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We all have heard the popular Sublime song What I Got, with the beginning of “early in the morning, rising to the street”. Well, they have nothing on the early morning adventures VNTRbirds had this past week. With a wakeup call of 4 a.m. no one slept too soundly. It could have also been the beginning jitters of excitement bursting within TUB&O for what was to come. Yes Oliver and the girls were together again for more of the simple tent life, but this time they went in style.

Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine was the destination and the college town of Keene, New Hampshire started it off. After six straight hours of driving, the trio wiped away their morning grumpiness and raced out of the Subaru to the visitor’s center. Camp fees, park fees and a beginning collection of maps (by the end they each had about four) had to all be taken care of before finding TUB’s camp site and making it into a home for the next four days. Being just in time to snag the second to last camp site was just plan luck and the construction began.


At the Seawall D52 site the birds fluttered and took in all surroundings. A perfect circle of a private site including a fire pit and a picnic table seemed like a 4-star resort compared to the grassy patches these girls found on the side of the road to camp on in New Zealand. The 4-man purple and green tent also gave them the luxury and space one could really get used to. But there was no time to waste after unpacking. The group enjoyed one beer each, the choice of PBR and then packed their knapsacks with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and it was off to the Wonderland hike towards the shore.

The best part about Mount Desert Island is right in the name; it’s an island! The coast is everywhere meaning that there were plenty of vistas to take the birds’ breathe away. TUB&O followed the white rabbit deep into the grassy forest and brought them out to an ocean outlook that can only be described simply as wonderful. It was complimented by the bright blue sky and a warm sun.


Even though the view was hard to leave, the early morning soon caught up with them and the three retreated back to their site to start dinner of quesadillas and more PBR. A little brown squirrel joined them after robbing a few peanuts from their grocery bags, returning each day after.

The next morning Kelley naturally was the first one to rise. She unpacked the food from the car again and started their small stove to begin boiling water for morning caffeinated tea and to test out an omelet recipe she found online. When the other two had joined her, omelets were thrown onto the stove to cook and within five minutes the group was eating silently. It took the full meal before they had enough energy for conversations to start.

The process of making lunch and packing their backpacks for the day ahead of them quickly followed and they set off in search of the perfect trail. On the park loop road it is conveniently a one-way so if you miss your original destination you have to either drive all around again taking in the scenery or just start fresh. This is exactly was TUB&O did and the freshness brought on the most challenging, daring, fear conquering hike any of them ever done before. The name: Precipice. For those who do not know a precipice is a very high, steep cliff or rock face; also can be defined as a dangerous situation. The group took this as a dare and brushed off the warning sign.


With metal rungs to assist in climbing up the steepest sections, and as life savers to hold onto as you slowly creep sideways across a narrow cliff, this was not for the faint hearted. All TUB could say for advice is don’t look down and maybe leave your pack in the car. The summit of Champlain Mountain was all worth the surmounted effort given to get there. Plenty of room to run about once their legs were given their rightly deserved rest and a great view of the chilled northern Atlantic. The group ended up deciding to take the northern ridge trail down instead of tackling the precipice again, but backwards.


The rain held off for the entire day until TUB&O got back to camp. Without much shelter but the tent itself they set out to the nearest store with camping supplies to purchase an extra tarp. At the store the girls found that if they became desperate enough a shower could be…purchased. Four quarters for two minutes probably seemed like a bargain to some of the backpackers that wander through Acadia.

The rest of the trip continued the same way. Next morning was pancakes and bacon and planned hike of Great Head that has endless sea cliffs showing off Nova Scotia and other various islands scattered about. They rested for lunch on Sand Beach and even gave the ocean a quick dip. And let me put an emphasis on quick. As soon as the girls hit the water, or should we say as soon as a wave knocked the girls off their feet, the bitter coldness also knocked the wind right out of their lungs! They decided playing a bit of soccer was a better idea.

After the beach got a chill the three weren’t ready to quit just yet and drove (with Jaime, Kelley and the camera out of the sun roof) to the top of Cadillac Mountain. An astounding panoramic view lay ahead of them, and behind them and all around! Acadia was just getting more enticing with each blink. A lot of footage had to be pinched from the summit before descending which Jaime proudly snapped.


That night was the last of the trip so characteristically the three celebrated with creating their own drinking games. They were out of beer before they knew it and settled in for one final rest on the unforgiving ground. That morning was the only one that TUB&O rose to an alarm. It was unwelcoming, but heeded to. Breakfast of scrambled eggs with whatever food was left thrown in was eaten in silence. After agreeing on hiking Beech Mountain because of its mellow ascent and short time everyone pitched in on packing up and leaving D52 without a trace. Well, almost. Kelley did forget her volleyball (which really was a borrowed ball from her job – oops).

The hike was one of the quickest the three did and again they were quiet. The summit was another eye popping view of the rolling hills on the island which they gazed at from a fire tower, but not for long. Soon they were making their way down pushing their sore muscles for the last half mile until the parking lot was in sight and they mentally prepared themselves for the long drive home. With final goodbyes, Jaime’s legs finally crumpled from underneath her hips sending her diving to the earth.

Jaime’s thighs: “we outta here” , but all was okay and full of laughs, the most noise they made all day.


Of course this adventure just leaves a bitter taste in the birds’ mouth for more and more. Check in during the fall for more hikes, more product being produced from VNTRbirds and we may have a website under construction!