Sunday, September 30, 2012

Acadia :: Another visit to Schoodic Point

Monday, September 17th - - Today was moving day. We were traveling Down East out toward Cobscook Bay and Campobello Island. After a few stops in Ellsworth, and with plenty of time to spare, I decided to stop once again at Schoodic Point. I had checked the tide schedule at the campground and knew it would be high tide at Schoodic about the time I was passing by. Besides, it was yet another beautiful day!

I had planned to stay for about 30 minutes but enjoyed the sunshine and waves for a full 90 minutes before moving on...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Acadia :: Schoodic Point

Sunday, September 16th - - On the eastern side of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park is a popular little inlet known as Thunder Hole. A small cavern below the surface of the water creates a sound similar to thunder when the 'right' waves crash against the rocks. The day that we stopped by to see Thunder Hole, there was no action - the sea was rather calm and the waves were merely lapping the shore.

However, I found a spot out on Schoodic Point that was just as exciting as Thunder Hole. Maybe more so. And it was far less crowded. There wasn't quite the roar of thunder but there were some pretty loud crashes when the 'big ones' hit.

Much like the action of a tsunami, the water would pull away from the shore...

Gain momentum, and crash into the granite walls... 

and momentarily fill up the little inlet.

I thought this man was more than a little irresponsible to let his son get so close to the edge. One really big wave and he could have been swept over the edge.

I moved around toward where the man and boy had been, but a little further away from the edge.

Thanks to the capabilities of zoom lenses, I grabbed this shot of a wave smashing into the side of the cliff. It was awesome. And so much fun watching these waves...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Acadia :: The Schoodic Peninsula

Sunday, September 16th - - Another beautiful day greeted us this morning, our last day at Acadia National Park. We decided to visit the 'other side' of Acadia, the side that few visitors go to see...

Residents of two towns, Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro, as well as several small villages reside on Schoodic Peninsula but about half of the area is part of Acadia National Park - the only part on the mainland.

As the crow flies, Schoodic Peninsula is only 4 miles from Mount Desert Island but the drive from Bar Harbor is about 40 miles and an hour away. If the conditions are 'just right' out on the southern tip at Schoodic Point the ocean waves crash against the rocky granite shore in a magnificent display of power and beauty.

The 'big hill' in the background is Mount Desert Island, four miles away - as the crow flies. On the long island in front of Mount Desert there is a lighthouse that could barely be seen. This was taken from the western side of Schoodic Peninsula a short distance into the park.

 The color of the water was amazing, changing from a deep dark blue to this vibrant blue to a greenish color - all depending upon the direction of the light. This was taken on the eastern side of Schoodic Point, with the sun at my back.

 Though it may not look all that impressive, this 'little' wave was about six feet high and when it hit the rocky shore it created quite a splash.

This fella was standing out on the southeast tip of Schoodic Point for quite a while. The water would crash against the outlying rocks...

And wash over them... Several times, I thought for sure he'd get a good soaking, but apparently he was higher and further away than it looked.

He turned to say something to his companions higher up on the rocks. Still, it did not appear that he got the least little bit wet!

There is something primal and energizing about watching waves hitting the shore. It was a bit breezy but plenty of sunshine and 70 degree temperatures. We really couldn't have asked for a nicer day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Acadia :: A Leisurely Carriage Ride

We had gone over to Wildwood Stables on Thursday (September 13th) to see about going on one of the carriage tours. The first available opening for "Mr. Rockefeller's Bridge Tour" was for 2:15 on Saturday, so we made our reservations.

Saturday morning dawned with gray skies and scattered showers forecast for the day. We crossed our fingers and hoped that the rain would hold off until after the carriage ride, but no such luck. It started sprinkling as we drove into the parking lot. It drizzled off and on until the beginning of the ride then rained steadily, but not a downpour, for the first hour of the two-hour ride. Rain jackets and ponchos were the apparel for the day!

The carriage tour is a good way to see more of the natural beauty of the park as well as admire the work that went into creating the carriage roads and building the bridges. The driver of the carriage was also the tour guide. We were sitting at the back of the carriage and I sometimes had a hard time hearing what he was saying, especially when he was facing forward rather than looking at his passengers.

It was an interesting ride, with tidbits of information about the construction of the roads and the history of the area.

 The colorful underside of one of the bridges.

 This bridge is located near the Stanley Brook entrance, on the southern side of the park. We drove underneath it several times on our way to and from the park.

