Monday, July 30, 2007

On the Road to NC

We're leaving PA today to continue traveling south toward NC. Ellie has had another flare up of her arthritis. I feel so bad for her. She just doesn't want to move. It hurts. We just want to get back to NC so we can take her to her Vet. Hopefully back by tomorrow. Pray for her. She is so sad.

This picture was taken on a happier day. She is waiting for Gary to throw the ball.

Friday, July 27, 2007

South Bound

We left Maine on Monday heading south. The first stop was in New Hampshire in Hampton Falls for the night. Nice campground but crowded. On Tuesday morning we headed south again. We didn't really go very far since we wanted to spend a couple of days near Boston, Mass. We stayed the last two nights in Mansfield about 35 miles below Boston.
On Wednesday afternoon we drove down to Cape Cod. Nice area but not a place I'd want to live. Too many people and limited beaches (that we saw).

Yesterday we went up to Boston. We parked in the Prudential Center underground parking. Hint..don't do that..they have a "validation program" where if you make a purchase and have the parking ticket validated you can park for $10.00. However we found out too late that if you're over 5 hours (we didn't see that fact on their sign) you get to pay $32.00. We were over by 22 minutes. Can you say RIP OFF????
While there we went up to the 50th floor to their Observatory. $11.00 (worth it). They have a small museum, gift shop, and film showing Boston from the air. The best part was the self-guided audio tour explaining the 360* view of Boston. Big windows with awesome views. The audio tape tells what you're looking at with the history associated. It was GREAT!!! You could see the Charles River, Fenway Park(Home of the Red Sox), Cambridge across the river, Logan's International Airport, and much more.

After lunch in their food court, we walked down the street to meet the Duck Tour we had purchased (our validation purchase). For $27.00 you get to ride in a refurbished 1944 or 1945 amphibious DUCK truck/boat. The DUCKS were built to be used in WWII. Many went overseas and were used. The ones used for the tours in the US now never saw any action. The war ended and they sat unused until the 70's when the DUCK tours were started. These colorful vessels (with colorful conDUCKtors) take you around the city. Our conDUCKtor was Sargent Peppers. He looked like John Lennon (note: reason for Sargent Peppers nickname), wore a jacket just like John used to when he sang Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sargent Peppers shared music, stories and highlights of the sights as we went through Boston. We saw the site of the Boston Massacre, where Paul Revere started his famous ride, the steeple of the Old North Church, the house whose address John F Kennedy was using on his Mass driver's license when he was assassinated and the Bunker Hill Memorial. By the way, the BH memorial isn't sitting on Bunker Hill. It sits on Bridge Hill. Slight mis-calculation or something on someone's part.

After a while with a change of gear, engaging of the propeller and a BIG splash off we went into the Charles river.

For about 20 minutes we got a view of Boston and Cambridge from the water. Several folks aboard even got to drive the DUCK. And I shouldn't forget we greeted everyone we saw with a hardy "QUACK"!. Great fun but BOY WAS IT HOT. The refurbishing of the DUCKS did NOT include air conditioning. Or I should say they just used natural AC (he lowered the windshield). I think I lost a couple of pounds (sweat was dripping).

Afterwards we joined everyone else in Boston to head home to Mansfield. Can you say I-93 parking lot? Reminded me of I-40 some days coming home from Chapel Hill. Overall I enjoyed the visit to Boston, but again wouldn't want to live there. Just too many people in not enough space.
Today we're on the road. We have left Massachusetts and stopped for lunch in Southsbury Connecticut. Just got back on the road and have now crossed into New York. We're planning to stop when we get to Pennsylvania for the night. Night all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

We Saw A Moose

After moving north to Medway Maine on Thursday, we went out looking for a moose. We saw a lot of signs of moose, but no moose.

Finally on Saturday we went out with a local Moose Photographer. Vicki works for the Maine Moose Photo Tour.
We went up on the Golden Road for a couple of hours. We saw Ravens, Snow Hares, 2 foxes, a BlueJay and a deer. Then finally two Moose. A Cow and her Calf. It was GREAT!!
They stood very still just like they were posing for the pictures. After a bit, the baby decided to amble on off and Mom followed. As we went back toward town, we stopped and went to the shore of a pond and saw one more Moose off in the distance. He was a Bull Moose standing in the water. We kept hoping he'd swim over our way, but no luck. This was the best tour we've been on this trip. Vicki was very likable and knowledgeable. She made the 4 hour van drive interesting and fun.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Week 2 in Maine

Yes, we'll still here. Going into week three now. We've enjoyed our visit in spite of rain rain rain. We're told that the weather we've experienced is unusual for this time of year. It hasn't really kept us from doing and going as we've wanted too. We've just had to occasionally revise our plans. But, that is the advantage of this life. Flexibility.
We moved from Booth Bay Harbor to Ellsworth. We stayed at the Hospitality Woods Campground on Rt 1. This park was OK for us older folks but didn't have many amenities to offer kids. The park was very quiet all week.

The night we arrived in Ellsworth, we drove over to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.

