Day 6: September 29, 2015
A Peek at the Park

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As promised, I returned to the Maine State Museum which was, as they had promised, now open. It's an impressive place with four floors of exhibits. Two of the floors are connected by ramps that wind around a working water-powered woodworking mill. Lumbering and other industries are well represented with a natural emphasis on things made in the state. Things like a 1904-5 Rawnsley Runabout built in Springvale and a lawn sprinkler made in Portland around 1892. A temporary exhibit I particularly liked displayed the work of photographer Kosti Ruohomaa. His photos appeared in both Life (5 covers) and Look as well as a number of other publications.

I more or less spontaneously decided to drive to Bangor purely because it is the only city in Maine I can remember on a regular basis. The drive was pleasant but unremarkable and I moved on to my destination for the day. While in Littleton, I had reserved a room in Ellsworth for two nights thinking I would spend the day in between exploring the nearby Acadia National Park. Two items from the conversation at check-in really caught my attention: 1) rain was predicted for tomorrow and 2) a few hours of daylight remained. I headed straight to the park.

I parked near a shelter displaying "VISITOR CENTER" and headed up the steps to the real visitor center. A Sign said there were fifty-two of them. Part way through the climb I snapped two pictures. The one at left is the second. A couple were partially visible in the first one and I snapped another to get a clear view of the steps. The energetic couple seemed to be in a friendly race and I watched the woman take a few of the steps two-at-a-time to catch up to the man. Shortly after they disappeared behind the trees I heard what I initially thought was laughter but quickly realized was not. When I next saw them, the man was on the ground with the woman beside him yelling "What should I do?" I hurried up the steps but by the time I reached the man he was trying to sit up. He had fallen and blacked out or vice versa. His knee was scraped and bloody but the main worry was the back of his head which had banged into the concrete and was bleeding fairly heavily. He quickly regained his senses and insisted on standing. I helped him to a nearby bench while the woman (wife?) ran to the visitor center and soon returned with wet paper towels. Before long, park staff arrived with a first aid kit and everything was soon under control but it was kind of scary for awhile.

Inside the center a ranger instantly understood my situation and marked a map for a streamlined but meaningful pass of the of the park's loop drive. The drive was certainly not leisurely. There's no question about that. It would have been better with more time and more sunshine but I had a couple of dry hours with decent visibility and I enjoyed them.

The ranger had marked Cadillac Mountain as an option. "It will be windy and cold", she said. That obviously wasn't very inviting but it was one of the few things in Acadia NP that I'd actually heard of and it seemed like driving up it was something I should do. It turned out to be not only windy and cold but foggy, too. To be honest, the temperature was not all that bad but the dampness of the fog didn't help. I put the top up for the descent.

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