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  • Writer's pictureLauren Wong

a post MAINEly just about acadia national park

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Day 6 of my New England trip and I finally reach my primary destination point of this leg of the trip: Acadia National Park. How do i put this gently, it was probably one of the best experiences i've ever had. I can't believe how much I got to experience and see in 48 hours.

I arrived in Pen around 10pm Wednesday night from Portland, ME. Since the next morning I had my sunrise reservations at Cadillac Mountain I tried my best to sleep early (which ofc I failed). Slept around 12 and woke up around 4 so that I could drive my tired ass to the mountain by 5:30. So was it worth it? 100 fucking percent yes. It was cold, there were lots of people, and cloudier than I hoped and yet it was still one of the most amazing sunrise moments of my life. Isn't it crazy how the simplest things - like sunrises - can be things we look forward to now? The more I travel and experience, the more I think that to myself . Anyways I digress, the sunrise was absolutely amazing. Even with the clouds. If anything it felt more mystical. Fun fact, during the months of Mar-Oct, the first sunrise in all of USA can be seen from Cadillac Mountain! Because of COVID and the popularity of National Parks they changed the system so that you HAVE to get tickets to access Cadillac Mountain and from the crowd and views, I can see why. But in some way that also made the moment more magical. Sharing that moment with everyone else to get tickets to see the most beautiful sunrise, before anyone else. Like seriously how was it real.

After sunrise at Cadillac Mountain (around 7) I had a healthy 3-4 hours before I had to head back to my Airbnb to start work. So, on the suggestion of another traveler I had met at Red Rocks (the dad and his kid), I decided to hike Beehive Trail. SUCH A FUN TRAIL. Note if you’re looking for an easy walk this is probably not it. It gave me a bit of Angels Landing vibes in the sense that there was a lot of scrambling. Personally, I enjoy that shit: climbing around. The views all around were amazing. From the view of Sand Beach, to the views of the little pond among random streaks of fall foliage in the trees. I was such a happy kid running around and scrambling on the rocks. Managed to finish the trail itself in an hour but worked out with resistance bands on the Summit so that added another 30 min. I think budget 1.5 hrs. if you want to take your time – I definitely ran a bit on the way down in excitement. Being on a limited schedule means I didn't really have a lot of time to explore the nearby city, Bar Harbor for long, but since I had some extra time, I got to drive through and after doing some yelping picked up some salad/fruit from the local grocery store (necessary after how I’ve been eating) and a blueberry muffin from Jordan Restaurant's which apparently is known for their blueberry pancakes and muffins (between those two, muffin for sure). Not usually a fan of blueberry muffin but this one was soooo good. Would recommend if looking for a delicious snack while at Bar Harbor

Work after that amazing morning was honestly one of the longest days I had with back to back meetings. I was on such a high post Acadia and felt so energized, but work sucked that up quick. It’s another thing I think about, how draining work can be. I am glad that recently with the changes in project lead I'm learning more about what I need to feel motivated at work. It does wonders to how I approach work! Even with the long day though, I had something to look forward to – bioluminescence kayak tour.

Y’all. I have had my fair share of kayaking. And this one was one of the most magical experiences. First of all, first time sea kayaking and just the streamlined nature of the kayak was awesome. Then the actual experience. Wow. The bioluminescence was insane. Once we got away from the lights the water just glowed. Apparently, we hit a particularly peak of it. I can’t describe how amazing it all was. Even with how cold it was and cloudy, I just enjoyed the whole experience. This was probably the first time of my trip I felt a little sad I was solo cause all the others on the tour were boomers calmly experiencing it and here was I, loudly and proudly Californian/enthusiastic (yes, those are synonymous). Still no one can rain on my parade. In some ways, having to experience this moment alone made it even more powerful. I wish I could capture the moment in a picture and post and just have you all experience who spiritual that it all was but alas, I think the best things in life are just things you have to experience yourself.

Acadia was such an amazing experience that on day 2 after 2 days (or really mornings) of exploring, it took me a bit to absorb all the feelings. The experiences I got in 3 short days (less than 24 hours) and how beautiful it all was. Maine is underrated y’all. There’s SO many beautiful things to see, delicious food to eat, and the people are so friendly. And that was just day 1.

Fast Forward to Day 2 of Acadia...

Day 2

So yay I got to sleep in! Okay maybe not sleep in but I got to sleep a bit more at least! Since I had a meeting starting at 11AM EST I started my day early and got myself to the park by 6ish. Originally I thought I was going to hit Precipice Trail but after doing some research the following night I realized that by doing that I would be missing some other key spots of Arcadia and so PIVOT: Day two these were my following points of interest: Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliff, and Jordan Pond. So glad I went with this cause starting the day meditating on Beach was another moment. Afterwards, after looking at the time and the map I actually ended up ditching my hiking boots and decided to run to Otter Cliff as a way to see everything. Overall, an easy run except for the very end when I slipped and nearly ate shit. Reminder to self: running shoes will never have the same traction as hiking boots! Anyways, back to the run. Oh man, what a great experience. The hardest thing was wanting to stop every few minutes because of how beautiful the views were. Thunder Hole (which would make a GREAT gay bar name) was a great halfway point and I just wish I had more time to sit and journal. But with a list of destinations before me, had to hustle and drive my ass to Jordan Pond. Jordan Pond – wow what a beauty. Felt more like a small lake than just a pond and it was here that I got to see some fall foliage. Y’all, there’s nothing like orange, yellow, and red leaves dotted along and just surrounding the water. It was so beautiful that even though I was limited in time, I decided to make the hike work…by running the whole trail…in hiking boots! Just goes to show that when I set my mind to something...I'm so stubborn in reaching it. Needless to say, this was the most I’ve pushed myself in running in one day (3 miles roundtrip to Otter Cliff + 3 miles around Jordan Pool all in 4 hours) But hey, if I want to see it all AND make it to work – this is the price I have to pay. Again, my biggest regret on doing all this is I wish I had more time to sit, journal, and read in those moments. But hey at least I left and worked to the most beautiful WFH views afterwards.

Acadia National Park was magical to me for so many different reasons. Besides the absolute pure beauty of the park, especially during fall, it was also an instance where I was learning to manage my time, embracing the strength of my determination when I have a goal in mind, and pivoting/compromising along the way. I’m still in shock that I managed to see and do so much in Acadia National Park despite working full time hours. It just goes to show how being a planner but also being flexible can allow for so many things to happen. To properly end this magical adventure in Maine, for my last night I picked up a lobster and some mussels at Parson's Lobster. Want to shoutout to the guy who helped me at the counter – not only did he give me the awesome suggestion of getting mussels with my lobster but after I mentioned lacking ingredients,, he also gave me garlic and lemon for free (supplies for a proper boil). Y’all, Maine people seriously love their lobster and know their lobster. Like it’s not even an exaggeration. Back at the Airbnb I got some great insights on Lobsters including how to make it relax, cook, and properly eat it. I gotta tell y’all. There’s nothing like having the full Maine experience, of doing your own fresh lobster boil (and mussels), with the sunset view that I had to commemorate such a trip. Maine, you truly are an underrated magical state. If I could experience all of this in 3 very short days, I can't even imagine how it'd be when I come back another day. Highly recommend everyone.

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