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

Henry David Thoreau

A Picnic and Great Head Point, TWICE

July 4 & 5, 2017                                                                                                  Most Recent Posts:
Tuesday and Wednesday                                                                                       Echo Lake Paddle      
Acadia National Park                                                                                       Two Bubbles and a Nubble
Bar Harbor, Maine




IMG_5696Yes I’m 2 weeks behind but I’m at least in July now.  On July 4 Nancy invited us over for a picnic.  It was to be the classic American 4th picnic.  Nancy had hot dogs, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad.  We brought corn on the cob and a Blueberry Mountain cobbler with vanilla ice cream. 

Most of you know that about 90% or more of the time we are all vegans but there are exceptions as in lobster rolls, ice cream and picnics.

Bill is pondering the fire situation but does an excellent job of getting the perfect one to cook both corn and dogs.  David of course has the 4th of July brew in his hand.



David gets a head start on cooking his dogs.  Good thing the Mills have these metal prong forks since we have nothing of the sort.  Hot dogs and marshmallows are not often on our menu.


Bill prefers a chair for his roasting.



And here we are in their screen room.  We all have our plates loaded when Nancy takes this picture.



I didn’t mean to cut off half of David’s face but these things happen when you jump up to get a picture and your plate is full of food you want to get back to. 


Can’t say that anyone looks particularly happy with the dessert although we all cleaned our bowls.  Another one of those no thought in it quick shots that I must stop doing.   Great time!  Worthy celebration.





IMG_0001This morning we set out early to hike the Great Head trail from Sand Beach.  This lot is bigger than the picture shows.  As you can imagine, the only beach with sand and not rocks in the park is going to be very popular but apparently not this early in the morning   The lot is good size, say 100-125 cars in this lot but not one was here this morning at  7:30am. 

I love pictures of empty parking lots!    Especially pretty ones like this with stone barriers and beautiful scenery all around



Here’s Ruby all by herself in the very first spot which we hope will be shady although the temperatures here in Maine are rarely out of the 70’s and the highest so far has been 85.   Low 70’s is predicted for today.  PERFECT hiking weather.




We take the steps down to Sand Beach which we’ll cross to get to the trail head.  David gets a fairly decent picture shooting into the sun.   Remember this picture.



At the far end of the beach is  this little pond, open to the ocean and deeper and wider at high than at low tide.  It must be crossed to get to the trail head.  Behind it is the Beehive Trail with rungs and ladders going up the face of the mountain.  David hiked it on our last visit in 2013 and thought it was great.  I passed and spent the morning on Sand Beach




Beyond the water in the above picture is the trail up to Great Head.  It starts out looking easy, stairs even.



Next part looks easy too, a walk in the woods.


Pretty things to see on the way like these just pinking up rose hips  with morning dew.  They are from the beach rose flower and hopefully will be ready for me to eat with their huge amounts of vitamin C before we have to leave.



Who but Mother Nature could create such a beautiful picture?





We pause and look back at Sand Beach and the Beehive while I contemplate the next section not designed for short legs.




More up hill flat rock face but then we’re at the top.






The whole point of climbing to Great Head is to look at the views so we spend quite a bit of time looking around.  In one direction we get another fuller view of Sand Beach and the Beehive.   Notice there is no one on the beach.  Remember this picture for later.




From the other direction we see the gorgeous rocky coast of Maine, as well as a lobster boat probably coming in with its catch, a beautiful schooner and Old Soaker, right, left and center respectively



Zooming in on the lobster boat I’m judging from the excitement of its followers that it must be loaded and coming in to market this morning.  The lobstermen are up before dawn to check their traps for the days catch.

Old Soaker is the reason for the rarity of Sand Beach which is one of the few cold-water shell-based  sand beaches in the world I have read.  Sand Beaches are uncommon in Maine because cold water traps the gasses that dissolve seashells and most of the coastline consists of hard granite that erodes slowly.  But Old Soaker is an off shore rock that diverts a strong current into a  glacially formed pocket which captures shell fragments.  This beach is also affected typically by a 12’ variance between high and low tides and currents.  The surface sands rest on a huge bed of granite cobbles so if a hurricane dispells the sand you could have a cobble beach or just a granite beach.

You can book schooner cruises out of either Bar Harbor or Southwest Harbor.  They are out early this morning.  It’s only 8:30 am



We walk on around Great Head where there are so many “great” views, I’ll try not to get carried away.  I think that’s Otter Cliffs in the background beyond Old Soaker.




Blue blazes say the trail goes this way.



More views.



Further along, David stays up top while I climb down to the rocky edge.



It’s amazing how these flowers will grow in just a little niche in a seemingly barren rock face.






Looks like it could be another thunder hole.




All over the rocks on MDI are the marks of the scraping of the glaciers.




So many spots to ponder Nature’s greatness and our own insignificance in the grand scheme of things.




We’re thinking perhaps this is the spot which gave Great Head its name.



Heading back down, this enthusiastic song sparrow serenades us from his Fir tree perch.






