Rain, Rain, and More Rain
You can click on "photos" to get directly to the first photo page, which has a connector to the second page, or you can click on specific links in the text to get to the photos associated with that part of the travelogue.
We spent almost four weeks in Jill's driveway in Douglasville after arriving back there with three of our grandkids, April, Richard, and Amanda, who spent a week with us in Florida during their spring break. Diane and I took care of our doctor and dentist visits, took the grandkids to see some movies, visited with some friends, got grandson Richard involved with First Tee to get some exposure to golf, and just lounged around. It was a pretty stormy stay this Spring with lots of thunderstorms and a couple of tornado warnings. One night we were all huddled in Jill's basement waiting for a tornado warning to clear. Nothing happened where we were, but there were some heavy winds and damage in other areas in the Atlanta area.
Once again I enjoyed the routine I have when we are visiting family in Atlanta. My favorite routine is still to go to the Arbor Place Mall and walk for 45 minutes, or so, and then sit in the Starbucks for an hour or two reading the USA Today and local newspapers. Then, sometime around 11 AM, or so, I start my day. I love it. ;-)
Diane and I aren't yet ready to come off the road and nest, but every now and then we talk about where we might settle down if, or when, we decide to stop full-timing. One of those places is Fairfield Glade, TN, a resort/retirement community just north of I-40 between Knoxville and Nashville. Our path was going to take us to Indiana and Michigan, so we chatted about what to do until we were due to arrive at the Newmar factory for our final warranty work on the motorhome. We decided on a last minute trade of our timeshare week to Fairfield Glade. We had been there four times prior and always liked it there. Luckily, we were able to get a unit for the week, and they told me that we could park our motorhome in the security office parking lot for the week. Perfect. We drove the four hours to Fairfield Glade and parked the rig. Unfortunately, the ground was not level and it wasn't possible to level the rig without taking both front wheels way off the ground. I don't like to do that, so we unloaded the fridge and brought stuff into the condo, most of which we ate during the week. Given that we didn't have much in the refrigerator and freezer, we decided to take the opportunity to defrost them while we were vacationing for the week.
After getting settled into the condo, we took a drive around Fairfield Glade to see how much it had grown since our last visit some six or seven years ago. Every time we go there, we fall in love with the place. No crowds. No traffic. No traffic lights. Just a couple of stop signs. There are now five golf courses in the community and many of the homes are gorgeous. We drove to where we used to own a lot near the Heatherhurst Golf Club to see how it had been developed. It was pre-construction when we bought in the early 90s, not even water and sewer at that time. We ended up selling the lot when we decided to full-time. The area was growing nicely and there was a beautiful house on the lot we used to own. Our backyard would have been the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area.
Diane and I walked a bit on the Stonehenge golf course, which is the premier resort course. It was dusk in the mountains (on the Cumberland Plateau) and the views were magnificent. We planned to play three or four rounds of golf on the community courses during the next week. The rates went from $28 early in the day to $15 at 3 p.m. and we both love to be out at dusk. That's when the wildlife comes out on the courses. It's quiet and the shadows are long and pretty at that time, so we played three times in late afternoon on three different courses and loved it.
Diane enjoys her timeshare week because the units we have stayed in have almost always had a whirlpool tub, which means Diane is in heaven for the week. Besides playing golf, we drove into Crossville, the nearest "big" town to eat a couple of times. One of the things we learned was that Fairfield Properties is now owned by Cendant. Apparently, they have relaxed some of the rules for home architecture and there are now some RV homes in Fairfield Glade. I have included a few photos of some of the views in Fairfield Glade, as well as a few RV homes. One of the homes had a 40-foot motorhome in the garage, but you would never know it by looking at the front of the house. This is definitely one place where we would consider living somewhere down the road. There will be several choices but, right now, the choice would be Florida if we didn't keep the motorhome. However, if we decided to keep the motorhome, then someplace like Fairfield Glade would be great, and we would become snowbirds instead of full-timers. We'd head to Florida in the winter. The best of both worlds. For now, we don't have a strong enough nesting instinct to give up full-timing. We still have an adventure to Alaska on the books, hopefully in 2005.
