Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ice Cream Funeral

July 30, 2016
10  Acres Campground
Addison, Vermont

Our time in Vermont is about over and we will soon start heading west, slowly winding our way home.  We spent the past week representing our local RV chapter at the national rally in Essex Junction, Vermont (near Burlington). 
We had a fun time at the rally but we are looking forward to hitting the road again.  New England is very pretty, but we won't miss the traffic, narrow roads and numerous low clearances on roadways.

We couldn't leave Vermont without a short trip to the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory.

After enjoying our tour and tasty samples we walked up the hill in time for the interment of a forgotten flavor in the Flavor Graveyard.

 I wonder how sophisticated your resume needs to be in order to get a job writing ice cream epitaphs?

This afternoon we celebrated my brother-in-law's (Bill Mains) 80th birthday with some friends from the Escapade.  I'm not sure he appreciated all the references to his age, but it was nice to have a get together before everyone starts going in different directions. We are heading towards Lake Placid, NY in the morning.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bridge Climb and Thunder Hole

Pumpkin Patch RV Park
Hermon, Maine

Yesterday we drove down to Acadia National Park.  It was pretty crowded but we were lucky to always find a parking place when we needed one.

There were beautiful views no matter where you looked.  It had been about 50 years since we last drove up Cadillac Mountain, but not much had changed.

This is Thunder Hole, where the water travels up a narrow channel and then crashes against an indentation in the rocks.  The resulting sound (thunder) and spray entertains all the visitors.  The photo at the visitor center was much more dramatic than my photos but I learned that it doesn't really "thunder" except at high tide during a hurricane.  I wonder how many hurricanes they get in Maine.

We ended the day in Bar Harbor where we even found a parking place on the street for the truck.  Since we have been in New England, we have seen lobster rolls advertised at McDonald's.  I don't know if every McDonald's in the country has them this summer or just the ones in New England, but I think I'd rather get my lobster from a place that doesn't have a drive-thru.

It was raining fairly hard this morning so we didn't leave the RV until after lunch.  We took a short drive down to Prospect, Maine to visit the first Fort Knox.

Yesterday was the Pirate Festival but the Pirate ship Roo was still there today.

This fort is a lot like Ft Adams in Rhode Island only this one is much smaller.  It was under construction for about 25 years and never completely finished due to the difficulty getting funds authorized by congress.

On another trip east, we visited the DuPont Powder Mills in Wilmington, Delaware.  Explosions were so frequent at the powder mills that DuPont had to offer death benefits to get workers.

Next to Fort Knox is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

This bridge the only bridge in the Western Hemisphere with an observatory at the top.  The difference between this bridge "climb" and the one we did at the Sidney Harbor Bridge in Australia was this bridge has an elevator that takes visitors up one of the supports to 420 feet above the river.  The only climbing was the stairs to the top two floors.


In order to have unobstructed views from the top, the elevator stops two floors from the top and a stairway goes up the last two floors. The entire observation area is glass walled.  The elevator is so fast and smooth that it doesn't seem possible that you have traveled so far up the bridge.

I'm not admitting to getting older but we were very happy to see that elevator - I think our bridge climbing days are over.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Turkeys, Clams & Lobster

Boston Minuteman Campground
Littleton, Massachusetts

As I sat down at the computer we noticed a family of turkeys walking through our campsite.  They were hanging around the picnic table like they were waiting for dinner.  If they were waiting for me to cook, they will have a long wait.  There were only two adults, but 17 little ones.  I always had trouble keeping track of two kids so I can't imagine 17.  What happens when they all turn into teenagers?

We drove out to Cape Ann today before we leave for Maine tomorrow.  We sure won't miss all the congested traffic round here.

