Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An Acadian Story

So, yesterday was our dorm-mom's birthday. Just so you know, our dorm-mom's name is Maisie. She's the one in charge of us, she feeds us, she cleans up after us, and she makes sure the rangers across the road get a good night sleep instead of coming over here to talk about keeping the evening peace. She has a dorm assistant and two dorm aides, but if it weren't for Maisie, I don't know what we'd do. We really are lucky to have her.

So like I was saying, she turned 50 yesterday. The dorm assistant, Amy, had put together plans to surprise her. She got a bunch of us together to go on a carriage ride and if we each paid a few extra dollars, we could pay for Maisie as well. It was something Maisie had always wanted to do. I almost decided not to go, but now I'm glad I did.

When we drove up to the stables, Maisie said, "Oh, I see! We're going for a ride!" It was really fun; we took lots of pictures. The Acadia National Park has 57 miles of carriage roads, automobile free, made especially for biking, walking, and horseback riding. Wildwood Stables is the only National Park concession that provides carriage rides in the United States.

The roads really are an engineering masterpiece. They were commisioned, primarily designed, supervised, and donated to the national park by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. There are 16 cut-granite bridges and 1 cobblestone bridge, all unique in design and structure. The roads have a granite foundation underneath the dirt and crushed stone that make up the top. This would have caused a BIG drainage problem, had not Rockefeller designed a flawless drainage system that not only works, but will never stop working. There is an engineered rockslide. It's amazing, and to imagine someone building it so that it would be safe for generations to come is astounding.

The carriage roads of Acadia National Park are beautiful. They are some of my favorite parts of the island. They truly are a reminder that the people that lived here before really loved the area so much that they gave it away. Hill by hill, brook by brook, and tree by tree, every acre of Acadia National Park was donated to the government by people who loved Eden so much, they wanted to share it with the world.


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a man from Saipan said...

I do miss the feel of an ancient place. Visited national parks and wonderful places similar is a peace and reassurance that people don't get in the island much. They may have splendid jungles and waterfalls, but not magnificent mountains and terrain.

I guess it is the fact that it is unmoving. The mountains have been there for years while a waterfall could be gone next month.

Calandria said...

We hope to spend at least a month in Maine next summer. I will be sure to take my family on a carriage ride when we visit Acadia! Thanks for the great description, Mal.


ML said...

Beautiful description and great info Mal. I was so inspired that I posted some carriage road and bridge pictures on my blog!