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Bucket List 578: Acadia National Park, Maine

By on March 7, 2016 in Maine Travel with 2 Comments

Acadia National Park, Maine“One day, you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho

While I lived in Florida, I heard of a little gem in the Northeast, Acadia National Park. An old roommate, Melissa, visited the national park every year with her family, and her pictures were amazing. I was shocked I had never heard of this little slice of heaven, even though I lived in Massachusetts as a child and into my mid-20s. Of course, this discovery only increased my desire to explore Acadia’s natural beauty.

Lobster roll at The Dog and Pony TavernAfter eating one of the best lobster rolls ever at The Dog and Pony Tavern in Bar Harbor, I drove determined to find a way into Acadia. I had already tried to gain access to the park earlier that day, but most roads were closed for the winter. I would not be deterred. Where there is a will, there is always a way…

I questioned a few locals on how I could enter the park, hoping to unlock the key to the hidden entrance. I went on a wild goose chase trying every single entry point I was given. All paths led to dead ends. How could I be so close, yet blocked from this majestic park that was beckoning me to frolic in its woods? What was the obvious clue I was missing? How could I head home when there was a fire burning within me? And then, I knew.

Acadia National Park

During one of my earlier attempts to enter the park, I remembered there was one spot where the park was still open. This is where I needed to go.

I am sure I was a site to see, soaking wet, in sweats, with runny mascara. I asked the lady at the park headquarters, “Are there any open roads to Acadia?” She gave me the information I was seeking. I inquired, “How do I access Cadillac Mountain?” She looked at me with raised eyebrows and explained, “Cadillac Mountain has been closed since the beginning of December.” Off I went to take in as much of Acadia as I could.

Acadia, MaineI entered Loop Road at the only open entrance. When I spied signs for Sand Beach, I hopped out of my car and started hiking down a muddy, slippery path. I could not find the beach, but I was a little giddy crossing the cute, little bridges in search of the beach. I wondered if wandering around the woods by myself in the rain was smart. My sense of adventure was too strong, and who else would be out here during the week of Christmas? The park was all mine.

Sand Beach

A littler further down the road, I stumbled upon Sand Beach. The waves crashing against the shore soothed my soul, as my eyes soaked in the magnificent mountains. I took a quick walk on the beach, enjoying my oneness with nature.

Sand Beach, Acadia    Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Sand Beach, Acadia, Maine

Thunder Hole, Acadia National ParkMy next destination was Thunder Hole. This is where the water breaks between the lovely rock formation. I was not visiting at the right time to witness this powerful crash, but the spot was nonetheless breathtaking. I could only imagine the waves thrusting against the rocks in all their glory.

I continued along Acadia’s road until I could go no further. A smile played upon my lips, and I was happy I did not give up at my first roadblock, my second, nor my fifth. I saw what I came to see, and I got a glimpse of what Acadia offers.

I know I will return one day, when I can hike in the sun, swim at the beach, and explore Cadillac Mountain. The fire inside has been ignited and only burns brighter for a taste of all of Acadia’s wonders.

Acadia Open Road

 

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