October at Jordan Pond
The weather’s turned a bit “dodgy” here lately; with rain systems coming and going. So when I wake up and the sun is shining; I roust myself out of bed and head out to the next hiking destination on my list.
I wanted to be sure to hit the Jordan Pond area this fall; but even this late in the season you need to arrive early to beat the crowd. And now that the free shuttle service (Island Explorer) has finished for the season, parking is this area is even more of challenge.
My first destination was to hike up to West Branch and Cliffside Bridges which take you in the opposite direction of Jordan Pond. I was hoping for some good fall color, but the skies were bright and cloudless and in spite of my early start; it was likely that any color I did see would be washed out in my photographs. But you work with what you have, and my first stop at the West Branch Bridge overlook gave me the view pictured below. (East toward Little Long Pond, Seal Cove, and out to the Atlantic Ocean).
Next stop, just up the next hill, was my favorite bridge in the Carriage Road system – Cliffside Bridge. From here you get spectacular views of the some of the mountains and valleys that make up this part of Acadia.
After this stop, I turned and headed back in the direction I started, but at the “junction”, made another turn and started the long, gradal climb up the carriage road that hugs the side of Sargent Mountain and overlooks Jordan Pond.
It was along this stretch of road (pictured above) that I encountered one of the more foolish tourists of the season – coasting DOWN the hill on his bike and videotaping. Thankfully, ONE of us was paying attention (that would be me), and we both escaped unscathed. Have I mentioned how ready I am for the tourists to leave?
Upon reaching Deer Brook bridge, I took the rocky trail leading down the mountain where I was able to connect with the Jordan Pond trail. Here I encountered the “please don’t make me hike up a hill while I’m at Acadia” set. This is a busy, busy path except in the winter when the winds are howling down off the mountaintops and whipping the pond into icy waves (bet those folks won’t be here THEN). As I navigated around them, and tried to find locations to shoot photos from behind trees (to cut the glare) I got to enjoy such questions as: “Is this a salt lake”? Ummmm, no it’s freshwater glacial (have I mentioned how ready I am for the tourists to leave?).
Almost at the end of my hike, I took this last shot (below) of Jordan Pond with the infamous “Bubbles” mountains at the opposite end. At this point, I had been hiking for three hours and the “lunch crowd” had descended upon Jordan Pond House to gobble up the traditional “popovers” (which in spite of being a really touristy thing to do, ARE quite delicious). As I pulled out of my coveted parking spot, the first person “in line” had a big smile. It’s nice to make people happy.