Today we took a break from hiking to go biking but the stars just weren't aligned. The carriage path was not all that great. Long stretches were very steep, which meant we had to take quite a few breaks, which meant it took forever to make much progress. Other sections were too easy -- flat and boring. Great views were few and far between, nothing like what we've seen earlier this week. It was colder than we expected, and cloudy, and windy. Our legs were probably more tired than we knew from two days of hiking. Matt's front tire wasn't spinning very well, but we didn't figure that out until we were back at our car. We were awfully glad to get back to that car.
When we started off, we were pumped. It was a beautiful, sunny day at the time.
There were gorgeous stone bridges similar to this one all along the route. Most of them were built between 1925 and 1935. This is probably the most elaborate one, and it was also the first one we came to, so we took a lot of pictures.
Here's another. We stopped for a snack at this one, I think. It's known for this waterfall, which is hard to see in the picture.
After about four hours it had gotten markedly colder. We were very tired. It felt like we were doing nothing but uphills. Taking a hot shower and reading under warm blankets in our toasty room until dinnertime started sounding irresistibly good. Matt studied the map for options.
Our choices were: a) Go for another hard hour and be back at our car. b) Go for an easy 10 minutes and catch the bus back to our car. Not wanting to feel like quitters, we chose the first option. Two minutes into it, we turned around and headed for the bus. It's supposed to be a vacation, after all.
This gate is one of the original entrances to Acadia. (It's now the site of a bus stop and parking lot.) The building it's attached to is now a private residence. Can you imagine living in a setting like Acadia? On the other hand, all the tourists in your back yard must get annoying.
We started waiting for the bus. After 15 minutes had passed we knew it must be arriving any minute since yesterday's bus ran every 20 minutes. We didn't have a bus schedule since we hadn't planned to ride the bus today, but we did have a trail map showing a bus stop there, and we were indeed sitting in front of the bus-stop sign, so we were confident it would show up.
After a while, a helpful couple passing by informed us that we were in for a long wait because that bus route is no longer in service as of Aug. 31. Apparently, it's in-season in that park passes still cost full price, but off-season in that bus service is limited.
The woman had been here for a month and knew her way around. She told us we could ride our bikes to nearby Northeast Harbor and catch a bus there. Which we did. Here's proof:
That bus didn't go back to where we were parked, but it eventually went to downtown Bar Harbor, where we could catch the right bus.
It all took a long time since the buses were running every hour thanks to a reduced schedule. Still, it was free, we had nowhere else to be, and we did make it back to our car for that hot shower and dinner, with time to spare before "The Office." What more could I ask for?