Friday morning, I got up early, despite not getting to bed until around 1 a.m., because I wanted to hit the park when it opened. I went to Jordan's Restaurant for breakfast. It is a diner style restaurant in Bar Harbor that I had read about. I read that you had to have their blueberry pancakes, so I did. They were really good, but big enough to share!
When I got back, the Visitor Center was almost open.
Some Acadia National Park Facts: Acadia is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River, becoming a park in 1916, but it had a couple of names before becoming Acadia in 1929. It protects more than 47,000 acres. More than 2 million visitors come to Acadia each year, which makes it one of the most visited parks in the U.S.
Once I paid my admission to the park, I headed out to drive the Park Loop Road. Everything was so green. It is hard to believe that about 6 weeks before this picture was taken, they were plowing feet of snow off of this road (it wasn't even open for visitors at that point).
First stop of the day: Cadillac Mountain (the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the U.S. and the first place in the U.S. to see sunrise from October to April)
I stopped on the drive up the mountain at some scenic outlooks.
These are from the summit...
This is a picture I took of a sign up on the mountain. It's a good overview of the park. Acadia makes up most of Mount Desert Island. The island was named Mount Desert Island by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604.
Bar Harbor is a stop for cruise ships that sail along this path.
After doing the 1/2 mile hike around the summit, I headed back down the mountain. I stopped at this one spot where you could walk around and get a different point of view.
I saw this blooming bush, and went down to get these pics.
After taking these pictures, I walked around all the greenery to come up the other side. I slipped on some slick moss covering the granite, and fell...hard (it's granite duh!). Since I had gone off the beaten path (farther than I realized) to get these pics, nobody was around, so my first thought was "Thank God nobody saw me do that!", which was followed closely by "Oh God, I hope I can get up because nobody is around!". I twisted my knee (which had previous similar injuries), and ended up with some bruises, but most disappointedly, it kind of put a big kink in my big plans to hike away the day (thought I still managed to go 7 miles according to my fitbit).
After I got down the mountain, I continued to make my way around Park Look Rd. My next stop was Sand Beach. Sand Beach is apparently a geologic rarity. It is one of the few cold-water shell-based sand beaches in the world.
Spring had really just sprung in Acadia, and I enjoyed all the pretty blooms and new growth around.
You can see how clear the water is...
The next stop along the Park Loop was Thunder Hole. It wasn't the best time to hit up Thunder Hole (high tide is the ideal time), but I still made the stop. If you want to see what happens at high tide, you can click HERE
Last stop of the morning was Otter Cove...
Can you imagine living here?
I have so many pictures, I've split the Day Two post into two parts...Stay tuned for the afternoon...