Friday, November 6, 2015

maine | sunrise at cadillac mountain

Maine 2014
Cadillac Mountain is where the sun first rises in the continental U.S. That's cool and all, except for the part where you have to get out of bed when it's still dark to see it. I'm much more likely to see a sunrise because I stayed up all night rather than getting my butt out of bed early in the morning. And honestly, we might have skipped the whole thing if I hadn't seen Veronika's incredible photos of the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain a few months before. Her blog post was pretty good incentive to get out of bed and drive up the mountain.
Maine 2014
Luckily for us, the sun rises in September around 6 am - about an hour and a half later than it did in June when Sly and Veronika were visiting. Unfortunately, in September, the temperature when it's still dark out on the highest point on the eastern seaboard is frigid. Honestly, this was one of the coldest experiences of my life. The biting wind seemed to penetrate every pore in my body. My face was paralyzed from the cold.
Maine 2014
As we walked from the car to try and find a spot to view the sun's first appearance and were nearly knocked over by the icy wind, I thought "F this!" I no longer cared about finding the perfect viewing spot or getting the perfect photo or avoiding the other people - I just wanted to huddle behind a rock. It didn't help. Getting a good photo of a sunrise is extremely challenging under the best conditions (I didn't have a tripod) and on this day, it was really too cold to bother exposing my fingers to the freezing air to press the shutter button to take photos. My fingers were so frozen I could hardly move them anyway.

"CUT! I can't feel my fingers!"
"You need to rub them on a nice warm yuletide log..."
(Name that movie!)

Maine 2014
But there were brave souls who had gotten there even earlier to stake out the perfect photo op:
Maine 2014
Dude is wearing shorts! NOPE!

The sun could not come up fast enough. JUST RISE BEFORE I DIIIIIIEEEEEE! Finally it did. It was not spectacular. (Evidently we don't have the best luck with sunrises and sunsets in Maine!) There were no clouds in the sky to create cool atmospheric effects. The sky did not change from purple to pink to orange. It was simply an orange ball that rose above the horizon. It honestly looked like any old sunrise, except from a spectacular (but freezing) vantage point overlooking Frenchman Bay.
Maine 2014
Maine 2014

We didn't linger after the sun came up.
Maine 2014
As we were walking back to the car, the icy air filled my hood up like a frozen balloon. I could actually feel the flesh on my face flapping around as the wind violated my skin and froze my ears. I pointed my DSLR at my own face and jokingly snapped a photo. I'm fascinated/horrified by the results. Is this not the best/worst selfie ever? My skin looks 100 years old!
Maine 2014
We drove down the mountain and back to Sans Souci camp. Larry couldn't wait to get back to bed. As for me, despite my hatred of mornings, once I'm up I can't go back to sleep. So I sat on the back deck at the cabin and admired the view of the lake in the early hours. It was so calm and reflective - like a mirror:
Maine 2014
After Larry got up later in the morning, we hiked the Gorham Mountain Trail - which was beautiful, but also the worst idea after almost zero hours of sleep. By the end of the hike we were both miserable and cranky, but I insisted that we drive back up Cadillac Mountain so we could see what it looked like in the daylight and when the wind wasn't freezing my eyelids together. Not a bad view:
Maine 2014
Then we hauled our tired asses back to camp. It was our last night in Acadia and we were exhausted.

6 comments:

little green field book said...

oh no! I felt like I led you astray! I still think these photos look really beautiful and at least you didn't have to get up at 3am. It was pretty damn cold when we were there (sly wore flip flops and shorts, but with a puffer jacket...dumb) but we also saw people wearing tank tops and shorts, huddled together, jumping up and down.

I wonder what sunsets are like there.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

You didn't lead us astray! I'm glad you gave us the motivation to see it! And yes, I like my pictures from this day, too - more of a subtle beauty than the WOW photos you got, though. Your pics are really spectacular!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Also, why was it so damn cold up there? I mean it was September in Maine, not January in Alaska!

little green field book said...

Maybe we got lucky with the clouds/sunset? Or maybe it's just the difference between summer and fall? Why the hell did the sun rising at 4:20 am? That is like other worldy. And why was there a need to wear a puffer jacket in June? (I was wearing 3 layers of clothing, jeans, thick ass socks and my puffer which I took off briefly for a photo.) Did y'all go into Bar Harbor at all (or are you getting to that?) -- we saw a pretty good (and again, freezing) sunset from the hill overlooking the water in the downtown/main street area.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Yeah, I was wondering if there was some scientific reason that sunrises/sunsets were better in June than September or if it was just random/luck?

We did go into Bar Harbor a couple times (where I had the best ice cream of my life!), but I don't think I have any pictures. It was one of those times where I was forcing myself to just enjoy the moment (sadly difficult for me to do!) and not haul my DSLR around town!

little green field book said...

was it mt. desert island ice cream off the main street?