Acadia Natl Park - Biking the Park Loop Road
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It was terribly tragic to have to leave that beautiful island. On the last day we decided the best way to take in the coastline was to cruise 8-)
We ended up pedaling southbound for 12 miles along the coast back to Jordan Pond. That is some really spectacular coastline. The emerald green and froathy water crashing against the reddish/orange rocks was hard to believe natural. It was easy to sit and stare at it for a long time and not notice 15-20 mins passing…
Acadia Natl Park - Champlaine Ridge
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The weather was so “that sht never happens.” perfect a few weekends ago as we entered Acadia Natl Park. Not a cloud in the sky to take in the views of the amazing and beautiful cliffs, lakes and sea. I’d never imagined ever actually getting to that beautiful park, it was somewhat surreal. But as I sat atop Champlain Mt, I couldn’t help but reflect on how rad life is lately and how very fortunate I have been over the last few years…
The hike p from “The Tarn”, a small lake chock full of wildlife! :) , was super rocky and had very little cover from the beaming sun. The heat coming off of the rocks was almost as intense as that coming from above! It’s probably my most favorite kind of day hiking. Getting to use your whole body to ascend is a lot of fun to me!
The views at the summit went on for days. The small pools of rain water on the top almost bled right out into the ocean. It was really neat :)
Acadia Natl Park - Bubble Mt / Jordan Pond
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As we rode the shuttle back to the visitor center from our day hike the previous day, my girlfriend Steph noticed an ad/poster that read “Acadia boasts one of the earliest sunrises in America!” (or something along that line haha) and so we decided that that morning we would get up at the ass-crack and go see the sunrise first! :D
driving in pitch black to the trailhead, the limelight barely shown enough ground to navigate but the trail was very wide and well maintained. The biting flies were already awake and we smelled like bacon… haha
As we ascended Bubble Mt, overlooking the beautiful Jordan Pond, the sun pierced the sky in a brilliant ray of sorbet orange and pink against a crystal clear sapphire sky. We had the whole mountain to ourselves! I think we were the only people foolish enough to tackle those damn flies haha.
It was there I made the biggest, scariest, happiest decision of my life. I dropped a knee on the little lady. And to my shear delight, she didn’t say “hell no!” and kick my down the mountain haha! :D We just remained the morning taking in the view and really didn’t do much else that morning :)
Get Outside Campaign 14
Green Mt Natl Forest - Stratton Pond
2009 was the last time my big brother Bill has been out on the trail. After moving to New England four years ago, the chicken wings and Patriot’s football have gotten the better of him haha :P It was so very awesome getting him back out in the woods with me again!!! :D
Bill had actually gotten me into backpacking back in 2008. I’ve come a little ways from that rookie I was back then haha.
c. 2008 - My first backpacking trip.
The hike in to Stratton pond is a flat-as-a-pancake 3.7 miles and the lake is beautiful. We had gotten to the trailhead a little later than planned at around 6:30 and upon arriving at the shoreline, found that the fading light left little time to build up a proper camp. We decided to be brothers and share my double-nest hammock and allot the time/daylight we did have to getting some dinner in us. We pretty much notched out a campsite in the dark but a small fire was enough to eat with and enjoy night one :)
We awoke to a gorgeous sunrise with steam ripping off the top of the mirror smooth water surface. Packed down our primitive camp and hit the water! We spent most of the day trolling the lake and fishing (not catching. >:P haha). We were able to find a really nice campsite on a section of the shoreline that is otherwise inaccessible as a beaver dam had flooded out the surrounding bank making it somewhat of an island. Packrafts gettin it done! :D
The rest of the trip was just spent enjoying the fellowship only brothers can experience :) The talks, the ribbing, the laughing… it was the tops. I am lucky to have such a rad big brudder.
White Mt Natl Forest - Franconia Ridge
The first overnight adventure in the Northern New England region, the White Mtns are incredible. I would say the Rockies and the Appalachians had a little love mountain and called it the Whites. Much more rocky and aggressive than the southern Apps and the Green Mtns to the west, the Whites offer a great array of fantastic terrain, challenge and big payoff views. The Franconia Ridge Loop starts at one of the park trailheads and ascends via the Falling Water trail, a super rocky and steep trail of a whopping three miles haha, it had me smoked. Having (admittedly) not done my homework thoroughly enough to have a better understanding of what lay ahead, the trail is pretty much a giant boulder scramble up 3800+ feet. The many beautiful cascading waterfalls do well to keep the spirit up but the misty water that covered the rocks wasn’t so much haha. This trail was definitely tough on the body and mind. It just went on and on… While not the hardest trail I’ve ever done, I won’t soon forget it haha! After that gauntlet the trail meets the AT along the Franconia Ridge at Haystack Mt. Carries on North to Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette and Garfield, three of NH’s 48 4000ers. The beauty of the ridge made all the arduous work to get up there melt away. Soaking in the 360° views with clear skies and sun, I would have been just fine takin chow and admiring the view! But we had to get to camp! It was about 4 and that pretty, clear sky was quickly turning into a beautiful sunset haha. Too tired to get a fire going, made a notch out trailside and was in bed by 9! :#)
Day 2 was such an easier go! Descending about 3 miles on the Old Bridal Path trail, still rocky and slick in spots, was such a better descent than the idea of going down the Falling Water’s giant rocky slope… and the O.B.P. trail had several beautiful little vistas along the way to take in a perfect morning.
