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

Henry David Thoreau

Completing the Loop Road Drive

Monday July 8, 2013
Site 79, Blackwoods Campground
Acadia National Park



Yesterday I covered three quarters of the auto tour so if you haven’t seen that you might want to  look here at it first before reading this.  The views and details we saw were just wonderful


This afternoon we make some unscheduled stops along the tour route. drive.


After 4 days of upper 80’s and 90’s, it’s not quite as hot today, predicted high of 82.  We still get a slow start but in the afternoon return to Otter’s Beach proceed on to Hunter’s Beach.   I see we have done 9 stops of the 12 stops and judge that we can take a leisurely pace and stop along the way to see things  that catch my eye but are not on the tour.  Here are some of those.  No idea if they have names or not.  We just see a pull out and stop to see what might be there.

This beach in Otter Cove turns out to be one of my favorites partly because since there is no sign, and just a small pull off, few people discover it.


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The pink granite on Mount Desert Island never ceases to amaze me with its color. 

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The water is so clear it’s transparent.

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I’m a great lover of seaweed.  I like its salty taste in my salads or wraps. 


Sometimes I even use forms of it as wraps. I’m not a fan of raw fish so I don’t do sushi but I love veggie wraps with seaweed.  It is growing all over the pink granite rocks here.  I think it must be around low tide or it would not be exposed.  I’ve included a close up of the seaweed, the granite and the snail shells on the shore.  The closer I look the more beautiful things are.


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We cross over Otter Cove and this is the view of its land side with Gorham mountain and perhaps the beehive in the background.  We have only the loop road book with us and its map is not detailed enough to know for sure.  Names or not they are  lovely.


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The shore line of Otter Cove is just so beautiful, we stop at the next pull out to spend a little time. 

I love the low growing balsam firs, so gentle to the touch unlike spruce.  All along the shoreline, the daisies are smiling.   


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As I look down, this pair reminds of the duo on the rocky climb at Camden Hills.  I hope to have some days to spend just like this.


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As we walk along I find an entire group of bicycles carelessly dropped into the vegetation breaking the stems of the flowers and shrubs.  I wish David had gotten a picture of how it looked before I moved them all to places where they would not injure anything.   I wonder what the riders will think when they return.  Hope they think a park official did it and are more careful where they put their bikes in the future.


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People are so much fun to watch.  I wonder if this gentleman’s skirt/kilt is more comfortable for walking or hiking than shorts.


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Have you ever wondered where all those cobblestones for the streets in colonial America came from??



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Well most of them came from Maine and some of them came from Little Hunter’s Beach.  The cobbles here are from 2.5 to 10: in diameter.  They click and clack as the waves wash over them.  They have been tumbled smooth by waves after falling out of the surrounding cliffs.




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Our guide tells us to look for cobbles which “look like a geological version of chocolate chip cookie dough, with chunks of darker rock mixed into lighter colored granite.”  This he says is evidence of something geologists call the shatter zone.

Millions of years ago a plume of magma bubbled up from the Earth’s core and worked its way toward the surface.  The rising magma fractured and melted the bedrock above.  The older rock became encased in the edges of the magma, cooled and hardened.  This “shatter zone” surrounds the pink granite mountains of Acadia like a wide ring.


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Not all of the rocks at Little Hunter’s are cobblestones.


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Foot and leg for size comparison.  See the “cookie dough”??

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We are merrily examining the rocks when a black creature surfaces in the water. 

It gives some folks a start and is fascinating to the kids who are trying to throw all the cobbles into the water.  They cut that out abruptly.

I’ll bet the world beneath the water here is a fantastic.  Sure hope his wet suit kept him warm.  “Almost” makes me want to take dive lessons and spring for all the gear.  But neither Winnona nor Ruby have anywhere near enough extra storage space for two sets of what he has.


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Time for us to be moving on along the loop so we follow the diver up the wooden steps and back to the car.   

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Next stop is at one of the most photographed spots in Acadia.


It’s the Jordan Pond House.  Although this is not the original Jordan Pond cottage, a tea room in this spot has been serving up popovers and tea on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond for more than 100 years.    Today is no exception.

The original cottage was opened for lunch in 1896 and became famous for their tea and popovers.  The tradition of popovers at the pond persisted and prospered until 1979 when a fire burned the original Jordan Pond house.  Private funds helped rebuild the structure but it is no longer a cottage and so surrounded by foliage that it was hard to get a picture of.


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Here is the famous picture you have no doubt seen somewhere.
It shows Jordan Pond nestled between Pemetic Mountain to the east and Penobscot mountain to the west.  The two humps straight ahead are the North and South Bubbles.  I’m sure they’ve had other nicknames over time.

