Road Trip – Acadia National Park & Baxter State Park

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On to the next leg of the road trip! We spent the last few days in Camden, Maine, where I gained a very handsome fiance. 🙂 Next, we headed North in the cold rain to Acadia National Park.

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935461_10100351051881417_920184399_nBy this point, we were REALLY over the rain. We wanted to do come hiking and see all of Acadia, but it was so foggy, you couldn’t see more than 50 feet. We drove the park road around the island and stopped at Newport Cove. Nic and I walked along the beach and then hiked the Otter Head Trail. The nice thing about the rain, is that the park was pretty much empty. My overall opinion of Acadia, was that it was a lot like the Upper Peninsula. It was almost like hiking around at home, but with salt water instead of Lake Superior. And seaweed, yuck.

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After our short hike, we left Acadia and sought out to find Nic a lobster. There were lobster shacks everywhere around Acadia National Park. They were also really overpriced… Nic was pretty satisfied after he devoured a 1.5 pounder. I was a little grossed out by watching him. It was his first time cracking open a lobster and he just tore that thing apart.

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602975_10100351052405367_1559668386_nThat night we had reservations at Roaring Brook Campground in Baxter State Park. I have heard from some friends that Baxter is awesome, and they were right. We arrived in the early evening to set up camp. As we were walking to the ranger station after parking the car, and I hear Nic say “Look! Two of them!”. There were two moose standing right in front of the door of the ranger station. A cow and a calf. We weren’t sure what to do, because they were standing where we needed to go, about 15 feet away from us….so we just waited as they walked off into the campground. Nic and I were so excited! And that was just the first of many moose that we saw while staying in the park. We have seen them while driving in Michigan and Canada before, but never that close.

CaptureThe next morning, we were planning on waking up early to hike Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak and the end of the Appalachian Trail. We ended up sleeping in until noon. Must have needed it! I was feeling kind of nervous about this hike. We expected to take 8 hours to get to the top and back and I had never hiked for that long. I was also a little nervous about the heights. Mt. Katahdin is over 5,000 ft. above sea level, and is a 3,500 ft. climb from the bottom. We took the Helon Taylor Trail, both up and down. It was very rugged and steep. Once we reached above the tree line (3,500 ft. above sea level), it got much harder to climb. The wind picked up a lot. At some times, we were grabbing onto big boulders so we wouldn’t blow away. The clouds were coming in and we thought we might have a storm, but we lucked out. We finally made it up to the top and I felt like I was on top of the world! There were cliffs on either side of the ridge and I was just holding on to the sign, for fear of flying away. The hike down was a little harder because our knees were getting sore. We did see one other couple on the trail. Nic and I made it up and down in less than 6 hours and we were pretty proud of that. I would love to do it again!

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We had a huge dinner when we got back to our campsite. Somehow, Nic and I both were not completely tired yet, because we went for another short hike that evening. We were on the prowl to see more moose. We hiked into Sandy Stream Pond and immediately saw a bull moose feeding across the pond. We even saw him run across the entire pond to chase a deer off the lake. He was on a mission to defend his territory because the moose literally created a wake. After watching him from a safe distance for a while, we continued on the trail to the next viewing point. I heard water splashing but Nic didn’t hear my warning whispers in time. He startled two moose on the boardwalk. He was about ten feet away from them. We were nervous about being so close, but they didn’t seem to care, so we watched them from on top of a big boulder.

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Baxter State Park was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to go back and hike some different trails. We saw a total of 8 moose while there and only had to wear our bug nets for about an hour. I call that a successful trip!

*Be sure to click on the photos so they will enlarge!

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