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

Henry David Thoreau

On Jordan Pond and other delights

Tuesday July 16, 2013
Site #79, Blackwood Campground
Acadia National Park



It’s an uncharacteristically early morning for David.


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We have decided that to go on a paddle of Jordan Pond we want to be there before anyone else since it is a busy place all day long.  So we get up at 4am.   Still we aren’t at the put in until 5:30.  How can it take so long to get dressed and eat breakfast, put the boats on the car and go?

The water is quite choppy.  The winds are blowing.  We wonder what the paddling will be like.  But we set out and stick to the shore line.


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The sun is barely shining on Penobscot Mountain as we start out to circle the pond shore counter clockwise.


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No sun on the bubbles yet.  The waves are still with us.

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The lake is the deepest one in Acadia, 150’.  It was carved out by the glaciers and is lined all along its bottom and shore with rocks.  The water is crystal clear.


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About half way down the long side of the pond we find the first evidence of the beavers.  

That’s a mighty big tree for a lodge boys.

We have been told the if we came in the early morning we might see not only the resident beavers but loons and mergansers as well.   So far no sign of anyone.    But we do see the beaver lodge.


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About the time we notice the increased light on Penobscot Mountain we hear a splash.  The loons have flown in.  There are four of them in the middle of the pond.   They are too far away for any pictures and we don’t want to paddle up nearer to them for fear of scaring them away so we just watch then through our binoculars as they fish and dive and splash.   They do a few short calls.   I’m really sorry I could get no pictures of them other than those in my memory.


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The water has calmed down some as we find more evidence of Beaver.  This time they have stripped the tree trunk partially.  They eat the bark and the soft tissue called cambium that lies beneath it.  Their favorite trees are aspen, maples, poplar, beeches, cottonwood and willow although they will, in a pinch, eat any tree.  Thus they can be found all over the US.    We find a second lodge.   This is a fairly small pond with a shoreline of 3.6 miles so I’m wondering how many beaver clans it can support.   We still find no beavers out and about despite the early time.

DARN!  But we have seen the loons.  Score one for us!

You can see how clear the water is from both the tree picture and the one next to it showing the rocky sides of the pond.  The bottom is too deep to see despite the clarity.


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There are two lovely walking bridges on the path around the pond. 

This is the first at the top of the long east side.


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  This is the second one on the north end just opposite the Jordan Pond House on the other end.   I love its rustic design, especially the arch.  There appears to be a wetland behind the bridge so we turn in to investigate.


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What do we find?   Another beaver lodge and still no beaver.  We are up to 3 lodges now.   It’s a wonder there are any trees left on the shore if this is 3 beaver families rather than one which is building new houses for a better location.

We can’t decide if the second smaller building just next door,  in the lower right of the picture below and in the picture following it, is an abandoned attempt, a new attempt or some sort of storage facility.  But I really like the lovely wetland flowers in their backyard.  The dew is still on the sedges.

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When we leave the wetland, We’re a little more than half way around the pond.  I am sharing this additional picture of the bridge as I was leaving because of the interesting reflection.

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We’ve turn around and are heading back down the pond’s west side. 


The granite on the topped mountain is striking.

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I am following David when I hear a giant splash in the water. 

Thinking it is a fish I look over and see this between David and I.   David has been slapped by a Beaver.   How Cool!


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The current we were paddling against going north is now carrying us south so I don’t paddle at all.  I just float toward the beaver with my camera out trying to get a shot despite the waves rolling the boat.  This is when I LOVE my rudder.  I can steer my kayak with my feet.

He slaps me again.   I do get this second shot and he slaps me a third time.  This time I am looking right at him with my naked eye, no camera and I see his tail come up and whack the water.  Too wonderful for words!!


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Later David tells me that he did not see the beaver.  

How could he miss it?   He says he thought the splash was someone throwing a big rock off of the carriage road into the pond and so he was looking up on the carriage road and missed the whole thing.   So sorry for him.  It was SO much fun.  The moral of the story is look toward the sound.


Everything after this is sort of anti-climatic but I do want to ask if anyone knows what these pretty grasses with the red color at water line are.  They are lining the edge of some sections of the pond and are very lovely.