There were still several days before we had to be in Nappanee, IN, so we stopped in Nashville for a long weekend. Neither of us had ever been there, and we both had always wanted to go to the Grand Ole Opry. We got tickets to a show, which was very good. It was very interesting to see the activity on stage as the acts were setting up during the commercial breaks. I recognized a few of the performers: Little Jimmy Dickens (and he really IS little), Porter Wagoner, and Vince Gill. I like country music and bluegrass. I can watch someone pick a banjo for hours. We were there on the weekend after June Carter Cash died and they dedicated the show to her. Her death got a lot of press around the area since they lived in Hendersonville, which was a couple of towns away from where we stayed in Millersville. We ate dinner at the Applebee's in Hendersonville. The funeral was going to be private, but Johnny Cash decided to open it to the public tomorrow. She was very well-liked. Vince Gill ended his half hour with "Ring of Fire", which was written by June for Johnny. Great song. I always liked it.
We visited the Parthenon, a full scale replica of the Greek Parthenon. It was built for the international art exhibition for the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville and was intended to reflect the city's reputation as the "Athens of the South". A full-sized replica of the statue of Athena stands in the Parthenon. According to Greek mythology, Athena was born from the head of Zeus, chief of all gods. She was known as the goddess of wisdom, prudent warfare, and the arts. The original Athena Parthenos sculpture was created by Phidias in the 5th century B.C. The statue stands almost 42 feet tall. It was quite impressive. Unfortunately, my camera didn't have a strong enough flash to capture a good photo of the statue.
We met Don and Gloria Martin (Norm's sister) while we were all in Florida over the winter and traveled together for a couple of weeks. They live in Kokomo, Indiana, which was on our path north to the Newmar factory. It would be a long drive from Nashville, but we wanted to stop for a night to visit with them. There is a civic center and convention center in Kokomo that Norm told us they stayed at overnight. Don scouted it out and got permission for us to spend the night in that parking lot. We went out to eat at Pastariffic (which was terrific), and then Don and Gloria gave us a driving tour of the Kokomo area, including some very upscale golf course communities. We saw some beautiful homes as we drove around. Diane and I appreciated the tour, after which we said so long until we meet again.
The next day we drove to Nappanee, which was a short drive away given that we did the bulk of the drive from Nashville the prior day. So we took our time heading out and got to the Newmar factory to claim a site for our two-day service visit. You may remember from earlier travelogs that the Newmar service techs come out for the rigs at 6 a.m., which is an ungodly hour for us, and an unnatural act to get up at 5 a.m. to get ready. But we have always loved going to the factory to get our warranty work done, not only because we figure we'd get the best service there, but for the camaraderie of hanging around with other RVers and Newmar owners. To illustrate this camaraderie, here are a couple of short anecdotes about our most recent visit.
When we arrived, it appeared that all the sites were taken and we would have to go to the overflow area, which had electric and water, but no sewer. Our tanks were full, so I decided to pull into a site to dump the tanks. Diane removed the cone that indicated the site was reserved and I pulled in. As I was finishing up the dumping process, a car came across the parking lot right towards where we were. I thought it was probably the people who were on the site and who were waiting for their motorhome to come out of the service area. The guy gets out of the car and I recognize that it was Tom and Mary Williams, along with a friend of theirs, Jack Everhart. Small world. They were passing through in their Bounder motorhomes, and had taken a tour of the Newmar factory. Tom and Mary were interested in the Newmar line of RVs. We set up a time to drive into town for dinner at the Country Table (a favorite spot). We first met Tom and Mary at the second Y2K rally in the Phoenix area in 2001, and then visited with them when we were at Port Clinton, Ohio last summer just prior to starting our seven week tour of Michigan. It was great to see them again and chat about our travels. They told us they would probably drive over to the upcoming Newmar rally in Berrien Springs, Michigan to check out the new 2004 motorhomes, so we made plans to hook up there.
