Back To Bubble Time

It's bigger than it looks.

It’s bigger than it looks.

It was another fabulous day in Acadia today, much busier on this Friday afternoon than last Thursday. I just had to return to tackle the rock scramble that blocked my friend and I from continuing on to the peak! Her pooch was not able to do it. I was solo on this 20th day in May. I invited others to join me, but one by one they all declined. I was not going to let that stop me from going. I checked the weather last night and it promised sunshine and warm temps. I was not going to stay home. By the looks of our lawn and the dust bunnies growing inside the house as I write, I should have declined also. My excuse for not doing the lawn even though in places it is knee-high makes sense in my book. I like dandelions, they are free flowers and the front yard has been overtaken by wild strawberries. I like to harvest them before the lawn gets its first haircut. The kids and hubby don’t mind not having to do it. The neighbors on the other hand I am sure roll their eyes.

Back to my Bubble hike.

Bubble Rock Info

Bubble Rock Info

According to the information sign at the parking viewing area this boulder weighing approximately 28,000 pounds was deposited by the glacier. Scientists believe this rock traveled 30-40 miles before coming to rest here. The rock can be seen from the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park Bar Harbor, Maine. From down below it doesn’t look very large. I was quite impressed with its size when I was standing next to it.

Hanging On

Hanging On

I started my hike At Jordan Pond parking just like we did last week. I knew right where I was going. My goal was to scale the rock scramble and do both South and North Bubble peaks. In the beginning the southern shore offers a northerly view of both peaks as your eyes skim the length of the pond’s surface and rise to the top of the hills.

Bubble Peaks

Bubble Peaks

I followed the Jordan Pond path along the water’s edge and enjoyed it’s smooth and peaceful surface. It wasn’t long before I reached the blue blazed trail head to take me up to South Peak. I crossed the cobbled log foot bridge, hung a right and hurried along enjoying my pace. Something seemed off. The trail was still very easy and I realized I hadn’t actually seen any blue blazes. I knew they were supposed to be there because I remembered seeing them last time. I came to a sign that read “Jordan Pond Carry” with an arrow pointing forward. “Hmmm” was my thought. I didn’t have my map and was relying on memory. Mistake #1, I should never rely on memory. I forget how many times that has failed me. I stopped and stared at the sign and at the trail wondering if I should continue or retreat. Retreat was my decision. I was imagining the headlines if I continued forward, “Experienced A.T. hiker gets lost on easy morning hike in Acadia.” Once back to the little bridge it was plain to see where I went wrong.

Confusion as the Fork

Confusion at the Fork

There were two trails after I crossed the bridge. If I would have read the signs I would have stayed on course. Now I know what it feels like to be a guy and not follow directions. There was a reason the trail seemed easy, it was the “carry” trail for portaging canoes and kayaks from Eagle Pond to Jordan Pond. That should have been another clue when I read the other sign. It was a very pleasant walk despite being the wrong way.

Within minutes I was at the spot where we met Fred, the 92-year-old hiker and his son. Then I was at the rock scramble. There was a young couple there and they ware up and over it in no time. The young man offered to help me which I gracefully declined. After all, it was the challenge I was seeking. That part may have been a physical mini victory but the next section challenged my psyche. If you followed my A.T. hike you will remember I frequently mentioned my fear of heights. The next 8-10 feet of scrambling were more terrifying for me than anything I experienced on the complete thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2015. I needed to get up an over the edge to the flatter part of the peak. It was a short section. But it was so close to the edge of nothing. Perfectly safe if you don’t have an overactive imagination.

Looking at the edge

Looking at the edge

The far left of the photo is the general area of the climb.

I did it! Lunch was eaten at the top and I decided I was not going down the way I came up. Without  a map I proceeded into unfamiliar territory. I did stop to read the signs and was able to navigate my way to the other peak. I was going to escape to the Bubble Parking Lot and hike the road back to Jordan Pond. On the way to the parking area a trail appeared on my right. I can’t remember what the sigh read, but I had a feeling this trail was the other end of the Jordan Pond Carry. I asked a couple if they had a map, “I am woman. I ask for directions”. I confirmed my haunch. I did not have to road walk and was able to leisurely hike this trail back to Jordan Pond.

Round trip it was a 3 hour hike. That included mini breaks at the top of both peaks and a 10 minute nap on a flat rock jutting out into Jordan Pond. I lied there resting on my pack as I soaked up the sun helping me manufacture much-needed vitamin D. Before I left my resting spot I jotted down a few key words that came to mind as I hiked. I hike to clear my mind. As my mind clears of the everyday tasks that clutter it, room is made for deeper more meaningful cognitive content. Words like consistency, fear, scattered, loneliness, challenge, help, It’s not fair, and litter filled the void this day. Each of them had their own monologue in my brain as I hiked along. It gave me the idea to keep a catalog of these thoughts and write about them. Not all at once.

Hiking to me isn’t just about being outside and seeing new things. that’s a big part of it. But another main benefit is how the hike makes me feel. Scattered was the provoking thought of the day. That basically described my mental being and physical being. From the moment I awoke. I was scattered attempting to get ready in the morning.  I couldn’t get my act together. I’d start to pack, then did laundry. I tried to eat breakfast then feed the animals and forgot to eat. I usually have a set morning routine and for some reason it was non-existent today. I toiled over which way I would head to Acadia, the interstate or Route 2? I tried to listen to the radio and I couldn’t focus on any station so I shut it off. Even the fish in the pond scattered as I approached.

Scattered

Scattered

There were thousands of these little fish, it looked like the pond was black. When I approached they scattered, just like the thoughts in my brain.

By the end of the hike I was relaxed and my mind was happy. I saw lots of beautiful sites, my muscles felt good from the exertion. Just some of the benefits of hiking. I even got to see my favorite flower.

My Favorite Flower - Bluets

My Favorite Flower – Bluets

That makes me think of a sign I saw on my way home in Orono on Stillwater Ave at a Greenhouse, “Gardening is better than therapy and you get tomatoes” I could say that “Hiking is better than therapy and you get views”

Happy Hiking

 

Emily M. Leonard

About Emily M. Leonard

I am a 50 year old Maine native and lover of the outdoors. Former Physical Education teacher and soccer coach. I am Married to the best husband ever and gave up teaching and coaching to raise our two wonderful sons. I have always enjoyed being outside and on the go.