My first moment of bliss came at a little meandering stream with a nice mountain in the background. I hiked about 100 yards for some nice pictures and views.
I didn't quite realize how popular Sand Beach was but I got there so early that I basically had the best parking spot. This was my final home base for a (half) day of hiking.
After a couple quick pictures of an empty Sand Beach I took a round-about trail to Great Head. I saw an Ovenbird!! I have only ever seen one or two while birding along the Texas coast during spring migration so it was a real treat to see one in it's breeding range. There were also a lot of Northern Parula and Black-throated Green Warblers singing all along this trail. I enjoyed the hike and sat watching the waves crash against the rocks for a little while. On my way back I ran into the geology field trip group led by a park ranger. They were heading the way I had just come from so I didn't feel like joining their tour on the spot. I took a more direct path back to Sand Beach before I headed for the Bee Hive trail.
So the climb up was particularly fun and exciting. I tried to capture images of some of the exposure but it hardly does justice. Perhaps the first photo was the creepiest part for me. A grate catwalk with a wall that seemed to push you outwards. Surely having some climbing experience helped me navigate everything with ease but I can imagine a number of people being appropriately fearful of this traverse. I managed a good shot of four hikers working their way up that gives a nice perspective and depth to understand the climb. Everyone let me pass shortly after I snapped the shot because I was moving so quickly. Did I already mentioned how much I loved the minimal speed hiking I did all throughout this trip? Water, binoculars in my fanny pack, and camera around my neck. Running shorts, running shoes, and dri-fit shirt. It was perfect.
The end of the trail spit me out on the Scenic Loop road where I walked back up along the coastal cliffside. I stopped in one area to snack and lay down. I knew the end of my hiking was near so I began to stall ever so slightly. I watched the waves, I watched the birds, and I just sat. It's hard to find time to just sit and soak in your surroundings. I really relished every chance I had to do that on this trip.
I sat in the shade to drip dry, watched some kids dig channels to guide the receding water. That's some great hands on engineering. A real resume builder. I did some more sitting after I rinsed off with a little foot shower. I chowed down on one of my last apples and forced down some kipper snacks on cinnamon raisin bread. I was pretty tired of kipper snacks on cinnamon raisin bread by day 6.
Just oneeee last stop before leaving this beautiful place. I drove up to Cadillac Mountain for the final goodbye. Up there I was delighted to meet a gentleman with a telescope for viewing the sun. It was fascinating, you could see sunspots and the big flare/arches around the perimeter. Really breath taking. I snapped a couple more shots of a less washed out view from the top and that was it. Time to go back to Portland. I had a flight to catch the next day. I would end up sleeping in a walmart parking lot that night, and fortunately it wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds. I took it in stride, and soaked up the experience. I'd do it again even.
Day 7 - Farewell Maine
With just a couple more hours to kill I decided to check out the farmer's market which ended up being a really nice experience. Most notably from laying in the grass beneath a beautiful oak tree as a beautiful harpist performed her magic. It was pure bliss.