Friday, June 28, 2013

On to Maine....

Blueberry Pond Campground
Pownal, ME
June 28-July 1, 2013

We left New Hampshire (in the rain!!) but with a twist!!
First time I have seen our rig going down the road!!
Gin rode with Dan in the truck and I rode with Syl and Pam in the motorhome.  I had always wanted to try it and when they offered, I jumped at the chance.  ;-)  The ride is way different in the motorhome!!  The ride was very smooth and the views so different from up high!  I had a blast and asked Syl a zillion questions.  Thanks so much for letting me do that!

Blueberry Pond Campground is a small family run campground and is really, really quaint.  The road into the campground is quite something....tree lined dirt road (but with plenty of room for big rigs) that could be a bit spooky!

This was another Passport America CG and with full hook-ups, was a bargain at $21 a night.  We would definitely return if we are in the area again.

The five of us piled in the car one day and headed to Freeport to do some walking around.

Hanging out at the boot at LL Bean
Walking around LL Bean, we saw this "little" guy....

Let's hope he is not the only moose we see this summer!

We had our first lobster roll at Linda Bean's Perfect Maine Lobster.  We were all in agreement that, although it was good, it wasn't what we could call perfect.  We were expecting the lobster to be warm but it was chilled.  Oh well - we will have over a month in Maine to find what we consider our perfect lobster roll!  Heck - we may even try our hand at fixing our own lobster rolls!!

Dan and I went on a scooter ride to explore the coast of southern Maine.  We headed towards Bath and then went skirting the coast.  The fog quickly rolled in and the temperature got chilly!  We meandered a bit and then found a place for a nice picnic lunch.....Fort Popham at the mouth of the Kennebec River.  The fort was used in several wars and is now a state maintained facility.
Our view at lunch
Fog rolling in 
Fort Popham

Looking out one of the windows
On the way back home, we saw a pedestrian bridge that looked neat and we turned around to check it out.

Androscoggin Swinging Bridge
The bridge was originally built in the 1800s and was most recently renovated in 2007.  It's on the National Register of Historic Places.  It spans the Kennebec River and you can definitely feel the bridge move when you cross it.

On the other side of the bridge, there was a rails-to-trail bordering the river.  We walked this for a bit taking in the scenery and the smells of the trees.  Not sure if they are Douglas Fir or Fraser Firs but the scent is amazing!

We enjoyed our time at Blueberry Pond CG but were excited to hit the road to our destination for the month of July....Bar Harbor, ME!  It is going to be a busy, busy month!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A glimpse of New Hampshire

Cozy Pond Campground
Webster, NH
June 25-28, 2013

We left rainy PA and had an uneventful ride to Webster, NH.  It was not raining when we arrived but we spent a soggy 3 days at Cozy Pond.  The highlight of our stay was 1) meeting up with Gin, Syl, and their summer hitchhiker Pam 2) seeing a moose print on one of our morning walks and 3) visiting the Anheuser Busch Brewery in Merrimack, NH!!

The grounds were beautiful!
The Clydesdales were impressive!!
Pam, Gin, Syl, and Dan
Before the tour, we were given a glass of Budweiser and off we went!  Our tour guide was great, gave us tons of information about the facility, what they produced and how much, and the Anheuser-Busch background.
Stainless steel lager tanks - each one holds 1600 barrels of beer.
Tons of bottles in the filling  and capping process!
After the tour, we were invited to try some of Anheuser-Busch products.  There were a variety of choices and we were told that we could try 2 each.  Some of the ones that we tried were Shock Top Lemon Shandy, Shock Top Raspberry Wheat, Stella Artois Cidre,  and Straw-ber-Rita.
We'll be back in New Hampshire in August and hopefully the weather will cooperate so that we can explore more!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Time is a tickin'

We are winding down our time here on the farm.  These past few weeks have flown by so quickly.

We've been busy, busy, busy!  Dan has completed his project.....

Truck without the loading ramps
With the loading ramps

With loading ramps and scooter
It took too many hours to count.  It was long days and long nights full of grinding, cutting, welding and painting.  The benefits of the lighter truck bed are many and he hopes this is the last truck bed he designs and builds!

