Friday, May 30, 2014

About That New England, Part III (May 25 - 30)

Dear Family and Friends,

Bonjour from Quebec!

Although we arrived in Quebec, Canada, on Friday, this blog is about the week we spent in Maine. We capped our five month stay (January through May) in the eastern US, with a trip to the north eastern most national park, Acadia National Park. From Key West, Florida to Maine, we have driven 6,000 miles since January. We have driven 35,000 miles in our RVs since we started this adventure three years ago.

We left Moose River Campground, Vermont on a very wet Tuesday morning and drove through the green hills back to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. With our smaller RV, we were able to leave the major roads and drive on country roads. We saw lots of Beware of Moose signs, but not any moose. We continued northward from New Hampshire into Maine.

 A very wet Tuesday morning

 Partial clearing of the rain

 Moose signs

We drove to Bangor and then east to Bar Harbor, Maine. Acadia National Park is one of 390 parks in the national park system. It was the gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and was declared a national park in 1919, becoming the first national park, east of the Mississippi River.

The park has two campgrounds, and we stayed at Blackwoods. We were thrilled with our smaller RV and had no trouble parking it in the much smaller, heavily wooded campsites. Acadia is a lovely park and we had so much fun exploring it. With schools still in session and very cool weather, there were very few tourists. Apparently the busy season starts in July.

There is a 27 mile Park Loop Road that connects Acadia's lakes, forested areas, mountains and seashore. Acadia sits right on the rocky coast of Maine and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.  Cadillac Mountain is the highest point in the park at 1, 530 feet. Rockefeller designed and  financed 17 stone faced bridges that span streams, roads and cliff sides in the park. In addition, he built Carriage Trails. These are 16 feet wide roads limited to hiking, biking and horses.

 One of the 17 stone faced bridges with a carriage trail running across it while an automobile road runs under neath.

 The carriage trail running across the bridge in the upper picture.

 Bear has a run on the trail.

The pictures below show the craggy coast line of Maine looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. We got to see the coast on a rainy, foggy day as well as a beautiful, blue sky day. There are very few sandy beaches.

With many carriage trails to hike, we chose a 6 mile one that we could do with Bear. The day was beautiful.

 Looking out to a lake and then the Atlantic.

 Roger and Bear pose on top of a bridge.

 Small waterfalls in the park

 Spring is just now starting in the park.

After the hike we drove up to Cadillac Mountain, where we had a 360 degree view of Acadia. It was one of those breath taking moments with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Frenchmen Bay
 Looking out to the Atlantic Ocean from the top of Cadillac Mountain

 Atlantic Ocean

 Atlantic Ocean

 Frenchmen Bay from the top of Cadillac Mountain. The Atlantic is on the opposite side.

 Roger poses in front of the Atlantic

In addition to enjoying Acadia, we spent lots of time in Bar Harbor. No trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster dinner, seafood chowder and blueberry ice cream. The picture below was taken as Roger enjoyed his lobster (or as they say in Maine, "lobsta) in Bar Harbor.

What an incredible week we had in Maine. Our stay in New England was great. We loved spending our time driving through the countryside and skipping the big cities.

Thank you for checking in with us. We are spending a week in Quebec and Ottawa before heading back into the United States at Sault Set. Marie, next weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

About That New England, Part II (May 18 - 24)

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hello from Moose River RV Park, Vermont. Spring is a lovely time to be in New England. This week we enjoyed staying in several places in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Before leaving New Hampshire on Tuesday, we spent Sunday driving in the White Mountains. We specifically wanted to see the Old Man in the Mountain and the historic Washington Inn. The drive was beautiful.

 The "Old Man In The Mountain" was the profile of what looked like an older man at the left edge of this mountain top picture. Weather erosion has erased the old man, but New Hampshire still uses the profile on their state road signs. Hawthorne wrote a story about the old man in the mountain, making it famous.

 The White Mountains are made of granite, giving the State the name: Granite State.

 The Washington Inn
This grand hotel was the scene of the 1944 meeting of 46 nations that eventually became The International Monetary Fund.
It is truly a beautiful hotel.
 Roger stands on the balcony of the Washington Inn overlooking the golf course with Mt. Washington in the background. Mt. Washington is the second tallest mountain east of the Mississippi.

