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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Vignettes

     The following narration covers a few days from Saturday afternoon to Wednesday morning. There are no great adventures, just a pleasant sequence of day to day events. We'll start with a lobster boil on Saturday.



     That's Dick Roth, of course, tending to the three pots of lobsters (and a few steamed clams). We had a few extra lobsters. I took an extra and Durelle and I each had a nice lobster roll for supper on Sunday. Dick decided to eat one of the extras on the spot. Here's Dick finishing his second lobster while folks are cleaning the tables around him.



     On Monday evening we had our regular Happy Hour. There are a dozen or so folks with a fairly regular rotation of new blood to freshen up the conversations.




     On Tuesday eight of us made the two hour drive to Brunswick to pay a visit to George Peck. The nine of us then drove down the length of Harpswell Neck to have lunch at the Dolphin, a seasonal restaurant with a long tradition of excellent fresh seafood. The fish pieces in the fish chowder were almost large enough to warrant a knife and fork. I had the "Seafood fra Diavlo". Outstanding, and the warm blueberry muffins made a nice side.  Here's a shot of the table with George at the head.



     Wednesday morning we learned that the great white hunter, Richard Ray, had captured the guinea fowl that had worn out his welcome. He stuffed him in a cardboard box until the appropriate authorities came to get him. A local farmer who keeps a flock of chickens and some guinea hens was happy to add him to his flock.



     The visiting granddaughters of Steve and Pam got a chance to pet the bird.



     Later in the morning, to conclude this ramble, Dick and Eleanor teamed up to repair the broken accordion style window shade for the small front window of our left front slide out. These shades, which seem to be common to many motor homes, are notorious for broken strings. Replacing the string is an intricate process involving several tools, several hands, and a lot of patience. It's one of those jobs you don't want to do for the first time...start with the second time. Then, after the shade is repaired, it must be reinstalled in the valance and the tensioning adjusted. Here's Eleanor hard at work.



     Now, if that hasn't been an eclectic assortment of images, you'll never see one.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Familiar Day Trip

     Recently a business associate, Marilee Meyer and her husband, spent a week in Camden, ME. He was visiting the well-known, to woodworkers anyway, Lie-Nielsen Tool works in Warren.  We picked them up one morning and spent the day touring. We hit a lot of our favorite spots along the mid coast of Maine. I didn't take a lot of pictures because I've taken them before. Nonetheless, I had to take a few. One of the stops south of Camden is a farm that raises belted Galloway cattle. They are also called the "Oreo cows". I couldn't resist a shot of a scampering calf.



     They certainly enjoy a lush pasture. After a few more stops for photo-ops, including a visit to Andre the seal in Rockport, we ended up on the deck at Shaw's in New Harbor for lunch. Our table included an assortment of lobster rolls, fried clams, clam chowder and a hamburger!. I always like to point out that this is a working harbor for lobstermen (and women). There is no array of moored sailboats with their bobbing masts, just lobster boats pointed at their moorings.



     Also in New Harbor I showed them the Rachel Carson salt pond. Since it was high tide, we had to use a little imagination to see it. While there I captured a nice shot of Long Cove Point.



     From New Harbor it is only a couple of miles to Pemaquid Point and its iconic lighthouse. 



     Looking out to sea toward Monhegan Island there are always a bunch of sailboats. Note that these three are using the same wind to sail in three orthogonal directions.  The one in the center is heading straight at the camera.



     One happy sailor was enjoying a run straight downwind.



     On a totally different note, I have a shot of our resident guinea rooster. He often roosts on the arm of a neighbor's awning. Richard Ray took this shot of his awning.



     He was cute for a while, but he has outlived his welcome by the emanations from both ends of his alimentary canal.
     

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One of our better Happy Hours




     At the initiative of Richard Ray a group of us decided to grill some steaks for Happy Hour. There also were baked potatoes, some wonderful corn, and both green and macaroni salads. Dessert was blueberry pie and ice cream. You can see Mr.Motley and his crew in the photo below courtesy of Eleanor Roth.


     After cleaning up from the meal, we circled the chairs into our more usual format for Happy Hour.


     During the multi-variegated conversations a sailboat with black sails and a Canadian (I think) flag sailed into the Belfast harbor.


     As the sun set yet deeper in the sou'west, an almost full moon appeared.


     Everyone seemed to agree that it was, indeed, one of the best Happy Hours ever.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Flag

     Over the last 24 months Jeff Nester, the owner of the Moorings, has poured a bunch of capital into major improvements to the campground...all sites have sewer service...they all have 50Amps...the wifi is ample and dependable...the sites have been realigned and terraced. Now that the crucial infrastructure issues have been attended to, he is now dealing with some of the amenities. Today we all commissioned a new flagpole.



     We gathered at the top of the hill for breakfast pizzas and then assembled at the flagpole to raise the flag. Someone had the appropriate music on their smart phone with an external speaker.



     It wasn't the Marine Corps Drill Team, but we managed to pay the proper respects.



The second flag contains the seals of the five services. There is a fairly large contingent of former military folks here, including our campground general manager. We all appreciate the investment Jeff made in the pole and its accessories. It's a fitting addition to the campground.



Monday, July 31, 2017

Frogmore Stew

     One of the serendipitous events in American history was the discovery the the pot and propane burner needed to cook up a pot of lobsters is exactly the same as is needed to make a Frogmore Stew. So, during the down-time between cooking lobsters, it seemed appropriate to round up the ingredients for Frogmore Stew. For the uninitiated, a Frogmore stew or Low-Country Boil if you prefer, is a single pot dish containing shrimp, sausage, corn, red potatoes, onions, lemons and an assortment of Zatarain Cajun spices and Old Bay seasoning. One of the two pots also got a tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper. The pots were labeled "Regular" and "Decaf". Once the seasoned water has come to a boil, the various ingredients go in the pot at various times...potatoes first and shrimp last. It becomes a community endeavor as the vegetable prep gets farmed out to different folks and everyone gets to add ingredients to the pot at the proper time.
     Here's Dick Roth and Liz Flood adding potatoes.



