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Where in the World - Backstories About the Images - The Summit

This week we travel to the summit of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine. The cairn pictured here marks one of the trails which traverses the pink granite. If you opt to hike up to the top, there are two routes from which to choose: the North Ridge Trail - or the South Ridge. Of course, you can also drive. :) At just over 1,500 feet, this is rather modest - especially if you're accustomed to the mountains out west. That said, Cadillac is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and, for six months out of the year, it's the first place the sun's rays touch the United States each morning. The view is lovely. The granite up here is interesting: not only is it pink and covered with colorful lichen, but there are also very long gouges in the sheer face of the rock. These "scars" were created by huge glaciers which, while retreating, sliced the tops off mountains and left their signatures for us to admire all these thousands of years later. The summit of Cadillac is quite the happening place at sunrise. Because it's easy to get there by car, it's not unusual to find the ample parking lot jammed at that hour. Once the sun clears the horizon, however, most of those people hop into their vehicles and descend back down to Bar Harbor. Hang around and you'll be rewarded; within thirty minutes you will quickly have the place nearly to yourself. The day this photo was made, it was mid-afternoon; I was scouting compositions for the following morning and also waiting for the sun dip lower in the sky in order to do some work featuring backlighting. While poking around, I kept coming back to the lichen. I liked the way its greens and blue-grays mimicked the colors of the trees down below as well as the waters of the harbor. The cairn gave me something with which to anchor the shot. The visual of the trail and marker pair nicely with that wonderful verse we've used for many of our graduation keepsakes: "The LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Stop by again next Saturday to see where we'll travel next!

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