We purchased our park pass. We got the annual pass ($80.00). This one will allow us free entrance to all national parks in the US for a year.
We drove through Bar Harbor and stopped at a "shack" for dinner. Gary and I both ordered a hot dog with chili. If you never heard about Gary's chili experience in New Mexico you won't appreciate the humor of what happened next. As Gary keeps saying "we're not in Kansas anymore !". The hot dogs came, we opened them up..there were BEANS!! in the chili. When we went to New Mexico a couple of years ago, Gary ordered a hamburger with chili. The hamburger came covered with chopped up green chili's. Not exactly what he was expecting. He scraped them off (he doesn't like to eat green vegetables) and ate.
Later we went to the NM state fair. Ordered a hot dog with chili. Were assured it was "chili" chili and not green chili's. When it came it had BEANS in it. Better but definitely not NC hot dog chili. So for a very brief moment we thought we were back in New Mexico. OK..the weather isn't quite the same. 95* vs 65*....bit of a difference. Anyway, we enjoyed it (or at least I did).
We also enjoyed some Maine blueberry bread pudding. I'd never had blueberry bread pudding before. Pretty tasty. After dinner we drove up to the top of Cadillac mountain in the park. We watched the sun go down through the clouds. The fog rolled in through the mountains. Beautiful!!!

The town of Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island. The villages of Hulls Cove, Salisbury Cove, and Town Hill are all part of the municipality of Bar Harbor, as is a large portion of Acadia National Park. The area is known for rocky shores, lobster and downeast hospitality. The downtown area is full of shops and restaurants. We walked along the wharf and watched a boat come in from fishing. There were many different types of boats moored in the harbor. One was a hugh wooden 4 mast boat that is used for tours of the harbor and other special events. You could even get married on it if you’d like. It had beautiful cinnamon colored sails. We saw it sailing several times up and down the coast.

On Wednesday Gary went to Bangor (about 30 miles away) to have the truck tires rotated and the oil changed. He tried to use Sears since we’d bought our tires at the store in Durham, but when he arrived he learned they couldn’t work on the truck for 5-6 hours. Luckily there was a Goodyear store close by and they were able to take him on it. I worked and it rained off and on all day.

Thursday, the weather had cleared and we went around Acadia National Park. On the way we stopped at the Maine Lula and tried a lobster roll. This is a hot dog roll that was filled with cold lobster, lettuce and mayonnaise. It was served with cole slaw and fries. Pretty bland tasting. Maybe the big lobster tastes better.

At the park, we climbed on rocks at the shore and enjoyed the sunshine. Ellie really seemed to enjoy this. We met another couple with a male Doberman. He wasn’t quite as friendly as Ellie but did allow us to pat him. And just to show what a small world it is, Gary ran into a guy he used to work with at UNC. Lynwood Futrell and his wife have family in Maine and were up for a visit.

Acadia National Park covers most of Mount Desert Island. There is a bus that takes you around the park for free. They’ll even transport your bike for you if you’re using one. There are hiking trails, carriage roads and auto roads. The island has a number of ponds and lakes on it. Water is everywhere.

On Friday the weather held sunny and cool. We were finally able to go out on a Puffin and Whale watch boat. This was the first day the boat had been out that week due to rain and fog. (Lots of fog). The captain warned us the ocean swells were going to be 4-5 feet and that if we tended toward getting sea sick we could get off the boat and either reschedule or get our money back. Several people did this and as it turned out about half of the boat should have. It was a rough ride. Lots of people got sick. The crew was great helping everyone. It was sad to see. Gary and I were grateful we didn’t get sick at all. In fact I found the ride very exhilarating. We went out into the ocean about 20 miles. We looked and looked for whales. We saw Harbor Porpoise and Seals. There were also several different types of birds. Sea Gulls, Terns and others I don’t remember the names of. We finally found 1 whale. A Minke. It was about 20’ long and surfaced several times near the boat. We never did see it’s tail. Only the dorsal fin as it breached the water to breath. It surfaced 5-6 times over about a half hour. The captain kept moving the boat around so we could see as best as possible. With the rough seas, people getting sick all around us and only 1 whale, we both were a little disappointed with the entire trip. We also went down to visit an island with a lighthouse where Researchers are keeping records of the Puffins and Terns on the island. This part of the trip was good. We saw lots of birds and even saw some Puffins floating in the water. If you’re interested on learning more about Puffins and Whales visit this web site.

On Saturday we went up the coast a bit to a separate part of the Park. It was called the Schoodic Pennisula. We saw more beautiful shore line. More birds. Hike through the woods a bit. Pretty cool!!

Sunday again found us traveling around Acadia National Park. More trails, water and birds.

Monday was a rest and stay around the RV day.

Tuesday morning dawned bright and early at 5:00am. Gary got me up at 5: 30am and we set out to catch the ferry for Nova Scotia. We had to be at the dock by 7:00am. After getting our tickets and going through security we boarded the CAT. The CAT is a ferry that travels over 650 miles from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth Nova Scotia.

