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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Safe Arrival


     Well, we are safely home five months and eleven days after we left.  We are pooped from only a partial unloading.  A long Jacuzzi and a longer martini have dealt with most of the kinks.  It sure is nice to just open the door and let the dogs out into a fenced yard.  The battery charger is doing its magic on the Corvette, and soon we will be back to normal.
     The two pictures were taken in Fairfax, VA at the home of dear friends of over fifty years, Allen and Joyce Wegner.  You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of years that we haven't visited each other somewhere.  The first picture, of course, is Belle.  The picture doesn't capture the spring in her step, but she is beginning to show her age.  She'll be 15 in January.  The second shows the bus in front of the Wegner's house.  Joyce put on a couple of wonderful meals and we departed before ten for a relatively short day to Selma, NC.
     The last day of our 2010 summer was only 260 miles, and we arrived home at 1230.  There were no gas stops, no hills and no wind.  The result was a very respectable 9.1 mpg.  We were heavily laden as was the Jeep, but under good conditions we can get 9 mpg.
     It is good to be home, to see Cindy, and to get back to shorts and no socks.  Now that we are no longer on the road there will probably be greater intervals between posts.  In a month we head to Huntington Beach State Park for Thanksgiving week, and in February we head to Red Bay, AL.  Keeping checking the blog.  I'll try to find something of interest to post from time to time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RVing with a '37 Ford



Sunday was a pleasant but cool day. The temperatures barely made it into the 60s, but the wind was calm and the sun, intermittent. Durelle watched golf, college baseball and the Red Sox (and did some wash). We got up at 0830, walked the dogs, and I went to Hannaford to get the Boston Globe, and a couple of bagels. After a late but large breakfast I sat down to write my review of Linda Greenlaw's latest book, "Seaworthy" for the Charleston Post and Courier. I have sent it off. Should you want a copy, drop me a line. After the dog's supper and walk we ran into the unusual rig in site 40. Since they were only stopping for one night, I left Durelle to visit (she's good at it) while I went for the camera. The pickup is a 1937 Ford with a Ford 402 cu. in. V-8. The pictures don't capture it, but there is a green undercoat with blue over it. The colors change with the aspect angle. They started out in Vancouver and will rendezvour with a hundred other antique RVs in Nova Scotia in a few days and drive back together.

Pine Grove, Pennsylvania

Here we are at the Twin Groves Campground about five miles off I-81 at exit 100 (PA 443).  We got away from Brookline, NH at a respectable 0845.  It was a 382 mile day...a bit on the long side for us.  It was not a pleasant relaxing day.  We left in the fog which transitioned into rain.  The foliage colors for the first few hours were excellent even though the light was not great.  Then the ride turned a bit ugly.  The road was rough.  We broke a light bulb in Durelle's craft light and the dinette drawer containing the tray of dog food unlatched.  We are not sure how much Baxter ate before Durelle figured out where he went, but he got a quarter cup for supper with his fish oil pill.  There was a nasty headwind which knocked a hole in the mileage and there were crosswinds gusting to 30 mph.  Plus, large parts of I-81 were single lane due to paving operations.  These are not complaints.  All's well with the Cloutiers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Last day in New England

     Well, this is our last night before heading south, and none too soon...it was 33.1 degrees this morning.  We decided to celebrate by dropping in to one of our all time favorite restaurants.  Some have said that this is a food blog rather than a travel blog.  Oftentimes it is hard to distinguish between the two.  The Mile Away restaurant in Milford,NH resides in a classic old New England farm.  The farmhouse, with its 28 foot, three fireplace central chimney was built in 1746...thirty years before the revolution!  The post and beam barn in which the restaurant resides was erected in 1812.  You might think that this would imply a farm-themed, kitschy sort of place.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Quiet elegance, damask and lace curtains set the stage.
     Now lets talk about the food.  I had a spectacular roast duck done to perfection with a delicate glaze served over rice which contained a hint of broccoli and cheese.  Durelle had weinerschnitzel parmigiana.  Mine was $24.95 and hers was $22.95, but (!) mine included an appetizer of veal and pork pate.  There were two meatloaf sized slices with a Dijon style mustard.  Her appetizer was baked stuffed clams, also included.  We each had substantial Caesar salads (included).  The vegetable we both chose was a Teriyaki medley.  There must have been ten to a dozen different vegetables, mostly julienned, with a touch of Teriyaki.  It was there, but very subtle.  Dessert was pumpkin cheesecake (also included).  Generous Beefeater martinis were $7.50.
     I can guarantee you that if you manage to find yourself in the area and try it, you will add it to your list of places to which you will return.
     Friday afternoon we will arrive at the Wegners in Fairfax, VA, and Sunday will see us back in SC.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visit to a log cabin




