Acadia National Park

06
Nov
2013



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I didn’t write this addition to the sign but I don’t completely disagree with it.  And really when it comes down to it, I honestly don’t think the employees of the park do either. That might be why there wasn’t much resistance to the brave group of people that went past the gates and enjoyed the park besides many of the barriers and signs. I was told in Camden at the bike shop where I bought my new Trek that though it was closed people were going in. The locals do this before the season opens to the flood of tourists.  So basically the “off season” came early for them. So I packed up the WNDRLST and Patton and I went up to the island where the National Park lives.

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Acadia was one of the first National Parks I found out about as a kid in a feature of it in National Geographic and I must say it did not disappoint. Coming up to the gates and visitor center was kind of eerie. Abandoned civilization is 10x more unnerving than being alone in nature for me but I tipped my hat to the abandoned guard shack and trudged on! Acadia is a pretty good sized  park so every day I took the liberty to park the truck close to an area I had not seen. Because the park was closed there was no parking in the middle as a central hub which means you biked or walked a good distance before really starting to see “the sights” First day was the coastline.

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Biking in on the eastern trail along the coast line is stunning. It ranges from big rocky bluffs to bends that reveal secret secluded beaches. You could spend months exploring it for sure. The roads are built and maintained so anybody of any mobility could get out and see something amazing. Up and down and around the bends each corner revealed a new view and surprise which gives you the extra physical strength to go farther and farther in.

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The fall colors were on the last gasp of their bloom. A storm had hit  earlier in the week while I was in Camden and had knocked out a lot of the leaves from the towering trees but there was still plenty to see. The autumn colors of the North East are almost radioactive. Photos don’t do them justice. I saw pinks and reds on leaves that were so rich and bright they would compete with any neon sign.  travel_photographer_acadianationalpark_brianbraun-5

Maybe my favorite experience from the first day was when I got off my bike and stepped off the trail into the thick woods. People on the road looked at me like CAN HE DO THAT? yes I can, so can you. I encourage it dammit. Get off the “tour bus” and explore!  Get dirty. What did I find. Trees spaced out so they could climb to the clouds. Moss that was so think you sank 3 inches into its spongey carpet. Any minute you expected to see Big Foot laying out enjoying the scene.

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The Next Day I hit the Carriage trails. Yes you read that right and no there aren’t actually carriages blazing around. The Rockefellers paid to have them put in so they could enjoy the vastness of the park from their carriages…which now provides EXCELLENT bikes paths. Seriously, we’re not talking about a few small cut throughs. The carriage trails go up and over the mountains and down to the edge of all the ponds. You couldn’t get better views. travel_photographer_acadianationalpark_brianbraun--9

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Every once in a while you would find “abandoned” park trucks as if somebody blew the whistle and they just left. Looking back at it the circumstances could have been the setting for THE GREATEST GO KART TRACK OF ALL TIME! I mean nice even clean dirt trails through a national park with nobody to stop you. FAIL BRAUN FAIL. I must demand more of my friend begin to travel with me from now on just so these opportunities aren’t wasted.
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Witches Hole Pond
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 Each day I came back exhausted beyond words. Biking 30+ miles a day up and down hills and around the mountain is not for the wussy pants. Sadly I left the island earlier than planned because of the “off season” and everything closing in the area. It was getting colder and work demanded me south. Needless to say it was a great kick off to my wilderness treks and left me inspired with many ideas for projects. Reflecting it was a special time in history, that when I show my kids some day (no I don’t have kids yet) these photos that I can say I saw the National Park when the government had shut down. (assuming we still have National Parks by then……ACT LIKE YOU HAVE SOME SENSE POLITICIANS!)

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Where would you suggest I spend some time at in the U.S? Any special places, doesn’t have to be National Parks? I’d love to spend some time at big horse ranches or on a fishing boat. Anything unique or special access I’m down! Would you like to see video? Let me know friends.

BE WELL, GO FAR!

-Braun

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One Comment

  • Alicia R says:

    Don’t know if you ever found a horse ranch to go to but I worked at a ranch in Wyoming and it’s the first dude ranch so there’s lots of history. Plus they have over 200 horses that I can still see thundering down the mountain into the corrals. It was a special place! It’s called Eatons’ Ranch and it’s 45 minutes from Sheridan WY. Go forth and explore it!


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