We left New Hampshire for Vermont on Tuesday morning. Our drive was spectacular on this beautiful, blue sky day. How glad we are to have our 24 foot RV for the very narrow roads of New England.

 No shoulders on many of the roads.

 Hello Vermont

Our stop for three nights was Lone Pine RV Park in Colchester, Vermont. We arrived on Tuesday and took a trip into nearby Burlington to see Lake Champlain.

 Looking across Lake Champlain to the mountains in New York.

On Wednesday morning we took off for a 25 mile bike ride along Lake Champlain and the Colchester Causeway.

 On the Causeway, where we had Lake Champlain on either side of the 14 foot wide road for cyclists.

 In nearby Burlington, Vermont, we dropped in for an afternoon of Pickleball. There were two courts with around 25 people playing. Such a friendly group, they were most welcoming and interested in our travels.

We left Colchester on Friday morning for the 90 mile drive across Vermont, to the "Northeast Kingdom" (yes, that is what they call it) and the shire of the area, St. Johnsbury. The drive was a wet one, but we saw some beautiful scenery along the way.

 As we passed through Montpelier, we spied the capital building with the gold dome.

We arrived at Moose River Campground and found our spot nestled up against Moose River. The picture below shows our view from the door of our RV.

We are in Moose River until Tuesday morning, when we drive to Acadia National Park, located on the coast of Maine.  Thank you for checking in with us. WiFi may be sketchy for the next week as we stay at the park and then head into Canada. Thank you for checking in with us.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

About That New England, Part I (May 11 - 17)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from New England. We have spent this week in the Concord / Lexington area of Massachusetts, as well as Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.

We left Hyde Park, New York last Sunday morning, following the Hudson River north to Interstates 80 and then 95. We travelled along I-95, skirting the Boston area and took MA-3 to Bedford. Hanscom Air Force Base is located in the Bedford area and it was here that we stayed for the week.

 Massachusetts welcomes us!

We spent our time in the Concord, Bedford and Lexington area relearning: 1. early American history and 2. visiting the haunts of mid-nineteenth century writers.
With a beautiful Sunday and Monday, we got to see old friends (Donna and Kent from Pentagon days) and take a bike ride along the Minuteman Trail. This biking trail runs from Bedford to Lexington.
 Roger riding The Minuteman Trail.
What a gorgeous day for the ride.

 Near Cambridge we stopped to take a pic of this swan in a pond.

On Tuesday we visited The Minuteman National Historical Park near Concord. After a movie about April 19, 1775 we drove along the road that was the sight of the first skirmishes, of what would become,  the Revolutionary War. History came alive for us as we relearned the significant events occurring between Lexington and Concord.

 Roger reads the plaque at the spot where Paul Revere was captured by the British.

 The North Bridge
This was where "the shot heard round the world" comes. The British were at one end of the bridge attempting to cross into Concord, but were held back by the minutemen (men who were in a militia and could be ready with a moment's notice). 

 At one end of the bridge stands a monument commemorating the skirmish.

 The Minuteman statue stands at the other end of the bridge.

Within sight of the North Bridge, stands the Old Manse. Ralph Waldo Emerson's grandfather was a local minister at the time of the skirmish. His family watched the Redcoats turned away by the minutemen from their upstairs bedroom. 

Roger and I took a tour of the Old Manse. It was here that writers of the mid nineteenth century met. Emerson, Thoreau and Hawthorne were contemporaries.

On Thursday, we ventured into Lexington. It was on the Commons of Lexington that eight militiamen  were killed.

 Lexington Common

 Buckman Tavern
We took a tour of this tavern because it was the place that the local militia assembled after being warned by Paul Revere that the Redcoats were coming.

As a Louisa Mae Alcott fan, I had to tour Orchard House, where the book, Little Women, was written.
 Orchard House

We left Bedford on Friday morning and headed to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. Here we got to see our friends, Mary Beth and Bill. They were great tour guides.
 Hello New Hampshire
The Granite State
"Live Free of Die"

Bill, Maribeth and Roger on the streets of Wolfeboro.

 Lake Winnipesaukee

Roger and I stand in front of a sign designating Wolfeboro, the oldest resort town in America.

Thank you for checking in with us. We are in New Hampshire for a few more days and then it is off to Vermont.