Denise Goldberg's blog

Acadia captured
A return to the magic

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A wet start, and then...

...a mystery ride!

It had dried out so nicely by the end of the day yesterday that I thought we'd be able to start today with an inside out loop. Oh, you're right - I'd better explain that! Denise was hoping to do a loop that would take us both inside and outside of the park. She was thinking we'd head over to Northeast Harbor, up the eastern edge of Sommes Sound, then back to the east and into the park to ride Park Loop Road once again. That sounded good to me too, but then we woke up and looked outside...

It was a very gray morning, wet pavement - and what is that stuff floating out there? Is it fog? Heavy mist? Rain? It was hard to tell. We could see it, and we could feel it too. Wet.

Instead of starting on two wheels, we packed up and headed into the park in our fossil-fuel powered vehicle. Denise though that we'd wander the loop road once more before we headed towards home, And she figured that we would find better riding conditions somewhere between here and home, and that we'd just stop driving when our bicycle insisted on going for a ride.

Out closer to the edge of the island, a gray curtain dropped over (almost) everything. It was so foggy that there was no one sitting at the bottom of Precipice Trail. That was unfortunate, because we didn't realize until late yesterday that the spotting scope set up at the base of that trail wasn't pointed at people. It was pointed at birds, and oh! now we need to go back to Acadia again (as if there was any question about that). From the hiking trail difficulty sheet on the Acadia web site: "*The Precipice Trail and portions of the East Face, Jordan Cliffs, and Flying Mountain Trails are generally closed from March 15 to August 15 to protect nesting peregrine falcons." Apparently on non-foggy mornings the rangers set up a telescope to share peeks of the baby falcons. We weren't able to visit with the birds on this trip, but we did find a photo of four peregrine chicks on the park's website.

We did a bit of walking along the coast, sheltered by an umbrella. I could have handled a little bit of water, and Denise was decked out in her cycling rain jacket - but she wanted to protect her cameras. Hmmm... I suppose that was a good idea.

We stopped at the last beach before heading up and back into the woods. And oh! the daisies and wild roses were all wearing clear droplets of water. What amazing patterns!

We drove as far as Jordan Pond where we were greeted by a tiny patch of blue above us. The roads were almost dry. It was time to ride! We had a bit of a mystery ride, in the park along the back side of Park Loop Road, and a bit on roads outside of the park too. We stopped to capture some photos of water droplets on webs, of scenery slipping out from under heavy clouds and fog. We even stopped to have some conversations with fellow travelers on two wheels. No, they weren't on bicycles, they were riding Harleys!

I'm so glad that we were able to have a dry ride today. It was pretty cool, with temperatures in the low 50s. But cool and dry makes for good riding conditions. It was a funny clothing day though. I tried to tell Denise that she needed one more layer, but she insisted she was OK. She was wearing a sleeveless long underwear top under a short-sleeved jersey, and biking shorts with knee warmers. I thought a windbreaker would have been helpful, but Denise told me she preferred to be a little chilly when we were whipping downhill. She said if she was wearing a jacket she would have been too hot when we were climbing. Don't you think it would have made more sense to stop and change layers? Oh well, whatever makes her happy works. And I was quite warm riding in the TailRider with the big camera. I could even stick my head out and let my ears fly in the wind. That felt good!

It always seems like our "going home" day comes too soon. I suppose that's a good problem to have, isn't it? It means we're still enjoying our wandering time.

Time to hit the road for that long ride home. Almost five hours. Hmmm..... do you think we should have ridden home? Not this trip! Drive, drive, drive, until we were home again.

And now I need to start bugging Denise about planning our summer trip. She already has a trip planned for September - we're going to England for a photography seminar, and I think we're going to do some hiking too. But we need a biking trip too, don't we? I think that we need a sort of a non-plan for our wandering in late July or early August. I know she was toying around with the idea of a combination Maine and Nova Scotia trip. In fact, she stopped by The Cat office in Bar Harbor to ask some questions. And then there's some far off spot she was looking at in Quebec. Or something closer to home. She was thinking about taking the train from Boston to Portland, wandering over some new roads (for us!) in Maine, and then riding home. Or maybe... Well, I'm sure that wherever we go will be interesting. You're going to watch over our shoulders again, aren't you?

And oh! I like writing these journals. Thank you for joining us!

--- Rover