I didn't have any lodging accommodations for my 4th and 5th nights of vacation so I decided it was the perfect time to head a few hours up the coast to Acadia National Park. Everyone told me to take the scenic Route 1 through the coastal villages but I ended up taking the windiest, shortest distance route that shaved off only a handful of minutes of travel time.
Just before crossing into Mount Desert Island I stopped by the visitors center where I caught a huge stroke of luck. The staff called down to the Seawall campground and scored me the last campsite for two nights, as long as I made it down within the hour. Mission received, and executed. I made it. I secured a patch of dirt to pitch a tent for two nights! I got camp set up and still had several hours of daylight to kill so I hit up the Acadia Mountain trail. A prominent peak between the lower 48's only fjord, Somes Sound, and Echo Lake. This was my first major hike of my trip and the I immediately recognized how technical these trails were. Within the first 1/4 mile I was doing some decent scrambling that I wouldn't expect everyone to be comfortable traversing. I was minimally packed with a fanny-pack so I flew up the trails.
I got up and over the Acadia Mountain trail and had my choice of more peaks or just heading back to the car. Which way do you think I went? My first choice was actually closed for Peregrine Falcon nesting, but yes, I opted for more peaks! I came across a couple hanging out at a nice overlook and noticed their binoculars so I asked if they had seen any falcons. The man had at one of the other lakes! So I was somewhat hopeful of the opportunity to see falcons or eagles! I scrambled up to Valley Peak and St. Sauveur Mtn, neither of which had great views themselves but the journey was splendid. While descending back to the parking lot I spent some time soaking up the amazing songs of the Hermit thrush that chimed through the forest. It was an amazing sound that really struck a chord with me. The best I can describe it is that I felt like I could sit and listen to them sing forever and every little problem in the world would be OK. Somewhere on this trail I also racked my brain trying to figure out a joke about a tree walking into a bar and a conflict of which sports team he was "rooting" for. I tried the joke on my brother but it flopped. Twice. It'll never be said again. Lastly, I knew there was swimming allowed in Echo Lake and accessible from the same trailhead I was returning to. I made it down to the lake and had an extremely satisfying dip in the water that served as one of my few "showers" while in the National Park. The water was choppy from the wind but the temperature was perfect. I guess about 75 degrees.
After my dip in the water I drove up to Cadillac Mountain to catch the sunset. Cadillac Mountain is definitely one of the most popular sites in the park and in my mind, why spend my precious time hiking to a point that can be driven to? I'll use that hiking time and energy on less accessible sites. The top is a big round dome so I checked out a couple sides of the dome offering different views but none having much of a western view for the sunset. I noted another viewing area a 1/4 mile below the peak and drove down there to take some pictures. It was packed with sunset watchers. I sat alone snapping pictures and recognized probably 98% of the people out there were not alone. And I was especially jealous of the young couple who brought up a box of pizza to share while watching the sunset. I was never unhappy to be alone but it was just noteworthy observation because of all the time I spent alone there were countless moments that would have been beautiful to share with another soul.