August 23, 2019

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

When we left our campground in Biddeford, Maine we had planned a stop at Planet Fitness gym in Bangor, Maine.  Lucky for us the parking lot was big enough to accommodate our ginormous truck and trailer combo :-)  Having a gym with nationwide locations allows us to workout and keep fit.  Sometimes it just feels good to get on a cardio machine and lift weights for an hour or two.   

We arrived at Timberland RV Park after the office had closed for the day.  No worries, they left our site number on their front door.  What I found weird was that even though I had made a four day reservation, they had us leaving in two.  I wonder why??  The site was very nice.  Long pull through with good spacing between neighbors, 50 amps and full hook ups.  Forgot to get a picture though.

After a good nights rest I went to the office to see why we had a shortened stay.  I left in a bad mood after speaking with the office people.  They had us moving to a different site in two days (tomorrow actually).  REALLY!!  That kind of stinks because we could be spending our day having fun and instead we're forced to pack up and move.  Maybe it's different for motor home moves but for us it takes a lot of work to hitch up, more so because of the Equalizer WD hitch.  So we called around and all of the local campgrounds were booked.  It was July 4th week after all...  Guess we'll make the best of it and see what's in town.

Bar Harbor is a cute little town full of retail stores, bars, restaurants and plenty to see as well.  We lucked out and got a street parking spot at the north end of town.  We put our quarters in the machine and off we went.  Rufus was more interested in all of the smells but we had an agenda.  We wanted to get each of the boys something to wear that said Maine on it.  We looked in all of the shops and remembered where we spotted the best deals.  Then we went back and made our purchases.  Again, no photos.  I really need to get better at that sometimes.

the one on the far left is named "Beth Said Yes!"

Now this is the place for Rufus.  The smells on the grassy area by the pier at the end of town were perfect for his nose.  We put our packages into the truck and headed to get something sweet to eat.

Rufus enjoys his vanilla ice cream :-)
On our way to Bar Harbor (for the second time as we found out the t-shirts we bought were too small for the grand-babies) we stopped in a small store across from the campground.  It's called Maine's Own Treats.  We bought a couple of jellies, some chocolate covered blueberries, honey and maple syrup.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was all so tasty.  We had to visit a second time so we could buy a larger jar of their strawberry/rhubarb jam.  The 30 ounce jar we bought in early July is already half empty so I may just have to place an online order myself. 

it doesn't look fancy on the outside
but the inside is full of delicious goodies

shelf after shelf of goodies
You can find a limited selection of these same treats in some of the Bar Harbor gift shops.  I even saw a few of their jellies at the gift shop at the top of Cadillac Mountain inside Acadia National Park.  Trust me though, stop by the store for a huge selection and lower prices.  Win Win!  Their inventory isn't limited to food either.  They also sell knick-knacks, magnets, house hold items and handmade gift ideas. Plus, the store personnel are super friendly :-)

Had I known that the Acadia National Park pass was good for seven days I would have bought it sooner.  We could've had more days in the park.  Their website says to plan on 3 or 4 days inside the park.  Oh well, that just means we'll have to visit again :-)  We went there on our last full day in the area.  We started at Cadillac Mountain.  On our way to the top we kept spotting what looked like a cruise ship in the harbor.  There was never a big enough spot to pull over and double check.
view from the top shows what appears to be a cruise ship in the harbor
yep, definitely a cruise ship (zoomed in extra far)
We visited the Park on July 3rd.  We expected it to be super busy.  It really wasn't that bad :-)  We found a parking spot at the top of the mountain quite easily and explored the area for about an hour or so.   The views were incredible and hard to put into words.  You simply have to be there in person!

the fog rolling across the tops of the smaller islands is almost angelic
After we were done exploring the mountain top and visiting the gift shop we headed down the mountain to continue driving the Loop Road.

We stopped at Thunder Hole.  Unfortunately it was low tide so it wasn't really thundering :-(  We watched the tide coming and going and imagined just how loud it could be at high tide.  Oh well, maybe it'll be thundering next time we visit.

We continued driving and came upon a parking lot with a trail leading down to a rocky shore.  There was a large cave that we wanted to get a closer look at.  We both enjoy scrambling along the rocks.  Ron was a bit braver though and got a photo of the cave entrance.

Without a good way to go inside the cave, we had to settle for a photo.  Even Rufus likes to scramble on the rocks.

This same parking area is also a good viewing point for Egg Rock.
I'm sure the rookeries thrive because it's inaccessible to humans.

