.After walking to the Bowl and once we crossed over to the Beehive Mountain we were standing on the end of the cliffs looking out over the sea as a head popped up from the side of the rocks. Dave asked the person how the climb up was and he said a little steep in places, we told him we were headed down, he looked at us and said he wouldn't go down, that would be too frigging hairy that way. Well here we go heading down anyway. I hadn't thought much about going down but I was up for the challenge and I knew Dave was excited to try it. I'm not afraid of heights, I'm not afraid of heights, if I keep telling myself that it might come true. It couldn't be that hard, even though the trail is listed as being moderate to hard. There are wrought iron hand holds and bridges to cross and walking on the ledge of the cliff but the sight out on the cliff is breathtaking when I finally opened my eyes. The hardest thing was my bulky jacket I had on. It was pretty chilly today even thought the sun was shining. Better to wear something that is not bulky. I even saw where Louisa's 110 acre mansion had been located. We checked it out when we got down off the precipice, I realize now down at the bottom, I'm not afraid of heights. I would consider this trail moderate but not hard. Absolutely not a good trail for little children but teenagers would do fine. Next week Gorham Mountain, Cadillac Cliff trail and Otter Cove. Till next time we're out there on foot.
This weekend our goal was to make it to the Bowl and Beehive. We parked in the upper parking lot at Sand beach crossed the road and went right for a very short walk down the road and to the left we saw the marker for the two mountains we were climbing today. We followed blue markers walking over rocks and boulders till we came to a cairn pointing in the direction to the left to go up the back of the Beehive via the Bowl. Linda last week suggested that we go that way since I haven't been cliff climbing in over thirty-five years. Heading up we crossed over many rocks and a few man-made stairways. It snowed a day ago so this weekend the land was scattered in spots with snow and ice dripping from the cliffs. We took it a little slow to be more cautious as to be safe. I wore my hiking boots this weekend and what a difference it made to wearing my sneakers, but remember we were out to do nothing last weekend, but got caught up in the history and went exploring. Going to the Bowl the trail was fairly easy going and interesting foliage and rock formation as we went. Before we knew it the .8 mi was behind us and we were heading down the forest trail and found ourselves in front of the lake. At the lake we found a boardwalk path, following it to the right we found it headed back up the mountainside. On top I was surprised at the beautiful scenery below at the Bowl. I heard the screech of a bird that I thought was an Eagle. Looking to the sky I saw wings wide as the wind took it higher. I think he thought we were too close from where we stood watching, he screeched again the sound carrying in the wind. To the left looking over the mountain toward the lake I saw five more birds dipping in the wind on a mountain top heading for a landing somewhere in the cliff-side. They didn't look like eagles after all and Dave said they were Peregrine Falcons. The Falcons that I have read of that live in the cliffs of Acadia. Our walk brought us into the forest through a short valley and then we came to more arrows pointing the way. At that point I could still chicken out because one of the arrows pointed back toward sand beach via a different trail down, the direction that Linda from last week was assuming I would be taking back to the car after we went to the Beehive summit, anyway we started heading back up the mountain continuing on to the Beehive. If you are interested in peregrines, I read to stop by the Precipice Trail parking area most days from July 1 through mid-August weather permitting, the Precipice trail is closed to hiking during this time but a ranger or volunteer will be available with viewing scopes so you can watch peregrine falcons breeding (or attempting to breed) on Champlain Mountain. They will be there between 9 a.m. and noon. You may just see us there on foot.
Today we drove to sand beach with not much in mind to do just waiting for something to find us and as always, it did. Sitting on the beach a man approached us from behind and stopped to talk with us. His opening conversation he asked if we had gone in yet, pointing toward the ocean with a jerk of his head, looking over in that direction I noticed the waves were rolling in crashing on the sand, making little hissing sounds as it started to creep back out to sea as another one rolled in, icicles cresting over the sand where the wave last settled. Amused I smiled and Dave said "not yet". A big smile crossed this man's face and his eyes lite up as he started telling us about, as a boy he remembered coming here in the summertime and swimming out as far as he could hoping to get to the little island. For the longest time he recollected, he stayed out for about fifteen minutes but never was able to get to the island and when he came out of the water he was frozen from head to toe shivering and teeth chattering. He told us if he had stayed out any longer he may have been lost to the sea as hypothermia set in. He suggests we give it a try this summer as well, it's "refreshing" he said. He also with a point of his finger told us about the unusual topography of the sand and rocks on the beach. He mentioned that it was unusual because there was no sand, where sand had been last year. He said the waves may have washed it away or the force of the waves moved the rocks in, either way it would stay that way until next winter when the sea would change it once again. I being inexperienced in such matters would never have even thought about it, had he not brought it to my attention, but from here on I will make note of it for sure. He also told us about JP Morgan's daughter he mentioned that JP Morgan was the great multinational bank/financier who also had ties to the Titanic. This man said story goes that JP Morgan gave the gift of the Great Head peninsula including sand beach to his daughter as a wedding gift and the 110 acre mansion that was built. In the 110 acres in back of the beach she had great gardens overlooking the sea, and the pond out back, I wasn't sure about all he was talking about so I did some research and found that it was all true, it is now called the Long Lost Eden as the forest has grown up around it since the fire of 1947 burned most of the buildings to the ground. http://www.ellsworthamerican.com/maine-news/great-heads-long-lost-eden
This man told us that three quarters of sand beach was her playground. JP Morgan's daughter, Louisa Satterlee had a tea house on top of the cliffs and boat house by the lake that was just in back of the beach. He said years later story goes the boat house was seen sailing away on the tide. I had never seen the lake and I had never been way back of the beach. He told us he would come to the beach as a little fella and her three-quarters of the beach was blocked off by a sign saying "Keep Out", the lady would be sitting on the beach under an umbrella all by herself and there would be two hundred people on the other quarter. He said it was the funniest thing to see. Unfortunately we did not get his name. I would have liked to have named him. After he left I was curious to see the other side of the beach, pond and peninsula. As many times I have come here I never walked past the first few steps of the beach. This day Dave and I found the pond, walked the peninsula, found the old tea house foundation, just a bunch of crumbled rocks now atop the peninsula pointed out to us by a person named Linda a schoolteacher hiking the peninsula the same time we were, it was by this foundation that we met her. A tid- bit of information I thought amusing is she said that Mainers are tourists in Bar Harbor in the winter months and considered locals in the summer. I guess it is kinda like if you weren't born in Maine your from away. Linda lived in Bar Harbor but she is from away. We finished our hike with Linda talking about more history of Acadia, about Maine is one of only a few states in which coastal property owners can own land out to the mean low tide line. These ownership interests are subject to a centuries-old public easement allowing the public to use the intertidal zone for the limited purposes of "fishing, fowling and navigation." At present, this does not legally include public use for recreational purposes. In most other coastal states the intertidal land is owned by the state in trust for the public under the public trust doctrine. This generally entitles the public to use the intertidal zone for recreational purposes as well as such things as fishing and navigation. We also talked about the mansion and the mountain we see in the distant called The Beehive and directions to the Bowl Trail which has an easier access to the Beehive precipice. Precipice I have learned is very steep rock face or cliffs . This has sparked our interest to come back down next weekend. I think I might be a cliff climber...we will see. The best part of this weekend is the people we met. Because of them we were on foot.