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

Henry David Thoreau

We’ve seen them all - Harbor Brook is #17!

Wednesday August 14, 2001
Acadia National Park



An on the spot change in plans causes a bit of a delay


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We are down now to our last 4 days in Acadia.  We have been here for six weeks and could easily stay another six.  So we look at the things we would still like to do here and try to pick our four favorites, one for each morning of the next days.




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Today it was supposed to clear up from yesterday’s fog.  So this morning we planned to hike Flying Mountain, Valley Cove and Valley Peak Loop.  BUT we wake up and it is totally foggy.  Completely socked in.  Looks just like yesterday.  Checking the weather shows that the fog may life around 1 or 2pm.

I don’t want to go on this hike if I can’t see any of the views.  I’m picky that way.  I don’t hike for hiking’s sake although I enjoy the exercise.  I hike to see the natural world.  Hiking up to the top of the mountain for me means not only seeing everything on the way up but everything in the distance from the top.   The next 3 days should be clear and sunny (or so THEY say).  We decide to change the plan.




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Except we have no second plan.  Well we do but we don’t have any of the details worked out for the other days.  We want to do one more kayak but thought we’d do it tomorrow and figure out which one this afternoon.  No time for that now if we want to get out early which is another necessity for me since I really don’t like crowds and it is August THE most popular month for visiting Acadia.  Boy I sure am picky.



Ok so what else? 


Well David wants to hike the Beehive.  I’m going to pass on rungs and ladders.  But the Beehive isn’t for foggy or wet conditions.


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So that leaves us with my desire to get that last carriage bridge picture. 

We grab the carriage roads book and head out to walk to it.  We haven’t really “hiked” the carriage roads which is what this book is designed for.  We have “walked” some stretches of them for sure.  But today we are going to go to park at the Brown Mountain Gate House, which we have also not seen, and walk over to complete our collection with pictures of the Little Harbor Brook Bridge.


Because of our change in plans, it is 8:15 by the time we reach the parking lot.  The hoards have started to gather.  Ruby slips in among them.


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The fog gives the beginning of the walk an eerie look which is great.


These roads are just beautiful and I must say that unless you stop often when riding a bicycle, you miss a lot.  We can really notice the details because we are walking.  


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We are out about 10 minutes or so when we hear a galloping herd coming up behind us.  What?

It’s a group of teenage boys and they pass us running up hill at a pretty good clip.  They are out of sight for 5 minutes or so and then here they come back again down hill.  I ask the ‘footman’ if they’ve thought better of it and he replies “nope just warming up.”  Well all righty then.






There are very large trees along this road and of course they need hugging and we need the strength and energy they supply.  We always take a picture of each of us hugging the tree.  We never can get a picture of a group hug unless there is someone else around to take it.  Darn!


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I love the look of the cut granite stones placed along the edges of the roads to act as guard rails of a sort.  They are known as coping stones and affectionately called Rockefeller’s Teeth.  In some spots they line both sides of the road.


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This one is just perfect for a chair to gaze out into the forest and admire the beauty of the natural world.





As we walk along, we try out some newly learned skills from yesterday’s class. 


Those pictures are the first few in this post.  And this one of a stone wall that almost looks covered in snow rather than in lichen or moss whichever it is.  Does anyone know what this is?  Up close, it looks like spun sugar.



And how about these views??  That’s Upper Hadlock Pond out there.  Looks great doesn’t it??


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I’m having a lot of fun with the rocks.  Like this one.  Can you see the guy with his lower lip pursed out?  He’s got a white eye and hair that sort of looks like a toupee on top.  No??  That’s what David said too.
What does it look l like to you?


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After about a mile and a half we meet up with Little Harbor Brook. 


It’s a beauty just babbling along.  I sure would like to have seen it the day after the big rain but you can’t be at every bridge right after the rain. Darn!



And of course just around the bend we cross over Little Harbor Brook Bridge.




This bridge is 94 years old.
Built to last forever.





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To celebrate this grand conclusion to our quest for photos of all 17 carriage bridges I decide a high five is in order. 


This turns into a hilarious Marx Brothers Routine.  It seems “someone” who is not a jock has no idea how to do this and can’t seem to get it right.  Is that possible???


Well that’s kind of it but your elbow is bent.
This is a SLAP.  Not a hand hold.

Final Carriage Bridge-Harbor Brook Bridge 088 This isn’t a camera pose, it’s a HIGH 5!Final Carriage Bridge-Harbor Brook Bridge 089 

Wait, wait, I’m not ready yet.

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Stop laughing!

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You really have to put some OOMPH into it.

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I think this is the best we’ve got here.

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Loree asked in a previous post how we got the pictures of the two of us.  As you can see, sometimes with a LOT of trouble.  After we stop laughing, it’s time to head back. 


So long Harbor Brook Bridge it’s been great seeing you.

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We leave the bridge, turn around and retrace our route.


Although we are going back along the same two mile route, we see different things including another rest chair.  Aren’t these terrific??


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David practices his woods’ lighting control lessons.  I think I do a pretty good job with my practice photograph of him practicing.  These carriage roads are great scenery to work with.


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The view actually is a bit improved – isn’t it??




One last thing before we leave the carriage roads for a long time.


