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Sibling Camping Trip, Day Two: A Day in Acadia

by Tara

The day dawned glorious and sunny, ideal for exploring Acadia National Park. When we asked our friendly ranger what she'd do in Acadia if she had only one day here, she immediately told us we had to do the Park Loop, a 27-mile one-way driving route featuring the "best of" Acadia. So, Lian and I packed snacks, a map, and cameras and drove off to start our tour.

First, though, we visited a local lighthouse. Maine, you are so goddamned beautiful.

Shed at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Bass Harbor, Maine Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse Maine Beach Rose

After seeing the lighthouse, we drove off to the Park entrance to begin our loop. Once we'd turned onto the one-way route, there was no going back. We were one vehicle in a steady stream of cars headed in the same direction, vying for parking spaces at each scenic overlook.

Acadia National Park View from Near the Summit of Cadillac Mountain

The landscape, with its many seaside coves, rocky outcroppings, and green, green woods, was beautiful. We stopped at a beach crowded with people, where a few brave souls actually ran into the icy water. We drove to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and admired the green, blue-spattered views, stretching out for miles.

Acadia National Park Beachside Forest Acadia National Park Beach Lian Acadia National Park View from Near the Summit of Cadillac Mountain Acadia National Park View from Summit of Cadillac Mountain

Though the Loop was visually stunning, I missed how it would have been on bicycles. I missed how it would have felt to earn the views as opposed to cruise easily up to them. I missed the slowness, effort, and freedom of a bike tour. I felt lazy and confined as we ate candy and dutifully followed the car in front of us.

As well, the crowdedness of the park irked me—having so many people everywhere significantly decreased my interest in the pretty scenery. I felt like I was a sheep being herded along, being told where to go and when to stop and what to see. Lian told me that Acadia was practically empty compared to National Parks out west—apparently my tolerance for masses of people is pretty low these days!

Acadia National Park Visitors Admiring Peregrine Falcon Acadia National Park Ranger Admiring Peregrine Falcon

Obviously, since we're on a whirlwind trip, it made sense to drive the Loop. Next time we come back to Acadia, however, I'll want to go hiking, biking, or boating, far, far from the madding crowds.

Leaving the park proper, we drove to a lobster shack and enjoyed Maine's ubiquitous lobster rolls and fried clams...

Lobster Roll Fried Clams & Cole Slaw

...which we followed with a visit to Atlantic Brewing Company for some beer tastings and souvenir six-packs.

Atlantic Brewing Company Samples Atlantic Brewing Company Atlantic Brewing Company Mailbox

And we ogled the landscape, too. If it were possible to sustain oneself not on food but on scenery, I'd drink in the lupines and the sea until I was filled with flowers and salty breezes...

Maine Lupine View Maine Lupines Maine Lupines

Back at our campsite, I read a book and Lian wrote post cards, and we whiled away the afternoon...

Our Campsite at Seawall Campground, Acadia National Park

And then, we went out for blueberry pie. Supper of champions!

Frances' Homemade PIES Frances' Homemade Blueberry Pie

Pie was followed by a walk along the seawall at pinky dusk...

Acadia National Park Seawall View at Dusk Acadia National Park Seawall Rock Cairn at Dusk

...And finally a campfire, and marshmallows.

Lian by the Camp FIre

All in all, it was a gorgeous day in Maine, hangin' with my brother!