Dan's niece, Emma, graduated from high school a few weeks ago.
Emma and her very proud parents, Tim and Ann
Colleen,  Emma, and Pauline
Ann and Tim hosted a really nice graduation party for Emma.  The weather was spectacular and the food and fellowship fantastic.

"Oh the places you'll go" Dr Seuss cake 
Nana Ann, Landon, and Great Grandma Pauline
Caden and Hunter LOVE to play golf.  
Colleen and Doug brought up their Bobcat for the afternoon.  It has seats for 3 (and can fit more in the back if you pile in!) and has 4 wheel drive.  We had such a blast riding it up the hills, down the hills, in the mud, and thru the cornfields.
Colleen goofing around with her brother!

A number of us headed down to "the Narrows" in the Bobcat.  This is a stretch of the road that the farm is on (but further down) that is definitely not for big rigs (or the faint of heart).  This portion of the road is actually closed now as it is unsafe. Many years of rain and landslides have caused quite a bit of erosion and chunks of the road are no longer there.   It's going to be closed for several years while the states fixes it and it's very nice now as there is minimal traffic.  It also makes for a great bike ride!

Dan and Emma's boyfriend Nate at the Narrows. 
The rocks are on one side of the road...I did not get a picture of the other side of the road as I was too chicken to get close to the guardrail.  The drop is steep and the Susquehanna River is at the bottom.  ;-)

We've enjoyed scooter rides to Lake Wesauking and Mt Pisgah State Park.  Mt Pisgah is part of the Endless Mountains region in PA that is also part of the Appalachian mountain range.  Both rides were very scenic and the views (although a bit hazy) were amazing.  They did have some wonderful campsites but I believe we are just a tad too big to fit!!

We've visited with friends Doug and Darlene who recently purchased a new-to-them 5th wheel.  We also celebrated Dan's Mom's birthday.

I've been berry picking and making jam, rhubarb harvesting and making sauce!  Dan's been walking the hill and polishing the rig.  We've enjoyed tons of family time including going to the Tioga Downs racetrack and watching the ostrich race!

 It was crazy fun and I'm glad we went.

 Now it's time to start packing up as we head out Tuesday morning.  We'll spend a few days moseying up to our destination for the month of July....Bar Harbor, ME.  Boy - we sure are ready for that!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The "bear" facts

After I posted this morning's blog, I went out to help Pauline weed one of her beautiful flower beds.  We were out there for about two hours when Dan came to check on us.  We chattered for a few minutes and then he started to head back to the workshop.  All of a sudden, I hear him yell "Mom".  I looked up and he yelled again "Mom - there's a bear".  I saw a bear shimmying up a tree about 50 feet away from us.

Dan said that out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement and turned to look.  At first he thought it was a big dog running (sound familiar, Syl?!).  He quickly realized it was a bear.

I think that he must have been spooked by seeing us and climbed the tree.  We watched him for a bit to see what he would do.

Hey - will you guys please leave me alone?

He looked mighty comfy!

It kind of looks like he wants to go to sleep!  He did yawn a few times. 
As Dan was taking the pictures (and I stood a bit further away with my weapon of choice - a hoe!), the bear growled a few times.  I liked this about as much as I like hearing alligators bellow!
Time to go....coming down
He eventually got tired of hanging out in the tree and shimmied back down.  As soon as he hit the ground, he took off running back towards the hill.

It sure was a neat sight!  I can't imagine what it'll be like when I see moose in a few weeks!! :-)

A few busy weeks....

Two of the questions that Dan and I get fairly often are "What do you do all day?" and "Don't you get bored?"  The answers are NO!!  We manage to fill our days quite nicely.

Right before we left NC on our trek north, we were able to spend the day with our friends Rick and Gail.  They were staying at Falls Lake so we packed up the Sea Eagle and lunch and headed over to their place for the day.  We spent an hour or so just gabbing and getting caught up and then headed down to the lake to eat lunch and launch the kayaks.  We had a delightful afternoon but I totally forgot my camera!  Click on their names above to see their blog post about our day. All too soon we had to leave but know that we will see them soon again!