We had booked a tour and planed to see a bit of Yarmouth before returning on the same ferry in the afternoon. Shortly after we started out, the captain announced 1 of the engines was having a problem and we had to stop. We didn’t have to wait long before we continued on 3 engines. Traveling on 3 engines meant we went slower and therefore felt the ocean swell more. Just like on the Whale watch ship, lots of folks got sick. For the first time for me, I got sick too. 3 hours of nausea..yuk!! I was very glad to reach the harbor in Yarmouth. Once on land I immediately felt much better. Unfortunately we were late and it took FOREVER to get through customs in Canada. Our tour was supposed to last 2 ½ hours. We crammed everything in about 1 ½ hours instead. Yarmouth is a fishing village that is responsible for the bulk of the lobster harvest for Canada. We went to St Ambrose Cathedral church. It had very beautiful stained glass windows throughout. Then we went to a Lobster yard. The Stanley brothers have over 50,000 pounds of lobster stored waiting to be sent to market. Last we visited the Yarmouth lighthouse. Then rush, rush, rush back to catch the boat that was waiting for us. I took some Dramamine on the way back and didn’t get sick again. I did take a nap for about an hour, but that was much better than the nausea I had coming over. Expensive trip to a very small fishing village. Maybe we’ll go back to Nova Scotia some day with more time and our own vehicle.

Wednesday was a work and laundry day. Our last day in Ellsworth. On Thursday we headed up to the North Maine Woods to see a Moose.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

This Week in Maine.

Rain, rain, rain. Off and on since the 4th it has rained. I'm glad for the folks around here since we're told they needed the rain badly. And since I've been a bit under the weather this week it hasn't bothered me that much. I've been staying close to the travel trailer. :)
I'm sad for Ellie and Gary. They've had several walks in the rain which isn't Ellie's favorite thing to do. Gary is getting really good at cleaning up after Ellie.
Yesterday the rain broke for a while and we went downtown to the harbor. We had lunch at a restaurant on the water front. Very nice view from the table, but a bit cool at 63* with a breeze. My goose bumps wished I'd brought a jacket.
We walked around and generally played tourist. Visited the t-shirt and souvenir shops. We didn't buy anything but enjoyed just looking. We arranged to go on a Whale Watching cruise today, but it has been rained out. Hopefully we'll get to go tomorrow instead.'s here again. Rain, rain, whale watching yet. We're going to move to Bar Harbor tomorrow. Maybe the weather will be better there. I worked some this morning and Gary did laundry. His favorite chore. :) No whale watching today. Oh well..tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

We Made it to Maine!!

We crossed the bridge and arrived in Maine yesterday afternoon. We've traveled over 3200 miles so far. We're planning to stay here at the Little Ponderosa Campground in Booth Bay until next week. Nice to know we'll be in one place for a while. Ellie is some better. Still moving slow and careful. The Vet from Oneida Animal Hospital in Oneida NY called us this morning to see how she was doing. Nice follow-up. I recommend them if you ever need a Vet in central New York.

Today we went into Booth Bay and Booth Bay Harbor. Stopped and had lunch at Bet's. This is a little shack that sells fried haddock and home made french frys. So, you can have haddock and frys or frys and haddock. Half order or whole. That is it for the menu. Very good (greasy). Very tasty dill sauce was a nice alternative to tartar sauce. Have you ever eaten haddock? If not, I recommend it. It is a white fish that is moist and tender (not dry like flounder can be). We were told the haddock was caught this morning and served this afternoon. The daughter of the owner said it wasn't quite that quick but very fresh. I just know it tasted delicious.

Tonight we rode the campground shuttle down to Booth Bay Harbor to watch the 4th of July fireworks. The Community Orchestra played a variety of songs while we waited. We'd been told to go to Fisherman's Wharf to have the best views. We had a great view of the harbor and really enjoyed watching the people and boats come and go. As you can tell from the picture the temperature was quite different than we've experienced in North Carolina on the 4th. I had on jeans, a t-shirt, a vest, and a raincoat with hood. I was COLD!!! The wind was fierce. Sprinkles of rain started right near the end of the fireworks. When the fireworks started it became apparent that the location of the fireworks had been changed from what was advertised. Different opinions were discussed by folks in the crowd. Wind and the folks on the "island" not liking the normal location were offered up as the reason. Anyway, everyone (including us) took off up the hill toward a better view. Probably would have been better over the water but was still a nice display.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Weekend at The Landing

On Thursday we stopped at the Landing Campground on Fish Creek near Sylvan Beach, New York. Ellie has started having problems with her back. She is in pain and won't climb up into the truck or camper. She also wouldn't eat or drink. Friday morning found us searching for a Vet. After 4 calls, Oneida Animal Hospital agreed to see her. As we thought, she has had a flair up of her arthritis and slipped disc in her lower back. The Vet put her on Prednisone(anti-inflammatory) and Sucralfate (stomach protectant). She has been resting with no jumping and climbing. Today she is better. Still moving slow but is eating and drinking again. What a relief. No more jumping or climbing for her.

Signs of Winter in New York

Snowmobiling in June.

Fire Hydrant with Snow Pole.

More pictures to come.