Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012.06.23 & 24 Bah Hahbah

So you might be thinking to yourself, this is a blog about hikes in the White Mountains of NH so why is it titled Bah Hahbah?  Well, we took a last minute getaway weekend trip to Bar Harbor, Maine and being near Acadia National Park we were able to get some hiking in.  No 4,000 footers here though...

We made the sudden decision to go to Bar Harbor on Thursday afternoon.  We scurried to find accommodations and we left the very next morning.  Both Sue and I wanted to get away from our newly empty home.  Let me explain why.

You see, we lost our dog of 9-years on Monday.  Barrett, our beloved Basenji, suddenly became ill on Fathers Day and we took him to the emergency room (yes, there are veterinary emergency rooms) and he was quickly diagnosed with acute kidney failure.  Kidney failure is reasonably common in this breed of dog.  The following day we took him to his regular vet and she confirmed the diagnosis.  Our only humane option, as odd as that statement seems, was to euthanize him.  Sue held Barrett in her arms as the vet injected him with a massive dose of anesthesia.  Within 30 seconds his heart stopped.  I think both of our hearts skipped a beat also.  It sure has been a rough week.  We humans can become very attached to our pets.  Here are a couple of pics of Barrett before I continue with my hiking story.  

R.I.P. Barrett

The interesting piece of this story and its relationship to hiking is that when we selected Bar Harbor as our getaway destination hiking was the furthest thing from our minds.  It was only later that we realized we could have our getaway and get some hiking in.

We hiked for two days and summitted the three tallest peaks in the Acadia National Forest.  We accomplished Cadillac and Dorr Mountains on Saturday (~7 miles) and Sargent Mountain on Sunday (~5 miles).  Yes, on Saturday we can be accused of peak bagging.  Though the tallest peak in Acadia is only 1,570' in height, you are basically starting at sea level (or close to it).  I must say that there was more substance to these hikes than I would have predicted.  In particular there was one section of the Sargent Mountain hike on the East Cliffs Trail that was particularly challenging.  Once we climbed that trail we quickly changed our mind about returning on the same route, which was our original plan, due to how difficult it was.  More stories and info follows with the pics below.


The lonely waterfall.

There were many minefields of rock like this on both hikes.

I've not seen as many waterfalls and trails following long sections of rapidly flowing brooks as we did during these two days.  There were heavy rains on both Friday and Saturday nights so by Sunday the water was really flowing.

We reach a mid-mountain pond.  No, my camera lens was not dirty, that is fog.  It got heavier as we reached the summit so our views were limited to the toes of our boots. That's it.  We did not see one view all day.

Loads of ledge that goes on endlessly near the summit.

Note the views... or lack thereof.

Reds, greens and whites.  Pretty really.

More rock minefields.

Did the Mama pine cone and the Daddy pine cone make these baby pine cones?

Crying pine needles.  They must have heard about Barrett.

On our descent from Dorr Mountain we used a trail called the Ladder Trail.  It was appropriately named as there were several steel ladders along the way, some much longer than this one.

There were also a few locations with steel hand holds drilled into the rock like these.

Yes, the trail goes through this gap in two huge rock sections.

Without a doubt, more work had been put into making stairs on the trails descending from Dorr than I have ever seen on a single trail.  Nearly all of it was done with cut stone.  Not simply a boulder rolled into place but instead each stone cut to fit.  It was simply amazing.

Even when stairs were not really necessary, this trail had stepping stones built into it.  There were many, many man-years of work done on this trail.

There were also long runs of log walkways/bridges on the end of the trail.

Sargent Mountain
The waters were a'raging.

For Sue's recent birthday our eldest son Addison bought her a titanium spork.  We planned to bring it along for those emergency needs when we had forgotten utensils for our lunches.  Sure enough we needed to use it this weekend because we had forgotten our plastic forks.

What makes hiking in Acadia so different are the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the massive bays surrounding the mid-coast of Maine.  In last week's blog I mentioned having problems with my camera.  Sure enough this week those issues continued and I lost nearly two dozen shots, in particular from the summit of Sargent Mountain.  This in fact is the only photo that was usable.  I was both sad and mad at the same time when I realized this was the case again this week.  It did not take me long to order a new rugged, waterproof camera when we got home.  Enough is enough.

Sargent Pond located not far below the summit.  At least three bullfrogs surrounding the pond were calling out to each other.

We have reached the bottom of Sargent Mountain on our return and that is Jordan Pond in the foreground.  Problem is, though we have been at this hike for several hours already, our car is located on the other side of that small mountain ahead (known as South Bubble) and there is only one way to get there.  Yep, we must climb up and over it.

A picture down the length of Jordan Pond.

I will close with my vegetation shot of the day.  Beautiful colors.

Oh yes, we also lost photos of the deer we ran across on our return due to my failing camera.  I must have taken 8-10 shots of that deer that was only 50' from us.  She was not spooked at all.  I whistled, I tapped my trekking poles together and more yet, she would simply look at us and then continue on with her eating.


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