Mountain, Lighthouse and Town: oh my!

Bass Harbor Lighthouse.jpgCadillac view.jpg

If you come to Acadia, apparently you should go to Cadillac Mountain, the tallest in the park at 1593 feet. The view is a spectacular 360 degrees, with all islands visible.

We hit the trail and climbed 3.5 miles up through pine forest and volcanic rock. Ranger Kirk, whose ranger presentation called “Acadia Rocks!” Laura went to last night and whose presentation was voted #2 of all national park presentations (#1 was the lizard lady’s presentation at Arches), says that Acadia’s rock has a special pink color to it due to a mineral called feldspar. We traversed over layers of sedimentary rock that Ranger Kirk said had been there 400 billion years. We were sweaty in the first ½ mile; we were a sticky mess by the end of 7. We will never be able to wear those clothes again. Ranger Kirk did say that it was going to be a hot day, and he was not lying.

There are several ways to get to and times to go to Cadillac: It’s one of the first parts of the US to get the sunrise, too, so it’s a ‘thing’ to go up Cadillac to catch the sunrise. Ranger Kirk says it’s amazing. But given that sunrise is ~5:08am these days, it is not a ‘thing’ with us, and we will have to trust Ranger Kirk.

There are three options to the summit: a short hike up the north face, a longer south ascent, or easy car drive. We chose the longer south route. We hiked up–up, flat, down, up, flat, down—and met the usual number of fellow hikers as we went. It was quite serene, unhurried, and unpopulated. We reached the summit, and there were the people: parking lots and a gift shop full of key chains, ice cream bars, shot glasses emblazed with Cadillac Mountain, bags of pistachios, ceramic ware. People were crawling over the summit like ants on a frozen custard. Ranger Kirk did not warn us about this.

But everyone is having a great time: children gamboling over the feldsparian rocks, people in flip flops or sparkly heels and jeans gingerly walking the path around the summit, and folks of all ages enjoying the spectacular day and landscape. We find a spot amongst everyone to enjoy our snack and, bellies full, we leave everyone to enjoy the view and we continued a quiet descent.

We take our sweaty, stinky selves into Baa Haaba (Bar Harbor) for lunch. It’s quaint, with a lawned center square and cute shops, but it’s similar to Fisherman’s Wharf, what with the tourists and parking. Every single person seems to be from out of town, the restaurants are all selling lobsta rolls, and every ice cream shoppe has frozen custard. Glad we went, but won’t be returning.

If you come to Acadia, apparently you also should go to the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, too. So we did. We scored a parking spot, and the lighthouse’s surroundings are glorious.

We are exhausted from our long, hot, glorious day and will probably head to bed soon. The mosquitos are also putting up a good fight; Ranger Kirk didn’t mention those. But that’s ok: we’re so glad to be here

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