Gannents and More Gannets

July 15, 2017, 62.4 miles
Camping Cote Surprise, Perce, Gaspe, Quebec

Perce, Quebec

What a treat the day was…we only traveled 62.4 miles!! We didn’t realize how tiring it would be to travel every other day with only one/two days to explore and see as much as we can along the way. Taking pictures thru the windshield leaves little to be desired….I delete many due to the window bugs or glare.

homes in around Perce

The morning started off nice and slow as Will, our wagon master, fearless leader, had coffee and donuts for us while we had a morning briefing about out trip to Perce. Also advising us the times to leave the campground, 11:30 and to please not arrive at the next campground until 1:30.

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a very old building being remodeled

 

more homes around Perce

The drive to Perce was an easy relaxing trip and so very scenic along the St Lawrence coast. Going over the last hill down into the town of Perce was breathtaking, looking down at Perce Rock jutting out of the lake high into the sky, surrounded by blue, blue water. The rock is a huge sheer rock formation sitting in the gulf of St Lawrence river at the very tip of Gaspe Peninsula.

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Perce arch

 

It is one of the world’s largest arches over water. The formation is 1420 feet in length and over 300 feet in width. The arch is large enough that a small boat could pass through during low tide, hence, the name Perce Rock.

looking back at the beach area from the dock

A little further out is another island, which is The Parc national del I’lle-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Perce. The importance of this parc is the nesting site for several species of seabirds. Some 200,000 seabirds, including 110,000 Northern Gannets, make I’lle Bonaventure the most accessible bird watching site. The Northern Gannets have been studies for the las few years to supply information about the breeding of Gannets.

looking from our campground towards town

We all drove our own cars into town the first night to walk around town and explore the stores. We had dinner with Steve and Sharon overlooking the river, it was nice to sit and get to know each other better. The guys had the buffett, while Sharon and I ordered off the menu. The food was ok, but the building friendship was priceless.

look what we found in town!!

The next day the group met in town to watch a movie about the island and the many sea birds that inhabit the island. We all then loaded up on a ferry boat for a 15 min ride around the Perce Rock and over to the National park. There were 7 of us that decided we didn’t want to miss out on anything so we all went on the hike out to the breeding grounds of the Gannets.

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Deciding on the easy trail out to view the birds and taking the harder trail back to the boat, turned out to be 6.5 miles. The trail out was pretty flat with a slight incline going out, coming back was downhill, lots of stairs and boardwalks with a view of the shoreline and thru the forest with wonderful shade as the sun was rather hot.

Guy and Steve hiking

As we were heading the last part of the walk the clouds were forming, we could see that the rain was headed our way. There were some abandoned houses along the way back that we just had to explore but as we looked at the clock it was 1:45 and the boat was leaving at 2:00 the next boat wasn’t until 3:00 so we took off, hoping to make it…we did just in the nick of time.

as far as the eye can see more Gannets

We were so surprised when we got out to the breeding grounds, such an amazing sight to see, thousands of Gannets flying or preening each other, some moms were sitting with their chicks, there were moms that were feeding their babies, there was one mom even laying on an egg. The Gannets were all sitting on their nests and pointing in the same direction.

Gannets are identifiable by their bright white plumage, long neck and beak, and their black wing tips. They have a 6.6 ft wingspan. Gannets can dive from a height of 98 ft with speeds of 62 mph as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish much deeper than most airborne birds. They lay one blue egg per season, keeping the egg warm by using their webbed feet.

mom sitting on an egg

A Gannet has a lifespan of up to 35 years, they are fiercely territorial and very aggressive to neighbors even their mates. The sight and smell of all those birds burned the nose, the flies and knats were almost unbearable.

After our awesome trip watching the birds, once we got back to town we made a mad dash for the ice cream store…vanilla dipped in chocolate…yumm!!

Our next day off we were heading on our marvelous adventure to Caraquuet, New Brunswick, which was going to be a grueling 258.5 miles. So hang with us and read about our next adventure! We are leaving on a 16 hour ferry trip from Sydney, NS  for the month of August to New Foundland and Labradore and have been told there will be limited phone and internet service. I will post more when we get back. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

Gardens and Submarines

July 11-13, 2017, Travel 220.8 miles
Camping Annie Campground
Mertis-sur-Mer, Gaspe, Quebec

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Our drive around the Gaspe Coast was along Highway 132, was on a very curvy road, some areas we had some pretty steep upgrades and downgrades, 8 – 17%. Driving along the picturesque river and mountainous landscapes, valleys, bays and coastline and thru many small coastal towns, we noticed how much of a difference there is between this part of Quebec and the US. You do not find housing tracts, large hotels, or shopping malls.

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The largest building we found in any town were the very elaborate and ornateSPA_7179.jpg churches, the steeples were painted silver with most being built of granite.

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There are little coastal villages, with an abundance of flowers, green fields and forests and the sometimes rocky sharp cliffs along the river. The coastal houses are spread quite far apart, they are much smaller, most built with granite with very small windows, the roofs various colors of metal, some of the houses were painted in bright vibrant colors as well. Every house has rows and rows of cut fire wood for those cold winter months. The village homes are intermixed with the large farms, and along the highway, some so close we could reach out our window and touch them.

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The St. Lawrence River flows roughly in the north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic ocean. It moves along Quebec and Ontario, and New York. The waters flow smoothly through the river valleys which makes the area a great place for farming. Along the St Lawrence River you will find salt-marshes, flat bottom valleys, and lots of hills with gentle slopes, plateaus where the trees are small and far apart. The soil is very rich with 70% of the land being used for growing crops and orchards. The Gaspe area also manufactures, steel, Iron ore, lime stone and coal.

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The travel group of 3 has now grown to a group of 5, Greg, from Fl, single and traveling with his 2 dogs has joined us, and Lou and Karen, from New Braunfels, Tx with their dog Lady. We left St. Nicholas and are heading to Metis-Sur-Mer, Steve and Sharon leading when about 20 miles from the campground, Steve is slowing down and pullilng over.

Oh No!!!

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This can’t be good…he radios us…the steering is not working…he thinks flat tire….he and Guy check it out…nope not a flat…something in the steering…ended up calling a tow truck…Freightliner was right in town so they did not have to tow far…they took it apart…found out what the problem was and started looking for parts but were told they no longer made them. Long story short, used parts were being sent from Tennessee and would take about 3 days, new parts to be made would take 42 days…not good. As of this day 7/22, there are still no parts and Steve and Sharon have been following our group in their car and staying in hotels.

