A Quick Trip to Massachusetts

Can you believe it? I met up with yet another Facebook friend!

Corrine is a fellow Buffalonian and we met up via a mutual friend, Mary Ellen, who I will be visiting in a few states.

We made arrangements to meet up at a supermarket parking lot near Andover, Massachusetts. Corrine graciously offered to drive me around and show me some of the sights.

First stop was Shawsheen Luncheonette. It is a small place and really popular. We had to wait a bit, but not all that long.


I really liked the frieze of quotes and dinner ware that was part of the decor.


We studied the menu and made our selections. We chatted while we waited for our orders to be brought out.


It was worth the wait. Lunch was delicious!

We drove around and Corrine showed me various sites. Our goal was the Phillips Academy and


It was quite an impressive gallery, especially considering that it is basically part of a high school – an elite high school, to be sure, but a high school none-the-less.

We wanted to see an Ansel Adams exhibit of photos taken at Manzanar War Relocation Camp where American citizens of Japanese origin were interred during the second World War. I was particularly interested in seeing the exhibit because I visited the Manzanar National Historic Site when I was in California in 2015. It was an interesting exhibit.


They also had several other galleries. I wasn’t sure if photography was allowed, so I surreptitiously snapped this shot. Yep, it is a really nice gallery. I like how they welcome the public.

My HistoryHERE app pinged and said that Harriet Beecher Stowe’s grave was just down the street. We went to check it out.


And there is is!


This was an old cemetery. I thought these headstones made an interesting photo.


Corrine took me to see a house that was a stop on the Underground Railroad. She used to housesit there and was friends with people who used to own it. With these old houses its so interesting to see how they must have been added on to over the years.

Corrine lead me on a short walk on a public path behind the house. I saw something I’ve long wanted to see – a beaver dam!


The water level is really low due to the severe drought that they have experienced in New England this summer.


I didn’t see evidence of a beaver lodge, but I did see a branch with pronounced teeth marks.


We drove into Lowell, which had been a textile producing center from about 1820 until 1920. The clock tower let the workers know when it was time to go to work and when it was time to leave.

We stopped at an Italian bakery to pick up some treats and then stopped at McDonalds for a drink.

Then we headed back to Bart so I could return to the campground. We asked a store worker collecting shopping carts to snap this photo.


It was great to meet a friend in real life for the first time!


And Some More Maine

It is hard to believe, but I had to head back to Maine. It was time to get my air conditioner replaced. The plan was that they would have all the parts in and they would get it done. In one day and out the next.


They had some parts, but they didn’t have all the parts. Even more annoying was that the unit that was on my Airstream is no longer made, and they needed a kit to adapt the air conditioner to work on Flo. Three things about this are annoying.

  1. They were in charge of ordering the parts they needed to do the job.
  2. The parts they didn’t order took almost a week to get there.
  3. The parts that were required were not covered by the rather expensive warrantee I purchased.

I learned the difference between a warrantee and a guarantee. I thought I was buying a policy that guaranteed the functionality of the equipment that was covered.

Nope. A warrantee only covers the parts and labor for said parts. And if the covered parts need extra parts to make them work? Nope. Not covered. To do it again, I think I would just bank the money that I spent on the warrantee and pay for things as I needed them.

The kit was mighty expensive, too.

Anyway, I told them that I was just staying put until the work was completed. I camped in their “scenic” back lot…


I guess things could have been worse. I mean, the work eventually got done, and at least I didn’t have to pay for the privilege of camping in an area I didn’t want to be.

I did meet up with a Facebook friend, which will be in the next post.

I also took a run down to Kennebunkport to see if I could spot 41 or 43.


The American flag was flying, but I don’t know if any of the Bushes were home to visitors. Since the weren’t expecting me, I didn’t knock.


I stopped a couple of times to look at the ocean, when I could pull over. The weather was so vile that there were not a lot of people competing for the parking spots.


