A Stolen Day at Acadia

I know you don’t have time for this.

The garden needs attention. That painting project that got postponed last fall is waiting. Your kids have baseball games, track meets, spring concerts and music lessons peppered all over the calendar.

This string of bright warm days has turned our attention to the chores that need to be done before summer begins and we can relax. We are running in place through some of the very best days of the outdoor year.

Sometimes we need to steal things in life. The temptation to grab a day or two that does not really belong to us becomes overwhelming. Nobody will give us these days — they must be stolen — snatched from the jaws of responsible parenthood and citizenship.

Go now — before you lose your nerve! Grab your kid from school — ignore the Vice-principal’s glare. Quickly…quickly.

Throw your bicycles and some random camping gear into the family pick-up. Drive fast for however long it takes to get to Bar Harbor. Pull up to Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park and pay the nice Ranger $20 to camp and $10 for a park pass. You won’t need a reservation — most responsible campers are home raking their lawns.

Drive to your campsite — unload only the bikes. Unless it’s pitch dark — the thievery begins now.

The 20-mile loop auto road in Acadia is rightfully famous. A month from now it will be clogged with slow-moving, rubber-necking tourists. Two months from now the tide of humanity that sweeps northward every summer will inundate Mount Desert Island.

But today — and for a short time only — no cars are allowed on the road. The pavement is pristine — federal-money-impeccably-maintained-pristine. No salt or sand is ever spread on its smooth surface. No snowplow ever cuts its edges.

Now ride.

Ride like you only imagined in those winter daydreams. Ride like you’re escaping from a gulag of spring-time responsibilities.

Just ride.


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About jimandrews

Jim Andrews is an attorney, Registered Maine Guide, writer, husband, dad and sixth-generation Mainer who grew up in the hills of Oxford County and now lives in Farmington. He is a monthly columnist for the The Maine Sportsman magazine where he focuses on muscle-powered travel in the outdoors and specific applications to fishing and hunting in Maine. Late in the fall of 2010 Jim suffered a mid-life crisis and decided that the cure would be a self-propelled trip from Kittery to Fort Kent in the summer of 2012. The preparation, planning and execution of that trip will be covered here -- as well as his own ongoing attempts to reintroduce physical effort back into the increasingly-motorized world of fishing and hunting in Maine. Find Self-propelled on Facebook: