Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Can You Say "Mooselookmeguntic"?

Mountain View Campground in Dixfield, Maine
 Tonight we're at Mountain View Campground in Dixfield, Maine. We'll spend two nights here and take day trip past Elephant Mountain and Mooselookmeguntic Lake to Rangeley where we've been told we'll see beautiful Western Maine and my most favored desire -- MOOSE! Our neighbor here at the campground is 91 years old and she's told us all about the many moose she's seen there.  Twenty-six on a recent trip! She suggested we go on up to Stratton (where we'll be less than 50 miles from the Canadian border again) and then over to Sugarloaf Mountain.

Not the best example of the house/barn structures, but you get the idea...

View from our coach window

The drive here today from Newport brought to mind an observation about the houses we're seeing.  It's most unusual for us, as southerners, to see houses, workshops and barns connected, but it is a common sight here.  It stands to reason they would build them that way because of the harsh winters.  Another thing I've noticed is the ornate wood trimmings (along with the strong color combinations) on the older homes.  Still seeing a lot of "shake" siding homes too.  Also in this area and up toward Rangeley, there are lots of "camps" and small "A" frame houses.

Our ride to Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes proved dissappointing as there really wasn't much to see except the lake view from the shore at Rangeley where we ate lunch at a city park and made friends with a half-dozen ducks who "pooped" all over the place. They were just too friendly. Adding to the dissappointment  -- NO MOOSE.

Yup. That's a pile of duck poop.

It's been hot again today, in the high 80's but leaves are already starting to turn. The shade is nice though and the nights are cool.  When the sun sets, the temperature falls quickly.  We're also seeing large red apples hanging from trees along the roadside -- guess fall is on the way. 

Time out for a swim.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Leaving Shady Oaks Campground

During our time at Shady Oaks we've encountered a few kinks in power and we're unsure what, if anything, is going on between our A/C (shore), inverter and D/C (battery) service. There have been several occasions that presented "Internal Fault" or "A/C Overload" signals on the energy management system. There was some talk that our site had been problematic for the previous large coach.  We're wondering whether we should go directly to a dealer, make a technical call or just go on and see if it happens at another campground. Neither of us has any understanding of the complexities of power and the energy managent system onboard Mona is much more in-depth to our electrical needs.... Oh what to do.....?

After several telephone calls, beginning with Cullum-Maxey in Nashville for advice, we decided to go to Brewer, Maine where Holden Family RV says they can diagnose the problem.  Once there, they checked the batteries and find no problem.  The inverter seems to be charging the batteries properly. 

This is the look Wayne gives when he's really annoyed with me for taking pictures.
He is also really annoyed that Mona is not operating perfectly. 
 There is no charge for the battery check and we left the Brewer/Bangor area around 1 p.m.  We only got as far as Newport, however before stopping for groceries. We decided to stay at Christies Campground here in Newport for the night. It's a pretty nice little, locally owned campground along a nice, tree-lined lake (who's name I don't know).  The sites are grassy and there are some trees to shade most of them. The 1/2 mile road coming into the campground is dusty though, so we got the car and coach really dirty. 

The weather in this part of Maine has been really hot yesterday and today. Probably close to 90 degrees. Wayne and I are ready for some more cool air.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maine's Best Seafood Sup-pah.

Our neighbors, Errol and Lori, Gleason and Barbara, and Donnie and Regina, threw another grand Maine Seafood Supper (pronounced "Suppah") again last night.

Wayne, Donnie, Errol, Maddie and her friend Callie and Tim.

Gleason and Lori

Regina and Donnie
 We feasted on Maine Lobster, Clams, Crab and Atlantic Salmon and we enjoyed a huge campfire after.  These "cold weather people" laugh at my small campfires.  They build HUGE fires that scorch the tree tops!

Day Trip to Castine, Maine

On Saturday we took a half-day to visit nearby Castine, where the Maine Maritime Academy is located. Castine is a quaint, tiny village settled in the early 1600's.

The Maine Marine Maritime Academy Training Ship
The town seems to take great pains to post items of historical significance where they can be easily seen and that was a real treat for us.  I took photos of some of the most interesting signs to post here.

From the Castine dock looking back at the shoreline.

They were made to eat their own noses and ears!  Horrors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What We Do In Retirement

Pot luck dinner at Shady Oaks.
This plate is full and it's mine.

Look closely and take a good long long look at this.
You may never see it again. 
It's Wayn, (a) wearing crocs, (b) wearing suspenders and (c) mowing grass.
Let me be honest here. We did have concerns that retirement would bring boredom. Nothing could be farther from the truth for us. We're still pinching ourselves in the mornings to be sure it's really true. A typical day is sleeping until 7 a.m. and having coffee in bed. We're outside within 30 minutes (showers are taken at night now) with a second cup of coffee. Breakfast is followed by out-loud review of our plan for the day. When we're not doing a "day trip" our day might go something like this: watch other campers do a quick step to the kibo and decide if there are any old movies we want to record. At 10 a.m. we have coffee break with all the other retiree RV'ers and talk about where we used to live. A leisurely stroll back to the motorhome for a little rest under the shade tree is followed by a discussion of the lunch menu. Lunch brings on an urge for a short nap (often in the lounge chair under a tree) after which we might take a ride to do some unimportant chore or have an ice cream cone. By mid-afternoon, we're usually discussing supper possibilities and where we'll walk after we eat. When all that's done, there's barely enough time for socializing with the neighbors before our evening campfire. Following a shower, we settle in for an old movie, fall asleep on the couch, wake up, go to bed and start it all over the next morning. It's great.

Something else you'll probably never see again.
That's Wayne on the back of this tractor.
He's wearing his work gloves.
Our site at Shady Oaks.  We sit in the shade back here sometimes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor in heavy fog.
We spent a day touring Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park on Monday, August 16th. The summer tourist season is still in full swing and crowds at the park were thick -- both on the roads and at the individual sites.  It was a very warm day -- good for tanning (or burning as I do) but the air was cool.

Houses are really different in the north. Very ornate and very little brick. 

Bar Harbor is a typical tourist shoppers delight. 
It is possible that I'll only see statue moose. Bummer.


Still more lobster pounds. Just like we saw in the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
Picturesque homes along the shore
We saw this family of deer just outside the city of Bar Harbor in a residential area.

Mamma and two young deer.

From Bar Harbor, we entered Acadia National Park and took the loop that goes around the park and up to the highest point, Cadillac Mountain.

Cadillac Mountain is Granite

Atop Cadillac Mountain

We were careful to avoid stepping on any living plant.
We came down from Cadillac Mountain and completed the loop around Acadia National Park. The rocky shoreline was beautiful.

Hiding in the granite

A Day at Stonington, Maine

A typical Stonington home along the shore of Penobscot Bay
A view of Stonington from Fisherman's Friend Restaurant Wharf.

Great Folks at Shady Oaks Campground - Orland, Maine

Homemade blueberry syrup on hot pancakes every Sunday morning.
Wayne, Tom and Don adjust our bicycle rack. Sparks fly!

We've met terrific people at Shady Oaks Campground and after nearly two weeks, we find ourselves still enjoying the days here. We've had beautiful sunny weather; daytime temperatures in the 70's and evenings in the 60's. We've made day trips to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor and Stonington. I'll be posting photos and details of those trips too. Meanwhile, here's what we busy ourselves doing around the campground....
10 a.m. coffee break brings all the "regulars" -- that includes us.

Wayne and Dale. Tom, Richard and Jean in the background. This is "ice cream social" night and we wouldn't miss it.

Wayne relaxing at the campsite

A full day is needed to wash the coach and car.

The campground is near Bucksport, Maine

An afternoon ride to "Fort Knox" -- who knew it was in Maine?