A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Last weekend update (part two)

September 3, 2012
Emilie Phillips

I woke up to find my mattress pads deflated. I was expecting one to leak since it had on the last night of our Utah trip. Unfortunately it looks like they both do, so now I need to figure out how to fix two pads or replace them.


It had been humid enough the night before that I was not surprised to find the tent absolutely drenched with dew. Unfortunately, I discovered one area of the tent were the design puts the wet surface up against my pillow. I guess it never got wet enough in Utah to notice. Of the campers, all of us with rain flies gingerly pulled the drenched fly off and hung it on the airplane to dry in the sun. The one guy with an old fashioned single wall tent complained we would have been better off just sleeping under our airplane. I think he just needed a tent upgrade.


After a lazy start to the morning, we packed and headed off to Bar Harbor. We recalculated weight and balance based on how much fuel we had and expected to burn. The results said it should stay within limits to Bar Harbor where we planned to fuel up again.


The flight over was fairly uneventful. Coming into the traffic pattern at Bar Harbor, I was surprised to find no one else there. Unfortunately, I then was confused by another airplane calling in 12 miles out on the right down wind when I was on the left down wind (meaning we were circling the airport in opposite directions). Following that, I did a crummy landing where I got way too fast and too low and did not figure it out until Tyson pointed out what I was doing wrong. Luckily the runway was long enough that I had plenty of distance to fix it.
Next we took a bus out to Acadia National Park. Our timing was pretty good, we only had to wait 5 minutes for the first bus rather than the hour it could have been, and the transfer was not too long either. Given our schedule and the bus schedule, we opted to do the standard tourist route from sandy beach out to otter cliff. Though we did it backwards so that we could see the more interesting coastline first and skip the beach if need be. On the whole, it looked like standard beautiful Maine coast on a sunny day. When kayaking, we can get out farther to see the same caliber coast without the people. We did spend a bit of the walk commenting on the suitability of various spots for kayak rock play. We found a few tide pools with critters in them. We joined a line of tourists watching the thunder hole. Tyson decided it most definitely was not a safe kayak play spot. The wave action in the cave at the end of the slot which creates the whomping sound would crush you against the cave ceiling.


The most amusing moment of the day came when I was squatting down to get a close up photo of a flower. Behind me, a kid exclaimed “Oh my goodness, is that what I think it is?” as if finding a rare plant or animal. “That’s a paleontologist!” So, apparently I have a new career now.


With a little bit of hustling, we caught the bus back into town in time to catch the next bus. Tyson decided stopping for ice cream was worth the risk of missing one bus and having to wait 30 minutes for the next one. There were an amazing number of ice cream shops to choose from — three on the main square and at least one down a side road. The one we chose was tasty and quick enough to catch the bus.


The trip home was not too eventful. We toured the Maine coast for a little while pointing out places we have kayaked. For practice, I landed at two unfamiliar airports on the way home. The first one was a small strip, and it took me two tries to land. I did not feel too bad about that since it was a short, small runway. The next one was a bigger airport, and I did badly enough on landing that Tyson felt the need to backseat pilot pretty much the whole thing. At least I got to take a pit stop there.


For the rest of the flight home, I went up to altitude and made a bee line for home. The haze and glare from the low sun made it hard to see other plane, so I was glad I was talking to air traffic control.