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.
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.
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!)
But there were brave souls who had gotten there even earlier to stake out the perfect photo op:
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.
We didn't linger after the sun came up.
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!
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:
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:
Then we hauled our tired asses back to camp. It was our last night in Acadia and we were exhausted.