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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Make the circle bigger

     Our evening Happy Hours have been mentioned herein on many an occasion.  This past Saturday's affair grew to be one of the larger ones.  As more and more participants arrived, we just had to keep scooting back until the circle was large enough to handle to newcomers.  I decided that a picture was needed, and I had three choices.  One, step back and take one large pictures.  The result, of course would include the backs of a lot of heads.  Two,  I could rouse everyone off their comfortable seats and rearrange them into a camera-facing assemblage.  Three, I could walk around the outside of the circle and take several pictures and post them all.  The results of choice three follow:

                                             No, that is not Tim Boucher waving!

     More than one camper has posed the question,"What DO those people talk about for two hours?"  And then they join the circle and contribute to the babble.  
     The demographic is not particularly diverse except by profession and geography.  The majority are retired, and most of the rest are nearly there.  It's probably not the cabal that you would want running the country.  There's a good smattering of veterans and other old school patriots.  There is nothing homogeneous about the group other than the sociability and respect normally found in the RV lifestyle.
     It certainly makes one appreciate what we have.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pizza in Blue Hill

     This evening eight of us wandered over to Blue Hill, ME to try out the Barncastle Inn and Restaurant.  We were not disappointed.  Thanks are appropriate to Bernie and Debra who were the two drivers.  Before I start to relate the latest adventure, I must show an earlier picture that Durelle exclaimed was a photo-op.  Turns out it was a mushroom cloud over Swan Lake or thereabouts.

     While I was there I took a picture of a pair of rescue greyhounds (and their owners).

     I don't have a story to go with either picture...just nice pictures.

     Blue Hill is a quaint old Maine village just one peninsula to the east of us.  The Barncastle is an elegant inn and a not so elegant restaurant.  We had good meals and enjoyed ourselves...but the kitchen is too small and the service is slow.  We had a good waitress, but...  Below is a picture of half of the table.  Eleanor Roth was the first to notice me skulking around with a camera  and looked up in time for a very fine picture.

     The pizza menu from their wood-fired oven was good.  Their only seafood had shells.  The pitchers were $7.50.  Bernie and Durelle had ribs.

     The major disappointment was that there were no mussels; which caused some ordering realignments as we got everything straightened out.  It was a good meal, and no one was unhappy.
    On the way home we stopped at the riverwalk park in Bucksport to take a few more pictures.

     The statue is called "Before the Wind"  These granite statues are done up in Orono at the University of Maine Art Department and donated to Maine communities.  A few years ago I did a blog about the program.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


     There it is!  Homarus Americanus.  Today was probably Dick Roth's best lobster feed since we started coming here a decade ago.  It was also probably the biggest.  He bought 22 lobsters weighing a total of 40 pounds.  They were actually soft shells that were almost hard shells.  Most diners of the male persuasion were able to crack the claws without tools, but the women weren't.  They were the best of both worlds.  If you did your math a couple of sentences ago, you have figured that they averaged nearly two pounds apiece.  The local corn was outstanding, also.
     Because of the size of this affair, things started early.  First, we had to set up six tables.

     Then we had to get four propane burners fired up.  Because of the breeze, we sheltered them behind vehicles.

      As has usually happened as I focused on the lobsters, I cut the head off Dick Roth.

     Soon all two dozen lobsters were in one of the four pots.

     Seventeen or eighteen minutes later, we had 24 lobsters looking for a plate.

     As you can see, we had a fairly large crew of lobster eaters.

     It was a roaring success.  As an aside Paul Poythress had a lobster with a deformed doubt due to some prior fisticuffs.  He thought it looked like a dolphin while I thought it looked like a Rottweiler.  You make the call.

     Whatever the call, it was an absolutely wonderful day on the edge of Penobscot bay.  It took a lot of people to make it happen, and it was a perfect example of the community we have.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Busy times

     There has been a hodge-podge of activity that bears reporting.  While the Roths returned their kids and grandkids to Logan Airport, we and the Dunn's went to lunch at the combination restaurant/European deli that is Morse's.

     Before and after a generous lunch with doggie bags, we succumbed to the pleasures of the deli and charcuterie. I didn't need a shopping cart to carry out a hundred bucks worth of goodies.

     On the way back to the Moorings, Durelle asked to stop at one of her favorite craft shops.  It was hard to miss the quilt flying out front.

