits.   I love it!

 

We’re out the door at 8:30 for and sure enough when we get to the Sand Beach parking lot for the 9AM geology talk take #2, she’s there.  All right!!  Things are going my way this time.

The hike begins on Sand Beach.  The Great Head trail is on the other side of the little stream I showed on the post about Sand Beach and the driving tour in the first few days we were in Acadia.   Boy has the “stream” changed.   Things change a lot around here.  And quickly.

 

Here’s what we saw a week ago.  The little stream runs all the way to the ocean.

 

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Here’s what we see today.   It’s a pond and there is a sand dam at the bottom.

 

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Looks like someone is trying to break through the dam with a shovel.

 

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There are 18 or so of us.  Not my favorite way to hike but when you attend ranger walks, lots of other people are interested too.  We start out climbing through the woods and then into the rocks.  Soon we are above Sand Beach.  I don’t know the lady in red shorts, I was just behind her in line.

 

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Stephanie stops at several spots and talks about the glaciation that is responsible for the beauty and variety here in Acadia. 

 

She always stops at spots with gorgeous views.

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We hike up further where she does an excellent job of explaining the three types of rocks and how each came to be in Acadia. This is something I know I took a test on in geology class but I think I might remember it now.

 

Hiking up

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Looking out

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Hiking over

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Lastly she takes us to the home site of the Rockefeller daughter who was given this beautiful bluff AND Sand Beach below it as a birthday present from her father.  She and her husband donated it all to the park after the 1947 fire which destroyed their home.  At this point, there is nothing left but a few bricks on the ground off of the trail.  You have to look closely to see them.

Stephanie has been with the park service for 8 years, the last 4 of them full time.  Prior to that as a seasonal ranger for 4 summers.  Before coming to Acadia last year she spent 3 years on Death Valley and said that when she left there in June of 2012 it was 130 degrees.  YIKES!!

She is an excellent guide and we learn an amazing amount of information in about 2.5 hours.  I’ve been pretty seriously brief because of what is to come.

 

 

Few things are cheerier than a field of Daisies.

 

We return down to Sand Beach and are greeted by a lovely display of wildflowers at the trail’s end.

 

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We have seen what a beautiful clear day it is from Great Head above Sand Beach and it looks PERFECT today for the hike along Ocean Path.  

 

This walk runs along the loop road in many sections but it has some of the loveliest scenery in the park if what you like are rugged ocean coast lines.  You just can’t see it well enough from your car.

As we leave Sand Beach we get a peek at the cliffs up ahead from a distance.

 

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We walk on and then down to the water where we see Sand Beach behind us.

 

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At this point I decide to rock scramble.  Instead of following the path along the road, I head out over the rocks themselves.

 

 

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I wonder if I can walk all the way around to Otter Point on the rocks??

 

I climb down and up.  I see wonderful pools and colors.

 

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I am so enjoying this obstacle course when I meet a really big obstacle.

 

It’s either climb down in or go back out on the path.  Doesn’t look too far down in this picture but when I look down, it is a long way. 

 

 

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Yes it’s pretty far down there but look at those sea stacks and look at these stones.  Through my binoculars I see Blue!!  I need a closer look at all this.

 

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Here’s David standing on top of the ledge I have carefully climbed down.   Sure hope I don’t have to figure out how to climb back up.

 

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Great move to climb down.  It doesn’t disappoint.  Simply beautiful!!  And look at those cobbles.

 

 

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David decides he wants to come down too.

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All that climbing makes us hungry.  Here’s our lunch spot.  Not too shabby and we have it all to ourselves.

 

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After lunch, I walk around and find the most amazing art work, worthy of any museum.  I think of them all as sculptures.

 

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Look closely, these are two different spots not just a close up of one.

 

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These are some serious cobbles.  Clearly the early pavers didn’t want to use these.  Notice David dwarfed by the surroundings.

 

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Who knew I’d ever get to sit at the foot of a sea stack??

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These big cobbles are very difficult to walk on as we we move on looking for a way up in order not to backtrack. 

We see some guys in the distance who appear to be swimming in a pretty cove.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr

 

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That’s Sand Beach barely visible between the crossed tree trunks.  And yes, there are teenage boys in the 55 degree water.  We are able to cross over to them and get up the same way they got down.  Must less steep.  But the cross to them is very tricky.

The beautiful views never cease.  It’s just amazing.  Everywhere I look.  I really should not post so many I know.   I’ve cut out a lot, honestly. 

 

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Poison Ivy also likes a sunny rock face.

This one has really large leaves and is bush sized.   I wonder how many others see it growing all around the rocks including the back side of the rock “step”.

It’s a plant that we pretty much notice without having to look for it effort after so many years of hiking in the east and especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains .  Our eyes pick them out when they scan an area.  Very nice human adaptation me thinks.

 

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  The tide is moving in.

 

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We reach  Monument Cove, named for obvious reasons. 

 

I am told the Sea Stack here is 30’ high.   At this point, I finally give up.  I cannot find any way down there and I’m tiring.  So I enjoy the views from above

 

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When we walk on around on the path we see that these two folks have staked out a spot all their own on a giant flat rock.  Looks terrific doesn’t it??

