Acadia National Park, Maine
Welcome to another discussion on the story behind our pictures. Today's blog focuses on a trip we took in 2010 to Acadia National Park in Maine. We had heard great stories about how pretty this seashore park was and I had even seen wonderful photos of a waterfall in the park's interior. Brian did a little research when I suggested taking a road trip to Acadia and once he discovered there were Puffins in the park, he was in the car ready to go.
After driving for 3 days, we finally made it to Bar Harbor, Maine - gateway to Acadia. Bar Harbor is a charming little town with seafood restaurants and inns on the ocean. I experienced my first lobster roll on this trip. It was okay but then again my taste buds are geared towards Midwest beef. I highly recommend a really nice bed and breakfast called Balance Rock Inn which sits right on the ocean. It was actually a "summer cottage" built in 1903 for a very wealthy railroad tycoon.
On our first morning in the park, we immediately headed to the visitor's center to acquire maps and talk with the park rangers about great places to photograph. When I explained to the ranger that I was looking for waterfalls, his response floored me. He told me there were no waterfalls in the park. Huh???? I traveled 3 days for no waterfalls!!! Um, Houston, we have a problem. I explained to him I had seen pictures of one in particular and pulled out a map to indicate the general area I thought it was in. He said to me "oh yeah, there may be one there but it is probably dried up now." I asked that he give me directions anyways to the trailhead. I was beginning to think this trip may be a waste of time.
After leaving the visitor's center, we started exploring the park and looking for photographic opportunities. It turns out the park has a lot of scenery and I was able to take some great shots of the shore as well as sunrise pictures on Cadillac Mountain (which is the first place in the US that sees a sunrise each morning.) After a couple of days, Brian was getting cranky because he was not finding many birds. He eventually directed me to a trail that was supposed to take us to an area frequented by Puffins. As we parked at the trailhead, Brian jumped out of the car like an excited little kid and suddenly stopped short. A sign was posted saying the trail was closed because it was Puffin nesting season. "Sorry folks, the trail is closed. The moose out front should have told ya." Now we have no Puffins and I am thinking my waterfall pictures are going bust too.
The next day we finally decided to try the hike to this nonexistent waterfall. It was drizzling and made for a dreary afternoon. The path was actually one of the park's famed carriage trails which meant it was a very easy 1 mile walk. Just as I was thinking we must have missed the area, we rounded a curve and stopped on a stone bridge. There in front of me was Hadlock Falls. The water was running just enough for those wispy pictures I like to capture with a slow shutter. Now I was the one dancing around like a little kid, so excited I could hardly setup my gear. The rain had stopped but the weather was still overcast with a fog lingering - perfect for waterfalls! After about an hour of shooting, I knew I had captured some great shots. The entire time I was shooting, Brian was wandering through the nearby woods, hoping for a lone Puffin who had maybe strayed off course. At the end of the day, I really wanted to take my pictures back to that park ranger and show him Acadia really did have a waterfall and it was perfect.
As we finally headed home, I enjoyed the many pictures of Hadlock Falls that I had captured. Brian, on the hand, still will not let me forget he drove 3 days to NOT see a Puffin. Hey, Brian, are you ready to go back?
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eddiesofton March 10, 2014
Why thank you. Based on the amount of water cascading over the rocks it is doubtful that mist/light rain was enough to produce that. My guess is the Visitor Center dude was clueless or was trying to keep it a secret for some reason. We have been to Starved Rock a couple of times now and every time the waterfalls were nonexistent. Based on the snowfall this year, they should be raging - especially if the rapids in our stream at this very moment is any indication. We definitely like covered bridges so we'll keep that in mind when up there ... unfortunately the Snowy Owls have probably already taken off or we could have hopped downtown and grabbed those at the same time.
Brian here, now that you mention it, maybe this was a devious attempt to prevent me from getting the competition winning shot! All coming clear now. I noticed she didn't mention the nightmare of a drive it was to get there (toll after toll). One tiny boat ride would have made it all worth it
eddiesofton March 10, 2014
Those are really nice waterfall photographs, Linda. Although they are both of Hadlock Falls, the two pictures kind of complement each other, facing different ways with different "color schemes". So was that little amount of rain enough to cause these waterfalls, or was it there already and the guy at the visitor's center didn't know it? You guys should go get shots of the waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park this spring. Also, Naperville has covered bridges over the Dupage River that runs through downtown, so you should visit.
As someone who cannot tolerate boat rides of any length, I can understand Linda's reticence in the Puffin matter. I would think Brian would be understanding in a situation like that, really. Puffins are really, really cool, Brian, and you would have had an amazing bird to check off your life list and maybe some awesome photos that would have bested Linda in this year's competitions, but that's not the important thing.
eddiesofton March 4, 2014
Brian here, just wanted to set a couple of things straight. First off, there WERE Puffins there it just required a brief boat ride to experience the joy of seeing a highly sought after bird. A certain someone vetoed that excursion. Then she claims I tried to take it out on her by selecting an extremely difficult hiking trail when, in fact, I had absolutely no idea it was that steep nor did I know about the nicely groomed carriage trail that just happened to lead to the same place. My bad, but I did get to see someone huffin' and PUFFIN.