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beautiful carved rocks at the entrance

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The Reford Gardens and International Garden Festival was being held not far from our campground, so our group headed there for the day. It was a beautiful garden park that had been transformed from fields and forests into this wonderful garden over 90 years ago by Elsie Redford. The International Festival is a year long display of structures that artists from around the world have designed specifically for the garden. The designs float, tilt and hang, they slide and move around.

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Elsie Redford the creator of the gardens divided her time between Montreal in the winter and Estevan Lodge in the summer months. The lodge was built in 1887 by the founder of the Canadian Pacific Railway and was a single story building. Elsie extended the building in 1926 for family, servants and guests.

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After our walking tour of the gardens, Guy and I went to tour the Canadian Navy submarine, Onondaga. The sub was in service for over 30 years, it was built by the British for Canada. It was 90 meters long, and had 70 men working on it, it could travel 17 knots submerged and 12 knots on the surface. The sub could hold 16 torpedos, its maximum depth was 210 m.

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The Pointe-au-Pere lighthouse which is the tallest lighthouse in Canada, 333 meters, was built in 1909, there are 110 steps, was at the same location as the submarine.

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There was also a museum across the street that tells the story of the shipwreck of the Empress of Ireland. The ship lays on her port side tilted at about a 50 degree angle, she has been under water for 100 years. The hull appears to be holding up but her mast, two upper decks have collapsed. The Empress collided with the Storstad on the morning of May 29, 1914. The Empress was on her 192nd crossing from Liverpool to Quebec. The Empress of Ireland’s sinking was one of the worst maritime disasters in history. Of the 1,477 people on board 1,012 perished, only 465 survived.

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The museum

After our tour of the lighthouse and submarine we drove along the coast and thru some of the coastal towns. We found a group of stone statues along a boardwalk and down into the ocean. We really could not find out why as everything was in french.  Someones idea of art, I guess. I did hear that when the tide comes in the statues are under water with only a few heads protruding above water.

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It was a full day and our breakfast was long gone, so we were now scouting around for some sea food…we found one right on the water, but once we got close we found it closed!! Which was probably a good thing as the one we found was wonderful..both Guy and I had ceasar salads with 1lb of lobster on them. Yummy!! This place was filled with all kinds of fish related chotskies…

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Our view for lunch

Our time in Mer was a short stop, and now we were moving on to Cap-Aux-Os, Quebec. So stay with us on our Grand Adventure as we move around the Gaspe peninsula.

Until next time y’all have a Blessed Day.

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Our Grand Adventure

July 5, 2017, Canadian Adventure
Pumpkin Patch RV Park, Hermon, Maine
St Nicholas, Quebec, 220.8 miles

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The party was over with Carolyn and Gary…it was now time to join our tour group and head into Canada. We had made the plans to travel with Adventure Caravans about a year ago, we were excited and apprehensive about spending 60 days with 37 people we had never met. Upon arriving at the Pumpkin Patch, Will, our fearless Wagon Master and Pat our tail end Charlie, measured our rig (68’). This was done for the 14-15 hr overnight, ferry ride we would be taking over to NewFoundland and Labradore.

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Our apprehension faded on the very first night the group got together for dinner, which our leaders put together, every couple received a whole cooked chicken, potatoe salad, macaroni salad, along with many other treats. They also had a nicely decorated cake to celebrate the start of our whirlwind journey.

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We received our itinerary booklet with road directions and campgrounds for the next 60 days. Will stated that they would like us to not use our GPS as we would be using side roads in order to see more of the country verses just highways and to travel with a partner.

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A friendship with Steve and Sharon, from Basehor, KS, and Doby and Louise from Placentia, Ca was formed at our first presentation and briefing. We all decided to be traveling partners for the next day as we headed to St. Nicholas, Quebec. Everyone was advised before the trip that we would need walkie talkies in order to keep in touch. It was sure a nice convince and well worth having in emergencies or road changes.

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One of the big objectives our group leader wanted was everyone to get to know one another, they accomplished this by handing us a sheet of paper with blank squares, we needed to fill each square by having new friends sign. This was a great way to talk to one another and meet.

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Later in the trip we will play bingo with the signed sheets. I will let y’all know how this turns our later.

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Our trip to St Nicholas, Quebec, Canada was going to be pretty easy for us as we had just left Jackman, Maine, using the same roads heading to Bar Harbor. Our Wagon Master, Will and Cyndy will be the first out of every campground about 1 hr before the rest of our group, with our Tail End Charlie, Pat and Holly leaving last out, the group would leave between 8 and 10, and were to arrive by 5:00 p.m.

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We had heard so many stories about the border crossing into Canada, what we could take and what we couldn’t, we were pretty prepared for anything, we left the gun in the safe deposit box with the bullets, emptied out the adult beverages, had shot records for LaciLou and the bag of dog food available, passports for us, and our speeches ready for any questions. We were quite surprised at how easy the crossing was. They asked if we had been into Canada before, how long ago, did we own a gun, did we bring the gun, why not, then asked about the adult beverage. We answered truthfully and were on our way in a matter of minutes.

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SPA_6628.jpgThat first day in Quebec was amazing, we left by bus at 8:00am and would be returning by 6:00 pm. Quebec City is the most European style city in North America. The Old City is a very old and quaint city, most buildings were built from the 1700’s- into the 1800’s and made from granite. The city is on two levels, the bottom level is along the waterway, and is being restored slowly, the buildings can be bought from the government for $1.00, as long as you pay to rebuild them. Most of the building have a business located on the street with condos on the upper floors. There was a heavy use of granite used for all the buildings as Quebec is known for its granite.

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The upper part of Quebec city has a wall built around it that was used to defend the city from the British soldiers way back in the 1700’s. The area has many parks, amphitheater where they hold concerts June thru August. One of the biggest attractions is the grand old Chateau Frontenac, this was once owned by the railroad company in the 1800’s and is now owned by the government, the money to buy the Chateau came from the retirement income from the people of Quebec. There are 700 hotel rooms, with the price of the rooms starting in the $500’s.

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Our tour guide was a Frenchman but spoke great English, he really knew his French history and culture. I have to say I know as much about the US as he knew about his country. Quebec is 96% French speaking, all signs on businesses, and roads are in French. At first it was difficult to understand but eventually it started to make sense.

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Chateau Frontenac

Montmorency Falls was next on our list, this water fall is taller than Niagara Falls but not as wide. The Montmorency Restaurant is next to the falls where we had lunch while looking at the falls.

