Sunday, June 14, 2015

Covered Bridges

Thought you might find these rare beauties as charming as I find them.  Most of the following pictures were taken during our trip to the White Mountain area of New Hampshire a couple weeks ago, although one of these was taken in Guilford, Maine a couple of years ago. 

If you'd like to see all of the pictures we took of that beautiful area, you can click this link to FB.  You'll also see all of the pictures of these bridges and the areas around them.
I love old and simple architecture, and the older I get, the more I appreciate these relics of a time long passed.  They're also a good excuse to get out for a little trip, and see some pretty areas that no one probably notices anymore.  If you do, think about what it might have been like to drive a car over one of these decades ago when most bridges were like this.  Remember to yield.

The Albany Bridge in Albany, NH.
This one in Bartlett, NH you can't drive through because it's used as a seasonal gift shop.

 Jackson, NH.
 These two of the Saco River Bridge in NH.  If you could see through the trees, you'd be able to see the Swift River Bridge.

Swift River Bridge.
The next few are of an old, and now very rare, train covered bridge in Lincoln, NH.


The next one we saw on the way home in Fryeburg, Maine, and it was two miles down a dirt road, although still being used to go who knows where.

Lastly, we went to see this one in Corinth, Maine, about 30 miles from where I live.


As you can see, this one is rare in that it's completely enclosed on the sides.  Thanks for indulging.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Bermuda 2015

Some of you may know this already but my darling Shelly was born in Bermuda, the eldest child of a young Air Force enlisted man and his wife.  She lived there in two different residences for three years but has not been back since -- until this past week.
You may also know that I work outside quite a bit and commute on crappy winter roads great distances.  I barely got through last winter without losing my mind and so we promised ourselves that not only was I going to get a break from winter, we were going to do it in Bermuda.
We had an absolutely fabulous time.  I fell in love with the place.  She was already in love with it...she just didn't know it until she got there.  You could see how strong the connection was for her.  We were able to find one of the houses she lived in.  We will be returning. 
I'm not a beach and sand, lay in the sun kinda of person but there's plenty, plenty to do there for history, culture, architecture and foodie buffs like me, plus there's a couple lighthouses, which you know we love, and the caverns.
If you haven't already, please click through the pictures and fall in love with it too.  Don't skip the video of the town crier and then one of me helping to dunk the nag.  What great fun.
Our Bermuda photos

The above link is to the Facebook photo album, which is supposed to be able to be seen by anyone, even if you don't have a Facebook account. RJ, let me know if you can't view this album and I'll post them all on here as well

Apparently the vids are not within that album. So I've uploaded them to YouTube


Having issues getting the other one posted here because I didn't take it.  I'll post this now and then post an update with the other video.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pemaquid

Our plan for yesterday was to take a "ferry" boat out to Monhegan Island, spend about five hours there, including seeing the lighthouse and having lunch.  If we couldn't get on the boat, we'd fall back to plan B, which as you'll see became plan A.
It was only Friday night when we realized the boats that go out there require reservations.  So we decided Friday night that we'd just go see the Pemaquid lighthouse and tick off three more State Parks from our passport.   We had been to Pemaquid probably close to 20 years ago, but those pictures are long lost from an old hard drive crash.
We had a very good time, except for my frustration with the traffic and the fact that we couldn't get near one of the State Parks because of a damn wedding.  So we'll make reservations to go to Monhegan Island another time and see the Colonial Pemaquid Historic site at the same time.  So far we have seen 34 out of the 48 State Parks in this passport.  We're having fun and hope you enjoy the handful of pics I took yesterday.

From inside Fort Edgecomb looking at Westport Island

Fort Edgecomb

Shelly at Pemaquid





Shelly at Damariscotta Lake State Park
As I was picking the pictures to post I saw a few I hadn't shared from previous little trips.  So here's a little bonus.  First, these next four pictures were taking in Camden a few weeks ago when I drove down there to see these exact replicas of the Nina and Pinta.  It's amazing people sailed across the Atlantic in these little boats, and the crew slept on the deck.  Whilst in Camden I had to stop at Cappy's for the best clam chowdah anywhere, washed down with an always-excellent Shipyard Ale.



Then a couple of weeks ago we drove north to a part of Maine where no one lives and the only couple of roads are owned by paper companies.  It is literally in the middle of the wilderness but there's a small State Park there.  The only pictures I bothered to take were the two below of a new friend we made along the way.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mount Kineo

In our pursuit of getting out State Park Passport book stamped at all the State Parks in Maine, yesterday we struck out for one that has been on my bucket list my whole life...Mount Kineo.  The biggest reason I'd never been there is because for all intents and purposes Mount Kineo is an island in Moosehead Lake.
In its heyday Kineo was a summer destination for the very wealthy, those who take the summer off and spend it at a New England resort.  There are a few of those remaining like Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  You can click this link to see what the Mount Kineo Hotel looked like and also so you can compare the area then to the pictures I took yesterday with the hotel gone.  (Wish I could have seen it)
So our journey began by driving an hour plus to Greenville, at the bottom of the enormous Moosehead Lake.  Arriving at lunch time we just happened upon a food truck selling authentic French crepes.  Authentic?  Yes, the lady making them had a very distinct French Canadian accent, something not so uncommon in Maine.
Then we drove another 20 minutes up along the western side of Moosehead to the tiny town of Rockwood, which sits about halfway up the lake and is where you can catch the shuttle boat over to Kineo.  These first few pics are taken from Rockwood.



