Monday pretty much sucked. My second night of camping was not the greatest. I finally managed to fall asleep after the tick fear incident, but then I woke up at 1 am to what I thought was some large scary animal making noise not so far from my tent. That large scary animal eventually became the noises of a man and a woman having loud sex in the campground. And yes, there were other people camping in the campground, too.
Just as I had fallen back to sleep, I woke up to a torrential downpour and thunder. Water was slowly beading and running down the inside walls of my tent. Whatever. If I was going to get wet, I might as well sleep until that happens. When I woke up, it wasn’t raining, but there were small pools in the corners of the tent and the outside of my sleeping bag was wet from what I think was just a lot of moisture accumulation. The inside of my sleeping bag was still pretty cozy warm and dry. A hot shower felt so great.
I got word that there was a pink lady’s slipper blooming in one of the sites, but I didn’t get to see it. There were beautiful wildflowers throughout the campground.
After hearing that the weather forecast was rain and thunderstorms for the next two days, I figured that it might be in my best interest to stay somewhere warm and dry for the night. It wasn’t raining yet, but still gloomy, gray, and cold. I headed out to get some food, but got a call informing me with the latest news on my car that is in the shop. What was initially a small air conditioning problem had turned into a huge air conditioning problem that pretty much involved overhauling my whole A/C system and replacing most of the parts….now costing me a LOT more that originally told. Great. That put a damper on my day and thought I should stay overnight outside of Mt. Desert Island where it was cheaper. But since it wasn’t raining, I decided to take a drive around to some of the recommended areas of Acadia while I could.
My first stop was the Wild Gardens of Acadia, which is located in Acadia. I love plants and this was like going to a botanical garden, but strictly the native flora of Acadia separated into the various ecosystems that can be found throughout the park. As always, the bog flora was my favorite, but the mosquitoes were quite active as they are in all bogs. Fortunately, a lot of the other insects were pretty inanimate due to the cold weather so I was able to snap off some shots. I probably could have spent the whole day there just taking photos of the insects that I saw, but I wanted to get on to see other areas before it rained.
And for those who don’t know, I’ve had an interest in ethnobotany for a while and sphagnum moss is one of my favorite plants for that very reason. It’s a common ground cover in the wetter areas of wetlands and bogs and is a staple for the micro ecosystems that thrive in those environments because it retains water really well. If you ever see some when you’re out hiking, you should pick some away from the ground and squeeze it. You’d be amazed by the amount of the water that these plants can hold! For this very reason, the native Americans actually used sphagnum moss as diapers for their babies.
I drove to Thunder Hole. Located along the southeastern cliffs of the island, Thunder Hole is a small, naturally created cavern that creates a loud thunder sound and large splash when the waves rush in and force air out. However, during low tide, it’s not as dramatic so I didn’t get to see or hear “Thunder Hole” at its best. Nevertheless, the coast is still quite beautiful.
I took some time to explore the rocks and check out the nearby tidepools. The plants in the tidepools were amazing, but there wasn’t a whole lot of marine life. I imagine that I would have seen more if I had the chance to check out the other nearby areas, but it started to rain and my equipment was getting wet.
I headed off of Mt. Desert Island and drove a good distance to Portland, Maine where I stayed for the night. I was excited to see moose crossing signs along the drive. And I saw a huge eagle nest on some electric pylons.
And here’s a suggestion for future traveler’s: I’ve always seen those little discount hotel coupon books at the highway rest areas, but never really looked at them or used them until this trip. The coupons are generally only good for one night and walk-ins only, but if you decide to take a last minute road trip and you want to stay at a hotel, there are some really good deals in there!