The south ridge of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is my all-time favorite hike. It’s about five miles one-way from the ocean at Blackwoods campground to the summit of Cadillac, and as you cover that ground laterally, you’ll also deal with about 1,528 feet of elevation – it truly does seem to rise right out of the ocean making it seem even taller. One of our favorite things to do is park at the Blue Hill Overlook just before the top of the mountain, and then walk back down the gently sloping granite ridge for a mile or so before turning around and hiking back up.
On this particular visit, Lori and I had Oliver in tow – Jack was resting back at the house with Granny and Grandpa. We figured the openness of the granite ledge near the top would suit Oliver really well, and we knew that there wouldn’t be anything too tricky for him to handle. He was extremely nimble as he scampered along the rocky trail, though we still had to make sure he was aware of the sometimes deep and wide cracks in the ice-shaped granite slabs. As we stepped onto the trail, we could see an off-shore storm blowing our direction, and although we didn’t have any desire to get soaked, we decided to forge ahead anyway… we had been itching to get out onto this trail, and we figured what the hey… if it started raining too hard, we could easily be back at the car within a few minutes.
As the storm blew through, it kinda brushed us off to the left, and in behind it came some wild and dramatic light. As the sun dipped lower toward the horizon, it streaked across the overhead sky, painting the breaking clouds on the edge of the storm with some amazing light… and I loved how it made the mountain landscape come alive. We experienced some turbulent atmospherics on this hike, with clouds, wind and sunshine all seemingly wrestling to prevail. Their battle played out to our advantage, providing an evening of pretty special weather, and I was especially pleased to share my all-time favorite hike in these conditions with Oliver (and Lori).