I must admit I've never heard of a "rusticator." Funny thing is, the
term could apply to Jim and me.
When I did an online search I found several similar definitions,
including "vacationer," "summer boarder," "to go to or live
in the country," and "to live a rural or rustic life." Yup, that's
us! (Me even more than Jim, since I grew up on a rustic farm.)
I used this quote as a lead-in for this entry because one of the
reasons I chose to hike along the coast in Acadia National Park is the
photos and paintings I've seen throughout my life of Maine's rugged
coastline. Perhaps some were the work of Cole or Church?
Modern-day painters (and
photographers) love the views from the Ocean Path, too.
Scene near Thunder Hole; this would
make a nice painting.
When we drove around the park loop road on our first day on Mount
Desert Island we could see parts of the Ocean Path, which stretches
about 4½ miles from Sand Beach to Otter
Cove on the southeastern side of the island.
Some of the trail lies only a few feet or yards from the road;
thankfully, some of it is hidden in woods between the road and
seacoast. All of it is within sight of the water and beautiful rocky
One place where the Ocean Path
is very close to the road
My first hike on the Ocean Path was on Sunday, a perfectly beautiful,
sunny day in the 70s F. with a nice breeze along the coast. I hiked solo
for four hours (about 10 miles) while Jim was doing a long bike ride. Although
dogs are allowed on most trails in Acadia National Park -- unusual
for a national park -- I didn't think the long hike I planned would be
suitable for either Casey or Cody that day.
I got an early start so I could get a parking spot at Sand Beach or
Thunder Hole. When I passed both parking lots they were
virtually empty and never got as full later that day as when we first
saw them on Wednesday. Go figure.
I parked at Thunder Hole, walked north on the Ocean Path to
Sand Beach, did a loop around the Great Head peninsula, walked back to
Thunder Hole, then hiked out and back along the coast to Otter Cove:
I gave Jim such a glowing report about the coastal hike that instead
of riding his bike today, our last full day in the area, he suggested we
take the dogs for a hike on the Ocean Path. We did a shorter hike this
time between Thunder Hole to Otter Cove and back, a total distance of
about three miles.
Rather than showing photos in chronological order I'll show them by
location, with some comments about each section of the trail.
I showed some photos from Thunder Hole in the September 5 entry when
Jim and I drove around the island and described how the granite
ocean side chasm sometimes emits a thunderous rumble when the tide is coming in.
On Sunday I parked across the road from Thunder Hole about 7:30 AM
and went down to the viewing platform above the chasm before the crowds
Although I was there a couple hours before high tide, when it's
reportedly the most likely to hear the "thunder" in the narrow chasm,
all I heard were interesting sloshing and gurgling sounds. Nor were
there any huge sprays of water like I've seen in the photos on postcards.
I took more photos of the beautiful rocks in this area while
few to no people were around, including the one at the beginning of this
OCEAN PATH BETWEEN THUNDER HOLE &
The trail in this section lies very close to the road for about two
miles but there are paths down to the rocky shore that offer
respite from the traffic. I took several of those so I could get better
views of the shoreline:
It was fun to walk around on the colorful granite bedrock, hear the
waves crash against the shoreline, hop over little pools of water, watch the seagulls
and cormorants feeding, see various types of watercraft go by (sailboats, yachts,
fishing boats, tour boats), and take pictures of the gorgeous scenery:
Above and below: cormorants
(the black birds) and seagulls
Photos continued on the next page: Sand Beach and Great
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil