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Have you ever traveled to a location that holds a special place in your heart? A place where you could return over and over? A place that feels like “coming home”? For Bill and me, one of those places is Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The energy is good; it feeds our spirit.

Bill and I drove up on Monday and spent the next two days hiking one of our favorite areas. The weather was spectacular for a change. The sky was clear and the temps were in the 70’s for both of our hikes. We stayed at a new place, Llangolan Inn and Cottages on Route 3. Our cottage was small but clean and had everything we needed to fix breakfast.

We didn’t arrive until late afternoon so didn’t do any hiking. We took a drive through the park, picked up our annual pass which was $40, drove into town for dinner at a small place called The Portside Grill off the Main Street. When we returned to our cottage, Number 7, we watched the Home Run Derby part of the All-Star Game and went to bed.

On Tuesday Bill chose the Bear Brook Trail up Champlain Mtn. for our hike. We had done the same hike about 5 years ago. The name has been changed to Champlain Mtn. North Ridge Trail. It is not a difficult hike but quite steep about 2/3 of the way up. At one point we looked up and couldn’t believe we were going that much higher.

The trip up took us about 2 hours; however, we stopped a few times to catch our breath and wipe our brows. We had lunch on the summit, overlooking the ocean. I think that is what makes Acadia so spectacular; it’s the ocean views. There are any number of parks that have wonderful views but the addition of the ocean makes it all the better.

The hike down took us about 20 minutes less and we were able to make the trip to Jordan Pond House for their delightful popovers and a beverage. Generally, we are in Bar Harbor in September so our beverage has always been hot tea. However, it was a warm day so I had an iced tea and Bill tried the raspberry lemonade. We like to take our snack outside on the lawn with Jordan Pond and the Bubbles in the background.

It was still fairly early in the day but without enough time to do another hike we drove to Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor, a short trip by car. These are stunning perennial gardens that sit high up on a hill. They incorporate a reflection pool and two covered meditation areas. Although we had visited once before, we were too early and there wasn’t much to see. This time, however, they were in full bloom!

From there we went back into town, ordered a pizza, took it back to our cottage, sat outside and ate. We drove to the end of Hadley Point Road where we discovered a small beach area. We sat peacefully in the carand watched the beautiful sunset.

The next day dawned beautiful and clear once again. YEAH!! I didn’t want to get home too late in the day as I had to be up early the next day for work. After taking that into consideration, Bill again chose the day’s hike. We traveled along the Eagle Lake Trail, which was a new one for us. It was fairly level but we did discover once we reached the end that it was mostly uphill. The trail took us around the lake and the base of Connor’s Nubble. We had climbed the Nubble a couple of years ago when we had our bikes and we didn’t really have the time to hike the extra .8 mile so we had our lunch on the carriage trail and returned the way we had come. We took the time to have more popovers at the JPH before our drive home justifying this treat as our dinner.

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