We had big plans for our stopover in Acadia National Park. A hike up The Bubbles, exploring tide pools along Seawall, a sunset picnic on Cadillac Mountain. Unfortunately as soon as we left Saco it began to rain and it didn’t let up, ever! However, we hoped for the best and with our rain jackets zipped up tight we tried to make the most of three nights of camping in the national park.
Just two days before leaving Saco we had the foresight to realize that we would probably need some sort of rain shelter. Rain hadn’t been much of an issue on last year’s Route 1 adventure so it didn’t really cross our minds until we started packing up our camping gear. Fortunately Cadillac Mountain Sports in Ellsworth, Maine had just the tarp and pole set that we wanted. Honestly this is the best stocked outdoor equipment store that we have run across in our travels. Last year on our way south on Route 1 we were able to pick up light weight camping blankets here. They definitely saved our hides by having the Kelty Noah’s Tarp and adjustable poles in stock. We would have sprouted gills after three nights of camping in pouring rain if it wasn’t for the Noah’s Tarp over our tent. As it was by the second day our campsite became waterfront property with a rather large pond welling up.
In the moments when the rain let up to a sprinkle we left our swamp at Seawall campground and ventured into the park proper to see the sights. The kids were not impressed by Thunder Hole and Cadillac Mountain was shrouded in thick clouds, so we headed instead to the park’s network of carriage roads. The kids helped to map out a nice route near Jordan Pond and we meandered along the car free roads in search of the famed stone bridges. At one such bridge an epic pine cone battle broke out. Probably not what Mr. Rockefeller had in mind when setting aside these spectacular trails, but a memory maker for the kids none the less.
When camping in the rain we usually take refuge at park covered picnic areas. We prepare a big lunch, play games, and let the kids get out their excess energy while running around the picnic tables. However, it turns out that Acadia National Park only has one covered picnic shelter and it was closed off behind a locked gate. After deciding that breaking open the lock would be a bad idea, Five String saved the day by driving us to the swimming beach at Echo Lake where he promised to find us a dry place to eat lunch. Sure enough the changing rooms did provide a dry spot to make a sandwich. Five of Hearts was not impressed with this solution and gave Dad some looks that he was hoping he wouldn’t encounter until she was at least a teenager. Luckily some after lunch cookies smoothed everything over and Five String convinced the kids to take a swim in the lake. Hey they were already wet so why not? The water was so cold that when Five String dove under his body bounced up and he was back on the beach in a split second. The park employee on site said it was first he had seen anyone in the water all season, which made it worth the shivering and blue lips.
As our time in Acadia came to an end and we made peace with the fact that the rain was here to stay there was only one thing left to do – Splish, Splash, and Jump. So, while the kids are leaving without the quintessential memories of ocean cliffs, glacial lakes and sunsets. They will never forget the joy of becoming completely soaked in a veritable playground of puddles.