When we arrive back, the parking lot is over flowing as we knew it would be.  But they will have to wait a minute, we want to get some photographs of the Brown Mountain Gate House.



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There are two Gate Houses.  One at Jordan Pond and this one.  They were built originally to make sure automobiles stayed off the carriage roads.  John D. Rockefeller built the 51 miles of carriage roads so that he could enjoy touring the interior of the island by carriage and not compete with automobiles which he did not like.  A man of vision indeed!






Notice the gate house towers in the pictures above.  There are little doors in each side.  I guess you would have to get permission from whomever was inside to proceed on.  The details on these structures are amazing. 


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At the time they were built, they were referred to as “Lodges” and both consisted of a carriage house, a lodge house and a gate all seamlessly connected by a wall.  Each has steep tile clad roofs, half timbering and stone walls laid in stratified courses.  It was the gate keeper’s job to make sure only carriages were on the roads.





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Today it is not necessary to  guard the gates but the lodges still house park employees although I was unable to find anyone who knew who were the lucky people.  In my post on the Jordan Gate house we saw visitor passes in the windows of cars parked in front of the carriage house.




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Final Carriage Bridge-Harbor Brook Bridge 147a 

It is reported that The Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes had asked to be made a gatekeeper after he retired just so he could live in one of the lodges.  I know just what he means.  I knocked and knocked and even peeked inside but no one answered.  DARN!

We come up to the gate from inside.  From here we can only see the side of the lodge.   We walk around to the back of the lodge, Route 198, and find the Lodge is covered by trees and bushes.  We walk around to the other side and are able to get a side view of the lodge and a look at the carriage house.  But the main entrance to the lodge is in the back middle of the grouping and that is private property so no pictures. 




Here is what faces the Route 198.   The Gate is on the left the lodge is in the middle behind the trees and the carriage house is to the right.

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Here it is from the front on the carriage house side.  The Carriage House is on the left side of the picture and the side of the Lodge is in the middle.


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The Little Harbor Brook Bridge is Carriage Bridge # 17 out of 17 for us.  And I’m ready to start all over and see them all again.


  1. Beautiful pictures Sherry. Sometimes the fog just gives it a totally different feel, and you've really captured it. Have a very safe journey onwards.

  2. Glad you were able to get to all of them. It is nice to see the landscape in two different lights.

  3. Love the stone work on those carriage houses...

  4. It sure looks like you had fun. I enjoyed reading your post too. Rocks are so cool.

  5. Congrats on seeing alll 17 bridges. Fitting moment for a high five. You are going to miss Acadia!

  6. Another great day! Congratulations on getting all 17 bridges.

  7. Way to go...all 17 bridges...WOW!!! We certainly will take more time on the carriage roads during our next visit. Perhaps we can actually walk all 51 miles:o))

    I am still having Acadia withdrawal...not sure how long it is going to last. Be glad you are headed to Lubec...you will still have many beautiful hikes to look forward to:o))

    My favorite photo is your first upstream photo looking under the bridge...NICE WORK!! Oh... someone told us the white spun sugar stuff was Raindeer Moss??

    1. On a nature walk in Campobello that moss was labeled Reindeer Moss, that's where we heard it :-)

  8. I'm glad to see that you made it to all 17 bridges. I'm sure most people aren't able to do that.

    I love the stonework on the carriage houses.

    4 more days.....I know you'll hate to leave.

    I have always wanted to be up in Maine about this time of year and travel south with the peak fall foliage. Maybe you'll be able to do that, if you don't have to hurry too much heading south.

  9. Fun!! Great conclusion as to what to do on a foggy morning. Love the high five picture - I can so imagine that- hilarious :) That rock looks like a grumpy piece of candy...I first thought of a peanut m & m...of course it's the wrong color ;) Need a tree hugging pic of you as well!

  10. The gate houses are really beautiful structures - very artistic.

  11. Know what you mean about not wanting to hike in the fog if you can't see the views. When you get used to such beautiful scenery, it's hard to go for a hike just for exercise. Looks like you found a good alternative for a foggy morning. Acadia is lovely.

  12. I had to laugh at your high five antics. You're lucky you didn't high five yourselves right off the bridge!

    You certainly have fun everywhere you go. That's what it's all about. :c)

  13. You met your goal of seeing all the bridges ... congrats. Worth trying to get the perfect hi-five to celebrate the occasion.

  14. Your rock looks like a snake head to me. Well, a rather fat snake. Love the curve of your last bridge. And that rockwork on the Gate House is over the top AMAZING!!!

    HI 5! :)

  15. The fog does make it look like the Dawn of Creation. After enjoying the beautiful scenery on the Acadia hikes, I'm totally spoiled.
    Congrats on getting all the bridges.

  16. hey. . .we took a pic of that gate house today too. . .plan to go back one day next week to see that bridge. . .we were tired!

  17. You have really gotten to explore there in depth. I do not think we were even in Maine for six weeks:(

  18. I wish I could see that man in the rock, but I didn't. Maybe a little Rorschach challenged. You have a wonderful imagination. What a gift!

  19. Ha Ha! Good thing you just stuck to a regular high five and not one of those high five-slap-bump-turn. . . and whatever else they do these days.

    Love the "rock chairs" and the big rock looks like a "the end" picture of a big tortoise to me.


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