Acadia National Park Part 1

When we set out from Arkansas in our RV I’m not sure if I truly believed we would make it to Maine. I half thought that we would spend a couple of days in the RV before realizing that I am not an RV girl and our trip would be ruined. But, we did it! We made it to Maine and I actually grew to like the RV! When we woke up in the Walmart parking lot in Augusta, we were both excited to hit the road and get to Acadia National Park. We drove about two hours until we found the cheapest diesel on our route. We pulled into the gas station behind another RV. We pulled up next to each other at the only diesel pump that would accommodate an RV and proceeded to begin the very long process of filling the tank.

Ellie and I went into the gas station to relieve our cabin fever, and when we returned, we found that Cy had struck up a conversation with our fellow RVer. I met his wife, and she introduced me to their kids. During the course of our conversation, we learned that they were Martins too, that their daughter’s name was Ellie, and that they were on a year-long RV trip as a family and their next stop was also Acadia! The guys traded RV war stories and us women swapped blog sites, and then parted ways as we headed to different campgrounds in the park.

The drive into Acadia was gorgeous. We went over several bridges with views of harbors, saw many fresh fish and lobster stands, and passed through a few quaint towns that looked like they belonged on a postcard. When we arrived at the check-in sight, we had a park ranger walk us through a map of the park and highlight some different places we should visit, hikes we should go on, and sights we should see. We pulled into our home for the next few days and got settled in.

The next morning we woke up at our usual time around 6:00. There was a rule at the campsite that nobody was allowed to run their generator until 8:00am, but no electricity hookups were offered. Our batteries were too dead to run the coffee pot, so Cy and I stared blankly at each other until 7:00 when we heard our neighbor turn their generator on. Cy jumped up and turned our generator on too, and hit the brew button on the coffee maker. We had just poured our first cups of coffee when there was a frustrated knocking on our door. Naturally, I bolted out of sight and hid while Cy dealt with the confrontation, since of the two of us he’s always the one in trouble. A ranger asked Cy if he knew about the acceptable hours to run a generator to which Cy gave a noncommittal answer. The ranger explained the rule in detail again, and Cy responded, “Should I turn it off then?” We really had no regrets though, because we finally had our coffee, which meant the day could actually begin.

As we sipped our coffee, we pulled out the map of the park and began to plan our day. We chose a couple of hikes we thought sounded fun and got ourselves ready. When we got to the trailhead, Cy loaded Ellie into the baby backpack, and somehow her forehead met the side of the car and she got her first large bruise. Looking back, this was clearly a sign about what was awaiting us over the course of the next few hours.

We headed up the trail, and I soon felt too short and too wimpy for the hike. The hike wasn’t a nice trail, it was a nice collection of rocks I had to balance on and climb up. The whole thing was straight up. I was carrying my nice camera around my neck, and had a water bottle in my hands. I quickly realized that water was going to be necessary throughout the hike, so I began to ration it. Cy and Ellie climbed ahead of me, and stopped to wait when I needed a break. Finally, we made it to the top. And it was WINDY! At the top of the mountain there was nothing to hold back the wind, or obstruct our view. We could see all around us, and the views of the harbor were to die for. It was definitely worth the treacherous hike to the top. We took some pictures and I caught my breath. We also met a woman who had a good map of the area. I had been planning on returning to the car the same way we had come up. But, this woman showed Cy that we could make the hike into a loop instead. She also assured us that it was a little tricky, but not that hard.

As we began the descent, we realized it was in full sun, and we stopped a couple to borrow some sunscreen for Ellie. I thought the hike had been difficult up until this point. But then we started the descent. Several times I just stopped and stared at the rocks I was supposed to climb down, not sure how I could possibly manage it. Cy was patient and encouraging the whole time, even when I was extra grouchy and anxious. My self esteem was thoroughly crushed when a group of 80 year olds climbed up a particularly treacherous part of the path with ease, but I found myself stuck and had to have Cy come help me. A couple of times, I tried to lie down on the rocks and tell Cy and Ellie to go on and I’d catch up in a few days. Thankfully, Cy never outright laughed at me, but continued to help me down. He did sneak a picture of me trying to climb down some rocks, and nobody but the two of us will ever see it, because it’s just too embarrassing. Finally, after approximately 5 days, we made it to level ground, and were able to walk the last couple of miles on a nice road.

We went back to the RV for lunch and quickly realized that my legs would mutiny if we went on another hike that day. So, instead we went on a little drive to explore the island. Ellie fell asleep, and in a victorious parenting moment, Cy and I transferred her into her stroller without waking her so that we could get out and see a historic lighthouse. After this excursion, we got back in the car and continued exploring the island. We saw a couple more quaint towns and marveled at what the shores looked like at low tide.

When we finished driving around that particular part of Acadia, we decided to go into town to buy a percolator so we could have coffee the next morning without breaking any rules. We got the percolator and a few other staples, and then pulled into a local ice cream place. This is when we discovered that in Maine, soft serve ice cream reigns supreme, and they refer to normal ice cream as “hard ice cream.” We ordered our ice cream cones, which turned out to be roughly the size of my head. We sat at a picnic table to enjoy our treats. Ellie sat in between us, and proudly practiced her latest vocabulary word, “Bite.” She would scoot over to Cy and say, “bite!” and he would give her a bite of ice cream. Then she would scoot over to me and shout, “bite!” and dig into mine. Back and forth, back and forth she went until everyone in the vicinity was laughing and we all had brain freezes.

Our first 24 hours in Acadia were everything we hoped they would be, and we couldn’t wait to see what else the national park had to offer!

 

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