Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Farewell Maine

Our time at Mount Desert Narrows ended Monday. We had signed on for the full season, May15 to October 14, and together with one other couple who stayed to the end, we closed down the campground for the season. With Acadia National Park closed since the first, it had gotten pretty quiet in the area. There were still some vacationers around who either couldn't or wouldn't change their plans, and we helped them as best we could to come up with alternative ways to enjoy the beauty of the area. 

It was an odd season for us. We truly enjoyed the area. It was much busier than the area we were in last year, but that is to be expected being so close to a National Park in the east. The food was downright diet-busting and that's all we'll say about that! Hiking and biking opportunities are everywhere, and we did as much as we reasonably could taking into account Chelsea's capabilities. The weather...well it wasn't that great. Like most of the east coast this summer, we had a lot of wet weather. A direct result of this was mosquitos that could carry away small children...seriously! Once again, we worked with a great bunch of people, and had many enjoyable moments. Let's get to some pictures!

Our first hike, and done many times over the summer at Ship Harbor

I stopped counting how many lobsters met their demise at Al's hands

Gorham Mountain was our first, but not last, hike that was more of a rock "scramble" than a hike. I do declare that I found hiking in Acadia more difficult, apart from altitude, than in Colorado.

FDR's summer cottage on Campobello Island was our first stop in Canada this summer.

We also visited beautiful Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia....

where we saw our one and only moose of the summer.

The most photographed bridge in Maine at Somesville

breathtaking views on trails VERY close to the edge of the cliffs!

Visiting RV Dreamer friends...

friends from back home (Jim in the white shirt, Judy seemed to be avoiding my camera!)

Al's co-worker Janice and family from the ambulance...and other fellow bloggers who dropped in for visits as they were passing through the area.

Geocaching took us to out-of-the-way places like Hunter's Beach

Cute dinghys...

beautiful harbors...

and picturesque buildings.

kayaking on Long Pond where we found the loons

The Carriage Roads are a unique feature of Acadia that we enjoyed exploring.

Our last hike in Acadia on the last day the park was open, overlooking beautiful Sand Beach.

We personally had several setbacks this year with our vehicles and our health. We also had two terrible losses this year. However, we will have fond memories of Acadia: good friends, wonderful scenery and good times. We enjoyed our work at Mount Desert Narrows, and appreciate the confidence our managers displayed in our abilities. 

We now turn our attention to a week long visit with our families on Long Island NY, and then we head to Campbellsville KY to start at Amazon on 10/28. Our future plans are finding us heading west again next year! We have settled our summer season job for next year, and will be working at Luton's Teton Cabins in Moran, Wyoming. Its a beautiful guest ranch at an entrance to Tetons National Park, and 30 miles south of the southern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. We are very excited to be heading west again, and look forward to another summer of new experiences...and hopefully less problems!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

One Week to Go

The campground is thinning out. The leaves are falling and there's more than a definite nip in the air. Whereas the crisp cooler air has brought clear sunny skies with no haze, unfortunately I have been unable to get to the top of Cadillac Mountain to take advantage of it, as most everyone who is breathing knows why. Our beautiful Acadia National Park has been closed, shuttered by complete and utter nonsense going on in our Nation's Capitol.
(image courtesy of Facebook)

Fortunately last Monday we had a day off and spent the day in Acadia. I had had no faith whatsoever that a resolution would be done in time to prevent a government shutdown, and I'm not pleased to report that I was right. There were a few things we wanted to do before leaving for the season.
Sand Beach is one of the iconic features of Acadia, and we wanted to do the hike around Great Head Point. The dogs are not allowed on Sand beach before September 15th, so this was a hike we were waiting to do with them. To get at the trailhead requires crossing the beach.

There's a pretty steep set of stairs going up to the trailhead. We started going around the loop trail counterclockwise, but ran into a pretty formidable set of rocks that were going to require more climbing than Chelsea could comfortably manage. So we backtracked, and headed around the trail in the other direction, a flatter walk and we would be able to cut across a short-cut that wouldn't require as much scrambling.

The views were really nice.

Sand Beach from above.

A nice view of a mountain they call the "Beehive". 

Back on the flatter ground, we had also done Acadia National Park Earthcache Challenge a couple of weeks ago. Traditional container caches are not permitted on National Park property, so there are several virtual caches. These caches usually require you to navigate to the published coordinates, and usually there's some kind of information you need to find out in order to claim the cache. This particular Earthcache is sponsered by the Park Service, and is a multi-location challenge. We ended up in five different locations throughout the park, collecting the required information needed to answer a final question. To claim the cache, we needed to go to the Visitor's Center, and tell the answer to a Park ranger. When we had finished our challenge the day we did it, it was too late to claim the cache, the Visitor's Center was closed. So we definitely wanted to get there on Monday and claim our prize: a special stamp that we had them place in our National Parks Passport book :-).

One spot we hadn't been to before was Monument Cove. We drove past it many times, but never could see the beautiful free-standing pillar until we walked down a hidden path!

One last lunch at Jordan Pond was also a necessity. Popovers, sandwiches, and then total decadence: we decided since it was the last time, we were throwing caution to the wind and having popovers a la mode for a dessert! No pictures, but it was awesome! I felt so bad for all the folks working here who had no idea if it was their last day or not.

Other than that, we've been back at work. Its quite quiet, and we've lost a few reservations due to the Park closure. We've been quite busy talking to guests about alternative recreation ideas, and quite truthfully, even though the park is officially closed, there are so many ways to access the hiking and biking trails from state roads that plenty of people are still enjoying the outdoor activities. If it become too prolonged, however, it will really be a serious issue as people cancel vacations and cruise ships go to different ports. The local economy had already taken a hit with the month late opening of the park due to the sequestration budget, and now with a late season closure at prime leaf-peeping time, it will hurt. Every lost restaurant meal, every lost tour ticket, every lost room or campsite is something the small business people will never sell again. I have been writing my representatives, and I hope everyone else is as well. Common sense needs to take over! And that's all I'll say about that.

On a final lighter note, this is Nuzzles, Casey's friend here at the campground this summer. Nuzzle's mom, Roxie, is a seasonal camper here, and has supplied us with some delicious home grown veggies this summer. Nuzzles is a Newfoundland/St. Bernard mix, and he is the most gentle, friendliest dog. They've had a really good time together :-).

We're not sure what we'll be doing for the next two days off, the weather is suppose to turn cold and rainy until Wednesday. Well, we arrived in cold and rain, and I guess we'll end that way as well! What can you do?