The second anecdote pertains to Norm and Linda. We were all going to attend the Spartan Chassis rally in Charlotte, Michigan the week after Memorial Day. We had decided that we would meet in the Meijer's parking lot prior to entering the fairgrounds in Charlotte. I timed our warranty visit to back up to the Memorial Day weekend so we could just stay at the factory over the weekend. Somewhere around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, our phone rings and Diane answers and recognized that it was Linda. She asked how the weather was, which was quite nice at the time, and then whether there were any sites available, which there were. They were on their way from Iowa and heading east and decided that maybe they would just go to the Newmar factory and hook up with us there. I put a cone in an empty site to reserve it and Diane told them to come on in. About two hours later, I heard a diesel coming down the road and figured the timing was right for it to be them. It was. I waved at them coming down the road as they pulled into the camping area. We all exchanged hugs and then waited for them to get set up. Then it was into town for dinner. What a great surprise to hook up a few days earlier than expected.
We were able to check into the Spartan rally on Monday, so we drove up to Charlotte and got set up at the fairgrounds. The rally was from Tuesday to Friday of that week, and what a rally it was. I think we were all in agreement that it was one of the better rallies we have attended. The seminars were top notch, the food was fantastic, the camaraderie great, the golf tournament was fun. We met some new RV friends at the rally: Fran and Karl Winckel, and Sharyl and Dave Tholen. The weather was OK enough to sit out a few evenings. It would have been nicer if it was a little warmer, but it was relatively dry. It was our first Spartan rally and we would definitely attend another if our path took us back to Michigan.
There was a week between the Spartan and Newmar rallies. We decided to spend it at a Coast to Coast park, American Campgrounds, in Hartford, Michigan. It sounded familiar to me. As we got closer, it seemed more familiar. When we pulled in, I knew it was the park we stayed in for a night back in 2001 as we were heading to the Spartan factory for some annual maintenance. The power in the park wasn't very good at the time, at least on the site we were on. This time we got sites towards the back of the park and the power was fine. They had a lot of rain the day before and it was pretty wet in the park. And wooded. Most grassy parks will hold some water if the rain is torrential. After looking at a couple of sites on the lower level, we decided that wouldn't work for us, so we found a site up the hill where we could use our satellite dish. Lots of Newmar RVs came into the park over the next week as they were getting ready to drive down to Berrien Springs for the rally.
I do have to comment on how nice the park manager and one of the workers were to us. As we were trying to set up in the first site we looked at, a tree managed to move into Diane's path as she was backing up the CR-V (I got Diane's permission to tell this story). Unfortunately, the tree hit the car hard enough to damage the locking mechanism for the rear window and door, which would no longer open. The next day I asked a neighbor if they knew of any body shops in the area. He didn't, but suggested I ask the park manager, Pat Calahan, if he could tell me where to find a body shop. I was driving out to pick up the Sunday papers when I saw a couple of guys working on the new putt-putt course that was being constructed. I asked if one of them was Pat, and asked where I could find a body shop. He asked me why and I told him. He then offered to take a look at the problem. Well, 3 1/2 hours later, the door was working. Pat, and one of the workers, Leon, wouldn't quit until they got into the door, which was no easy task, to fix the locking mechanism. Diane and I greatly appreciated their efforts to fix the door. Top notch folks.
Stan and Betty Bober live in Mishawaka, Indiana, which wasn't too far from Hartford. They came up to visit with us and the Paynes. We went to St. Joseph for dinner and they showed us around some of the town. The neighboring town that we went through to get to St. Joseph was Benton Harbor, which recently was in the news as a result of rioting in the town after a motorcyclist was killed during a police chase. We were sure glad we weren't in the area during that situation. We had a great visit with Stan and Betty and then went back to the campground.