Our day was coming to a close.  It's time to say see-ya-later to Maine, for now.  We all enjoyed our stay in the area and we're definitely looking forward to returning.  Next time, we'll be sure to visit more of the beautiful Acadia National Park and it's neighboring cities and harbors.

August 3, 2019

We Finally Made It To Maine!

After our work was done in North Carolina we said our see-ya-laters to Ron's folks and headed towards the DC area.  Yep, Emmett was patiently waiting to see us :-)  We planned a quick 3 night stop on our way to Maine.  We knew we'd be seeing Emmett on the way back west so I was okay with this quick visit.

Saturday morning Emmett and his folks came over to our place at Cherry Hill RV Park to play in the water.  What fun!  Emmett would rather play with his water bottle but we all had smiles on our faces :-)

I think I was the most excited one at the splash pads!  I was really looking forward to it and even put on my bathing suit first thing in the morning :-) LOL

Sunday we went over to Mike and Jessica's apartment.  Jessica was out with friends for the first hour so we took Emmett across the street to the playground.  He sure enjoys slides with Dad and sticks of all sizes.   He's becoming more independent and he's developing such a cute personality!  My heart melts when he doesn't hesitate whenever I ask for a hug :-))

The next morning we hitched up Raven and steered North East to states yet undiscovered by both Ron and myself.  How exciting!  After two more one night stops we made it to Homestead by the River in Biddeford, Maine.  A smaller park but it's perfect for our nearby work in Standish.  We added an extra night here so we could explore the area.  Maybe we'd get to see something beautiful while out and about!

Another successful repair under our belts!
Our customer came by when we were on site and told us about Sebago Lake, the second largest lake in the state of Maine.  It was literally right down the street from the school.  When our repairs were complete, we took the 15 minute drive.  What an impressive area!

we are at the furthest southern tip of the lake

WOW!  That was the first word out of our mouths.  We felt so small when we saw the lake map on the marque board.

Sebago Lake is used as a fresh water source for the city of Portland and bodily contact is prohibited in this particular area so no wading allowed.  That's okay, we still got to explore a length of abandoned railroad track.


The tracks took us a short ways away to a small fishing dock.  The water was so clear and calm.  If we had a kayak, this would be a good launching point. According to Wikipedia, Sebago Lake has a shoreline of 105 miles.  A power boat would be perfect to get to some of the farther away remote areas.

The following morning was our play day :-)  I studied the informational pamphlets that the campground owner shared with us and decided on a plan of attack.  First up was a life size Chocolate Mousse Moose.

Housed at Len Libby Chocolatier is Lenny, the worlds only life sized chocolate moose.  It's quite a sight.  Lenny is displayed in a diorama depicting a Maine cabin with a lake backdrop.  Along with Lenny are his three chocolate bear friends, Libby, Cocoa and Chips.

Ron and I bought some tasty treats for ourselves.  Ron also bought himself a new coffee mug which he's been using every morning :-)

Next up was Fort Williams Park located in the coastal town of Cape Elizabeth.  Gorgeous!  The weather was perfect for flying a kite and a few families were out doing just that on the large grassy fields surrounding the 90-acre park.

our first view of the most photographed lighthouse in America
The Portland Head Light is the focal point but there is so much more to this park.  We could've easily spent more time here!  We ventured to the off leash dog area and found a building that was an artillery in a previous life.  The old abandoned bunkers were gated but we could still view some of the interior spaces.  We took a long walk along the shoreline and found other equally impressive views of the iconic lighthouse. 

getting a goofy shot of Ron :-)
while he gets a goofy shot of me :-)
As much as we enjoyed the lighthouse and the off leash dog area, we still had one more stop to make before leaving this part of Maine.  LL Bean has it's flag ship store just a little further north.

front of the main store

We both wear our LL Bean fleece lined jeans during the winter months and we wanted to see the campus where it all started.  It's actually a group of stores, each specializing in something.  There's the main store which sells clothing, fishing and hunting gear, camping gear and pet items.  They even have an indoor archery range.   We enjoyed perusing through everything but our only purchase was a pair of sunglasses.  

there's quite an interesting story behind these two moose

Across the way is the bike, boat & ski store which sells biking clothes, bikes (of course), and similarly related items.  We didn't see ski apparel so I assume the selection changes with the seasons.  There's a home store that we didn't visit.  The discovery park in the center of the campus was showing a family movie while we were there.  People had brought their lawn chairs and were enjoying the movie.  How cool is that?!  Yes, leashed and well mannered pets can come into each of the stores.   

Our final stop for the day was Jameson Tavern.  According to their website, the tavern was built in 1779.  It was originally a home, then a tavern, then an inn, then back to various family homes before being purchased in 1981 by the current owners.  It is also said to be haunted.  Thankfully, neither Ron nor I had a ghostly encounter! 

