A few days ago was my 31st birthday and I wanted to celebrate it by spending time with my girlfriend, Katy, and running around Acadia National Park!
I devised a multi-sport adventure that would include some of my favorite activities and thoroughly whoop our butts! What follows is a breakdown of our wonderful day!
After a big breakfast, we shouldered our backpacks loaded with food and climbing gear and biked from our home off of the Knox road to the route 3 put-in of North East Creek. Here, we had stashed Delmar.
Delmar is a heavily used 14-foot aluminum canoe that I purchased for pennies for an expedition to Newfoundland in 2008. One of the seats is made of duct tape and the entire thing is spray panted camo. It has seen better days…
Once we arrived at the creek we loaded the bikes and our packs on to our red neck watercraft and began the beautiful paddle to the other end of the creek. After a few miles of perfect conditions the creek turned into a swamp and soon we were dragging Delmar through the muck and mud. By the time we reached the Crooked Road we were covered in slime, scratches, bug bites and mud. In a futile attempt to make a graceful exit of the canoe I managed to violently flip the entire rig and go for a swim! After bailing out Delmar and dragging her to the road we were met by our good friend and ACS guide Dane Sterba. We loaded the Canoe onto his car and arranged to meet him later in the mission!
For the next leg of the adventure we biked to the South Wall (Precipice), which is my favorite climbing area on the island. Along the way we stopped at a yard sale and found some great treasures! (I love yard sales) I am not much of a biker and this soggy 12-mile trek on a rental bike was probably the hardest part of the day for me! Katy however, is a terrific biker and left me in the dust!
We stashed our bikes in the woods and hiked up to the base of the wall. We climbed the three-pitch classic Story of O and had a delicious lunch on the top! After some well deserved calories and some amazing views we rappelled back to the ground and were soon back on the bikes!
We biked a few miles down the Park Loop Road to the Bee Hive Trail Head. Once again we stashed the bikes and did a quick trail run up and around the Beehive.
Back on the bikes we continued down the coast to Otter Cliffs. Here we once a gain met Dane. We gave him the bikes and he gave us back Delmar. We hiked Delmar down to Otter Cliffs and lowered her down the 60-foot face! This was quite the spectacle and certainly turned some heads. We did a little bit of climbing on some of the classics routes before throwing on our life jackets and hitting the high seas in Delmar!
We very carefully and slowly paddled north heading towards Great Head. We had an exciting landing on the rocky and rugged coast and stashed Delmar in the woods. We ran around the peninsula and arrived at the 100+ foot sea cliff. As per usual there was no one at the cliff and we casually climbed the 2-pitch classic Full Sail and quickly boogied back to the Canoe. We stashed our gear and ran down to Sand Beach. Here, we met Dane and we all ran screaming into the frigid ocean! It was a perfect ending to an amazing day! Well, I guess it wasn’t the end. We portaged Delmar and all of our stuff to the Great head parking lot and loaded everything into Dane’s car. We drove home, and arrived to a party! About 20 of our best friends were already at the house with tons of great food, drinks, and energy! We were pooped, but super psyched to spend the few remaining hours of daylight hanging and laughing with great friends!
Few places on the planet offer as much world-class recreational activities in such a small area. Sprinkle in great weather and some of the best people on the planet and you have a true paradise! I love this island so much and I am so very happy to call this place my home! A huge thanks to Dane for the logistical support and to Hanna for running the office, and to everyone else who helped make this past birthday the best one yet! And of course, a huge thanks to Katy for being so wonderful and for sharing this very special day with me!