Day 0 was a driving day. I started in Ashburn, VA, and ended up in Freeport, ME 12 hours later.
On to Day 1, I woke up in Freeport and did my pilgrimage to the LL Bean flagship store. The giant Bean Boot out front is really cool, as are the interlocked moose in their window. The store was is open 24/7, and they seemed to have everything in the catalog there.
After I left the store it was a 3 hour drive up to Acadia. Maine is beautiful, and the leaves had started to change. My favorite part of the drive were the “Watch for Moose on Highway” signs. I wish I had a picture.
I did not realize how popular the park was until I made it on to Mount Desert Island. I read online about how parking was scare and the circulator shuttles, but it never really clicked. I tried driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain for lunch, but couldn’t park at the top. I still had a lovely lunch, and watching tourists try and not illegally park was entertaining.
After lunch I drove over to my campground for the first two nights, Blackwoods Campground. The campground was conveniently located, and I could take the shuttle to some popular locations, or hike over, depending on how adventurous I felt. I set up camp and then rode the shuttle over to Otter Cliffs. This area of Park Loop Road is one way, and I was at the far end of all the attractions. Otter Cliffs is the southern edge of the uber-popular part of the park. The other attractions include Monument Cove (popular for astro photography), Thunder Hole, and Sand Beach. The people of Maine had some very original names for some of these attractions. I ended up hiking back about 2 miles because the shuttle was too slow. The sun sets early there, and I ended up eating my steak and potatoes in partial darkness.
After dark I drove my car to Otter Cliffs parking area and hiked back to Monument Cove. There was a new moon and the sky was incredibly dark. Hiking in the dark was a little sketchy and I couldn’t bring myself to go off trail to get the Milky Way composition I wanted. I am still very happy with the photo I took.
More photos can be found in my gallery.