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We are approaching the south end of the pond and can see that a few folks are on the lawn of the Jordan Pond House.  It isn’t yet 9:00 so I don’t know if they are having the famed tea and popovers or not.


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The boat put in spot is within easy walking distance from the Jordan Pond House on the pond path.  Between the two is this picturesque stone bench.


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We arrive back about 3 hours after putting in.  A pretty slow paddle for 3.5 miles but that’s us.  Slow hikers, slow paddlers.

But we  have had 90 minutes of complete solitude before even one person shows up walking the loop trail that goes all around the pond mostly at the edge.   The sun is high in the sky when the groups of chatting folks walking their dogs show up as we pull into the take out.

It’s a great paddle but go early to miss the crowds and maybe catch the loons and the beavers.


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Well now, it’s only 8:45 am.  We still have the whole morning in front of us.  What shall we do?  

We decide to go look at the possibility of another even shorter paddle on Little Long Pond near Seal Harbor which is close to Blackwood.

We drive the boats through Seal Harbor and find that all of the parking spots along Route 3 nearest the kayak put in on Little Long Pond are full.  Hmmm what could be attracting so many people at 9:00 in the morning on a Tuesday?

Little Long Pond’s name I assume is because there is a much bigger Long Pond on the west side of the island.  It and the surrounding lawns and carriage roads are owned by the Rockefellers but are open to the public for hiking and kayaking only.  No bikes or horses.

We drive further along and see a sign for “Long Pond parking”.  Maybe it’s only called Little Long Pond on the maps.  We turn in, go up a hill and find a parking circle with spots available. 

We think we’ll just walk back down the road to see the put in before we decide whether to put the kayaks on the carts and walk them down and over on the road.


The second paddle turns into a hike.


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And then we see this sign for the Friend’s Trail to Long Pond.   Well all righty then, the paddle just turned into a hike.  But oops, we only have on sandals.  Well it looks like an easy path so we give it a try.

Pretty shortly we cross a rock face with this sign.  Do you want to go to South End of Long Pond or to Long Pond West Meadow.   How do we know?  The kayak put in is on the south edge of the pond so we head that way.   I’m thinking we’ll come back the other way since I believe the meadow is on the pond’s north end.  Keep that thought.


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It’s true, we have on unsuitable footwear.


Like all paths in Acadia this one becomes rocky and like many has stone steps.  No problem.  I have on my wonder oofos and David his chacos.  Not shoes we usually hike in but this is a spur of the moment.


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In relatively short order we see the pond and walk around to the south end.  It is really a lovely little thing, about half the size of Jordan.  It is also clearly more shallow since there are striking water lilies.   You can see Mr. Rockefeller’s boat house about half way down the shore.

The old boathouse on the eastern shore was built for John D. Rockefeller Jr.  It is a pretty impressive structure for such a small body of water. 


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This zoom up on the boathouse shows mountains that look suspiciously like the bubbles which are north of Jordan Pond which is north of Long Pond which is merely yards away from the Ocean.

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So where are all the people taking up all the kayak parking spots on the road?

At the south east corner is this very simple boat launch for those without boathouses :-))    But there is no one out on the lake that we can see.  Where are all the people with the cars?


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Again we are going around the lake counter clock wise.  As we head up the eastern side we come to the boathouse.   And the answer becomes clear.  Little Long Pond is a morning dog park.


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There are 5 dogs and 4 owners at the shore playing fetch.   And several more dogs running up and down the grassy lawn between the carriage road above and the pond below.  We assume they have owners on the carriage roads as we here things like “come back here Snooky”.


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The deck around part of the boat house is open and the view is excellent.   We try to take some pictures in the windows of the dressing rooms and steps down to the water where the boat would be kept if there were one.   Mr. Rockefeller’s heirs must have the boat somewhere else at this time.


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There is quite a payoff at the meadow. It surprises me that we are the only ones taking advantage


The path beyond the boat house up the eastern side of the lake is a wide mowed alley and leads to the top carriage road next to the meadow. A very nice easy stroll.


