I spent Memorial Day weekend in Maine’s Acadia National Park with 15 of my closest friends. This 4 day trip included cycling, hiking, rock climbing, sea kayaking and great times with great friends. This is more outdoor awesomeness than one blog post can possible describe so look for a bunch of Acadia related posts in the near future. However, the best part about this trip was the overall experience so that is what this post will be about.
We met at the Park and Ride in Portsmouth NH; excited for a weekend of outdoor adventure. Somehow we managed to consolidate gear, bikes, and over a dozen people and a dog into just a few cars and headed north toward Acadia. The weather forecast was rapidly improving but we knew we would find something to do rain or shine. The ride up was long but we passed the time with conversation and by convincing trucks to honk their horns. A few hours later we got off I-95, and stopped for lunch. Acadia was only 30 miles away.
Our convoy rolled into Acadia’s Blackwoods Campground and luckily got 3 campsites right next to each other, the camp gods were on our side that day! We set up camp and headed straight for some rock climbing. This is when I looked at my wrist and realized I left my watch back home in Massachusetts and that my cell phone was basically dead weight with no service in the park. I started freaking out since I have had one of these devices nearby for almost every moment of my life. This is when the awesomeness of the Acadia experience started to sink in.
At home my life is run by schedules, commitments and balanced priorities. In Acadia life was run only by a desire to do what I felt was right at the moment; which was extremely liberating. I never knew what time it was, if anyone was emailing me or what was going on in the outside world. All I knew was that I ate when I was hungry slept when I was tired and typically spent the day doing something outdoors with my friends. The only decision I had to make was which outdoor activity to do each day. All of this was only enhanced by the backdrop of Acadia National Park which included breathtaking ocean views, challenging cycling routes and world class rock climbing. There were no schedules, no obligations; just a relaxing outdoor experience.
I know reality can briefly be ignored but it can’t be erased. The Acadia experience is not sustainable. No one is going to pay me to spend my all days having fun outside. Of course, feel free to contact me if you do want to pay me for that. After a few days we packed up camp and headed down east. I trudged home just after 1 am with bags of camping gear to unpack and a job to be at the next morning. Even though Acadia was only a temporary break, it served as a great reminder of relaxing power of the outdoors and I am already looking forward to next year.