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

Henry David Thoreau

Turned Out Great Anyway

Thursday August 3, 2017                                                                             Most Recent:
Acadia National Park                              
A Fainting Spell, Little Hogdon Pond and the Ornate Duck Brook Bridge
Mount Desert Island, Maine                                                             
Big Day – 3 Peaks, 3 Bridges



For those worried about David’s fainting.  His is not low blood sugar but low blood pressure which usually means a modification in his medication to lower the dose.  That necessity may have to do with his activity level but no doctor has indicated that.  They have said that he must keep well hydrated. 

Also, just a little reminder to notice the dates of these posts.  The reason you see no fall color is that I’m so far behind on this blog.  The reason I’m not hurrying faster is that I have pretty much nothing to say about our current time in Virginia doing medical and personal business. Plus I’m not spending much time blogging. So far not much fall color here either.  Rest assured there will be reports about Carrie and Celia before we leave Virginia and I will try to be caught up by then.  But no promises.

Until then, relax and enjoy Acadia National Park and please comment so I can hear from you.  I’m really enjoying reliving our wonderful summer as I type these posts and enjoy hearing what you notice or like.   Hope you don’t mind that they aren’t in “real time”.


Here we go, back to August 3.


IMG_0104This was one of those days where things that were planned didn’t happen that way and things that weren’t planned did happen.


Our intention this morning when we were on the road at 6am was to park at Jordan Pond House and take the newly restored historic Seaside Path which once connected Seal Harbor to the Jordan Pond House down to where we could see two Carriage Bridges and then climb up to the Triad Peak.

You can take carriage roads to get there but we wanted to do the historic trail.  Here’s what we found when we got there.

As you can see on the date above, it was Thursday.  Apparently they are still working on the path and it is only open on the week-ends. FROWN!!



SO thank goodness I always bring my carriage road map with me when we are anywhere near them.  Take a look at this.
We walk from the pond house to post #16.   All the stars on the map are bridges.  We’re in search of the ones just beyond Post #30.



The carriage roads in gold are within the park.  The ones in white are private carriage roads built also by Mr. Rockefeller for his use on his property but now open to the public by foot or horseback, no bikes.  The dark lines are auto roads.  An auto road goes under the Stanley Brook Bridge we are headed for.

We go from Post #16 on the park Carriage Roads to Post #25 on the privately built and I assume maintained roads.  We’re off the beaten track so to speak.




Those familiar with horses will notice the signs as we did immediately.  Later I wonder if this should have been a clue about where we would end up.



We go by a grand private entrance  Pretty sweet to have your home and stables on an MDI Carriage Road.







We hike on from Post 25 to 29 and then to 30 where we find the Stanley Brook Bridge


I’m pretty surprised when I see it.    Why was I told the Duck Brook Bridge was the only one with 3 arches?   The Seaside Path clearly goes right through one of three arches here, Stanley Brook Road goes through the middle and Stanley Brook goes through the third.  Hmmmm

This was the last bridge built by Rockefeller. Built in 1933 to welcome drivers from Seal Harbor into Acadia National Park, it ajoins the loop road as you can see on the map above.  There is really no where to stop and park along the road to see it and as bikes aren’t allowed on these carriage roads, you can ride a horse or shank’s horses to get here.




As always, the stone work is amazing.  Such craftsmanship.












Stanley Brook has no turrits but it has a medieval look about it. There was even a well uniformed soldier who had apparently spied the enemy coming down Stanley Brook Road andw as taking aim with his trusty walking stick.





From there we walked on along the carriage road to find the second starred bridge.  It’s the Jordan Pond Road Bridge, more appropariately called the Jordan Pond Seal Harbor Bridge in my opinion since it allows the carriage road to go under the local Jordan Pond Road which goes into a residential area of Seal Harbor.   It’s a modest, yet elegant little bridge probably not sought out by many other than those determined to find them all.   Pretty clear there won’t be any RVs going down this road and under this bridge.







David’s on the Carriage Road.  I’m on the bridge.




Looking the other direction on the road before heading back down to the carriage road.








Our plan was to make ourselves a nice loop by walking on the carriage road from this bridge to Post #38 where we’ll turn left and go to #37.  There we will take the trailhead for the Triad Trail up to the Summit of the Triad which we have not climbed.  We’ll come back down the same way and take the carriage road back from #17 to where we started at #16.  Good plan, take a look.



