In this series Group Identification and Trail Names will be used to protect the Not So Innocent.

Von TRAPPs: Their theme song was “Climb every Mountain”
EASY DOES IT: Leisure hiking and fine dining at the summit was their mantra
ODESSEY ITALIANO STYLE: They exhibited last minute casual planning and scheduling at its best
TAG ALONGS: Made no plans just tagged along with whatever sounded good
TRAIL BLAZER: Read the maps and pointed the way by day; was charming at night
I LOVE ‘EM BUT I LEFT ‘EM: Had a flashback of a prior hiking experience 40 years ago and flew the coop (or cabin)

Day 1 Sat             THE WAY UP
Day 2 Sun            ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’
Day 3 Mon            ALL TOGETHER NOW, HIKE!
Day 4 Tues           SUNRISE SERENADE
Day 5 Wed            DARING RESCUE AT SEA (?)
Day 7 Fri              THE LAST HURRAH
Day 8 Sat             THE WAY BACK

Only Natural                 Up and at “em
The Mole                      Keen on Hiking
Popover Addict             Tiny Tunes
Super Chef                   Buzz
The Arranger                 Swarmy
Mountain girl                 Ever Ready
Love’em but I left ‘em    Susie Sunshine
Freakin’ Genius            Gear up the Kazoo
Pj Princess                  Trail Blazer(by day)/Prince charming(by

Chapter 1

At the crack of dawn, from points around the South Coast, bleary eyed “campers” set forth in vehicles laden with kayaks, bikes, GEAR, and a TON of food…destination the Narrows Too Campground in Trenton, Maine. So engrossed in conversation were the von Trapps leaving from Dartmouth, they never realized they had by- passed the 140 ramp until they were in Wareham, where upon they made a u-ey and finally got headed in the right direction. The plan had been to meet at the Burger Chef on Route 24 at 7:30 and then head north. Thanks to cell phones, the group did finally make it there and, after checking bikes, and making last minute adjustments to the Kayak straps, they got under way.

Next stop was to be the rest area just over the NH line but, on second thought, or, was it that the lead car missing it, whizzed right by, the caravan had to “make due “ with the liquor store instead. Further supplied, it was off again to the northland.

Hours later, cell tagging favored a stop at a fast food restaurant in Maine but it was never explained how the lead car (Odessey Italiano Style) who had been ahead, arrived 10 minutes after the Tag Alongs and, the von Trapps, never at all. It turned out that the fast food place was not fast after all since PJ Princess’ salad was 35 minutes in the making and a considerable of time was lost, thus allowing the von Trapps ample time to register at the Narrows, make up their bunks, go check out Acadia Park AND stop for a wine tasting all with time to spare before the others arrived.

Over the next several hours, individual members of the groups Nice and Easy, Love “em …and Trail Blazer/Prince Charming arrived; the last cabin gaining occupancy the next day. Unpacking all the stuff soon diminished any spare space in the cabins and one group, who will remain unnamed, had so much it spilled out unto their porch which thereafter was referred to as, “ghetto”.

Once unpacked, the feeding frenzy began and one was able to move from picnic table to another, noshing on a variety of treats along the way. Thus, the pattern of the next several days was set; coffee, breakfast, activity, beverage, pool, beverage, nosh, beverage, dinner, beverage, fire ring, beverage, bed.

The cabins were perfectly situated, the facilities spotless and Freakin’ Genius, with her nightly forays to other vacant sites, as well as the campground people, kept us with enough wood to last until well after ten each night at the fire ring where we gathered to rehash the day and tell our tales.

Chapter 2
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin

Sunday promised to be the perfect day weather wise so those who had brought along bikes decided to take advantage of the ideal conditions to hit the carriage paths…the destination of choice being the Jordan House, famed for its popovers. The von Trapps and Tag-a-longs were first to set out, biking from the Visitor Center with extra miles tacked on around Eagle Pond and, a side trip by the von Trapps, to the summit of Day Mountain.