“NOT ART” Who is to say?


The birds didn’t seem to mind the drizzly weather.


And the rose hips were bright and beautiful.

I did a little bit of this and that and visited Corrine and eventually the parts came in and they installed the air conditioner…


And I got to leave!

Concord, New Hampshire

One thing that was on my “to-do” list while I was in New Hampshire was to make a stop at Camping World. I wanted to use the gift certificates I got for sitting through the sales pitch for the camping club when I was in Branson. There was one near Concord, which also happens to be the state capitol.

Sounds like a field trip to me!


I strolled the aisles and picked up some things I needed and a few things I wanted. I also had to laugh at some of the things I saw for sale. For example, this cookbook:


Since I was wearing some of the new clothes that I bought the other day, I had the cashier snap a photo. I love end of season sales!


It’s not often that I have new clothes to show off. I managed to use up my $100 gift certificate and only go about $0.98 over. Good for me!

I drove the few miles from the store to the statehouse and found a parking spot. I meandered over to the statehouse and spotted one of the perks of winning an election. Parking!


I noticed that the governor gets two spaces.


A black walnut tree was also growing by the back of the state house. According to the plaque next to it, it came from Mount Vernon. It was planted in April 1931 by the Boy Scouts of the Daniel Webster Council.


They are also proud of their roll in the presidential primaries.


Speaking of points of pride, there is Daniel Webster. Born at Salisbury, New Hampshire January 18, 1782. He died at Marshfield, Massachusetts October 24, 1852.


Oh, and the statue was presented by Benjamin Pierce Cheney to the State of New Hampshire January 18, 1886. I guess ol’ B.J. Cheney memorialized himself too.


John P. Hale was a New Hampshire senator from 1847 to 1853 and again from 1855 to 1865, He was one of the first senators to make a stand against slavery. Republican? Democrat? Whig? Nope! He was a leading member of the Free Soil Party and was its presidential nominee in 1852.


They are also proud of native son Franklin Pierce, who was the 14th President of the United States from 1853 – 1857. He was a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to the unity of the nation. He signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act and enforced the Fugitive Slave Act, hoping that those measures would help hold the union together. It didn’t help.


Another native son of New Hampshire memorialized at the statehouse is Major General John Stark, born August 28, 1728 and dies May 8, 1822. He served as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian War and was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He was known as the “Hero of Bennington” for his exemplary performance at the Battle of Bennington in 1977. The state of New Hampshire erected the statue in 1890.

I wonder if they will ever get around to memorializing any of their native daughters?

Speaking of the American Revolution, there is also a copy of the liberty bell on the campus.


This bell was one of fifty-three given to the United States by France in 1950. The dimensions and tone are the same as the original liberty bell. It toured the state in 1950 as part of a Savings Bond Independence Drive.


There is a splendid gate that frames the entrance to the statehouse. Just in front of the gate is a time capsule.


I wonder what they decided to include? I’d like to say I’d come back in 2065 and check, but I don’t think I’ll make it. I’d be 110 by then.

By then, I had seen about all I had time to see. I headed back to Bart to return to the campground, and then I saw these interesting forms:


What interesting bike racks!

I arrived back at the campground in time for a lovely sunset.


What a great send off for New Hampshire. In the morning, on to Massachusetts!






What’s New, Hampshire?

I rolled into Great Bay Campground with an hour or so to go before sunset. It was a little tricky to find because it was down a small road next to a gas station. I passed it by on the first try, but kept on going until I found a parking lot I could turn around in.

I made it back and found the driveway. I bounced my way in, wondering what I had gotten myself into. But, my fears were allayed when I got to the end of the road and found the campground. It was actually quite nice and I got a pull-through full hook up site with a view of the waterview-from-the-campsiteAnd then, looking back at Flo and Bart in the campsite.


I had a visitor while I was at Great Bay Campground. And old friend from The Dictionary Forum, Konstantin, drove over from Massachusetts to see me.

