Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eastern Shore

After our New England tour, we headed down to the Eastern Shore, stopping first at Chincoteague for a couple of days. We stayed at the Maddox Family Campground which is the closest to Assateaque Island and the beach. I enjoyed riding my bike around both islands and the Bird chose to hang out on the beach. We had a very nice meal at Etta's Channel Side restaurant and sat next to a singer/acoustic guitar player named Ron Cole who was performing. He was nice enough to give us his songbook (which was full of great songs from the 60's and 70's) and let us create his setlist. He did some Grateful Dead songs for us as well as "The Weight".

Charlie and Stella relaxing at the campground

Chincoteague Island

Assateague Island - still functioning, I could see it from my bedroom window at night
From there we headed down for a week in the Cape Charles/Smith Beach area for our annual bacchanal with about 15 friends (all either Danville ex-pats or spouses of Danville ex-pats). Lots of great food and strong drinks, usually followed by more strong drinks. One night we went to the Shanty to hear a musician from St. Croix named Michael Justis. He was quite good and I was pleased to hear that his version of the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil" includes the last verse, which is rarely played. I think my enthusiastic reception of that song encouraged him to do several more Dead tunes.

Beachhead established

Bubba on the Beach!

All in all it was another great beach week and it even included a ride on the bay on Marcus' boat, which  sometimes I wondered if it really existed.
The still unnamed Marcus sailing craft

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New England Tour

We spent three days camping in the RV in Tremont, Maine, at the foot of the bridge that takes you on to Mount Desert Island, which is where Acadia National Park is located. Each day we would head into the park for to experience what has to be one of the most scenic areas of the US. We were somewhat hampered by the weather, Day One was sort of overcast and wet so we did a driving tour of the island, Day Two was raining more so we went into Bar Harbor for some shopping and bar hopping. We especially liked Stewman's Lobster Pound and Beerworks. It's really nice on a rainy day to sample some lobster bisque and some local craft beers. We also went to the Abbe Museum which taught us much about the Wabanaki people who inhabited the area before settlers from Europe arrived. On Day Three the weather was beautiful, I took the opportunity to take a bike ride on the Park Road, which provided some spectacular coastal views. In the afternoon we hiked to the top of Mount Gorham with the dogs, which was lots of fun. We rewarded ourselves that evening with a lobster feast at the Tremont Lobster Pound.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
When it's raining, beer and lobster bisque are a good way to spend the afternoon

The Bird with Charlie and Stella at the top of Mt. Gorham

Departing Maine we went on to New Hampshire where we stayed at a very nice campground just outside the White Mountain National Forest. We toured the forest, saw some nice covered bridges and we went to the site of the Old Man in the Mountain, which is on all of the New Hampshire logos and their state quarter, but he slid off the face of the mountain a few years ago and now it's sort of a memorial site.

We connected with our friends Harry and Jeff who had been hiking in the White Mountains and had a nice dinner with them in Gorham at the SAalt Pub (that's not a typo).

From New Hampshire we headed into Vermont, stopping on the way at Polly's Pancake Parlor, famous for their superb choice of pancakes and maple syrup.  We overnighted at a campground near Bennington Vermont, the dogs got a chance to run around the countryside and I did a nice mountain bike ride on some snowmobile trails through the woods.

Our next stop was Cooperstown, New York where we spent a day at the Baseball Hall of Fame, which was full of interesting exhibits about the national pastime. I saw the plaque for Ernie Harwell, a cousin of mine and recipient of the Ford Fricke award, given to the best baseball announcers and journalists.

Ernie Harwell at the Hall of Fame
After that we headed south, overnighting at a neat little KOA campground near Fogelsville, PA and then down to the Eastern Shore of Virgina.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Heading to Maine

No music updates on this entry, only travel. After visiting with friends and family in Maryland, the Bird and I set out in the RV to New England to visit some places we've never seen before. The first night we overnighted at a campground near Mitchellville, NY. It was a nice spot, a little difficult to get to but the people there were very friendly. The next day we headed to the Boston area and landed in a campground on the outskirts of Boston in Bellingham, MA. We had planned on touring downtown Boston but Dog #2 Stella decided she didn't want to be left in the RV and began howling and barking as soon as we left her. So we changed plans and let her ride in the truck with us to Cape Cod. It was a bit windy and cold there, but we saw some lovely seaside villages and we spent the day exploring around. Stella was fine with that plan.
Cape Cod Lighthouse
From Massachusetts we headed north to Maine, stopping for a day at Old Orchard Beach. This is a typical beach town with a boardwalk and plenty of lobster places. We had fun walking on the beach with the dogs and eating lobster rolls and steamers. 

Charlie ponders the meaning of life while staring at the ocean at Old Orchard Beach
 From Old Orchard Beach it was an easy drive on up to Acadia National Park. We set up the RV at a campground on the mainland near the bridge that crosses over to Mount Desert Island where the park is located.

Acadia National Park

Stella and I on the coast in Acadia National Park
We'll stay here a couple more days, then head inland to check out more of Maine and New Hampshire.