Mandi Dorrell of Somers Point, N.J., is pictured enjoying the view at Acadia National Park in Maine in August, just ahead of Hurricane Irene.
She writes of the trip: "My three-day drive to Maine was rainy. … I could not see the car in front of me and was even more frustrated when I got to Acadia because the wood was too wet to build a fire. I went out to dinner that night in Bar Harbor and cried because I thought our vacation was ruined.
"But when I woke up the next day, the rain had stopped and it was 85 degrees — something the citizens of Acadia said had only ever happened a few times. The view, and the perfect weather, were my reward, making my tears pointless and my trip to Acadia one of the best of my life."