This past weekend we went to Acadia National Park, a large forested area on an island in Maine. It took about 6 hours to get there, and the night we arrived, we weren’t even sure where we were going to stay. Thankfully we were able to find a spot in the park, so at about 9pm at night, in the dark Maine night, my brother, his friend, Tri, and I pitched our tent.
Our weekend included lots staring at the vast, beautiful expanses of coast, introducing Tri to his first s’mores (not sure if this is a tradition outside of the US, but a s’more is basically roasted marshmallows stuck between two graham crackers with a piece of chocolate thrown in–a camping tradition), and hiking up a nerve-wracking but really fun trail called the Precipice.
But by far the best part of the weekend was the gorgeous sunrise we experienced on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, it was preceded by the worst part of the trip: the rain.
On Saturday night, we had to move to a different campsite that was a bit further from the park. After having a big Maine lobster dinner on Saturday, as we were heading back to the campsite, we heard the pitter patter of rain on the roof of the car. uh-oh. When we got back to our campsite, the rain was still only an infrequent drizzle, so we set up the tent quickly, making sure to secure the rain tarp over the top.
Unfortunately, my brother and I put the rain cover on upside down…which you think wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but the cover had a couple of vent holes in it that were facing the wrong way, so the drips and drops of rain made their way into the tent all night. And since the tarp was already soaked on its exposed side, turning it right-side-up would have just made us more wet. It was a bit of a downer, but I have to admit that falling asleep to the pounding rain above me was a lot fun, and the reward was a clear sky the next morning, perfect weather to watch the sunrise.
I was skeptical about waking up early, especially after I knew our night in the tent would be a damp one. The next morning, however, I woke up on my own at about 5am and went out to use the bathroom. While outside, I looked up and saw the bright, clear stars. Although all I wanted to do was roll back into my sleeping bag and dream of my warm, dry bed at home, I knew I had to go see the sunrise.
Luckily we didn’t have to do any hiking at 5am in the morning…the mountain we were going to (Cadillac Mountain) is accessible by car. Once we got to the top, after we stepped out of the car, Tri and I took walked about 10 feet and started to shake from the cold. Fall weather definitely is settling in around here, especially in the Northern state of Maine. We hurriedly turned around and went back to the car which had our clothing in it. We each wore every shirt, hat, and piece of long underwear that we had brought and then waddled out, in our thick layers, to brave the cold and witness one of the most graceful sunrises I’ve ever seen…
This shot was taken about 45 minutes before the sun rose
This one was taken shortly before the sunrise
And here you can see the first piece of the glowing sun