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Acadia National Park and the Mt. Sargent Loop (Day 75)

October 1st, 2009 1 comment

One thing’s sort of for-sure: I don’t get very excited about shorelines. I’m glad they exist, they don’t cause much harm, but, you know: meh. Shoreline. I took a picture of this one, though, in Maine, somewhere in Acadia National Park, which is located on Mt. Desert Island about half-way up the coast. Go:

acadia_shorelineIt’s not like it’s an eye-sore, just that I’m not sure what you do with it besides look.

Anyway. Lady ranger at the visitor center also suggested, when prompted, I go on this hike to Mt. Sargent, which she described as the second-best hike in the park (I didn’t ask, I figured she knew what she was doing). In my short time in the region, I’ve developed a sort of love-hate thing with New England hikes an there was a lot of both on this one — but for a hike that had me swearing at the trail engineers for the entirety of a certain 30-minute stretch, this was a lot of fun and one I’d rank toward the top of the list. And I sort-of forgive it for being a 4.5-mile, 3.25-hour hike (that’s slow).

And the photos won’t show the fun parts so much, because it’s hard to take pictures of yourself while dangling off railings, climbing up wet granite on your hands and knees, or taking the downhill granite like a park whore parkour course (who knew?). Oh well.

For the information-hungry and per the ranger’s instructions, I took the Spring Trail to the Jordan Cliff Trail (the part with the ladders and rungs) to the East Cliff Trail (the part with the hands and knees) to the Mt. Sargent Summit to the South Ridge Trail to the Penobscot Mountain Summit to the Penobscot Trail (the parkour course) back to the Spring Trail. This was probably as dangerous a hike as I’ve done (largely because of the rain the night before — I imagine the footing’s pretty sure when the rocks are dry). It also wasn’t much of a tree prison. Excelsior.

acadia_cascade-on-trailWater trickling onto the trail.

acadia_trees-on-trailTrees, holding on tight(ly).

acadia_jordan-pondThe view of Jordan Pond from Jordan Cliff. The rung at bottom-right helps hikers not fall.

acadia_trail-ladderThis is a ladder you must climb.

acadia_stream-crossingA stream crossing! And me without my poles.

acadia_caterpillarCaterpillar: go!

acadia_sidehill-viewLooking over the side of Mt. Sargent toward a bunch of little Maine islands in the Atlantic.

acadia_cairnAnd they have cairns that look like this there.

acadia_sargent-viewView from the top.

acadia_sargent-signsSigns on Mt. Sargent.

acadia_top-of-penobscotThe top of Mt. Penobscot.

acadia_me-at-penobscotMe, there.

acadia_granite-and-railingGranite wall on the way back down.

Fun trail.

Part of what I don’t like about sea coasts is that, at least the ones I’ve been to on this trip, they’re crowded. The drive around the Acadia coast is silly with tour buses (that stop in the middle of one-lane roads) and even on a weekday at the end of September, there’s nowhere on the coast you’re going to be able to stand without having company. Big Sur and Oregon coasts felt the same way to me.

Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, though, I liked a lot. Maybe it’s just the crowds.

There’s also a lighthouse near Acadia (at the tip of the Mt. Desert Island peninsula), but it’s lame.

Dunn out.

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