I got a lot done during the week in Hartford. I actually did some work on the motorhome. Those of you who know me know that I am in no way mechanical in nature, and I classify myself as "semi-handy". I was hoping to watch Norm change his air cleaner and install the lanyards to the air drainage valves, so I could get an idea how to do it. I wasn't around when he changed his while we were at the Spartan rally. But I figured I'd give the air cleaner a try. After about an hour trying to get the old one out, I decided to wait for Norm. Smart move. There were two straps surrounding the air cleaner and I had no idea how to remove them. I'd still probably be working on it if he didn't come show me how to get the straps off. Well, we did get the new air cleaner on.
Next was the task of installing the lanyards. Norm routed his up into the generator area, but we looked for another route that might be easier, and wouldn't necessitate taking the mask off the front of our motorhome to drain the air tanks. We found a route out towards the passenger side for the three lanyards. Now if you look closely at the first photo page, you will see that I am actually under the motorhome with a drill in my hand drilling a hole in my chassis. Will wonders never cease. :-) I didn't get cocky over the success of installing the lanyards (with Norm's help, of course). I'm still just "semi-handy".
We took a ride with Norm and Linda to Holland to find the wooden shoe factory. The one for which we had a brochure was no longer in existence, but they pointed us to another one. It was a nice day to get out for a ride, and interesting to see the machines that make the wooden shoes. There were also a couple of ladies painting the Delftware dishes and vases. Diane and I had been to Delft in the Netherlands, so we'd seen how they make the pieces. What surprised us when we visited Delft was that we always thought of Delftware as only being blue, but that isn't the case. There are some beautiful multi-colored pieces, as well.
Our next rally was the Newmar International rally in Berrien Springs, MI. Norm and Linda had attended the International in Gillette, WY in 2000, but this was our first. It turned out to be a great rally. The plan was always for Diane and I to go into the rally along with the Paynes. In the interim, Norm got a note from Steve and Amy Turney saying that they would be there. Then Dave and Patsy Kessler, who are friends of Jim and Patty Hammond, met Norm and Linda at the Spartan rally, so now we had four rigs going into the Newmar rally together. We were all parked together, one rig behind the other. We lucked out and were able to just miss pointing our dish into some trees, so we had a clear shot to the sky and had satellite reception for the week. Whew. :-)
This turned out to be a great rally. The seminars were much better at the Spartan rally, but the Newmar rally had great food (as did the Spartan rally), the golf tournament that I played in was fun, and the entertainment kept getting better each night with a concluding show by the Keith Longbotham Band. He was very funny, very reminiscent of Red Skelton telling one-liners. Turned out that Red Skelton was an idol of Keith's, which explained his laughing at his own jokes which, of course, made them funnier.
The camaraderie was great with lots of hanging around the rigs and a byof (bring your own food) party one evening. I even introduced some of the folks to an aperitif that I learned about during one of my business trips to Paris - "kir" (pronounced "keer"). For those who may be interested, it's made with a glass of white wine (any white wine, but I prefer Chardonnay) and some Creme de Cassis (poured to one's taste). Kir Royale would be made with champagne instead of white wine. It's a nice before dinner drink.
No one from our group won any of the big prizes that were given away. However, a highlight for Diane was when she got a phone call telling her she won $50 from the applique booth she frequented. She was thrilled to win something.
The week went by quickly and it was time to split up and go in different directions. The Turneys, Paynes, and Kesslers were heading to Louisville for the Great North American Rally; Fran and Karl Winckler were heading west; and Robert and Joyce Silber were traveling in the midwest. Diane and I were heading to Elkhart to have our generator looked at for a minor problem. We spent the night at the Onan of Indiana shop in Elkhart and they looked at the generator the next day. Unfortunately, it was a "no trouble found" and they couldn't recreate the problem. We stayed another night and then headed out for the Hudson Valley in New York to visit family and friends.
