Weekend with Nick, Part 1: Acadia National Park

Our last few days in Maine were spent with Tom’s son Nick who came up for the weekend from New York with his friend Emanuelle. We initially met up for a late night dinner on Friday in the town of Camden; there we caught up over food and beer while planning the next two days. Since Tom, Nick, and Emanuelle hadn’t seen much of the coast before I suggested we start with a day in Acadia National Park where they could get an introduction to the characteristic rocky shoreline and peninsulas of Downeast Maine. As a bonus we’d also be traveling through some of the quaint villages along Route 1 on our way north to the park.

In the morning we regrouped and drove to Acadia where we began our drive along the Park Loop Road. Because the weather forecast called for increasing clouds we decided to make our first stop Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the park and the place where we were likely to have the best vistas. Lucky for us the summit was relatively uncrowded allowing us to spend close to 45 minutes strolling along the trails and care rock, looking out over the bay in peace.

We then backtracked north and started driving the one-way loop clockwise until we stopped near Sand Beach. Tucked between the granite boulders, the sandy stretch of shore fronting the clear, turquoise water is a unique feature in the park – not to mention a popular one. We began by climbing the boulders and cliffs overlooking the inlet but soon enough found our way down to the beach itself where we strolled barefoot in the sand and dipped our toes in the icy water. Once we’d had our fill of beach we started walking the Great Head Trail, which starts nearby and follows the coast along the tip of Mount Desert Island. We made frequent stops along this trek to enjoy the vistas, take photos, and marvel at the dramatic pink granite and tall coniferous trees.

Continuing on, we made our way towards Eagle Lake for a short walk in the woods, stopping en route at more overlooks and scenic points as well as for a bite to eat. After the walk at the lake – which was much more crowded than we’d anticipated – we drove out towards iconic Bass Harbor Lighthouse to admire the brick structure overlooking the harbor. Since it was low tide we were able to crawl down the rocks to get a good profile view of the light station, but unfortunately the interior was closed to visitors.

With a full day of exploring behind us we agreed to get some dinner near to where we were staying in the town of Rockland; here we got to enjoy live music being performed along Main Street as we decided where to get food and drink. After we’d eaten we hung around to dance and talk, and even found our way to Rock Harbor Brewery where we enjoyed a pint. It was a busy day for sure, but even though we’d seen and done quite a bit we’d made plenty of time for enjoying the views, taking pictures, sharing stories, and relaxing over leisurely meals and drinks. In short, it was perfect.

Note: Some of the photos (mostly the ones with me in them) were taken by Nick.