today we biked the carriage roads, beginning from the northernmost point at the acadia visitor center traveling south to jordan pond. there weren't a lot of people leaving from where we left; maybe because of the incredible steep hill at the start of the trail. john was pulling will on a weehoo bicycle trailer, which garnered comments or interested looks from everyone who saw it. i rode deanna's specialized vita, a brand new white ghost bike. it was my first time on the carriage road, a pleasant network of gravel lanes punctuated by sudden scenic vistas.
will was surprisingly well-behaved, seemingly enjoying being pulled by his father on a tour of the national park, despite losing his sunglasses and throwing a brief tantrum early on. all that would change however, when john got a flat on his front tire on a cliff midway at jordan pond. will became history's greatest monster from that point on. good news: john brought a spare tube. bad news: he left the hand pump back at the car. good news: perfect place and time for a lunch break. bad news: left the sandwiches back in the car as well. will, his 5-year old mind unable to comprehend this level of ironic disappoint, lost his shit. since jordan pond house was very close by, i volunteered to ride my bike (which was still okay) to get help, maybe find someone to let me borrow a tire pump.
it took me only a matter of minutes to get to jordan pond house including a brief stop to investigate a small garter snake discovered by a british photographer who came across it while hiking. i wasn't prepared for the sheer number of tourists waiting for me upon my arrival. i tried calling john to let him know my status but i couldn't get any cellphone reception. a few minutes later i saw him pushing his bike and trailer up the steps.
the new plan was to take the bikes and ourselves back to the visitor center via the free acadia shuttle bus. unfortunately the bikes just seemed to unwieldy for the bus, so we decided to ride the shuttle without them and drive back later to retrieve them. we grabbed a number 4 shuttle, arrived at the visitor center, and drove back to jordan pond house. here we used the bathroom, ate our sandwiches (actually prepared yesterday, but eaten now), and tied the bikes back onto the rack behind the car.
our next destination was sand beach, where john had promised will since this morning that he could go swimming. both of them even wore their swimming trunks in preparation. unfortunately park loop road is a one way road that travels in a clockwise direction; the only way to get to sand beach was to do a big circle. we figured out a new way that involved heading south to seal harbor to route 3 then taking it north to cut back down south via otter cliff road. this idea didn't work, so we continued on route 3 north to get onto schooner head road. we arrived at a dead end where a trail from the packed parking lot lead to either the great head trail or sand beach. a contingent of nonchalant high school kids clad in beachwear pointed us in the right direction.
will couldn't wait, blindly running down the trail towards the direction of the sound of ocean waves. john commanded his son to stop to no avail, until he finally had to give chase himself in order not to lose sight of him. arriving at the beach, will jumped into the salt marsh water, rolled in the sand, and ran through the surfs. john documented the whole thing with his new video camera.