Ramble On

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Last Hikes at Acadia

The Bass Harbor Head Light - view from the beach.
For our last day at Acadia, we decided to take a drive over to the west side of Mount Desert Island and put in a few more of the easy day hikes. Because the area was contested during the colonial era - the boundary of the French and English claims lay in the region, some features reference those struggles - the Man o' War trail is one of these, and it was something I wanted to check out.

We learned that Bass Harbor Head is also a small lighthouse on that side of the island, so we took that in, as well as a nice short hike along the seashore that we found by coincidence.

The pathway to view the lighthouse.
I decided to do a little bit of scrambling on the rocks down along the shoreline, looking for a good photography opportunity for the light.  To be honest, part of the reason for my scramble was to get away from another tourist on a cell phone, and a guy who was showing off for some of his family - quite loud, even over the sound of the surf.

Eventually I found a sheltered spot, and got my photo.  But there was also the treat of being able to hear a buoy nearby, once I got out of their voice range:

We had lunch after all that fun in the morning, and then drove around to find this Man o' War trail.  It's named for the fact that the colonial era fighting ships would send their crews ashore in the area to get drinking water.  That made for an interesting story to go check out.

We were still a bit sore from the climb along Champlain Ridge, so we decided to take a route to the little cascade that was the source of the colonial drinking water via a fire road.  It made things easier for us, since the circuitous, longer route featured a couple of hand-over-hand rock scrambles that we were not up for.

At the end of the fire road we found a little cascade tumbling over 10 feet or so.  Not much of a stream to speak of, but certainly there would have been something more to it after a rain.

The key to it all, standing there and having a look at it, was to imagine the challenges of going to sea that way and being on one of those ships for months at a time.  You weren't solely at the mercy of the environment during your voyage since at any time you might encounter the enemy and be blown out of the water in a battle.

That's a pretty intense way to live, even if you may not have signed on willingly.  I wonder how many modern Americans would be up for it.  That was good food for thought for the drive back to the hotel after the day's outing!

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