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long-ago adventures in camping, day 2

Over a year ago—July 22, 2013, in fact—we were still camping in Bar Harbor. After a fun family day I left Leah and the boys and headed out with Rascal and our then-childless friends for a hike up Dorr Mountain.

Becca climbing up an exposed path, passing under a block of granite

an interesting trail

We started at Sieur de Monts spring and ranger station and headed up the steeper east side of the mountain (alas, our trail map is lost—temporarily misplaced?—so I can't give proper trail names). One of the fun things about hiking Dorr is that it rises right above the shore and the town of Bar Harbor, so there's a great view the whole way up.

a view of the islands around Bar Harbor from halfway up Dorr Mtn

the view from halfway

It was a hot day, and we were in full sun the whole way up. Whenever we paused Rascal worked hard to find the coolest spot he could.

Rascal lying down in a patch of wet sand, panting

there's some water in that sand

We were delighted to make it to the summit, but for one thing: it was still too early for lunch!

the cairn and sign at the top of Dorr Mtn


As we paused and enjoyed the view and some water and snacks, we couldn't help but notice the crowds on the top of Cadillac Mountain, just across the saddle from Dorr. For those of you not familiar with Acadia, Cadillac is the highest peak in the park (at 1,528 feet, truly the Cadillac of mountains!), and there's an auto road up to the top. I'd never climbed it before, doubting the satisfaction of walking up all that way just to find a parking lot and a crowd of people in flip-flops, but since we had a little bit of extra time we thought we could give it a shot. The way was steep but short, and before long we were standing on the highest point within 25 miles of the Atlantic coast of the United States (really, look it up). And it was crowded.

lots of people wandering around on a paved area atop Cadillac Mtn

a couple people

Actually, I'm not even sure we made it to the summit proper; it was hard to tell where it was exactly and we weren't about to walk across the parking lot to check if it was over on the other side. Probably not, right? I figured it was close enough and posed for a picture.

Dan standing on top of Cadillac Mtn, with Frenchmans Bay and the Schoodic Peninsula in the background

me at the top

I'm currently using a cropped version of this shot for the photo on my work Google+ account, but this full version, complete with delightful lounger, reveals the true reality of the scene.

Still and all, it was fun to be so high up, and since the mountaintop is large and gently rounded we were able to find a pretty secluded spot for lunch. And we enjoyed all the more being able to head back the way we came and leave the crowds mostly behind for scenes like the following, taken on the trail down the gorge between Cadillac and Dorr.

a pool next to the trail in a rocky gorge, with lots of hikers above it in the background

almost big enough to swim in

Further down the trail we saw a deer and fawn in a clearing, but I failed to get a good photograph. Deer are common enough here in Bedford, but it felt like something special to see one out in the real woods! Then before we knew it we were back among the crowds around the ranger station and on our way back to camp.

While we were gone so long—well into the middle of the afternoon—the boys had been having fun with Leah, and they were capping their adventurous day with a swim it the lovely heated campground pool (which it seems I haven't ever managed to take a picture of). I was just too late to swim with them, but I did get to hang out on the playground to watch Harvey being brave.

Harvey at the top of a tall metal slide

look how high that is

Also Zion being cute.

a close-up of Zion's cutey face with blurry playground equipment behind him

having fun his own way

We played some bocce ball while Becca and Andrew worked on dinner—and it was truly a masterpiece of campground cuisine, a chicken pot pie cooked in the campfire. Just look at that Pillsbury crescent on top!

a pot pie in a dutch oven on the grass

campground luxury

For the adults nothing could top the pie, but Harvey and Zion were even more excited by the after dinner surprise of glow-sticks supplied by our friends.

Harvey sitting in a camp chair holding a red glowstick

the coolest thing ever

Yes, he may not look super-excited there, but that's because he was also collapsing from fatigue. He loved the glow-stick, and even though he's seen one or two other ones since then he still talks about that one at camp. Of course, these day's it's pretty much all camp talk all the time around here, as we get ready to take off on 2014's journey in a couple days. I'm excited too: thus this post here. And I need to finish all of last year's story before we can get started on this year's!

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