acadia. day five.
precipice and general maintenance.

on our first trip to acadia, i was too chicken to hike the precipice trail. but, after making our way around the country, doing more strenuous and dangerous hikes, and consulting with folks who have done the same, i felt confident in my precipice hiking abilities. so, on day five, i ditched the fam and caught the shuttle bus to the trailhead, and started my adventure.

even the part before reaching the super crazy stuff was sort of crazy. like when the trail took me under a rock pile. or along a stone ledge. or along a narrow very exposed bridge.

finally, i was at the split. up the precipice, or off on some less crazy route to somewhere else. up i went. i don’t have many pics of myself. it was pretty crazy and i was alone. so, i took scenery photos. and rungs photos. and some scenery plus rungs photos. as always, the pics don’t fully capture the beauty. or the scariness. 🙂

a few times, i felt confident enough for a selfie. to prove i was there. i was hanging on tight to a rung. and leaning in hard to the side of a rock. and hoping to not drop my phone into the abyss. i was successful. if you don’t count photo quality.

this. this was the scariest bit. this photo looks back on the trail after i had already passed this section. but basically, you round a turn, and you’re walking along a narrow and slanted ledge. there’s rungs on the ledge to step on and railings on the rock face to hold. but you round that turn, and the wind slams into you. and there’s nothing below you. and you just put one foot in front of the other (it’s more of a shuffle). and keep one hand on the rails at all time. and take a deep sigh of relief and exhilaration when you reach the end. and then take a photo to commemorate it…

for most of the hike, i was a few switchbacks behind a couple from great britain. when we got to the top, we started chatting a bit and realized that we both had some photos with each other in the background. when we were back in internetland, we exchanged them, which is how i came into possession of the following two photos of myself, scaling ladder rungs and making my way up the rock face, and probably huffing and puffing like a lifelong smoker. either way. it’s pretty cool to have gotten these.

at the top, i chatted with several other hikers, exchanged photography duties, and took in the scenery.

once i was rested up, i plotted my route down. i had to consider lots of things. terrain. bus routes. etcetera. in the end, i decided to walk along the south ridge trail, which would gently take me down the the bowl and then back out to sand beach. i didn’t see too many people on the hike down and made pretty good time. the views were pretty on both sides (ocean and fall leaves) but i did a terrible job of taking pics.

while i was off performing death defying feats of acadia hiking, derek and the lidkids had a low key day. they took the rv to the dump station and mostly relaxed and awaited my hopeful arrival.

when i returned, alive, we packed up a posse of very dirty people and hit up a nearby shower house. they are always quite lovely (usually cold, dirty, and not actually all that private), and especially fun when you have to squeeze in with two small kiddos. after showers, we stopped a general store, for some lobster, treats, and maybe some well deserved blueberry beers for me. 🙂

then. back to camp. for campfires. and relaxing.

and thus concludes my epic day five at acadia national park.

some thoughts. as i chatted with different people about the precipice trail, a phrase i often heard was “it’s like doing the beehive twice in a row” which is true in terms of how strenuous it was. BUT. it was waaaaay more exposed and scary. i had even contemplated taking anna, based on the advice of others, and i’m so glad i didn’t. maybe in a few years though…

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