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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Castine, Maine

     Today was a bright and shiny day so we decided to take a drive over to Castine which is on the tip of the next peninsula east of us.  It was first settled in 1613, seven years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth.  The Brits had fish camps here and elsewhere on the Maine coast sending salt cod back to England for some time before the pilgrims sailed.  As a matter of fact the pilgrims had to send a boat to Monhegan Island to get some fish to enable them to make it through the first winter.  During the Revolutionary War the Brits occupied Castine and even dug a canal across the isthmus to turn Castine temporarily into an island.  Today it is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy which trains cadets to become merchant mariners.  It is also the home of some of the handsomest sea captains' homes that you will see anywhere.
     The first picture, however, was not taken at Castine.  It's a leftover from a couple of nights ago when Penobscot Bay was so calm that there were bands of pastels across the bay.  The picture was taken from the front of the campground.  The next picture shows Dice's lighthouse at the tip of the Castine peninsula.  It is still an operational light.  Next is a picture of the "State of Maine", the training ship for the Maine Maritime Academy.  Finally there is a shot through the trees of an old sea captain's yard which shows a piece of the Castine harbor.
     Lunch was at Dennet's Wharf, a notable restaurant and dock.  We got back to the campground, fed and walked the dogs, and set up chairs for happy hour.  Just after we sat down, the rest of the crew showed up from the church supper turkey dinner in Frankfort.  It was a quiet and scenic evening.  Wish you were here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Day in the Life of...

Today's posting has no unifying cohesive theme, nor does it have narrations of significant events or views of breathtaking scenery.  The past few days have been uneventful, but pleasant nontheless.  At our age excitement is not a prerequisite for enjoyment.  We did participate in another lobster feed.  There's a picture of a two pounder disappearing into the pot.  We did ten of those critters.  Today we took the two pups down to the Belfast dog park.  It's a large, well run facility with separate runs for large and small dogs.  It was good to let them have an opportunity to be "off lead" for a while and to play with other dogs.  On the way back we went through a car wash.  The laid back Belle took it all in stride.  The fact that she was a little pooped from her romp may have contributed.  Baxter, on the other hand, was clearly upset by the ruckus.  I was afraid he was going to shift the transmission out of Park. 
     The third picture is intended to show RVing at its best.  That's our neighbor just in front of us.  She's got her recliner, her book, her dog, and her blanket!!  Her view to her front is the Penobscot Bay.  Does it get any better than that?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

200th Post

No pictures tonight. It was a busy day, but I didn't take the camera. Today Phil Andrews and I traveled 80 miles one way to a lot on Pleasant River Lake to do some surveying. Of all my thousands of readers, I'd bet that very few know that "bush" is a verb. It is not a political term. The verb "to bush" is a surveying term. "Bushin' out a line means to grab your machete and bush ax and hack a path through the brush so that you can see from point A to point B on a survey. While there may be an easily navigated route from A to B, the line of sight route for purposes of measuring the bearing and distance will never coincide with the walkable route. See "Murphy: 32.1". We bushed two routes through the brush; one of 300 feet and one of 400 feet.
We also took a number of other bearings to confirm that the magnetic declination had changed by a degree and a half in the past forty years. Phil is 77 and he walked my a** off. I doubt that there is a person in the campground that could keep up with him in the woods.
Durelle played golf today at Northport (see yesterday's post). She shot a 47 and was generally happy with the day. We had a Happy Hour that was light on hors d"ouvres. There was a major lunch and a trip to Dorman's in Rockland for ice cream that rendered most folks less than hungry. We are now in a semi-crash mode while wondering if we want to watch the completion of the Red Sox game.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bayside, Maine

Bayside is a little village within the town of Northport. It is characterised by a bunch of small, pastel, closely spaced, gingerbread style homes. Northport is the town adjoining Belfast on the south and west. It is across the Belfast harbor from our campground. It is invisible to us most of the day, but the late afternoon sun illuminates all the sails and white masts in the marina and makes it stand out. We drove over today as part of a grocery trip. The first picture is of their marina. The next two try to capture the "gingerbread" nature of the houses. The fourth picture is a view across the harbor towards the Moorings campground. It was a long shot across a lot of water and the attendent haze; but, if you look closely, you can see a brown rig in contrast to a number of other white ones in the lower left of the picture, close to the water. That's us. The last picture is pretty dark. I tried to capture a bit of sunset. In the foreground is the tomato planter hanging from our mirror. Then you can see the Weber kettle on which I grilled tonight's steak. The rig in the background is the Dunn's.
This evening an RV maintenace technician came down from Bangor to do an awning repair on Steve Wells' rig. When he was done, he had a look at a couple of things we needed fixed. He'll be back in a couple of days and hopefully our toilet will be able to once again flush normally without using the manual override.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Lobster Feed

Sunday was another lobster feed. It's tough work, but someone has to do it. The two pictures show a pot full of 15 pounds of clams, soon to be steamers, and another showing the sorting out of the fifteen lobsters. We had three pots going and the hardshells were allocated an extra couple of minutes of cooking time. Corn on the cob and a few bags of chips were all we needed. For desert there were six pies baked Sunday morning. There were three blueberry and three blueberry-peach. Thanks, Steve!
Monday was a different story. The weather changed from a high blue sky to a misty, sometimes drizzly day. This morning while walking the dogs after their breakfast I could actually see Baxter's breath! The overnight low was in the high fifties, but it seemed cooler. There were several other factors regarding other activities, but the weather was a major reason to declare a one day recess from happy hour. Actually, it was about time we took a day off...either that or I'll have to sabotage our scales.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The kite

