2014-07-30 Episode 3 - Jordan Pond and South Bubble - finally a hike for my day off

After my "failed" hike at Beech Cliffs and a visit to the oceanarium, I still wanted to get a good hike in on our day off. The swelling on my shin was gone with only a colorful blue-purple blemish remaining (lovely), so I decided to go for a short hike. Caught the shuttle once again and hiked around Jordan Pond and over South Bubble. The hike around Jordan Pond is easy and beautiful, followed by a short workout up the face of south bubble. Short and sweet, and oh so scenic.

Ran into one young couple trying to go DOWN the face of south bubble with their dog! A bit scary but okay for people, but not fair to a dog. I appreciate that this is one of the few national parks allowing dogs on the trails, but they are not allowed on ladder trails, and shouldn't be allowed on any trail with rungs. Going down steep rock scrambles is especially not fair to a dog - he can't grab the rungs! Poor pup had all brakes on...he clearly knew this wasn't a good idea...come on folks, go around the back way where the walking is easy and there are no rungs.

About a mile of cedar planks up the west side of Jordan Pond

A half mile of rock pathway

Around the north end, trail changes to packed gravel

Beautiful big red blooms

Looking south towards Jordan Pond House

Now for a little scrambling up South Bubble

It's a very fast half mile

A couple of scrambles and one iron rung

Looking to the west, you can see the carriage road, on the side of Penobscot

Fantastic views looking south over Jordan Pond

Just a little more up

Bubble Rock "hanging" over a steep drop-off

The little summit of South Bubble

2014-07-30 Episode 2 - Oceanarium

Still trying to make the most of our day off, and since the swelling on my shin was down (after a good icing), we went to Mt Desert Oceanarium, just around the corner from home.

Really enjoyed this place, fascinating - and the only lobster hatchery in the U.S. They have tanks displaying Maine lobster, spiny lobster (the little guys from the keys) and a fabulous blue lobster. The highlight for me was the hatchery...a big mama with eggs, little tubes with individual tiny babies, and huge tubes loaded with the bigger babies which are then released on the ocean floor. In Maine, lobstering regulations mean that lobstermen have to release a lot of the lobster caught in their traps - too big, too little, or females with eggs have to be released. (In many other areas such as down in Massachussetts, they can keep the big ones but in Maine, any lobster not within the 3.5 minumum to 5 inch maximum carapice has to be released.)

At the hatchery for a short presentation

The little tiny babes (can you see them?) separated in little tubes

Mama lobster with her eggs

As the babes grow, released into these big tubes

Lots of little guys ready to be released

2014-07-30 Long Pond, Echo Lake and Beech Cliff ladder trail

We started out early with a drive down the 102 to the little lakes on the west side of the island; first to Long Pond which is sheltered between Mansell and Beech Mountains in a beautiful, quiet setting; the national park rents canoes to enjoy this protected and serene lake, Someday I hope to hike the Perpendicular Trail up Mansell, but today the plan was to hike the Beech Cliff ladders.  So after a brief stop at Long Pond, we went to enjoy the warm waters of Echo Lake. This is a popular lake for swimming; you can also snorkel to see a sheer drop off into a deep abyss. After relaxing for a while, Gary drove home while I headed up the Beech Cliffs ladder trail.

Unfortunately, the trail was a little wet, and after climbing up all the steps and enjoying the views, just before the first ladder, I slipped and banged my shin. I stood at the bottom of that first ladder and debated whether I should continue. My shin just below the knee swelled up with a bump the size of a tennis ball, and since we don't have $15,000 sitting around to pay for a helicopter rescue...I opted to head back down. Called Gary and told him to come back towards the lake, bring an ice pack....guess you could say that mountain kicked my a$$ and sent me crying home waahhh.

Later in the season, we did hike this trail and it turns out, I was a very short distance from the top - just a short stroll and two more ladders! Had I known, I may have continued. But this day, the mountain (or little hill, as the case may be) won.

At the south end of Long Pond

The beach and swimming area at Echo Lake

Beech Cliffs where the short but sweet ladder trail makes its way up

And up it goes

Quickly reaching a ledge with a view over Echo Lake

Granite steps climbing the steep hillside

Still more steps

This is where I slipped after stepping through a wet area

The first little ladder

Waahhhh, waiting for the shuttle to meet Gary up the road

My ride to meet up with Gary and an ice pack

Sentimental Journey at the Bar Harbor Airport

The Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" was in Trenton at the Bar Harbor Airport (just down the road from us) for a week or so, offering tours of the plane and scenic flights. A ride would cost $425 or more, depending on where you ride. We opted to just check it out on the ground...she is one of the few left. The flights are so costly because the maintenance and fuel is astronomically expensive. Won't be long before she's retired.


This glider was available for scenic flights over Acadia