Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring 44: Hoarding Up Sun

Monday, May 2, 2011
4:20am-6:20am, Anvil Trail and Loop Road, Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia NP, ME
cold, windy, very clear except for low bank of clouds on horizon

My first visible sunrise of the residency! It was very cold and windy on my rocky vista point, but beautiful. On my walk home, I saw my first bald eagles – a pair of them, graceful and dark in flight, cruising over a marshy wetland. Pretty thrilling, though once they landed they were more clumsily-shaped than I had imagined.

9am-2pm, western part of Mt. Desert Island: Wonderland Trail, Beech Cliffs Trail, Acadia Mountain
sunny, warm, slight breeze

I can’t seem to get out of “do-it-all” mode. It’s the last sunny day predicted for my time in Acadia, and I feel compelled to take in my fill of the weather and the outdoors, so that I can peacefully work indoors the rest of the week.

The Wonderland trail is only a little over a mile-long loop, but is noted for birds, so I had to check it out. Meet the bird of the day, this fellow, here:

Then, couldn’t resist hitting up the Beech Cliffs Trail, which has lots of stone stairs and the slim metal ladders that Acadia is famous for. It was scary stuff going up, but WAY scarier going down! Yikes! Thin, slippery rungs made wet by my own shoes. They are bolted, but within a bit of a U-clamp, so that they can shift a few milimeters and make alarming sounds as you work your way down.

I was shamelessly cautious, clinging to the woven metal ropes and inching my way from steep stairs to vertical ladders. I am amazed they are accessible to the public, given the obvious liability. Suffice it to say no national park could get away with building such things now – they are a welcome vestige of a less lawsuit-obsessed era.

Lunch is at the summit of Acadia Mountain, with breath-taking vistas of Somes Sound, Echo Lake, and several surrounding peaks and islands. I feel lucky, and maybe a little sunburnt (which, after the long winter, is another kind of luck!).

Turkey vultures circle gracefully over the valley before me, a truly stunning sight. Thankfully, they are too far away for me to smell their urine-soaked (bathed!) feet, whose reek and function Ranger Angi has warned me of.


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