 

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Montmorency Falls taken from the bus a few miles away.

 

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the top of the falls

When we left lunch we walked along a wooden walkway out to the falls, above the falls was a bridgewhere you could look straight down, there was zip lining, from one side to the other in front of the falls, one or our group, David, decided to do the next day, I wish we had been there to see it. I tried 3 times to walk on the bridge but my hands were sweating, my stomach was getting queasy! I just couldn’t do it, so Guy took pictures for me.

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looking down from the walkway

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walk way to the bottom of the falls

We also toured Albert Giles Copper Works, where we watched a demonstration of how they make copper plates, art work, jewelry. Some of the women purchased jewelry.

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the bridge across the top of the falls

Our next stop was to the Saint-Anne Beaupre Basilica. This is a Catholic cathedral, and still holds services. There is the main sanctuary, and 2 more on the bottom floor. The Cathedral is dedicated to Mary’s mother, Jesus grandmother. The doors into the sanctuary were done by Albert Gilles of the copper works we had just toured.

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After leaving the cathedral we crossed the St Lawrence River over to Isle of Orlean. The Quebec government has passed a law just for this island that is be used for agriculture only because of the rich soil. If you own a farm and want to sell it must be sold and used as a farm by the next owner.

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some of the houses on the island

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the ice cream store

There are vacation cottages that were built before the law that do not fall under the farm law but no new houses can be built. One of our stops was at a local framers market where Guy and I purchased some of the sweetest and largest strawberries we have had in a long time and a loaf of homemade 12 grain bread. Yummy! Our last stop of the day was, of course, was at the tip of the island for ice cream. The menu was in French with the servers speaking French, we made our ice cream selections known by pointing at the pictures.

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this mural was painted in 9 months and depicts the 4 season of Quebec

After leaving LaciLou alone in the coach for 10 hours she was so excited to see us, jumping around and wiggling like crazy. I felt so bad for her, but was just as excited to see her. We could make arrangements with the campground to come and walk her but both Guy and I were uncomfortable with that, we turned on the music, gave her treats and toys, picked up the rugs, and put her in the back of the coach, where she has her crate.

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Our next day was a free day to explore as we wished. So we talked with Doby and Louise, Sharon and Steve, and got bus tickets back to Quebec City, spending the day going thru stores, having lunch and then ending the day with adult beverages.

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It was now time to head to Metis-sur-Mer, Gaspe a travel day of 220.8 miles. So come on with us on our Journey thru the Gaspe, and into the Maritimes.

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Lobstas….yum!

June 29 – July 5, 2017
Timberland Acres RV, Trenton, ME

The countdown was on, there were only 6 days left of our whirlwind tour with Gary and Carolyn!! We had so many plans while here in the Trenton/Bar Harbor area and very little time to do it in.

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2lbs, wow

On the day we arrived and were all set up, off to the store Carolyn and I went scouting out lobstas!! We found them and were they huge, 2 lbs, some were even bigger, at $11.99 a pound, 2 lbs were big enough. They weren’t just good they were excellent!! Gary, in preparation of our feast, had brought the big propane lobsta pot, which all 4 barely fit in. The weather was just perfect for eating outside, slight breeze, sunny with fluffy white clouds.

Upon checking the map we decided to head out along Rte 172 down to the tip of the peninsula, over the bridge to Deer Island and down to Stonington, while checking out all points in-between. While trying to time our trip so we could be at Blue Hills Reversing Falls when the tide came in.

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Blue Hill Falls area

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tides out at Blue Hill Falls

This was an amazing and strange thing to watch for sure. When the tide is out the ocean water flows in one direction, when the incoming tide starts flowing back in the ocean goes slack and a short time later the water begins to change direction and slowly starts to flow in the opposite direction.

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the flow of water heading to the left

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same area with the flow of water starting to head to the right

The flow of water increases each minute and the current begins to pick up speed, you then start seeing the waves form and the ocean water starts rising. We were walking along the rocks when the tide was changing, we noticed that the rocks we walked out on were now covered in water, we were then making a mad dash back so we would not have been stranded. No one wanted to land in that water it was so cold!!!

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they were having a great time but the water was freezing

While we were waiting for water to change about 6 kayakers and paddle boarders entered the water to ride the tide and throw a football at each other. I think they landed in the water more than they caught the ball. It did look like fun as they rode the waves back in, heading back the other direction took muscle.

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Wild Iris at Schoodic Point

Clouds and rain arrived on the day we thought we would hike Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, this meant there would be no good viewing of the coast line or the ocean. We opted to head over to Schoodic Peninsular along Hwy 1 and down 186 to Schoodic Point which is also in the Arcadia National Park. The peninsula has 2,266 acres about 5% of the Acadia National Park with two towns included, Goldsboro and Winter Harbor.

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Schoodic Point

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Schoodic Point

 

The point is 440 ft above sea level, with a very rocky granite shoreline with many volcanic dikes. It was awesome to see the wild iris growing around the rocks, I wonder how they could survive on salt water.

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Volcanic dike

 

 

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Gary and Carolyn

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Us and LaciLou too!

We didn’t get far on our drive one day when Guy and I spotted Mill Stream antique store, with very old free standing fireplaces in the window. There was no place to turn around so we kept heading for our destination, thinking we could stop on the way back. Once we made the loop we decided to stop at Bartlett Maine Wine and Distillery, our mouths were watering…we were so disappointed when we found out it was closed. Darn!!

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We did get to stop at the Mill Stream Antique store, checked out the refurbished fireplaces, all of them made in the later 1800’s into the early 1900’s. The man that refurbishes them is 85 yrs old and has refurbished about 80 of them which are for sale. The store was built in the 1800’s, the walls and ceilings are very old rusty tin, the floors were old oak and sloped in all different directions. The wall paper was cracked and pealing off, the stair creaked when you walked up, but what a treasure to walk thru.

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Guys favorite, made 1886, refurbished

Every year for the 4th of July, Timberland Acres RV, holds a free bbq for all who are staying there. This year Gary was the chosen singer to play while the bbq was held. The bbq started at 12:30pm and by 2:00pm everyone was fed, listened to music and gone back to their rigs. I think that was the fastest bbq party I have ever been to, seems like Gary had just gotten everything set up and it was over.

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Gary, singing patriotic songs

 

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any one seen red hot dogs? if you don’t want red or yellow dye these aren’t for you!!

Planning is everything when traveling…we are full time travelers….we should know better….don’t plan to be at a National Park over the holidays….everyone and then some are heading to the parks!!! What were we thinking??