The Tag-a-Longs went on ahead to secure a place in line for the 11:30 opening which proved to be a good move since by the time Odyssey Italiano arrived by bus with their bikes, the line was already quite long and they opted to continue on and come back at another time.

The von Trapps and Tag-a-longs wisely choosing to have their popovers al fresco in the Tea Garden were seated immediately. There they found to their delight that the delectable popovers served with butter and jams, piping hot from the oven, were as equally delicious and hot as their server JOEY. Needless to say, that after describing him at the fire ring that night the path to Jordan House became well traveled as the campers flocked there, some more than once, in hopes of being seated at one of his tables. But, alas, the elusive Joey, either by chance or, in defense, having met up with the BBRC women, changed sections daily and, so, it was only UP And At ‘Em who brought home a coveted photo of herself with his arm draped over her very willing shoulders.

The bikers, having traversed the rolling and somewhat steep hills of the carriage paths, with some being lucky enough to catch sight of the horse drawn carriages for which they were designed, upon arriving back at the Narrows, retreated to the heated pool to soothe their tired muscles readying themselves for their next venture.

Chapter 3
All Together Now, Hike!

With overcast skies and the threat of thunder showers, Trail Blazer decided to check out the official weather report at the campground office before we set off all together (minus Love ‘em but I Left ‘em ), for a hike to the summit of Acadia Mountain, a climb of 681 feet. This climb turned out to be pretty easy compared to those which came later and proved to be a good warm up. An occasional rumble of thunder could be heard every so often in the distance giving those with metal trekking poles some uncomfortable moments but, thankfully, there was no lightning.

Around lunch time, however, the rain did come and on the descent everyone got soaked but, luckily, by the time we all got back to the Narrows it was pretty much over and after hot showers, we moved into the feeding frenzy mode as we prepared for dinner and fire ring with high expectations of witnessing the Perseus meteor showers in a sky devoid of light pollution.

Seated around a roaring fire with zillions of stars overhead Trail Blazer… uh, rather, Prince Charming (PM) pointed out several constellations and every once in awhile someone would shout, “I see one”, when a meteor streaked by. Too bad the clouds did not cooperate and moved in to spoil what could have been a spectacular show leaving only a few diehards to remain, “just in case”.

Incidentally, readers, Keen on Hiking just happened to have her McCoy boat seat in her vehicle and discovered that it was a perfect fit for the wet picnic benches thus avoiding a wet rump at dinner… so, here’s a piece of advice, never leave home without yours, ya never know!

Chapter 4

The von Trapps rising before the crack of dawn, left the Narrows at 4:30 AM (without the Tag-a Longs who had only “sort of” said they would join them) and drove to Cadillac Mountain summit where they witnessed a spectacular sunrise; by 6:30 had stopped at a quaint little inn for a sumptuous breakfast; and then headed for Sargent Mountain where they scaled not only one, but two and a half surrounding peaks, thus setting the record for the most peaks reached in one day. Needless to say, no other group ever even came close that feat of endurance.

Moving at a much slower pace, Nice and Easy also did Cadillac but they hiked it from bottom to top while entertaining others on the trail with their renditions of various tunes a cappella as they crept along. (“Crept” being the operational word since they confessed to being passed on the trail by a man with crutches!) However, they were proud to have tackled this formidable mount and had even found a kindred spirit along the way when a woman from New Mexico, hiking solo, found their pace to be just right and, being so delighted with their unique style of hiking, invited them all to visit her in New Mexico for a hiking vacation…thus leaving much to be said in favor of the relaxed approach to hiking.

Meanwhile, Odyssey Italiano, with the Tag-a-Longs in tow, chose Permetic Mountain, elevation, 1248 ft, as their challenge of the day. They were rewarded at the summit with spectacular vistas (but weren’t all the views spectacular?) and very unusual geological formations. Little Jackie was particularly thrilled to pose at the summit marker with several members of the group and, also, with some other hikers who found her enthusiasm so charming.

