I had looked at the weather, and with a forecast of light rain and cloudy skies, it seemed like the perfect time to make a quick run down to Acadia before the fall foliage was all gone. I knew that the overcast weather and foggy conditions would give us nice even light in which to photograph our proposed destinations – the changing autumn colors at the top of Cadillac, and the rejuvenated, rain-fed Jordan Pond Stream. First stop Cadillac… there is something special about being on top of a mountain when it is socked in with clouds and you have it all to yourself, and when that mountain is Cadillac, I’m in heaven.
My friend Josh and I started our morning out visiting the cloud-covered – and very sparsely populated – summit of Cadillac, and even though we were met with a light rain that was blowing sideways, we were excited to explore the mountain on a day following some heavy rains. Swathes of red groundcover almost glowed in the subdued light, and all of those seasonal visitors who left the mountain entirely to the two of us certainly missed out on seeing Cadillac in a unique way.
Known for expansive and spectacular views of Frenchman Bay and the mighty Atlantic Ocean beyond, Cadillac today presented more intimate landscapes, the beauty of which compared just as favorably with those more familiar wide views you would expect on a sunny day. The wind and rain was blowing from the south and east, forcing us to turn inwards to face the mountain so we could offer a little bit of protection to our cameras from the elements, and so that we would not have a rain soaked lens to constantly deal with.
As we explored the quiet mountainside, we were careful to stay on the solid rock surfaces so as to avoid adding to the erosion that inevitably comes from millions of visitors trampling over the fragile landscape. We also tread quite gingerly because the rain had greased the granite, making it slick and quite treacherous underfoot. On more than one occasion I naively trusted the traction on the soles of my shoes too much, and although I escaped the mountain unscathed, I was not so lucky on the banks of the Jordan Pond Stream later in the day… but that’s another story.
We were literally up in the clouds with visibility down to about 30 yards, and in the eerie silence we were greeted by the sound of lively water quickly making it’s way downhill, and we were thrilled to discover several small, but energetic, temporary waterfalls. Right on the slopes of Cadillac, not fifteen yards from the popular concrete path that circles the summit, we (or I should say Josh) found at least half a dozen cascades of rain water trying to get from high to low, each offering a glimpse of the mountain in conditions that I personally had never seen.
I had a great time trying to photograph in these conditions, and was drawn not only to the obvious, saturated reds and yellows of fall, but also by the tall, fog-shrouded pine trees off the distance and the green lichen on the granite that seemed almost electric when soaked by the rain. We could have stayed on the mountain all day, but the amount of water flowing all around had us excitedly wondering if our next planned destination, the Jordan Pond Stream, had been similarly impacted by the recent rains?