Sea Kayaking, Brushing to Top of Sergeant Mountain, Night Photography, New Trail Build, RV Upgrade and Jack's RV Visit
Oct 2, 2011
|September 25 – Sea Kayaking, Brushing to Top of Sergeant Mountain, Night Photography, New Trail Build,RV Upgrade and Jack's Visit
A lot has happened in our Maine lives since our last journal entry: 6-mile sea kayaking voyage, brushing with Friends to the top of rainy Sergeant Mountain, learning how to photograph the night sky, building a new park connector trail with Friends and upgrading our vacation house.
Several months ago, we attended a charity benefit auction and bid on a sea kayak voyage for two and we were the high bidder. We chose to take the adventure two weeks ago on a bright, clear day with light wind. We were driven rapidly to the southwest side of the island to disembark. Before entering the two-person craft, we got into our water skirts with a small diameter around our waists and a larger one for around the lip of our entry and sitting kayak opening.
We had some excellent training before we climbed in and launched. There were 7 kayaks in our convoy that headed north along the coast where we viewed an eagle and a distant seal. Our training took some time before we included it in our rowing which yielded some less than efficient rowing progress. :|
My paddle was going too deep into the water and my body was moving too much as I pulled the paddle toward the rear which caused the little, plastic, banana-shaped vessel to rock. This I learned from my favorite rower behind me. My favorite rower was also the controller of the rudder mechanism which had a mechanical malfunction which caused even more strife.
What gave my favorite paddler a rough kayaking start was the bumpy, fast ride in a van where she sat in the back seat with a person who could not stop sharing her life’s stories on and on and on…..Kathleen was obliged to look sideways at her which included the 60 MPH blur of the roadside. This resulted in motion sickness.
But Kathleen is a great soldier and we did finish our 3-hour, 6-mile watery trek on time but a bit damp and worn. The noise of the kayak running aground at the port of arrival was a welcome sound. :)
Another watery adventure was our participation in the brushing (brush removal) of the Sergeant Mountain trail from the Amphitheater bridge at 500 feet to the mount summit at 1300 feet. We started our trek in a cool fog and as we worked our way up the rocky trail, the fog condensed into a drizzle and then into a heavy drizzle. By the time we reached our summit goal, the drizzle was turning to rain so that the trails that we climbed were little rivulets when we descended. We all returned without any problems but very damp. Another memorable experience.
For a whole week, many programs were offered in Acadia NP at night to learn about the night sky. I took a course in night photography and learned important tips in obtaining photos of the sky and dark landscapes. We used a fast ISO, light sensitivity setting, wide open shutter and multi-second/minute exposures. We tried different settings along the Eagle Lake shore where few stars were briefly visible due to the overcast surroundings. One technique that was fun was to ‘paint’ stones and trees in the foreground with our flashlights during the extended exposures. An example is shown in the attached photos.
Our final Friends of Acadia task was to work on a connector trail from a few Bar Harbor motels and the College of the Atlantic to one of the park’s carriage roads. Kathleen worked the gravel into the expanded plastic lattice with her friend Becky Heden while us wheelbarrowers trucked the gravel up the hill to dump the contents at their location. The black lattice shown in the photos holds the gravel firmly on the sloped trail. The two rakers had their photos in the two local papers.
Click for Bangor News Connector Trail Article
Another final activity that we completed was to submit our final offer on a new, small house at the northern part of the Mount Desert Island. We are upgrading from an 8’x34’ box home on wheels to a 24’x26’ box home on a foundation as our summer residence in Bar Harbor, Maine.
After being here for a week in June, I realized that this is where I would like to spend our summers. Acadia NP and Bar Harbor have everything that we want as far as nature with the ocean, mountains, streams, flowers, mushrooms and hiking trails and activities with the Friends of Acadia, photo opportunities, pizza/cinema, popovers : ) etc. Kathleen agreed to start looking for houses for sale.
As is happens, there is a new community across the street from our campground that had 15 houses for sale that were very unique - super insulated within the 8-inch-thick walls requiring only one gas furnace on the first floor, small lots in a small community, woods surrounding and adjacent to the Park and close to the LL Bean bus route that we can use to go to town.
We will be able to finish the third floor as a sewing and painting area and the basement as an entertainment center. We will make these upgrades in the years to come.
Kathleen negotiated a great price and we signed the first offer papers on 9/9/11. We will spend the winters in our home in Leesburg, Florida.
A video about the community is at this youtube.com website:
Northeast Creek Community Video
We traveled back to Lancaster County on our way to Florida and had Jack, our grandson, sleep over. He is into Pokemon cards and he enjoys dancing (see video) and playing Angry Birds and Batttleship on our iPad. We hope to have Jack visit us next summer in our new home.
All for now.
It was a cool 46F last night and it is time that we are head south to a warmer climate and pickle-ball. We will arrive in Arlington Ridge Community on Wednesday.
Have a great week.
Steve and Kathleen