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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Life is a 'Beech'......

6:08 am - Thursday - July 12th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 58º F, 72% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the north by northwest......sunny, clear blue skies with a forecast high to day of 77º F.

Here on MDI* one is never far from a boundary sign for Acadia National Park.  On Wednesday we decided to take a hike before watching the England/Croatia World Cup semi final match at 2 pm.  There are a number of trails which can be reached right here from Smuggler's Den.....no car necessary.  Every day I work I see that fire watch tower on Beech Mountain calling to me.  The trail to Beech Mountain is about .8 miles from our Newell, so we left on foot about 10 am to hike a loop including the summit of Beech Mountain (we thought) by connecting several different trails together.......





.......within minutes we were turning left off Lurvey Spring Road on to the Beech Cliff's Trail which would ultimately connect us with Beech Mountain.......


......there it is (middle sign)....only 1.1 miles to go (1.8 kilometers if you are so inclined), but what a 1.1 miles!  This trail starts out rocky and gets rockier......



......there are long staircases made of granite, and others made from wood, but mostly granite.....


.......there are 6, or 7 metal ladders of various lengths taking you straight up in places......


....we finally made it to the Beech Cliffs overlook, and then continued on to Beech Mountain summit (again, we thought)......



 Echo Lake and its beach (on the right)



.....and this is where the signage gets a little confusing.....our goal was Beech Mountain, and we thought that was where we were going, but we somehow missed the turnoff.  My theory is that this sign (above) would have taken us to Beech Mountain, but it appeared to be taking us to the parking lot......we could see the Beech Mountain fire watchtower so took a trail that appeared to go that direction, but never got there......

 Beech Mountain fire watchtower


.......after another 1/2 mile we came to this sign (Canada Cliffs Trail to Valley Trail) which has no reference to Beech Mountain, but would take us to the Valley Trail which would take us to the south end of Long Pond, and eventually home......


.....there are a number of trails to the top of Beech Mountain and we ultimately came to one at the fork of the Canada Cliffs and Valley Trails which would have taken us there, but now we were looking at adding another 2+ miles to our hike which was already going to be close to 6 miles, and we were just not into an 8+ mile day so we turned left and headed towards Long Pond leaving the summit of Beech Mountain for another day....


......from this point on the trail was mostly packed gravel and very easy to traverse....


.....and within just a few minutes we came in site of Long Pond and the end of our trail hike, but not the end of our hike......


......we walked a short distance up Long Pond Road (paved) to its intersection with Lurvey Springs Road (gravel/dirt) which took us back to SDC.  In all we covered 5.9 miles in two hours of 'moving' time, and were gone just over three hours.....



.....we burnt 1,070 calories and averaged about 2.7 mph for the entire hike with a total elevation gain of 910 feet.  It was the longest hike we have taken here on MDI* so far this summer, and our fourth hike over all....only 20 to go!

We spent the afternoon watching the England vs. Croatia World Cup match.  England scored just over 5 minutes into the first half, and the score remained 1-nil until the 76th minute when Croatia leveled the score at 1-1.  It was still tied at the end of regulation and 6 minutes of added time.  Up next there were two 15 minute over time periods and it was then that Croatia scored the final, and winning goal to win the match 2-1 sending England home.  The final will feature France and Croatia this coming Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by!

*MDI = Mount Desert Island

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