Rich and I were so stuffed from last night that we decided on a light breakfast of Danishes and coffee/tea on the benchmark bench—similar to yesterday, but no bagels today. We also bought a sticky bun for the trail. We watched the cruisers go by (two ships are in the harbor today, and three tomorrow! ) and talked about making a printable map of all the abandoned trails we’ve found. As we walked back through town, we stopped at Sherman’s to check out the book selection and see if by chance Matt Marchon’s book was for sale there. (It wasn’t. No surprise.)
The 11:05 bus was full, mostly of cruisers plus a woman from New York with an extremely annoying voice. We asked to get off at Otter Cliff Road at the point I had approximated to be the start of the Green & White Path. It was tough to pick a good point from the topo map because most maps don’t show the path at all, and the ones that do, show it in slightly different places and orientations.
As I have mentioned before, we also had a hint from a local woman, Karen Zimmermann, about how to locate the Green & White. After ordering her hand-drawn map of Otter Creek, I had asked her for a few tips about some of the local hidden trails. She said that the Green & White was an obvious path and the trailhead could be found between poles 8 and 9 (on the opposite side of the road) and was pretty easy to follow, and marked with yellow tape and cairns where it wasn’t.
My approximated coordinates were about a quarter mile off, which was fine because we had the chance to walk along the road for a short distance and get a feel for the area. The road was relatively quiet this morning. We passed the Grandgent house, and wondered if it was the same family for whom the Grandgent trail was named. We also spotted a really cool bright green caterpillar! We later found out it was a laurel sphinx moth caterpillar, a hornworn with a really cool blue spotted horn (or trolley pole, as Rich said!) We watched the chubby caterpillar as he slinked his way across the road to the eastern side. (“Why did the caterpillar cross the road? To get to the Green & White Path!”)
We found the path easily according to Karen’s directions. It was easy to follow all the way up, guided by cairns in a few spots where the path crossed open ledges. Not once did we feel unsure of where to go until we were very near the Bowl. We never saw any yellow flagging tape, which is often removed for one reason or another, but the cairns and the clear trail were enough to take us up easily toward the Bowl. Even the terrain was easily negotiated—a real walk in the park. Well, at least mostly in the park.
We reached an intersection of trails that was a bit confusing and we soon realized, after talking to a family that was hiking along the trail, that the trail leading straight ahead (as well as the one to the left) were part of the official trail around the Bowl leading up to Champlain summit. The faint, hidden path to the right was, we suspect, the route of the original Green & White Path. So cool!!!
Following the trail around the Bowl, we eventually came to a nice resting place on a smooth ledge down next to the water where we could have our water and sticky bun. What a great view: the south ridge of Champlain and sparkling blue water in front of us, tiny fish just beneath the surface and even a man swimming nearby (he didn’t last long since the water was frigid). We rested here for quite a long time.
Before leaving, we had to take one more look at the steps we found a few years ago, leading to Enoch Mountain. Rich recalled how, when we followed this trail that year, we ended up in a horrible situation near the park loop road where the cairns ended and the trail petered out past the swamp, and left us high and dry on a ledge with no good way to get down. We eventually somehow made our way down and planned to follow a rock-lined brook out to the road, but we then discovered it was filled to the brim with lush poison ivy. This year I didn’t go much father than the steps, and Rich took a few photos there since we didn’t last time.
Back through the pines and on the official trail, we decided to take the northern end of the Beehive Trail to the Bowl Trail (since in no way did we want to descend the Beehive precipice!). This worked out well. It was a rugged enough hike because the Bowl Trail is full of boulders and rocks slanting in all directions. Since we were both feeling better by now, the challenging trail made this a very worthwhile hike. The trail was quite busy today, too. We made our way to the road and then hiked down to the bus stop at Sand Beach just in time to catch the bus.
While we sat in the bus at Blackwoods Campground, I noticed that I had a voicemail but I wasn’t able to retrieve it. I figured it was from Dad so I sent him a message and he replied right away that he was at Fort Knox and would be on his way to Bar Harbor soon. He expected to be in town around 4:30 in the afternoon. We made our way back via the bus and then on foot from the Village Green, and not long after we got back to the room Dad wrote to say he was in town!
We walked to the Black Friar, where he’s staying this year, to meet him around 5:30, and then the three of us headed over to Side Street Cafe for supper. The plan was initially to go to Rosalie’s for pizza, but they are closed now on Mondays! I had to be the one to break the bad news to Dad this morning.
Our supper at Side Street was really good, though, lack of Fat Tire Ale notwithstanding. Dad and I had Allagash White and Rich had Black Bear Gearhead ale. Then Dad had the Cuban sandwich (I tried a bite—very good mix of flavors and textures!) and I had the lobster roll and fries. Note: these are new fries, not Side Street’s pub fries of years past, and they are the best fries I’ve had on the island yet. Rich had clam chowder and crab cakes, also quite good.
We passed on dessert at Side Street but then made our way down the road to MDI Ice Cream where, after a long wait since there was only one girl working tonight, Rich got maple walnut and I got buttermint (and sampled ginger for next time!). Dad decided to go to CJ’s instead, since he doesn’t care for the weird flavors of MDI. He got chocolate ice cream and met us on the bench outside in the park, where we sat and chatted while we finished our cones. The night was the warmest I think I’ve ever experienced here. It was even warm enough so that Rich and I could sit outside for a little while sipping some wine when we came back to our room, and we did.