Sunday, October 19, 2014

Acadia National Park - The Carriage Trails

It's been quite a busy fall for biking without much time for blogging.  I'll see if I can redeem my scant last post with one with some more pictures. 

Luckily, the College of the Atlantic was having a family and friends weekend which gave us a great excuse to take a day off and camp in Acadia for 2 nights.  We picked up annual passes for both us and my daughter to encourage ourselves to go back.  The nights dipped into the 30s and the days weren't much warmer when we were riding.
Much Needed Campfire
The moon was a level of beautiful that absolutely cannot be captured by a smart phone.  But at least I tried.
Moon Over The Ocean From Rocks By Blackwoods Campground

We planned on taking the whole day Saturday to ride wherever the carriage roads took us.  I'm not sure if everybody does it this way, but when we set out to ride the carriage trails, we rode them all.  Well, almost all of them.  We rode a few twice and skipped a few due to, ahem, navigational errors.  Day Mountain was the first place on our list.  We had the whole thing to ourselves except for a midget in the trees that offered to take our picture.
One Pretty View
After Another
On our way down we did come across a few horse drawn carriages which seemed like a fun way to see the trails...if you didn't have a bike.  We approached with caution and asked the drivers if we could pass.  They appreciated our asking and we were on our way. 

Bubble Pond
We skirted Bubble Pond, previewing the trails we would be doing in the dark the next day.  The reflections were amazing. 
One of many spectacular stone bridges in the middle of the woods.
Stopping at at The Jordon Pond House for a cup of coffee seemed like a good idea until we found that enjoying a cup of hot brew involved getting on a waiting list, being seated, being served and sitting in a sea or tourists... so we left.  We road 5 miles to this spot and had lunch.
Lunch Spot, Not a Tourist in Sight.
From there we made our way to the northern end of the island and to COA to jump in the ocean and play a pickup game of Quidditch.  My wife jumped in the ocean, I played Quidditch.
This is the Ocean, In October, In Maine - Nuff Said
Aside from playing a made up game and feeling like on idiot running around with a broom between your legs the game had enough rules to make it a fun and competitive sport.  Unfortunately it didn't have enough people to carry that out.
Live Quidditch Action
From there it was back to the campsite for dinner.  We took mostly carriage roads back to Seal Harbor and Rt 3 from there.  For some unknown reason, the carriage roads on private land are closed to bicycles but there is no exit to the roads even though the roads and paths cross so there was a little tromping through the woods.  I've yet to figure out why bikes aren't allowed on private carriage roads and horses are.  At least my bike doesn't shit on the trail.
Home Sweet Home
My daughter came to join us for a campfire and dinner before she headed off to a show.  We on the other hand were making it an early night because we had plans.  At 0-dark thirty (O-dark = 5) we road out of the campground on a combination of the park loop and carriage trails to get to the top of Cadillac Mt for sunrise.  At this time of year the summit of Cadillac is the first place in the US to see the sunrise.  The park loop road was amazing - 1 car for the whole time we were on it.  The carriage roads were even better - not a soul to be seen.  Then we turned up the road to the summit.  We were passed by about 200 cars in 3.5 miles.  That's a lot of cars on a dead end road.  After a good climb, we got to the top to find where all those cars were: Everywhere!  All the lots were full, the sides of the road were lined on both sides and cars were backing down the road between them.  I guess we weren't the only ones with that idea.

I was able to get a glimpse of the sun through the people

We stopped at the top long enough to have coffee and some Biscotti while our bikes took a rest. 
Our Bikes Had Fun too.
On the way back to the road we had one woman ask "Do you need Chocolate and Peanut Butter".  We looked back slightly puzzled.  I wondered if they were filming some kind of candid camera recess commercial.  We polity declined saying that we had just finished our biscotti but I do still wonder what kind of chocolate she was offering and if we should have taken some.  I've heard bad things about taking candy from strangers so I think we made the right choice. 

The 7+ mile downhill with no cycling effort was brutally cold.  We road the rest of the park loop road back to the campsite stopping a few places along the way and still got back to the site to have it packed up and on the road by 9:30.  We stopped back at the college to say goodby on our way out of town.

On our way back through we made a pitstop at the The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory and Fort Knox for a picnic. 
We're Going Up There
 The little windows at the top of the picture above are where I am standing in the picture below.  If you are taking the coastal route to Acadia it is worth the stop if the day is clear.
Amazing 360 degree view from the top.

Can't Wait To Go Back!

Monday, October 13, 2014

515 Miles in 2 Weeks Might Be a Record for Me

Between my normal commutes, a few long rides around the Cumberland Fair and 3 charity events, that's what I have logged.  The statute of limitations is expiring on this post so I'm going to make it brief. 

Loon Echo Trek

Set out to ride 100 miles.  Got lost. Road 111 miles.  Made some new biking friends from our own town.  Had a beer and some chicken and went home.

Fight Back Festival/Not Dead Yet Ride

$125 Raised. Road with the fast group.  Finished 60 miles in a shade over 3 hours.  Nobody was at the finish line when we crossed.  Had a beer and a hamburger and went home.

The Dempsey Challenge 2014

$1100 Raised.  ($1.1M for the whole event) The weather was perfect.  I road with my wife for the whole event.  Had a beer and a lobster and went home.

Normally I post pictures (the "candid" part) but I don't have any so I am offering a full refund for anybody that feels they were slighted.

OK, now I can post a weekend at Acadia blog.