Acadia National Park | 37/59

We have seen a lot of waterfalls this trip, but on our way to Maine, we decided to see THE Falls!

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We drove across to the Canada side of Niagra Falls to partake in the full glory.  I had been there before and was telling Madison how massive they were.  When we first laid eyes on the water, the first thing she said was, “I was picturing them about 100 times that size.”  Ha!  I guess maybe I built them up too much!

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After looking up all of the successful (and a few unsuccessful) attempts to ride the falls in a barrel, we drove on to our next destination – Acadia National Park!

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I want to take a second to salute cool rangers.  When we first arrived at the park we met a super nice ranger.  He showed us all the ins and outs of the park and told us about a few good park secrets.  I am so grateful that there are people out there that love these places and devote their lives and careers to protect and preserve.  It’s a huge service to the park visitors. THANK YOU.

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Our first morning in the park, we got up for the sunrise.  This was a HUGE accomplishment for us!  We rarely get up for the sun.  But there was no way we were going to pass on being some of the first in the nation to see the sun come over the Atlantic.

 

 

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Madison basking in the first morning light haha.

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Instead of going back to sleep, like we wanted to, we hit the trails early.  Turns out you can get a lot done in one day when you don’t sleep in until 9!  Those few extra hours pack a wallop!

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We had heard from a few sources that the Precipice Trail is a must-hike in Acadia.  We didn’t really know that it was less about hiking, and more about problem solving.  There were boulders to hope over, cliffs to scale, and talus caves to tunnel through.  This hike was a blast!

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It is safe to say that this hike made our Top 5 list for sure.  We can’t put out an official list until we are done, but I know that this one will be near the top.

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With so many different problems to solve, you feel really engaged with this trail.  You feel like you get to know it a little better than others.  It leaves no time for you to mindlessly pick up one foot and place it in front of the other.

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Along with the challenge came great views of the trees and ocean below.  Madison had never laid eyes on the Atlantic – it was a big day!

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Parts of the trail were actually pretty exposed.  There are a few spots where you have a two-foot ledge to walk across – it is not for the faint of heart!

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Some of the “ladders” were a few rungs long, and then some seemed to never end.

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“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.”

-Albert Einstein

I’m going to get philosophical for a bit now, so bear with me.

By the time we got to Acadia, we were over a month “behind” on our schedule.  We were facing a few new mechanical complications with the RV.  We felt like we had a lot of “hard things” going on.

Along our hike I saw this tree.  I don’t think it was trying to teach me any lesson in particular, but nevertheless it left a lasting impression on me.

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The tree started out small.  It grew up and up towards the sky until this big piece of granite got in the way.  To me it seemed that the tree had two options:

1.) give up and just stop growing

OR

2.) adapt, and keep doing its best to make it to the light

The tree decided to go for it.  It didn’t stop going UP.  Yeah sure, the tree was deformed and scarred.  The granite didn’t make it easy for the tree.  But the key is – the tree didn’t STOP.  It kept moving upward and eventually made it through the tight spot and on to the sun.

The top of the tree was healthy and alive.

I think it is easy to look at the some of the tougher aspects of life and want to give up.  But if we take a lesson from nature, we know that we don’t have to give up.  This little tree taught me that we can always figure it out.  The battle can, and will leave its mark, but so what?  We’re better for it.  We’ll get through it and we will reach the light and be able bless others with our example.

You can always count on your Mother Nature to help keep you grounded, right?!?  Oh how I love her.

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We made it to the top of the Precipice Trail only to meet gale force winds!  We nearly got blown off the cliff!

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The hike down the ridge was a lot less challenging than the way up.  It gave us a good time to take in the lessons learned on the trail that day.

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Otter Cliffs have been on the list for a while.  We needed to touch these special rocks on the East Coast!  But, with the cold temperatures, I was worried that we may not really want to get out there and freeze our little fingers off!

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We had a really sunny day and figured we would go for it.  It was windy and still pretty cold, but we figured that with the sun on our team, it was our best chance for a successful climb.

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Things were looking good as we set everything up and we felt super confident.  And then I swear, as we dropped over the edge of the cliff, the winds seemed to pick up ten fold!  Why does that always seem to happen?!

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Despite the icy, ocean winds we were able to force our frozen fingers into the cracks enough to pull ourselves back up to the top.  Madison was especially happy to get to the top and warm her digits.  Man, my wife is cool.

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Our last night we decided to throw down and complete our Maine experience with a lobster dinner in Bar Harbor.  OH MAN.  This is an experience.  I had to get the tutorial from the waitress on how to best attack the critter, but lets just say, I got the job done.  It was delicious.
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Before setting off for warmer weather in the south, we took one more walk on the beach with the kitty.  He has never really enjoyed the beach, but this time, he loved exploring and digging!  It was great!

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We had a lot of FUN in Acadia.  It was one of the few places that we had a hard time leaving.  We wished we could have stayed longer and explored more of the park.  This is one place that I know we will be experiencing again.  Thank you Maine for such a gem!

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10 Comments

  1. Dawn from Camano Island

    Dang! This is without a doubt my favorite of your posts–and that’s saying a lot! But first, I just have to put this out there. Are you growing a mustache or have you just not shaved? Not judging’–just curious! The sky & ocean pics are stunning–the Atlantic coast is so different than the Pacific but just as beautiful!

    I hope things smooth out for the remainder of your journey. It’s a pain in the patoot (auto correct does not like this word–I do NOT mean patriot!) to have mechanical problems. You two have the ‘it’s all part of the experience’ attitude that will carry you through anything. Breath?–breathe? (you know what I mean). Smile. Head high. Heart strong.

    • Cees

      haha and YES. I am growing a mustache! I go back and forth. Mostly I just hate shaving, so when I have to, I leave a little bit as a rebellion to a clean face. BUT, it usually comes off after a week or so. Thanks for noticing!

  2. Robin

    Thank you for the reminder with the tree example. Loved it….applicable to my situation today.
    Good luck on the remainder of your trip.

  3. dawn from camano island

    My husband, Jim, hates shaving too & has sensitive skin so he has a beard & mustache. It’ll be interesting to see how long it stays on this time.

  4. Karen

    I hope you’ll be updating the blog soon. I’d love to read about your adventures in the eastern parks! And congratulations on embarking on the biggest adventure yet – parenthood!

    • Cees

      Thank you! We can’t wait to start the parenting adventure! We are super behind (we took a break and were with family over the holidays) and have been “off our groove”. BUT, get ready for an over load of posts! We will be uploading a bunch in a row haha

    • Cees

      It has been a while! Get ready for a post overload! We are going to be posting a bunch in a row here over the next few days!

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