Today began with breakfast at the Friar, where we met Dad (since he’s staying there) right around 8:00am. He ordered the breakfast combo just as I had on Saturday, with the exception of a fried egg instead of the scrambled egg I had. Today I chose the granola, which this year was served layered with vanilla yogurt and with a nice fruit salad (watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple) on top. It was excellent; Dad was drooling because granola with yogurt is his typical go-to breakfast, but today he wanted something savory. Rich had plain pancakes and bacon. The plain pancakes were OK, but a bit dry, because they’re intended to be made with blueberries or banana (plain pancakes aren’t on the menu).
Our chosen hike for the day was to take Dad up Pemetic, a mountain he’s never hiked before. It towers over the eastern shore of Jordan Pond and was once the site of the now-abandoned Goat Trail, which Rich and I tried to find in 2013 and 2014.
We took the bus to the point where the Pond Trail (new name: Bubble and Jordan Ponds Path) crosses the park loop road and headed up (east). The Pond Trail in this section is quite tame, climbing gently through cool woods on dirt tread.
The real climbing begins once you turn left onto the Pemetic South Ridge trail. Hiking this trail involves some high steps and a lot of slab climbing, as it weaves its way repeatedly in and out of the woods, until it gets completely above treeline, when there’s over a half mile of smooth rock strolling (with some high steps here and there to keep it even more interesting!) up to the actual summit.
Views along the entire ridge are phenomenal, looking out over Northeast and Southwest Harbors and of course of Jordan Pond and Penobscot Mountain. The view is quite similar to the one we enjoy for an hour while hiking Penobscot South Ridge down toward Jordan Pond House.
We took a well deserved break at the summit, complete with lots of water and a small snack of blueberry cheese danish and sticky bun that dad picked up this morning at Morning Glory. There weren’t very many people on the mountain today, which is always fine with us. And I think only one other group was hiking south to north as we were.
Well rested, we started down the North Ridge Trail. It was pretty easy and gentle to start but it soon turned very steep and rugged, covered with roots. The trail is unrelentingly rocky, first with bluffs that need to be stepped down a bit at a time and then the final third or so is extremely rocky, rooted trail with highly variable footing so it’s hard to find a smooth rhythm. It’s tough mentally as well as on the legs and knees! But we enjoyed every step in some way nevertheless—we just took it slowly and made it down one step at a time. About halfway down the trail we came across a ranger and two Ridge Runners refreshing the blazes. I think we encountered only one other group while hiking down.
We emerged on the carriage road and took the short connector path down to Bubble Pond, another feature of the park that dad has never seen. We rested here for a few minutes before heading to the bus stop to catch the Jordan Pond bus headed back to the Village Green.
Everyone was hungry from the day-long hike! We cleaned up pretty quickly and met dad in front of the Black Friar around 4:30pm. At Rosalie’s we grabbed the table in the back (dad’s first time on the first floor!) that has two booth seats and two regular chairs. Ordered a medium with half pepperoni and a small with onions, and three Shipyard Export Ales (Rosalie’s no longer serves pitchers of beer, for some reason!). Everything was beyond delicious and it tasted so wonderful after all the work we did today on the trail.
It was still early in the evening when we finished up our pizza and beer, so we walked around town for a bit, stopping in Cadillac Mountain Sports and then in the Acadia Shops for dad to buy some strawberry jam. I couldn’t resist ice cream again, and somehow I talked Rich and dad into it as well. Dad got butter pecan from CJ’s while Rich and I went to MDI Ice Cream again. I got the ginger today while Rich got the Callebaut chocolate. The chocolate was rich and creamy and the ginger was spicy, refreshing and not too sweet. Both were winners! In fact, Rich said it might have been the best chocolate ice cream he’s ever had.
We called it a pretty early night and went back to the room to watch some YouTube videos, featuring AvE!