Saturday, November 10, 2012

Enveloped in Northeastern Wonder: Walking the Precipice to a Lobster Dinner

After Stuffing Ourselves Full of Fish in Bar Harbor we headed back into Acadia National Park to take on the Precipice trail. This trail is one of the most exposed trails, not only in Acadia, but in the national park system. The caution sign we encountered when we got to the trail concluded with by calling your attention to the fact that, “persons have received serious injuries and others have died on this mountain side!” 

We decided to brave the dangers and tackle the trail. 

We soon encountered some lovely fall colors, which proved to be a recurring trend throughout the hike. 

We also encountered a wide variety of ladders, bridges, and iron bars along the way to provide support and assist hikers in getting up and over the rocks. It was well worth braving these obstacles though, as we encountered spectacular views around every corner! These pictures capture the essence of our ascent. 

At long last we officially cheated death and reached the top to claim victory over the Precipice Trail.

We decided to take a different trail to get back down, and once we reached the road we took this picture of where we had just been. 

The hike had just about used up the last of the daylight, but Acadia had one last gift for us that night before we returned to our campsite.

After seeing such a beautiful sunset we were even more eager to brave the early morning hours and the cold to watch the sun rise from the top of Mt. Cadillac the next morning. Mt. Cadillac is the highest point in Acadia National Park and as such is often the very first place touched by the rays of the rising sun as it comes up over the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.

I saw a lot of beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean when I was at school at Point Loma, but I had never seen a sunrise to compare with this one.

Once the sun was up we took advantage of low tide to visit the bar of land than runs from Bar Harbor to the aptly named Bar Island. It was not as charming as we had expected, but was certainly interesting, and rather fun to think that we were walking on land which would soon be covered in water. 

After packing up camp it was time to leave the park and continue our journey. But we did not yet have to say goodbye to Maine. We had two more stops on the day’s agenda.

The first was in Brunswick where we paid a visit to the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain House. If you know me very well you likely know that I am a great admirer of Chamberlain. In fact, you will note in the pictures below that I am wearing a shirt which declares that “Joshua Chamberlain is my homeboy.” After portraying Chamberlain in several different programs when I worked on the National Mall and reading about him often, I was particularly excited about this stop.

Alison humored me and, despite the rain, which returned shortly before we arrived in Brunswick, we toured the house and stopped by the graveyard where Chamberlain rests. It was very special for me to get to see the place where one of my heroes lived for the better part of his life. 

Our final stop in Maine was a bit out of the way, but we couldn’t pass it up. We were about to leave the state of Maine and had not eaten lobster. That simply wouldn’t do.

Before going further you need to know that Alison and I have recently been drawn into the Travel Channel show “Man vs. Food.” The show essentially consists of the host, Adam Richman, traveling around the nation “in search of the country’s greatest pig out spots,” as he puts it. He loves puns and making corny jokes about the food before he eats it, which basically makes it one of the best shows on television.

In one of the episodes Adam goes to Maine in search of the best Lobster. He finds it at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights on the rocky shores of Cape Elizabeth, just East of Portland Maine.  We decided that if we were going to get lobster we might as well do it at the best place in Maine! 

The experience proved to be everything we hoped for. The Lobster Shack sits perched on the rocky coast in a place where no one would ever find it unless they knew to look for it. Founded by Jim Leadbetter alongside his wife Ruth’s Candle Shack, the Lobster Shack continues to serve customers despite the loss of its founders in 2010 and 2012 respectively.  Alison tried a famous Lobster Roll and I took on the big boy himself. It was an experience to remember! In the words of Adam Richman, in the annals of food history,  on this day… man won. 

For more pictures Click Here

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