Last Day in Maine

We’ve spent out last night in Maine, and slowly turn toward Michigan today.  Our campsite last night was Sebago Lake State Park.  I’ll let the photos speak for themselves….you can just see our truck in the empty campground.20131010_16102620131010_17151520131010_173437

A big wind camp up suddenly, and made the most interesting pattern across the water.  Strange that there must have been a few calm spots20131010_174854

We did sneak into Freeport, where it’s LLBeantown.  Four gigantic stores of LL Bean, all open 24/7.  We let them relieve us of a bit of our money, so that John has a decent chair in which to rest (see above photo).  Our other cheapie chairs have been ripping and bending.  We’re throwing them in dumpsters along the way as they give out.  20131008_15491920131008_164211

On our way to Weare, NH today,  where we’re going to camp for a couple of days with folks who also have T@DA trailers.  We’ve really been looking forward to meeting these people and swapping tips and stories.

Portland Delights

Who could not love a city that boasts miles of bicycle lanes, a scenic harbor, a couple of microbreweries, miles of ridiculously beautiful coastal byways, AND a cemetery chartered in 1668? Portland, Maine – we have hardly touched these beautiful sights, but we are hooked.

We decided to explore the city from our (somewhat) nearby campsite at Bradbury Mountain SP by bicycle. We drove about 10 miles toward the city, then parked the truck in a Forest Preserve trailhead about 6 miles outside the city. The bicycling roads from that point into the city were fantastic – wide bicycle lanes and fairly low-traffic roads. Even a construction zone had its own bicycle lane! If you’re not a regular cyclist, you can’t imagine how wonderful this was to find.

Our first stop in the city was (of course) a bicycle shop. We perused all the shiny new bikes (wishful thinking), and purchased a local bicycling map. Armed with this, and the helpful advice of one of the bike shop guys on what sights we should see, we headed off to the harbor area. 20131009_132508 So much going on here, that it’s hard to imagine – my favorite remembrance will be the loud woman announcing, “here we ahr – pahrk the cahr.” I LOVE these Maine accents.

The Eastern Cemetery, chartered in 1668 is on the National Historic Register – it’s a treasure.20131009_122540 Over 3000 graves tell the stories of 350 years of life in this area. So many of the graves mark the final resting place for babies, toddlers, and those barely old enough to have come into their own in their early 20s. It’s hard to imagine such an inhospitable life. I always wish that I had equipped myself with tracing paper and a pencil or chalk when I visit such a place.20131009_12394520131009_12403520131009_12410420131009_123550

We cycled around the city to the Liberty Ship monument – these were supply ships built in Portland, as quick and easy freight/supply haulers for WWII needs.. They were not glamorous – just war horses to haul goods.20131009_14334520131009_14305520131009_143118 You are all familiar with Rosie the Riveter – Portland celebrates Wendy the Welder. Near the Monument is the Bug Light Lighthouse – one of the most ornate lighthouses I have ever seen. 20131009_145201 The park for this area is green and clean – we had bought a wonderful rosemary foccacia and some smoked salmon tartare to enjoy while taking in the sights. Can’t imagine a more wonderful setting to enjoy an impromptu picnic lunch.

Back at camp, we were delighted to discover that another T@B trailer had landed! It’s a breath of air in a jungle of RVs and noisy generators. We shared a campfire with our new friends Dave and Sheila from Newport News, VA.20131009_203559They’re using their furlough from government jobs to explore territory north of their home. Of course, we exchanged tips on favorite campsites, and the awesomeness of being T@Bbers (we include ourselves in this elite group).

Tomorrow, we’re moving onto Lake Sebago SP for one last night in Maine woods.

Blowin’ around Maine

20131006_184703Another unexpected change in plans worked out to be a bonus for us.  We had planned to camp at Cobscook Bay SP (up near the Canadian border) for a couple of nights.  But, upon arrival at the gates on Sunday morning, we found that the park was closed due to the federal government shutdown.  Seems that the SP is located smack dab in the middle of some federal land.  Who knew?  So, we wandered back to the last town, and wound up at Sunset Point RV Park in Lubeck, ME.  Lubec is the farthest east point in the US.  No kidding – it’s dark here at 6pm!  Wild, woolly, and wonderful.

thru the porthole at our campsite

thru the porthole at our campsite

We are camped right on the ocean.  Incredible.

sunset at our campsite

sunset at our campsite


We explored the Quoddy Point lighthouse, which (naturally) is the easternmost point in the US.20131006_162030 Decided on Monday to ride our bikes across the International Bridge into Canada’s Roosevelt Campobello International Park,home of FDR’s childhood summer home.  This meticulously-maintained park is jointly maintained by the US and Canada, and was truly a delight to visit.

FDR's summer home (before he bacame President)

FDR’s summer home (before he bacame President)

The home has many of the original furnishings used by the Roosevelts, and an abundance of photos.  Both John and I are now in a hurry to read more about FDR and Eleanor.  Isn’t that what historic sites are supposed to encourage?

fantastic window in the Hubbard House next to the FDR house.

fantastic window in the Hubbard House next to the FDR house.

