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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cold, rainy Saturday







Today has been totally an inside day. It is completely overcast, windy , low 50's and steady rain. The good news is that yesterday Cindy's package of mail and magazines gave me a full day's reading. Durelle tells me that she ironed 29 pieces in the last 24 hours. With some cross stitching and a weekend's venue of TV sports, she's surviving. Yesterday one of the campers buzzed the campground in his ultralight/parasail aircraft. I got a couple of pictures. I also took one on the beach looking toward Belfast. It shows very well the prime rockweed and low tide rocks that makes for easy pickings of mussels.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cool weather returns





This morning at 0730 the temperature was 48 degrees, but the weather is the best of the season. The air is extra clear and dry for a change so the visibility is exceptional. Today I'm going down to the shore at low tide and get enough mussels to make the mussels version of Nancy Taylor's "clams casino" dip for the campground's Friday Happy Hour.
We were at the reunion in Athol during the weekend when hurricane Bill passed by so we did not get to go out to Schoodic Point with the gang. Since I missed the photo-op, I'm including three of Ann Dunn's shots.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back in Maine




We are back in Maine after our weekend long reunion in Athol, MA. I guess we had about 75 people. There were no halls, dinner dances or entertainment. It was a three day pool party with grilled food, coolers of wine, a keg, tables of memorabilia and lots of conversation. We had several tents, and we needed them. Short-lived but intense showers paraded through the area all weekend. The weather was probably associated with hurricane Bill which caused so much havoc on the New England coast including a fatality to a wave watching tourist at Acadia National Park. There is an old school, soon to be converted into housing, immediately adjacent to the hostess's property. We dry camped there from Thursday until Monday morning.
Monday we left Athol and drove to Hudson, MA to pick up another rescue golden retriever, an eight year old male stray with the currently attached name of "Bleu". Blue might be a coonhound, but not a golden. We'll work on that. He had an ear infection that was being treated and they didn't succeed in reaching us beforehand to delay our previously scheduled appointment. We did have a good get acquainted visit that also included Belle. They will call us when he is well enough to be released.
The rescue league could not accommodate the bus so we proceeded a few hundred yards down the road to Hudson High School to park and walk back. The entrance was between two closely spaced field stone columns. We entered OK, but when we were leaving the decorative concrete cap on the top of the column scraped the top of the passenger-side side wall. The scrape is about a foot long, and there was some damage to the canopy structure. To repair it here would involve a motel because of the body shop work required. Therefore, with USAA's concurrence, we are going to wait to do the repairs after we return to SC. It just means that we spend the rest of the summer without the use of the canopy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another lobster feed












It was a busy day and tomorrow will be busier. We got up early because it was time to wash the bedding (double load). With only 30 amps we can't run the drier and the AC at the same time, so the wash had to be done early. Some of our crew had relatives visiting so it was decided to do a bunch of clams and lobsters. I think there were 14 for supper. That's Dick Roth and George Peck supervising four pots of lobsters. There is a picture of the table set up before the food was ready and one after they were served. The cooler shot shows about half of the lobsters. There is also a shot of our neighborhood tugboat that is stationed out of Belfast and is often called upon to assist tankers in Penobscot Bay.
Tomorrow morning we head out to Athol for our reunion. I guess we will miss the remains of hurricane Bill throwing some surf at Schoodic Point. The crew is looking forward to it. I guess I'll miss a good photo op. The other piece of news is that today we committed to be seasonal campers again next year. In the picture with the clean tables you can see a rig with a mural and a flag. It's the Peck's, but next year it will be ours. It's a nice spot.



Monday, August 17, 2009

A pleasant supper on the Maine coast




Tonight six of us wandered over to a wonderful lodge between Sedgewick and Brooklin on the north shore of Eggemoggin Reach, a famous sailing venue. It is a classic place with greenswards extending down to the water where a long floating dock invites sailors to drop in for supper. We had cocktails or wine out on the deck until it was time to go inside for supper. They serve a breakfast for occupants of the lodge, and it serves supper only from 5:30 to 8:30...no lunch. There is an entirely different menu each night with only four or five entrees and live music on Monday and Thursday. Amongst our sixsome we had chicken marsala; pasta alfredo with lobster, scallops, and crabmeat; and baked haddock with crabmeat stuffing. The singer with a guitar accompanist captured our attention. There were perhaps a couple dozen folks eating, but there were still tables reserved. We were astounded to find that they are open year round! Even with the declining economy they appear to be doing well. Even though it is more than an hour's drive from the Moorings, we will return for an encore.
Today was another air conditioner day. There have not been many (three?). The air has been turned off for the evening, however. This weekend we return to Athol, MA for our 53rd high school reunion. We had so much fun at the 50th that we decided not to wait five or ten years to do it again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A history lesson











