Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Maine Waterfall Loop

Coos Canyon, ME
Sunday, July 31, 2016, Bethel Outdoor Adventure & Campground, Bethel, ME, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 823 Miles for the Trip

Today was waterfall day. The original plan was to do a Maine waterfall loop that Don's brother Pete found, but with the "death" of his van, he headed back early. We made the loop, skipping Dunn Falls (a three hour hike) and Small Falls (by the time we got close, it was too late and had to choose between it & Rumford Falls). I tried to include GPS data with the large images for those that want to know where each waterfall is located. My GPS cable is dying, so there are a few that don't have data.
More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I managed to trip & skin my knee on the way - just like a little kid! Most of the waterfalls had very little water going over them. They look like they would be far more lively in the Spring.

We pulled back into the campground around 5:30. Dinner was grilled chicken & a rice & pasta side, along with finishing off the blueberry pie.

Until next time -

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bethel Outdoor Adventure & Campground, Bethel, ME

Site 14
Saturday, July 30, 2016, Bethel Outdoor Adventure & Campground, Bethel, ME - 127.9 Miles, 823 Miles for the Trip

We wandered around the state of Maine, and ended up in Bethel after 127.9 miles. Some of the drive was on US2, and other sections on roads small enough that they had no center lines. Still, a pleasent trip. We are in sites 13 & 14. Don and Anne are in 13 with water & electric, I'm in 14 with full hookups. Great sites for people traveling together - pull throughs in different directions, so your doors face each other. We set up the new Easy Up for the first time. A bit more difficult to set up than the Caddis ARE which weighs half as much (it is aluminum, the new one is steel) but the Wenzel is short enough when folded that it fits in the truck. The ARE is about an inch too long.

No photos other than the site photo.

Dinner will be a pork tenderloin & a rice or noodle side.

Until next time -

Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort, Belfast, ME

The Penobscot Narrows Bridge
Friday, July 29, 2016, Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort, Belfast, ME - 65.6 Miles, 695.1 Miles for the Trip

Yesterday we met a couple traveling with a new to them Casita 17 that would be moving into Don & Anne's site when we left today. They toured both trailers. 

Today was a fairly quiet drive on ME 3 & US 1. We planned to stop & take photos of a lighthouse near the campground, but we had already hooked up the trailers & the road to the lighthouse said no RVs or trailers. We took the scenic tour around the area before heading to Belfast. We stopped for photos of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge - it has interesting cables &, if you want, a trip to the top of one of the towers.

We are in the Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort, our most expensive campground of the trip - $60.00+ per night for water & electric, parked on dirt (Resort it isn't, although the ocean is in sight.) Don & Anne are on the other side of the campground is site 34.

After setting up & a quick shower, we headed off to visit with John & Elaine Bielenberg. John is a retired faculty member and colleague of Don's from Binghamton University. We had a nice chat, then went to see two of John's volunteer projects at the Penobscot Maritime Museum, a camera obscura & a Model T truck built as a hands on display. Pictures are on today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that we drove to a gathering of antique cars & street rods. I took far too many photos to post here, most are on a separate page.

Dinner was at the Whale's Tooth Pub & Restaurant. Since we didn't get back to the campground until close to 11:00PM, I didn't post this until the next morning.

Until next time -

Friday, July 29, 2016

Seawall Campground, Arcadia National Park, ME

Thursday, July 28, 2016, Seawall Campground, Acadia National Park, ME, Day 4 - 24.7 Miles, 629.5 Miles for the Trip

We made it out of the campground on time (they have an early checkout time of 10:00AM) & headed south to Seawall Campground. Seawall is called the "Quiet" campground in the park, although not really - there were two troops of Boy Scouts in the group camping area next to Don's site. They did quiet down after quiet hours at 10:00PM. Seawall has the same set up as Blackwoods - dry sites with water available and bathrooms with cold water - No showers. Both campgrounds have dishwater dumps at the bathrooms to keep you from dumping dishwater & food scraps at the campsites.