There was a thread recently in emails between some of us about how Norm and Linda always seem to attract the rain. Well, I think Norm and Linda passed their rain on to us. We had rain all the way across Ohio and Pennsylvania, and then the first five days we were in the Hudson Valley. We had a record long drive on Tuesday. We decided there was nothing we wanted to stop for along the way in PA, especially with the rain, so we figured we'd drive roughly two 6-hour days to NY. Well, we were on the road for 10 hours on Tuesday. Didn't plan it that way. Just happened. We took US highways across OH to I-76 near Akron and then to I-80 in PA. As we got near the Flying J in OH, I got on the CB to ask about fuel prices in OH vs PA and the answer came back that it was cheaper in OH. So we stopped to fuel up. I figured we'd go to the first Flying J in PA to spend the night. The Flying J brochure we had was old and said new Flying Js were being built at exits 13 and 25. However, that was OLD exit 13 and 25. They were really at mile 78 and 173. We would have been on fumes by then. We took on 81 gallons in OH. We got to the first Flying J in PA. It was up on a hill, which caused the motorhome to be severely unlevel. I didn't want to stay in the truck area as it was very busy with trucks moving all around the area. I wasn't tired, so we continued to the Flying J in Lamar, another 1 1/2 hours. Based on past experience, I know that I can get wired when I'm driving and want to get somewhere, so I wasn't at all tired. I was quite amazed at how totally effortless it was to drive the motorhome for 10 hours. I had more left in me if I needed it, but we parked it at the Flying J and went in for dinner at 9 p.m. I treated myself to a nice plate of Yankee Pot Roast. :-)
Here's an anecdote for you RV drivers. While we were crossing OH on a four-lane highway, I was coming up the right side of a car driving right about the speed limit (55) in the left lane. I was cruising about 60. I saw a semi coming up fast on the car and then right up to it. The car sped up just enough to now be riding parallel with me which, of course, trapped the trucker. I could see that the car was not going to speed up or slow down, so I got on the CB and told the trucker that I would drop back so he could pass the car on the right. He thanked me and got past the car. There were some other trucks in the area who were watching and listening, which prompted the following exchange on the CB:
Trucker 1: Well, what do you know. A motorhome driver who knows how to drive the thing.
Me: Yeah, I know how to drive it.
Trucker 2 (gal): Must be an ex-trucker on vacation.
Me: No. Not an ex-trucker. Just using common courtesy.
Trucker 1: How about passing that on to the other RVers. Seems like only about 1 in 10 knows how to drive them properly.
I wasn't about to get into a discussion about how many RVers drive properly or not. I have no idea. But I told him I'd pass it on, so here it is for any RVer who reads this and wants to take heed. Truckers are out there working WORKING while we are out there on vacation or full-timing. Help 'em out when you can. :-)
The weather was horrible for about the first five days we were in the Hudson Valley. We drove to Kingston one day to take our grandson, Talisian, to see The Hulk. On the way, we went past the Nevele Grande Resort and there were people out there playing golf. A lot of people. In rain and cold (60 is cold when it's raining). Some of the people were in SHORTS. Talk about gung ho golfers who have to get in every round they can in the short northern season. I remember those days. ;-)
We spent 10 days in the Hudson Valley. The first five days were spent at the Catskill Mountain Ranch, a Coast to Coast (C2C) park. It was an OK park, but dismal because of the rain. The owner came over to register us and gave us a good site where we could use our dish. The next week we spent at one of our very favorite C2C parks, Rondout Valley RV Resort. I wrote about it last year when we stayed there. Very family oriented and friendly folks. The week went by very quickly and we saw quite a few folks. In summary, we:
played cards twice with Stefan and Anna Marie Geisel
met Linda Karr and Bernie Scutaro for an Indian dinner in Red Hook
drove to Connecticut to a graduation party for two of Diane's second cousins which allowed her to visit with her Aunt Gladys and Uncle Karl who were up from Myrtle Beach
had a visit from Diane's sister, Marge, and her daughter, Michelle, one day at the campground
met Tom and Barbara McInerney for breakfast at Deising's in Kingston
met Sue and Pete Sinclair for lunch in Danbury prior to the graduation party
had a bbq at our rig on the last day we were there. Jill, Tonya, April, and Richard flew up from Atlanta to spend the week with Curt and Talisian, so they all came over. Linda and Bernie also came over to visit.
