FRIENDS OF ACADIA E-NEWS | DECEMBER 2014
The darkest months of the year are here, which makes the glow of sunlight on the elegant stonework of Acadia’s bridges or striking patches of ice on Acadia’s mountaintops seem all the more beautiful. We at Friends of Acadia send you warm wishes for a joyful holiday, and hope you will have many opportunities to experience the beauty of Acadia in the coming year.
Friends of Acadia Journal Online: The newest edition of Friends of Acadia’s membership magazine just started arriving in mailboxes over the weekend, but it’s already available online to all. The winter 2014 issue features an excerpt from the forthcoming biography of park founder George B. Dorr, plus articles on Acadia’s historic roadside views, youth internships in the park, the Cadillac Hawk Watch, and much more. With a cover photograph of Cobblestone Bridge by Tom Blagden, this issue has plenty of pictures, stories, and information to let you bring Acadia home for the holidays. Enjoy!
Published three times annually, the Friends of Acadia Journal connects our members, our organization, and Acadia National Park. Not a member? Visit our website to learn more about Friends of Acadia and the benefits of membership. »
Cromwell Brook Update Bag Lunch: One centerpiece of Friends of Acadia’s Wild Acadia program is a watershed-based effort to improve the resilience of Acadia’s natural resources, with Cromwell Brook Watershed selected as the first area of focus. (See the Fall 2014 Friends of Acadia Journal »)
On Tuesday, December 16, from 12 to 1 pm, researcher Alyssa Reischauer will give a presentation on her work to map and document problem sites in the Cromwell Brook Watershed (in the Sieur de Monts area). This work will provide a key part of the foundation for the rest of the project. Alyssa will describe how she managed to get all this done and will walk you (virtually) through the watershed. Bring your bag lunch and your questions to the conference room at Acadia National Park’s Eagle Lake Road Headquarters. All are welcome!
Sunrise on Cadillac: In wintertime, the summit of Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sun in the United States, and a favorite spot of many hardy souls to welcome the first light of the New Year. It’s a memorable achievement but a potentially dangerous one—especially when snow and ice cover the trails and temperatures plummet. If you aspire to catch the New Year’s sunrise atop Cadillac, be prepared for extreme weather and think safety first. These tips were prepared with assistance from the Acadia park rangers and the winter hiking guidelines at http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/winteractivities.htm.
• Knowing the weather forecast is essential. Conditions can change quickly. Wind, wet, and cold = hypothermia, which can be a killer even at 30–50 F (-1–50 C).
• Hike with a buddy. To catch a sunrise you must start well before first light, and hiking in the dark adds its own risks. Consider following the Cadillac auto road, which is generally packed by snowmobiles and easier to travel on.
• Equipment should include: Socks, boots, hat, gloves, rain gear, gaiters, shoe traction, trekking poles, headlamp, water, food, compass and map, first aid kit, firestarter, and emergency bivy gear. Layer clothes to regulate temperature. Your inner layer should wick perspiration.
• Feet and hands get cold first; be alert for frostbite.
• Drink plenty of water. Eat high energy foods.
• Acadia’s trails are very icy, often even when daytime temperatures are above freezing. Some trails are nearly impassible without shoe traction, an ice ax, or other gear. Ask about conditions.
• Route finding on trails can be a problem. Blue blazes and rock carins may be under snow and ice. Have a map, GPS and compass and know how to use them. The visible packed trail may be a “lost rabbit” trail blazed by others. Always double-check to make sure you’re on the correct trail.
• Cell phones are great, but can’t replace proper equipment and planning. Many spots (even on Cadillac) have no reception.
• Be prepared for a prolonged response. In the winter it takes additional time for rescuers to gear up and respond safely in adverse conditions.
Jordan Pond Takes the Vote: Just in case you missed the results online: Jordan Pond was the runaway winner of our fun-spirited “iconic Acadia” #GivingTuesday campaign on Tuesday, December 2, with Cadillac Summit posting a respectable second. As one Jordan Pond aficionado said, “It TOTALLY has nothing to do with the popovers!! (I think!)”
It seems many of us feel the same as Sarah Eliza Sigourney Cushing, 1832-1915, for whom a stone bench was placed at the south end of Jordan Pond with a view of the Bubbles and the inscription, “She dearly loved this spot.” Wherever your favorite spot in Acadia may be, we’re grateful for the opportunity and resources we’ve been given to preserve and protect it. Thanks to all who made a donation to make our #GivingTuesday a success.
“We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.” —James Baldwin
Header Photo: Duck Brook Bridge in the snow. Friends of Acadia photograph by Aimee Beal Church.