Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Monday, September 30, 2013

Winding Down and Around

Our days are winding down here at Mount Desert Narrows. Two weeks left. I feel as if I've left so much un-done. The weather has been partially to blame, it really wasn't an extremely nice summer in this area of the country. It has been very wet, especially on our days off! It is what it is, however, and as we've had shorter days at work the past month, we have done a bit of exploring in Acadia.

The Carriage Roads of Acadia is a feature I have not yet written about. Sherry has written a great post about them here, so why re-invent the perfect wheel when she has done such a good job explaining :-)?. When our work day started ending at 4PM, it was time to get out and start exploring the carriage roads as best we could, of course at Chelsea's pace!

The carriage roads are America's best example of broken-stone roads commonly used at the turn of the 20th century. They are true roads, approximately 16 feet wide, constructed with methods that required much hand labor. Road crews quarried island granite for road material and bridge facing.

Speaking of bridges, there are 17 stone-faced bridges, each unique in design spanning streams, waterfalls, roads and cliffsides. This is Hemlock Bridge.

Waterfall bridge, with a very tiny trickle in the background. It had actually been dry for a couple of weeks when we took the walk here :-).

The bridges are steel-reinforced concrete, but the use of native stone for the facing gives them their natural appearance. Over time, the stone cutters became very skilled, and were asked by Rockefeller to not cut the facing too perfectly, losing the rustic look!

Casey always enjoys his walks.

Large blocks of granite line the roads serving as guardrails. Cut roughly and set irregularly, the coping stones add to the rustic feel of the roads. They are affectionately known as "Rockefeller's teeth".

The roads were aligned to follow the contours of the land to preserve the line of hillsides and save as many trees as possible.

The roads are also graded so they were not too steep or too sharply curved for horse drawn carriages. That was the original intent behind the carriage roads; Rockefeller was very disturbed by the advent of the automobile intruding upon the serene beauty of the Island. In an effort to keep the automobile as far away as possible, he had these carriage roads built so the wealthy "cottagers" would be able to continue their travels across the island by carriage.

I always like this view of the "Bubbles" across Jordan Pond.

Cobblestone Bridge, the only bridge that is completely faced in cobblestones.

The workmanship is beautiful.

There are also two Gate Lodges in the system. This one is at Jordan Pond, the entrance to many of the carriage roads. 

All in all there are over 45 miles of these rustic carriage roads, the gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and family. His construction efforts from 1913 to 1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape that endure today. Each year, the Friends of Acadia contibutes more than $200,000.00 for carriage road maintenance. Their use is still strictly maintained for pedestrian, biker, and horseback rider use only. We have found them to be wildly popular with the visitors here at Acadia. Even though we always have other people using the roads, though, the sense of quiet and peacefulness is always there.It has been a wonderful place to take our afternoon walks!

6 comments:

  1. This is a great post Karen. Thanks for referencing mine but you sure didn't need to. You got around to a lot of bridges on your walk. Chelsea must have been tired. Glad you are having more time toward the end of you assignment. We really loved Acadia and would go back in a heartbeat but then we could just chill if it rained.

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  2. Wonderful Post Karen!!! We just loved Acadia and really hope to go back again in the near future. Once you get off the Loop Road and visit the trails and carriage roads, it just gets in your blood;o)) One of the best places we have ever been and thanks for taking us back for a brief moment!! Hope the weather treats you well for the last two weeks and you get to visit more of the park:o))

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  3. We certainly enjoyed our time there too. The carriage roads are fantastic!
    All of your pictures are great, but my favorite one is of Al and Casey. They both look very happy.
    Syl

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  4. Great post! We only saw a little bit of the carriage roads while we were in Acadia several years ago, so I really enjoyed seeing them through your pictures. Enjoy your last couple of weeks in Maine!

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  5. All of you "dreamers" gave such great travelogues this summer of that whole area. We are looking forward to seeing it someday.

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  6. Great pictures! When we left there, we knew we had left many sights unseen. It just means you will have to go back again:)

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