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Stonington harbor, with fog in the background

It’s a great day…lots of sun, windy, not to hot…let’s hike Cadillac Mountain today!!! We decided to leave a little earlier than our normal time…as we found out it wasn’t early enough!!! The traffic into the Acadia National Park isn’t to bad…our spirits are still high…we get to the turn for Cadillac…what are the rangers doing…there are road blocks up ….no entry…full…what…this can’t be…we head to the next spot…road blocks…we get to Jordan Pond House Restaurant…road blocks…full!!! Okay, this was not a great idea..

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Stonington

We decide to leave and just drive along the island over to Mt. Desert Island and to Deer Island. The scenery is amazing along the rocky coast, the homes which are so large and stately, trees that overhang the streets, flowers along the road and in yards that are perfectly manicured, the different colored fishing boats bobbing from their moorings, the lobster traps floating over the waves. So picturesque and relaxing.

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the bridge to Deer Island and Stonington

 

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Stonington

With our travel day coming up fast, Carolyn decided to have a reset day, laundry and cleaning, while Guy and I decided to head up the coast farther along Hwy 1, the State Scenic Hwy.

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Guy and I were getting a little disappointed driving along Hwy 1, as there was not really anything to see, until we finally made the turn on 186, down to Jonesport, which is a quaint fishing village right on the coast. The harbor was filled with lobster boats, and lobster traps. It looked like the whole town was at the Coast Guard facility standing in the parking lot. When Guy slowed down we could read the sign, there was to be a boat race for the 4th of July. They also had a food truck selling hamburgers and hotdogs, where the line was a mile long.

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looking back at the town of Jonesport

 

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Jonesport

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lobsta pots

We could see a bridge that lead over to an island, the map showed it was Beals. Driving over the bridge we could view the water with the lobster boats and traps patiently waiting for the lobster men to return. It seemed that every house had lobster traps in their yards, some had a few while others had hundreds.  As we drove around this small village, we kept thinking where is the closest big town (we think 2 hrs away), we didn’t see any grocery stores, walmarts, dollar stores or hospitals. Both Jonesport and Beals must be pretty self sufficient or order on line for what they need.

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Our last night with Carolyn and Gary was bitter sweet, they were headed for the west coast, with plans to see friends along the way, and were excited to get started. We were headed for the Canadian Maritimes with Adventure Caravans and 20 other rigs for the next 60 days and were excited as well.

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Neither Carolyn nor I took pictures of our last night, we both cooked ribs, corn and had potato salad. We sat by the campfire with double chocolate and walnut brownies, reminiscing about our wonderful time together. It was sad to see them pull out before us, but no more than 30 mins later we were texting.

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Thanks, for joining us on our Journey, come on back and see the Canadian Maritimes thru our eyes. I am not sure how service will be where we are headed but will try to get a blog out as soon as I can.

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The Hunt Goes On!

June 23- 28, 2017
Moose River Campground, Jackman, ME
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The hunt goes on and on,  for the proverbial “Moose”, as we follow the “Moose” signs along the way, we have cameras ready on our drive from NH on into Jackman, Maine. But those elusive “Moose” were still not to be found. We followed along Highway 2 into ME then on up 201 to Jackman, which is 15 miles from the Canadian border. There is one road that leads to Jackman, the town is very remote and small, one grocery, one gas station, a couple of small restaurants. There are numerous ATV trail signs along the road, and a Polaris dealer selling and renting side by sides.

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the dam below the Moose River campground

The owner of Moose River Campground told us that there was an old mill and lake  with a dam where the campground is now. Not sure what kind of mill, it burned to the ground in 1935. All that is left now is the cement pillers from the dam. It makes for a pretty waterfall with the Heald Stream River flowing through and along the campground.

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Heald Stream River falls

Moose River Campground is the last one before the border, there are only 46 sites, 7 with full hook ups (30 amps) and 10 are seasonal sites. There were only 4 of us for the week, but on the weekends it fills up. I think the rain and the mosquitoes are following us as it has rained every day and we are getting eaten alive! If you kill one there are thousands more at the ready to attack.

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a field by the campground

With cameras in hand off we went to find “Moose”. If you are looking for a really great place to fish, this area is for you. There is water everywhere, lots of lakes and rivers. Other than that there is not much to see or do. It was a nice relaxing week for us, lots of campfires, cleaning and doing laundry.

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Moosehead Lake

We drove the only other road out of Jackman, (6/15) towards Moosehead Lake,  along the way we stopped for lunch in Rockford where the restaurant had a wonderful view of Moosehead Lake. I had already fixed Guy pancakes and sausage for breakfast so neither of us were hungry, but the seafood chowder sounded and tasted so good.

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Lupine

Since we have been on the hunt for “Moose”, every where we go we have seen all kinds of knick knacks with “Moose”. At one of the restaurants we were at,  Guy spotted a  moose door knocker, he really liked it and now he is on the hunt for a “Moose”  door knocker!!! We spied an antique store in Monson, and decided to stop and look, but to no avail!! We will keep trying as now we are on a mission.

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moose door knocker

When arriving in Abbot Village, Guy spied another store, “Moosehead Lake Furniture & Cabinetry, gift store”, this looked promising…yes there were lots of “Moose” pepper shakers, towel holders and plenty more “Moose” related items…but no knockers!

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Pine table top

We were very impressed by the furniture, made right on the premises. While we were admiring a beautiful table, in came the builder, Dominic. If we ever decide to build another house, we have decided to have him build us a dinning table and chairs.

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Continuing our quest for “Moose” we head towards Moscow, back to HWY 201 and home. It was late afternoon and what do we see but an ice cream stand…Yummy! The place is for sale, it’s a gas station, store, restaurant, and ice cream shop, $475,000!! We pass on the offer but do get ice cream blizzards, oreo and heath bar, and a root beer float for Guy.

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The upper part of the river leading to Moxie Falls

As we are heading on the last leg of our road trip we spotted a sign “Moxie Falls”, yelling at Guy to turn right…he was fast on the turn…our first mistake was no mosquito spray… Once got out of the car to start the 1 mile walk to the falls we were in trouble. We were attacked by mosquitoes like we were the only meal they had ever had…there was no turning back, we were on a mission to see water, we practically ran to the waterfall…hoping to out run those mosquitoes.  We were so glad we didn’t let them chase us away as this was a wonderful sight to see.

