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

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What to do in Acadia if it is too hot??

Sunday July 7, 2013
Site 79, Blackwoods Campground Acadia National Park




Ok so the temperatures were predicted to be in the upper 80’s but they have now changed that to the lower 90’s for today.  That’s too hot for me to do any hiking.  I learned better at Camden Hills.  Too hot for biking the up hills on the Carriage Paths.  They are not so “gentle” as they claim.  No good for a kayaking.  So where is it cool??  In the car, a driving tour, with short breaks along the way. 



First we have a real true camping breakfast.

There is a nice breeze under the trees so David fixes our breakfast outside.  If we heat up the coach with our gas stove, it will not cool down if today’s predictions are correct.  We never seem to do this sort of thing unless we are boondocking and I really love doing more of our regular living outside.


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Using the toaster is part of the fun.

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It was for just one of these hot days that I actually paid the price of $25 for an audio driving tour of the loop road. 


It was way cheaper than taking a tour bus around and I wanted all the information right at the stops.  Turns out wonderfully and I’d love to loan it to anyone around who’d like to borrow it.



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First stop is a view of Frenchman bay on the North East side of the island.  This is the same bay that College of the Atlantic overlooks.  There was a long scuffle between the French and British for northern New England.  According to our tour guide, “many historians believe the bay takes its name from the French warships that used the many islands of the bay as cover to launch attacks on the British”. However it got its name, it is just one of the breathtaking views every where you look in this park.


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  Our second stop is Sieur De Monts Spring

The spring area was named after a French nobleman who was given rights to everything between the 40th and 46th parallel (everything from Pennsylvania to Nova Scotia) by the King of France in 1603.  George Dorr, the Father of Acadia, bought the spring area and in 1909 had it covered.  He thought the waters were so pure that he had “Sweet Waters of Acadia” inscribed on the boulder beside the pond.  In the spring area are a nature center which we did not visit today, the Abbe Museum and the Wild Gardens of Acadia.


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We Wild Gardens of Acadia have recreated a dozen of the plant communities found across the island from mixed woods to seaside to mountain.  There are over 400 plants on less than an acre with a trail guide and labels on the plants. 

I am sorry to have missed this jack in the pulpit which I saw often in the woods in early spring in Virginia.  But I had never seen its seed pod.

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The yellow lady slippers are protected by cages.  I wonder are they being protected from the human or other animals??


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I use the cage above to take this lopsided picture of us resting from the heat in the shade on this bench.


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It’s a lovely place with great signs.


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After walking the garden paths we head up the walk to the Abbe Museum

We’re not going to visit it today but they have some nice benches just right for eating lunch.   The Abbe Museum is the original building for the antique collection of Native American treasures of Dr. Robert Abbe, a summer resident fascinated with archeology in the early 1900’s.  A larger building is in downtown Bar Harbor.  We hope to see them both.

On the walk we pass by this Wabanaki Indian home replica.  It’s made of birch bark.


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After this nice break at Sieur De Monts, we’re back on the loop road.

We stop at the Egg Rock Overlook and sure enough out there is egg rock and Egg Rock Lighthouse which has been protecting sailors for more than a century blinking once every 5 seconds a the mouth of Frenchman Bay.


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Sand Beach is our next stop.  It is Acadia’s only Sandy beach so it’s one of the most popular places in the park.  Apparently it is an anomaly on this rocky coastline and you won’t find another saltwater sands beach for miles in either direction.  And that’s because it’s nestled in a cove so the beach is partially protected from the pounding surf.


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The water is a chilly 55 degrees but on a hot day like today it feels great which is probably why the beach is so full of folks.  Or maybe it’s just that this is the only ocean sand beach in Acadia and one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.


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Looks like a girl after my own heart.  Coming to the beach regardless of the obstacles.


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There is great people watching here.  What is this woman with the long dress doing on the rocks??

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On the far end of the beach we find this stream running down and emptying into the ocean.