     Today we took a short (90 minute) trip to Royalston, MA to see how my sister's log cabin is coming along...it was also nice to see Marian again.  They are building the place totally with sweat equity.  It is three years and counting.  They have 25 acres on a spot that has a hundred mile view.  With exception of you folks with experience in the Berkshires, most folks don't believe those kinds of views exist in Massachusetts. 
     The first picture was taken in the town common in Royalston.  It is a classic Congregational church, and it shows that the fall color is past peak.  The second picture is taken from Marian and Eldy's place looking WSW.  The third shows Durelle and Marian in front of the house.  The phrase 'log cabin' doesn't do it justice.  Those are 12 inch logs from Montana.  It is a rustic site.  There have been bears, fisher cats, and coyotes wandering through the site.  The last shot shows a turkey that I saw today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fall Colors in NH




   It's Saturday, if you are keeping track of weekends.  We stopped doing that in early 1997.  Today we decided to wander around our old stomping grounds in Milford, NH.  In 1989 we moved back to NH as I returned to Sanders' Associates.  By then Lockheed owned them, but that's another story.  We rented a house in Milford while we found some land on the Nashua River and arranged to have a house built.  We visited that Milford rental house today, had an ice cream at Hayward's (you are a bad influence, Eleanor), and took some pictures of the fall foliage.  The winds have been strong, and a lot of leaves are gone.  Nonetheless, we took some good pictures.
     We are operating with a rental car.  The Jeep is AWP ("awaiting parts" in maintanence lingo) at the dealership where we bought it.  It's a computer issue.  I was very frustrated today as Army lost to Rutgers in overtime at the new Meadowlands stadium.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

T-Ball





     'Twas a special day.  This morning Durelle left to get a perm from a long time friend while I did a bit of organizing around here.  Then we took a walk down to the shore of Lake Potanipo.  I still don't know how to pronounce it.  Passagassawaukeag was easy.  The first two pictures show the lakeshore and a view of the campground.  You can see the bus and the Jeep among the colors.
     At 5:30 we were at great granddaughter Brielle's T-Ball game.  It has been my observation that anyone who can coach a T-Ball team would have no trouble herding cats.  When two or more fielders get to the ball, possession is far more important than getting the ball to first base.  I told the coach, my grandson, that, "Next week we work on the infield fly rule, right?"  He laughed.  The third picture shows her winding up (without the ball).  In the fourth shot she is whispering in her father's ear, "Send me in, Coach."  The last shot is a young lady with a pink batting helmet.  That's our great-granddaughter!

Welcome to New Hampshire


     These two pictures were taken yesterday morning before we left.  The sunrise was an appropriate send-off.  When the second picture was taken, Jeri had left and we were the last of the Mohicans.  Granted, there are still a couple of seasonal rigs still on site but presently without inhabitants.  So when the Cloutiers pulled out, the only remaining occupants were the Bakers who own the place.
     It was an uneventful drive to Brookline, NH.  Uneventful is good.  I put in 86 gallons of diesel on the way out of town.  The last previous fill-up was in June!  After arriving in Brookline, we set up, cleaned up, fed and walked the dogs, and immediately drove to Nashua for supper with son Mark and most of his clan.  We'll check in at the office on Wednesday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Our Last Full Day of 2010 in Maine






