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Acadia, ME - October 2007

INTRO           [[more entries >> intro - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15]]

We spent one week in October 2007 (Tuesday through Monday) visiting Acadia National Park and touring the local environs. We were lucky to choose a week that was after the annual marathon, after the bulk of the tourists had left, but just as the fall color was peaking. As a farewell to the East Coast, the trip was beautiful and bittersweet.

Acadia National Park is located on Mt. Desert Island right off the coast of Maine. Because it is in the southern part of the state and located on the coast, the region is locally called "down east." These pages show a selection of our photographs from our trip.

We flew into Portland, rented a car, and then made the ~3-hour drive north to Bar Harbor where we stayed for a few nights at the Harborside Inn. We arrived just after dark but stopped at twilight to look out across the water. It was cold outside but amazing. The next morning, we gasped... it was more beautiful, more colorful, and more-everywhere than we could have imagined.

On Friday, we stopped alongside the road just south of Bar Harbor and found a beautiful lake. Trees, marsh grass, all stopping short of a rocky mountain slope dotted with trees of fall color. Quite striking!

On Thursday, it was sunny and bright and we explored the Acadia Park Loop Road. We found a high spot that looked southeast over sprawling color and a valley that led down to the seaside.

More Photos >> intro - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15


After a week in autumn paradise (our version of Eden), we headed back to Portland, ME, to catch our plane home. A sunny day of nearly 75-degF weather accompanied. We passed a lake on the west side of the island and found nearly perfect reflections of the colorful trees. We captured a number of photographs in both digital and analog formats.

On Wednesday, our tour of Acadia Park Loop Road took us across a deep canyon carved out by a small river. Looking "upstream," we got our first glimpse of the breath-taking autumn colors washed up against leaf-abandoned trees already greyed by the cooling season.


Friday was the ideal autumn day: foggy, rainy, and dramatic. Amidst intermittently fierce rain, we stood alongside several lakes and held hands as the fog swirled around the trees and framed sneak peaks at the trees. Here, we stopped alongside the road where the carriage trail swung out around a marsh. Peaceful, natural, and powerful.


The combination of trees, water, and coastline was what we found most magical. The Harborside Inn was surrounded by wonderful seasonal plantings with tall grasses, ornamental kale, and impatiens. In the sunlight, they provided a nice backdrop to the intense fiery colors of the leaves in the forests. The lower-right photo shows the land near our other point of lodging, the Inn at Ann's Point. We stumbled across this bed-and-breakfast because the Harborside had a big booking over the weekend and we needed to yield our room. It is located on the "quiet" side of the island, near Bass Harbor. Bass Harbor and nearby SW Harbor are really quite small towns, but SW Harbor was home to a restaurant named Red Sky where we ate twice. WOW, it was amazing!


E is a real photographer. She sees colors, textures, and landscapes with artistry. The Acadia forest is spread across the surface of Mt Desert Island and tucked into nooks and crannies of rocky ravines and several ravines. The peaking fall color of the deciduous trees was in high contrast to the slate grey of the worn stone and even the bristly dry crackle of the underbrush.


On our sunny Thursday, we hiked a few hundred yards off the road, perhaps illegally, along a mock tree line. The evergreen trees had small pine-cone seed pods as the macro-lens closeup shows here. We both grew up closer to Lake Michigan than the ocean and so seeing the shoreline reveal itself at low tide was surprising and fascinating each day.

As the water retreated around Ann's Point, it revealed a combination of tidal pools, tree roots, and pulpy plants. The water plants have pockets within them that fill with air during low tide so that when the water returns, they float up to the surface of the high-tide water level to retain their connection to the life-giving power of the Sun. Because we were visiting in the autumn, the tide starting running out in the morning and didn't return until the later afternoon. As a result, we didn't get a chance to get in the water with a kayak--the Inn had several, but they recommended we only go out in the water at high tide so we wouldn't run aground everywhere.


Mt. Desert Island is just one part of a seeming archipelago off the "downeast" coast. On Saturday, we drove up across the island, circled around Cadillac Mountain and came down on the west side. From atop the island, we looked over the waterfall of color streaming into the ocean below. Amazing...we just wanted to jump over the edge and follow it all the way down...


Almost everywhere we looked, it was idyllic. We arrived at the Inn at Ann's Point on Saturday evening. After a yummy breakfast the next morning, we walked around the waterfront property. Here, a hydrangea bush glows in autumn colors alongside the indoor pool house (from which you could see the ocean). During a hike off the roadside, we found safe haven under an evergreen tree.


Rain just amplifies autumnal color. The water heightens the contrast and the mist makes everything ethereal, making the transience even more dramatic. We waded into several marshes just to soak up the atmosphere. It was as if the Earth were breathing a sigh of relief and we couldn't enough of that exhaled pure oxygen. Of course, it wasn't always rainy, and we spent an equal amount of time drinking up sun-filled views of the quilted landscape, too.


And this is where T will build his shack for retirement. Alongside the welcoming rusty ferns and with an open-walled view of the marsh. Where do these colors hide during the rest of the year?


So what is a tree? It is something that makes us happy when we look at it. (Well, I guess flowers aren't trees, but still!). It was mind-boggling to look at views like this and then pull out the binoculars and see that every tree was covered with individual leaves, each of which had its own colorful music of the farewell symphony. We learned on this trip that gosh...we CAN empathize with people who build vacation homes. We never felt the urge this strongly before.


Buildings integrated with the local landscape. On Friday, we found this house enshrouded in mist and flanked by guardian maples. The Harborside Inn was carefully protected by less imposing fall plantings.


Although we are generally anti-photogenic, we thought the backdrop of the forest and the ocean would dress us up a bit. T dresses to blend with the forest and E wore her ocean-color camouflage. By coincidence!


Did we mention that there are trees in Acadia National Park?


On our subsequent Monday drive out of town, we found the view out our imaginary vacation house living-room window.


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Copyright 2007 T.I.M. & E.E.H.