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When we follow it away from is mouth, we find the Beaver Brothers trying to dam it up.


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It flows back to a lovely wetland.   We’ll have to investigate further to find the source but not today in this heat.  Wish I knew the landscape better.  I think that “mountain” is the beehive but I’m not certain.


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We’re off to Thunder hole one of the most amazing things in the park.

The sign tells us that “when conditions are right, a surge of water forces air into a narrow cavern trapping it inside a sea cave at the back of the channel. If it’s hitting hard enough the compressed air has the concussive force of artillery fire.”

They have a railing down to a viewing platform where I know folks will get VERY wet if it’s near high tide.


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Here’s the mouth of Thunder Hole where the air and water rush in.

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They rush back this channel and hit the back of the sea cave.

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And come thundering out.  This is the best of my pictures but not the strongest wave return I experienced.  We were here about mid way between tides so we got a little show but I am for sure going to plan a return here for high tide.


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This is the other side of Thunder Hole.  During high tide the water rushes in and covers the lower portions of the rock formation.  Now there are tide pools which SOME people go around the railings to investigate.


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Remember the girl on crutches at Sand Beach?  She has help getting down to Thunder Hole and back.  This is a determined family apparently.  There she is in pink getting a ride.  She has a big boot on her left foot.  I know all about broken ankles on the left foot.  I was in another fabulous National Park when it happened to me – Glacier.


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Time’s up!


With all the stops we’ve made, we’ve run out of time for the Loop Road tour so Otter cliffs will be our last stop for today and we’ll finish up tomorrow. 

Not sure why these are called Otter Cliffs since there are only river otters in Maine not sea otters but oh well.  I love otters so it’s ok with me if they name something beautiful after them.


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These 100 foot cliffs are very popular with Rock Climbers and although we don’t get to see anyone climbing, it is apparent that this family has just climbed up and back down as we see them taking off their gear.  Looks like they are starting these boys out early in life as rock climbers. 


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They are pretty far away from us when we notice them.

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This has been a perfect way to spend a hot day in Acadia. 


We are out and about for a while and then back in air conditioned comfort with our guide who directs us to the next spot and tells us all about everything along the way.  Turns out to have been a great idea.

My last picture is looking back from Otter Cliffs toward Sand Beach and the Great Head Point.  We plan to hike the Great Head Loop trail and also walk the Ocean Path between Sand Beach and Otter Cliffs.  If I time it right maybe we can catch that big high tide thunder boomer at Thunder Hole as we walk by.  There are SO many things to do here in Acadia.


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  1. We visited Thunder Hole about eight times, and NEVER saw the thunderous "explosion"..Not only does it have to be the right tide flow, BUT after a thunderstorm, when the ocean has been really stirred up, THEN you might get to see and hear this wonderful sound experience. Hope you get to! Loved that you did the audio tour. We've picked up several over the years around the country and they are a terrific way to learn about the area. Sure enjoying your Acadia experiences. I just feel badly that you guys are really getting the heat, even way up there in Maine! I couldn't believe the wonderful temps last summer. almost never got above high seventies the 7 weeks we were there.

  2. I've taken bus tours before but never used the audio kind. I will keep that in mind in the National Parks I visit. I think if I went to Acadia I'd never want to leave!

  3. Sounds like a perfect way to beat the heat. Love that stream emptying into the ocean picture!

  4. I love to "play" around water. It started when I was a kid. I was like a water rat not only at the beach but at the canals that made their way down to marshland and then the ocean. There are similar "blow holes" on the Oregon coast that fascinate me, and Devils Punch Bowl is an incredible to watch the water. You and David look so content. I'm very happy for you.

  5. Breakfast outside....haven't done that in years. That might be a plan very soon.

    I'm sorry it's so hot for you. Hopefully things will cool down, but the driving tour seemed to be very nice, and well worth the $25.

