August 21, 2010 – Breakfast was served outside; we snagged a table for two and looked at the water through the trees as we waited for the (delicious) food – maple syrup muffins, coffee, an orange juice and cranberry juice mixed blend, cantaloupe balls with a simple mint syrup, and German pancake with fresh blueberries and raspberries.
After breakfast we drove around the Western part of the park (along Route 3), under the triple arch bridge and parked at Jordan Pond House. Fortunately, we were there relatively early, so there were still plenty of parking spaces.
Our hike for the day was another double mountain – the Penobscot and Sargent Mountain trail. The weather was perfect, and we had trail almost to ourselves. The initial section of the trail involved hiking over and up a giant rock wall. This initial uphill section also had stairs cut into the rocks (great for quick elevation gain). We found some great uninterrupted views along rock outcroppings along the trail.
This trail was the perfect final hike in the park. The views were plentiful and varied – we could see the Atlantic, Frenchman’s Bay, the Sound, Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Jordan Pond, the Hadlock Ponds (both Upper and Lower – we had hiked around one of them the previous day), and Cadillac Mountain.
After reaching the summit of Penobscot Mountain, we hiked down to Sargent Mountain Lake. It’s located in the saddle between Sargent and Penobscot Mountains; in the 1800s, it was thought to be bottomless.
We hiked up the final ridge to the top of Sargent Mountain. The views from the top, and the views on the return trip, were perfect.
After the hike we got pop at the Jordan Pond House (the wait was too long to stay and eat; over two hours for seating) and hit the road. We stopped just outside of town for great picnic lunch of pulled pork BBQ (with some very good sweet BBQ sauce) at Maine-ly Meat. The sides weren’t anything special, and may have been frozen; however, the BBQ itself made up for that.
Somewhere, in a little town in the middle of nowhere (it was by a Shaker village, which may just prove that point…), we stopped for dinner – we split a meatball sub from Subway, a blueberry muffin from Dunkin Donuts, a pumpkin whoopee pie with cream cheese filling and an iced green tea with blueberry and acai juices.
The rest of the evening was full of new states. We drove through Maine into NH, and along the Kancamagus Highway into the White Mountain region. New Hampshire was pretty, and had some cute little towns, trees, and mountains. Just after dusk, we also saw a moose run across the road and disappear into the forest.
We eventually drove into Vermont, and stayed at the Fairbanks Inn in St. Johnsbury. We were fortunate to have reservations, since all the hotels between St. Johnsbury and Quebec were full.