Acadia National Park 2017 – Day 2
I’d like to preface today’s post with the following. I am NOT a landscape photographer. It is not my primary focus at all. The photos I am taking are simply to chronicle our trip to Acadia for those who may be interested in hearing about our adventures, who may want to visit themselves one day, who have visited and are interested to see our perspective, etc. Now on to Day 2!
Today was an interesting one. Rained last night, so everything was, once again, wet. We took our time this morning before heading out. The kids played a few games and read some books after breakfast, then we started to plan our day. After much deliberation, we decided to head over to the east side of the island, the Bar Harbor side of the island, to check out Thunder Hole and hike The Bubbles.
We started on Park Loop Road, heading for Thunder Hole. For those unfamiliar with Thunder Hole, this is an inlet with a small cavern just below the surface of the water. When a wave pulls back enough, it allows air to enter the cavern. Once a wave comes into the inlet full force, it pushes the air out of the cavern, making a thunderous sound and spraying water. This was pretty active today with some strong waves coming in, which made it a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great photo of the largest spray we saw, the one that actually sprayed the kids while they stood on the walkway! Still, lots of fun at Thunder Hole and watching waves crash on the shoreline around the area.
Hopping back on Park Loop Road we headed for The Bubbles. We started at the Bubbles Divide trailhead and worked out way towards the Jordan Pond Carry (rated easy). We enjoyed a nice little 0.4-mile hike through the forest on that part of the trail. We deliberately chose to go towards Jordan Pond to catch the Bubbles Trail on the steep side of the South Bubble. I’d rather go up the steep side of a mountain and come down the easier way any day!
Once we reached the Bubbles Trail (rated strenuous) going up the South Bubble, the real fun began. This was a steep 0.6 miles up to the summit at 768 ft and down the other side. So many rocks and so much scrambling! The kids love a good rock scramble on a hike. Keeps things interesting.
As we approached the top of the South Bubble, the final stretch involved a scramble with open cliffside to one side. This is where Greyson informed my husband, Rob, and I that we could not go any further and had to go back down. There was no way we were giving up now though! For one, we were committed to complete the hike. Not only that, but the thought of going down the South Bubble was not at all appealing. It was a tight squeeze between some rocks and then over, but Rob and the boys went up, seemingly, without a problem. Being I had Ari in the carrier on my back, I had to take him out. There was no way I was fitting through those rocks and climbing over with him on my back. Delfina went first, followed by Ari, then myself. Once Delfina got through the tight squeeze between the rocks, she got to the part when she had to get up to the top of the scramble, open cliffside to her right. She froze! With a lot of coaxing and help from other hikers ahead of us, she did make it up to the top. Ari climbed like it was nothing with me bringing up the rear. Once at the top, Rob clearly indicated he was done with this hike. Had we known about the open cliffside towards the top, I doubt we would have attempted this hike at all, Rob and Delfina both having a fear of heights. Nevertheless, we had to celebrate that we all DID make it to the summit after QUITE a hike!
I won’t deny that I was a little disappointed to see it so foggy again today. Even though it wasn’t raining, and we were still able to get a hike in today, we missed out on the summit views, which you can see.
After going down the other side of the South Bubble, we walked the Bubble Divide (rated moderate) for 0.1 miles. At that point, Rob, Delfina, and Ari continued on the Bubble Divide for another 0.2 miles to head back towards the parking area. Aiden, Greyson, and myself decided to complete The Bubbles by doing the 0.6-mile out-and-back hike to the summit of the North Bubble. This was less steep than the South Bubble, but the rocks were way more wet and slippery. Many falls on that trail, but we did make it up and back. After a celebratory photo of the boys at the summit, Greyson ran to a rock asking, “Mama, mama! Take a picture of me on this rock!” Can’t say no to that!
Overall, it was a challenging, exciting, and interesting hike at The Bubbles today. Storms predicted for tomorrow, so we will likely play it by ear. If the weather holds up, I think tomorrow will be tide pool day!