Sunday, June 16, 2013

up and down acadia

today was my alone day at acadia national park, as none of my travel partners were up for the rugged hikes up the mountains.  in the morning i dropped mindy's dad of for a round of golf at Kebo golf course, then sent mindy and her mom out whale watching.  then i drove toward southwest harbor and acadia mountain.  i ditched the car near echo lake, laced up my shoes, grabbed my bag and a bottle of water and headed off.

everytime i enter the woods, whatever woods it may be, i breathe deep that first breath of cool air, rushing out from under the trees.  it's like a shot of energy, and a feeling like i'm on my own.  i love the idea that my safety lies in my ability to control my body and my mind at once.  over-excited, i quickly made my way up acadia mountain, pausing to take some pictures and draw a bit in my sketchbook.  at the top i took a short break and sat out on the edge of the granite cliff over-looking the sound and out into the ocean.  the wind was crisp and strong and it felt amazing to sit out there on the edge waving with the trees.  the descent was (as always) much more treacherous.  i passed several other hikers, all in sturdy hiking boots (i wear 4 oz-nothing-to-them running shoes), some with cross country ski poles, and none seemed to be moving very well.  i honestly can't imagine how many of them made it down the mountain, because i found the trails quite difficult, requiring a bit of agility and pretty good balance on the edge of cliffs.  walking poles had to only be burdensome.

at the base of the mountain the trail split and i could choose to return to the car, or go up st. sauveur mountain.  there was a third choice, but the trail was closed for the nesting peregrine falcons.  i chose the mountian and it ended up being a more rugged climb than i had expected.  the trail to st. sauveur was mostly just a gully with all the washout rocks and tree limbs to climb up and through, and the top didn't have quite as good of views as acadia, but it kicked my ass.  i had to remind myself to keep picking my feet up so i didn't trip over any rocks or roots, but i was tired, and thankfully didn't trip on anything.  

i made my way back down the mountain, completely exhausted, and back to the car.  then i noticed that there was a little trail heading out to echo lake, so i decided i needed to check that out too.  besides, when would i have another chance.  i walked out to the ledge, took my shoes and socks off and stood on a mossy rock, knee deep in the refreshing water.  just what i needed after my several mile hike through the mountains.  i sat there for a bit just staring out over the water, amazed at its beauty.  then i hiked back up the hill, to the car, and back to the golf course to pick up my father-in-law.  we ate a burger and drank a beer (beer is always best after you've just thrashed your body and mind with this kind of experience).  then headed back to the hotel.

i am dead tired and sore as hell but it was beyond worth the trip.  i got to see some of the most amazing parts of the park, saw only a few people and got to be seemingly alone in the woods for the better part of my morning.  it was exhilarating, and things like this always make me feel more connected to life, and less concerned about what i should do with mine.

dead tired

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