Out of Shape in Acadia National Park

We took our bikes with us on The Epic Road Trip because we were going to bike in Acadia and on Prince Edward Island.  We strapped them to the back of my Scion and transported them 2,600 miles round trip.  And we did bike.  In Acadia.  On one embarrassingly painful morning.  For the remainder of the trip, this is how we used them:

People hang clothing on treadmills--I figured this would work, too.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I did almost drive away like that.

Bar Harbor and, specifically, Acadia National Park was supposed to be our warm-up stop.  It was going to get us in shape for all of the hiking and biking and kayaking we planned for every other stop along the way.  And while we did hike (a lot) and kayak (once) throughout the trip, it is Acadia that sticks out in my mind.  Why?  Because in Acadia I realized how very, very out of shape I am.

Our plans for our first full day in Acadia was to ‘bike the carriage roads’.  Or, rather, ‘bike one very easy carriage road.’  Well, despite the fact that I do ride my bike a bit in my neighborhood–and that I used to ride the three blocks or so to work and back–I was not prepared for this sort of thing in any way.  People were lapping us–and laughing at us.

Stopping to breathe, trying to look happy...

I watched women twice my age glide gracefully up what appeared to be small hills that I simply could not tackle.  A half-mile long ‘gentle incline’ completely did me in.  I just could not make myself go fast enough to not fall over.

...and stopping to breathe, not even trying to look happy!

For a while I blamed my bike.  I thought maybe I was in the wrong gear–surely something must be wrong.  And while part of me still wants to believe it was the bike (seriously, it’s never been that difficult to go up barely even a hill–and the chain did come off my bike before we even started–maybe Doug fixed it incorrectly?) I’m pretty sure I know what the problem was–it was me.

For the remainder of our time in Acadia, we drove up Cadillac Mountain, we drove the park loop road, stopping to stroll (not hike) along the scenic paths.  We did manage one ‘real’ hike–Bubble Rock–which was beautiful and rewarding and, actually, a pretty good warm up for the hikes to come.

On top of south--or north?--Bubble. I forget which. I blame lack of oxygen to my brain!

I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really mean it:  I need to get in better shape so that I can enjoy all aspects of traveling–including the very active parts.  I’m not a sit on a beach kind of person, so I really should be in better shape.  And by the end of the trip I was in better shape–I could do more challenging hikes more easily…well…I could do more challenging hikes.  But upon return to my ‘regular life’, I resume my sedentary lifestyle, sitting for hours in front of my computer.  Something must be done.

I’m going for a walk.


9 responses to “Out of Shape in Acadia National Park

  1. Alas, I haven’t been on a bike in years.

    • Well, I wouldn’t suggest starting to ride in Acadia, then! Ha! Clearly we couldn’t to it–and we tried the easiest road! Sigh…

  2. Send me your email, and I’ll send you the recipies. I thought I had yours, but can’t find it.

  3. DUH>>>>> I’m on steriods and codeine for my asthma—- brain really not working well..

    recipies on the way.

  4. “I’m not a sit on the beach kind of person”? Huh? Did you have a mini stroke biking through Maine? I thought one of your favorite trip activities involved sitting on a lounge chair near a pool drinking fruity cocktails with umbrellas in them. True, a pool is not the beach, but it’s close enough.

    • I see your point. What I guess I mean is ‘I couldn’t make a whole vacation out of sitting on the beach (or by the pool)’–like even in Vegas, we do sightseeing or go hiking nearby (we loved red rock canyon.)

      • I think you should make a whole vacation out of drinking fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. Think of it as research for your book! Maybe as a tribute to your surviving Hurricane Irene you can take a trip to New Orleans and write a whole piece on taste testing “Hurricanes” all over the city

  5. Ha! I love it! But sadly, I have an aversion to dark rum. I think that’s in a hurricane, right? I’ve never had one. Though I will occasionally have a Mai Tai and just suffer the stomach ache that follows.

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