A narrow trail lovingly made

A new trail begins just west of Little Long Pond on the Mt. Desert Land & Garden Preserve, which consists of 1,165 acres abutting Acadia National Park. The Richard Trail is named for Richard Rockefeller, a doctor who for years chaired the advisory board of Doctors Without Borders and died when the plane he was piloting crashed in fog and heavy rain three years ago.

I didn’t know Richard Rockefeller. Great-grandson of the most infamous of the robber barons, he was born into a family that has taken seriously the belief in giving back – through public service, the preservation of wild places, and even opposing the climate hypocrisy of ExxonMobil, the descendant of the original Standard Oil Co. At his death Richard Rockefeller was working on improving treatments for PTSD.

Richard’s Steps

The Richard Trail meanders west and north across soft earth and hard granite, and then up wooded Eliot Mountain (elevation 450’) to Thuya and the Azalea gardens, connecting all the preserve’s lands donated by Richard’s parents, while barely disturbing the landscape of fallen trees and moss-covered ledges through which it winds. Perhaps half a mile from the path’s beginning, narrow stone steps take you down beside a cliff that rises perpendicularly on your left. The stones are not small, and I marvel at the effort to build this staircase, marvel at how carefully each stone seems to have been chosen and laid, a slow, difficult labor that honors both the natural beauty of the place and the man for whom it was named.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.