On our way up to PA, we were going to take a slight detour to visit my brother and his family. He thought we were coming up for a visit and to see my niece's ballet performance...little did he know his wife had also planned a surprise 40th birthday party.  :-)

After some tricky maneuvering, Dan got the rig parked in the driveway and we were settled in for a few days of family time.

My niece and nephew....Sammie and Nick
Having fun with my sister Barbara and brother Patrick

SIL Jenny, Sammie and Patrick after Sammie's ballet performance.

Barbara and I were tasked with getting Patrick out of the house so that the house could be decorated and set up for the party.  We headed out to explore Rehoboth Beach and Lewes.  The weather had turned chilly (what a crazy Spring this has been!) but we walked the boardwalk despite the wind and cool temps.
Walking the boardwalk with Sammie and Patrick 

Sister and brother acting crazy! 
Shark attack!
Barbara and Sammie

 Lewes (prounounce Lewis) is such a cute little town with wonderful old homes and buildings.

We didn't get too spend too much time in Lewes as we had to get back to the house for the surprise party.  Lewes is a great little walking town and would love to go back and stroll the streets.

When we got back to the house and Patrick walked thru the door, everyone yelled "SURPRISE"!!  He said "for what?"  His birthday is actually in January so having the party in May threw him off!  My SIL figured that  having his party in January wasn't such a good idea since he had just gotten back from being deployed and the weather could be cranky in the winter.
Moustache fun
Jenny and Patrick
Dan and Ben (Jenny's nephew)
We had a great time in Delaware and all too soon, it was time to head further north.  We made it to the farm in PA about 2 weeks ago and have been going non-stop.

I, along with Dan's Mom and SIL Ann, went to a very moving Memorial Day parade and service.

The oldest commander in the US lives in the Valley (that's him standing up next to the chairs in the above piture).  He was in his mid 90s and I had the opportunity to talk to him a few days later.  He was handing out poppies at one of the local restaurants.

We have celebrated two birthdays!  Dan's niece Jessie and his great nephew Caden.
Caden, Hunter, and Landon
We went to see Tony Orlando in concert at Tioga Downs.  The concert was wonderful and we had a fantastic time!    No pictures though.

We are both working on our projects, too....

Anyone know what this is??!
Dan is working on building a new truck bed.  He built the original truck bed to fit the Harley and it was quite involved to load and unload the bike/scooter and it was HEAVY!  After some thought, he decided that it would be best to drop some weight and to build a simplified, lighter, truck bed.

And I don't mean simplified design...just a simpler way to load/unload the scooter.  Within 24 hours of us being back on the farm, he already had the old bed off the truck.

He has been designing, welding, chopping, measuring, fitting, and grinding 8-10 hours a day and he hopes to have it finished in the next few days..ahead of schedule.   It is amazing to me how he comes up with these designs and how intricate it is to ensure that all of the angles, measurements and "stuff" is right.

My projects are nowhere near as involved but I sure am having fun doing them!  I can't show pictures as they are gifts for my daughter, DIL and son for Christmas.

We have been having lots of family time, visiting friends, helping Dan's Mom with a few things around the farm, going to yard sales (me!), and just enjoying our time in PA.  The weather sure has been funny....warm, then hot, then cold.  I've seen flurries and temps in the 90s since we've been here.  And that was in a week's time span.  I love walking on the farm and watching the wildlife.  There are TONS of birds this Spring with robins and red winged blackbirds being the most prevalent.  Dan and I were out walking last night and the killdeer are now out and about.  We've seen cute chipmunks and not so cute woodchucks.  There have been a handful of deer but no bear yet.  I'm still holding out to see the mama bear and her three cubs that have been spotted a few times on the farm.  Although it's not the best area to ride bikes, I have managed to develop a routine path that I am able to pedal.  It means that I have to circle it several times and do loops but it's all good!

We've got a few more weeks here before we hitch and move north. Life is good!!