Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bucket List: Acadia National Park

Day 5. We leave Deer Isle and meander north, up the jagged Maine coast. Much of the scenery consists of this:
Wild blueberry fields.  Bumper crop of rocks this year!
I stop to talk to a farmer, again.
We get side tracked rooting through his collecting of shed antlers, ultimately getting back to business.
Tiny, sweet blueberries, labor intensive, no mechanization available, all hand picked by Jamaicans.  With this hand held scoop.
My back aches just thinking about it.  Apparently, most locals feel the same... most of the manual labor for any enterprise has to be imported.  The local economies are tanking with all the labor wages being reinvested out of the area.  Large historic homes are being sold for peanuts.
Villages are full of unemployed youth with gaggles of babies in tow.  Government checks fuel a lot of procreation for all the wrong reasons.  Feels like I'm right back home in Alabama again.  Except, we don't have these in the middle of nowhere:

Grass roots co-ops such as this one in Blue Hill.  Every bit of produce is sourced and mostly locally grown.
These four varieties of mushrooms came from farms within a 50 mile radius.  
I know where these tomatoes were grown, I was on the farm the day before.
Sadly, I didn't meet the girls who made this, but quaffing down a half gallon for lunch is my compliment.
I did get help feasting!
Four thin slices of smoked salmon split four ways.
Makame salad was all mine though.  Dogs draw the line at eating seaweed.
So, where can we go to burn off a few thousand calories in a hurry?  Acadia National Park of course.
To get away from the crowds, I seek out empty trail head parking lots.  
I love narrow, technical trails.
Pete does not. 
Cole knows when I say "in my arms", to climb into my arms, to be lifted or carried over an obstacle.  Garrett doesn't know the command, but is so daffy that can I grab him and repel him down, before he knows what's happened.  
Pete requires negotiations.  Surprising how unmovable 80 lbs can be.
We summit Saint Sauveur Mountain.
Then ramble back down.  Where the Forest Service's painted blazes are worn away, fellow hikers build small rock cairns to mark the way.

Cole is a formidable trail dog, I trust him when a trail is too faint to be seen, he can smell it.  Off leash, he waits at junctions for instruction.
On leash, he responds to Gee and Ha.  Awesome at a gallop, filmed at a walk for the safety of the camera!

Acadia's signature peak is Cadillac Mountain, complete with an a parkway leading up to it. Two of the three decline to make the 500 yd walk to the panoramic point...

My Energizer Bunny.
Our first day of rain on the trip.
But, I had prepared my tarp and angled the back against the incoming storm.
306 site campground was full and I only saw one other camper with a tarp.  Folks could learn a thing or two from a Redneck setup:  we stayed dry during the overnight gully washer.  Plenty of grumbling the next morning and sleeping bags draped over picnic tables.  But, that's day 6....