He was most eager to see Flo and he ooh’ed and ahh’ed over her. He took the best photo of me with Flo and Bart.

He also managed to grab a shot of me with Cora in my arms.


Photo shoot completed, we went out to lunch. After our meal, we had the server take a shot of us.


And here we are together.

The last few days has been an embarrassment of riches in term of meeting up with people! I made arrangements to meet up with another Facebook friend in Portsmouth.

I got there a little early, and set out to see what I could see. I wandered past the Moffatt-Ladd House, that was built in 1763.


Originally, it was right at the edge of the port. The ships would pull up to the wharf and unload right into the storage areas in the basement.


You can kind of see that there is a block or two more of land between the house and the water now.


I wandered by this wall with advertising painted on it. I like the bits and pieces of leftovers from long ago. I was captivated by this sign:


Hmm…Private way – pass at own risk…that sounded like of like a challenge to me! I continued down to the edge of the bay.


I spent a while watching the water surge into the bay. There is a strong tide here.


This store, called Wanderlust, caught my interest. It was filled with all sorts of things related to travel.


I particularly enjoyed this sign. It called to mind the sign that Lynne showed me in China Lake the other day.

After my stroll about, it was time to meet up with Lauren. I wandered up to the place we were to meet and texted her that I had arrived. Oddly enough, she was seated right next to me!


We wandered back to the river’s edge, and had a passer-by take the requisite photo that proved me met.


Then Lauren took a photo of me in front of the tugboats. We shared a delicious order of nachos at a restaurant right on the water’s edge. We chatted and got to know each other in real life. After a time, our time came to a close. On our way back to our cars, Lauren showed me her kayak that was on her car. She had made it herself! I was really impressed. One of these days, I am going to try out a kayak.sunset-portsmouth

Then it was time to head back to the campground.



Meeting Friends for Lunch in China Lake

I set out from Bass Harbor Campground with a final destination of Great Bay Campground in Newfields, New Hampshire. Along the way, I stopped off for lunch with some Facebook friends.

We made arrangements for Lynne to meet me at the parking lot of a local supermarket. What a surprise when she was waiting for me at the corner to document my arrival!


She let the manager of the supermarket know what was up with the big silver trailer and the big reg truck in his parking lot and then we set out for her house.


We stopped by this famous road sign that points the way to all the exotic place names in Maine. Lynne took my picture and I had to point out the place where my mother’s family came from – Norway.


As wee pulled into the dooryard – which seems to be a kind of combination front yard and driveway – I came face-to-face with a famous RV. This is Zephyr, which belongs to the Technomads – Chris and Cherie. They are self-described Gen-Xers, and they make their living on the road. They were busy working inside when we arrived, but they were going to join us for lunch.

Lynnne’s husband, Bob, was also busy working, so she gave me the nickel tour, which included this million dollar view of China Lake.


It was a cool day, otherwise I would have taken her up on the offer to take a dip.

I helped Lynne make lunch. I am sure she will laugh when she reads this, but she should understand that my idea of “helping” is to stay out of the way. She even made coleslaw from scratch. I was amazed to see how simple it was. Her “secret ingredient” is maple syrup. Soon, all was prepared and Bob, Chris and Cherie joined us around the table.

Lynne was such a lovely hostess! She gave us flowers and maple syrup!

After a lunch of pizza and the most delicious coleslaw I’ve ever had, we went out to catch Pokemon.


It was a fun walk, but I had miles to go before I made camp, so I had to leave this happy gathering and hit the road. Lynne continued on the walk and Bob took me back to Flo and Bart.


But first – a selfie!

Thanks for your hospitality, Lynne and Bob!



Acadia National Park

After Bangor, it was time to head back to see the rest of Acadia National Park.

