Saturday, May 23, 2015

Jordan Pond Loop Trail, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island Maine

Jordan Pond is something of a misnomer for me.  It is three and three tens miles around the pond.  To me its a lake.  That being said, it is an amazing beautiful place.  Some time in the past a glacier about a mile deep set on the land where the Pond is located.  It rounded off the mountains in the area.  When it melted, it left a large deposit of material that acts as a dam on one end of the Pond.  This deposit is otherwise know as a moraine.  There are three separate sections to the hike.  There is a flat lever gravel path. There is an elevated boardwalk, and there is a rocky path.  I parked at the boat launch area and walked down to the Pond.  Standing facing the Pond, a hiker can go left or right.  It is a loop trail.  If you turn right there is a flat gravel trail that hugs the shore and takes you just past the northern most end of the Pond.  After you turn this corner you travel through about 400 yards of rocky terrain.  Through the rocky terrain there is an improved path that at places resembles rock steps.  Finally there is a boardwalk of sorts.  The boardwalk is about three quarters of a mile in length.  The boards are really logs sawn in half and affixed to supports to keep you up and away from the wet and boggy soil that is present on that side of the pond.  The walk is flat and easy.  From the path you can see the Jordan Pond House, a Bridge on the Carriage Road, the north and south Bubble The Jordan cliffs and seven assorted mountains.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observation Tower

     My adventure in Maine begins with a short trip south along Highway 1 to the town of Bucksport Maine.  Just across the river from Bucksport is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.  The span is a little over two thousand one hundred feet in length.  The bridge is an innovative design that does not use anchors for the cable stays.  There are two tower that support the bridges decks and one of these tower has an observation room at the top.    The bridge is amazing.
 I took a photograph of the bridge from underneath showing the expanse of the bridge deck.  There is one hundred and thirty five feet between the bridge deck and the water. The bridge was an emergency replacement for the an existing bridge that was in danger of falling down.  The towers are four hundred and twenty feet above the River.  One of the towers contains an observatory.  This is the only bridge observatory in the United States.  This observatory in one of only four in the entire world.
The towers remind me of the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.  I understand that the towers are modeled after the Monument.  The bridge is partially build with granite from Mt Waldo, which is where the stones came from to build the Washington Monument.  The observation deck allows views of the Penobscot River, Verona Island and Bucksport.  I think it 

cost five dollars to see both Fort Knox and take the tour up to the top of the tower.  If your passing through the area, this is well worth the admission fee.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Fort Knox Where's The Gold?

     Fort Knox.  It was not too far away.  Just a short half hour drive down Highway 1.  I had heard about Fort Knox all my life.  It is where the United States stores all of it gold.  I have always wanted to see tons of gold.   As it turns out, this was a different Fort Knox.   The fort was named after the same guy that the gold storage fort was named after.  This however had no gold stored in it. The fort is located on the Penobscot River.  It was built in or around 1830 to 1850.  It was made mostly out of granite.  
 The fort never really saw any action.  It was never completed and never had a complete installation of all its cannons.  While I was walking around the fort I felt that I was in an old castle somewhere.  The fort did have a couple of cannons on display.   

The fort was in excellent condition.  Even slightly unfinished it was an impressive structure.  The  workmanship on the stone is impressive.  

There was a free tour that lasted about a half an hour.  The guide gave a history of the fort.  The cannon was fired sometime in the 1970's to salute a Civil War veteran that was passing on a ship going up river.  The signal gun salute broke all the windows in the town across the river.
     The fort is said to be haunted.  There are long dark passageways all through the fort.  A flashlight would have been handy for getting around the bowels of the fort.  The masonry acted as a thermal mass that kept the temperature twenty degrees lower than the outside temperature.

This is a picture of the entrance looking out.  Originally there was no floor here.  The State of Maine installed the bricks to make entry into the fort easier.  


 I do plan on going to the other Fort Knox someday.  I don't think that they will let anyone see the gold.  This Fort Knox was definitely worth the visit.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fixer Upper For Sale, Back Roads of Maine

       I was exploring the side roads of Maine today.  As I was driving down the road I noticed this fixer upper.  I'm sure with a little effort it would look like a palace.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Buxom Wenches, Randy Tars, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

     Spring  had come to Chattanooga.  All the trees had gotten their leaves and the flower were starting to bloom.  Where once you could see through the trees there is now a wall of foliage. Just around the corner the heat and humility were sure to follow, so it was time to leave  and head for parts north.

     I left Chattanooga a week ago and headed for Maine.  I had not seen my daughter in a couple of year and she lives in Massachusetts.   I had never been to New England and wanted to visit the area.  I had always heard about this place called Bar Harbor.  It had a sort of mystical quality.  I imagined it a sleepy little town populated by randy tars and buxom wenches.  A step back in time to a 18th century fishing village.  I had decided to head in the general direction of down east Maine.  

Greenfield Massachusetts
     One of the first thing that I notice was that spring is lagging behind a little.  I wasn't long out of Chattanooga and the green started to fade away.  About the time I hit northern Kentucky, spring was no  where to be seen.  The farther north I traveled the less spring like it was.  I finally stopped off in Greenfield Massachusetts and it was winter again.  I climbed to the top of a local observation tower to get a grand view of the town.  Winter was a week or two away from leaving. 
      I am settled in Maine and looking forward to exploring the area.  Right next to Bar Harbor is Acadia National Park.  Acadia is the most eastern National Park and is the only National Park comprised solely of donated land.  The area was a retreat for the rich and famous of the New York City and they wanted to keep their backyard free from development.  They bought up all the land and made it into a National Park.  I heard Acadia is an amazing place.  

     Over the next couple of week I will explore and post on the area.  I promise to let get you a picture of the first randy tar I spot.   

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Visit With Sara, Pot Holes and Flower Bridges

    I made it up to Massachusetts from Chattanooga in just a couple of days and stopped off for a visit with my Daughter.  She is in school and working as a property manager in Greenfield.  This was my first visit to Massachusetts and Sara showed me the sites.  We also took in all her favorite restaurants in the area.  One on our trips was to a little burg just next to Greenfield where there is a flower bridge and a waterfall.  The bridge was a retired trolley bridge that is now just for pedestrians.  It is spruced up with flowers and is famous locally.  We got our picture taken on the flower bridge.  Since it is only late April, there were not many flowers.  It was still a lot of fun and very interesting.   The area is also known for pot holes.  Not the ones in streets.  
Apparently these are a geological wonder.  They were formed during the ice age when glacier runoff caused eddies that scoured the granite with other rocks to form the pot holes.  There is a particular pot hole that is the world largest at 39 feet across.  Sorry, didn't get a picture of that one.  
     Sara promised to come visit me in Maine sometime over the summer and we said our goodbyes.   

Saturday, April 25, 2015

On The Road Again. It Has Been A Long Time Coming

     I am on the road again.  I am on my way to Greenfield Massachusetts for a long over due visit with my daughter.  I spent six months in Chattanooga and loved the area. I had the opportunity to site see and just soak up the scenery.  I also meet some folks that I believe will become lasting friends.  
      Now it is  on to my next adventure.  I will be working in a campground for the summer.  As many of you know, did the same last summer in Yellowstone National Park.  This summer it will be Acadia National Park.  I am looking forward to exploring the area and posting more  videos.   I hope that I can last the entire season.   I will certainly keep you posted.