Birds Eye View

Today I attempted my most challenging hike since arriving – Champlain Mountain.  Leaving from the Sand Beach area (at sea level), I was wearing my still new hiking boots and carrying my new backpack for the first time.   Throughout the winter months I had left the backpack at home, because it just didn’t work too well with a bulky winter jacket.

The hike was about five miles round trip.   The afternoon brought intermittent clouds, and decent temperatures of 45 – 50 degrees depending on where I was on the mountain.

Remember you can click on any image to view full screen, then use your “back” button to return to the post.

Terrain de jour

The first section of the hike is a series of dirt and stone steps carved into the mountainside – hats off to the trail crew at Acadia, an amazing job of making this section of the trail accessible.    About three quarters of a mile up the mountain, I was treated to “The Bowl”, a pond carved into the mountain tens of thousands of years ago by glacial ice.  Let me tell you, it felt great to take my shoes off and stick my feet into that icy cold water on the way back down the mountain.   The picture below is a view taken a few hundred feet higher elevation past the pond.

Looking back at "The Bowl", with the Atlantic Ocean beyond

 

Having passed “The Bowl”, the terrain turned quickly into upward boulder scrambling.  Thankfully, there were breaks with more gradual uphill walking in between the rock to rock climbing.  There were plenty of photo ops on the way up, so I didn’t hesitate to use picture-taking as an excuse to give myself a break from climbing!

That little of stretch of yellow is Sand Beach, my starting point!

 

Champlain mountain, like most of the peaks in this mountain range are deceptive.   Rather than a definitive “peak”, the mountaintops are “ranges” that stretch on containing a series of peaks.   Just when you think you see the “top”, you climb up to it and behold:  another “peak” is just ahead.   You know you’ve reached top when you find the elevation marker.

 

I'm getting closer to the top.........I think.

As I’m  trekking along and looking at the magnificent views all around me, I’m beginning to get a sense of how the birds must feel flying these mountain ranges and the way they see this land.   Just as I’m having these thoughts, a seagull flies effortlessly over me, and I have a pang of jealously as by now I’m definitely “feeling the burn” in my legs.  Ah, to be that free and unfettered.

 

Looking north over "Frenchman's Bay"

After an hour and forty-five minutes of climbing and resting (no land speed records set by this girl), I find my marker.  I DID IT!!

 

Mission Accomplished!

 

Now writing this a few hours later, with a new blister or two, a little windburn and some tired knees I feel really good about what I accomplished today.  If someone had told me a year ago that I would be climbing mountains in Acadia, I would not have believed it.  Life can change in hurry, sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Carol Page-Potter

I am a woman in the midst of reconnecting with life after the death of my husband.

Posted on April 4, 2012, in Hikes, Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Congrats – you’re in better shape than me. You’d have had to put me on your shoulders and carried me back.

  2. David Patterson

    Congratulations! Your pics and words make me want to get back out there 🙂

  3. I thought you’d appreciate Don’s response to your current blog. He was sitting here at the computer when he looked up and said “We should tell Carol we were on top of the mountain too. Only difference is we drove up.” lol! Jinny Wilt

  4. Awesome views! That should rev up the old metabolism! Looks like this was a great time of year to do that hike. How is the snake population with all those rocks in the summer? That was the great thing in Colorado – at 8,000′ there are no snakes!

    • Haven’t seen any snakes yet, have heard there are garters and black (or is rat) snakes. I don’t think snakes are a big deal here. Posionous snakes in Acadia? I did see some black spiders on the beach rocks the other day.

  5. Karin Anderson

    Never seen a snake in Acadia, yet.

    I hope, your blister will go away soon – I can relate to that, though mine came from walking city streets, including cobble stone paved medieval ones in Wismar and Rostock.

    I still have your Shore Path photo on my desktop.
    Greet the kitties, I hope they behave!

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