Upon returning to the Narrows from their various venues, the hikers were greeting by a jubilant Love ‘em who in their absence had made arrangements to fly from the nearby airport (the very near airport) to Boston and then on to Pittsburg where she would be met by members of her family who, incidentally, were shocked to learn she was camping after she had vowed that her one camping experience 40 years prior, was never, ever to be repeated. From Pennsylvania, she was off to Ohio to be introduced to her most recent grandchild.

That evening at the fire ring as we recounted our adventures, the rowdy (although, we actually prefer “fun loving”) group was approached by a camper from another area who came over to see the group who was having such a good time. She presented us with a bottle of wine which we suspected might be laced with sleeping tablets (probably so she could get some) and we were made especially suspicious when she declined an invitation to join us. C’est la vie.

Chapter 5

Once again, the von Trapps were the first up and with the Tag-a-Longs, left the campground to meet up with a 7:30 AM beginner’s bird watching group led by Ranger John who turned out to be as watch-able as the birds. (Never say the early bird doesn’t get the worm, or in the Trapps and Tags case, the local hotty) They followed that treat with a walk in the surrounding nature gardens before going their separate ways. The Tags had wisely used their own vehicle when the Trapps made mention of a mountain they wanted to do called the Precipice which featured vertical ladders.

Speeding back to the Narrows hoping to tag a long with another group the Tags were disappointed to find the cabins deserted. Odyssey, usually with their lengthy back and forth planning sessions, had gotten their act together and left hours before for a hike where they ended up scaling two summits. Even Love ‘em was already in the golf cart with her moose headdress at her side on her way to the airport. Rather than being relegated to giving renditions of two handed Skip Bo at the fire ring, the Tags bravely took the big step and went off on their own to the Schoodic Peninsula which they’d heard was a must see. And so it was. Since they had their bikes along, they were able to get in a 12 mile ride and were lucky to catch sight of a porcupine and a dolphin along the way which, they figured upped their bragging rights. But they were to be sorely disappointed on that score..

For it was Nice and Easy who had taken a schooner sail that day who took the spotlight at the fire ring that night and they had a story to tell. From the time they returned from their day at sea, they’d been dropping hints of an event which occurred on the boat of such drama that it could only be told with everyone assembled to hear every last detail from start to finish. No matter how anyone begged or, tried to trick them into revealing even a tiny morsel, none would breathe even a hint of what had occurred. Thus, with our imaginations held captive, it wasn’t until almost 9:15, when the last of Nice and Easy joined the ring, and with everyone ready to burst from being held in the dark for so long, that the stage was set. However, then Nice and Easy began to debate amongst themselves if, the happening should even be told at all, driving the assembly into a frenzy. Given the last word, it was Swarmy who ended the debate and proclaimed that she thought the “story should be told”. And what a story it was. For full dramatic effect twin harmonicas were used to introduce the key events.

The story:
It began with a squall suddenly that suddenly came up out of nowhere with winds blowing strong enough that the captain demanded that the sails be lowered immediately. So focused and intent was he on the task of saving his boat, that he failed to notice or, might have even intentionally ignored the fact, that a teen-aged girl of about 14, leaning over the rail, had been cast overboard. It was the women of the BBRC with their “man overboard” drill training who went into action and lined up along the rail pointing to the girl and, when a line was lowed, helped pull the teen to safety. By chance, this entire dramatic rescue was caught on camera by a reporter who happened to be aboard and was to appear in a local paper. Doubts in the veracity of the tale began when the story began to involve a lab and porpoise plus the purported flinging of one of the BBRC women, whose ankle had gotten in a rope (LINE!), upward into the shrouds. What followed was worse than the Spanish Inquisition and talk about rowdy…it was a good thing that the 10 PM quiet time came up for the shouting and screaming and laughter was enough to wake the dead. As it turned out, Nice and Easy, to make up for a relatively non-exciting day and having inadequate feelings “multiple peak envy”, over a few beers (no surprise) had contrived the whole tale and the only factual part were the exploits of Surfer Dude who had won the hearts of the Ranger on board as well as several of their fellow sailors. It was then decreed, thereafter, Nice and Easy would have a mole imbedded within their group to separate fact from fiction when they described their exploits at the fire ring.

