3 Days At Acadia National Park — Even Better The Second Time Around.
by Anura Guruge
Well, as anyone who has been to that delectable island knows, it is never, or it should never be, the Acadia National Park alone — though you could easily spend weeks just exploring its myriad beauties, delights and mysteries. This was our second trip, as a family, and this time we wanted to do even more stuff outside of the Park — but we were in the Park for some part of each of the three days and at the express behest of the kids went up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain towards the end of each day. The Summit on Thursday evening, around 8:20 pm, was special. We were the only ones there! Only two vehicles at the top: our KIA and a maroon truck. Bit don’t know where the folks from the truck were. It was misty and damp and the clouds were blowing across, low and fast. We didn’t spend much time up there. Did a quick short loop. Teischan loves to run around the top.
Gather it is the 10th most visited National Park in the country. I will have to find the list. We love it. Until last September I had never been and neither had the kids. Deanna, who is from Maine, had gone as a child, but not in some 30 years. So last September’s visit was kind of a ‘first’ for all of us. Though we had gone to the Grand Canyon in April the kids liked Acadia as much. Acadia is different and therein lies its charm. It has variety and diversity but it is very New England. Nothing too overly dramatic, the rock vistas imposing and impressive as opposed to breathtaking — and the ‘The Grand’ still takes my breath away though I have been to it over eight times and have stayed there for a few days at a time on a number of those occasions. Anyhow, while we were still there in September the kids started talking about coming back — soon.
So this was about ‘as soon’ as we could make it back since they had also wanted to go to Disney in April. Well, to be fair this trip was Deanna’s idea and wish. Yesterday, June 27, was Deanna’s birthday. We typically do something or go somewhere for our birthdays. Going Whale Watching used to be the tradition for my birthday in September. But last year I said “lets go to Acadia” for my birthday, and we did take the kids out of school for a day, since I celebrate my birthday on my birthday as opposed to some arbitrary date close to it, because we had just spent time, in Boston, with two Sri Lankan couples who were coming down from Acadia and were raving about how beautiful it was. Well about six weeks ago Deanna let it be known that she too wanted to go to Acadia for her birthday — we having gone to Ocean Park in Maine for her birthday last year.
So that is what we did. I made reservations five weeks ago knowing that weather could be an issue. But her birthday was Friday and we were going to be there on Friday. Atypically for us we have a crazy busy Summer. So there wasn’t any leeway. We had to go Wed+Thur+Fri. We had to be in Alton Sat. & Sunday. As it transpired we lucked out. It was supposed to bucket down Thursday and it sure rained hard in the ‘early’ morning. We made one of our landmark lazy starts and didn’t leave the hotel room till 10:50 am. We drove, straight away, to Jordan Pond for brunch — seeing two deer in the process, the first we had seen on the Island. The rain had stopped when we got there. We had a great leisurely lunch with a lot of their trademark baked popovers — and I, for the first time in 19 months, cheated on my diet to see what the fuss was all about! To me they were a combination of Yorkshire Pudding eaten like scones! Not sure if others will agree.
I will try and do an ‘Acadia’ post a day for the next week or so to cover everything. This trip, in addition to ‘the Park’, the ‘Loop Road’, Cadillac Summit, Thunder Hole, Schooner Lookout etc. etc., we did Carriage Roads, Eagle Lake, Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, the delightful (and well hidden) “Cooksey Drive Overlook” (where you do have to clamor down rocks), Asticou Azalea Garden and a 2-hour nature cruise. It was all good. Ate out quite a bit too and had very good experiences. Great place. Natives and even those from Poland and Siberia working in the restaurants were very friendly — and it was a shock to be told that winters in Siberia are NOT as bad as those in Maine because the air is ‘drier’. So, time permitting I will share all this with you. Cheers.
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