First six days in Acadia

I rarely have cell reception and battery power here. I’m having a glorious time hiking all over Acadia. Here’s a summary of my adventures so far.

Monday:
Set up tent, hiked north from Blackwoods up south ridge of Cadillac, then down west face to Bubble Pond. Caught bus there, which brought me into town and then to brewery. Got bus back to town. Had about an hour and a half to kill before next and last bus to Blackwoods. Realized I couldn’t depend on the bus as I’d hoped. Hung out at Finback Alehouse in evening. Got bus back to Blackwoods.

Tuesday:
Walked east from Blackwoods to shore trail, south to Otter Cliff, then north to pick up the Gorham Mountain trail. Up over that, to The Bowl, east to Beehive. Down steep, scary path on east face of Beehive, holding onto metal rungs in rock. Climbed back up, which was much less scary. Back past The Bowl, north over Champlain, northeast down Beachcroft Trail, a beautifully “paved” switchback stone staircase that overlooks the Tarn and gives a dramatic view of Dorr Mountain. Down to Sieur de Monts, got bus to town, got burger at Finback, took bus to Jordan Pond. Hiked up Pond Trail to the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail, then south along that to Blackwoods. Drove into town. Dinner at Finback, fun night of meeting people. Discovered fantastic blueberry pie at Finback.

Wednesday:
Bloody fantastic blueberry pancakes at Cafe This Way. Parked at Sieur de Monts. Hiked past Tarn, up Diedrich’s Trail, along Dorr Face Trail, up to Dorr summit and continued down its west face, then up east face of Cadillac. And with that I had done all approaches to Cadillac. Got my obligatory Blue Bunny Turtle Bar at gift shop. Descended north ridge, caught bus back to Sieur de Monts. Drove to brewery, found that it was closed for company event. Had ribs at Finback. Parked at Sieur de Monts, used last hour and a half of sunlight to climb up Beachcroft Trail to Champlain summit and back down. Shower at facility near Blackwoods. Laundry in town. Pizza at Rosalie’s. Pie and beer at Finback.

Thursday:
Finally got up about as early as I’d intended to all along. Started hiking at 7:00. Walked along Rt. 3 to Day Mountain trail. Noticed that I’m getting stronger: pack seems lighter. Miraculous, lovely, magical dew-jeweled spider webs made me feel blessed. Learning to use GPS Grace got me. Up over Day, up over The Triad, up over Pemetic, down Bubbles-Pemetic Trail up to South Bubble. Took fun pictures, can’t wait to show you. North to North Bubble, Conner’s Nubble, down to Eagle Lake. Surprised to find that Eagle Lake Trail was a big rock scramble. Made it back to Bubbles at about 2:40 after a seven hour and 40 minute hike. Helped woman with stunning local accent find horse stables where she had to pick up her husband. Got bus to Blackwoods, grabbed quick but massive Sampler (ribs, pulled pork, chicken, sausage, beans, slaw) at brewery. Used last hour of light to climb Acadia Mountain. Shower. Beer, onion rings and pie at Finback.

Friday:
Set alarm improperly so did not get up at 5:00 as intended. Drove to northmost parking area along 198, near Bald Peak. Hit trail around 8:00. Using GPS constantly by then. Climbed over Bald Peak, over Parkman, to top of Giant Slide where I found an amazing cave of which you will see video. Down Giant Slide, which required me to remove backpack to squeeze between rocks! Down past stunning lichen grove of which you will see video. Back up Giant Slide, up over Sargent. Heavy winds driving heavy mist, so glasses worse than useless. Down, then up to Penobscot summit. GPS helped me not to take wrong turn. Blazing red everywhere from leaves of shrubs turning. Down Brook Trail. Stopped at beautiful waterfall with beautiful carriage road bridge next to it. Pictures to follow. Made way back to car. Hike was over eight hours total, and less conventionally strenuous than yesterday. However, two factors made it more difficult: wet rocks forced me to be VERY careful; and I forced myself to use walking stick with left arm to build up strength there. Left arm was tired; expected it to be sore next morning. Thigh muscles in front and back were exhausted. Feet were sore. Was very proud of my efforts, not to say “beaming”. It was a glorious week and I was only five days into it! Had another Sampler at Brewery. Hot shower. Beer and onion rings and pie at Finback.

Saturday:
Up at 6:00 or so, got to Cafe This Way when they opened at 7:00. Had heavenly blueberry pancakes, homemade corned beef hash, far too much strong black sweetened tea. Began climbing Precipice trail at 10:00. It was absolutely terrifying. Reached Champlain summit around 11:45, climbed down Beachcroft trail to Tarn, climbed Diedrich’s trail, Dorr Face Trail, Ladder Trail up to Dorr. Continued down west face and on up east face of Cadillac. Got Blue Bunny Turtle Bar at gift shop. Went south along ridge to West Face Trail. Descended. NOT a fun descent: slippery slabs of granite. Took bus from Bubble Pond into town. Got huge ice cream cone. Took bus back to car. Drove to brewery, ordered beer and Sampler, found out they had buffet for $1 less than sampler, and it also included buttered corn. Ate roughly one and a half pigs’ worth of ribs, pulled pork and sausage, along with several helpings of beans, chicken, corn and slaw. Shower. Now doing laundry. Will head to Finback soon.

I am bursting with pride. All the conditioning I’ve done over the months is paying off. My body is responding vigorously to everything I’ve subjected it to. I’ve done an utterly preposterous amount of hiking: every day I’m doing six, seven, eight hours of climbing up and down mountains in one stretch. I’m doing it with a heavy pack, and I’m noticing the weight of that pack less each day. It’s glorious.

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