I couldn’t have written out this story any better.
For once, I took the scenic route and chose the slow Amtrak train from my previous adventure in Minneapolis to my next hub in Boston. It was rather uneventful, so when I jumped off the tracks at it’s last stop at 9:30pm after 2 full days, I was ready to hit the road to take me to the next bucketlist spot… Acadia National Park in the northeastern part of Maine!
With only 4 days to explore 3 new northeastern states, I knew I had to make the long drive overnight and pulled into the quaint town of Bar Harbor at 2am. Why get a hotel now when the weather dictated that this would be my only day to experience an epic sunrise from the summit of Cadillac Mountain?
So at 2:30am, I pulled into a desolate parking lot as the third car ready for the ultimate Acadia experience. Winds were whipping so I attempted to stargaze for a bit, but quickly chose the comfort and warmth of my car to try to catch a few zzzzzs prior to my 5am alarm.
By 5:10am, there were over 250 cars filling the parking lot and stretching down the road. The winds were easily now gusting over 50mph, so it was brutally cold on the summit cliffside for us 500+ spectators.
BUT at precisely 5:34am, it was so very worth it to see the beautiful fireball rise up from the horizon and project it’s radiant glow. This exact spot is the first place where the sun rises upon the North American continent for 5 months out of the year. It was mesmerizing.
And by 5:55am, the parking lot was again empty and quiet. My tiredness had faded away and I was ready to start my full day of exploration by hiking the hours away in my 41st of 63 National Parks.