My project for the afternoon was to bake a blueberry pie. Since there is no 120V AC electricity available (other than my solar & batteries with my inverter which isn't large enough for the toaster oven) , I used the Volcano Grill & Dutch Oven. I've made one barely successful attempt with the Dutch Oven out in Arizona that was undercooked, but edible. This one was better, but far from perfect. This time it is fully cooked, but I charcoaled one edge of the pie. Keeping the temperature regulated in the Dutch Oven is tough. I also need to design a pie lifter to remove the pie from the Dutch Oven when done. The welding gloves don't quite do the trick. The site photos & the pie:

Other than that, I sat around reading. There is no cell service here in the campground (or anywhere near by) so this posting will have to wait until tomorrow.

Dinner was turkey Bubba burgers, baked beans & pickled beets, and, of course, blueberry pie! The pie was OK, however even the under crust was overcooked. I still have to get better at temperature control in the Dutch Oven.  Photos of the rest of the campsites & the pie are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until next time -

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Acadia National Park, ME, Day 3

Bar Harbor

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Blackwoods Campground, Acadia National Park, ME, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 604.8 Miles for the Trip

We had a bit of rain back at the campground while we were at Cadillac Mountain, so my blue chair had a puddle in it. It was still wet around 10:00 this morning.

After a walk & breakfast, we headed to the Wild Gardens of Arcadia, the Nature Center & the Abbe Museum. There was a cell signal at the museum, so I posted yesterday's pages & I'll post this as far as I got so far today.  Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

WE stopped in Bar Harbor to do some shopping & headed back to the campground for dinner, which will be a Shrimp Alfredo disk.

Until next time -

Acadia National Park, ME, Day 2

View From Cadillac Mountain
Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Blackwoods Campground, Acadia National Park, ME, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 604.8 Miles for the Trip

Quite a bit of rain overnight. While Don & Anne in their Scamp & me in my Escape made out fine, Pete & Tina got a bit wet in the tent. Just enough to remind me why I switched to a trailer!

We made pancakes & bacon for breakfast, then hung around the campground for awhile. The plan was to hit Thunder Hole when the tide was right, but while we got there on time, the ocean was so calm that there wasn't much happening (other than a chance to do a lot of people watching.)

After Thunder Hole we drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain. The view was great, although it was a bit hazy. I took a few photos & made a panorama. On the way back to the campground we picked up some firewood so we could make S'Mores after dinner. More photos as well as a larger version of today's photo at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was grilled sausage or brats, mashed potatoes, and a tortellini salad.

Until next time -

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Acadia National Park, Day 1

The Shore at Bar Harbor
Monday, July 25, 2016, Blackwoods Campground, Acadia National Park, ME 30.8 Miles, 604.8 Miles for the Trip

The reason we stayed at Lamoine State Park (other than I like the park) is that it is close to Acadia. Our plan was to get an early start, arriving during the morning so we could be sure of getting campsites together. It didn't quite work.

National Parks all have their way of dealing with sites. Some take reservations, some don't. For those that don't, finding any site can be interesting. I've had people come up to me at 7:00AM asking if I'm leaving & when. The trading that goes on would make Wall Street look tame.

For those that take reservations, some tell you at the time you make your reservations what site you will be in. At Arcadia, they take reservations, but you don't find out where you will be until you get there. As I said (well, typed) earlier, we arrived at 11:00AM thinking that would provide time for those leaving to pack up but be early enough to find our site if we had to do it on our own. The problem? While they do assign sites at the entrance station, they don't start doing it until 12:00. So, we hung around trying to stay out of traffic patterns until noon, at which time we had to drive all the way out of the park to come back & get in line. The did assign us two sites next door to each other since both reservations were under my name. They also require you to hang your National Park Pass on the mirror post - only one other park I've been to requires that.

I'm in site 32, a relatively easy back in site, Don is in site 33, a really tough back in site (did I tell you he really hates backing up?) In any case he got the Scamp in place. Pete & Tina are in site 37, a long walk up the road. The bathrooms are fairly close by, although the info on the park stated there were showers - not in our bathroom. There is a hand pump between Don & Pete's sites, but after 20 or so pumps, nothing came out. There is water in the bathrooms.  We did find pay showers just outside the campground entrance.

My site is one of the few in the park that has open sun. Great for the solar panels, however there is no Verizon or AT&T service, even with the outside antenna & amplifier. At least I can run the fan full speed without worrying about dragging down the batteries.

We are here for 3 days, so we can relax rather than packing up each morning.