Rufus was welcomed to sit with us.  Lucky for us the wind had died down and the patio seating out front was perfect.  We aren't lovers of lobster (oh well, more for you) so we each had a burger and french fries.  Ron enjoyed his locally crafted Shipyard Lager on tap.  We left stuffed and Rufus also enjoyed his taste of the burgers :-)

By the time we got home it was nearly bedtime.  Tomorrow we'll be heading to another bucket list place for us: Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park!  Next posting I'll share photos of that portion of our Maine exploration.

As always, click on the photos to see a larger view.

June 9, 2019

Back To It

Going on a never-ending road trip is our ultimate goal.  Yes, there will be work involved.  Yes, there will be weather to deal with.  Yes, there will be life to accomplish.  But the sacrifices far outweigh the end result!

Before we left Sacramento Ron wanted to do a little maintenance on Raven.  One thing we hadn't done yet was replace the anode rod in the water heater.  We've had Raven about a year and a half and the original anode rod was still in operation.  I've heard from friends that they should be replaced yearly.

Although there's still a good portion of material left, we felt it was due for replacement.  We ordered one from Amazon making it super easy-no need to visit various stores trying to find one...  All that needed to be done was apply some Teflon tape to the threads and screw it back into the hole.

When we left Raven last December to go to Oklahoma, we had taken out the rod to drain the water heater.  It made a big mess on the cover panel and spilled all over the side of Raven and our electrical plug, which is located just below the water heater.  Ron's solution this time: make a simple aluminum foil spillway.  He also placed the foil in the base of the cavity.  Cleanup was super simple!

Once our fabrication jobs were complete and delivered we were on our way back to North Carolina, and now Maine, for work.  But first we had a couple of jobs in California.  We stayed at Betabel RV Park for the second time.  Our job site was a little north of there within an easy half hour drive.  With no time for sight seeing, we quickly finished our work and headed a little south to Fresno.

what a gorgeous spot!
Fresno required a two night stay at Riverbend RV Park.  We'll definitely be back to this nice park.  It boasts full hook-ups, a creek along the border, laundry, playground for the littles, and plenty of room at our site!  Rufus sure enjoyed the park like setting here too :-)

Dodging raindrops and storms was a huge concern as we made our way east.  We had a light dusting of snow early one morning in Seligman, Arizona.  Good thing we had already decided to spend an extra night here.  A no frills park was good for our rest day after spending single nights at a couple of places.  Those single night stays are always hectic...

A few more single night stays are in the plans until we made it to Oklahoma City.  We were thrilled to make it work out to see Alex, Kana and our grandson, Benji :-)) We had thought that Alex would be getting deployed.  Lucky for all of us, this didn't happen.  Our time with them went quickly.  We plan to stop by on our way back to California later this summer so we'll get another chance for a longer visit.

Oma's turn :-)

Opa's turn :-)
Twin Fountains RV Resort in Oklahoma City is the closest place for us to make a home base while visiting with Alex.  We're looking forward to when Benji is a bit older so he can enjoy the fun things for kiddos that are offered there.  The pool and playground look so inviting.  Don't worry, there's a pool for us big kids too.  And we don't even have to get wet...  LOL

he won both games :-)
Rufus was probably feeling a little neglected so we had to make him happy too.  We decided to visit Will Rogers Gardens.  Not knowing exactly what to expect, we were thrilled when we exited the truck.  We arrived later in the day so there weren't too many people.  Rufus was so happy to run free!

 We walked past fountains.

We walked past the Iris Garden.

And we walked past flowers, waterfalls and interesting architecture.

We arrived at our first work destination in North Carolina on Tuesday after three more single night stays.  Towing is definitely not the quickest way to get across the states!  I've done OKC to Sacramento in three days a couple of times.  Definitely not while towing though!! 

Our spot at Oak Hollow Family Campground is nestled among the trees and on an incline.  Large enough incline to put all of our plastic blocks to use under the tongue and front stabilizers.  There is an all gravel section that are more level but what fun is that?!  This will be our home for two weeks while we make repairs to several slides at various schools in the area.  Unfortunately, we have to deal with rain and high humidity for a few days slowing our progress.

In the meantime, Rufus is enjoying his walks to the nearby marina and all the grassy areas in the campground.  We aren't fishermen, but those who are will also enjoy this campground.

So while it's rainy outside, I've had a chance to catch up on some blog reading, blog writing, visiting with Ron's folks, washing some laundry and cleaning the house. 

Life happens even if you live it on the road!