Been hoofing it about the island a lot as of late: besides "smelling like a goat," rumor has it I sound like a broken record trying to get in "just one more" hurrah for hiking. Seems every day is surely the last one before it's gonna snow - which is not bad at all for this transplanted Alaskan... especially since it's December.The past week has seen a few amazing treks on trails around Acadia: St. Sauveur Mtn./Valley Peak/Acadia Mtn. loop and the Perpendicular Trail/Mansell Mtn. loop over on the Western side of Mount Desert Island; the infamous Precipice Trail/Champlain Mtn.; plus even a little side-sortie over to Camden Hills State Park.
(More after the jump...)
The past few months of commuting by bicycle about Savannah evidently atrophied some key muscle groups, and it's been a brutal regiment of working out the kinks in my stiff legs and sore knees. Slippery rock and iron rungs were tricky to navigate on the Precipice Trail, but balmy temperatures in the mid-50's plus party-sunny conditions tempered any lingering logistical issues. No vertigo and a bit of an anticlimactic finish - the hype over the Precipice is probably more targeted to the middle-aged LL Bean demographic than jaded Alaskan trekkers, but still it was an immensely rewarding excursion that triggered nostalgic memories of the playground jungle-gym (excepting for the unnerving occasional broken rung). As with the epic stepping-stones up the Perpendicular Trail, there were several times I swore I heard Sméagol on the The Stairs of Cirith Ungol. The view from the top of Champlain remains one of my personal favorites anywhere in Acadia, second only to Penobscot and Pemetic Mountains - one reason being that by this point I've accumulated enough sweat-equity of the landscape to earn intimate, first-hand knowledge of exactly what it is I'm looking at over any given view. One hour for the "non-technical climb" to the top, including many a photographic pit-stop, for a total of two-and-a-half hours round-trip (returning to the truck via the Champlain North Face and Orange & Black Trails), and it was back to the ol' drawing board.
This latest & greatest series topped off a spectacular season of experiencing Acadia National Park, notwithstanding working as a Ranger for most of it, plus the summer internship, and then bailing out to Savannah for what is arguably the most photogenic month - but that gives me something to look forward to next fall. There's still innumerable nooks & crannies to poke around that will keep us busy for the remainder of our tenure in Maine.
And as always, even more images are posted over in the "Down East" Picasa web-album...