We explored the rest of the Island on our bicycles, having ridden from our campground across the International Bridge.20131007_13321120131007_130543 The wind was whipping and we were grateful for the shelter of the trees alongside the gravel roads we had chosen to ride (one advantage of traveling with fat-tire bikes).  We went south to Liberty Point.  The wind was truly howling at that point – waves were smashing up against the rocks.  I was truly afraid that my camera (phone) was going to be torn from my hands. 20131007_133720 It was exhilarating and scary.  The ride across the Bridge back into ME was even worse.  The cross-wind was incredible!  We were leaned severely to our right side (toward the short railing).  My thoughts were all about the unfortunate woman who got thrown off the Mackinaw Bridge in her Yugo! It was truly a scary, crossing.

Lunch in Lubec, which supposedly is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, which is not evident from this photo.20131007_142446We did get to watch seals cavort in the bay nearby, but they were too far out to get a decent shot.  Still, fun to watch.

Today (Tuesday), we’ve moved to Bradbury Mountain SP, not too far from Portland.  We’re back to our camping ‘roots’ in a rustic campground with pit toilets and awesome campsites.  The fire is crackling, the Detroit Tigers are on the radio, and we’re hoping to help them to a critical win tonight to stay alive.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Maine..20131007_161237


Last night we had a wicked pissah of a storm (that’s the way we talk now after being in Maine for a week). About 30mph winds buffeted the Fireball mercilessly all night. Was surprised to find ourselves intact in the morning.  We now call the Fireball our campah.

Postcards from Acadia

Our time at Acadia is done, and it’s been incredible.  The early disappointment of the government shutdown actually worked in our favor, allowing us to play in the Park as if it were our own private National Park.  Those of us who can manage on foot or bicycle really struck gold these past days.

Started the day with Dutch oven cinnamon rolls.  Can’t beat that.20131005_094222_HDR

We decided to spend the day cycling on the Carriage Roads that weave through the middle of Acadia.  These are packed down gravel paths, nearly as smooth as pavement, but for hikers, bicycles, and carriages only.  With the carriages not operating, they were nearly deserted.  Even better for us.  These interior roads gave us an entirely different view of the Park than the perimeter Loop Road that we enjoyed on Thursday.

Enjoy the photos.  Tomorrow we move north to Cobscook Bay, up near the Canadian border.




More Maine

The Mount Desert Island, which includes Acadia, continues to delight us with spectacular sights. Today, we decided to try out the no-charge shuttle bus system which rolls around the entire area, enabling us to wander about without the hassle of driving/parking the truck.  We elected to take our bicycles with us, and travel to the far southwest corner of the area, aptly named Southwest Harbor.  The bus dropped us and our bikes off near the Bass Harbor lighthouse, one of a string of lighthouses and harbor lights which dot the coast.

From there, we cycled up the coastline to the area called Seawall, actually part of Acadia.20131004_121858  There’s a closed Acadia campground there (which we had to cycle through, just to see what we might have been missing!), and an incredible natural seawall.  We’re in a low-tide time of day, so we miss some of the spectacular rushes of waves against the rocks that are always featured in photos.  The trade-off is that we get to stroll out onto the rocks to see the wind and water erosion which has worked upon them for centuries.  It’s remarkable.20131004_121736

We continued our northward ride. On the way, we were distracted by a roadside lobster restaurant, generically called a lobster pound. Sawyer’s had the music blaring from their outside speakers, and it looked pretty inviting.20131004_122825 Decided to split our first lobster roll.  Awesome!!! 20131004_124430 Fortified, we managed to cycle the rest of the way into Southwest Harbor. Stopped at a pier to watch a barge towing a dock into shore for loading on a flatbed truck.  As a person who’s tried to back up a trailer, it was impressive to see that this barge backed up just once, and hit the target.  No shucking and jiving, back and forth. Once and done.  Impressive. We barely had time to jump off our bikes, and take in all that was going on. There was lots of activity in general around here – we waited for someone else to come in to the dock, but that didn’t seem to be happening.20131004_131823

The Southwest Harbor area of the Island is known as the quiet side.  No kidding.20131004_132153 Not much happening in the town itself, so we wandered into a pub for a quick beer (Liberal Cup IPA – how appropriate), while waiting for our northbound bus.20131004_141500Back into the madness of Bar Harbor with its cruise ships and junky souvenir shops.

Dinner?  More lobster, of course.  We availed ourselves of the lobster pound across the street from our campground.  Steamed lobster for John, and scallops for me.  What a mistake to eat stuff like this in the Fireball. We’ll be second-hand sniffing this for days. Jezzy was a bit disturbed by the crunching and cracking that accompanied dinner, but we’re pretty sure she’ll recover nicely.

We’ve met folks from all over while here in Maine.  The National Parks are such a huge attraction – there is no sympathy or understanding at all for the shutdown.  Chatted with some German tourists (whom I impressed mightily with my rudimentary German language skills).  Their bewilderment and dismay over their aborted trip was painful.  (We advised sneaking in, and told them where to go).

Saturday is our last day here….going to bypass the barriers into Acadia for final cycling on the Carriage Roads (gravel paths thru the park), and maybe a quick hike or two.  It’s been fabulous.

PS- Go Detroit Tigers.  Game 1 starts in a few minutes.  We have WiFi here, so we can listen to the game on an ESPN radio!  Go Max!  Go Miguel!