I remember coming to Acadia National Park in Maine as a child with my family, full of wonder, and getting a nature guide book from their gift shop. Inside the book, I inserted a maple leaf I found on one of the trails we hiked. I laminated it when I returned home, to press and preserve it. The leaf was vibrant red and still is today. This object was a symbol to me of the large natural world we live in, as well as its mysteries. Even now, after revisiting this forest in the Autumn as an adult, I am still in awe of this place. I finally have a crisper picture in my mind of Acadia.
This second experience here involved exploring its grounds and views. Ocean Path and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse had spectacular views of rocks and cliffs. Seal Harbor had a variety of footprints on their sand, from animals to pebbles and streams. Acadia Mountain and Beech Mountain had breathtaking views of Somes Sound and Echo Lake. We sat here for lunch and enjoyed conversations with fellow international hikers whom we had just met at the summit.
The Beehive trail had more in store than what I had expected with its iron rungs along the cliffs to aid in the climb, but the views all the way up to the peak were marvelous and overlooked Sand Beach. Cadillac Mountain and Northeast Harbor had stunning sunsets. I was especially mesmerized by the reflections of the nautical objects against the surface of the rippling water in the Northeast Harbor.
A couple of times on the road, we had to stop because something caught our eye. Once it was at Somesville, where we were drawn to its pink flowers against a white picket fence, a rare color seen in the Fall. Another time, it was at the Northern tip of Long Pond, where a sparse row of houses and bungalows framed a pond. I was captivated by the oval, speckled and colorful leaves gathered together afloat in the pond. We were there at just the right time as a man was struggling to get his boat off the dock. He told us his story of recently surviving a heart attack and is now taking time to enjoy life. We helped him push his boat off into the sunset as he waved and silently sailed away into the horizon. This moment summed up the magic of Acadia.