Orion and I had been planning on going to Acadia for the last 2 years and the time was finally right to take a week off and go. It was a fantastic trip filled with epic bike journeys to the top of mountains as well as several very difficult non-technical climbs that Orion did amazingly well on. The food in Maine was fantastic and we managed to have a great time despite the intense level of overcrowding that traveling to Maine in the peak of tourist season can bring.
The first day we spent 7 hours in the Boston Museum of science. There were some fantastic exhibits on Critter cams and Black holes as well as lots of other exhibits that Orion loved checking out. There was a robotic dog called Ibo and a touchscreen whiteboard where Orion showed off his Scratch programming skills by making an Octopus which consumed everyone else’s fish when it touched them then grew to take over the screen.
When we finally rolled into Acadia I had a lobster Omelet at a small diner named Jordans which turned out to have the best food we ate while we were on the island. We hiked up Gorham Mtn and then back down again then up a trail called the beehive which ascended about 500 vertical feet in over ½ mile. Orion was very scared and had never climbed anything that challenging before. There was plenty of iron rungs to hold onto which I thought made it too easy. We continued to hike into the bowl where there was a beautiful lake that we swam in and caught a large pet leech to play with. Then we did an 18 mile bike ride around 2 of the lakes and had dinner at a fantastic restaurant in Northeast Harbor named “The Coronel’s”.
The next day we went to the Tidepool school and got to learn about and handle the tide pool animals. Orion loved it when the Sea Cucumbers would squirt a stream of water out of its mouth several feet away. After that we went on a challenging 16 mile bike ride that seemed like it was mostly uphill. There were beautiful vistas but Orion burned out on the uphill sections. There were plenty of wild blueberries for me to eat while I waited for him to hike his bike up the hills. We went down to Bar Harbor at low tide to walk out to Bar Island. Orion didn’t want to walk anymore so we went swimming & snorkeling in the Ocean but it was very cold so we grabbed out wetsuits and the inflatable boat. I paddled around the island while Orion hung his head over the side with the snorkel mask on and watched all the wildlife in the water. At one point he was giggling and laughing so hard he fell in the water face first. I could hardly stop laughing myself. There was a beautiful sunset and an incredible schooner with gads of tourists on it. I told Orion “The best things in life are free.”
Our last day we had breakfast at Jordan’s again and Orion got the wild blueberry pancakes a second time! I got pretty frustrated that the Youth ranger programs were consistently full, so I asked a ranger what the toughest hike was on the island. She told us that the Precipice trail had recently reopened and was quite challenging. Orion and I headed over there and it was indeed about twice as difficult and long as the beehive. Orion made me laugh by constantly calling it the ‘Pessimist’ trail. It turned out to be Orion’s favorite part of the park visit but the climb was exceedingly challenging to be sure. It climbed up 1100 vertical feet in .9 miles. There was adults climbing the trail that had to stop because they were shaking so hard, yet Orion was incredible brave and very careful and thoughtful throughout the entire climb. After the climb we played at Sand Beech in the waves. We biked around witch pond to the visitors center then found out that the Ranger Program we had to go to was at the nature center 6 miles away. We biked like mad to get there in time and made it just as the ranger was starting to give his lecture. Orion got his Jr. ranger patch and we climbed the beehive one more time at Orion’s request before heading home.
The drive home was brutal and my stomach had a hard time adjusting from a steady diet of lobster to fast food. I spent several hours in the night cramped up with severe stomach pains and diarrhea in the back of the van. Made it back in record time but was too dehydrated and wasted to actually do computer work. It was an amazing trip and as always it’s hard to adjust to my life again.