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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Southbound - 2017

     This should supplement yesterday's safe arrival" note with a few comments and pictures. I drove the bus from Belfast, ME to Deerfield, NH. We met with family that night, stayed two nights with the Boucher's, and headed south on Friday the 13th. Here's Tim behind the wheel for the first time.



     Leaving the Boucher estate.



     The first night was at Jonestown, PA where the campground was well decorated for Halloween.



     Here's our third string driver (I was second) ready to go.



     Here's a nice shot of our rig at a rest area.



Our second night was in Enfield, NC where the front row was empty when we checked in.



     Most of these pictures are from Tim's phone. It is hard to imagine the magnitude of his offer to take two days off work and driving a Motorhome (as opposed to a fifth wheel) for three long days. I really believe that the RV community is one rare place where you can find that level of kindness.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thanks, Tim

     This will be just a brief note to let a few folks know that, thanks to Tim Boucher, we are safely and smoothly at home in Hanahan, SC. We didn't hit anything. We didn't break anything. The dishwasher slid open a couple of times, but nothing fell out. We made two campground stops and one fuel stop. Tim also served as dog walker and sous chef.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On the Road Again

     On our last morning at the Moorings before leaving I got up to take some of those sunrise pictures that I had been putting off all summer. Of course, sunrise is a couple of hours later now than it was on 1 July. I just barely got there, and I had none of those soft pre-dawn pictures.







     After breakfast, Durelle made one last trip to the hair dresser, and I finished the tail end of packing up. When Durelle returned, we broke camp and said our goodbyes to a greatly diminished supply of RVers.
     As is usual on departure day, Durelle tries her hand at catching some pictures of fall colors through the windshield of the bus. It's not easy. There is the motion of both the bus and the camera, an incompletely cleaned windshield, intrusive power lines, etc.  She made 51 attempts, and I saved a dozen...not a bad ratio. Here's a few of the better ones.







          I was pleasantly surprised at how well the driving went. It was not enough to do a last minute decline of Tim Boucher's generous offer to drive us home, but it certainly means that I can help out with the driving along the way.
    We are parked in their driveway at their lovely home in Deerfield. There will be room to hook up the Jeep in the driveway so we'll be ready for an early departure tomorrow. We depart Deerfield NH on Friday the 13th. I'll let you know how the trip goes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tomorrow We Leave Maine

     Today it is clear in the mid 70s. I think 11 Oct. is the latest we have ever stayed. Although there was one new arrival today, the place is emptying out.


     I took a seven mile run over to the Swan Lake grocery for some last minute stuff. There was a little color, but many trees shed their leaves before they reached full color.


     I found a few shots at the lake where the colors seemed more vibrant. The blue of the lake didn't hurt.






     Tomorrow should be an easy four hours to the Bouchers where we will spend two nights.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cindy's Pictures

        Today we have been watching the season wind down. The campground is surprisingly full for this late in the season. Happy hours have sort of been abandoned. The crew has thinned and the temperatures have dropped. By 1630, there is no sunlight. Cindy, however, has managed to find some great pictures to take. Here are a few that she took in the campground.  Now, if she could only write :-), she could do a blog.









     What do you think? Am I out of a job?

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Harbor

      Today Durelle and Cindy took a drive down to New Harbor for a sentimental visit. I stayed here with the pup, but Cindy took some great pictures so I decided to share them in my blog. One of the features there is the Rachel Carson salt pond. It was there long before she wrote Silent Spring or before there was a salt pond named after her. A salt pond is formed by a barrier of a ring of rocks, earth and kelp that lies between high tide and low tide. When the tide comes in, much of it is captured by the barrier and stays there as the tide goes out. It's a wonderful place to observe all sorts of sea life. It also warms up in the sun so that it is the warmest ocean water in Maine. In the 80's I used it like my own personal hot tub after a day of clearing logs and brush from Gene and Ruth Gardner's cabin view.


     The Gardner cabin, aka "the Landry cottage" is just uphill from the salt pond. As a result, we have many pleasant memories of the area. We have been visiting there since 1978.
     As I have posted many times before, New Harbor is a working lobsterman's harbor with few pleasure boats.


     Another icon on route 1 is Moody's diner. Although their menu is not very imaginative, their pies are still special. So, they stopped.



     The landmark, of course, is Pemaquid Point and its lighthouse. 



     Cindy also captured the bed of petunias between the two halves of the parking lot at Shaws.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Belfast Harbor

     Tuesday night was a pleasant, but smaller, happy hour. Many folks have left. I noticed that the sky was filled with high-altitude alto-cirrus clouds. These are the wispy, feathery things that often preface a storm by 48 hours. They are composed of ice crystals. The whole sky was covered with them, but by the time I retrieved the camera they had diminished.



     At the same time, in the west, there were some puffy alto cumulus that looked like popcorn as they were illuminated by the already descended sun which had disappeared behind the trees.



     As I said, it was a pleasant but smaller happy hour. Notice a couple of relaxed dogs.



