“one day I will tell you a story. A story that will make you ponder. A story that will make you wonder. A story that will give you another story. One day I will tell you a story. A story about life. A story about my life. One day I will tell you a story!”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
“A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”
― Chuck Palahniuk
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.”
― Margaret Atwood
Today The Artist and I did something that we haven’t done in a long time …. go out in search of a very old abandoned trail in Acadia …. and yes, then tell the story of the adventure!
But first, I have to tell you the story about the new members of our family!
We got this brother and sister nine days ago from the local shelter at 9 weeks of age. Since we can’t adopt them until they are 12 weeks old, we are fostering them in the meantime ..just a formality really!
We didn’t give them names right away as we wanted to get a feel for their personalities. A couple days ago as we were laying in bed with them, we asked each of them what they wanted to be called and we got an “intuitive” message from each. The Little Girl (what we have been calling her) told us her name was “Kiku” … which is Japanese for Chrysanthemum. The Little Boy said his name was “Gideon”
So that is what their new names are!
The Artist & I lost our two older cats this year. Chappie and Dolly were also a brother/sister pair as well. We still miss them – a lot at times – and these two are a nice addition to the family as well!
OK, back to our adventure story!
When The Artist & I moved here almost 2 1/2 years ago, that first October/November we went out almost daily to find and hike old lost and abandoned trails in Acadia. We found and hiked dozens and dozens of these ( you can read some stories about them here, here and here!
Today we decided to revisit one of these trails from two years ago… it was an old cart road that was built in 1893. It shows up on an 1896 and 1901 map, but drops off the maps after a while …just as many of these old trails do as the NPS has abandoned them.
We decided to take Edog with us as it is a fairly flat and easy old trail that she could run and play on ..we knew there was a small brook that crossed it that she would love to play in as well! She was quite happy as we started out late in the day … it was about 4:00 and we knew the sun set around 5:30 … no worries, we would be back in plenty of time!
After an easy hike on the old cart road that is now just a narrow path through thick woods, we came to the brook where Edog could play…
She loves to wade, roll and be in these cold running mountain streams!
As we hiked along, The Artist and I noticed what looked like an old trail that wandered through the woods off to our left. We followed it for awhile until it came to another stream. Imagine our surprise when we saw an old stone foundation on the edge of the stream where a bridge must have stood at one point! (unfortunately, the photo didn’t turn out) 🙁
(We looked at old maps when we got home, and found out that we had stumbled upon another old cart path built in 1896 …. the other end of it from where we were has been turned into part of the current park loop road …. I don’t identify the names of these old lost trails anymore in the blog as the NPS has taken a turn against people hiking these old abandoned trails and recently has started to issue fines to people who try to maintain them .. a sad turn of events in my opinion)
We returned back the way we came as the sun was starting to touch the top of the western mountain in front of us. When we got back to the old trail we had started out on, The Artist and Edog decided to cross it and wander down to another, larger brook that was running well with the recent rains.
Edog took the opportunity to take a good long drink!
As we were standing there in the fading light deciding if we should start back or go a little further, The Artist’s keen eyesight caught a glimpse of a stone cairn on the other side of the brook and we crossed over to check it out.
About 100 feet or so further up we saw another … we had discovered an old abandoned trail we didn’t even know about!
Even though it was getting late, we could see that the trail headed east up a steepening slope and the setting sun in the west still cast light on the hill as it went up … there was no way we could turn around now!!!!
We followed the stone cairns as they steadily climbed up the side of an ever increasingly steep hill. Some of the stone cairns were newer and you could tell had been made in the last 20 years or so …
….while others were very old……
As the trail increased in steepness, we started seeing larger rocks and some steep ledges higher up…
It was breathtaking to see, even if the climb was more than we had counted on!
We finally reached a point where we came to large granite cliffs and boulder fields and even some small caves. We estimated we were at 220′ elevation and this was the old boundary of where the ancient sea had been about 350 million years ago!
The old trail led us to this and I knew that we would have to turn around …. Edog may be many things, but she is not a mountain goat!
The trail climbed through a slight pass in the cliff and while Edog and I waited below, The Artist climbed up to see where the trail went from there!
It climbed further and came out on a ridge that followed a tall mountain to the north The Artist reported when she climbed back down. She and I are most def coming back by our lonesomes to hike this further (sorry Edog)
We turned and started the climb back down and quickly started to lose the light ..it must have been well after sun set at this point. If you read back over some of our old adventures, you will see that somehow no matter what time we start out on a trail, we have the uncanny knack of always getting back in the dark!
We made it back to the brook we had crossed over when we found the stone cairn ….
…and had a wonderful hike back in the growing dark woods. We popped out into this clearing about a 1/4 of a mile from the car and got a wonderful view to the southwest and the last hint of color over the ocean with the rising moon!
When we got home, we had the best surprise in the mail …. a collection of wonderful books from a very dear friend in California!
The Artist and I are both great admirers of the words and thoughts of Alan Watts. Imagine our great joy when we discovered one of the books was a 1972 edition of his “The Art of Contemplation” …. the book is handwritten and illustrated by this great man!
(To B & J .. if you are reading this, thank you sooooo much. You two are beyond words and we cherish your friendship)
As I write this blog, The Artist made dinner …woo hoo!
It was simply amazing …. Korean Mixed Rice with Sashimi (Hwe Dub Bap) … I made a wasabi mayo dipping sauce that was just perfect with the raw tuna!
After dinner we scoured the old maps and found the trail we discovered today .. it was built in 1896 but does not show up on the 1896 map, but is on the 1901 map. Once we saw where the trail DOES go, we even more want to go back and explore it …. it should be quite the adventure and another great story!
Thus ends today’s story … I hope you enjoyed it!