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The carriage roads in this area are private and still owned by the Rockefellers.  They allow hiking but no biking on them.  I assume they bring their carriages and horses and use them in that way as well.  All of the Acadia carriage trail maps indicate that these roads are private and closed to bicycles.


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The meadow is large and luscious.   We think this even before we walk a short way and find that a good part of the side of carriage road is filled with blueberries.   Oh boy, time to stop for a treat.  Well we are all over this.  July and August are the height of wild low bush blueberries in Maine.  We have come at exactly the right time.


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I start out in a sitting position picking all around me.  But soon my arms aren’t long enough and I’m imitating David’s two handed approach.  Sure wish we had baggies with us.  They are in the backpack.  So much for an impromptu hike.  We’ll just have to eat what we pick I guess. :-)



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Unfortunately we need to be back to Winnona by noon as we have a couple of other things on the agenda for today.  So we finish with our picking for this day and start down the carriage road admiring the meadow along the way.  It really is very beautiful.


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I’m thinking we’ll just follow the carriage road to the end of that other trail near the parking area that pointed toward the meadow. 


Remember the sign?  It should be off to the right further up the road.

David insists that the trail will go off to the left.  I can’t see  how that can be.  We discuss this.  Going to the left I say will take us back down to the lake and we want to go up to the parking lot which will be to the right.


And then we see this sign.   He feels vindicated.  I’m still not sure that Jordan Stream and Westside Little Long Pond is going to take us to the car.

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We take the path.  The further we go the less it looks like anyone has taken this path in a long time. 

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The trail is a bit difficult to follow.  Thank goodness they have these markers every so often along the way.


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This is becoming a longer more difficult hike, given our shoes, than at least I had intended. 


But the pond is on the left so now I’m betting that we will end up going back up the trail we came down and miss the other end all together.  I’m bummed I won’t get to see where it goes


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Finally the trail comes out into a small meadow which turns out to be behind the trees directly across from the boathouse.  At least we now know where we are.  But we’re only halfway down the pond.


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We have indeed missed the other trail and we do end up going back the way we came.  But we arrive back at the car around noon so we still have time for lunch and our errands before a fabulous dinner this evening.   I guess this will give me a good excuse to come back with bags for blueberries and walk that other trail down to the meadow.



Back to the business of life – those batteries.

After lunch we put the house batteries in the trunk and drive them to Ellsworth to have them tested.  One is DOA and the other is drained.  What we still aren’t sure of is whether there is something going on in the charging system that caused the DOA which would then drain the other battery.   But it’s clear that we will have to replace them both.  We had wanted to put AGM batteries in but are concerned about buying an expensive battery if we don’t know for sure that is the only problem.  So we go for the $235 deep cycle marine solution.

Advance Auto is really the only place around for such batteries so they are the recipients of our funds.  



And now for the thing I’ve been waiting for all day long.  Time for LOBSTAH!


It is now after 5:00 and we are due at Narrows Campground in Bar Harbor bringing 2 dozen ears of corn for a lobster fest hosted by Karen and Al whose blog is Wish Upon an RV Star.


We make it in time and in no time  a group of willing huskers has made short work of the corn.  Gin is showing me her husking job.  Looks pretty good.  Syl and Dan, Bill and Pam are also cleaning or maybe Bill is just holding the tray.  :-)


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It’s a big group and this is a lot of lobsters.  Can’t wait to drizzle them with butter and get to eating them.

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I am ashamed to say I have no decent pictures of the the chefs and am so sorry.  They worked long and hard while we sat around talking and waiting.   In the circle are Tricia, Bill, Nancy and Pam.  Our hostess Karen is standing with the camera.  I know she will have great pictures of this once she posts it.  Wish I could link to it now but if you use the link I provided above, in a few days you may be able to see really good pictures of the fun we had.

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Here we all are chowing down.  The lobster, the corn, multiple salads and desserts make for mighty fine eating.


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Bill isn’t quite so sure about all this picking stuff.  Nancy wisely brought nut crackers and picks which those of us not so wise constantly borrow.  She definitely must have been a Girl Scout.


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Gin on the other hand seems to be having a fine time with her lobster.