It's not as difficult to get to this beautiful place as I thought.  It's 10 bucks apiece for a roundtrip ticket to the island, about 10 minutes each way.   Yes, after a 15 minute walk to the bottom of the trailhead up the mountain, up indeed we did go.  I am so proud of Shelly because she did climb this sucker with me.  The following pictures are taken by yours truly at various vantage points along the rim looking back onto the spit of land where the hotel once stood and now has some very nice private summer residences and a little golf course.
Looking back at Rockwood






I can't believe I almost forgot to mention that we saw many Peregrine falcons soaring along these cliffs.  Once I saw seven of them together.  The last couple of photos were taken from spots where I was able to look down on the falcons flying.  Alas, I could never get them on film.
The last picture from yesterday is taken from the deck of the clubhouse while having a well-deserved beer.

As a bonus for you, if you'd like more, go below the fold and see a few pictures we took last weekend at Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde.  You may recognize this lighthouse if you've ever seen a little-known movie called Forest Gump.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Downeast

If you've been following my travelogues, you know that what has precipitated some of these trips around Maine is that we (Shelly and I) picked up a State Park Passport, a little booklet that has the State Parks divided by regions of the State with a place to get each park stamped when you visit.  You may also know that Shelly loves lighthouses...in fact, has a tattoo on her foot of the West Quoddy Light, even though she'd never seen it in person.
Well, there are five State Parks in what is referred to as Downeast Maine.  So we decided to make a weekend of collecting those five and visit some lighthouses and Campobello (you've heard of Campobello, right?)  So we packed our real passports, made reservations at a B&B in Lubec for Saturday night and headed out.
I'll start at the end first:  On the way home Sunday we had planned on visiting the last two State Parks near Machias and taking a quick detour to Prospect Harbor and Winter Harbor to see another lighthouse.  Well, there's also a lighthouse on a little island just offshore in Cutler.  So I decided to take the scenic route to Machias via Cutler to see if we might be able to see that lighthouse from the shore.  Unfortunately, I ran over something that cut a tire, which cut the rest of our weekend off right there.  So we'll have to go back down there again.  No bigs since Shel would like to go whale watching anyway.
So I'm just going to write a quick outline of our tour and post a shitload of pictures in the order they were taken.  Our first stop was at Cobscook State Park in Dennysville on the western shore of Cobscook Bay.  Nice spot for camping and I took a couple pictures there...nothing too spectacular.  Then on to Shackford Head State Park in Eastport.  We hiked a half mile to the head and took a few pictures with a nice shot of Lubec across the bay.  Eastport and Lubec are about three miles apart as the crow flies across the bay but 35 miles apart by car.  I took a few pictures in Eastport and we had lunch at The Happy Crab...the best lobster rolls ever.
Then back around the loop through Dennysville to get to Lubec and cross the international bridge onto Campobello Island, New Brunswick.  There's a lighthouse, Mulholland Light, just on the other side of the bridge where you can look back at the village of Lubec across the channel.  There's also a little lighthouse right in the channel, the Lubec Channel Light aka The Sparkplug.  It's a caisson style lighthouse and you'll see a couple of distant pictures of it.
We hustled to the other end of the island because to get to see East Quoddy Headlight aka East Harbour Light, you need to go at low tide because at high tide it sits on an island and you can't walk to it.  This is the Bay of Fundy, where tides change by 20 feet.  You'll see from the pictures what an excursion it was to get to what is arguably the prettiest lighthouse you'll ever see.  You'll see pictures not only of the lighthouse but also of all the ladders, staircases, bridge and rocks you have to navigate.  Every picture of a staircase is a different staircase.
Then we headed back toward Lubec, stopping for a tour of FDR's family summer "cottage."  Lots of history there and well worth a trip.  We then checked into our B&B and went to the village to find some grub. 
The next morning we went to West Quoddy Lighthouse and walked a trail along the cliff shore.  You'll get a good perspective of the rocky coast of Maine and you can see the Island of Grand Manan, NB in the background.  (Maybe another trip?)  You already know what happened after that.  I hope you enjoy these pictures.  Make sure you click into them to really appreciate how beautiful this area at the easternmost area of the United States really is.
You'll have to click the following page break to get to the pictures.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I hope you like lighthouses

I hope you like lighthouses because this post will be pictures of lighthouses that we visited last year, and also because we're going on a little road trip next weekend to the easternmost points in the US and crossing over into Canada to see Campobello.  But you'll have to wait for that until next weekend.



I threw one in of the ferry that took us from Lincolnville on a 15 minute ride to the island of Isleboro, where the first thing you see upon arrival is the above lighthouse.
This is an island that's in the mouth of Penobscot Bay and apparently where John Travolta has a house.
This is Brown's Head Light on the Island of Vinalhaven.  It's owned by the town and is the residence for the Town Manager.  That land you see in the background is the island of North Haven.  Some day I'll take the ferry there.



These four pictures are of the Bass Harbor Light on the southern tip of Mount Desert Island, where Acadia National Park sits.  Shel and I were there last spring, I think.



Click on the picture of look between the trees.
These are of the lighthouse at Owl's Head near Rockland or taken from inside the lighthouse looking, one, back toward Rockland and, two, out towards Vinalhaven.
Taken of the Rockland Breakwater Light from the ferry on my way out to Vinalhaven.  You could also walk the breakwater to get to this.
And these last few are taken of the Fort Point Light and bell tower in Stockton Springs last summer, with a Shelly cameo, of course.

Oops, and a Zeb finger cameo