     Tomorrow we will depart Maine for NH.  Today, therefore, was our last full day and we made the most of it.  The weather was great.  The plan was to try Mount Battie again, but along the way we decided to drive up to the Summit at Lookout Point on the southern edge of Northport.  There had been an early wedding this morning, and it must have been special.  The first picture shows the pergola under which the vows were taken.  The second picture shows that the flowers set up for the wedding were white mums and bridal wreath.  The third picture shows the classic view of the Camden harbor from Mount Battie.  The color is a bit better than a week ago, but still not at peak.  The fourth picture shows a mega-yacht pulling into the Camden harbor.  The picture was taken from the top of Mount Battie, but you can see the relative size from some of the other moored boats and from of the size of the helicopter on the stern deck.  There is another shot of the colors at the foot of Mount Battie.  On our way back to the campground we stopped at Lincolnville Beach for lunch.  We chose McLaughlin's lobster shack.  We hadn't stopped there before, and we had a lobster roll, a haddock fish 'n chips and some onion rings with a local beer and a diet Coke.  The last picture was taken while we were eating lunch OUTSIDE.  It shows the Isleboro Ferry, the Margaret Chase Smith, pulling into the dock. 
     So, another Maine summer has come and gone.  There have been great quantities of lobster, oysters, mussels, scallops, clams, haddock and calamari.  Here's a toast to Dr. Amy Fairfax who allowed me to do that without a hint of gout.  There has been great fellowship with RVers that we have known for years and some that we just met.  Life is good!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10-10-10

     Another blog with no pictures.  Oh, well; the last one had eight.  The weather was not clear enough and sunny enough to try another trip up Mount Battie, so we stayed here and did some packing up prepartory to heading south on Tuesday.  Did I say that the evernight low was 34.2?  It was.  The time has come to depart Maine.  It has been a top-notch summer here with great scenery, entertaining activities, and, most of all, wonderful friends.  We'll spend a week or so in Brookline, NH then head homeward with mixed emotions.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Camden








     This is going to be a different attempt at a blog.  Almost by definition a blog is a written account.  Mine have always emphasized pictures, and in this one I've tried to include eight of them.  That is a lot, but I took several dozen and did several things.  The saga really started Monday when Durelle got up early to watch the Ryder Cup from Wales.  The pre-sunrise eastern sky, I'm told, was a spectacular blend of magenta, lavender and rose.  She almost got me out of bed to take some pictures.  So I decided to get up yesterday morning at six.  I took a bunch of nice pictures, but as the old fisherman said,"You shoulda been here yesterday!"  The first picture was early...note the gull, and the second was later as the sun was about to break through.
     The next item of business was a trip up Mount Battie to take some classic fall foliage pictures.  Alas, the color is not quite this far south yet.  I did include a shot of the Camden harbor that shows the rather subdued colors.  The light wasn't just right either.  We will probably make another try over the weekend.  We are leaving Tuesday, so it will be then or "wait 'til next year." 
     Next we paid a visit to the Merryspring Gardens in Camden.  The gardens are very attractive, but just as we were early for the foliage colors, we were late for the peak garden colors.  Timing is everything.  There is a picture of Durelle admiring the flowers.  Then I did find a splash of color (nasturtiums, I think) and took a closeup.
     From there we went to the Waterfront Restaurant in Camden for lunch.  It is one of our favorite restaurants, and it was warm enough to use one of the outside tables.  I had a half dozen local (Damariscotta) oysters.  They are from the same source that Jim Baker uses at Papa J's.  They are truly exceptional oysters.  For the entre I had a bowl of soup, but what a bowl it was.  Check the picture.  They called it a Tuscan Fish Chowder, but it is a close cousin to Bouillabaisse.  And that's a nice glass of Pinot Grigio next to my plate.  The next picture shows Durelle contemplating the activities of the Camden harbor and digesting a sandwich of crabmeat, bacon and avocado on sourdough bread.
    We still weren't done with our day.  On the way back north we made a stop at the Camden Hills State Park and took the walk down to the shore.  The last picture was taken there and shows a sailboat heading in toward shore. So we had a rather full day, and you can see why I had so many different pictures.  It remains to be see how well this format works for a longer blog with eight pictures.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Begins

 




    This is my first posting in October. For the past couple of days we have been riding out a significant band of rain that has been migrating up the east coast. It cleared out overnight and we awoke to a dark blue, low humidity, "Colorado" sky. When I say awoke, I must be more specific. Durelle got up at 0300 to watch the Ryder Cup from Wales. I didn't.  After a period of blustery rain, it was certainly pleasant to have a dry, clear day.  It was still a bit cool to have "happy hour" outside, so we had a brief one inside.  Hilda (center) and her granddaughter , Kieran (left), and Jeri. are shown in the first picture.  The other two try to capture, without benefit of any photo editing, the constantly changing colors of the sunset on the bay.  Keep in mind that the pictures were taken to the east so that they are the reflected colors of the sunset.