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Moxie Falls

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pool at bottom of Moxie Falls

The trail meanders through a beautiful area of pine trees and wild flowers, there are stairways and boardwalks with platforms above the falls. Moxie Falls is Maine’s highest waterfall with a 92 foot vertical drop that falls into a pool, leading to smaller falls, then continues downstream to meet the Kennebec River. We could not stay long to enjoy the view as the buzzing and biting were driving us crazy. Taking pictures was a challenge!!

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This is what a “Moose” looks like!

SUCCESS!! A “Moose” sighting!!!

Carolyn and I decide to drive along the last 15 miles of the 201 up to Canada to see a couple of waterfalls, the guys want to clean the coaches and trucks so opt to stay home. We found 2 waterfalls, and one “Moose” along the road. I was driving, and luckily no one was behind me as I slammed on the brakes, while Carolyn was yelling “Moose” stop, stop….back up…back up…I decided to turn around…Carolyn was snapping pictures…yelling… hurry…hurry.. speed up…speed up…I grab my camera…trying to take pictures while trying to drive the truck…she’s yelling turn off the wipers….speed up….you guessed it ….we scared him to death… two wild women..laughing and yelling… he took off at lightening speed.

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“Moose”

This week has been extremely wet as it has rained every day, we are living in mud, pine needles and mosquitoes. Since we have been stuck inside so much we decided that we needed a dinner out…Carolyn found Hawk’s Nest Lodge & Restaurant, in West Forks, about 20 mins south of Jackman.

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The restaurant was in a 3 story log building, the first floor was a wood work room, the restaurant/bar was on the second, the top floor had 4 large lodge rooms. What a great restaurant, atmosphere was just perfect, couches by a large rock fireplace, the table and chairs, and bar were all pine and made by the owner, the food was amazing. Guy and I both had caesar salads and mussels with garlic linguine. We also ordered Maine Blueberry Cheesecake. Yummy!

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stopped long enough on the trail to snap this cool tree

We are heading this week to Trenton, Maine just outside Bar Harbor. This will be our last week with Carolyn and Gary.  Then off we head to Herman, Maine and then on to the Canadian Maritimes.

Guy and I hope you all had a Blessed and wonderful and safe July 4th, where ever you were!

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Thank you for following along with us, come on back and join our tour of Trenton and then our trip into the Canadian Maritimes.

The Hunt is on!!

June 19-24, 2017
Timberland Campground
Shelburne, New Hampshire

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Watching the Androscoggin River

We arrived at our new home for the week into a heavily wooded campground. Pulling in we were excited to see the trees and firepits, but no sooner did we open the doors, we were bombarded with mosquitoes. They were attacking from all sides, in your mouth and nose. Poor Guy stayed outside to get us all hooked up, while I was very happy doing the inside set up. I did get out the spray with 40% deet, we sprayed like crazy…very thankful that those nasty critters didn’t like the stuff and left us alone.

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Androscoggin River

There was a walking trail along the Androscoggin River, just down from our site.  After our 4 hour drive we needed a little exercise, hoping the spray would keep the mosquitoes at bay. The trail was a loop, along the river and thru a meadow filled with flowers. The river was large and very fast moving, there were kayaks we could to use but the current was so strong you could be miles away in minutes with no way of getting back.

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walking thru the meadow

There was rain almost every day we were there, but luckily the afternoons were dry so we could have a fire…the hotter the fire…less mosquitoes. We never did eat or cook outside…we were not to excited to find out what mosquitoes tasted like.

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A fiddlehead…who knew you can cook and eat these…tastes like asparagus….hummmm

There are 2 other towns not to far away, Gorham and Berlin. Berlin seemed to be a dying town, most of the stores and restaurants were closed and boarded up. Gorham was a more thriving town, they even had a Walmart and a Dollar General. Carolyn and I had decided to go have a girls day…lunch and shopping…between the two towns we found pizza and chinese buffet. Luckily they had a McDonalds, chicken nuggets and burgers!! What was amazing were the signs that said “Lobster is Back”…a lobster roll for $8.99! At McDonalds?? Who knew.

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“Moose” tracks

For weeks Carolyn and Gary had been talking about all the “Moose” they had seen in this area, momma’s with babies, dads with big racks! They made it seem like we would see a plethora of “Moose”!!! How exciting was that…we had not seen a moose since Alaska about 7 yrs ago.

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“Moose” does this count?

We see one “Moose” in the trees, far, far away, we can’t see his face, he hears us, and moves back among the trees…does this count as a “Moose” sighting?…not in my book…

so far these are the “Moose” we have found..these don’t count!

We drove many miles checking out the area around us and even into Maine up in the high country where there is only one main road. We checked out many streams and rivers…so many I have almost lost track. Looking for the proverbial “Moose”, we even waited until dusk when they would be at the watering holes, munching on the grass. Nope no “Moose”.

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the skies can change in a minute on Mt. Washington

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the view from the top of Mt. Washington

Outside of Gorham is Mt Washington, the mountain is 6,288 feet, there are two ways to get to the top, the “Cog Train” or the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The cog train is $69 – 75 round trip, while the road trip is $29 for car and driver and $9.00 for each additional person.

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the view going down Mt. Washington

Yes, we choose to drive the auto road, which is not for the faint or heart. The road is very narrow,  no guard rails, the average grade is 12%, hard packed gravel road, very high winds, at about the 4,200 foot level you are above the treeline.

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Mt Washington

 

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the stairs to the top of the mountain enclosed in fog

Crystal clear days are rare on the summit of the mountain, under perfect conditions you can see the Adirondack peaks over 130 miles away. There are days you can see 60 miles to the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Maine. The day we were there  was very windy and cold. The clouds would surround us the in minutes move on, one minute we could see forever the next nothing.

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One minute the fog was there then it was gone

The highest wind ever observed was recorded on Mt Washington. From 1932 was operated in the Summit Stage office during the storm of 1934, the wind measured 231 miles an hour. Weather observers staff the observatory 236 days a year, 24 hours a day, thru fierce, fast changing weather, heavy snow and icing collecting weather data.

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view towards Canada

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interesting facts on a tee shirt

Most of the moutainous area of Mt Washington is part of the White Mountain National Forest. The 725,000 acres are public property and is managed for its timber production, hunting and fishing and recreation.

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cog train

The Cog Railway was the first cog train in the U.S. and started its trip up the mountain in July 1869. There are vintage steam engines and replica coaches. A cog railway is a steep railway with a toothed rack rail, usually between two smooth rails. Trains are fitted with one or more cog wheels that follow the track, this allows the trains to operate on steep grades, 7-10% grades.

