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Backpacking to Manning Camp

Backpacking to Manning Camp

Saguaro National Park

On our second to last day in Saguaro, we went to a “Star Party” at the Rincon Visitor Center.  We like astronomy, planets, and stars, so we made sure to go.  Before going outside to stargaze, the ranger at the visitor center gave us a rundown on the history of the park.  He explained how the park was created by President Herbert Hoover as a National Monument.  The ranger then said, “The park has a lot of diversity, not just the desert environment, but also the Rincon Mountains at 8,000 feet.  Up there is Manning Camp, but nobody really goes there.”  We sat there feeling slightly miffed, but also smug, because we had been at Manning Camp just two days before…

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Planning and Overview Spring 2017

Planning and Overview Spring 2017

Saguaro National Park

When you think about our national parks, Saguaro probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.  Unless you live in Tucson, Arizona, since the park straddles the city.  Established in 1933 as a National Monument, and upgraded in 1994 to a National Park, Saguaro was formed to protect its namesake – the Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).  Pronounced Sa-WAH-ro, the cacti grow very slowly, but can get as tall as 40 feet and live for more than 150 years…

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Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Our Favorite Spots and Visiting Tips

Acadia National Park

Our trip to Acadia was wonderful, and we wished we had more time there.  This post serves as our reflections looking back on Acadia – our favorite spots, things that we wished we did, tips for traveling to the park, or things we didn’t like.  It can also be used as a guide to the park, with links to more detailed posts if you want to dive in.  We’ll definitely revisit Acadia someday.  But there are a lot of other…

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Schoodic Point & Schoodic Head Trail

Schoodic Point & Schoodic Head Trail

Acadia National Park

It was our last day in Maine, and we had gone to Schoodic Peninsula to check out the newest addition to Acadia NP.  We had already explored the Schoodic Institute and Sundew Trail.  Before our trip, we had seen photos of waves crashing onto rocks at Schoodic Point.  And a ranger at Schoodic Information Center had recommended hiking up to Schoodic Head, which would be the last hike of our trip. Schoodic Point The drive to Schoodic Point from the…

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Southwest Harbor Shops and Restaurants

Southwest Harbor Shops and Restaurants

Acadia National Park

Southwest Harbor is small town on the southern end of MDI’s west side. Our first taste of it was seeing the harbor itself on the drive in. There are several piers, and one had a small pulloff. It looked so picturesque with boats scattered around, and we just had to stop and take some photos. The harbor is small, so we definitely recommend stopping to take in the views. To us, this was quintessential Maine. Southwest Harbor is also the…

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Seawall Campground

Seawall Campground

Acadia National Park

Our journey to Isle au Haut and Duck Harbor Campground finally came to a close.  We had used up our maximum 3 nights to stay in the campground.  So it was time to venture back to Mount Desert Island where we hadn’t yet visited the western half of the island and our next home, Seawall Campground.  The weather had been great each day on Isle au Haut, but on the day we left the skies were grey and foggy.  As we…

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Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

Acadia National Park

On our second day at Duck Harbor in Acadia National Park, we decided to get a taste of what it’s like to live locally on Isle au Haut.  So we made the decision to hike into town, which is the aptly named Isle au Haut Town.  It’s the only town on the island, and would be a solid day hike to get there and back.  We knew there was a general store and ranger station near the town.  We didn’t…

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Stonington to Isle au Haut

Stonington to Isle au Haut

Acadia National Park

We like to go off the beaten path, so it’s only natural that we would go to Duck Harbor Campground.  It’s a primitive, remote campground on the sparsely populated island of Isle au Haut, and boasts hiking trails, bogs, and mountains to explore.  About half of the island is part of Acadia National Park.  What’s not to like? Our journey to Isle au Haut began in Bar Harbor, where we had just gone kayaking and checked out of Blackwoods Campground.  We headed…

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Bar Harbor & Bar Island Trail

Bar Harbor & Bar Island Trail

Acadia National Park

What’s the first thing you do after flying to Bangor, renting a car, driving to Bar Harbor, and then checking into your hotel? For us the answer was obvious: Take a hike on Bar Island, then explore Bar Harbor in search of great food. We visited Bar Harbor numerous times over the course of our trip; this post catalogs our adventures there. Bar Island Trail Bar Island, north of Bar Harbor, is part of Acadia National Park. If you find…

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