     Every afternoon, when I drive across the Route 1 bridge over the Passagassawaukeag River, I say that when the sun is low and the tide is high, I'll have to come down for a picture of the Belfast Harbor. It's a tough walk for me to park and get out to the center of the bridge. Cindy and I explored options to drop me off in the center of the bridge...not safe. So we did it the hard way with my taking a rest at every power pole. Here's the result of my work.




     We have a couple of big tug boats stationed here.






     We only have a couple of more weeks and we plan to enjoy them.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What's going on at the shipyard?

     We routinely wander through the shipyard when we go down town just to see what's going on. Today they had a two masted schooner on the lift. It was a big one,so I decided to take a few pictures. Note that this is post #750.


     The skinny guy by the front wheel is Dick Roth. Some of these rigs are big! There are a number of other boats in the yard in various states of renovation or repair. Lately there have been some big catamarans (4BR, 4Bath) and even a trimaran.



     I took a shot of the lift from under a catamaran. It is astonishing how much access the general public is allowed.



     As Dick and I were leaving the yard, we spotted a beauty tied up at the dock. The wood and brightwork just sparkled...and have you ever seen a smokestack cleaner than that?



     The services provided by the Front Street Shipyard have brought a nice clientele (and their dollars) to Belfast.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Schoodic Point

     Acadia National Park occupies parts of three of Maine's many southward extending peninsulas. Cadillac Mountain is on the middle one, but on the tip of the eastern one is Schoodic Point. It is a granite-clad outcropping that does not have any other land between it and the Gulf of Maine and the North Atlantic. Therefore, a North Atlantic storm has a thousand miles to build some high seas before they come crashing ashore against that immovable granite.
     So, while most of the Atlantic coast watched with great trepidation as hurricane Jose churned it way up the east coast, Mainers were eagerly anticipating another great show at Schoodic. The storm stalled out south of Cape Cod, so the waves did not reach the heights that were hoped for, but it still made for a good day for a Schoodic trip.


     Coincidentally, it was a day that we were scheduled to meet up with a cousin of Durelle's and her husband, Pam and Jay Anderson, who are Californians making their first visit to Maine. Originally we had planned to take a leisurely drive along the mid-coast of Maine pointing out some of our favorite photo-ops. After the day of touring, Durelle's brother and wife, Mart and Ann Grover, would drive over from their NH campground and join us all for supper. When we told the Andersons about the Schoodic situation, they jumped at the opportunity.


     That's Pam on the left capturing a picture of the exploding surf.


     The Park Rangers were prominent in keeping foolish tourists from venturing too close to the edge where they would be at risk from a rogue wave.





     Later we joined up with Mart and Ann and had a nice supper at the Whale's Tooth in Lincolnville.


      So, while it was not one of the best shows that Schoodic has ever produced, it provided a nice reunion for three Grover cousins and their "outlaws".

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Frogmore Stew Redux

     A few days ago we did another double recipe (two pot) version of the Frogmore Stew. This time the pictures are from Wendy Boucher, who photographs food as well as she makes it. Since I was making two pots, I made one regular spice and the other with a bit less cayenne. Notice that the butcher paper covering the table says, "decaf" while the other says, "regular".



     As you know Frogmore stew is a communal event. Here's a series of pictures with the various ingredients going into the pots. The next picture shows the primordial fluid in which everything is cooked.




     Now we start to add the ingredients. The potatoes go first.




     You can see that I'm supervising with a beer nearby. Fifteen minutes later the sausage goes in.




     After another five minutes, the corn goes in.



     Ten more minutes, and it's time for the shrimp. They only go a few minutes until they are pink. Meanwhile it is a pleasant wait for the rest of the folks.



     Finally it is time to pour

   






     And the end of the day looked like this:


     The recipe is fairly simple, but it helps to do all the prep work the day before and refrigerate the ingredients in ziplock bags.
     The potful of liquid and seasonings includes:

1 Gal. +/- water
3-4 large lemons halved and squeezed (lemons go in the pot)
2-3 large white onions, sliced
1/2 cup Real Lemon juice
4T Old Bay Seasoning
1C Zatarain's Crab Boil, powder
1 bag Zatarain's Boil-n-Bag
5-6 capfuls Zatarain's concentrated liquid crab boil
8-10 bay leaves
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 can of beer (optional)

Bring the pot to a boil and add the following four ingredients as scheduled:

5 lbs red potatoes, "de-eyed" and halved if necessary
Six ears of corn, quartered...frozen "minis" work well
3-4 lbs smoked sausage or kielbasa, cut on a diagonal to bite size
5 lbs large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, EZ peel, tail on, lightly salted w/sea salt

The clock starts when the pot boils. potatoes-15 min.-sausage-5 min-corn-10 min.-shrimp-3 min. or when pink. Cover tables with butcher paper or newspaper, strain and pour/ladle ingredients directly onto the paper. When done eating, roll up the whole package and discard. Be sure to involve the whole party in the adding of ingredients.