Acadia National Park, ME
October 7, 2009
Rain, rain, rain, laundry, grocery shopping, rain, rain, rain.
October 8-9, 2009
By chance the van was parked facing due east and we were awakened by a golden glow streaming through the curtain, what a welcome sight . . . sunshine.
With directions in hand we found an entrance to the carriage roads of Acadia National Park for today’s bike ride. The carriage roads were a gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and family who had summered here and ironically saw the increase in the number of cars as a threat to his idyllic island getaway. In reaction to this he constructed carriage roads for horse and foot traffic only and by 1941 had built 41 miles of roads throughout the east side of the island, the first roads on his Seal Harbor estate and later roads were constructed in the park on land which Mr. Rockefeller acquired and later turned over to the park. He oversaw much of the construction and design of the roads and bridges. Today biking or hiking these carriage roads is a beautiful way to see the park away from the traffic and at this time of year away from the crowds.
We rode for hours up and down gentle grades along lakes and ponds with views to the mountains and always the glorious colors of fall. It was a delightful day ending at Jordon Pond for a cup of soup and views down the grassy lawn to the pond.
At the end of the day we dined on left over’s from the previous nights wonderful meal at Jack Russell’s, thanks Peggy for the recommendation.
Our second day in the park was spent on the loop road, also designed by Rockefeller to show off the attributes of the park. He maintained high aesthetic standards in design and preserved the natural beauty by hiring landscape architect Frederick Olmsted to lay out many of the routes. The loop offers a great variety of terrain from tidal basins to mountain top vistas and although it was an overcast day the leaves were dazzling along the drive.
Senses overwhelmed we stopped near the campground for dinner at the Chart Room; they know how to prepare seafood, excellent charbroiled local scallops for me and Atlantic halibut for George, accompanied by a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc . . . Life is Good!