We pass 38, turn left, head for 37.  It turns out to be a long slog up hill.




When we arrive at the Tiad-Day Mountain Bridge we find something happening at the other end.  This bridge is not listed as one of the carriage road bridges even though the roads go right across it over the park loop road.

What’s going on?




Here’s a picture of the bridge anyway.  I’m calling it Bridge #17. 



W are soon informed of the problem. We learn from the ranger at the far end of the bridge that the carriage road between Post #17 and #16 is CLOSED.




We  had no idea.  It wasn’t posted anywhere.  So how do we get back without tracing our steps all the way or walking on the park loop road.  Well, I’ll worry about that after I climb up to the Triad and back down.



The Triad Trail is only one of several ways to get to the top of the Triad.  It’s pretty much straight up as you can see from where the road is in the picture below.  I’d say it’s not often the trail of choice.   There is no visible trail.  Everything is covered with rocks and leaves.  But it’s on the map so we continue looking for blue blazes.






Up, up and finally we see a rock face beyond the trees.




Out in the open, we’ve got great views.


The triad is among the smaller summits in Acadia but here we are.



While we’re up here, we have to check about blueberries of course.  It is getting to the end of the season sadly.



We head back the way we came, past the cairns and into the woods.







When we reach the trailhead again we stop check our options with the ranger on duty.  Using our real map,  I explain where we’ve been and hoped to go. As we talk, here comes a truck going to the work site on the carriage road. This is the reason for the ranger, to make sure that there are no mishaps with trucks in places they normally aren’t. Especially with the next vehicle that comes from the direction the truck is going.






Pretty sure these folks are private homeowners with their own carts and carriages of which there are a fair number in this section of the park.   Sure looks like fun.




While we’re here discussing what to do now, traffic gets heavy.  This group is returning and I’m sure they must be from the nearby Wildwood Stables.



Next along come to riders not riding.  Perhaps they are just exercising horses from the stable.  They go down the left fork which is the road to Wildwood and we decide to abort our plans and go there too where we know we can pick up the bus to go back to Jordan Pond and our car.




So we don’t retrace our steps which at this point are about 3.5 miles and we don’t walk the Park Loop Road, we get an unexpected visit to Wildwood Stables.





We learn a lot visiting Wildwood. We learn you can bring your horse here and saddle up to ride the carriage roads or you can take a carriage or wagon ride. Private charters may be reserved and so can a carriage ride up to the top of Day Mountain.


Wildwood Stables uses teams of Percherons, Belgians and Clydesdales, massive muscular draft horses.  They pull wagons carrying 10 to 14 passengers up those steep carriage roads.  Amazing.

They also have teams of Morgans for pulling two and 4 wheeled carts like the one above and American Quarter Horses for riding.



These carriages are among those used for the rides up to Day Mountain Summit.


How about this one?



Shortly we find we’re just in time to see the horses get hooked to a wagon and a group go out in it.





These are the folks waiting for the wagon as it pulls out and around to load them up.





Aren’t they beauties??



LOVE those feet!





We don’t actually get to see them board or head out since the bus arrives, we hop on and it takes us back to Jordan Pond.

It’s now around 11am.  We’ve been out since 6am.  I’m ready to call it a day and kick back with a book.  But David is full of energy, probably the result of dex on Wednesday, and he wants to go back to the Duck Brook Bridge, park on the road and walk back to one of the best blueberry picking spots.  Well OK then.


Anywhere you go in Acadia is beautiful even roads that are not the loop road.



This idea is contingent of course on finding a spot to park on Duck Bridge Road.  Today we are in luck.  But before we even get up to the bridge, this beautiful wetlands calls us to look more closely.





This guy hung around the black eyed susans forever, just flitting from one flower to the next..








Across the bridge we start down the carriage road looking carefully along the edges for unpicked berries.  Nancy and Bill were here not too long ago, we’re not optimistic.



We find them in an area where we had seen them the day we hiked to Duck Brook Bridge.

  There are various postures for picking low bush blueberries.  Bill is known for the seated position.  David does him one better here lying down to pick.



There’s the bending approach and the squatting approach.