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the cog train pushes the passenger train up the hill

The hunt for “Moose” was still on.. we kept driving the roads of New Hampshire, down to the Kancamagus Pass, that reaches 2890 feet, over to Lincoln, checking out the views as far as we could see, and then back over into Conway. Cameras ready, eyes always on the look out…

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Ellis River (Stream?)

The NH map had little pictures to show where the “Moose” hung out, where waterfalls were located and even the old covered bridges!! With all that information we should be seeing so many awesome things…well, off we went to find Thompson Falls, it took many wrong turns and at least 1/2 hr to find the hiking trail. We prevailed and started our short .7 hike, along the stream, spirits high, after atleast a mile with no falls, we were all thinking we must be on the wrong trail…so we gave up…later we found out we had not gone far enough…

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pink Ladies Slipper along the trail

 

SPA_6085.jpgThe trail wasn’t a  bust for me as I found “Ladies Slipper” flowers all along the trail, I had not seen these flowers since I was a kid in Mass.

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MooseLookMeGuntic Lake

We even drove along hwy 17, into Maine up to MooseLookmeguntic Lake, (seriously that’s the name) timing our drive to arrive in the area of Errol, back in NH where the “Moose” have their own crossing signs….

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On our way to Errol we stopped on the Sunday River and found this awesome covered bridge, it was built in 1872.

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Sunday River Covered Bridge

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Sunday River Covered Bridge

We did find a couple of covered bridges but even these were hard to find..about 3 we never did find…oh well, there is always next time.

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Covered Bridge turned into a gift shop, built in 1790, Bartlett NH

We also went thru Rumford, ME, where we stopped at the visitors center to pick up some maps and information. Paul Bunyan was there with his blue ox, Babe. Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack in American folklore. There are tall tales that revolve around his superhuman labors. His character originated with the North American loggers.

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Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe

At the visitors center Carolyn and I met up with 4 men just sitting in the office and talking away…they wanted to know about us and if we needed a partner to tag along! They gave us some great info on Coos Canyon.

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Coos Canyon

 

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Coos Canyon

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Coos Canyon looked like a popular place for a warm day as there were people in swimsuits climbing the rocks and swimming! There was a store across the street that served lunch, ice cream and had a gift shop attached. It was decided we all needed ice cream,  we sat outside looking at the waterfalls, in the sun and enjoyed the cool refreshing treat.

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beautiful Androscoggin River at dusk

We have heard that the best time to view “Moose” is between dusk to dawn. So we timed our drive so we would be driving down hwy 16 at dusk about 6:30. Drive slowly they said… so slowly we went down hwy 16 thru the town of Errol…heading back to camp.

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Androscoggin River

We are on our last day here in the White Mountain area, it’s getting dark we are heading down from Errol, it’s beautiful as the sun sets on the water, the trees look darker, you can see the reflection on the water of the big puffy, white, red and gray clouds, the many ponds with ducks swimming, reeds swaying with the breeze around the edges of the water, “Moose” prints in the mud, our necks are hurting from turning in all directions, our eyes have eye strain from trying to see thru the trees, we are hungry and headed for a pizza dinner, but where the heck are the “Moose”?

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Stay with us as we head into Jackman, Maine, while we look for the proverbial “Moose”. We will be about 15 miles from the Canadian border, with only one road going that up to Canada and the border crossing.  The big question is “will we find “Moose”.

Until next time, y’all have a very Blessed 4th of July holiday.

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“Snowflakes” and Much More!

June 14, 2017, North Beach Campground, Burlington, VT

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Lake Champlain from our campground

Our campground in Burlington, Vermont was in the middle of the city, behind the high school on Lake Champlain. Our gps took us off the hwy, thru town on some pretty narrow car lined streets, making those wide turns a very scary adventure. Looking down into cars and seeing the looks on some of the drivers faces…priceless!! You could see they weren’t sure we wouldn’t drive right into them.

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Lake Champlain from the town marina

The campground is really not big rig friendly, lots of low hanging trees with mostly tent sites. There are only about 10 sites that can accommodate a big rig. Our site had a very steep slope to it, after putting numerous wood blocks under the tires and jacks we finally had it level. There was no moving to another site as the campground that weekend was sold out, one of the workers saw our predicament, went to the shop and came back with nice cut up planks for us to use.

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view from the marina

There is a paved bike/walking path that goes along the lake by North Beach campground which makes it easy access to Burlington’s downtown and waterfront. The beach area is for public use with a pavilion and bbq’s, play area for the kids, rentals of kayaks and paddle boards.

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downtown Burlington..Church Street

While walking around Burlington’s marina area, we found the ice cream vendor who sells Maple Ice cream cones…yes…we stopped and had a double!! Guy opted for a root beer float.  It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day so it sure tasted good.

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Church Street

We took a drive thru town and found Church street which is closed to traffic. There are numerous little shops, restaurants with tables on the sidewalks, vendor carts selling everything from soup to nuts. The University of Vermont is in Burlington so the town is full of students enjoying the wonderful weather.

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cute ski chairs along Church Street

We stopped at one of the most picturesque old grain mills, located on a small fast moving river. The Chittenden Mill, it was named after the first governor of Vermont. The inside has been turned into a museum for the “Snowflake Collection” and also gift shop.

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Chittenden Mill

For over 40 years Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley photographed thousand of individual snowflakes, perfecting the technique to keep them from melting. Snowflakes or snow crystals are difficult to photograph because they do melt so quickly, he would photograph the snowflakes outside to keep the delicate specimens from melting. Bentley developed equipment and techniques to take photographs of individual snowflakes.

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plate crystals

 

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Steller Crystals

He stood in the winter cold for hours waiting patiently so he could catch falling flakes. Once a snowflake landed, he carefully handled it with a feather to place it under the camera lens. From the first photograph he took in 1885 until his death in 1931 he photographed more than 5000 snow crystals, while gathering this large collection he learned that every single snowflake was unique and none the same. Each crystal takes on its own unique size and shape as it is falling to earth, there are many factors that cause this, temperature, wind, humidity, and up and down drafts.

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Stellar Crystals

 

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log cabin quilt made in 1830’s by Bentley’s grandmother (all by hand)

On our tour of the area we stopped at Smugglers Notch State Park. This is a mountain pass that derives its name from activities that were prohibited by the Embargo Act of 1807, which forbid American trade between America and Canada.

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thats one big boulder

 

Due to the proximity to Montreal the illegal trade with Canada continued. Fugitive slaves also used the Notch as an escape route. In 1922 the road was used during the Prohibition years to smuggle liquor in from Canada.

