View from our hotel room balcony, looking towards Frenchman's Bay. Looks like the sun will be coming up today!
Melissa and I decided to get up early today, (around 4:30 am! ) to do one of the cooler things you can do in Acadia National Park... watch the sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain! The highest point on Mt Desert Island, (or for that matter, the entire coast of Maine) it offers stunning views of Bar Harbor and the surrounding water as the sun comes up. If fact, because Maine is the easternmost state in the US, and because Cadillac mountain is the highest elevation along the coast, it is the first point of land to see sunshine in the United States each morning. If you are standing on the summit at dawn, then you are the first person in the country that the sun shines on that day! I don't know why I seem to think that that is so cool, but this is the third time in my life I've awoken before dawn to have that experience! When I woke up in the hotel, the first thing I did was to look out the window to see if the sky was as overcast if it was yesterday.
Uh, oh! We hit a thick fog bank halfway up the mountain!
..if so, then back to bed, and try again tomorrow! But, I could see the faintest glow of sunshine beginning to creep up over the horizon, and it looked like a sunny dawn was going to be a "go" today. Melissa and I hurriedly got dressed in warm clothing... there will be plenty of time for showers and breakfast later! We crept out into the chilly morning air, and drove the few miles to the summit. One of the nice things about it is, you can drive straight to a parking area at the summit. There is a long and winding road that wraps around the mountain, and it is not long at all until you reach the top. Unfortunately, we got halfway up the mountain, and drove straight into a thick fog bank!! It was as if a cloud had descended upon the mountain, and speared itself on the rounded peak.
Here comes the sun!
We went from perfectly clear weather into a thick, pea-soup fog as we hit a certain elevation. We continued on to the top, hoping it would clear and give us a view, but the many cars we saw racing back DOWN the mountain at that hour, confirmed for me what I already suspected, that the fog did not break at the top. The other folks who had gotten up for the same reason as us, had turned around at the top and were hurrying back to the clear area to try to get a good view, racing against the rising sun to catch its first peek above the horizon. We quickly turned around and did the same, and soon joined about a dozen other vehicles parked alongside the road at the first elevation that offered a clear view. The sky was brightening now at the horizon, and we made it there with about 5 minutes to spare to see the first pinpoint of light poke over the ocean in front of us! I took a whole series of pictures of the sun coming up.
Worth getting up early for this shot!
... sorry there are so many here, but I wanted to keep them in sequence!
We were there for about twenty minutes or so, and I just kept clicking away, to catch every phase of the sun coming up. It was kind of surreal, the way that bits of clouds and fog kept rolling by, temporarily obscuring the rising sun for a moment, only to see it perceptibly higher on the horizon when it re emerged from the fog a few moments later. I took some video of this as well, which I will post here eventually, once I get them up on Youtube. The sun made a nice reflection on the water, and sometimes you could still see that reflection even when the sun itself was hidden by the cloud cover. We shared this spectacle with about 20 other people who were also hanging out and taking pictures.
I think it came out kind of cool with the sun, tree, and reflection on the water
Not long after the sun was completely up, the majority of them returned to their vehicles and headed back down the mountain. We soon followed suit, stopping at overlooks on the way down. Melissa pulled over at one point when I thought we were all done taking pictures, and asked me to take a couple shots of the suns reflection on the water with an evergreen tree in the foreground. These turned out to be my favorite shots in the whole sequence! After that, it was back to the hotel to grab some breakfast, and get ready for the rest of the day!