Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Driving the Park Loop Road

Today began at Visitors Center at the entrance of Acadia National Park. We watched the introductory film, gathered up a bunch of maps and started our drive over the Loop Road that circles the park.

Our first stop provided the first of what would be a series of spectacular views - this one of Frenchman's Bay. There were two enormous cruise ships in port today - the Explorer of the Seas and the Norwegian Spirit. We could see the little tenders shuttling the passengers into Bar Harbor and back to the ships. We have couldn't asked for more perfect weather. The foliage is just beginning to show some color and the air is crisp and just a little bit cool.

We drove up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, at 1530 feet the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, where we had more spectacular views of inland lakes, off-shore islands and the brilliant blue sea. It was cold and windy up there, but we walked out as far as we could on the path to take in the panoramic views.

Coming off the mountain, we stopped to hike up to Bubble Rock and then took a break for lunch, tea and popovers at the Jordan Pond House.

We strolled through the Wild Gardens of Acadia near the Abbey Museum, which had already closed for the day, before taking a final short hike down the Overlook trail where we shamelessly used our binoculars to spy on someone's luxurious summer home out on Schooner Head.

We stopped to check out Thunder Hole, which was silent today, and to walk on Sand Beach as the sun descended toward the ocean. We have spent this entire day traversing this one 27-mile road, just basking in the fresh air and stunning land- and seascapes.

Once back "home" in Southwest Harbor, we decided to try out Eat a Pita for dinner. This funky place had a great menu and a wonderful Pinot Gris. There'll be no problem falling asleep tonight!

See more photos on Flickr.

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