Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: Acadia National Park (Page 1 of 3)

Wordless Wednesday: Bubble Rock

Mainely Acadia: Hiking South Bubble Mountain

On our last trip to Acadia, we left without doing everything we wanted to do. One of the biggest things was hiking to the top of South Bubble Mountain. The hike is rated as an easy family hike, but I was skeptical. How could climbing a mountain be easy?  Chris kept reassuring me that the parking lot is about half way up the mountain, we weren’t climbing it from its base where it looms 400 feet above Jordan Pond.

Bubble Rock perched atop South Bubble Mountain

Perched at the top of South Bubble Mountain is Bubble Rock. Bubble Rock is a glacial erratic, meaning if you look at it, Bubble Rock looks different than the rock on South Bubble Mountain. It was deposited there as the glaciers receded during the last ice age. Over the years, many people have tried to push it off, but no one has been successful. The ease of the hike and the curiosity of Bubble Rock make this one of the most popular hikes in the park.

After successfully climbing South Bubble, I can tell you that it is not a bad hike. Its estimated that it can be done in about an hour, but I don’t think it took us that long. To get good light, we left early, but we were back in Southwest Harbor in time for breakfast. If you’ve been to Sleeping Bear Dunes, it was an easier hike than the Empire Bluff Trail, which is my favorite hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It is a slight incline the whole way up, but it does have steps built in, so you don’t have to find your own way up like some of the other trails in Acadia. Because we left for our hike so early, we only saw a handful of other hikers on the trail. This was a great way to escape the crowds in Acadia and get to truly appreciate the scenery.

If you are looking for a short, easy hike in Acadia, I recommend you climb South Bubble Mountain. The views were definitely better than the Jordan Pond hike that we did last year. If you get there early in the morning, like us, its not hard to find a parking spot, but if you wait until later in the day, you may want to park at the visitor’s center and take the Island Explorer Bus. There are only a handful of spots in the South Bubble Parking Area. If you are looking for a more challenging hike, you can continue from the South Bubble Trail to the Jordan Pond Trail  or continue onto North Bubble Mountain. Check out Joe’s Guide to Acadia National Park, for more information on hiking in Acadia.

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week to read about our sunset tour of Acadia! To read more of our Mainly Acadia trip, click here.  If you’re enjoying this trip report, you can read about some of our previous trips. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Wordless Wednesday: Cruise Ship in Bar Harbor

Mainely Acadia: Park Loop Road

The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain

When visiting Acadia, the best place to start is the Park Loop Road. So, on our most recent trip, our first day in the park involved driving around and stopping at the many overlooks. Last year, we picked up an audio tour of the Park Loop Road at the Visitor’s Center. Luckily, we kept it because it came in handy taking my family around. We did get a few funny looks from other motorists when we stopped at several of the vantage points and sat, unspeaking, staring out the windshield, but it is a great way to learn more about the area than the signs tell you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this audio tour is sold online, but I do recommend you purchase it at the visitor’s center when you arrive at the park.

The crowds are already gathering at Thunder Hole in the morning.

The Park Loop Road can get very congested, so I recommend you begin your drive early before the crowds arrive. Because the sun rises so early in Maine, my whole family was up most days before 6 AM (the house we were staying in could have used some blackout curtains, that is for sure!) so it wasn’t difficult to get an early start on our tour. Even with an early morning start, the popular stops were already brimming with people. By the time we got to Jordan Pond House for lunch, there was not a parking spot to be had. I think Chris circled for over 3o minutes trying to find a place to park. They told us it would be a 20 minute wait to be seated and he wasn’t back when our buzzer went off. If you are planning on stopping at Jordan Pond House at lunchtime, I recommend you park at Hull’s Cove and take the bus. Last year we didn’t have a problem parking, but we dined in the early afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week to read more about our Mainely Acadia trip! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Wordless Wednesday: Thunder Hole

Mainely Acadia Trip Report

We have returned from our second trip to Maine and Acadia National Park. We were there for 7 full days, which is the longest I have stayed in one place on vacation  in years. Luckily there is a lot to do on Mount Desert Island to keep a traveler busy. Here’s a run down of our itinerary.

Day 1: Drive from Manchester, New Hampshire to Southwest Harbor, Maine

Day 2: Acadia National Park – Park Loop Road and Wild Gardens of Acadia

Day 3: Hike South Bubble Mountain, Explore Bar Harbor, and Sunset Nature Cruise

Day 4: Explore Southwest Harbor and Asticou Azalea Gardens

Day 5: Drive to Schoodic Peninsula and rainy day shopping

Day 6: Bike the Carriage Roads

Day 7: Killing Time: Wendell Gilley Museum, Explore the Quietside, Return visit to Park Loop Road, Lunch and Tour at Atlantic Brewing Company

Day 8: Carriage Tour and Explore Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse on the way back to Manchester

As you can see, this was a busy trip without much down time. Chris did a lot of solo hikes on this trip that I didn’t mention. I will have to have him write up some of his experiences at some point during this trip report.

One of the things that made this trip different than any others was that we brought my mom and my grandmother along with us. They are definitely not used to our speed of travel which made things challenging, but we were able to go off on our own a few times and do things they would not have wanted to do.

Be sure to check back next week as I begin recounting our trip in detail! Until then, thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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National Plan for Vacation Day

The last Tuesday in January is designated as National Plan for Vacation Day. Why? I have no idea, but I have been doing a lot of planning lately and thought I could talk about it here. As I mentioned in my annual New Years post, I have two trips coming up in the next few months and I have been busy planning for all the little details for those trips.