 The 'Stanley Brook' entrance bridge from the other side. A hint of fall color is showing as is a bit of blue sky.

 The carriage roads are very well maintained.

This Cobblestone Bridge was the first of Mr. Rockefeller's bridges and was built in 1913.

Patiently waiting for the rest of us to get on board the carriage to continue the tour.

By the time we returned to the stables, the sky had started clearing, the sun had made an appearance, and we were mostly dry!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Acadia :: Carriage Roads and Bridges

From 1913 to 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was instrumental in constructing the beautiful carriage roads on Mount Desert Island, which would later become part of Acadia National Park. There are 45 miles of carriage roads (including 17 stone-faced bridges) available for walkers, bicyclists, equestrians and even carriages. In the winter, they can also be used for cross-country skiing.

The 'problem' with walking on the carriage roads is that the bridges are sometimes difficult to view. (This website has more photos of some of the bridges.) It was easy walking along the carriage roads, even the uphill grades weren't too bad, and it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

This bridge was at the southern end of Jordan Pond.

The roads and bridges were constructed with manual labor. At times, there was a crew of 300 men working on these roads.

Each of the bridges is different but built to 'fit in' with the surroundings. This group of riders stopped after we told them they were riding over a bridge. When you're on the road it is sometimes difficult to know that you're on a bridge. Many areas have the large stones bordering the roadway.

Another view of the same bridge in the previous photo.

Some bridges, like this one, were constructed with viewpoints that extended off to the side of the road, which were nice so that you could actually see the bridge itself.

This little bridge was near the Bubble Pond.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Acadia :: Jordan Pond and The Bubbles

A visit to Acadia National Park is not considered complete unless you take in Jordan Pond and 'the Bubbles' which dominate the view on the northern end.

We walked along the southern shore on Thursday (September 13th) on our way to one of the carriage roads and again on Saturday (September 15th) while waiting for our scheduled carriage ride.

The two days could not have been much different - Thursday was a beautiful day with deep blue skies and lots of sunshine while Saturday was cloudy and overcast with the threat of rain looming over us.

Thursday. September 13th.

Saturday. September 15th.

Thursday. September 13th.

Saturday. September 15th.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Acadia :: The Schooner, Margaret Todd

Tuesday - September 11th - - It was such a beautiful day that we decided to take a cruise. After stopping at the visitors center to see what was available we selected the Schooner Margaret Todd, primarily because neither Joann nor I had ever been aboard one.

The drive through Bar Harbor was chaotic. A cruise ship had moored in the bay a short time before we arrived and passengers were being ferried from the ship to the pier at a rapid pace. It seemed like people were everywhere!

We finally found a parking spot in the pier area, ate our lunch, and meandered over to where the Margaret Todd was waiting.

The cruise left shortly after two o'clock under motor power. It turned around and headed out into the waters of Frenchman's Bay, stopping soon after to raise the sails.

Passengers were encouraged to help with the raising of the sails...

which took a few minutes...

Did I mention that it was a beautiful day? Gorgeous blue skies and a steady, light breeze.

It was amazingly quiet, once the sails were raised and the engine shut off. It was a two-hour cruise with a Park Ranger onboard who talked a little bit about some of the geographical points, lobstering, and wildlife in the area. We did see an eagle perched high atop a tree on one of the islands and I caught a glimpse of several dolphins as we were returning to the dock. Mostly it was simply a quiet, but very enjoyable ride.

After taking the cruise, I found out from my cousin, Anita, who lives in Belfast, Maine that her son Kyle had helped build the boat one summer in Florida. Pretty cool.

Two days later we happened to be at the top of Cadillac Mountain when the Margaret Todd was leaving on the afternoon cruise, passing in front of one of the cruise ships in the harbor.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Acadia :: Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Tuesday - September 11th - - The day dawned bright and clear with sunshine and beautiful blue skies. The first stop was at the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse just a short distance down the road from Seawall Campground. This map shows the layout of the Island. Seawall campground and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse are on the southwest tip of the Island.

From the parking area, there was a short but rather steep trail to traverse. A stairway made the downhill portion of the walk easy, but it was still quite a ways down to the rocky shore.

I climbed over the upper portion of the rocks to get this shot. To get a really nice view of the lighthouse you would have had to have been on a boat in the water!

I ventured down a little ways but the rocks were slippery and I just didn't feel comfortable going further out.