I got to Bass Harbor Campground and managed to get myself wedged into my site, with the help of one of the workers. It does put me in a mood when they know the size of my trailer and then put me in a site that is almost big enough. At least I didn’t hit anything getting in or out.

This entry is going to be a little light on text. Due to lack of internet connections and technical problems with my blog, I am quite far behind in my posts. I am writing this about six weeks after the fact. Usually, I save the brochures I pick up to jog my memory. Apparently, I when I decided to purge some of my old paperwork, I got rid of the material for Acadia National Park.

So, just enjoy!


The first afternoon I was there, I took a hike along Ship Harbor Trail.


Once I got past the harbor, I reached the rocky coast. On the way back, I saw a guy picking things and I asked him what he was finding. “Blueberries,” he replied.


He was picking some to take back to his wife. I picked a few and popped them in my mouth. Delicious!

The next day, I went to Maine Granite Industry Museum. I spoke with a very knowledgeable woman who shared a lot of information about the geology of the area, as well as the various mines that were on Mount Desert Island, which is where Acadia National Park is headquartered. (Incidentally, “Desert” is pronounced like dessert.)


I love all the different colors that were quarried here at one time. The museum is an informal affair, but they are working on improving and expanding.

After all the driving, I decided to find some food. Fish as chips in a sidewalk cafe in Bar Harbor hit the spot.


Parking is a tricky affair in Bar Harbor. On my way back to BART (the Big Ass Red Truck) I wandered through a cemetery.


There was a Civil War monument. It was erected in 1887.


I always like the headstones from the old days. Moses Grace was 82 years, 7 months and 3 days when he shucked this mortal coil in 1888. I like the pride and precision in recording the age. I might have also recorded the date of birth, but I guess you could always do the math if you wanted to know it.


My next stop was Sand Beach. This is unique because this is the only sand beach in the park. From what I remember, the sand is mostly made of shells. The pH balance of the ocean water tends to dissolve the shells most of the time, but the shape of the cove helps to collect and preserve the sand.


I hiked over to Thunder Hole. Someone lost a shoe. I saw a lot of solo shoes while I was in the park. If you want to see the video I took of Thunder Hole, click here.

With the right tide and weather conditions, I guess it sounds like thunder. It just kind of gurgled when I was there.


But, it’s always fun to watch the water surge and crash.

Then, there are all those great rocks.


At low tide, the water pools in the crevasses.


Another hike I took was on the Wonderland Trail. I went at low tide and explored  to see what I might see.


I know little about the flora and fauna at the water’s edge, but that doesn’t stop me from looking.


In one area, the shore was covered with different rocks.


And the requisite warning about messing with the rocks.



The trail was quite lovely and was easy to walk on.


My last day of sightseeing began with a trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain.


There was quite a view! I do love sunshine and clear skies!


I walked across the natural land bridge to Bar Island. You can only do this at low tide.


Kids have all the fun! I struck up a conversation with a little boy who had found a crab. He was pleased to show it to me and he let me take its picture.


There were interesting things growing on rocks.


I liked the different high tide lines – kind of like the ocean’s bathtub rings.


I got across the natural bridge and was greeted by another sign about how not to have fun. At least this one was kind of humorous.

And, pretty soon it was time to head back.


And, what do you know? There was another lost shoe!


Another stop I made was the Jordan Pond House for the pop overs, a traditional treat.


Since was my last day here, I decided to head over to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse to watch the sunset. When I checked in, the woman at the campground told me that the trail on the left side of the lighthouse was the side to go down for a good view.


This was as far as I made it. The flies were out and they were biting. So, I snapped this photo of someone else enjoying the view.

I got back to the truck and decided to see if the trail on the other side was any better.


This is probably the shortest lighthouse I’ve ever seen. It’s 32 feet tall, although from the sign I read, the light is 56 feet above the ocean when you take into account the cliff it is sitting on.

