Sunday, March 18, 2012

Soluitur Ambulando

View from Norumbega of the Western Mountains

Soluitur ambulando: Latin proverb for "the matter is solved by walking." After so much immersion and focus on the political wasteland and contentious issues, it's purging to take a nice, long hike. More than drawing editorials at least. One last time (we'll see how many times I get away with that line over the next few days before departure), and this was the final summit left on the list as far as checking out every single high point in the Acadia National Park.

View from Norumbega of Sargent Mountain

Norumbega is the last little mountain on the eastern lobe of Mount Desert Island, hugging the shoreline of Somes Sound, and through it's peek-a-boo views provides a panorama the Sargent Mountain cluster, the Cranberry Islands and North East Harbor, and the Western Mountains. The "Goat Trail" climbs a quick 550 feet from the trailhead, and the pulloff area was congested with a fleet of fellow outdoor enthusiasts all taking advantage of the freakish turn of weather. We had previously attempted this same hike about a month ago, and were forced to turn back on account of the voluminous overflow of ice that cascaded down the mountain and obscured the trail. This time, with temps almost reaching seventy degrees, it was a flashback to some of the hotter hikes last summer season. Still, no worry and no hurry was the motto today.

View from Norumbega of Cranberry Islands

That wasn't much of an issue until we reached the one-third mark around the 3.1 mile loop, and the path traversed the open ridgeline across granite slabs and winding through stands of gnarly, twisted Jack pine. Fortunately a nice ocean breeze picked up, which also helped to somewhat mask the traffic noise, unfiltered by foliage, that carried up out of the valley below. 

We met only one other local couple on the trail, who became members of the Bird-Dog fan club. She thoroughly enjoyed this outing, lagging behind and wagging her behind over what apparently was a cornucopia of smells along the way. This was the third week of twice-daily treatment after testing positive for Lyme disease, and she seemed much improved in spirit and energy. After needing a few helpful boosts up the steeper sections, it was all downhill for the last couple miles, including an easy shoreline section around Lower Hadlock Pond during the "magic hour," then back to the truck, and, as opposed to backpacking, back to packing.

“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

Lower Hadlock Pond


  1. Nice description and pictures. Kelley has also done all the peaks at Acadia.

  2. Thanks - I met many folks who "bag 'em all" in one summer visit, but I preferred the slow & steady route, plodding over the course of a year, which was more of an extended slow reveal, or seeing the forest AND the trees. It makes a more intimate experience, like a crock-pot approach versus fast-food - the hectic overkill a lot of visitors tend to get swept along with all the seasonal crowds.
    And yet there are still so many nook and crannies left unexplored, not to mention the vast expanses of the North country, Baxter State Park + Katahdin. And this little body of water known as the Atlantic...

  3. I had the perfect trip to Baxter and Katahdin in 1983. Amazing place.

  4. By all accounts, and we got the distinct impression that Acadia is useful as a distraction to concentrate everybody else's attention while the local residents enjoy the bountiful and beautiful resources of the REST of the state.
    I figure since I get everything else bass-ackwards in life I'll just get a "winter" vacation home here in Down East so as to avoid the depths of Alaskan winters in relative luxury. Soon as I get rich & famous...