The last time we visited Acadia National Park, Acadia Mountain was the most strenuous hike of our trip. There are several steep sections, but for a short hike of a mile each way, to a summit of 681′, you are rewarded with some of the best views in the park. There are sections on either side of the summit with almost sheer 12′-15′ granite walls that require Chloë be raised or lowered by her harness and leash. Otherwise, she manages to scramble up and down the trail pretty well, with Mark providing a safety line and extra boost or brake, as needed.
It turned out to be a much warmer day than we had anticipated and the open granite trails that make for such good views also mean a sultry hike when the sun is out. We all tend to be “full steam ahead” hikers. We pack a nice lunch and stop often for a drink or to take in a view, but when we gain momentum on a section of trail, we go as fast as we can. Chloë is, perhaps, the worst offender and she likes to be out in front. At one point, after a particularly long, steep section, we stopped on a ledge to catch our breath and have a drink. Mark and I were leaning against a boulder that began the next ascent. Chloë drank some water, then started fussing and trying to climb the boulder. We picked her up thinking she wanted to be closer to our level or seek some shade. She immediately continued up the trail, looking back as if to ask why we were slacking.
The summit was crowded, which is not really our thing, so we didn’t hang around long, but our effort was rewarded with the sighting of what we initially thought was a peregrine falcon. I’m not really a bird enthusiast and I can’t figure out what it is exactly, perhaps just a buzzard, but on closer inspection it is clearly not a peregrine. Oh well, it was still interesting to see it riding the thermals out beyond the cliffs before it flew just overhead. In the distance, you can see a layer of fog beginning to cover the southeast coast. By dinnertime, the fog had moved up the sound and into Somes Harbor, where it would stay through the following day.