When it was built in 1858, the land it is built on cost $80 and the buildings cost $4,983.35. I like the precision of their record keeping. It kind of reminds me of the headstone for Moses Grace I saw in the cemetery. 82 years, 7 months and 3 days.

then it was time to head back to the trailer to get ready for travel the next day.


Oh, buoy!

Bangor, Maine

Oh, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

So, the air conditioner conked out when I was in Vermont. I made arrangements to get that taken care of and was going to kind of hang loose until the appointed time.

Not optimal, but sometime you just have to do stuff like that.

Then, the second night I was at Mountainview Campground, I was awakened by a dreadful sound coming from the inverter/convertor. I leapt up, and opened the cabinet to see what was happening. The display was flashing and numbers were cycling rapidly. I couldn’t figure out what was going on so I went and unplugged the  cord from the pedestal. I figured I’d deal with it in the morning.

When I awoke, I plugged the cord back in and things seemed to be working. I thought maybe I needed to clean out the compartment. I got out the vacuum and cleaned out the dust bunnies.

I don’t like to take chances with electricity, so I started calling around for someone to help. I found an RV dealer in Bangor and made an appointment to have them look at it.

They have a campground as well as a shop, so after a night in the campground, I hitched up and towed Flo over to the shop. It turns out that the man who made the appointment didn’t know that the service men didn’t know anything about the piece of equipment I had.


They looked at it and said that it looked like it was working fine. At least they didn’t charge me for the service, unlike the guy in Vermont who charged me $45 to tell me that my air conditioner didn’t work.

As long as I was in the area, I figured I might as well head in to town. My first stop was the library. I needed to make some copies.


I really liked the dedication.

“This building is given by patriotic citizens and is dedicated to the people of Bangor.”

Could there be anything more patriotic that empowering people through knowledge?

I asked the librarian what I should see while I was in town. She directed me to Stephen King’s house and the statue of Paul Bunyan. It turns out that Bangor got its start as a lumbering center.


Next door to the library was a great bronze statue commemorating the lumber industry.

Although the librarian gave me directions to Stephen King’s house, I didn’t quite understand them. Believe it or not, I entered his name into my Whitepages App and the address popped up!


That looks like a nice house!


The gates and the decorations on the fence seemed particularly appropriate for a horror writer.


I really liked this three headed dragon!


And, if you are interested in living next door, the house happens to be for sale. I think it’s only around $800,000.

Time to continue on my tour.


I found my way over to the Paul Bunyan statue.


Paul Bunyan might have been quite a lumberjack, but it looks like the forest is exacting its revenge.

And, just in case you were wondering what industry that replace lumbering, this is what Paul Bunyan is looking at across the road.


A casino.


One of the suggestions the campground host made was that I head over to wharf at Corea for lunch. I thought I might as well.


It looks like the lobsters couldn’t be any fresher!


And you got to eat right out on the wharf. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to mug with the life preserver.

After I was adventurous and tried the lobster roll while I was in Freeport, I decided I didn’t need to do that again. I opted for grilled ham and cheese.


I like how they make use of things when they are no longer useful. For instance, they had these doormats for sale that were made from the lobster pot ropes.


Maybe “rope” isn’t technically the correct word, but you get the picture. They looked like they would really do a good job of trapping dirt at the door.

After lunch, I decided to drive over to the Blueberry Festival in Machias that I had heard about on the news. Along the way, I came upon Wild Blueberry Land.


The signs by the road advertised all manner of things blueberry. It made me think of The Cherry Hut in Michigan. I had great hopes of getting a blueberry pie.


They had lots of blueberry-themed decorations. Look at those gigantic blueberries!


Even the port-o-potties were blue!

They were sold out of the pies and other blueberry baked goods., so I tried on a blueberry tee shirt and posed for a picture as Queen of Wild Blueberry Land.


I decided that I didn’t need the tee shirt and proceeded on to the festival.

It was a really happening event. They had shuttles running from the Hannaford Supermarket on the edge of town. I parked and moments later I was whisked into the heart of the festivities.