It doesn't take much to amuse us. A week or so ago a guy lost his kite a la Charlie Brown in the tall oaks by the shore. Most of us ignored it, but a couple of folks spent some of their last precious remaining brain cells trying to figure out how to get it down. I guess when you combine the resources of a Maine forester and a retired Marine you can accomplish most anything. Phil attached a line to a rock and Bernie swung it like a bolo. After perhaps a dozen tries, he snagged the kite. Fortunately, a single tug released it from the tree. The fact that it happened during "Happy Hour" only added to the festivities. The closest observers were three sisters who had abandoned their husbands for the weekend and set up their camper almost under the scene of the crime. They didn't even have to buy a ticket for the entertainment. Tomorrow will be lobsters. Dick Roth has ordered fifteen from our resident lobsterman, Walt Wagner.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

It is Friday the 13th and the Roth's arrived today. It seems good to have almost all of the Moorings crew in attendance. The pictures show: the arrival of the Monaco, Eleanor guiding Dick back into the space, and the judges scoring the whole performance.


If one examines a chart of Penobscot Bay, the long, skinny island that protects the bay from the north Atlantic is Ilseboro. There are many summer homes for the rich and famous (John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, etc.) as well as a substantial number of year round residents. It is the landfall we see when we look east from the campground. Wednesday seven of us drove down to Lincolnville and took the nine-o-clock ferry over, drove around the island with a few stops and returned on the 1230 ferry for lunch at the Lobster Pound. It was a pleasant day that was enhanced by perfect weather.
The first picture shows the ferry, the Margaret Chase Smith. The second is the small lighthouse on Isleboro. The last shot shows the Belfast harbor. I snapped it out the window as we were driving home. It was taken from the middle of the Route 1 bridge over the Passagassawakeag River, and, no, I was not driving.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Surveying with Phil Andrews

Today, like a day last year, I accompanied Phil Andrews as he traveled "down east" to Beddington and to Machias, Maine. The purpose of the trip, which was accomplished successfully, was to investigate a few lots in preparation for a formal surveying. The lots had to be found and markers located so that we could go back and officially mark the bounds and corners of the lots. One of the lots was located on Pleasant River Lake in Beddington. That's the first two pictures. The owners had a three year old male Golden, and I couldn't pass up a good Golden picture. The other two lots to be checked were in Roque Bluffs, a very small town near Machias. We left the campground at 0800 and got back at 1630. The second two pictures were taken at Roque Bluffs State Park. The final picture shows our erstwhile friend, forester and surveyer, Phil Andrews. It was a classic Maine summer day. At 0700 the temperature was 47 degrees, but it warmed up to 72 before the day was over. We drove about 250 miles, and I drove the second half. Lunch was at the "Blueberry Ranch Restaurant". Is that Maine enough for you?
While we were gone, Durelle and Carole Andrews visited a craft shop on route 3 west of here. Only minor damage was done to the checkbook.
When we got back, there was just time to feed and walk the dogs and fix a snack for Happy Hour. Recent arrivals included Steve and Toni Wells (and Max) and Raymond Cloutier from Quebec. He seems to know a lot more Cloutier genealogy than I do.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Receiving Line

As you may have surmised by now, there are a number of regulars that seem to populate this campground. When a couple arrives and/or departs, there is an informal "receiving line" to welcome them or to bid adieu. Today Skip and Donna Anderson departed and Arnie and Carol Brewer arrived. The two pictures show a portion of the "receiving line" and a shot of Skip giving Durelle a good-bye hug. Of course Belle has to be a part of all the festivities. The more rambunctious Baxter was relegated to the bus. Today was a classic case of the changeable Maine weather. It was warm enough this morning that we put off some housekeeping chores until tomorrow. Most rigs had their ACs running. We managed to get by with lots of open windows and lots of fans. By the time for the Friday campground Happy Hour rolled around, the weather had started to change. There was a momentary rainbow that I was too slow to capture; bands of whitecaps showed up on the bay; and temperatures started to drop. This morning the air was still and the temperature in the sun was is the 90's. It is now 2200 and the temperature now is down to 59.5. We'll be in the 50's (or lower) tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Frogmore Stew

Frogmore stew is a low country boil of sausage, shrimp, corn, red potatoes, onions and assorted cajun spices. It is certainly not a traditional Maine meal, but it serves as a pleasant counter point to the lobster feeds that are the more typical joint fare for we RVers in Maine. I had prepped all the ingredients yesterday to do it yesterday afternoon. The weather didn't really oblige. Today was just the opposite. It was so hot that we waited until the sun ducked behind the trees before I started cooking. I put a couple of gallons of water in the lobster pot/turkey fryer on the propane burner. I added three large onions, sliced and all of the spices. There were several Zatarian products, some Old Bay seasoning, a bit of Cayenne, some bay leaves bundled in cheese cloth, and the juice of four big lemons. When the water came to a boil, I added four pounds of red potatoes that I had scrubbed and quartered. Fifteen minutes later I added four pounds of smoked sausage (a la kielbasa) in one inch chunks and two dozen half ears of corn. When that had cooked for five minutes I added five pounds of raw shrimp and waited another five minutes. Then I turned everything off and let it rest for a few minutes and drained the basket. It served thirteen people generously and provided a few leftovers. Last night Skip and Donna Anderson put on a spaghetti supper for all of us. The scenery and sea breezes are great, but it is the camararderie that makes the RV lifestyle so pleasant.