The Boston Marathon is traditionally held on Patriot’s Day in April, but due to Covid and repeated postponements, this year’s race was held in October. The week of the race coincided with peak fall foliage in the Northeast, which gave us the chance to go leaf peeping up in Acadia National Park in Maine. Having lived in the Southwest and West Coast for the past 15 years, we’re accustomed to dry desert brown terrain. Lush greenery is always greatly appreciated, and the changing fall colors of reds, oranges, and yellows are a rare treat for us.
Acadia National Park is also home to the highest point in the North Atlantic seaboard – the Cadillac Summit, a popular sunrise spot. From October 7th through March 6th, it is also the first spot in the entire US to see the sun rise (living in SoCal means we’re one of the last to see the sunrise in the lower 48). The Cadillac Summit requires advanced vehicle reservations, which I managed to secure 3 months prior to our trip. For $6, it was a steal compared to the reservation costs out West and in Hawaii.
Sunrise was at 6:45am, our reservation was for 5-7AM, and were required to be at the park by 5:30AM. This meant spending more than an hour in the dark at the summit. Thanks to clear skies, we were treated to a beautiful starry show – the Big Dipper, North Star, Orion’s Belt, the Gemini constellation, and a couple of shooting stars, to mention a few. Eventually, the sun finally began to rise.
After the sunrise and a quick nap back at the hotel, we collected the rest of the group and hit the Jordan Pond trail. Peak foliage unfortunately also means crowds. Finding parking required a bit of luck, which we fortunately had.
After our late lunch at the Jordan Pond House (an hour and a half wait) in the outdoor setting with a beautiful view of the lake, we set off for the Bass Harbor Head lighthouse for sunset. Everyone else apparently had the same idea, and parking required some out of the box thinking. We managed to park in a grassy area in a lot outside the park.
The lighthouse was the perfect example of Instagram vs. Reality.