     While the others went inside to shop (Durelle found a cross stitch for two bucks.), I sat outside in one of their rocker Adirondack chairs ($58.95).  Sitting there, I noticed something unusual about the shade tree right in front of me.

     At some time at least twenty years ago the tree had suffered a vertical split of its trunk.  It was cinched back together in a couple of places with a length of old logging chain.  You can see that the tree has nearly grown over the chain.  You'll also notice that the tree is equally upright and equally green on both sides of the healed split.  Yankee thrift or Yankee 
     Since it was Friday, we arrived home to enjoy the campground happy hour.  It seems to become a bigger deal week after week.

     As the sun went down and the party broke up we were treated to the sight of a two-master in the late sunlight.

     It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wiscasset and other Topics

     It has been a couple of busy days.  Yesterday Jurgen Gobien and his bride, Susan, dropped by for a visit.  They had been having a family vacation on Mount Desert Island and were heading back to VA.  He and I go back a long way together to some important battles in the Air Force R & D world.  We took the Cloutier tour to a number of local photo-ops.  On a back (dirt) road between Camden and Rockport we made a stop at "the children's chapel.

     I also took a picture of the Gobiens.

     Along the way we found the little path to the overlook for the Curtis Island Lighthouse.

     We also had some up close views of the elegant watercraft in the Rockport Harbor.

     We ended up with a fine supper in Camden.  Today we went down to Wiscasset to a neat restaurant called Le Garage.  We met with Durelle's friend, Estelle, and her two daughters.
     Wiscasset, of course, is home to "Red's Eats".  The primary product is a lobster roll.  It's not even the best lobster roll around, but their status as an icon guarantees  a steady stream of tourists even in the rain at 2:30.

     How would you like to own a take-out diner where there are people standing in line in the rain halfway between the usual mealtimes?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Campfire at the Brann's

     Today was a perfect, high visibility day with a high of 74 degrees.  After the happy hour, about a dozen and a half of us migrated to the Brann's acreage for a campfire and 'Smores.

     They have a nice fire ring, and if you look closely you can see the "Brann" name.  Sitting around a campfire is a mixed blessing for your resident photographer.  It allows for some completely candid pictures, because no one can see what you are up to.  The lighting, on the other hand...even with a flash, is unpredictable.  Below are a few shots of some of the "usual suspects".

     Unposed as they are, it is a great group of friends.

     Yesterday I posted a picture of a 144 foot yacht hanging in the straps of the big transporter at the Front Street Shipyard.  I said it was the Four Winds.  One of my favorite regular readers, the Blog Stalker, zoomed in to determine that it was actually the Four Wishes.  With a little internet research she came up with the following link which I am sure you will enjoy: Four Wishes.  Thanks, Jackie.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Farmers' Market

     Fridays, in addition to being the campground happy hour day, are also the day of the Belfast Farmers' Market.  In addition to food, they have some craft booths...mostly fabric based.  I wasn't in the market for fresh veggies as upcoming supper engagements mean not much cooking for a few days.

     I did get a frozen chicken pie for us and a pound of fresh chicken livers for Ann.  A package of goat cheese completed the trip.
     On the way back I decided to make a stop at the Front Street Shipyard.  Hanging in the straps of the big transporter was the yacht, "Four Winds".

     Rumor has it that the boat weighs 444 tons.  Note the capacity of the lift is 440 tons...Oh, well.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lobsters II

     It's about time!  We finally got around to another lobster feed.  This is the time of year when it is hard to find a hard shell.  Most of the crop are "shedders", or recently molted lobsters, which have only begun to grow into their new, larger (and softer) shells.  Nonetheless, Dick Roth found the lobsters, and the local corn is ready.  Throw in a few bags of chips and some brownies and ice cream for dessert, and a great party can be had.  Doing it on the shore of Penobscot Bay adds a certain je ne sais quois to the festivities.

     Here we are all set up in the gravel in front of the Roths motorhome.  The wind kept blowing out one of the burners, so we moved everything around into the lee of their rig.

     Soon all the pots were boiling.  The larger pots got six lobsters and the smaller one got three.

     Twelve minutes later they were ready to come out.

     We all have been doing this long enough that we have it down to a science that even includes soapy finger bowls and a towel when finished.