Paul has been on a fitness kick lately. He’s eating better and is making exercise a regular part of his routine. And it shows – he weighs less now than when I first met him in 1995. A couple of weeks ago he tagged along on a back-to-school shopping trip with me and Hannah and he said (a bit full of himself), “I’m a lean, mean, shopping machine,” as he worked to keep up with us.

Paul hasn’t been much into hiking, so Hannah and I usually go it alone. Last week, he joined us on the Pike Lands trails. This week he suggested that we hike Schoodic Head in Acadia National Park. I needed to remind him that this was his idea many times along the way.

The Alder Trail at Schoodic

Off we went on this beautiful last Friday in August. It was 63?F and sunny when we set out on the first leg, the 0.6 mile Alder Trail, a lovely grassy lane.

Puffin trail marker

These little bird signs marked the way.

Schoodic Head Trail

Then we started moving uphill on the 0.7 mile Schoodic Head Trail.

Schoodic Head Trail

And uphill it went – 440 feet. It was steep!

Hiking the Schoodic Head Trail

Towards the summit it was more rock climbing than it was hiking.

Cadillac Mountain from Schoodic Head

The view from the top was absolutely worth it.

Family at the top of Schoodic Head

The view behind us is Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island from Schoodic Head.


Tired and relieved to have made it to the top, we dawdled a bit with our snack, admiring the view.

Hannah on the Anvil Trail

Then there was the 1.1 mile downhill hike on the Anvil Trail. All I wanted to do was go downhill, but more often than not there was an outcropping of rocks to scale, so you had to go uphill to go downhill.

Paul on the Anvil Trail

Just when I thought we’d been through the worst of it another surprise would pop up and out I’d hear, “You’ve got to be shitting me!” coming from Paul. That seemed to be his refrain the entire way down. We kind of expected that the downhill leg would be more moderate because it was a longer trail. Not the case.

Cadillac Mountain from the Anvil Trail

Paul groaned, when on the way down, I opted to follow a “scenic overlook” branch instead of continuing down. This view was the payoff.


All in all it took us 2 hours to complete this 2.3 mile loop. I don’t think my “lean, mean, shopping machine” has ever been so happy to see the car!