Cadillac Mountain and Acadia National Park
Mileage Total for the Day: 28 miles
Total Trip Mileage: 254 miles
Acadia National Park is only a four to six hour drive from where I live, so we have managed to get ourselves up there several times the past few years. I thought I would be sort of bored with the whole visiting the park thing again, but I was pleasingly surprised.
Really, it was more beautiful than I remember it being. It doesn’t hurt that it is fairly big, with loads of small peaks and biking areas, making it that much more of a giant pegboard to attach your “been there” pegs to.
Camping on the less popular side of the island has its pluses and minuses too. In the minus column is that it takes forever (1.5 hours by free bus) to get to the other side of the park where there are most of the great hikes. For bonus points, it’s really what the park was meant to be like, quiet and foggy, and damp.
Our day in Acadia involved saying goodbye to some riding buddies and arranging meet up plans for those that didn’t want to brave Cadillac Mountain with us. Two of us (that’s me!) decided to ditch our panniers in the woods and ride our bikes up the 3.5 miles to the summit.
I started the hill climb unsure if I would ride the whole thing or if I might get off and walk, or if I might hitch a ride at some point. This is not the way you really want to start any good sized challenge. Positive mindset is really key. Luckily, after days of pedaling slowly down the road with a heavy bike, I felt light without my panniers and my mind easily switched to the more auto mode.
As I ascended higher and higher and the clouds started to roll in all foggy around me, all of my at home obligations started to creep to mind. I was skipping an important grad class where the teacher actually takes attendance (I know!). I started to think up excuses as I rode.
“I’m sorry I missed class today, I was riding up through the clouds." Or "I’m sorry I missed class today, but I am almost thirty and I thought it would be much more worth my time to ride my bike up this mountain and then ride back down really fast.”
In the end, I think the mountain wins that argument. And just for the record, I never stopped pedaling uphill. Not even for a wink.