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Sunday, September 27, 2015

feeding friendz

     Without question, the highlight of the summer camping season at The Moorings is that period of a week or two when Tim and Wendy Boucher arrive and overwhelm us with their many-faceted cooking talents and their generosity.  They have been mentioned many times in this blog, and I have occasionally used a picture or two of Wendy's.  This time this blog will be almost totally comprised of their cooking and Wendy's pictures.  feeding friends, by the way, is the name of their barbeque team which is very competitive up to, and including, the national level.  Here they are with the "two boys", Scout and Coal while exploring Fort Knox.  That's Bucksport in the background.


     Their rig is a fifth wheel with a "toy hauler" room and tailgate in the rear.  They do not carry the typical assortment of kayaks, motorcycles or ATVs the most toy haulers carry.  They carry an eye watering collection of wood burning grills, smokers and pizza ovens that enable them to turn out an amazing assortment of appetizers entrees and desserts.  It is almost a game to try to think of something they can't cook on a grill.  I one suggested creme brule...no problem.  Their first trip to The Moorings this year saw them feeding the entire campground over the Fourth.  This time was slightly more relaxed, and they got in a little sight-seeing.  Wendy's camera skills nearly match her culinary prowess.  Check these out.









     The only campground cooking event not involving the Bouchers is the collection of lobster boils that Dick Roth puts on each year.  For the last one we steamed 52 pounds of lobster.  Below are a few of Wendy's pictures of that.



  




     One of their specialties is their 750 degree, wood fired pizza oven.  By using small portions of store bought pizza dough, everyone could make an individual pizza of their own.  Would you believe ground lamb and feta?





     I'll wrap up this testimony to the Bouchers with a few shots Wendy took while visiting the Penobscot Narrows Observatory.






     Any campground in the country would be very happy to have the Bouchers drop in; and if they had any rules about no pets, they would change the rules.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sunrise

     After exactly five months in the RV, I finally saw a sunrise!  That was due to a combination of circumstances.  Number one: retirement is for sunsets not sunrises.  If you get up before the paperboy, why are you retired?  Second; the sun is now dallying around until the almost civilized hour of six thirty.  Lately people have been showing me their sunrise pictures, and the summer here is slipping away.  So I decided last night that, if I woke up at an appropriate time, I would give it a shot.  Sure enough, when nature called, the clock said, "6:03".  I climbed out of bed as quietly as I could, answered Mother Nature and got dressed.  Without getting into the closet and awakening Durelle, I was limited to the shorts and polo shirt I had hung up the night before.  The pre-dawn temperature was 45 degrees...oh, well.  I turned on the quartz auxiliary heater in the bus, grabbed the camera, and headed out.



     
     The sun wasn't up yet so I sat my mini-tripod up on a picnic table for stability in low light and waited.  I counted five people and two dogs down on the beach at that obscene hour.


     At 6:29 the sun, moving as slowly as I had twenty minutes before, finally peeked up over the horizon.  It seemed to have the same reservations that I did about getting up at that hour.



     
     OK, been there...done that, so I headed back to the bus for a hot cup of dark roast coffee.  There's your sunrise pictures.  I hope you appreciate the sacrifice.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Summer is winding down

     Only a week left!  The view of Penobscot Bay is as attractive and ever-changing as ever.  The temperatures are dropping into the forties at night, but the morning sun soon brings it back up to near seventy.  Below are some pictures (thanks, John) of the last Happy Hour for several of us.





     I'm going to share an email (without permission) from Jackie Fare (right front, second picture) just after she and John left.

         How is it that one can feel so sad leaving a group of people they have only spent three weeks with??  And never knew existed a mere two years ago?  It is a testament to the generosity and caring of campers, me thinks.  So thank you to one and all for letting us share a part of your summer with you.  Our lives are richer having known each of you :).

     If that doesn't capture the community aura of RVing for you, you'll probably never be a camper.
     

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pizza and Wanderings to Castine

     Wednesday night was pizza night, but as usual, it was not a typical pizza night.  First of all, one of the Boucher's wood fired grills will get hotter than 700 degrees.  The chunks of pizza dough would roll out to make an 8-10 inch pizza.  Participants brought their own ingredients and assembled their own pizza.  There was more than enough fixins, and there was a lot of mixing and matching going on.  How about a ground lamb and feta cheese pizza?  Jim made lobster pizza.  That grill only took three minutes or so to finish a pizza, so there wasn't much waiting.


     


     It wasn't exactly an assembly line, but everything got done in good spirits.


     The next day we convinced the Fares to join us again, this time for a trip to Castine, the home of the Maine Maritime Academy, another ubiquitous Maine lighthouse, and many lovely, harbor view homes.