There were craftsmen selling their wares along many of the streets.


I thought this woman’s doggy backpack was worth a photo.


I stopped at this booth for a while. It was the Blackfly Breeders Association. I just had to know if they really did breed blackflies.

It turns out that it’s kind of a joke. Whenever we get bit by a blackfly, we take part in helping along their breeding cycle. She said that the presence of blackflies indicated a healthy ecosystem. They had all sorts of Blackfly Breeders Association swag for sale, and they donate the profits to charity. I managed to not buy anything from them. My sales resistance is high, especially when I have no interest in what is being sold.


There was music on the steps of the church.


I bought a small blueberry shortcake at the stand across from the church.

I strolled around and looked at the crafts for sale. When I had seen it all, I hopped  aboard the shuttle back to the parking lot.

I debated about trying to drive to the northern end of U.S. 1. I saw the southern end in December when I was in Key West.


I looked at the map. I looked at my watch. I decided to head back.

how-far-to-key-westBut, along the way back, I saw this sign. I had to turn around to take a photo.


Key West, 2065 miles that-a-way!



Next Stop: Mountain View Campground

I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a camp site for the weekend during the high season in Maine. I used my various apps and ended up finally finding a spot in  Sullivan, Maine. Actually, I didn’t have a spot for the first night, but they said that I could boondock in their parking lot for $5.

They called while I was en route and told me that they did have a spot for me after all. At $40 a night, I would have been just as happy to boondock in the parking lot.

However, they were quite friendly and were happy to have me, as long as I paid in cash. I had water and electric hook ups, and I was pretty close to the water.


You could also view the mountain, way off in the distance.

I saw some of my fellow campers rinsing some stuff off in a basin, and I went over to see what they were doing.


They were cleaning mussels that they had collected along the water’s edge!


Amazing! I ran into the woman later and asked how they turned out. She said that they put them in a marinara sauce and they were delicious.

I took a drive over the the Schoodic Peninsula part of Acadia National Park. Since I had booked a campsite near the main portion of the park for later, I decided to save that for when I was camped at Bass Harbor.


Looking across Mount Desert Narrows, you can see Cadillac Mountain, over in the other part of Acadia National Park.


I watched the lobster boats hauling lobster pots up and dropping them down again. They would circle around, in loops in the water.


It is so cool to watch the circles persisting in the water. At one point, I saw a series of circles stretching out behind them.


One boat leaves and another comes in.


The granite along the shore was striking.


There were incursions into the granite. Although all the rocks seemed hard, the incursions erodes faster.


This little patch seemed particularly artistic.


After that excursion, it was time to head back to camp.


Just in time for sunset.

September’s Accounting

Another month, another batch of expenses.

I had some large big RV expenses in September. I bought new tires for Flo the Airstream, so I am feeling good about rolling down the highways of America with her new shoes. I was surprised that the expenses to repair my air conditioner were so high. They no longer make the unit that was on my 2010 Classic. The company I  have the warrantee with did cover a replacement unit, but I was on the hook myself for parts needed to adapt it to my Airstream.

I got a whole bunch of free parking out of the repair job, though, as all the parts didn’t come in the first order. So, it took them a week longer than it should have.

RV Expenses                                    $1420.18
Campsites                                             534.20
Gas                                                         302.34
Clothing                                                263.33
Groceries                                              204.29
Other expenses                                   146.33
Restaurants                                           98.64
Tourism and entertainment              45.00
Parking and tolls                                  22.00
Food and drink on the go                   13.77
Laundry                                                 13.00
Truck expenses                                      0.00

                    TOTAL                        $3108.88

In September, I was in six states – New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. I also drove through New York for a bit. I drove 1,627 miles.

While the total of my expenses was higher than I’d like, the bottom line of the money in my banking accounts still looks good.

October is here. Let’s see how the money flows.