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This area is extremely rocky, the mountain is 2,170’ and is now used for mountain climbing, there are also many hiking trails with some very strenuous trails. The spur trail leads to the top of Elephant’s Head, as you climb you gain about 1,100 feet in the 2.1 miles from the parking lot.

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you can just barely see the climbers

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a closer look

We had heard thru the years about all the skiing in Stow, Vermont and what a wonderful place it is. It is a beautiful place, the town was pretty spread out, there were lots of restaurants and stores, but I didn’t see the attraction. Of course, I don’t ski nor will I ever!! I have tried it in Tahoe and Yosemite. Being afraid of heights, getting on a ski lift was terrifying.

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center bottom a climber with another out of site below

We stopped for lunch at a tavern in Stowe, and then headed to the Moss Glen Waterfall. The hike to waterfall was about was about 1/2 mile, the last part straight up hill. It was so worth the trip, the walk way to the falls was lined with flowers and ferns (as tall as me), part of the path you walked on wood as it was pretty wet and muddy, following the river on one side, as it was flowing over the rocks.

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Moss Glen Falls

 

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from the bottom of the falls

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After checking it out from the top, we decided to hike down to the bottom, once there, Carolyn and I took off our shoes, rolled up our pants, braved the icy cold water, walked into the river, climbing over the rocks, trying not to fall, trying to keep our cameras dry, to get to the bottom of the falls.

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There was one last big boulder that I climbed over but Carolyn decided it was way to much for her. We were disappointed as we could only see half way up!!

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It was finally time to get our ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s and take the tour!!! Jokes on us as we braved the parking lot, drove around a protest going on about migrant workers, and worked our way thru the people, we get to the tour line….with a sign that says, “No ice cream being made today”!

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Well, dang, all of us deciding that we weren’t going to spend the $4.00 each and not see ice cream being made. Off we went to the ice cream line…..we were about the 40th in line….looked at each other and decided we can go to the store and get it for less money. So off we went…..

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Every state seems to have its share of out of the ordinary, so found this 38 drawer structures that claims to be the world’s only giant filing cabinet. It was built in 2002 by Bren Alvarez. The tower is titles “File Under File Under So. Co., Waiting for…” Each of the drawer representing the number of years of paperwork that were accumulated while working on the project to connect Interstate 89 to downtown Burlington. The road connector was first proposed in 1965, it has never been built, and 51 yrs later is still in limbo.

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Gary and Carolyn had been to the Magic Hat Brewery and Artifactory before and thought we should experience it as well. I will say, I thought it was one of the coolest breweries and funkiest we have ever been to.

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They have a self guided tour which takes about 5 mins!! Magic Hat brews four year round beers, #9 “Not Quite Pale Ale”, Dream Machine, Circus Boy and Single Chair. They also produce seasonal beer, which is beer produced for a particular season. Seasonal beers are usually produced when the fresh ingredients are available or for special holidays, festivals or events.

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the entrance to the tour and the artifact hall

 

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looking down into the plant

As we walked down the halls, on our way to start the tour, is the Magic Hat ArtSpace. The halls showcase local artists and their work for 2 months. When a new artist is chosen to display their work, a reception is held to showcase on the first Friday of that month, to showcase the new artist. All the artists along the walls are for sale.

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cool way to show tee shirts

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the tasting room and sales area

The Magic Hat also sells their own brand of items, tee shirts, hats, glassware, sunglasses, bottle openers and of course their beer.

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art for sale

They hold events all year long, like the one coming up in August, “Wall to Wall Canvas”, which is a live art competition, the winner will win $500.00. Artists use wheat pasting, stencils, collage, spray painting, and markers to create unique pieces of art, the art will then be displayed along the walls of the brewery.

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art for sale

Since it was Father’s Day, Guy and I decided to take a drive to the islands off the coast of Burlington. There are a group of 4 islands in the middle of Lake Champlain, Grand Isle, North Hero, South Alburgh, Isle La Motte,  the drive was about 3-4 hours.

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this barn looks like it will topple over any minute

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cute antique shop

We were amazed at how beautiful it was, lots of big red barns, some in drastic need of repair, some falling down, but quite a few that were still being used. There flowers everywhere along the road. Guy and I wondered what everyone did for work that didn’t have a farm, there weren’t any stores or places to work, unless you had a roadside buisness.

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our view of Lake Champlain

We stopped for lunch at North Hero House Inn and Restaurant, they were cooking and serving lunch out on the grass overlooking the lake.

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LaciLou loves it when she can be with us…she had some of my fish tacos

It was an awesome view, the wind was blowing about 30 miles an hr, almost to windy to eat out as things were flying everywhere. But it was Father’s Day, everyone was loving the atmosphere, the place was crowded, the wait was pretty long, but there was lots of laughter.

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awesome old barn

What a great time we had during our time in Burlington. It seemed like it flew by and now it was time to head off to New Hampshire. So come along on our journey with us to Shelburne. Until next time have a Blessed Day.

 

Boldt Castle

June 9, 2017, Henderson Bay and Alexandria Bay, NY

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Our view of Lake Ontario

The week we spent in the Byron, Ny area was so packed with things to do and see, we really weren’t ready to move on, there was so much more to check out. Since Carolyn and Gary had already headed to Henderson Bay, NY, in the 1000 Island region and were waiting for us, off we went. Little did we know what an awesome area we would be visiting.

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our view on Lake Ontario

We actually were a little worried that our gps had taken us a wrong way again as we were making out way to 1000 Island Association KOA in Henderson Bay, NY. Heading  down a very narrow and twisty neighborhood road with trucks and cars lining the street, there was no way a car coming the other way could fit beside us. The view between the homes was awesome, we were on a hill looking down at Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. Once we got down to the level of the lake, we could see that the road across the water to an island was man made.

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hopefully it was strong enough to hold us

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man made road to the island

It took us out to the campground that takes up the whole island, after going over a very narrow bridge, it sure made us nervous, as we wondered, would it hold us at 51,000 lbs and our truck or would something land in the lake?

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The island,..taken thru the rain

This campground is huge, with over 200 rv sites, cabins, and tent sites. They have a community center, two pools, kids play area and boat marina. Before we arrived we had checked out the website and learned that because of all the rain the area had there was flooding at the campground and some sites could be underwater…luckily most of the flooding had receded before we arrived, there was still some of the island that was flooded.