Not sure when I'll post this as I said earlier, there is no cell service in the campground. I did find one WiFi network, but it was password protected, and I suspect they don't have a newtork connection either. If we go out shopping later, I'll haul the laptop & Jetpack along.

It is Tuesday, and I finally have a chance to post.  I'll probably have to wait until tomorrow to post today's journey.  Confusing?  Oh well...

Well, we went out, but I didn't take the laptop so the page will have to wait until tomorrow. We hit the Blowhole at the wrong time - probably better called wimper hole. The rest of the photos are at today's (well, yesterday's) LakeshoreImages page.

Until next time -

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Lobster Dinner at Lamoine State Park, ME

Our First Lobster Dinner
Sunday, July 24, 2016, Lamoine State Park, ME 160.5 Miles, 574 Miles for the Trip

While the mileage was on the low side, we didn't hit Lamoine State Park until close to 4:00PM. The closer we got to the coast, the more crowded the roads. I'm in site 24, Don & Anne in 23, and Don's brother Pete & his wife Tina are in site 22. $37.70 for a dry site is a bit on the expensive side, but that is what happens in "VacationLand"! The last time I was here was on the trip to Nova Scotia.

Pete & Tina were planning on traveling in a large van, but it got sick on the first day, so they went back and got their car. They are now in a tent.

Since we are on the coast of Maine, the plan is to order some steamed lobsters delivered to our campsites for dinner. Not bad for $41.00 for 5 lobsters. I don't have a pot big enough to cook 5 of them so we can't do it ourselves. We will add some other things to the meal, along with a bottle of Wellesley Islamd 1000 Islands White Wine.  Site photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The lobsters arrived & we had a great dinner:

Until next time -

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stony Brook Recreation, Hanover, ME

Champlain Memorial Lighthouse
Saturday, July 23, 2016, Stony Brook Recreation, Hanover, ME 189.4 Miles, 413.5 Miles for the Trip

Another early morning - I just can't get in the "vacation" mode, and sleep in. In any case, I sat around listening to NPR, had a yogurt for breakfast, made a pot of coffee, and slowly got the trailer ready to move. We did stop by the lighthouse for a picture on the way out of the campground.

Most of the day was spent crossing Vermont, New Hampshire and a bit of Maine on US 2. I did much of this section during my trip to Nova Scotia two years ago and don't remember US 2 being in as bad shape. Lots of patched road with lumps & bumps, but they are rebuilding some of the bridges - automatic stop lights to make use of one lane for both directions. We hit quite a bit of rain along the way. Unfortunately, my attempts at fixing the leak in the ARE topper were unsuccessful. I suspect if is leaking at the front of one of the side windows since I pretty much caulked or backer rodded the edges of the joint between the shell and the truck sides. I'll keep working at it, but I have to say that I have not been impressed by the ARE quality. Leaks, fiberglass shards on the inside, and at the top front, a window that isn't - there is a piece of smoked plastic that looks like a window from the outside, but a hole through the shell was never cut. Probably just as well, it would probably leak.

We pulled into Stony Brook Recreation campground around 3:30. The site map shows sites 5 & 6 (I'm in 6) next to each other. Only problem is the horse shoe pits, shuffle boards, etc are between the sites, so we are a long way apart. On top of that, I paid for an electric & water site, but the only electric & water is connected by sharing the pedestal at site 4, too far away for a 30' cord (and there is only one 30 amp receptacle (which is being used by the occupants of site 4) - I'm connected to a 15 amp receptacle with an adapter, my 30' cord & a 25' extension cord. Good thing it is raining & I don't need the air conditioner. I have to say this is not my favorite campground of this (or, probably any) trip. The site photos are at today's LakeshoreImages post.

Enough griping for the day; I'm probably whining because of the rain...

Since it is still raining, dinner will probably be Chimichangas nuked in Don & Anne's microwave. Even if it stops raining, the trees will keep dripping so we will want to stay inside.

