Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Happy Summer Solstice

June 21, 2017 Wednesday                                               Most Recent Posts:
Narrows Too Campground                                                On the Road Again
Acadia National Park                                                        Nature Journaling Workshop in Shenandoah National Park
Mount Desert Island, Maine

 

I’m skipping ahead a week to wish you all a wonderful Summer Solstice on the very day.  Well actually if you are in a time zone west of Eastern, then the solstice was yesterday since the actual time was 12:24am today Eastern Time.

I was up in the dark for the 4:48am sunrise. The moon was a sliver as the dawn was barely beginning.

 

 

By 3:45, Nancy Mills and I are driving up Cadillac Mountain to greet the day at the top of one of the first spots in the US to get the sun’s rays.   Unlike the last few foggy, rainy, cloudy days, this morning dawns bright and clear.  As we reach the bottom of the mountain the cars are pouring in.  Looks like all the people we invited to our party are on time.

 

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The show begins.

 

 

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The moon is still up in the sky as the sun as the colors gather down at the horizon.

 

 

 

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And here it comes.  Just a glimmer.

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We’ve begun the longest day of the year.  What a great beginning.

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David has to spend today at the clinic for his infusion so he is unable to join Nancy and Bill and I later in the morning when we head in to Bar Harbor for a walk on the former estate of George Dorr who is known as the father of Acadia National Park.  The story of the park is an intersting one in that it is the only national park to be created entirely from donated land.  Much of that came from George Dorr whose family fortune financed the purchase of many pieces of land that were later donated to create the park.  Dorr actually died in near povery in 1944 after having been the park’s first superintendent.  It seemed fitting to visit the land he so loved on the day of Summer Solstice.

The grounds of the estate are beautiful. 

 

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Unfortunately his lovely home is no longer standing. A very sad story in my mind. Only the foundation, a patio or two and stairs leading into and from the house remain. 

 

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But beautiful Compass Point that he so loved is now available for all to enjoy.

 

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Later in the day, David and I continue our celebration by setting up our bird station.  I have wanted a set up for the birds since we first began full timing 7 years ago but we really do not have a place for the  sheperds hook to travel with us.  Our car isn’t big enough for it and neither are any of our outside storage bins.   But this year, after seeing the one Nancy and Bill have set up, I decided that I wanted it badly enough to wrap the pole in a blanket and put it in living room of the motorhome while we travel.  

There are 4 feeders – one song bird mix, a suet, a thistle sock and a hummingbird feeder.
Ok guys, dinner is served!!   This way.

 

 

And of course there must be a Solstice Cake.  Nancy and Bill are going to help us with it since Carrie isn’t here.   Help us eat it that is.

 

 

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David’s cutting a little corner for Nancy at her request and the rest of the slice for Bill at his request.  Bill is watching carefully.

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Summer Solstice marks the turning point in the year which has been waxing since the Winter Solstice in December. We’ve all been cheering as the days get longer and warmer, the nights shorter and less cold. But now things are turning once again. 

With Summer Solstice, we begin the waning process. It’s easy not to notice it with the Earth so green and full of bountiful harvest but things are always changing.   It’s the Wheel of the Year.

Wishing all of you Bright Blessings on this longest day of the year. 
I hope you did something to celebrate that despite our arrogance toward the intricacy and fragility of our environment, the sun is still on its yearly rounds.  
May it always be so. 

 

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On the Road Again

Wednesday June 7- Sunday June 11, 2017                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Charlottesville to Sea Wall Campground                           Nature Journaling Workshop in Shenandoah National Park
Acadia National Park, Maine                                                                  Weekend in Shenandoah National Park

 

 

Things were wrapped up at the farm and goodbyes said.  Goodbyes to the mountains and to the window sash repairs caused by a persistent pilliated woodpecker.  We don’t want to return and find that “Nevertheless he persisted”.  Goodbye  to the little fish pond.  Goodbye to the bluebirds still frequenting the bluebird trail houses near the farmhouse one of which is in the picture below on the left near the fence. Goodbye to the beautiful sunsets over the Blue Ridge Parkway.

 

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The sun sets on our time in Virginia and down the farm road we go, out of the valley and back on the road.

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We run into a “snaffoo” literally as we are in the rig ready to leave.  One of our BRAND NEW TIRES is flat and one has lost 30 pounds of air over the time since they were mounted.  We need to be on the road by 9:00 but by the time the road service guy comes out and puts more new valve stems on, it’s more like 3:00 before we are actually on the road.  SO my plans for 200-250 mile days are out the window.  This plan had unusually long days for us but it’s worse now.

Instead it’s 4 days of hard driving  between 175 that first day and 250- 320 miles the next days.  Neither of these plans is the way we prefer to travel. Our method usually is 100-150 miles on one day and then stay for 2 weeks and do it again.  We don’t get very far very fast but we see the places we stop very thoughly.  But David’s treatments are such now that we cannot do that.  We have a doctor deadline to meet in Maine.  So it’s sunsets over Walmart for us every night.   Here are two examples.

If all we are going to do nothing but drive day after day, it seems silly, at least to us, to pay the high per night costs of an RV park in New England just to sleep and get up and do it again.  I guess you’d say this is a mini-version of the Paul Dahl travel method.  So Walmart to the rescue.  Thanks Walmart!   We saved some of our grocery shopping and other items on our list to patronize the generous stores.

SUNSETS OVER WALMART
a short lived series by Sherry Boyd

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IMG_3438Not a lot of fun on this trip.  Tolls, Pennsylvania’s REALLY bad roads, some lovely scenery but we make it to Sunday FINALLY and are driving down the coastal highway, Route 1, on the chance that we can find a parking place near Red’s Eats.  