Chapter 6

Under clear and brilliant skies, the von Trapps were first on the road, off to hike and bike the Schoodic Peninsula. They were followed somewhat later by Odyssey. With The Mole embedded within their group, to ferret out fact from fiction, Nice and Easy and the Tag A- Longs headed for Gorham Mountain which was reputed to be an easy climb.

The Mole was later to report that, indeed, the group’s hiking style was quite unique including ample stops for singing and photo opportunities, the latter of which could be worked into lengthy rests. For example, coming upon a French couple at a scenic overlook, Ever Ready innocently inquired if they would like to have their picture taken. The couple, in gratitude, offered to return the favor…little did they know that before they could say, “Jacques Lapin”, no less than eight cameras would appear and the photo shoot would begin. Not only were the members of the group photographed in various combinations, but Surfer Dude had to be included as they reenacted their “man overboard pointing stance “pointing over a cliff, just in case they should be called upon to participate in a mountain rescue. Needless to say, many clicks later, the couple was finally able to continue on and, thereafter, whenever the Easys came upon them they quickly averted their eyes.

Reaching the summit at lunchtime, a veritable gourmet feast appeared as containers of chicken salad, a choice of breads, goat cheese, watermelon slices and delicious cookies appeared. (by the way, Super Chef’s Gorham Mountain chicken salad recipe will appear in the BBRC Cook Book) The Tag -a-Longs, who had brought P and J sandwiches and granola bars, quickly abandoned them and wondered, if maybe, they’d been tagging along with the wrong groups.

Later, making a pit stop before moving on to their next venue, Tiny Tunes and Arranger broke out their mini harmonicas in the parking lot, and with some of the others, performed an impromptu hoedown. To their disappointment, no one asked to join their group, although a couple of dogs strained a bit at their leashes to get to them. Next on their agenda was a short hike (6 minutes) to Brook Ridge which had a fine view of Echo Lake. This trip was especially poignant for Swarmy who was celebrating a milestone birthday and who had spent time there as a child with her family as immigrants after WWII. Looking down at the lake with its multitude of swimmers, Swarmy recounted some sentimental stories of days back then, when her family had the place exclusively to themselves.

With the week winding down it had been decided that the group would go out together one night to eat, and this was to be the night…of, course, it didn’t stop the feeding frenzy which went on as usual since we all still had stashes of goodies left to share. Although there were some very nice eateries in the area, ours would have to be somewhere we could “blend” in. Not so easy. It turned out to be Freakin’ Genius who found us the perfect place just outside the center of Bar Harbor. It was a small sports bar called Little Anthony’s. So, clad in our finest clean duds, we descended en masse and upon arrival set up a table for 10, and if you can believe it, our presence caused nary a ripple. (The loud music was a huge help). With the exception of Little Jackie, resplendent in mascara especially for the occasion, and who made a spectacle of herself by guzzling too many cosmopolitans, passing out on the table and then, ending up hugging the toilet, the evening progressed without incident. Gear Guru who had been keeping track of the Red Sox all week (and that wasn’t easy up in the woods) was happy to see the game was on the big screens until she noticed it was just a re run. While awaiting our pizzas, Freakin’ Genius took on all comers at the air hockey table with only Susie Sunshine able to score any points against her. Mountain Girl, discovering a shooting game, challenged Susie but Mountain Girl had met her match for, although she could zap the deer and elk, Susie went ballistic when the quail came up and evened up the score pretty quickly… much to the chagrin of a now somewhat revived Little Jackie, who was not pleased with this game to say the least.

Arriving back at the Narrows, we found that the fireworks we thought we were seeing from the restaurant had actually been part of a tremendous thunderstorm and had thrown the campground into darkness. As some members prepared to sit at the fire ring anyway, it began to rain lightly, and so, we all went to bed.