     The attached lighthouse keeper's quarters are now a privately owned residence with a remarkable chunk of driftwood in the front yard.



     For lunch we sat outside at Dennett's Wharf.



     Long time readers will note that the sign has changed from "Free Range Lobster"  to "Organic Lobster".
     On the way home we made a small diversion in Bucksport.  43 years ago the newly married Fares went on their first camping trip in a tent with a seven month old baby.  Even though the campground has been closed for eight years we found it, AND the Fares met the daughter-in-law of the original owner.
     The last stop on the way home was  to take a picture of a "fixer-upper".


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New Harbor

     This is special place for us.  It's where Durelle's Aunt Ruth and Uncle Gene Gardner had a summer cottage.  It was/is a three season cottage that is a hundred years old.  This year we dragged along John and Jackie Fare from the Moorings.  We stopped in Round Pond on Muscongus Bay to reminisce about buying lobsters and steamers here almost forty years ago.



     

      From Round Pond we wandered down route 32 through Bremen to Chamberlain where we paid a visit to Long Cove Point.  It is a narrow finger of land extending about a mile into Muscongus Bay.  There are about forty handsome old homes with a view of endlessly crashing surf.
     Across the cove is the "Landry cottage", as Durelle's Uncle Gene Gardner always called it.  It is still there in all its century old, primitive beauty.  



The view down to the cove is as beautiful as ever.  The Fares loved the place. 



     From there we wandered another mile south on route 32 to a fisherman's cooperative called Shaw's.  Soon we had covered our outside table with lobster rolls, steamed clams, a slab of rare grilled tuna, onion rings, fries and draft beer.  Thanks, John.  We could look down on the lobstermen unloading their catch.




     I have remarked before, and probably on these pages too, that this harbor is distinctive in that there is rarely a pleasure craft anchored here.  It's a harbor dedicated to working boats.  From New Harbor it is just a few miles to Pemaquid Point.  The lighthouse there is enough of an icon that it appears on the Maine quarter.



     This view from the ocean side shows the tower for the hanging weight that powered the bell striker.


     

The classic pictures are taken from down on the rocks at the tip of the point.  I've done that, but I decided not to trust my footing on this trip.


     The slippery rocks didn't bother John much, although Jackie declined to watch parts of his trip.


          After the time at Pemaquid Point, it was time to head home.  I offered a choice between two more icons: ice cream at the Round Top Creamery, est 1924; and some blueberry pie at Moody's Diner.  All agreed that we had eaten enough and we passed on both choices.  'Twas a very pleasant day.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lighting for the Photographer

     Over the past few days we have had such a mix of sun and clouds that scheduling activities becomes risky and you never know what sort of light you will have.  Sometimes that unpredictability presents an opportunity.  One evening, as the sun was out of sight behind the trees but still not yet set, we had a brief moment of a golden glow that sent everyone hustling for her camera.  In most cases we all were a bit too slow to capture the peak moments.  By the time I got a shot of the monument in the harbor entrance, it still was bright, but no longer golden.  The cormorants didn't care.


     My shot of the backlit treetops only caught the final seconds and did not show the earlier sparkle.


        The shoreline on the opposite side of the bay near Castine also turned golden.


         It was a rare and special moment.  It's too bad that we weren't able to capture it at its most dramatic..

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lily

     The other day, as we were sitting outside the Fares, Durelle yelled, "Photo Op".  Across the way an English pointer named Lily was standing on her hind legs looking to get into the RV.  Since I do what I'm told, I snapped a picture.  Like most spur of the moment candids, it was not a great picture.



     I objected to her requests to do anything with a picture with such an unattractive apparent focal point.  Somehow, Jackie Fare was prevailed upon to use her photo editing skills to minimize the offending aperture.  She succeeded.



     I still resisted all attempts to use the pictures.  Finally, I was cajoled into taking a  picture of Lily from the other side.



     So, here's Lily from the front.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Bouchers Arrive




     When you see a big fifth wheel RV with a "Toy Hauler" tailgate arrive and unload ten bags of charcoal and two very pleasant black labs, you know the Bouchers are here.  The smokers and grills were soon up and running toward a first deadline of a five-o'clock happy hour.
     I recently tried to photograph the circle using four separate pictures.  Wendy's approach is a panoramic "app" on her smartphone.


     The weather has been hot for Maine, and there have been many air conditioners running...most on 30 Amp circuits.  There were some newbies that were running both A/Cs.  The result was a couple of power outages.  The temperatures drop nicely in the evening so that a small fan suffices for sleeping.