Since it had been a few years since we had flown, the search for the perfect flights took a lot of searching and waiting, and searching some more. One thing I learned from this search is that nowadays, most of the best deals will actually be found booking directly through the airline, instead of Expedia or a company like that. I used both Kayak and Skyscanner to search with Hopper to tell when the was the best time to book. For both of our trips, we got better deals on one-way flights than on a round trip tickets. Those sites helped us pick through all of the flights find the best deals.

For both of our upcoming trips, we are staying in AirBNBs. AirBNB is great because it allows you to find inexpensive vacation rentals for every need. You just want to crash on a couch, you can probably find it on AirBNB. You need a house for 10? They have that too. AirBNB was a saving grace for our pre-cruise stay in New Orleans because hotels near the port are $300+ per night.

There aren’t many AirBNBs near the Grand Canyon that still have availability a month out, so we went the hotel route for that night. My trick for finding hotel deals is to look at both TripAdvisor and Priceline. TripAdvisor has the reviews and Priceline has the best deals. We ended up getting a great price on the #1 hotel in Grand Canyon, Arizona by checking Priceline before booking TripAdvisor’s deal.

I have been scouring Pinterest for how to handle one day at the Grand Canyon as well as must dos for a short trip to New Orleans. TripAdvisor is great for finding the heart of an area, but it can be overwhelming, especially with a limited amount of time. I’ve been enjoying reading what Bloggers enjoyed during their trips and what they would recommend skipping.

Thank you for stopping by! Do you have any trip planning tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

2018: A Year in Review

2018 has been one of the biggest years for photography for me so far. While I feel like my landscape work has been pretty stagnant over the last few years. I definitely improved my portrait game this year. We continued our photography tours in 2018 and we are looking at how we can continue and come up with new classes for next year.

Catwalk at frozen St. Joseph Lighthouse

We had our biggest portrait job ever this year, photographing over one hundred families for our church directory. We also shot a wedding this year and I did my first ever infant shoot. We even got a few senior shoots in too and did a little more sports photography.

In terms of landscape photography, we started off the year with a trip to frozen Lake Michigan lighthouses (left). Early in the summer, we explored the Hocking Hills region of Ohio which really blew me away. I really want to return there when the colors change. That would be beautiful!

We also returned to a favorite campground, Straits State Park in St. Ignace and took a day trip to Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Michigan’s oldest city. Of course, at the end of the summer, we took a great road trip to Boston,  Acadia National Park, and Watkins Glen. As unbelievably beautiful as it was at Acadia, the sheer vastness was difficult to capture. Watkins Glen (right) was one of the most stunning places I have ever visited and I have been telling everyone I meet that they need to check it out. It really isn’t a bad drive from Michigan. If you would make the drive to the U.P., Watkins Glen is a similar distance.

Us at Watkins Glen

We finally upgraded our camera this year to a Nikon D7200. I can no longer say that I shoot with an entry level camera. We had rented them a few times so I was excited to finally own one. When you hit the top of your camera’s abilities, it feels so good to upgrade and be able to do the things that your camera was keeping you from. In this case the biggest thing was ISO sensitivity and low light capability. Even with the new camera, I think my favorite photo I took all year may be the Jordan Pond House photo I took with my iPhone (top).

This has been a good year for photography and exploring new places. I am looking forward to 2019 for more of the same! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Missing Maine

East Coast Adventure

Cadillac Mountain Panorama

Looking back on this trip, and I have to think that this was one of the best trips in my recent memory. We visited three places that I have wanted to visit for years. We visited three places that I want to return to. There is so much history in Boston. There is no way to see it all in a day. Acadia National Park is giant and I feel like we only scratched the surface. Watkins Glen is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. I would love to see it in the fall. All three of the stops on this trip will have to be revisited later.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Boston Highlights: Honestly, the best thing about our time in Boston was dinner at a trendy, Mexican restaurant called Lolita Cantina that was unlike anything we have at home. The meal started with a complimentary granita with a splash of tequila and ended with cotton candy and temporary tattoos. I often wondered if I was cool enough to eat there. I was worried they were going to throw me out. For me the biggest thing about Boston was just being in this historic city. Boston played a huge part in the early part of our country and there are many sites to see. Walking the freedom trail and knowing all that happened there was unreal.

Acadia Highlights: My favorite part of Acadia was probably the sweeping vistas along the Park Loop Road. I’ve thought about that a lot since I’ve been back home. When work gets tough, I can go back to Cadillac Mountain and hear the rush of the water and smell the salt air. Its not a matter of if I will get back there but a when. And it needs to be for longer. And maybe not in August. Lunch at The Jordan Pond House was good too. Eating a lobster roll and looking out over Jordan Pond is not something you can do anywhere else.

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

Watkins Glen Highlights: Obviously, Corning Museum of Glass was great and I want to go back and create some more glass. But, the gorge trail at Watkins Glen State Park was unlike anything I had seen before. As beautiful as Acadia was, Watkins Glen was more photogenic. The beauty was more compact. Every turn was more beautiful than the one before. I had expected beauty and was blown away.

As I kind of mentioned about Boston, one of the best things about this trip was the food. We utilized TripAdvisor’s Cheap Eats a lot and got to try off the beaten path places that were surprisingly good! We had Asian Fusion is Corning, Gyros in New Hampshire, and poutine in Boston. Probably one of the best was a little Italian Place in Lexington (Massachusetts) called Marios that had unlimited bread and ridiculous portions of very good pasta. We were able to get out of there for less than $25 for two people. It was insane. We wouldn’t have found it without TripAdvisor.

Thank you for stopping by and for following along with this trip! To read more about our East Coast Adventure, click the link to get to our itinerary. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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