I got to play in a golf tournament with my friend Bobby Lonie. It was the same tournament I played in last year. Sad to say that I had a "walking" accident on the eighth hole and severely sprained my right (naturally) ankle. I have a history of doing that, so the ankle gets worse every time I sprain it, the last time being last November while in Atlanta. Getting old gets tougher sometimes. Sigh. It was Diane's birthday, so Bobby came over to say hi to Diane and visit on his way home. It was great to see him again and play golf together.
I mentioned that we met Pete and Sue Sinclair for lunch in Danbury. Sue was a former colleague that I met shortly after I joined the IBM Internal Audit function and started doing a lot of travelling. We worked together for a few years and then she became the manager of the department. It doesn't always work well for a colleague to then become the manager of former peers, but Sue was very well-respected and it worked out fine. She was (oops, is) one of the sharpest people I've met, and has a memory to die for. We all used to contact Sue to see if she remembered something we were trying to remember, and she usually recalled situations, including details. It was amazing.
It was Sue who helped get me back into the Audit function after I left to go back to a desk job and found that the lure of travel was too much to give up. It took a while to honor some commitments to the group I rejoined, but I did go back into Audit for two more years before retiring in 2000. I stayed on because Diane and I were having a lot of fun travelling around the world and it was not costing all that much (the only way to travel, huh?). I probably would have stayed at least another year, but it was time for Sue to move on and she left the group. The dynamics of the team were changing and I knew it was time to "hang up the spikes". It was great to see Sue and Pete again after several years. Diane and I attended their wedding in England in 1994 (I think that's the year) with most of the department attending. The two teams were doing audits in Europe, one in England and one in Paris, so it was great scheduling as everyone was already in the area. Diane and I flew to England from Paris and then home to Atlanta from there.
Diane and I packed up the motorhome and drove to the Concord, MA area to visit with Dianne Weiss. Dianne was a high school buddy of mine who we all knew as Dee McConville at the time. We hadn't seen each other since the 20th reunion in 1981. It was great to see her again and chat about old times and people. Dee told us that she lost a very, very dear friend on one of the 9/11 planes. It was a devastating experience and we could only try to imagine the heartache and sadness it caused. It's a hard thing to get over, but time helps and Dee looked great. Seeing our house on wheels was a novelty and a treat for her as we showed her how we live as we travel around the country. Diane saw a brochure for the Bull Run Restaurant that had some history associated with it, so that's where we went for dinner. It was thought that Paul Revere knocked on the door of the restaurant during his famous ride, and George Washington was purported to have stopped there. After dinner, we returned to the motorhome and continued reminiscing about old times at Island Trees High School.
Dee suggested we do a little touring of the Concord area the next day. But first we made plans to meet Ken and Judy Roberts. I met Ken via the RVAMERICA bulletin board. He responded to my query about where to stay in the area. They lived close to the KOA campground we were staying in, so they came by to pick us up to drive to town for lunch. It's always nice to put a face with a name and email. They were in the process of selling their house and had plans to move to the Crossville, TN area. I had told them about the RV homes in Fairfield Glade, so that's where they were headed the next day. On the way back to the KOA, Ken pointed out Kimball Farm and said everyone who visits the area talks about the homemade ice cream at Kimball. On the way into Concord, Diane and I stopped at Kimball. All we could say was - WOW. Neither of us could finish the ice cream. It was delicious and you do get your money's worth. For $2.90, you get a heaping double scoop of ice cream.
After not finishing our ice cream, Diane and I drove into Concord and stopped at the Visitor Center. It was already 4:15 p.m., and most places were closing by 5 p.m. However, the Old North Bridge was always open, so we drove up there to check it out. It's part of the Minute Man National Historical Park. On one of the monuments was the following (you may recognize a phrase from it):
"By the rude bridge that
arched the flood,
Their flag to April's
Here once the embattled
And fired the shot heard
round the world."
Yup, it's the place where American militiamen first fired into the ranks of British soldiers starting the American Revolution on April 19, 1775.
Also in the area was Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau lived in a small cabin by the pond. We drove down towards the pond, but didn't go in as it was getting late.
