Posts tagged: sunrise

Sunrises and Sandbars – Bar Harbor, Maine

By , September 24, 2010 5:53 pm

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On Monday, we woke up around 4:30 am, made lots of coffee and headed up to Cadillac Mountain again.  This time it was to watch the sunrise.  Cadillac Mountain is the first point of the continental US where sunlight hits in the morning (sometimes).

It was cold and windy.  Dasy mostly stayed in the Jeep and took pictures of me taking pictures.  I don’t really blame her, it was pretty miserable. Confused smile Sunrise wasn’t spectacular, but we were glad we went and it was still nice.  The clouds didn’t cooperate, so we mostly just saw colors and clouds… the sun didn’t actually show up until around noon that day.

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Later that day, we headed to Bar Island.  The island is connected to Bar Harbor only at low tide.  When the tide goes out, a long gravel-covered sand bar appears, allowing people to walk over to the island.  Hopefully they have watches and are paying attention because there’s only a couple of hours before the bar gets covered again and you can’t get back!

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On the way over to the island, we noticed lots of seagulls dropping things from the sky.  They have figured out that they can pry off a mussel, fly up about 20 or 30 feet, drop it on the rocks, then swoop down for dinner.  It’s pretty amusing to watch and is quite interesting.  There’s lots of behaviors and patterns that develop eventually…  “Newbies” will drop stuff on sand and it’s dumb luck if they happen to hit a rock, more accomplished birds will fly over to rocky areas instead.  If a bird goes up too high (presumably hoping to get more of an impact to break a shell), other birds have time to swoop in and steal dinner before he can get back down.  Ravens also hang out hoping to steal some unlucky bounces. Winking smile

Oh, we also saw a seagull hunt down and wrangle a pretty decent sized crab.  We were both a bit shocked that the crab didn’t fare better. Confused smile

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GullDrop

We went to dinner with David and Brenda, then came back to see the tide progress…  Eventually the sand bar and the beach are completely underwater, but even after only a couple hours, you can see the dramatic difference the tide makes.  It’s a pretty interesting place!

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Cadillac and Cats in Maine

By , September 18, 2010 12:15 pm

Yesterday, we went into Bar Harbor for breakfast!  We heard that 2 Cats Cafe was highly rated, so we started there.  Dasy ordered some blueberry pancakes and I had a lobster omelet.  The pancakes were good, but the syrup was made of 100% awesome!  My omelet was a bit too buttery, which overpowered the lobster, but it was good start to the day.

IMG_4344Dave and Brenda had blueberry pancakes down the street at Jordan’s (which they said were awesome).  We met up with them afterwards and strolled around town for a bit.  We bought a couple of trinkets and some ice cream, but otherwise just enjoyed the sights.

In the evening, IMG_3498Dasy and I headed up to Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunset.  We’ll be going back for a sunrise in a day or two.  Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the morning that the sun hits in the United States.  The sunset we saw was excellent, but I didn’t bring a tripod, so I didn’t get many good pictures.  I’ll probably be heading back for that again before we leave.

Today we took the bicycles out to Acadia National Park and rode around on some of the carriage roads, but I’ll save that for the next post!

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Mount Rainier National Park (continued)

By , August 9, 2010 12:27 pm

IMG_2618For the rest of our time in Mount Rainier, we spent a fair chunk of it at the Grove of the Patriarchs.  The Grove is on an “island” in the middle of the Ohanapecosh River.  You can get there via a nature trail that starts just past the Stephen’s Canyon entrance to the park.  If you hit it on a weekend, expect parking to be a scarce commodity.  We actually went up to the next parking area on the road and walked back a fair distance to get to the trail.

The trail leads through some old cedar next to the river, before crossing a small suspension bridge.  The bridge is only wide enough for one person, so everyone alternated with those on the other side.  I almost waded across the river instead, but the water was cold and I didn’t want to be walking around with sandy or wet feet the rest of the day.  Winking smile

Once you cross the river, you’ll eventually come to a boardwalk that leads around the grove.  Here are some of the oldest of the trees in the area.  Exceptional ones will have small plaques around somewhere describing them.

These are some monstrous trees!  After seeing these and the ones previously at Olympic National Park, I have a real hard time comprehending how big a redwood or sequoia might be. Confused smile

IMG_2612After a pleasant hike around the grove, we headed back to the Jeep so we could check out the Sunrise and White River side of the park.

Be careful of the drive to Sunrise, especially on weekends.  The rangers are pretty diligent about monitoring and penalizing speed limit violations.  I pulled into an overlook to let a motorcycle pass us… he was pulled over getting a ticket about two minutes later.  We spotted plenty of rangers both in and out of the park, so watch your speed everywhere (the park rangers do have jurisdiction outside the park, as they cooperate with the forest rangers in the area too).  There’s not much need to speed through…  as the drive is very scenic and it’s worth taking your time for it.

IMG_2642Once you make it to Sunrise, there is a ranger station, restrooms, backcountry and hiking permits, plus a cafeteria and gift shop.  Expect prices to be fairly unreasonable.  You’re in the middle of nowhere and at their mercy…  I seem to remember that the going rate for a hot dog was $5.  Pack your lunch!

Dasy did a half-hour tour on one of the ranger programs, while I chilled out for a bit and checked out the buildings and stuff.  I just wasn’t in the mood for more walking around today.

The rest of our time was spent in the campground or at Mount Saint Helens.  More about that next time!

 

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Good morning!

By , October 29, 2009 12:50 pm

Just wanted to let everyone know we’re at Hilton Head Island, SC.  We got up early this morning to get to the beach for sunrise.

On the beach

I’ll post up some info about Pocahontas State Park and our trip here in a bit.

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