We don’t realize how close we are after we leave I 95 for Route 1 and we’re on top of it before we know it.   David says “there it is!”.    I snap a quick shot of the little building  with a line of people standing right next to the road in this tiny town of Wiscasset Maine.  Red’s has been written up in tons of foodie books, lists, and articles as “the best lobster roll in the world”.  Now that’s a big claim. 

But honestly, that’s what we thought when we were here in 2013 and why we wanted to begin our trip through Maine with the best so we’ll have something to compare all the many many other lobster rolls we intend to eat this summer.   Reds has a very interesting history.  Here’s the link to the Wiki information.   After reading this I am surely glad we were here in relatively early June.

 

IMG_3443There really is NO parking on the main street and the little side streets are so small that we aren’t willing to take a chance.  With our aging memories, neither of us can remember where we parked last time.  We are concluding that a stop at Reds is not to be as we drive across the Sheepscot River. 

And then I spot a big enough parking lot up the hill on the other side.  It looks like the stores are closed.  It is a Sunday after all.   Clearly we are meant to eat at Red’s.   We pull in, I jump out and go to each of the two little businesses to ask permission but they are both closed.  YES!  So we park Winnona and head back across the bridge.

 

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Up ahead is the little town of Wiscasset Maine.  Reds is immediately at the end of the bridge on the right.  It is little more than a tiny snack shack with an order window and tables outside.

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The line runs around the corner all the time it seems.  Today it starts only part way down the sidewalk but at other times it stretches out  onto the bridge.

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David takes up our place at the end.  It’s now noon.

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I walk up to see what the lobster roll price is this year.  Last time we were here it was $17.  On line I’d read that in May this year  it was $27 and the lines were still down the block.  You can see David down the line at this point and the steady line of cars coming over the bridge. 

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I see on “Today’s Market Prices” posted on the outside wall that Lobster Rolls are $22.50, Fresh Whole Belly Clams are $21 a pint, $16 a half pint, Crab Roll is $16 and Clam Roll is $14.50.   I’m sure they are all delicious.  I’m a sea lover and a seafood lover as well. 

Today I’m splurging for this “world’s greatest” lobster roll.   All the folks standing around away from the window have put in their orders and are waiting for their number to be called.   Notice the black and white patron on the left.

 

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He’s a local who has a twin brother and two great pyrenees brothers as well.  One of them comes down every week to enjoy all the atteniton.  This is Thor an apt name.  His owner is sitting at the only front table and wearing the red hat.  They are “regulars”  and the staff calls them by name and brings a french fry for Thor when they walk by.

 

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And finally, after 25 minutes, it’s my turn to order.  They are definitely friendly folks.

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Another 10 minutes and we are sitting under an umbrella overlooking the Sheepscot River.

 

 

Due to the price I reluctantly share one roll with David but just look at it. 
Lobster overflowing.
In the lower left, you can just see the corner of the container of REAL butter to pour over.
Very nice touch.  And not your ordinary hot dog bun either.

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Food of the Gods!  
I give it an A+ and plan to do all I can to compare it to every other lobster roll in and around Acadia National Park this summer.

 

But, all good things come to an end and too soon we are walking back across the bridge to begin the last 100 miles of our 1000 mile journey from Virginia to Maine.

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After a few directional mishaps in an effort to get off of coastal Route 1, we do manage to make it to Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park on the Southwest coast of Bar Harbor Island.  We  pull in to our wooded pull through site which actually has some overhead sky.  The National Park has no hook ups so it will be nice if our solar panels will allow us to avoid using the generator which I hate..

 

Around our site and throughout the campground are these pretty ground dogwoods also known as Bunchberry.

 

After getting level, we do  a minimal set up and check out the campground for other sites that might have as much sun and be perhaps a little more level.  We had to use 6 matts under the back tires.

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It’s a lovely campground with 3 loops for tenters and one for RVs, Loop C.  Nearly all the sites in Loop C are pull through. Each site has a picnic table and a neat stone grille. 

Each loop has a restroom but no showers.  For showers there is a private concessionaire down the road.  Thank goodness we have our own shower.  There ere are water spigots to fill your tanks throughout the loop.  We have one between us and the next campsite. Very convenient. There is also a single station dump site.  We paid $10 a night for our no hook ups site.  That’s a 50% discount with our senior pass for National parks. 

The two campgrounds inside Acadia National Park, Blackwoods and Seawall, were put in years ago and designed primarily for tents and small campers.  They are very convenient if you want to see the park and the Island Bus Line services them.  You can get to pretty much any place in the park on it.  I really LOVE staying INSIDE the National parks I visit.  However, here in Acadia, from Memorial Day to Labor Day they allow you to be in the campgrounds a total of 14 days.    Because of this rule, the private campgrounds on the island do a very good business. 

 

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We have plans to be in the area for the summer but those plans don’t officially start until Thursday and were made months ago.  When David had to come up 4 days prior to have 3 doctor appointments for setting up his summer cancer treatments, I was able to get these sites in Seawall.  One of those appointments is tomorrow and will take all do so we won’t manage to get into the park at all other than the campground until Tuesday.  More about this fabulous place then.   It’s an unusually high 77 degrees here today and 92 in Charlottesville!!   Charlottesville friends, come on up!

Yes, I’m a week behind again
so Happy Father’s Day to all fathers everywhere. 
We wouldn’t be who we are without you.