Chapter 7

The week, now almost at its end, saw the campers numbers somewhat diminished as those having prior commitments, made their departures. For this last perfect day, Nice and Easy opted for a short bike ride, Popovers at Jordan House (last chance at Joey?) and planned to return in time to kayak. If you recall, the kayaks had been carried up to Maine but as of yet had not tested the Maine waters. Odyssey, after much debate, chose to hike Cadillac via Dorr Mountain. The Tag-a Longs decided to go with the Dorr -Cadillac combo, although Keen on Hiking initially agonized over missing the opportunity try out her new kayak.

Reaching the Dorr summit was by no means the piece of cake it appeared to be on the map but the spectacular views were well worth the effort. At the summit we could look across and see the people on Cadillac who appeared to be ant sized. Realizing that we would be eventually joining them was mind boggling since the distance between Dorr and Cadillac seem so great and so UP! The entire hike from the trailhead at Sieuer du Mont took us about 2 1/2 hours. On Cadillac, we looked over and down to where we had come from and marveled at our accomplishment. The three hour descent to the car took us through a variety of ecosystems including flooded areas where we had to wade, as well as, down some steep rocky parts. Needless to say, we were very happy to hit the pool that afternoon to soak away the muscle fatigue. (Easy, by the way, never did kayak but went shopping in Bar Harbor instead…surprised?)

That evening, Nice and Easy and the Tag-a-Longs took advantage of the lobster dinner at the campground while Odyssey gathered for Thanksgiving dinner where they each recounted all the things for which they were thankful. Feeling too mellow to attend the Narrows entertainment, we gathered for the last time at the fire ring to share memories and to toss around ideas as to where in the world we could go for our next trip.

Chapter 8
The Way Back

Our week had come to an end and the diehards who were still at the Narrows at 8 AM Saturday, sloshed up through the rain to the campground pavilion to take advantage of the blueberry pancake breakfast. Hmmmmm good! The rain made leaving easier since there wasn’t much we could have done on that bleak and cool day. BUT, how long does it take to get out of Maine??????

For most of us it was, with a coffee, or lunch break, not much more than 6 hours. So how then, did Odyssey Italiano manage turn a 6 hour ride into a marathon lasting almost 12 hours? Well, first of all, they claim to have gotten caught in a traffic jam just outside the Narrows, (o-kay), then it was coffee, and then a side trip to Freeport to the L.L. Bean Store. Aha! Now you’re getting close to the true story. The Indigo Girls were there, so they claim, and that ate up some time after which there was the shopping. For with the Gear Guru, isn’t it all about gear - Gotta have lots of it. And, with all those “toys” and gimmicks…what a treasure trove that store is. Susie Sunshine was in dire need of new shoes since on the way down from Cadillac she had to tape up her soles when they threatened to fall apart, and PJ Princess wasn’t happy with her old shoes either. Trail Blazer’s mini waist pack had been coveted by the girls, it makes whipping out those cameras for all those Kodak moments so convenient… so they all bought replicas. And, I suppose there were other items on sale they just couldn’t resist. PJ Princess remarked that she didn’t get home until 10:30 PM just in time to get into those hot jammies again. As their little caravan moved slowly toward the Massachusetts line, stopping every now and then to check on the kayaks which were making all kinds of moans and groans due to the strong gusts of wind, a blow by blow account of their journey was phoned to Tom B, who was astonished to find that, having left the Narrows around noon, they were still on route all those hours later. Considering, that from time to time, if you remember, on the way up this group was in the lead, and then arrived after everyone else at the stop off’s, it just makes you wonder what goes on along the way. If one of them should offer you a ride any time, need I say more?

Anyhow, the week was a blast and a great time was had by all.

One last word (or two)

Of course, there are many tales that because of time and space were not told and which could have been included. Here are a few: (keeping in mind, as the saying goes, what happens in Acadia, stays in Acadia)

- The Cake….it was beautiful and delicious
- The Magician… he turned two fives into a twenty and a ten
- The mountain strip tease…(not as bad as you think)
- The Beehive ladders.
- Route 66 and the carhop story
- Great eating experiences around town
- The cruise ship
- Caught on the porch…it wasn’t what it seemed to be