The harbor at Rockport, MA

Fisherman's Memorial, Gloucester, MA

Harbor at Gloucester, MA

We stopped at Woodman's for lunch, the home of the first fried clam in 1914.  We had heard a lot about this restaurant and expected it to be a nice dining establishment.  It turned out to be a unpretentious self-serve eatery.  Instead of picking your order up on a tray, the food was served in a cut off cardboard box.  No one cared because the food was excellent.  The restrooms were labeled "Buoys" and "Gulls". 
                      Love the patriotic lobster

Since we have been here TV programs have been frequently interrupted by "important breaking news".  This important news turned out to be about Tom Brady, "inflate gate" and whether the Supreme Court will hear his appeal.  With everything going on in the world today, it's nice to know that Boston has its priorities set.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Adams Family, Textiles, Canals & Minute Men

Boston Minuteman Campground
Littleton, Massachusetts

On Sunday we spent the day in Quincy visiting the Adams family sites (not the creepy Adams Family from TV but the presidential one).  The Park Service runs a trolley that takes you to the sites for guided tours.

The birthplace of John Adams is on the original foundation, but now the land is a narrow plot with heavily traveled roads on each side.

John Quincy Adams was born in the house adjacent to this one.

This is "Peace Field"  where the Adams families lived in later years.

Under all the foliage is the stone library built by John Quincy Adams' son to house the books and papers of his father and grandfather.

We shared the road with this turkey family.  This area hasn't had much rain so the grass is really dry.

Yesterday we went to Lowell to see the restored textile district.  The Park Service has rebuilt over 400 structures since this area became a national historic site.

I wasn't too keen on the canal tour when I saw how many people were squeezed into that tiny boat but we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were the only ones signed up for the noon tour.  Sure was nice having a private tour.

We  got caught up in the current when the boat was turning into this canal and we hit the block wall very hard.  The ranger was thrown from her seat and fell to the floor.  Seat belts, anyone?

The structure on the left controls the gates that allow the proper amount of water for the mills.  On the right is the lock for river traffic.

The best part of the day was the Greek restaurant we found for lunch.


Today we explored Minute Man Park.  Looks like someone got a little too close to the sign when turning the corner.


Hartwell Tavern

Minute Man statute

Notice the musket in one hand and the plow in the other.

North Bridge - where the "shot heard around the world" was fired.


The rangers warned everyone about the necessity of staying hydrated in the 90 degree heat.  If they thought today was hot, they should try Arizona in July.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Rocks, Sharks & Witches

Boston / Cape Cod KOA
Middleboro, Massachusetts

We have been in the Boston area for several days and are enjoying the sights and battling the traffic.  It takes about twice as long to go anywhere as you planned so I think we will be here another few days.

The first day we were here, we went to New Bedford.  We wanted to see the Whaling Museum but instead we started with a walking tour of the town and learned all about the city's involment in the Underground Railroad.  There is much more to see here, so we didn't get to the Whaling Museum until late afternoon.  You'll never know what we saw because when Dave was transferring the photos to the computer they "disappeared".  Strange things happen here.

Another day we drove into Boston to see the Kennedy Presidental Library.  The tunnels and freeways of Boston certainly make for an interesting commute.


The library is in a gorgeous building built on Boston's waterfront. 

Profiles of Courage room

Back of building

JFK's sailboat

There is a nice walking trail around the harbor.

We had a quick stop at Bunker Hill on our way to Salem.

We took a tour around Salem and hear lots of interesting stories about things in addition to the Witch Trials.  This place must really be jumping during Haloween when an additional 100,000 people descend on the town.

This art work was in the front of one of the buildings.  We weren't exactly sure what it was all about.

Yesterday was supposed to be the hottest day of the week so we thought that would be a good day to drive out to Cape Cod.  The temperature is always cooler on Cape, but what we didn't realize was that also meant fog.

Can you see the ocean just behind the dunes?  We couldn't either.

This sign greeted us as we walked down to the beach.  According to my intrepertation, sharks live in these waters but they only eat seals so if you don't swim with seals you are safe.

We heard on the news the night before that four great white sharks had been tagged in this area.

Love these mats on the walkway.  It is much easier to walk on than the sand.  Notice the fog by the water.

In addition to the wind there was also a shark advisory.  That's OK since the temperature was 65 and the water was too cold to swim in anyway.

Before heading back to the campground we stopped to see Plymouth Rock.  It is in a very pretty park near a replica of the Mayflower.

Plymouth Rock looked pretty ordinary to me.

This must be a high crime area and the rock needed to be protected.  Why else would it be in a cage?