1 Here I am sitting alongside David Rockefeller, enjoying an exhilarating carriage ride through Acadia National Park. Sem Groenewoud, David Rockefeller's carriage driver, sitting to his right, along with Colin & Nancy Campbell.
2 At 96-years of age, David Rockefeller, still loves to ride in his horse-drawn carriages along the graceful roads designed by his father and grandfather, both here in Acadia and also at his family's estate in Pocantico Hills, New York.
3 Brian Lindquist, who works for David Rockefeller is enormously knowledgeable about the Rockefeller family history in the Acadia region - and Patrick, son of Sem Groenewoud, steadies the horses - Patrick is a superb horseman.
4 A beautiful view of Long Pond
5 This was taken as we left the Rockefeller stable and entered the park at the beginning of the ride.
6 Whenever possible, David Rockefeller likes to do his own driving.
7 The network of forty-five miles of gravel and crushed rock carriage roads of Acadia are also enjoyed by cyclists.
8 These rustic carriage roads were a gift of David's father, philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Rockefeller family.
9 John D., a skilled horseman, himself, wanted to travel through Acadia National Park by horse and carriage on motor-free roadways.
10 Rockefeller was inspired by his father, John D. Rockefeller Sr., the founder of Standard Oil, who built similar roads on his Ohio and New York estates.
11 Island granite was quarried for roads and bridges.
12 The use of such native materials helped to blend the roadways in with the natural landscape.
13 Rather than flattening hillsides to accommodate the roads, breast walls and retaining walls were built to save trees and to preserve the line of hillsides.
14 Seventeen stone-faced bridges, each with its own unique design, were built to span streams, waterfall, roads, and cliffsides.
15 Even though the bridges are constructed with steel-reinforced concrete, the use of hand hewn native granite for the facing gives the bridges a pleasing natural appearance.
16 It's said that John D. encouraged the stone cutters to be less than perfect in their cutting so that the rustic look would not be lost.
17 John D. took part in the entire construction process, often making suggestions for exact placement of stones.
18 He hired experts to design the bridges and engineer the roads and he knew all the laborers by name.
19 Rockefeller had a very keen eye and he insisted that these roads be aligned to follow the natural contours of the landscape.
20 He was also very thoughtful about the scenic views.
21 When there was a view to enjoy, a viewing area was built.
22 Another look at this built-to-last construction
23 These roads were constructed with Maine's wet weather in mind and they have very good drainage.
24 The surface is known as broken-stone, in this case broken pink granite - another example of blending in with nature.
25 Matching cedar signposts, with yellow enamel lettering, are found at intersections to direct carriage drivers. Numbers that match maps and guidebooks are attached to the signposts and help carriage road users find their way.
26 After the construction was complete, Rockefeller consulted with famed landscape architect Beatrix Farrand for planting designs to mend any building scars in the flora.
27 Roadsides were planted with native vegetation, such as these low-growing wild Maine blueberries.
28 And native mosses
29 And sweet fern
30 This Japanese maple is certainly vibrant against the landscape.
31 Unfortunately, this area has been damaged by foot traffic and the National Park Service is asking people to remain on paths and roads so that the damage may be repaired.
32 These carriage roads are approximately 16-feet wide, allowing ample room when meeting another horse-drawn carriage.
33 This handsome pair of draft horses was wearing white ear bonnets to keep pesky flies out their ears.
34 The large blocks of granite seen here lining the road serve as guardrails. These roughly cut and irregularly spaced coping stones have been affectionately called 'Rockefeller's teeth.'
35 You can see why these tranquil carriage roads are so popular for those visiting Acadia National Park.
36 Here is another great bridge, known as Cliff Side Bridge, constructed in 1932, which...
37 Spans a gurgling brook.
38 This mass of rocks actually the result of a rock slide, which tumbled down the slope.
39 A rather serious looking hiker
40 A view of Long Pond and the ocean beyond
41 Looking down at the carriage spring and wheel - You can see the detail of a fine paint job. Every carriage has its own unique design.
42 At the end of the ride, we left the park and entered Rockefeller private property. Notice how this less-traveled road has grass growing on it?
43 David Rockefeller expertly drove the carriage for more than an hour.
44 A nice shot of Sem Groenewoud and one of Rockefeller's aristocratic Morgans
45 Leaving the park on our way back to Seal Harbor, we passed under another majestic stone bridge.