My back is tired so I’m actually bending over from a wide legged stance when David calls my name and I stand up with a handful of berries.  Is David taking more pictures than picking berries?  <grin>



THis is the bag early in the picking.  When both of our backs have had enough, we head back but David then finds high bush berries on the other side of the road so pick those too



They are easier for tall people but not as common as low bush.





At the end of the day we’ve hiked 7.6 miles, 19K steps and picked 3.5 pounds of blueberries over 2 hours of picking.

It’s 4:00  when we finally return and I color in our hike for the day.  This is how planning for a
3-5 mile hike can get seriously out of hand.  Wildwood Stables and Picking Blueberries were serendipity.  Ain’t Life Grand!!




  1. Don't mind at all, Sherry, just wanted a check in. Some of my favorite blogs are not in "real time". I'm barely blogging as well with little to talk about except building the house. Hugs to both of you

  2. I almost passed out just thinking about being out the door at 6am for a hike!
    Those bridges barely look tall enough for even a carriage to fit under.

  3. Always love all the carriage road bridges. Wouldn't it be fun to take a carriage ride on the carriage road!?

  4. I actually appreciate the fact that you are still blogging about the summer!!! It keeps those wonderful memories alive;o)) Like I said before, this was the most amazing summer at Acadia and I will never get tired of reading about and remembering everything:o)) Love the photos of berry picking techniques...I do believe we used them all;-)))

  5. No worries on being behind on your blog, it's much more important to spend time with your beautiful granddaughter. It's your job, after all, Granny! :cD

  6. So much to do, so little time, but we packed in a nice day here. Loved finding the high bush blueberry bushes, so much easier to pick, bigger berries and many more close together. Never saw another high bush blueberry after that day although I was constantly on the lookout! Great to see the bridges and Triad Summit as well.

  7. A wonderful place for you to have spent time in. Terrific shots!

  8. Well I totally missed the pressure vs. sugar! Neither are fun, glad it was a quick bounce back :-) I'm still blown away by your memory of details from months ago!

    I wonder how many people still have the skill to design and build a bridge like those? Like native languages and cursive handwriting, we sadly let things of beauty die off.

    Some of my fondest adventures are those that surprised us in the middle of a plan :-)) I would love seeing the big horses getting fitted in their harnesses - they're so beautiful. Love the carriages too.

    Over three pounds of berries - wow!!

  9. So many berries! Any life with berries in it is grand! Some beautiful horses there and neat carriages. You know I do not mind not being in real time! We get to go back in time to travel with you. I enjoy it :)

  10. Real time? What's that? (hahaha) I know you like to get out on the trails early, but 6 a.m. is before I'm even out of bed. The early birds get the blueberries, right? (Although I know you weren't picking berries until 11 or so.) I'd love to hike/bike those carriage roads, but a ride in a horse drawn carriage looks pretty sweet, too. Keep on having fun reliving those summer memories! :-)

  11. I'm not worried about real time because I love to see wherever you've been, or are going. This finding the carriage bridges is like a fun treasure hunt. The stone work is truly outstanding craftsmanship. Bummer your intended route was closed but glad you made the climb for the view, and blueberries. Plus a bonus going to the stables and seeing those majestic horses. As a kid I sat down to pick berries at Grandma's in Wisconsin but in Washington the bushes were at barely bend level. I didn't know you were suppose to take them home.

  12. We always laugh when we get to the Th around 11:00 and think about people we know who are heading home:) Different strokes for different folks:) That was a awesome climb up to the Triad!! Tough work with the rocks and slippery leaves. Good job with an outstanding view from above! So glad you found a tall blueberry bush. That bending is tough on the back. Love all the beautiful bridge photos!!

  13. You and I know how eventually the things that go along with a loved one's illness one day just become "normal". I had a situation recently with Cory where he took "extra" pills to try to induce sleep due to his depression/agitation. Stupid? Of course. Unfortunately not our first time in this situation but the first time since he switched meds almost a year ago and instead of knocking himself out for a long nap he ended up with leg spasms so bad he couldn't get out of his chair. We are all so lucky we tolerate each other well so he is never alone long and we were home to watch over him and help him and not panic unnecessarily either. We monitored him to make sure no new symptoms arose and in a few hours the ones he had passed and he did not like the results so hopefully will not try to self medicate any time soon again. Scary but luckily no need to call the ambulance. I'm so glad to see that overall David is doing so well and still out doing the things you both love!


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