Jordon Pond was formed by a glacier approximately 12, 000 years ago.  As the ice advanced it carved out the U shaped valley between Pemetic Mountain.  When the climate warmed the southern edge of the glacier began to recede even while the interior portions of the glacier continued to advance.  Like a conveyor belt, the ice deposited accumulations of rock, gravel and sand at its melting edge. At the southern edge of the valley a large pile of this debris, a moraine, formed a natural dam which trapped water as the glacier receded forming the deepest lake in Acadia at 150 feet.

While I was taking the famous picture someone asked if we’d like them to take ours.  So sure.  Here we are in the shadows and  not so famous.


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We walk along the Jordan Pond Nature trail down to the boat launch to check it out for a future paddle and then over to one of the stone carriage bridges.   We’ll be riding the carriage roads at another future date.  There are SO many things to do here in Acadia.


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On the way to Eagle Lake we stop to look at the oldest stone bridge in the park.


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At 110 feet Eagle Lake is the third deepest lake on the island and it is stocked with togue, landlocked salmon and brook trout.  Fishing is allowed with a permit but like all lakes except Echo on the island, its clean waters are the source of Bar Harbor’s drinking water and no swimming is permitted.


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Cadillac Mountain, a  popular sunrise/sunset viewing spot is our final stop.

Maine is America’s easternmost state and Cadillac Mountain is the tallest point within twenty-five miles of the Atlantic coast all the way south to Rio de Janeiro.  That combination of height and longitude means that Cadillac gets to see the first rays of morning light between March and October.  I don’t think we’ll manage it since we’d have to get up at 4:30 in order to drive up for a 5am sunrise.  I LOVE watching the sun rise over the ocean but I’m not quite that dedicated although I understand LOTS of people are. 


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There is a summit walk on top of Cadillac from which you can see 270 degrees.  We are very lucky today.  Although it is a bit foggy we can still see all the Porcupine Islands.





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Cadillac is of course a pink granite mountain.  The rock face is dramatic



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As we near the end of the summit path we come to a set of steps.


They lead up to a giant pink granite circle clearly set off for some specific reason.  It sets me to wonder.  Star gazing?  Solstice celebrations?  Whatever it is, I LOVE IT!!


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Looks like we aren’t going to get much of a sunset today with the clouds but the spotlight is lovely and the orange afterglow is a perfect end to our second loop road day.


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  1. Cobblestones are an actual thing and not a made up cobbled together (ha!) thing? I never thought to wonder about them. Now I wonder what else I should be wondering about. :0)

    I like seaweed wrapped vegetarian sushi (no raw fish here, either).

    Nice pictures. Looks like a terrific day.

  2. Just awesome! There are some male backpackers who prefer to wear a kilt to hiking shorts. I've known women who hike in short skirts as well as rave about the comfort and coolness. When you mentioned seaweed I was thinking of it in its natural state. You are talking about nori? I don't eat raw fish either but love California roll sushi which is made with cooked crabmeat.

    The pictures are super, and I'm torn between making next year's trip to New England or to Alberta. It will be someplace north, for sure.

  3. Hmmm ... maybe I should look into hiking skirts. We were not so lucky with the scenery when we went to Cadillac Mountain ... maybe next time. Thanks for taking us around on the rest of your drive.

  4. Just love seeing all these photos of Acadia, Sherry! I think it's my very favorite place of all our travels. Glad the temps are coming down for you.

  5. Somehow I thought you were an early riser, so it surprised me to hear you won't be doing the sunrise thing.

    1. Given our distance from Cadillac, I'd have to be up at 4am to make a 5am sunrise. I'm not quite THAT early a riser. :-)

  6. That is such a lovely place. We spent a couple days there years ago on a whirlwind vacation. Rented bikes to ride the carriage trails. We definitely need to go back! We've seen a couple guys wearing those kilts while hiking, too. It takes a real man to hike in a skirt!!

  7. Great tour, Sherry. Great pictures as always!

  8. The cookie does part of the dough looks too dark, but yum!? Just kidding - that rock was surprisingly bigger than the others. Great picture of you overlooking the water and of you and Pops at the 'famous' spot. I do think I've seen that view before. Nice sunset, although it's not from the 'circle spot' - I like that picture too - you in the center - triumphant. Seaweed...me thinks it looks better than it tastes ;) But, that's me. The first rays of light on the east coast? Wow. That is early - I think you might have a chance of making that..Dad...not so much ;)

  9. Yep, I love all the rock photo's. In my past I loved hauling rocks home, each celebrating my memories of days and places past. Now of course our values and the regulations have changed forbidding such practices in State or Federal Parks. Taking a picture preserves the memory and the sight. Not to mention it takes up far less room in my little home. Another beautiful day!!

  10. These are lovely pictures and what a gorgeous place. Friends of mine visited there several years ago and they *did* get up for the sunrise. They were stunned at how many people were there.


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