Sunday, August 28, 2011

Acadia: Travel or Triathlon Training?

 Our family has had the great privilege and luxury of spending time in Maine almost every summer since we've lived in Massachusetts.  Maine is such an amazing place, and I'd have to agree with the slogan that we see on the welcome sign as we cross the state border:  
Welcome to Maine:  The Way Life Should be.  

I don't think I've mentioned here that I'm planning to participate in a triathlon in two weeks.  I say "participate", because "race" would be an exaggeration and give the impression that I can actually do any of the three sports involved fast.  Now, I have been "training", but only so that I can actually finish the thing!  It's an all women's event, that I'm sure will be fun to do together with three sweet friends.  And it's a "sprint" triathlon, which is a very gracious way of saying "short" for amateurs like me. (Swim 1/2 mile; Bike 12 miles, and run 3.2 miles)  There will be no sprinting on my part.  Anyway, I was worried about missing training days while we were vacationing in Maine.  It's discouraging to find that building up to these physical feats takes some time, but losing that strength and endurance takes no time at all!
 Well, silly me.  This particular trip to Maine was probably more training than I would have accomplished if I had stayed at home!

The trip was divided into two parts: without kids and with kids.  Robert and I had four nights together in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park first, and then our dear friend, Lois, brought our kids to meet us in Ogunquit for the last three nights  Robert and I camped in Acadia the first two nights and then stayed in a bed and breakfast the last two nights.  
(I highly recommend this order of accommodations, by the way!)
 We hiked to Cadillac Mountain from our campsite on our first morning.  This was an 8 mile round trip hike of moderate difficulty.  The second photo gives you just a tiny glimpse of some of the views along the way.  Wild blueberries line the trail, and were deliciously sweet.  We sat and enjoyed a picnic lunch with practically a 360 deg. view of the ocean at the peak before descending to our campsite.
 The next day we enjoyed a walk to another part of our campsite that led to this beautiful perch on Maine's famous rocky coast, as well as a 12 mile bike ride on parts of the 50+ miles of carriage roads built by J. Rockefeller.  Our bike ride took us from Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond, where we enjoyed another picnic lunch, and then back with gorgeous views of lakes and mountains all the way round.
 On day three, we broke camp and headed into town where we checked in to The Primrose Inn. (A VERY special discount to senior pastors and wives here!) Check in is at 4pm and is perfectly timed with high tea.  Believe it or not, along with an assortment of regular pastries, there were gluten free and dairy free chocolate chip cookies!  We took our treats to the front porch of the inn, and I didn't think to get a picture until our cookies were almost gone.
 That night we returned to Jordan Pond (by car, not bike!), and had dinner at it's renowned restaurant ~ the only restaurant actually located in Acadia National Park.  Sadly, we didn't realize that they only serve lunch on the lawn and not dinner like we were hoping.  Still, we had a great view of the pond from our table and a nice walk beside it afterward.

 Here we are the next day overlooking Jordan Pond. (The restaurant is at the far end.)  We hiked to Bubble Mountain's peak that overlooks the pond and then hiked down and all the way around it which equaled about 5 miles total.
 That hike was a little more dicey than the Cadillac Mountain hike!  Harrowing memories of our White Mountain Hike from last summer were surfacing on these narrow passageways and super-steep trails!  When we finally made it down to pond level, we ate lunch on a rock at its shore, and my Robert read me some poetry from another Robert.  Frost, that is.  Perfect ~ especially as it intermingled with the Psalms and lots of discussions concerning God's majesty and holiness; His grace and redemption.
We stayed on the southern tip of the park in Blackwoods Campground.

Would you believe that later in the afternoon we opted for swimming in Echo Lake?  Yep, I even got in some stroke and breathing practice that day!
 On our personal deck just outside our room at the inn.

A final dinner out, and watching The King's Speech in our luxurious room later was the perfect ending to the "without kids" part of our getaway.  People keep asking me if we were able to truly rest, and I tell them that although we were tired and sore, and declared to ourselves that it was the most active vacation we've ever been on, the rest came in the way of lots of time to talk, read, enjoy good food, and leave behind the tasks and chores of home and ministry life.  And I easily managed to keep up my "swim, bike, run" training!

Maine "with kids" coming soon!

No comments: