(image courtesy of Facebook)
Fortunately last Monday we had a day off and spent the day in Acadia. I had had no faith whatsoever that a resolution would be done in time to prevent a government shutdown, and I'm not pleased to report that I was right. There were a few things we wanted to do before leaving for the season.
Sand Beach is one of the iconic features of Acadia, and we wanted to do the hike around Great Head Point. The dogs are not allowed on Sand beach before September 15th, so this was a hike we were waiting to do with them. To get at the trailhead requires crossing the beach.
There's a pretty steep set of stairs going up to the trailhead. We started going around the loop trail counterclockwise, but ran into a pretty formidable set of rocks that were going to require more climbing than Chelsea could comfortably manage. So we backtracked, and headed around the trail in the other direction, a flatter walk and we would be able to cut across a short-cut that wouldn't require as much scrambling.
The views were really nice.
Sand Beach from above.
A nice view of a mountain they call the "Beehive".
Back on the flatter ground, we had also done Acadia National Park Earthcache Challenge a couple of weeks ago. Traditional container caches are not permitted on National Park property, so there are several virtual caches. These caches usually require you to navigate to the published coordinates, and usually there's some kind of information you need to find out in order to claim the cache. This particular Earthcache is sponsered by the Park Service, and is a multi-location challenge. We ended up in five different locations throughout the park, collecting the required information needed to answer a final question. To claim the cache, we needed to go to the Visitor's Center, and tell the answer to a Park ranger. When we had finished our challenge the day we did it, it was too late to claim the cache, the Visitor's Center was closed. So we definitely wanted to get there on Monday and claim our prize: a special stamp that we had them place in our National Parks Passport book :-).
One spot we hadn't been to before was Monument Cove. We drove past it many times, but never could see the beautiful free-standing pillar until we walked down a hidden path!
One last lunch at Jordan Pond was also a necessity. Popovers, sandwiches, and then total decadence: we decided since it was the last time, we were throwing caution to the wind and having popovers a la mode for a dessert! No pictures, but it was awesome! I felt so bad for all the folks working here who had no idea if it was their last day or not.
Other than that, we've been back at work. Its quite quiet, and we've lost a few reservations due to the Park closure. We've been quite busy talking to guests about alternative recreation ideas, and quite truthfully, even though the park is officially closed, there are so many ways to access the hiking and biking trails from state roads that plenty of people are still enjoying the outdoor activities. If it become too prolonged, however, it will really be a serious issue as people cancel vacations and cruise ships go to different ports. The local economy had already taken a hit with the month late opening of the park due to the sequestration budget, and now with a late season closure at prime leaf-peeping time, it will hurt. Every lost restaurant meal, every lost tour ticket, every lost room or campsite is something the small business people will never sell again. I have been writing my representatives, and I hope everyone else is as well. Common sense needs to take over! And that's all I'll say about that.
On a final lighter note, this is Nuzzles, Casey's friend here at the campground this summer. Nuzzle's mom, Roxie, is a seasonal camper here, and has supplied us with some delicious home grown veggies this summer. Nuzzles is a Newfoundland/St. Bernard mix, and he is the most gentle, friendliest dog. They've had a really good time together :-).
We're not sure what we'll be doing for the next two days off, the weather is suppose to turn cold and rainy until Wednesday. Well, we arrived in cold and rain, and I guess we'll end that way as well! What can you do?