The inaugural White Mountain experience was a tough and awesome one. I look very forward to returning and having it’s mountains test my mettle all summer long! :D
Stratton Pond along the VT Long Trail
Driving southwest into the Vermont’s Green Mt National Forest is very much like the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns of North Carolina. They’re soft and rolly with brilliant greens that go on for days… A really fantastic backdrop for a little 4 mile day hike along VT’s Long Trail to Stratton Pond!
The hike out was super flat and super easy, no complaints at all! Once you come out of the tree line it’s quite impressive to see a “pond” this big! Apparently the folks up in this part of the world have a different understanding of a pond vs a lake haha!? But it was really pretty and teaming with great wildlife! There was a busy beaver working on a dam that has flooded out the trail haha, a giant Wren (?) that had a brilliant white chest that it “showed off” a few times as well as a lot of aquatic life. It was a great day! :D
Q:Happy to find you two on Tumblr!! (I was with the Ultimate Hikes group in the Routeburn...) Great pics!
Very happy to be found! :D Thanks for the compliment and for taggin along!
Q:Since you're up near Vermont, have you ever had the chance to try The Alchemist's Heady Topper? I had it once when I was up there 2 years ago, before they closed the brewery to the public.
Had a bash-ville down in Asheville, but now it’s time to jaunt in Vermont!
AVL is definitely one of the radest places ever and I hope anyone interested in checking it out should definitely go! I will especially miss the beers :\ As the saying goes, though, all things good come to an end… and AVL was great but it’s time to keep movin! This time, a summer + fall in Vermont is on the docket, and while it is about what one might expect of colonial Northern New England the actual experience has thus far been incredible!
The terrain here is simply stunning. While the new digs are definitely “in the sticks”, the solitude and beauty of the place is lovely. With the Green Mtns to the West are rolling foothills and have a ton of water that I look forward to fishing, very akin to the Blue Ridge Mtns of the South! The White Mtns to the East, however, are rocky and steep and totally awesome! There are so many trails to hike, backpack trips to take, water to paddle and all within a two hour radius! There are even two long hikes very close by. The AT runs through both VT and NH laterally about ten miles north of here and VT has the “Long Trail” that runs from the Southern border of Mass up North to the Canadian border. I look very forward to hiking as much as I can of both of these!
Also like AVL, the beer scene here is pretty stellar :D Long Trail Brewery has recently won my liver over :) The facility sits just along the Ottauquechee river and has exceptional food! There’s a charity bike ride that I’ll be participating in next weekend as well 8-) It is said that, for the size of the state itself, VT has the most breweries… I am just fine with this haha :)
All and all I expect the next few seasons to be pretty awesome and look forward to having some outdoor fun to share with you all!
Stratton Pond along the “VT Long Trail”…
Little Haystack Mtn, one of the 48 4000’ers in the WHite Mts/NH…
Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater, VT…
hello! my boyfriend and i are doing a section of the appalachian trail this summer (in Virginia), but we want to stop by Asheville.. Could you please suggest some places for us to visit/hike while were there? I would be stoked to have some ideas on where to go, hope all is well xx
That reply-to-message went weird!? I’m not sure how that all went down haha
That’s awesome! You’ll love Asheville and all the dirty fun you can have in it’s general vicinity :D The best places I can recommend as far as getting the most out of single day hiking would be to drive southbound on the Blue Ridge Parkway hitting up: Craggy Gardens, Graveyard Fields/The Mountains to Sea Trail/The Art Loeb Trail at Balsam Knob and Looking Glass Rock!
As far as the town itself goes, well, it’s all awesome and the fun spreads to every corner of the place… I would recommend you park your car in the garage on Rankin and Walnut behind the library and just hoof it! There are a ton of awesome places to grab a bite to eat and breweries within a short walk of one another! The people there are super nice too so ask around and get their take as well! :)
I hope you enjoy your trip!