All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
~From "Renascence" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Mount Battie is one of two summits on the entire eastern seaboard where the mountains meet the sea, both of which are in Maine. We made the ride to the top as exciting as possible, shouting "oohhs and ahhs" with every twist, turn, and climb. It was no different than driving on rural backroads, but we were determined to turn our mountainous ascent into an adventure. We reached the top in about 2 minutes (a very easy, almost laughable drive by comparison to what Mount Washington would have been). But...! Though it was overcast, visibility was perfect. The views were absolutely breathtaking. We took the opportunity to take a rare all-inclusive family photo.
The top of the summit used to be home to a hotel, which ultimately met its demise in a fire, and was replaced with a monument to WWI soldiers. We climbed the tower with the kids, up the windy stone steps with a single iron handrail on one side and nothing but the possibility of a fall to your death on the other. When we reached the top, I thought, "This would make a great picture!" So I left Sam at the top with all of the kids, made my way back down and snapped a few photos. Then I realized how brave Sam was to handle all of that up there. My fear of heights and I would have not have cooperated, I don't think, should the tables have been turned.
There wasn't a whole lot else to do atop Mount Battie, so we got back in the car and headed for Bah Hahbah, stopping only for lunch and gas, before entering Acadia National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi and home to the tallest mountains on the U.S. Atlantic coast. The park is enormous, but we had all day to take in the sights. Despite the clouds in the sky and the threat of rain, it turned out to be an awesome day. The first place we stopped was Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on Mount Desert Island, the other of the two places on the coast where the mountains meet the sea. We stopped at one of the overlooks on the way up.
Sam was really happy to be there.
The kids were too. If there are rocks, they will climb them. And jump on them.
And jump off of them. I mean, really, who cares if they're on the edge of a mountain?
The views from the top of Cadillac Mountain were, once again, amazing.
To quote Ben: "God does make things a lot better than man can."
(I just like this one because instead of jumping off the edge of the mountain, Abby is taking a little jog alongside of it.)
After we descended Cadillac Mountain, we hiked to the Overlook. With the rocks and sea spray, it reminded me a lot of La Jolla, California...only on the Atlantic Ocean and minus the seals and sea lions. Equally gorgeous, however.
Just before we left for the evening, and right before it started to rain on us, we stopped at Sand Beach at the northernmost tip of the island. Nestled between banks of rocks, it was the icing on the cake for the day. The girls got to dig in sand (perhaps their most favorite activity ever). Ben got to wrestle with giant driftwood. And Sam got to tease Ben by writing this in the sand:
Even if it didn't last long...
And even though we're from Georgia, which might as well be the pine tree capital of the world, it felt so strange to be on a beach lined with evergreen trees.
And because we wanted to see how cold the Atlantic is in Maine in the fall compared to the Gulf of Mexico in the summer, we stuck our hands in. Verdict? Pretty much freezing.
With that, our adventures in Acadia National Park were over. So we took off our shoes, dumped out three tons of sand, and drove a rainy three hours back to Auburn for Boneless Wings night at BWW by our hotel. Because, we all know how important food is to at least one member of this family.
The next day would take us to Kennebunkport, York Beach, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire en route to a three night stay in Boston as we worked our way back down the coast and back toward home. It wasn't even halfway over yet...