Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the magic spot

When I was a senior in high school I finished a quest to hike every mapped trail in Acadia National Park. One of the final links involved a loop on Bernard Mountain (a.k.a. Western Mtn.). I climbed up on the Sluiceway Trail to Little Notch, then took a left and headed to the top. After enjoying the limited views from the summit, I started looping back down via the South Face Trail. About a quarter mile along, I suddenly found myself briefly walking through a forest unlike any other I'd ever seen on the island. I remember there being a staggering greenness, with an incredibly lush understory of mosses on the forest floor. I wasn't expecting it at all, and it instantly etched into my memory as the magic spot, a place I felt incredibly lucky and honored to have discovered for myself.

Last week I finally went back. And it was just as spectacular as I'd remembered. I waited until a drizzly, overcast afternoon so the light would be diffuse (curse the dapple!) and good for longer exposure photos. Ultimately, I got even better weather than I'd wished for. The sun had started to break out down below, but the upper few hundred feet or so of the mountain was totally socked in the clouds, which produced this hushed, almost ethereal feel at the magic spot. Anyway, this is the conifer needle covered trail as it passes through.

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