We're in Maine and our campground is super close to Acadia National Park! We've got to go explore it!
One of the really cool features of this Maine sea town is Bar Island! If you time it right, you can walk on the sea floor right over to this island!
We started like we normal do at the visitor's center.
That's where we got to talk to a Ranger and learn about all the different places we should see while we're at Acadia. The parents got a map with lots of information and the kids got their Junior Ranger Booklets!
On a Thursday right around noon, the tide charts said it would be a good time to go. I drove down to the harbor area but parking was crazy! There were no spaces available for any vehicles, let alone ones that would fit The Beast. That's fine with us though, we don't mind walking. I parked in a lot that was a mile away, and we walked along the wide sidewalk to get to the land bridge out to the island.
There are warning signs as you walk up to the entry point. "High Tide will leave you stranded. If stranded, the next low tide is in 9 hours." There's also phone numbers for a water taxi service if you do happen to get stuck.
It's dry except for the random tide pool.
They're discovering barnacles and other critters. Of course they are curious and have questions I couldn't answer, so when we got home, we watched a few YouTube documentaries about what barnacles are.
In the tide pools they discovered random critters too.
The remnants of a crab, plus all sorts of snails.
And if you're still and just watch for movement, you'll find the teeniest crabs coming out and moving around. Here's a little reddish one.
And a tiny bluish one that blends in really well with the rocks.
It's interesting to see how the sand has formed as the tide has gone out.
Some plants attach themselves to the rocks and are left stranded when the water goes out.
Ian saw this little shell moving and found a hermit crab!
We're standing on the sea floor! Ian wanted to get his bike and say that he'd ridden it on the sea floor. I don't know how well that would work, but we did actually see a few people driving their cars across on the sand. I'd be worried about it getting stuck!
Made it to Bar Island! It's a forest of trees!
And there's a trail you can hike to get up to the summit! And thankfully there's phone numbers out here as well for the water taxis.
On the hike up to the summit we found milkweed! And where there's milkweed there's likely going to be caterpillars nearby. Sure enough after a little searching we were able to find some Monarch caterpillars! Just like the ones we had back in California and watched turn into butterflies!
The milkweed pods are starting to open up and spread their seeds. They are super soft and fluffy. Ian decided he wanted a blanket made out of milkweed fluff and we thought about how many pods we'd need to make that happen. Eventually the idea grew into him wanting to plant acres of milkweed, making blankets out of the fluff, and then selling them to make money.
Theresa said they needed to be decorated with lights for Christmas. With what electricity? Solar?
Boom! Located 172ft about sea level we have reached the Bar Island Summit!
Looking back towards Bar Harbor from the summit.
Full of energy, they are running down the trail to get back to the water.
I gave them a thought experiment. How far do you think the water comes up? What do you observe?
They noticed the tree branches along with the seaweed lines and figured that the water probably stops there. Great!
It's fun to find sea shells. Ian and Alli collected a few, plus Ian found some sea glass, a piece of glass that has spent some time in the ocean getting beaten up and and smoothed.
The kids have been impressed with my rock skipping skills and wanted to learn how to do it.
They've got to work on technique a little more, but on this flat water I had the best rock skip that I can remember. 11 skips!
Ian - I found a little sea shell.
That's a really little spiral shell Ian!
They found some really interesting shells out on this coast. Back in California, mussels and clams were more common. I like these spiral ones!
While we're in the area, we might as stop by the harbor and look around. Theresa wanted a picture of these trees that are starting to change colors. Ian and I stood in front, but she told us to move. It's better without us in it. Aww.
Still low tide here.
This is a model of a young 28' humpback whale named Piccolina. She was tangled in a fishing net off the coast back in 2003 and sadly died. Adult Humpback whales can grow up to 52' long and weigh 80,000 pounds!
Thank you Captain James T. Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew for helping save these beautiful animals (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home).
There are so many places here where you can buy a Maine Lobster. Theresa wasn't tempted though. It's all expensive and the stories we've heard from a couple of our neighbors have been disappointing.
Alli, you weigh about 55 lobsters.
They didn't fall for it.
It's interesting seeing all the boats anchored out in the water. And that's a cool sail boat with 4 masts out in the water.
Time to head back to the truck. Just a 1 mile hike ahead of us. I didn't realize that Maine's ocean islands are one of the only nesting sites in the US for Puffins. The best way to see them is to take a cruise.
Good hike today kids!
A few days later, we came back to the same place to see what it looked like at high tide. I went ahead and parked in the lot that was 1 mile away and we walked over. Should have realized it wouldn't be nearly as crowded this time. There was plenty of street parking available during high tide! That's okay though, we can use the walking miles.
Smile! We were just over there!
They made a game out of jumping over the seaweed.
Walking back, there's a moose statue with a flower lei around its neck.
Ian - Why is Maine called Vacationland? It's not tropical.
That is a good question. My mind doesn't go to Maine when I think Vacations. They even wrote Vacationland. Go figure!
Ian - Bar Inland - Bar inland is exiting! I waked on the ocean floor! Threr are many crabs. We hiked bar inland trail.
Alli - bar ilind - We wact up the ilind. We wact on the oshin to get to the ilind. We recht the samit of the ilind. I thot it was a old ohshn floor.
Walking to Bar Island during low tide is quite the experience...actually walking the ocean floor, seeing little tide pools and other things normally covered by the water, and collecting sea shells (I liked that tiny spiral Ian found...looked so "perfect") Liked that rotating photo of high tide changing into low tide, unveiling the land bridge. Good thought experiment for the kids to get their scientific observations going. Too bad their wasn't a video capturing the skipping rock...that would have been quite a sight to see! What a great way to experience a low tide experience to Bar Island, then coming back during high tide to say, "Hey, our family actually walked to that island over there!" EOMReplyDelete