Oh Acadia. I love you so. We have been visiting Acadia National Park for years now each summer, often returning in the fall when the crowds and bugs are gone, and when the woods turn quiet and colorful. Those weekends, intentionally set aside as time to be together as a family after the school year has begun and we are all breathlessly adjusting to the difference between our summer and school year selves and how we relate to each other, are so very important to me, to all of us I believe.
We enter each visit a little different than the selves we were last time we were there. A year older. Different interests emerging, legs lengthening and making different activities possible. We got into a bit of a hiking craze this summer, and hikes that are slightly dangerous make everyone a bit giddy. Which both terrifies and amuses me.
It rained this visit, for most of the time we were there, and one of us was fairly sick with a fever. So our time was spent differently, less energetically, and very quietly. Which was lovely, actually.
One morning we left our campground and headed off, unsure where we were headed after we found some hot cocoa that wasn't diluted with rainwater. We landed at the Ladder Trail on Dorr Mountain, having read about its stairs and rungs and ladders, features that are sure to make our children want to hike the trail they are on.
The people who built this trail were on my mind for the duration of our hike, the work and care and devotion that those people who carried and placed each rock, the metal rungs and ladders made and drilled into the rocks determined best to climb over, the narrow passages carved for hikers to pass between others. It's an amazing trail, and one perfect for a family needing to take their time, and the rain made the colors all the more brilliant.
The view from the summit was limited, but the moving fog against brambly scrub was actually as gorgeous as the obscured view down to the harbor would have been. And everywhere I looked I saw the care this trail requires, markings of the work to bring people to the summit, to the view, to the goal. Which was exactly why we were there.
I am now reading Creating Acadia National Park by Ronald H. Epp and Historic Acadia National Park, the Stories Behind One of America's Great Treasures, by Catherine Schmitt. Learning more about the creation, vision, history, and care of Acadia.