Our next stop was in Boothbay, ME. As you can tell if you follow our journey, we love the Boothbay region. We drove up US 1 yesterday from MA. Maybe it was partially to avoid the toll road, but it was more because Diane has wanted to do that on the past two trips up this way. I tried to work on my psyche that it would probably not be a very enjoyable route. It wasn't. It added about two hours to the trip from Concord with lots of very slow moving traffic in some areas. But Diane likes to see her "Americana" and I try to accommodate. For me it was just stores and Citgo stations and outlet malls, etc. You never see the ocean from US 1 (I knew that), but some folks think the "coastal route" means shore line. So that was the last time I'll do US 1 in Maine unless we are going someplace along US 1. Our friend, Tom McGonegal, commented that he was surprised we got here before 10 p.m. ;-) We made it to the Little Ponderosa Campground and then called Tom. We drove out to his place in Ocean Point and then went to dinner at Lobsterman's Wharf in East Boothbay. We all had a fish sandwich, a real price performer that was delicious. :-) The second day in the area we had our first "lobsta" at Robinson's Wharf in Southport. YUMMY. I expect that we will eat lots of lobsta and other seafood during our tour of the Maritime Provinces.
Tom called and invited us out Ocean Point for lunch on July 4. Tish is a high school teacher in Vermont and runs a writing institute for educators during the month of July. She was in Ocean Point for the weekend, so Diane and I were glad to be able to visit with them. The July 4th weekend is a big weekend in Ocean Point, and Tom and Tish had a houseful for the weekend, so we knew they would be busy with the community.
Norm and Linda arrived at the Little Ponderosa on Sunday after boondocking for a couple of days at the DeLorme store south of Freeport. They tried to get into the campground on Saturday, but were told the campground was full. That wasn't the case. Although Diane and I really like Little Ponderosa, we were disappointed at how inflexible they were to accommodate folks. There were empty sites, probably from no-shows, but they had sites available on which Norm and Linda could have boondocked. Apparently the people who manage the campground don't seem to be empowered to make the decision to allow a rig to come in and boondock for a night. Other than that, we like the place and the people are friendly.
We took Norm and Linda for a driving tour of the Boothbay area, including a ride out to the wharf at the southern tip of Southport. From there one can see Cape Island, which is where Margaret Hamilton used to live (Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz). Then we rode around Boothbay Harbor and Spruce Point. As we were heading out towards Ocean Point to show them around the area, Tom called and invited us to stop over. We visited for a while and then drove into Boothbay Harbor to the Lobsterman's Co-op for lobster. It's great that we all absolutely love lobster. YUMMY!!!!!
On our next to last day in the area, we drove down to Freeport with Norm and Linda to visit LL Bean. Well, not visit, more like shop. Diane loves the place and we make sure to go there every time we are in the area. Diane and I had seen Red's Eats in Wiscasset every time we've been to the Boothbay area, but have never stopped. A few weeks ago I saw a short piece about the place on CBS Sunday Morning. It is known for its lobster roll, which was voted the number 1 lobster roll in Maine. So we stopped on the way home for a late lunch. We don't usually wait too long for food in a restaurant, but we waited about a half hour on line to get to order our lobster rolls. Were they good? You bet. Was it worth the wait? Hmmm. I guess you'd have to try it yourself to decide if it's worth a long wait. :-)
We are winding down our stay in the Boothbay area as I complete this travelog, and we have hooked up with Norm and Linda for our tour of the Maritime Provinces. We will spend one night in Houlton, ME at the end of I-95 and then cross into Canada on July 10. Other than the FMCA rally on Prince Edward Island from July 24-27, and reservations for the ferry to (August 5) and from (August 27) Newfoundland, we will be roaming around and deciding on the fly where to stay, and for how long. It has been a long time coming as we have all been counting down the weeks, but the time is now here for what looks to be a great adventure for the next nine weeks. I have no idea what kind of Internet access I will have while in Canada, but I'll try to put up a travelog sometime during our journey in the Maritimes.
Until next time....safe travels.
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