Until next time -

Friday, July 22, 2016

Crown Point Campground, Crown Point, NY

Don & Anne Are Next Door
Friday, July 22, 2016, Crown Point Campground, Crown Point, NY, 224.1 Miles, 224.1 Miles for the Trip

I was up early - around 6:00AM, but still decided to skip my jog this morning - hey, I'm starting a vacation today. I puttered around with last minute packing, breakfast, etc and hit the road at 8:00AM. A pleasant drive through the Adirondacks much on NY 28, then US 9 and Bridge Road into the park. I arrived around 1:15 & set up in site 35, a dry site on grass. There is a grill & picnic table, but that is about it. The bathrooms are not too far away, and has a shower, which will be appreciated since it was 95°F when I got here, and hit 99°F by the end of the day. Now, at 7:40 it is still 87°F both in & out of the trailer.

Don & Anne arrived around 3:45, and we sat around sampling some 1000 Islands Blueberry wine. A bit sweet for me, but Anne liked it. We hung out until dinner, which was Bubba burgers & Bush Bourbon Beans.

The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse is in the park - I walked down to the lake to take a photo, and will drive to it for a better one tomorrow on the way out of the park. I also took a photo of some nice clouds over the lake. The rest of the photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until next time -

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Getting Ready, & The Model T Club Tour

Model T Ford
So, I'm in the driveway packing the truck & trailer for my next trip (more later) and Model T Fords started going by.  Now I live on a rarely busy county road that makes a loop along Lake Ontario, but is usually not driven unless you are visiting on the road.  The one exception is during the winter the main road NY 104 between Rochester & Oswego (part of the Seaway Trail) may close due to heavy snow or an accident & the traffic is routed along our road.

They had signs on the vehicles, but went by to quickly for me to read them.  As I was driving back from my noontime swim I saw a couple of them stopped along side the road.  I stopped and found that they are all members of The Model T Ford Club, International.  They are doing a week long tour of the area with a base in Auburn, NY.  There are around 250 of them, and they have been going by all day.

A couple more photos:

As I mentioned at the start of the post, I'm packing for a trip.  This will be the first camping trip with the new 2016 Tacoma.  I leave Friday morning, and have just about everything but the last minute items packed.  I want to weigh the works, and the transfer station is not open on Fridays, so I have to weigh it tomorrow.

The trip is a short one - I'm meeting Don & Anne (the friends I went to Alaska with last June & July) on Friday in eastern NY, then making a couple of 200 mile hops to Lamoine State Park in Maine where we will meet Don's brother & head the next day to Acadia National Park.  We will be there for a week, then spend another week exploring New England.

I have reservations for the truck to go to Nantucket on August 9th for 2 weeks visiting my brother (without the trailer; the ferry price is bad enough with just the truck!) then back to Oswego, pick up the trailer & head to "Pickin in the Pasture", a bluegrass festival in the Finger Lakes.

After that I get to relax until the end of October when I'm heading South for the winter.

Until next time -

Monday, July 4, 2016

Gap Mangione Concert at Sodus Point

Concert at the Lighthouse
Not a lot happening with travel but I did attend a 4th of July weekend concert with friends at the Sodus Point Lighthouse.  The season opener was a concert by the Gap Mangione band.  Lots of big band & jazz numbers, including a few made popular by Gap's older brother Chuck, who did many concerts in Waterman Theatre, the SUNY Oswego facility I retired from.

The park was very crowded - Dick had to park 4 blocks away.  Lots of vendors, and  as you can see from the photo, while we got to the park early, we ended up sitting quite a ways back from the pavilion. A warm, cloudless day - glad I had my chair with the built in sun shade.

As to the trailer & projects, I did install the wireless back up camera on the trailer but am unhappy with the 7" mirror mounted monitor.  It image is so dim it is unusable, even with the brightness turned all the way up.  I'm going to call the company on Tuesday to see if I can exchange it for a brighter version.

I'm also less than pleased with the ARE topper I purchased for the truck.  The inside finish inside is quite rough, particularly in the corners - shards of glass fibers are sticking out just waiting to stab you.  It also leaks in light rain.

Next week I'm planning to load up the truck & trailer for a trip (although I won't be leaving for Maine until the 20th) to determine how much drop or rise I need with the stinger holding the hitch.  The suspension of the Tacoma is softer than a full sized truck, so the only way to see how much drop & if I'll need the weight distribution hitch is to do a test setup.  I did tow the trailer around 60 miles with a 1" drop stinger & it went well, however the truck bed was empty.