     This is Bernie Dunn and Lucy Lesage adding Sausage.



     And a good time was had by all.



       You'll note that the tables are covered with butcher paper. The stew is ladled out directly onto the tables and eaten with the fingers.

     After the cleanup, the southern sky and sea offered a wonderful pastel array of colors. Here's a few:






     The world can offer a wide assortment of exotic venues, but for me it doesn't get any better than this. And the company doesn't hurt either.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Old Friends, New Friends, and Good Food

     A few days ago we had one of our aperiodic rendezvous' with Jurgen and Susan Gobien. Forty years ago he and I had each other's back in some serious techno-political battles involving the future of tactical voice communications. We had a nice meal and visit at the Nautilus restaurant at the mouth of  the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast. Don't try to pronounce that without adult supervision.


     Service was slow, but since the visit was more important than the meal, it didn't really matter.

     The new friend referenced in the title is shown below.



     It's a Guinea hen that apparently is finding plenty of nutrition wandering around the campground. She has a loud, raucous squawk and did not get the memo about quiet hours.

     And, speaking of old friends, on Thursday we went with Bernie and Ann Dunn to one of our favorite restaurants, the Whale's Tooth, down Route 1 in Lincolnville. 



It's a restaurant/pub that, in addition to the requisite seafood options, can pull a nice pint of Guinness and bake a great Shepherd's Pie. Ann and I both love their homemade tomato soup with roasted tomatoes and basil.


      On the table you'll see two Shepherd's Pies, Bernie's ribs, Durelle's martini and the clinging remains of the creamy head on my Black and Tan. Out of sight is my beef stroganoff.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Old cars and New Bones

     For several days the campground has hosted a few of the members of an antique automobile club. As might be expected of folks with extra discretionary income, they were driving some big rigs. Those rigs, when combined with the 25-30 foot trailers necessary to haul the cars, made for some exciting, spectator drawing, maneuvering as they made their way into and out of this relatively quaint Maine campground.


     Note the three pedals on the old Ford.


     Friday offers a farmers' market.


     I restrained myself: a loaf of whole grain (local grain) sourdough bread, chevre and some cukes. Lunch was cucumber sandwiches with fresh baked sourdough.
     Later, as Durelle was dog walking and visiting the Kenneways, Mocha decided to swipe not one, but two of another dog's bones.


     Durelle, the spoilsport, made her take them back.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wiscasset

     Durelle has a 94 year old dear friend, Estelle Anderson who, with her daughter Karen, spends the summer in a camping trailer in Wells, ME. She's the lady who carried infant Durelle across the threshold when she came home from the hospital. She also baked our wedding cake AND a replica for our 50th anniversary! Since Wiscasset is almost exactly halfway between Wells and Belfast, we have traditionally met for lunch there. The restaurant of choice had always been Le Garage, but it closed after forty years as the owners have yet to find a buyer. We would be travelling with the Roths and we jointly settled on the Montsweag Roadhouse as an alternative.




     I had some local oysters on the half shell that had been delivered just before we got there. They were the sweetest, briniest oysters I have had in a long time. Among us we also had Reubens, hadddock sandwiches and extra skinny onion rings.
     On the way back we avoided the congestion of Camden by leaving route 1 in Waldoboro, taking 235 to Union, 131 to Searsmont and route 3 and thus back to Belfast. Along 131 is an iconic photo op of a red barn and green fields. I sent a copy of the picture to Jackie Fare, my favorite blog-stalker, who tweaked it and sent it back. Below is her version of the picture.

   
     I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I do. And, yes, we did get back in time for happy hour. Thanks to Joe and Rich for dog sitting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Foggy Day

     After a string of sunny, or at least partly cloudy days, today began with a fog bank that prevented us from even seeing the water. If the humidity is near 100%, cooling that air mass by either nighttime cooling or by ocean temperatures or both will bring fog. By mid-afternoon the sun had "burned off" the fog over the land, but it is still persisting over the water. While that circumstance swamps out almost all photo-ops, an industrious spider provided one.





     Sometime; we had not noticed the web before; a spider strung a line from the corner of our window canopy to the driver's side mirror. From that line he dropped a couple more lines and strung a web in between. The heavy fog and humidity caused hundreds of tiny droplets to form on the web. The breeze did a bit of damage to the heavily laden web, but it still made an interesting display out the driver's side window.
     OK, OK...not every blog can be a journalistic gem or photographer's masterpiece.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The quiet life on the Maine coast

     Today was a COOL day on the mid-coast of Maine. The high was 67 and there was a cool sea breeze all day. We had decided rather impulsively last night to go out to breakfast (thanks, Dick Roth) this morning. Bowen's Tavern is an unlikely looking place on one of the back roads that radiate inward from the coast. On your first impression drive-by it looks like a biker bar. It's not.



     Since there were eight of us, they set us up in a back room. No, it did not have anything to do with the fact that we were a rowdy bunch.



     I had steak and eggs; two had blueberry pancakes, and Ann had a crabmeat omelet! The portions were large...we'll split some warmed up pancakes for supper.
     When we got back, it was a lazy day. It was too cool to sit outside. Even happy hour was curtailed. I did take some nice pictures through the windshield, however.







     Mocha has made herself at home.


     We are all enjoying and appreciating every minute. We hope you are also.