Team Smith rise early and have breakfast picnic on the seashore.
2nd Mate, Garrett, pauses to digest.
The troops recon a 19th century homestead.
Imagine the despair of realizing that there will never be an end to digging up rocks.
Topsoil is a precious commodity.
Anything growing here had to be hardy, including the people. How could families of 8 subsist here?
Even the wild blackberries look stunted and have the most minute little berries I've ever seen.
Further down the road, we stop to investigate a natural seawall, is this where we could build a suitable fort?
The troops debate...
Pete is unimpressed. I wish I could have captured his expression every time he tried drinking from the sea. He would give me this loathsome look, as if I had personally salted all the water.
Area deemed unsuitable. Too many (sea)weeds.
And lots of them. Tidal pools teeming with life.
Next, we try to take over an existing fort.
The terrain is inhospitable.
And the 'fort' is way out of our price range. (Here's your gratuitous picture of a lighthouse.)
We head back inland, still searching... muskeg swamps everywhere.
A canoe is needed to fully explore the area. Woefully lacking, we resolve to hoof it.
All around Jordan Pond.
A wide well groomed path on one side of the lake.
Despite the idyllic location, we opt not to build our fort here: too many people... and I'm allergic. For me, a great day in the woods is when I see no one for 8 hours, that's when I feel centered and at peace. Acadia National Park is 'well-loved' (crowded). But, it provides us with ample opportunities to practice good canine citizenship. Every day of our travels, the dogs have received high accolades for their quietness and manners. I'm very proud of my troupe. The only incident we had, occurred here. Somebody else started it.
Cole knows to "stand side" to let others pass. He has perfected ignoring passers and other dogs. Pete and Garrett are still curious. An oncoming hiker's dog decides to bark aggressively as they are passing. Cole keeps staring off into the distance, but a switch inside the other two flips. In an instant, I have two Cujos on the end of my tethers. Luckily, the halters allow me to snatch them up like suitcases and carry 80 lbs of rabid dog in each hand, with only their back toes touching the ground.
We were all born in the wrong century, this is where we belonged:
Before the horseless carriages, before the throngs of tourists.
So, we seek out a quieter place to run.
Pete: "Run, rubbish, come and carry me".
Look who finally decided to explore the shore?
Serenity, at last.
The two introverts of the clan can take a deep breath.
Fort building enthusiasm dwindles by the end of a full day of exploring.
We do have a perfectly good tent. It's a plan.
Return to home base.