Saturday July 27, 2013
Site 730 Narrows Too
Today we do a few easy things on the West side of the island.
It’s a lovely day today, high 79 and low of 61. I don’t think it could be more perfect.
During our two weeks at Blackwoods Campground in the park, we did mainly things on the East side of the island. Since it is a week-end and likely to have even more people in the neighborhood of Bar Harbor, we think we will go over to the west side of Mount Desert (dessert) Island which is known as the quiet side. There just aren’t as many people over there since the crowds tend to congregate along the park loop road and around Bar Harbor.
We begin by taking a look at the other “swimming” beach in the park. This one is at Echo Lake where the water is at least a tad warmer.
David thinks Changing Rooms are cool. I haven’t seen those since the 50’s and I wonder if they are vestiges of the early days of the area at the turn of the 20th century. He reports that there is room enough in each for an entire family.
It’s fairly early in the day and the temperatures haven’t warmed up beyond the low 70’s yet but people are still here. They seem to have a rubber mat or something for you to walk out into Echo Lake on. I’ve never seen that before.
While we are here, we take a look at the trailheads for the Canada Cliff’s trail and for the Beech Cliffs trail. The former has a warning sign about iron rungs and ladders. We walk a short way on the latter which seems like a lovely trail we may return to hike.
Just a little further on down Route 102, we stop in at the Carroll Homestead.
Interestingly it is only open on Thursdays during the season. I would have thought a week-end day would bring more visitors. So today we just look around the grounds but cannot go into the house. I hope we’ll be able to come back some Thursday and see inside the house.
Four generations of the Carroll family lived in this house built by John Carroll, an Irish immigrant, in 1825.
There is a nice trail from the parking lot through the woods to the edge of the property where the rock wall fences still stand.
After the Carroll Homestead, we continue on Route 102 and when 102A cuts off to the left we take it around to the Seawall Campground.
This is the other Acadia National Park campground that we were to have spent two weeks in until we had the battery and charging problems.
We drive into the campground and look around. There are 4 loops. Loop A is my favorite but it appears to be mainly small trailers, popups and tents although I think bigger rigs could get into many of the sites. Loop B is very small and all tents or small pop ups. Loop C is where the larger rigs up to 35’ are and we see several sites we like. Loop D is walk in tenting and if I were still a tenter, it would be my hands down favorite.
None of the sites have any hook ups just as in Blackwoods. But there are nice bath houses although no showers. Showers are available at private concessionaires just outside the park. We do find that here, unlike Blackwoods, we can get a 1X with 2 or 3 bars signal on my Verizon smart phone. I am able to bring up the blog, check the weather and make a phone call. Good deal! Perhaps we will return here to camp either yet this year or the next time we are in Acadia. This is a place we really love.
I should have taken a few pictures of the camp sites for those interested. I’m sorry I was so busy checking my phone that I forget.
We continue on around the loop road to our next stop, a trail called Wonderland.
This is a short hike of just over a half mile to the shore. It is a wide level path that first goes through a mixed deciduous and coniferous woods and then through a grove of pitch pines before entering a tall strand of spruces along the seashore. The path then encircles a small peninsula , on each side of which is a beautiful little cove with pebble beaches, cobblestone seawalls, and ledges of granite shelving into the sea.
It’s a short walk but I get very stuck on the beauty of it. David comments that he wonders how the trail came to be called Wonderland. It became very clear as we experienced this wonderland of rocks, waves, and tide pools.
I really could sit and gaze at scenes like this for hours.
Although along the shore even in July you’d better at least bring a long sleeve shirt most days as the breeze is chilly.
The tide is coming in but we are here in time to see some of the beautiful tide pools.
There are many of them, all different, all interesting.
Look at how clear the water is. What do you suppose he’s trying to see more closely??
Even the clouds are fantastic.
It’s just a perfect day!
It is extremely hard to leave Wonderland but we have one more stop we want to make before heading back.
Only a little further along Route 102A is the ship Harbor Trail. Another short one, only 1.1 miles, that takes us hours to do. :-))
The Ship Harbor Trail begins with a walk down a beautifully wooded path which arrives at the harbor, a sheltered little cove that drains nearly dry at low tide..
We are really hungry by this point. Time to eat!
We go straight to the harbor looking for a picnic spot rather than do the trail first.
We aren’t able to visit at low tide “this time” but we find a ledge on the edge of the harbor that is a great place to have our lunch since it is well into the afternoon by the time we arrive.
Here is our lunch view looking across the harbor to the mouth. We’ll end up on that gravel spur at the end of the day.
After lunch we go back to the trail and there are two choices for the loop trail, the low road to the right or the high road to the left.
We choose to do the trail counter clockwise which turns out to be a great choice. We climb up to the top of the ledges through a lovely conifer forest with teasing glimpses of the ocean below.
We reach the pink granite ledges and OH Boy, here we are in another wonderland.
Only this time the wind has picked up and the waves are a bit stronger. I must admit, I would love to see these shores in a storm. We’ve had a fair amount of rain, but never a real storm…..yet.
I don’t know where to look next to keep up with the waves crashing in every direction. It is just so fantastic.
Finally I just take a front row seat beyond the spitting gallery and enjoy the show.
Eventually we walk on down the length of the ledges and find a Thunder Hole competitor.
We heard the boom before we figure out where it is coming from. It’s over there somewhere.
I’m looking back over my shoulder when David finds it. Well actually we find two of them. This is the first one.
But this is the better one. We watch the water roll in, hit the back of the small “cave”, make its booming noise and rush back out only to repeat. We stay here for quite a while watching before I think to get David’s picture. Of course as soon as I stand up and bring out my camera, the waves slack off and I am never able to get a picture of the real boomers. But this will give you an idea of the placid water and then at least some minor wave action. I could watch these things forever I think. Just amazing.
Evening is coming on.
We really must be starting back around to finish off the loop trail. It takes us off the rocks and through the woods.
We arrive back at the gravel bar at the harbor mouth. Looking at the calm harbor waters, you would never guess the wave action out in the sea itself.
We leave the point going up the stairs and take the central path back to our car.
These two hikes, Wonderland and Ship’s Harbor are very deceptive. They are shorter than nearly any other hike on Mount Desert Island but they are full of surprises and if you are like us, they will take you hours to do and you may never want to leave.