Last weekend, an enterprising group led by Gregory and Nathaniel had the wonderful opportunity to climb the Beehive Trail in Acadia. After months of preparation, including group dawn workouts, morning pool sessions, and Weightlifting Wednesdays, our group was finally ready to tackle the beast that is the Beehive. Hailed by Jared from Subway as ‘’the mountain to end all mountains, except for maybe that hill in my backyard,” the Beehive stands at a whopping 520 feet. And, the Beehive Trail has iron rungs built into the mountainside at the steepest sections- quite terrifying, but fortunately some of us only have a severe case of acrophobia.

After a dinner in Dana of burgers and salad, we departed for Acadia around 6 p.m. and arrived by 8. We quickly set up tents, and then, using our headlamps, we walked half a mile to Maine’s coastline to stargaze.  As we emerged onto a set of rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean, we all collectively gasped. Alan had tripped on a rock, and fallen into the tumultuous swells below!! And thus the fellowship was broken, and our group suddenly became 7. (If Alan’s parents happen to be reading this post, do not be alarmed. He washed up in Bar Harbor a couple days ago with a big smile on his face and a starfish stuck to his butt.)

But seriously, the stars were beautiful. As we basked in the glory of the Milky Way (a fairly chill galaxy that lies between the Twinkie Solar System and the Mars Bars Constellation), Owens and Gregory serenaded the group with songs by Fleet Foxes. The duo left us utterly content, and we rested under the stars for far longer than we had planned.

The next morning, we woke up around 8 a.m. to a glorious morning- birds chirping, a cool, crisp breeze, and the sun steadily rising above the treetops.

As Nathaniel stood up, he felt as though he had a sack of bricks in his stomach. The Dana Burger. If any Acadia ranger is reading this, he would like to apologize for what he did to your bathroom.

After a breakfast of jelly, nutella, bagels, PB, and summer sausage- and another toilet run- we were off to the trailhead. First up was the Ocean’s Path, an aptly named trail that winded alongside the Atlantic Ocean, providing us with sweeping views. After a mile, we found the trailhead for the Beehive.

The trail ascended moderately, almost immediately taking us above tree line, before we encountered the iron rungs. One by one, we hoisted ourselves up over the cliffs of the Beehive, with only one minor fatality. Gregory, our fearless leader, led the charge, swinging haphazardly from one rung to the next like a monkey on monkey bars.

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Gregory courageously leading the charge.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel cowered in fear below a particularly steep section of rock, as Owens yelled encouragingly, “who made you trip leader, NARP!” (Note- NARP= Non-athletic-regular-person, i.e. the author of this post)

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If you take a peek at the two lowest individuals, you might be able to tell that Owens is reprimanding Nathaniel for being, quote, “slower than a beached whale!!”

Note #2- Obviously, Nathaniel is making this up. Owens actually said that Nathaniel is “in both body shape and forward velocity, a human example of the incompetence of a beached whale.”

Note #3- Contrary to popular belief, Nathaniel is in fact only part whale.

Finally, Nathaniel found the courage to hike up the rungs, and within minutes, we had reached the summit, which was notably absent of both bees and hives.

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Jared from Subway was right.

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In this photo, our group contemplates the didactic arbitration between the exponentially growing human population and the transcendent solitude of nature. Henry David Thoreau would be proud.

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Unfortunately, Owens steals the show on this one buddy.

Anyway, we soon continued our hike over to Champlain Mountain. Exquisite vistas greeted our eyes at every step, and almost as soon as we had started, we had reached the summit. We feasted on our bag lunches, pop-tarts, and yum-yummed melted chocolate donuts, and once again, Nathaniel would like to apologize to any ranger or civilian who stumbles upon his second contribution to Acadia. Just kidding, we all know Nathaniel practices LNT.

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Here, a shameless shout-out is in order. Alan carried a Frisbee to the summit, which was awesome! We all chucked the Frisbee around for an indefinite period of time – who knows, Alan or Savannah might still be up there, chucking away – before heading back down the same trail. Gregory decided to let Nathaniel lead, and he proved his considerable leadership abilities by getting the group lost (and luckily found) twice. But we continued downwards nonetheless, encountering many families with dogs along the way. The families greeted us with pleasant hellos, while the dogs squealed with delight as we gave them impromptu tummy rubs.

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So yeah, that was the trip. Everyone on the hike was fantastic and super fun to be around, and the weather could not have been more gorgeous. Also, the Beehive was a fantastic hike and we would highly recommend it to hikers of all ages, unless you’re a dog or other animal lacking opposable thumbs (I’m looking at you, Snail).

 

P.S. This was Gregory’s last trip. He is a great, passionate dude who loves to hike (and revel in amazing views, among other things), and we will be sad to see him go. He went on 45 COC trips and led 15, which is pretty darn incredible. Visit next year buddy!!! (I’ll try! –Gregory)

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