Oct 11, 2012

Acadia National Park...47000 acres of goodness

The story behind America's second busiest national park is long and best told by a park ranger...or this write up on their website. From a simple minded perspective like my own...it's simply impossible to ever believe that this type of land would NOT be protected. The gov't may do some incomprehensibly stupid things...but the national park system, from my experience, isn't one of them.

 Acadia sits on 47000 acres of land, just the right amount in my opinion. Anything more and you only get a chance to see a tiny portion of the wonders held within. Check out this park at 1.3mil acres which would be quite a landscape to see or this one (not really a "park" per say).

 This is the 4th park I've had the chance to visit on my journey and I'm either getting better at doing it or they are getting better as the days go on. I was pretty bummed out coming into a full park a few days ago and having this great campsite in Seawall (I found out that Blackwall is a reservation only campsite) today makes those frowns seem a distant memory. When I pulled up I thought about grabbing a site for a few says and then extending if I felt like it. The ranger person said that because the site is subject to being 50% reservation the site could be reserved at anytime and that if I thought I might stay for 5 days I'd better reserve for 5 days. After paying up to $35 a night for state parks in florida, $20 for this type of beauty and weather was laughable and while free would be preferable, this would work just fine. 

Awesome van called the Islander in Ellseworth, ME

The beauty starts the minute you drive into the park. There are two sections of the park accesibel by highway, one down highway 3 and the other down 102a. The roads are tight, hilly and the amount of hidden driveway signs could equal the number of private properties signs I encountered in Seymour Arm, BC. The amount of private campgrounds surrounding the park outnumbers available porta potties within the park (that's not true). Each site seems to charge about a leg for peak season prices and a leg or the rest of your leg stub for offseason. It's simply not worth it...if you have to have a power hook up in this weather (meaning no A/C use), you should have a solar panel...I should have a solar panel..damn it! There are no hook ups within national parks so many of the big rigs and other campers don't come inside...and those that do have the almighty generator that runs considerately between 10 and 6. I have a generator, that I've never used. My batteries last me 5 days and then they are at a point where I'm looking forward to getting some charge into them. For that time though I use my lights, charge my laptop (juice pig), run my compressor if needed (tires, airbags) and roof vent. I have propane stove which I'd never use in the summer and a 3way (110, 12v, propane) fridge which I'm not using now because I lost the external fridge vent and  lost it a long time ago and I laugh that everytime I've sat still for a week I've never ordered it but every time I start driving I lament about not ordering it! ;)  

 Way different than a canadian park where it's..the park...and a few gov't buildings. This like all others parks I've visited has a human occupation right up to, into and throughout..it's a very different thing than up north.

burn baby burn...being near the border I took the liberty of unloading a few carbon credits worth of material I had accumulated during my trip.

The have a very cool bus system that spans the park so everyone can access the areas without driving there and clogging them up (which many people still do). The bus from Seawall to Bar Harbor (the happening city) is 45min. The bus initiative is sponsored by LL Bean and is pretty awesome in my opinion.

From Rich to Daddy Rich

A tall ship...fun fun! Boo to the restriction of canadians working in the US

The sand bar, low tide. Back of Daddy Riches boat.

Hey you..that's me!

Never seen so many bells before in one tower....

On the top side of Cadillac

Starting from here the next few photos show the first rays of the morning sun to hit America!!

"Eyes to the east!" Our flaming ball of gas at in it's morning glory.
 The morning sunrise on Cadillac Mountain was fantastic! After starting my trek up the hill by flashlight too early I was left at the top in darkness and cold. During the hike I wondered many many times what I was doing up that early and what was I doing hiking this hilltop when I could just be driving. I wish the scooter was working...it would have been perfect for this park much like it was for Cades Cove. Alas though...I have not stopped for a fix due to the prices. While I am travelling and enjoying ti all..the budget isn't endless and I'd rather go without the scooter over shortening the trip due to a financial mishap.

 That goes the same for all the awesome stuff I've wanted to do. Racing at Talladega, para sailing, horseback ride on the beach, zip lining, hot air ballooning and a plethora of other things that all cost $100+...spend to many of those days and your trip does get shorter, real quick. As shitty as it is...you can't do it all even if you do believe our financial world will collapse sooner than later!

This wildman measured 62' from tip to tail. One bedroom...to say finely finished would be an understatement. When I asked why they bought such a hulking truck they referred to a deadly incident in the Colorado Rockies that left their knees shaking. A hill, a Ford E-350 (really who where they kidding) and brakes so hot they faded right away and left them free riding down this mountain praying to their lord above for salvation. Obviously they made it...and now they have a truck that is appropriate in size to their rig.

I saw this bomber...close to mine top-wise but he can't sleep in his bunk as it's not as tall or as long.I met some other cool bloggers from wanderlustvan.com. They were out and about with their cat and a Ford Falcon. Nice guy and I wished them well on their trip!

Just to be able to go anywhere like this and spend the day hiking or reading is a privilege I won't soon forget.

There is one sandy spot on the entire island. The high tidal waters and the rugged terrain make for amazing scenery

Bass Harbor

I saw this sign and really liked it. You don't see that stuff posted around water coolers

I didn't take a list of the deceased but I did place a rock here.

Ok so this was about the best looking lobster roll on my entire time in Maine (to this point). Never before had one looked so good and fresh...trust me it cost fresh money but it was sooo worth it! In the end though a few Bar Harbor Ales and this set me up for a very very challenging bike ride home!

just like the book!

Every night was a good night to sit out and watch the path of the sun run it's line down through the distant trees.

Fire sky!

It's as good as it get's with my camera and no tripod..

Feet on Sandy beach!!!

The busiest spot on the island...sandy Beach. Water...cold as shit! Smiles could stretch to the moon is placed side by side. What a great day out it was!

A local Rootie...quite good. Old Soaker is the name of a rock formation that has taken down a few boats in it's day

down here they call them Cairns when I called them an inuksuk people thought I was speaking Inuit ;)...this guy doesn't like them at all

The rugged beauty was everywhere
And so i spent a week here in this magnificent park. Every turn was a surprise and an enjoyment. The layout, the park rangers assistance, the bus, the people, the price of camping...hot diggity the whole ding dang thing!

Feeling pretty nervous about getting close to the border I had another stop planned in Maine before crossing lines. Furthest Eastern point...here I come!!
Saw this on top of a rock...

Some folks rappelling down just outside of the Thunderhole area

Asta La Vista Acadia National Park!! Cue the music......

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