Today ten of us took a brief field trip with a strong historical flavor. For the first half of the twentieth century, and even before,the area around Penobscot, Maine was known for its dozens of brick yards. The region was blessed with thick layers of clay, abundant fresh water, ocean access to move heavy freight, and plenty of firewood to create the necessary temperatures. Many millions of bricks were shipped to Boston and other east coast cities. It is said that whole blocks of Boston were built of Penobscot bricks. Alas, there is almost no trace of that once great industry. There are a few places along the shoreline where the culled imperfect or broken bricks were discarded. At low tide there can be found in a few spots great drifts of broken red brick. The last picture shows several of us looking over the evidence of an earlier time.
Low tide was about 1130 and we were within a few miles of the "Bagaduce Lunch". What a happy coincidence! By the time we were eating our lobster rolls, haddock sandwiches and blueberry pie, the tide was forcing its way into the mouth of the Bagaduce river. This creates one of the several examples of reversing falls on the Maine coast. The river's current is flowing into the Penobscot Bay while the six to eight foot tide comes running in against it. The opposing currents create tumultuous water that seems to be moving several directions at once. It creates a fine playground for the many kayakers. One of the other three pictures show the oddly named lunch counter which I have included before. The difference this time was the activity of the falls and the kayakers.
The temperatures approached 90. Fortunately a fellow RVer agreed to check on Belle. As soon as we got back we closed things up and turned on the air conditioner. It didn't take long to get things cooled down.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A work day











Today was a different sort of day, but it was one of the best. The folks parked next to us, Phil and Carol Andrews, are old time Mainers. Phil is a U Maine grad ('56) in forestry who has been self-employed as a forester/surveyor /land developer since 1968. There probably few folks who know eastern Maine better than Phil. He had a couple of chores today. He had to blaze and paint a boundary line, check on the condition of a logging road and show tourist, Frank, some previously unobserved terrain. It was 310 miles. The pictures show: Phil, a '29 Model A in his garage, his back yard in Lincoln and an enticing hammock in Princeton where he was doing his surveying chores. We left the campground at 0630 and returned at 1700 (happy hour). We wandered around a number of non-coastal, back roads for most of the day. We hit the coast at Machias at route 1. At that point my offer to drive was accepted, and I drove his new Ford truck down route 1 to Belfast. I think we both enjoyed the day together. He would have had a long, lonely day visiting widely dispersed sites. I thoroughly enjoyed the non-political conversations about sundry topics that we both shared. We returned to a pleasant happy hour and a simple baked chicken supper. Durelle enjoyed a long card playing session with Carol and an unencumbered day to do a bit of wash and some dog walking.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer???











Today appears to be a classic summer day. I say appears because conditions have been changing dramatically in a matter of moments. Yesterday, after lunch, the skies suddenly darkened, dust rose in swirls, the leaves indecorously revealed their backsides, and the clouds turned into an ugly melange of greens, blue-grays and yellow. Most of the neighbors were away shopping, enjoying puffin cruises etc. Because of the benign weather when they left, their canopies were left out. Most were secured with guy wires to the ground, but they were still seriously threatened. So, I scrambled around stowing them on five rigs including ours. It took a bit of ladder work and some minor dismantling, but they were all down in twenty minutes or so. At which point the clouds blew away and the sun came out. At five-o-clock we began our weekly campground-wide happy hour. By five thirty big cold rains drops appeared out of an almost clear sky. By six it was done, and the rainbow had the best defined spectrum of colors I think I've ever seen. Even the violet was clearly delineated. There was also a harvest moon that I captured in one of the pictures.
Today I took some shots of cormorants, an ancient frigate and a lovely hydrangea blossom in the little memorial garden here. It's a lazy Saturday with the Kindle, a recliner and a squadron of sails on Penobscot Bay.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Lobster Factory






























Today saw a new event even for the regulars. Bob and Martha Calhoun, friends of the Roths from Houston, are here for a couple of weeks. They decided that they would like to cook up a bunch of lobster, freeze the meat, and take it back to Houston. An assembly line of three boilers was established, and Bob and Dick Roth picked up a crate of lobsters from Walt Wagner. A crate is nominally a hundred pounds, but more typically it is 85 to 90. If there are a lot of softshells, it will be more like 80 pounds. The crate cost $300 and contained 76 pounds. Dick and Bernie and Bob cooked while Ann, Eleanor, Martha did the crackin' and pickin'. The end result was about a dozen pounds of prime (claws, tails and knuckles) lobster meat. There is still a lot of lobster parts that disappeared that I'm sure will show up at some future happy hours. The edge of a nasty thundershower brushed by the area and interrupted operations for a few minutes, but the effort was a success. I'm sure the crew will be more than ready for happy hour.

Sunday, August 2, 2009











Saturday was a great day. Since the weather was cooperating, it was time for another lobster feed. In most places such a feed involves potato salad, corn, salad, or other sides. This little community has decided that the principal of KISS is more appropriate. There are lobsters, clams or mussels, and potato chips...period. Dick Roth was the orchestrator of the event with a number of helpers. We cooked 20 lobsters. There is a picture of Dick entering Walt Wagner's walk-in refrigerator. Walt is the Maine version of a rennaissance man. His farm has a garden, sheep, a woodlot, and a lobster boat. He runs about 300 traps between here and Lincolnville. On the way to Walt's, I took a couple of shots of some old railroad cars that are sitting on some rusting tracks. There are three wooden cabooses in this shot. The picture of the table was taken after the lobsters were gone. It does show the setting. That is Penobscot Bay in the background.