We made it into Acadia before 10am to ensure we could meet Max (and his rider, Arthur). Max is the only ‘Ranger horse’ in Acadia National Park and was actually trained in Chestnut Hill, PA. It was an informative ½ hour ranger program, which really kept the kids’ interest, they asked a lot of questions and were able to stroke him afterwards. Nathan was just as excited to sit in the ranger car belonging to Arthur’s partner.
The previous day all the children had finished their Junior Ranger booklets, they just needed the 2nd ranger program, so we headed up the 52 (a sign informed you of this!) steps to the Visitor Center to receive their badges. A ranger asked them a number of questions prior to completing their certificates. She got some good answers and some blank looks (I’m not quite sure that Nathan totally understands the idea of the JR program!). They passed! This was the first time they were given ranger hats to wear for the ‘ceremony’, they held up their right hands and pledged to keep Acadia and all NPs clean and safe for the future, then received their patches – better get sewing those blankets!
Jake was eager to see the pelegrins, unfortunately the babies had apparently fledged earlier than in previous years and left the nest a couple of weeks prior, so the program was no longer running.
Instead we made our way on the one-way loop to Thunder Hole for a couple of hours of rock climbing. This area was so much fun, the rocks were a good challenge for Jake but mostly do-able for the others, we had a great time. The Dzwonczyk’s met us and the kids were thrilled to climb together. They, as a collective, decided they would climb all the way over to Sand Beach – perfect, apart from the fact that the cars were at Thunder Hole car park with all the beach stuff and lunch! Realizing logic (ie: perhaps better to get cars and drive to beach ie: turn around and return on rocks to car…..) was not going to prevail – parents were outnumbered 4 to 7 – Cindy and I returned to get the cars while the rest of the crew headed to the beach.
Sand Beach is a lot bigger than Echo Lake Beach but, true to all that we’d read, the water was chilly! Of course, undeterred by this, most of the children still ventured in, crazy souls! We spent an enjoyable afternoon, chatting and playing. We quickly learnt that eating under a towel was the best option, after Caitlin’s sandwich was rudely swiped from her hand by a passing seagull! Apparently seagulls have sharp beaks, her finger paid testament to this, poor Caitlin!
At dinnertime, we drove over to the Jordon Pond House on the off chance that they had an available table. This is a very popular location to eat as you overlook the North and South Bubbles – two mountains, the South one with a rock on top that appears to be balanced precariously, ready to fall off at any moment. However, it’s always been there and though many have tried to push it off (the entire local football team went up a couple of years ago apparently!), it remains in its postition, through all attempts and weathers.
We were interested to try ‘popovers’, the thing to eat at Jordon Pond. No-one had described them to us exactly but evidently, that’s what they’re famous for. When they were served, Dave and I immediately said: ‘yorkshire puddings’! Yes, essentially, they’re oversized Yorkshires, hot from the oven, served with butter and jam: delicious! We ate outside, surrounded by the beauty of Acadia, it was perfect.
Dave realized the time was getting close to sunset, so rather than head back to the campground, he headed up Cadillac Mountain, where we got out to watch the sun set over the water from our high vantage point. It really was a wonderful sight, a perfect end to a long, but fun, day.
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)