IMG_0115We reach a fork in the road which tells us if we want to go to Great Head Parking go this way and if we want to go to Sand Beach go that way.  We have a memory lapse from the last time we were here and forget that if we want to take the FLAT path back to Sand Beach rather than go back up and around Great Head we need to go toward Great Head Parking.  We realize we could have parked there but we wanted to see Sand Beach since we had not seen it yet this year.


So, back up and around we foolishly went.  Oh well, I always say a trail looks different when going backwards.



What’s a little straight up climb?   Not sure the guy with the heart condition feels the same way.  Although he’s the one who was certain we didn’t want to go to Great Head parking.Smile






We get to see the great views again and I spy something I missed the first time around.








Looking out from Great Head at 2:00 is Old Soaker but looking out at 10:00 I see what I think is Egg Rock.  I zoom in and sure enough there is Egg Rock Light.   It is a square tower coming up from within the square keeper’s house.  Unfortunately it is not open to the public.  You can get close to the island on any number of cruises out of Bar Harbor but it is owned by US Fish and Wildlife and managed by the Coast Guard for whatever sense that makes.  Still it’s a cutie and I’m glad I noticed it on my second trip around.





Our view of Sand Beach on the way down looks totally different from the one on the way up.  The troops have arrived.  Well it is July in Acadia after all.



Down on solid ground, we cross the waterway and the beach.



On the beach we discover this mermaid complete with tail.




Although we started out at 7:30, we managed to spend 4 hours walking up around down and up around and down again on Great Head.   We had a Great Time…..One last look back and we leave the beach to the bunnies.   David looks in a bit of a hurry to get away.




  1. What a gorgeous, clear day that was! My the blues are stunning. Funny to see the empty beach turn crowded but it happens every sunny day in July & August. Beautiful spot!! Nice collection of images of the natural environs.

  2. So you seem to be saying that our picnic wasn't Vegan;o(( Guess you didn't know the rule that all foods are Vegan on Holidays;o))

    We visited Great Head TODAY!!! Your wonderful photos just extended our great day at Great Head:o)) So much wonder to be seen here in Acadia. You continue to capture the beauty!!!

  3. Wow, very busy and lots of fun too:) I wish I was only a few weeks behind in the blog. I have barely started on the Lewis and Clark journey and it has been over for a month. Maybe, when I finally stop moving everyday:)

  4. Amazing fitness you guys have. Making this comment before taking a shower after a two hour mountainside hike that I quit when I had enough. Plan to do it twice a week until I can get up to the top like I used to in my 30's. You guys could zip to the top and ask what's next. Great pics. Kathy would not let me have a hot dog, we had grilled salmon.

  5. You guys are doing wonderfully in the hiking department! Good for you! I remember that hike, loved it that you chose to share it. Brings back wonderful memories...thanks!

  6. You eep every place you go. I'm hoping to spend a month in Maine in October. No trailer :( so it will be a new way to travel. It seems like such a lovely state. I was there briefly many years ago, but never got to the coast. Glad you are having a wonderful time.

  7. That was quite a hike. I'm glad David is able to do such a strenuous hike. Only two weeks behind on your blog? My last blog was diving in the Keys.....

  8. The views from up high are well worth the effort!

  9. Love a traditional picnic with all the food we don't normally eat...yum!! I love this hike and those great rocks you had to climb. What spectacular views from above! Definitely worth the climb. The crashing waves are so pretty and the water is so blue...gorgeous! What a great day!

  10. Oh, the views! What a wonderful, although strenuous hike. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I'm loving that you got out on the trail early enough to avoid the crowds. Just read that Acadia is considering reservations to visit certain areas of the park.

  12. Perfect day to celebrate the 4th! You're having a great summer for sure.

  13. What a beautiful area! I'd give anything to go back to Maine, but no lobster for me. Sorry to say that I like a great deal of seafood, but lobster isn't one of them!

  14. Whoa! That was quite an uphill hike! It was worth the hard climb to see those views. Love the tenacity of that little purple flower. The light-keeper's house is so cute. Wouldn't it be fun to stay there for a weekend? The picture of the rocks (before the one of David with his hiking poles) surprises me because the rocks look so smooth as if they were melted and poured. Have fun! xxxooo

  15. You're not behind according to me. But now I'm even getting behind reading blogs because we have absolutely zero coverage on Lopez unless I go to the library. :-(( I think lobster is a good reason to diverge from your vegan diet. Enjoying the local delicacies is all part of enjoying this RVing lifestyle! Love all of the gorgeous hiking you're doing. You're planning our trip to Maine. :-)

  16. I do miss a good hot dog! I suspect dessert was so delicious that no one wanted to look away for a second :-) Beautiful still-life photos of the mushrooms. I agree all the views are great along that shoreline - I especially like the one of you on top of the head. Can't believe that's a trail up that rock face - twice! We love empty parking lots - and empty beaches. What a difference from AM to PM!! Love that you caught the sparrow mid-song :-)))


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!