Donuts

Day 52: Laundry and Donuts

39.64 miles

Sunrise on Fish Creek Pond

Sunrise on Fish Creek Pond

Once the campground quieted down, we heard loons calling on Fish Creek Pond last night. In the dark, they sound so plaintive and haunting, with their voices carrying over the water. I’m going to be on the lookout for loons while we are here in the Adirondacks, I want to see these birds in person. Alan was up early, and snapped some sunrise pictures on the lake, while I snoozed.

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Day 51: Through Lake Placid

44.55 miles

Whiteface Mountain Ski Area

Whiteface Mountain Ski Area

Despite the clear forecast, we had a little rain last night. When we’re camping, a little rain can be a real hassle. Since we usually move each day, we can’t just wait for our tent to dry as the day warms up, we need to hit the road. That means sponging off the tent as well as we can and sometimes packing it while it’s still damp. At least we still had a few fresh eggs to fry up for breakfast. Add a little oatmeal and you’ve got a decent breakfast.

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Day 50: Return to New York

36.68 miles

Lake Champlain Ferry

Lake Champlain Ferry

We wanted to get an early start today, so we took advantage of the free (mediocre) breakfast at the hotel. Then we were out the door to drop the van off at the nearby Enterprise location. The folks there seemed a little confused as to why we showed up with a minivan full of bikes and bags, but we soon had the bags on our bikes and rolled down the road. First stop: a grocery store for some food items we needed. Second stop: the ferry terminal to buy a ticket across Lake Champlain. Burlington, Vermont is on the east shore of the fairly large Lake Champlain and the easiest (and shortest) way across is by ferry.

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Day 49: Warp Drive

318 miles

No, that’s not a typo above. We really did cover over 318 miles today. How did we accomplish this superhuman feat? Oh, we just rented a minivan. Let me explain. Caroline and her sister, Amy, had been throwing around the idea of meeting up in early August when Amy had a week off work. If we were further along in our journey we could have met her in the Adirondack mountains or thereabouts. The night before last Caroline talked to Amy on the phone and told her we weren’t really close enough to be able to meet up. This morning while we were riding I had a good idea (biking gives me lots of time to think up good ideas).

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Day 48: Biking Mount Desert Island

31.13 miles

carriage road bridge

Carriage Road Bridge Detail

A trip to Acadia NP isn’t complete without a tour of the island on the carriage roads. Whether you are walking or biking, the carriage roads offer forty-five miles of well-graded, crushed gravel paths that pass through some of the most beautiful scenery of Mount Desert Island. It was easy for us to access the carriage roads from our motel, with only about a mile ride on quiet, local roads, before we entered the park. We first rode south toward one of the big lakes of the island, called Eagle Lake. When Rockefeller planned his carriage roads, he designed a number of stone bridges to cross roads that carried cars, small creeks, and other natural features. Each bridge is different. The first one we came to, as we climbed the road around Parkman Mountain had charming spiral motifs at each end. Nobody builds bridges like this anymore, not by hand, and not with such attention to detail. As we climbed around Parkman, we saw nice views of Somes Sound, and could spot the area where we camped for our first two nights in Acadia.

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Day 47: Whale Watching

2 miles

Our whale watching boat

Our whale watching boat

Our alarm woke us early today. Wait, an alarm? We never set an alarm! Today we had to get out the door extra early to get to our whale watching boat in time. After a quick breakfast in our room we walked to the edge of the parking lot to wait for our free bus to downtown. We then walked a few blocks to the harbor and found a couple open seats on the top deck of the boat.

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Day 46: A Short Jaunt

8.97 miles

Last look before leaving our waterfront campsite

Last look before leaving our waterfront campsite

Mount Desert Campground didn’t have any more nights available for us to stay there, so we decided to move onto a motel for the next few days. Despite it being smack in the middle of the summer season on Mt. Desert Island, we’ve been lucky finding accommodations. We packed up this morning after doing a little sap removal from the tent fly. Our campsite was lovely, on the water and shaded by a big hemlock that dripped a lot of sap on the platform we were camping on, as well as the rain fly of our tent. A little research suggested that hand-sanitizer might work, and Alan was able to get the fly clean without too much elbow grease.

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Day 45: Enjoying Acadia!

0 miles

Today was our first full day in Acadia National Park, and a rest day after a few long days on the bikes. Thanks to contributions from L.L. Bean, there is an extensive bus network that goes all over Mt. Desert Island called the Island Explorer. Seven different routes makes it possible to explore the park without getting in a car. They even have bike racks on every bus, so we can bike and ride easily.

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