Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Somes Sound and Bar Harbor

On top of Mt. Cadillac, MDI

Holly and Todd at Sand Beach, Acadia Park, MDI

Stardust in the rain and fog in Somes Sound, MDI

September 6-7:
The free propane bus came in handy for grocery shopping and other errands. A visit to the Oceanarium was informative as to the strange sea creatures which live in the area. We filled up the water tanks and motored 6 miles up the Somes Sound fjord. Rock cliffs dropped to the water on both sides, with about 800 vertical feet to the hilltops. The current lessened as we approached the head of the sound, and found the Wade’s mooring in a very protected spot. The winds have blown up to 20kts, and the water remains calm, a rarity for us.
Holly Bixby and her beau Todd dropped by on the nearest dock, and I brought them to Stardust in the dinghy. They had a nice bottle of wine and some cheese snacks to savor while we chatted. They own an Island Packett, and sailed to Isle Au Haut over Labor Day. We hadn’t seen Holly for several years. She is a friend from Taos whom we met in 1978. I patrolled in Taos with her partner, Dick Gibson, who died a few years ago from cancer. Dick, (we called him Gibber, or Big Dick, because of his size) was the one and only man on the patrol who kept his humor and sense of fun even when things weren’t going well for us, or we got too caught up in the seriousness of the job. Their dog Amber was the first avalanche search dog on the patrol. After Dick died, Holly sent me some of his skis, such as Rossignol Strato 102’s and Blizzard Comps. I’d take em for a spin around the mountain, to share a run with Dick, and get strange looks from skiers on the chairlift due to the ancient models. Oldies but goodies. We had one engraved and placed on the wall at PHQ on top of the mountain. Big Dick could ski with a grace few others could match, and we’d follow him down the untracked chutes at high speed. On the backside wax races at the end of the day, his weight would carry him across the flats, making him the man to beat, especially on the fast Blizzards. He was an avid sailor before Taos, and after they moved back to Maine. Of our trip on Stardust, Holly said “Dick would be proud.” Wow.

September 8:
We hiked up Cadillac Mountain, at 1500 feet, the highest peak in coastal Maine. The trail was well maintained, and many people were hiking. There is a road to the top, and we didn’t much like having to share the mountain with the distant sound of cars and motorcycles until we got to the top and found a store with ice cream. After the hike down we took the bus into Bar Harbor for some pizza, and then took another bus back to Somes Sound.

September 9:
Holly and Todd took us to Bar Harbor to an art museum which featured Native American art and displays, and some photography and current art. Then we toured the loop road around MDI, and stopped at the only sand beach in the area. There is an extensive web of carriage roads for bikes and walkers, not open to cars. It rained most of the day and into the night.

September 10-11:
Still raining. I bussed into Bar Harbor both days for internet and errands. Ran into friends from the Bahamas, Jim and Ann on Bees Knees. They’ve been here for a couple of months, but are leaving this week for the Caribbean.

We’ll be in the area for another day or so. There are a series of cold fronts coming through and the TV weatherman says summer is over. We’ll go see Holly and Todd again in Blue Hill, and then head south with the geese.


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