 

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When I look down to my left I see 4 Scoters?  Eiders??  There are a couple fishing in the water off the rocky ledge as well.  You can just barely see their orange feet.

 

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The Ocean Path runs much closer along the rocky ledge and away from the road at this point.

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We reach a partial view of Otter Cliffs

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As we walk, we can hear the clanging of this green buoy off shore warning boats of a dangerously half submerged ledge.

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From the top we look down to see some rock climbers.  Don’t know if they have climbed up and are now down or vice versa.

 

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The last section of the walk toward Otter Point is very beautiful and peaceful as it winds around the curving shore.   We have seen several of the spots we visited today when we did the Road Audio Tour but walking the path the entire way is even more dramatic. 

 

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By the time we reach the very end of the Ocean Path it is after 4:00 and too late to add on another hike.   We are tired from all the scrambling but have had a wonderful time.  So we hop on the bus and ride it around to Sand Beach rather than walk the 2 miles back along the Ocean Path or hike the Gorham Mountain Trail back to Ruby.

 
It’s been a very full and satisfying day.

 

THE END

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24 comments:


  1. SOOOOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL !!!! Thanks for sharing your terrific day...... I bet you both slept like babies !!!! Keep having FUN !!!!!

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  2. Sherry, you do such a wonderful job with your posts, you're a natural born story teller. Not only do you paint a great picture with your words, you illustrate them so beautifully with your photographs. You've made me fall in love with the Maine seacoast.

    I thought it was very nice of you to share Ranger Stephanie with those 16 other people. ;c)

    I think it's a travesty about how poorly paid the NPS Rangers are and how many years of dedicated service they have to put in just to get a full time position, that pays poorly. They certainly don't do it for the money, but for the love of sharing the beautiful National Parks we're blessed with.

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  3. I love the pictures from your rock scramble. It's been a lot of years since I did something like that, and my kids would love to try it today. What beauty you've found, even lovlier when you actually get out and walk/climb it rather than just look from a car.

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  4. The Ocean Path has been my favorite hike so far. The beautiful views are endless!
    Syl

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  5. Glad you finally got your Geology Hike!!! The Ocean Path is a very special place in Acadia:o))

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  6. Love the hikes with rangers...there's a cool one offered by a photographer ranger, if you get a chance to take that, it's interesting and very informative. Not that you need any help with your photos, they are wonderful... the guy who did the photography hike/walk wrote one of the books on Acadia's bridges and he was great!

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  7. Hey, just checking to see if I can still comment here and WOW what a walk!

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  8. Can you believe you are there....I remember you never thought you'd get out of FL. So happy for !!!! I'm with leg on pillow in air after skin biopsy....chopped me up. Still heading out as business done and we are full timers now. MO bound next. Then SD. I'd love to hike with you....just out of this world!

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  9. birds are probably white winged scoter but man isn't it hard to beat a walk anywhere in Acadia?

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  10. I am really glad you posted so many photos of this amazing rocky coastline. I feel like I went along, but not so tired. That's a lot of hiking. I'd really enjoy going on Ranger lead walks here plus on my own as well.

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  11. Whoo! That looks great, and I'm glad I wasn't walking in front of you.

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  12. Have to love the rocky coast, and rocky beaches smoothed by the waves. Just spectacular!

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  13. What a beautiful coastline. Love those hikes with rock scrambling. Looks like you are having a great time!

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  14. Well, look what I missed from not hiking. I just did motor trips and little get out and walk around stuff. That was gorgeous enough but your trek was gorgeouser ... wouldn't do for me to hike with 18 people... they'd get awfully po'd or well, just leave me in the dust.

    soooo pretty

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  15. Fantastic post! What a beautiful place. Thanks for taking us along.

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  16. We have yet to be disappointed in any ranger program that we've attended. They have such enthusiasm ... and they are obviously doing it for the love of sharing because they sure aren't getting paid much. Lovely hike/rock scramble.

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  17. All those rocks are wonderful, great, marvelous!!! What a good day!

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  18. Great pictures, makes us want to head right back there:)

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  19. Just want to let you know I love your blog and adventures
    even love the every day goings on...and the ice cream treats!
    thanks for writing....I check it everyday...donna

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  20. Wow. Again, lovely. Except for the poison ivy. :-)

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  21. What an exciting day of climbing and lovely views!! Great pictures (as always) of the rocks and water and those orange footed birds - not a bad place to make your home. Better to find daisies than poison ivy!!! Glad you can ID - I bet some people can't and think it's an attractive plant - uh oh for them!! ;)

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  22. What a beautiful hike. I especially loved the beautiful blue rocks and the formations which looked pretty enough to frame and hand on a wall.

    I'm not sure I would have gotten down some of those rock walls that you two did, but it was sure nice to see everything up close.

    You're really getting to know this beautiful park.

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  23. Birds are Black Guillemots, they were a life sighting for us. Thanks for your blog and glad we met you in Lubec. Cecile from Ontario

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  24. Cecile from OntarioSeptember 8, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Birds are Black Guillemots, they were a life sighting for us. Thanks for your blog and glad we met you in Lubec. Cecile from Ontario

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