The Precipice.

October 25th, 2009

(My apologies for such a long interlude between my last post and this, I was unsure how to write about this day’s events as I wanted to be thoroughly honest and detailed in my blog. I have decided that the more important aspect is to actually write and detail my journey as best I can remember while I can remember it, even if I leave out a few less than savory details that I do remember)

We woke early the next morning, bellies still remembering the feast from the night before. Our merriment was less than appreciated by those in the household who had to attend work in the wee hours of the morning, but we did not let anything stand in our way of enjoying our last day on Mount Desert Island. We ate a hearty breakfast and were out the door and on our way to our days first destination, Champlain Mountain, for the Precipice trail climb.
I Pulled over to snap a few pictures before we arrived at our destination, the foot of the steeply sloping trail to the top of the mountain. Bryan took the lead with his trained park ranger stride, followed closely by Jesse, and Brad, and I brought up the rear, stopping to snap pictures until I lost sight of my friends and had to run to catch up.

The trail was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the day seemed to improve with each step we took that put us closer to our goal of mounting the summit.

Bryan found one of the natives basking in the middle of the trail and introduced us to it.
Water seeped down over the predetermined climbing route, which rose steeper as we got closer to our goal, but the views improved, and I could see that by the time we reached the top I would be in for a breathtaking panorama of the Atlantic, and the National Park I had come to love in the few days I had spent there.

We stopped for a bit to check out some rock fall and I had time to snap a panorama, as well as some macro shots of the plant life on the small mountain.

We soon arrived at the more difficult portion of the climb. The sun was high in the sky at just a little past noon, almost an hour since we began our hike. Champlain Mt. provided a cool, almost chilling shade as we got closer to the top.
We finally made it and we all sat down to take in the sight. We each sat and drank a beer and enjoyed the view, the blowing wind, the sun smiling at us as we sat just a little closer to its face.
I took in the view around me. I couldn’t help but think “this is the Ocean I’ll be flying over in just a couple days."
I had Bryan film me juggling on top of the Precipice, we then began our harrowing decent down the backside of the mountain. The daylight hours were short so Bryan took the lead again and lead us down at break-neck speed. I had to film the stupidity, which was especially idiotic of me.

My left arm was caught behind me and was stretched upward as I fell down, it was sore for months afterward. We had to continue on, the other guys were so far ahead they didn’t even realize what had happened. We got down to the bottom and made our way to the car so we could begin a hike around the back side of the island.

The water was brilliant. The scenery magnificent. Every photo I snapped looked like something that belonged as desktop wallpaper, reminding office drones that a small piece of beauty still remains in the world and if they toil hard enough and save their pennies they could enjoy it for just a day or maybe more.

With the only white sands beach in Maine and the ‘beehive’ behind me I sat and pondered on my vacation so far. It was as if all the Karma I had garnered in my life was being repaid in a lump sum. A long vacation beginning with one of the most beautiful spots in America.
We walked over the white sands the cold breeze from the ocean reminding us this was no tropical vacation. Babies played in the water under watchful eyes from their parents. We didn’t have much time to linger there.
The sun was getting closer to setting and we had one more destination still to see before it did. This time it was a simple drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain on the East side of the island. Even higher than Champlain.
So high you could see the curvature of the earth (or the ineptitude of the cameraman’s panorama capturing abilities)
It’s hard to say one day was more perfect than the other, each day I spent here with my friends was as amazing as the last. I still cherish those moments. The next day would be spent driving my car to Connecticut where I would say goodbye to my trustworthy Kia as we took the train to the Big Apple. We checked into our room at the Greenpoint YMCA, my first hostel visit.
2 beds, 3 guys. I think Jesse ended up sleeping on the floor. We were only there for a few hours after hitting up the nightlife in Times Square. The train ride at 4am with men muttering to themselves in corners proved pretty uneventful. I remember dozing slightly on the way to Brooklyn.

We woke and checked out of our hostel. We took advantage of the breakfast option offered at a diner down the street. Greasy breakfast food and hot coffee. It was exactly what we needed after a long night of expensive boozing. We tipped our server and got on the train to Grand Central Station. I sat the camera on a closed teller counter and snapped this picture of myself and my two excellent travel companions before we said our goodbye’s, them heading back to Connecticut to make their way home in my car, and me heading to JFK to catch an overseas flight to Brussels and then on to Paris from there.

I’d like to thank Brad (left) for doing a lion’s share of the driving on the trip, and helping me navigate and have a good time in New York.
Jesse (right) for being an excellent travel companion and a great sport.
And of course Bryan for being an awesome host and tour guide in Acadia. I feel truly blessed to have such great friends.


  1. Awesome story telling Andy. Feels like I was almost there. ;)

  2. You could write a book, you are a gifted story teller! Who knew?!


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