Monday, June 12, 2006

The Beginning of a Very Long Story

We are back in the flatland after a week plus on the rocky coast of Maine. Much occurred, and, with a nod to those with less stamina than some, I will dole out the doings in installments.

Day One

A rainy travel day. We rose at 5am, did a few last minute checks of the bags and such, and hit the road for Lambert-St. Louis International. Our bags checked, we had a less than stellar eggwich at the airport and boarded our plane to Chicago. A short layover in Chi-town and we were off to Manchester, NH. In NH, we rented a Kia Spectrum (a red coupe, with four no-pick-up-cylinders and good mileage). A short drive on 101 through eastern NH, and then we were on I-95, barrelling up the coast for Bangor, ME. At Bangor, we hung a right on Route 3 and drifted into Bar Harbor after changing pilots halfway through. The time change didn't help. At 9pm, we checked into the well-moistened Cove Farm Inn. It didn't take long, despite the as-old-as-the-farm-house mattresses, for the Monkeys to be dozing and dreaming of glorious blue Maine skies.

Day Two

Unfortunately, our dreams were not completely fulfilled. The skies remained gray and foggy throughout Monday. Monkey and I, however, were hardly discouraged. After a breakfast (which became de riguer) of scrambled eggs, bacon, home made muffins and bread (with coffee, of course), we asked a few questions of our host and hit the trail. Our fellow inn patrons were quite interesting folks (who, coincidentally were from a town in Texas just north of where we had gone for the wedding last week--go figure), but I will save my description of them for later. Our first stop after obtaining a seven day pass to Acadia National Park was the first hike we did the last time we were in Acadia--The Beehive. A strenuous hike, involving some relatively sheer rock faces that are scaled with the help of iron rungs and bars fastened into the rock. Not for those afraid of heights. The views of the only sand beach on the island and the ocean beyond are unparalleled. It is claimed that one can see whales from The Beehive (with the aid of binoculars), but Monkey and I have yet to be that fortunate.

From the peak of The Beehive, we proceeded down to The Bowl, a lake formed from (according to sources) the caldera of an extinct volcano. This is another place that the Monkeys had visited before, and we tried to recreate a photo we took eight years ago, but we didn't have the photo with us, and we took the photo in the wrong place. It was still a good one, though.

Not finished walking, we headed south for the 1000+ foot peak of Mt. Champlain. This hike was far less strenuous than The Beehive, yet the peak is more than two hundred feet higher than The Beehive. The views from Champlain of the island and the Atlantic to the south and all around were excellent, even with the low clouds and dim light. From there we hiked back around (in a circular fashion) to the car.

But we weren't done yet. Hell, it was only lunch time.

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