Sargent and Penobscot – Acadia National Park

Sar Pen hike1

The same evening as the great smoker disaster ( not really)  we mentioned that we were planning on doing a hike the next day..  our hosts suggested  visiting the peaks of Sargent and Penobscot mountains.. in that order – one of their favorites…   The brief plan was to park at the  Jordon Pond House and hike along the pond ( west side)  towards the Bubbles…  much of this path is  a built up boardwalk that is intended to minimize the impact of hikers on the fragile shoreline..   it was here that we encountered the snake..   it looked a bit menacing, but it really just wanted to get off the path..   as fortune would have it,  the hikers coming towards us at that moment happened to be snake experts..  they quickly identified it as a male  king snake, and told us all about it, including the fact that its diet included other snakes..   ( but not people.. although it would not hesitate to bite if provoked!)

at the end of the pond, we began the somewhat steep ascent of Sargent Mountain .. Sar Pen hike 4

it was a great day for a hike..  but we picked a challenging one for our first outing of the season!     We stopped along the way to enjoy our lunch and then continued up, soon reaching the point where the trail intersects the carriage road.. Sar Pen hike3when you are cycling across this bridge, it somehow does not see nearly as awesome as this view from the trail…

Sar Pen hike5once above treeline,  we encountered some very pretty flowers..   dainty, but clearly hardy.. they must endure some rather harsh conditions during the winter!

 

Sar Pen hike6the views are rather rewarding… this is looking over to Penobscot from the summit of Sargent..  The Atlantic is beyond, with a few of the islands just off of Mt Desert – I believe that they are the Cranberry Islands…   maybe we will get a chance to visit them this season…   One of the highlights of doing this hike is that the vistas along the descent seem endless..   of course that means that we were rather exposed for an extended period of time..

Sar Pen hike7

Along the way from Sargent to Penobscot,  the trail dips down and passes  Sargent Pond.

Sar Pen hike8this is a view of Jordan pond from the summit of Penobscot..   at this point we were pretty hot, and we agreed that this would not be a hike we would want to do in mid-August!   we prefer the wooded trails at that time of the season..

We enjoyed the hike, and the views,  and it was a glorious day… one of the unintended, but appreciated benefits was that, following the hike,  we both had the best night’s sleep since our arrival in Maine!    jt     cp23_1983@yahoo.com

 

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Asticou Azalea Gardens

Az Garden 2

this is an experience that is especially cool this time of year..  the Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine.    I did not arrive here till the end of the first week in June last year, so I missed the peak for this garden..  Today was beautiful and clear,  and we were off and had plans to so some neat things.   A quick trip into Bar Harbor to do some errands and then the drive to Northeast to see the gardens…  http://www.gardenpreserve.org/asticou-azalea-garden/

the pics on the website are far better than mine.. but i will include some  of mine just the same.   I certainly appreciate the beauty of the flowers and plants, but like so much that we experience on Mt Desert Island, what really moves me is the  foresight and amazing effort that was put into creating and maintaining sites like this.    The same is said for so many of the trails that we hike, the carriage roads that we ride,  for Acadia Natioinal Park and all that it entails..   we are constantly reminded how fortunate we are to be here!    The sand garden is a particularly cool creation…

Is this the way it is supposed to work?

fire in the smoker

The smile faded once he turned around!   We were invited to our coworker’s site for pizza… very special pizza, made from with his own dough, with his own sauce, cooked in his outdoor smoker..   it was not going to be smoked… he just used the smoker because it was capable of reaching higher temps than the stove in his camper..   but…  apparently, there was a lot of fat and grease left inside from the last smoking activity.. and it caught fire… and we sent smoke drifting across the campground..  As I looked through the smokey haze in the forest,  I was reminded of what it must have looked like during a battle in the civil war ( or the war of northern aggression for those whose perspective is slightly different than mine)     The sad part of the story was that the pizza stone inside cracked due to the higher than intended temperature inside the smoker…   we ended up baking the pizzas in the camper stove, and they turned out just fine.. a real treat, even if dinner ended up being somewhat later than originally intended..    we were so stuffed with pizza that we made the very difficult decision to forego  smores…

Recent Project

It is just a small shed.. but it took a while to complete..  for the most part, I was able to devote a couple of hours after work here and there, but I did have the luxury of a few days off that came in handy as well..    I learned a lot from the project – namely sequencing of different parts of the job in a way to make things go smoothly and efficiently  ( next time)… can’t wait to put some of my new ideas to use on the next project!   In the meantime, it will certainly be handy to have an extra closet during the season.. shed just  before bleaching oil

cp23_1983@yahoo.com     thanks for checking out the post!    jt

The quiet before opening day…

it seems that the chipmunks are a bit more aggressive this year… they have no fear!   I came in to put the water on for a cup of tea, and just that fast, out of nowhere,  this little guy came and  got very comfortable…  leave my peanuts alone!

in fact..  well,  let the next shot speak for itself…

oopes   too late

i sure am glad that  there were only a few peanuts in that can!

later this evening…  we took a walk around the campground and then got ready for  our co-workers to come play corn hole..  none of us are particularly good, but we sure have a good time!

corn hole time

soon the campground will be filled with campers… lots of energy, lots of excitement…   and it will be a lot of fun meeting new folks and greeting returning campers…  but for now, we are just enjoying the last few quiet evenings 🙂         jt     cp23_1983@yahoo.com

Back in Maine!

view from  across the road

About three weeks ago, I arrived at Mt Desert Campground for our second season.   Last year, my wife came up first, and I joined her after the conclusion of the school year.  This year the tables were turned…  She came up a week ago.   We have been working hard to help get the grounds ready for our opening which will be Memorial Day Weekend.

It is amazing to see just how much effort goes into preparing for the season.  Each site, and all of the roads get raked..   fallen trees are cut up  and chipped..    dead trees are taken down…  the water system is  charged and inspected…   and this just represents the beginning!

out to dinner in bar harbor

The weekend that Janet showed up, we celebrated by going into Bar Harbor for dinner…   our first visit to the Thirsty Whale turned out to be very pleasant..   totally enjoyed the blackened fish and chips!    Janet’s arrival in Maine was especially well-timed..  the second night that she was here, I awoke at 1 am with a very sharp pain in my lower stomach..  within minutes it was rather intense, and we made the decision to visit the ER… first time that we needed to use health facilities on the island..  so off to Bar Harbor..    after 4 hours,  lots of pain meds,  and a cat scan,  the doctor determined that I had a  kidney stone…  he sent me home with more meds..   that was nice, because by the time we got home, i needed them…   i slept on the couch for 2 hours, and then, after Janet left for her first day of work, I curled up in bed with the cat…  he kept me company the whole day long..   by the evening, I was back on my feet, and the next day I returned to work..  what an experience that was..  pain on a scale that I can only remember once before when I experienced nasty back spasms..    thanks for being there when I needed you, dear!

maine shed project

Early in the spring I saw a great looking shed on Pinterest, and I dreamed of building a similar one on our site to help out with storage..  our camper is on the small side, and an extra closet would go a long way toward making life a little easier..   When I floated the idea to the owner, he quickly agreed and helped to clear and prepare a space 🙂   this is where things stand at the moment..  I just picked up the materials to make a door and to finish the trim.. after that, another coat of paint on the trim and it will be done!

first smore of the season

this evening marked a particularly special occasion..   we made a campfire ( our second)  and we broke out the smores  ingredients  🙂     we each had two…   life is good  🙂

evening at the campground

we have already seen some spectacular sunsets…  we are blessed to be able to live, work and play in such a beautiful area…   and we especially appreciate our co-workers and the Criaghead family, owners of the campground who take their role as stewards of a spectacular property so seriously and who delight in sharing it with so many campers who visit the campground each year.    It is nice to be back in Maine!

Feel free to comment at   cp23_1983@yahoo.com    jt