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After the dinner, Syl brings me a taste of her blueberry soda.  I think she may be subtly advocating on David’s behalf for me to go with him to the Atlantic Brewing Company tour.  It seems the rest of the beer drinkers in the group have already been before we got here.  Atlantic makes sodas as well as beer and you can taste them both.  I’m not an alcohol drinker so I usually pass on his visits to breweries but that soda was terrific so perhaps I may get roped into it.


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What a shame that there were some lobsters left over and we will have to have them again tomorrow night.   Thanks so much Karen and Al for including us and providing our dinner two nights in a row!!!   Yum! Yum!  Lobstah IS my favorite food.


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  1. Mainely Meat at Atlantic brewing is a favorite spot of ours..and we don't drink beer either! But the blueberry soda is delish! We were so glad you were able to come.

  2. I wanna be slapped by a beaver! dang

    what a another great day .... !

  3. What a day! I love the pond,and I can see you were wise to get there really early. How do you feel after all that walking in sandals? I find that my feet don't bother me but my legs sure let me know I made a mistake!

    I had lobster in Maine once and just could't deal with it. The antennae flopped all over te place, the eyes kept staring at me, and like crab it's just too much work! But those lobstah sure look good - beautiful color of red!

  4. Yum for lobster.. great area pictures again!!

  5. You two have the best adventures. Every post I become more infatuated by Acadia. I've seen some old beaver lodges but never the beavers. And, Wow, you got slapped by them 3 times. How cool is that.

  6. Early morning is the BEST time of the day!!! Don't tell too many people or we won't have it all to ourselves;o))

    You certainly had a busy, but wonderful day:o))

  7. What a busy day ... almost makes me feel guilty for chilling here by the lakeside instead of exploring. Almost. Well, our time will come ;-) Enjoy all that lobstah.

  8. nice of the beaver to put on a show for you and what a way to end the day...

  9. I can't decide if the wild blueberries or the lobstah were the best part. Both seem like a lot of fun. Enjoy!

  10. So many nice surprises for you! Beavers, blueberries, loons..and Lobster! We've taken many impromptu hikes in sandals. It's not easy walking in them on uneven surfaces :) I'm amazed how the lake calmed right down for you.

  11. 4 am! Way to go early :) Glad the loons were there - sorry they weren't closer - love that the Beaver did make a showing and showed off his tail - sorry Dad missed that! Long hike when you least expected it, but the views looked nice and you weren't late for the lobstah!! So neat that you get to see all your RV friends all over the place in different states - cool community :) You like lobster better than oysters?? Who knew! ;) Blueberries - I want some!!

  12. Another great day. So glad that you got to see your beaver. We have many times taken a mystery hike and not been well prepared but it always turns out well. What a nice finish to a beautiful day.


  13. An incredible day, (well not for the lostahs), you got to see loons and beavers. How cool!

    Sometimes a battery will fail internally by a plate being jarred loose and causing an internal short. Then the bad battery will pull down the good one. Hopefully you've solved the problem, I think you have. I've had this happen before and I have 3 batteri$$.

    Hope you don't get a blueberry soda hangover! :cD

  14. Beaver! Awesome. I've never seen one in the wild. Lucky you!

    I'm often up at 4am with the dog, but then I only get to see, you know, a dog pooping. I'd say you win!

  15. Beaver like to slap a warning when you get close to their territory. Just before our house sold, we suffered some damage and downed trees due to beaver around the pond. Don't really like them much now.
    Yes the lobstah boil was great! It was so nice of Karen and Al to invite us over to join in the fun. Nice set-up the work campers have there.

  16. What??? Leftover lobster??? That's got to be a first!

    I didn't pay much attention in school as a kid, but to this day I remember being fascinated when we were learning about beavers. They still intrigue me. You've lived my wish…to see them slap the water.

    I've decided it's impossible to catch up on blog reading after a week away. I'm sort of rushing through and will come back to re-read. You and David are sure having a grand time at Acadia. But, then, you and David seem to have a grand time no matter what you are doing. :)

  17. What a wonderful time you are having ..your so close yet so far...if we didn't have company coming for a week we would hop in the MH and come hunt you down...keep on enjoying!!!

  18. Oooooo! I do love me some lobstah!!


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