Four years ago, in July of 2007, right after I turned 13, my family and I drove up the east coast of the United States and back down it again. We traveled from Chesapeake, VA to Boston, from Boston to Maine, from Maine to New York, and then from New York back to Chesapeake. We visited exciting sites, learned history we had not known before, ate at local, cultural restaurants, and climbed new, exhilarating hikes. My favorite part of our two week long adventure was when we took a hike up to the highest peak on the Atlantic coast of the United States, Cadillac Mountain, part of Acadia National Park in Maine. At 1,500 feet, the view from the summit of the mountain is breathtakingly beautiful.
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We left our hotel early in the morning in order to beat the heat. We arrived at the base of the mountain around 8:30 in the morning. Getting there early was a very important decision that we made, because the toughest part is the climb up the mountain and is much easier if it is somewhat cool. We carried two drawstring bags with plenty of water and healthy snacks to keep us energized, and bug spray and sunscreen to protect us during our hike. The only trouble with the bags was that they were a little heavy, especially when we first started out; it would have been better if we had each carried one to distribute the weight better. The bug spray and sunscreen were crucial, since the bugs were everywhere and the sun was blazing by ten. My mom and my sisters thought to wear sturdy outdoor shoes and had a relatively easy time climbing the mountain. ; I, however, wore every day school sneakers…not the best idea. I fell a few times and slipped a couple more, and had trouble keeping up with the rest of the family. I would definitely advise wearing sturdy, comfortable sneakers made for hiking. Also, a first aid kit, or at least some band-aids, is a good idea.
Even with the falls and heavy bags, the climb was most definitely worth it. My family and I felt extremely accomplished when we reached the top and knew we had gotten a good workout, as well. The view was beautiful, with mountains on every side, lakes and rivers down below, and blue skies above. I could have spent hours at the summit with the cool breeze and the amazing view. I realized the long, hot, sweaty walk was worth it, even if it took hours, just to experience the incredible view at the top.
The walk down the mountain was much easier and very relaxing. We took in the wildlife and enjoyed the nice breeze on the way down. Climbing Cadillac Mountain was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had while on a family vacation. I got to enjoy nature and appreciate the beautiful, natural world around us, while getting my daily exercise. I would sincerely recommend taking a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine and taking a hike up the tallest mountain on the east coast, Cadillac Mountain.
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