October 6, 2013

Cyclists, rollerbladers rule Acadia’s roads

The rare joy of navigating the traffic-free national park is a welcome benefit of the shutdown.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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A sign on a closed gate near the entrance to the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park tells visitors on Thursday that the park is closed because of the government shutdown.

Photos by Glenn Jordan/Staff Writer

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A self-portrait shows Staff Writer Glenn Jordan during his journey along the vehicle-free Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park on Thursday.

Additional Photos Below

Chipmunks and squirrels skittered with impunity across the pavement. No roadkill on this day. Only needles, acorns and early leaves interrupted the sun-dappled asphalt corridor.

After 90 minutes of pedaling the borrowed hybrid bike, I came upon the brown sign pointing the way to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Did I dare?

Nah. Not with these brakes. More accurately, not with these tired thighs.

Later, after returning to the 14th fairway, I traded bike for blades and met the teenager from Maryland. I returned to the Loop Road, ditched the helmet cam, and skated halfway to Sand Beach before turning back.

On a flat stretch, I fell in with an older guy on a bike. He sported a white beard and a black shirt and black shorts with lots of words on them.

“An opportunity like this doesn’t come around very often,” he said. “I like to ride it backward. You see things differently, especially along the ocean.”

He’s right, of course. I should have gone against what little grain there was on this postcard-perfect afternoon and done the loop counterclockwise.

Seventeen years have passed since the last government shutdown.

This one surely can’t last much longer. 

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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Additional Photos

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Without cars whizzing by to whisk them off, fallen leaves begin to blanket a section of the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park on Thursday.

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Two women take advantage of the government shutdown to enjoy a view of the ocean from chairs that they set up in the middle of the road.

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Glenn Jordan takes a break from pedaling the 27-mile Park Loop Road to do a bit of rock hopping on large granite barrier stones that line the road.

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Glenn Jordan gets off his borrowed bike on Thursday to get a glimpse of Thunder Hole, normally one of Acadia National Park’s most crowded sites.

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The shadow of Glenn Jordan atop his borrowed hybrid bicycle falls on a stretch of the Park Loop Road as he nears the end of his Acadia journey.

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Afternoon sunlight slants through the trees lining an empty Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park on Thursday. If there is a silver lining to the government shutdown, the chance to bicycle or rollerblade along the loop road devoid of motor vehicles just might be it.



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