    There sure is a lot to do up there. I hope you get back to thunder hole when the conditions are right. What a beautiful place.

    Is that birch on the outside of that Indian hut? It's pretty cool.

    BTY. I stole your lopsided picture, fixed it and sent it back to you via email. It was a nice picture of you both.

    Hope you get some cooler weather today.

  6. You sure found a great way to enjoy the park on a hot day. We've done the same during our pre-MH travels. We only had two days at Acadia NP; hope to get up there again someday.

  7. Hi Sherry, I don't comment often since I am not an RVer, but I read every word you write and love traveling through your eyes. We "travel" in exactly the same way and have so much in common with respect to the things we enjoy finding and doing. We spent two weeks last summer hiking & biking in Acadia. There are some trails and ideas of things to do that I think you might enjoy. Although I dislike doing this (I fear it might be perceived as an attempt to draw people to my blog and that's not it at all!!), I'm going to link to the first post I wrote last June when we left New Hampshire and arrived at Acadia. There are three consecutive posts about our time there. I KNOW you and David would love the bridges. With a combination strategy that includes walking and biking, it is easily possible to see them all. I also know you would love the Ship Harbor Trail. It is close to one of the Acadia campgrounds, but a good distance from Blackwoods. Though only a mile, we walked the Ship Harbor Trail every day just because it was so beautiful. The Shore Path and Bar Island trails in Bar Harbor are also pretty cool. And given your penchant for ice cream our favorite was the shop just off the village green with the red awning. Cannot remember the name - sorry! Here's the link - http://gainsandlosseslifethroughsharonseyes.blogspot.com/2012/06/goodbye-new-hampshire-hello-maine.html Reading your posts have brought back some wonderful memories of our days there. So, so sorry it is so hot!

  8. It's been a great tour so far. I remember seeing many of these stops when we were there but I think we must have missed Thunder Hole. We will have to make sure to see it next time we pass through that area.

    Hope it starts to cool down just a little bit for you.


  9. Too bad about the heat wave, but your idea of doing an audio tour was a great one. Thanks for taking us along!

  10. Great Tour!! The area from Sand Beach to Otter Cliffs is really beautiful. We walked the Ocean Path and loved ever step of it. Hope to see you guys soon!!!

  11. Great pictures Sherry makes me feel bad that I don't travel north seeing I that live in New Jersey (South) that is, and yes some day's people watching is the best thing to kill a hot humid day on the east coast...

  12. fabulous. . .fabulous. . .fabulous. . .can't wait to get there and see it all. . .great post. . .and great tip about the driving tour. . .we love those, but seldom think to look for them! Thanks for sharing. . .

    Do you guys plan to see Isle au' Haut by mail boat. . .I certainly hope you do, so you can write all about it and then we'll know what to do when we get there. . .we plan to take our bikes over on the ferry, and spend the day. . .can't wait for your next post!

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

    1. Janice if you see this reply please email me. I am not able to contact you since I refuse to do google+

  13. You two can fix breakfast for me anytime! I like audio tours since you can do them at your own pace. I'm as slow as a tortoise on most driving tours.

  14. Nothing better than breakfast outside in the sunshine :) As Jack B Nimble said, Devils Punchbowl is similar, although I saw it at low tide. Maine is so pretty!

  15. I like the toaster! What a neat day - the rocks and the water - I do enjoy high tide in Maine - the water crashing on those rocks. Does seem like that's a good people watching place. Nice thing to do on a hot day :)

  16. I have a question about the driving tour. Do the pull-outs have spaces for small RV's? When traveling at the National Parks in Utah, there were many small RV's on the auto tours and plenty of space for them to park. I have heard that there is not as much room for RV's in the east.

  17. What a beautiful place and incredible views. They really had to post something about not throwing rocks at the frogs. I'd throw a rock at the people doing that! Sherry- check you gmail for a couple of messages about us. Peter leaves for Malta today.


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