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view of Lake Ontario

There had been rain while we were in Byron, Carolyn and Gary found that they had a leak in one of the slides…yikes…so the guys spent sometime on the roof removing the slide topper and finding the leak…luckily Gary had the proper caulking and tape to fix it. We have had rain since then and glad to report…no leak… the guys did a great job fixing.

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the boys fixing the slide

 

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side by side

A visit to the magnificent Boldt Castle on Heart Island in Alexandria was something that Caroline told us was a must…so off we went.

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Heart Island

Guy and I had no idea what to expect and decided not to look up any information on it as we wanted to be surprised….and WOW were we ever! If you are ever in this area it is a must see!

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Boldt Castle

You must take a ferry for a 5 min ride out to the castle, ( The cost of the ferry to the island was $9 each and the self guided tour was $9.50 each), We could see the castle from the mainland but the closer we got to the island the more beautiful it looked. The story of Heart island and Boldt castle starts out as a beautiful love story but has a truly tragic ending.

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the view of the Castle from the back side

George C. Boldt came to America in 1864 from Prussia, the son of poor parents. He became the most successful hotel magnate in America. George C. Boldt was the millionaire proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NY City as well as the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia, PA. George decided to build a full-sized Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY on his own island. This castle was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise.

 

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The grounds around the castle were filled with flowers

Beginning in 1900, Boldt’s family, his wife and 2 children,  shared four glorious summers on Wellesley Island, (another of his islands) while 300 workers, stonemasons, carpenters and artists built the six story, 120 room castle on Heart Island. There are tunnels, a powerhouse, Italian gardens, a drawbridge and dovecote.

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side view of the castle

In 1904, tragedy struck, Boldt telegrammed the island and had the 300 workers “stop all construction”. His beloved, Louise, had mysteriously died. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved Louise. Three hundred workers laid down their tools, and the castle was never finished. Boldt never again returned to the island, leaving the structure as a monument of his love.

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Stone Gazebo

For 73 years, the castle remained vacant, left to the wind, rain, ice, snow and vandals. In 1977, the Thousand Island Bridge Authority took ownership by paying $1.00, under the agreement that all proceeds from tourists would be applied towards restoration of the castle and grounds.

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Stained glass ceiling in entry way

Since then, $15 million has been invested into the rehabilitation of the Heart Island Castle. The initial goal of the restoration of Heart Island was not to finish what had not been completed, but to restore the island to the state it was in when construction was halted. But it improvements have gone beyond that, with the marble floors, grand staircase with woodwork, stained glass dome, finished kitchen and bedrooms. Restoration continues today.

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George C. Bold’s bedroom

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Louise’s Bedroom

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Clover’s bedroom (daughter)

There are six structures on Heart Island: Boldt Castle, the Power house, the Alster Tower, the Hennry, the Arch and a stone gazebo. There are many walkways that surround the property and castle leading to gardens and lake.

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The Powerhouse

 

The Powerhouse and clock tower, which are on the eastern end of the island was fashioned after a medieval tower with a stone arch bridge which provided access to the powerhouse. The powerhouse was built to hold a generator which supplied the island with power and now is a museum to show how power was obtained in the early 1900’s. Due to the high water there was some flooding on the island, which was the case with the power house so we did not get to tour inside.

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part of the gardens that flooded

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The Arch that was to be the entrance to the Castle

Most of the rooms on the first floor and many of the rooms on the second floor are finished and furnished as of 2013. The basement has been left unfinished with just the brick and mortar walls. The pool has been painted and does have water, it is being used as a wishing pool as visitors have been throwing money into it.

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Alster Tower (The Children’s Play House)

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how the inside of Alster tower looks today

The Alster Tower was purposely constructed with slanting and uneven walls, ceilings, and roof. The towers construction began in 1897 and was completed 2 yrs later in 1899. The tower reaches 90′ into the air and has 2 bowling alleys, library, kitchen, billiard room and stage for Children’s plays. The upper portion of the tower was divided into bedrooms, studies and bathrooms. The tower is being refurbished with the first room being the billiard room.

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Dovecoat Tower

Dovecot Tower was the first structure built on the island. It is located on the east end, it housed the water tank and was capped with the dovecot. If you look closely you can see the actual perches and pigeon holes that were constructed for the fancy fowl the Boldt’s kept on the island. The Dovecoat had deteriorated so badly that it was unsure if it could be restored, but by 1992 it had been completely restored.

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Yacht House

The Boldt Yacht House is located on Wellesley Island (another ferry ride across the lake), has antique wooden boats, some from the Boldt fleet. The families 3 yachts and houseboat were in slips, 128’ long. The building rises 64’ and housed a shop that built racing boats and were quarters for the crew and staff. The bay doors, roof and windows are now being restored.

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unrestored basement

On the second floor there is a documentary film about the life of the Boldt family and the castle, it was very informative and interesting, it takes approximately 10-15 mins.

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unfinished basement

Once arriving back in Alexandria Bay, we all voted on an early dinner, Riley’s was right on the water where we could watch the boats come in. After dinner a walk thru the town looking in store windows and checking out the art gallery was perfect before heading back to camp.

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Sunset on Lake Ontario

The next day was going to be a long drive for us as our next stop was Burlington, Vermont, making it an early night for us all.

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Thank you all for following on “OurRovinJourney”, come and follow us as we spend time in Vermont. Have a Blessed Day and see ya soon!

Barn Quilts

June, 2017, Barn Quilt Tour, LeRoy, NY

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LeRoy Bicentennial Quilt Block

While staying at Southwoods Rv Park in Byron, I started checking out all the information on what there was to do in the area. I spotted a brochure about a self-guided tour of over 100 Barn Quilts in the town of LeRoy.  The brochure had pictures of about 60 quilt blocks with addresses of where they are located, and the name of each block. Wahoo, this was right up my alley, as most of you know I love quilting and even while on the road I have continued to make them as time permits.

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Emperor Tulip

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Hens and Chickens

Barn Quilt Blocks are quilt patterns painted on wood and hung either on barns, sheds or residential homes, sometimes even businesses. There are also quilt block patterns inside local restaurants, schools, and the local nursing home. Guy and I had also had made 2 barn quilt blocks while still in our house in Al for a barn of our friend, Loring.

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Jell-O Jigglers

The Barn Quilts of LeRoy began as a Bicentennial project for the town of LeRoy.  The first quilt, “Jell-O Jigglers” was painted in July 2011 at the annual Oatka Festival, it is featured on the front of the Jell-0 museum.  The goal was to have 24 quilt blocks painted and erected for the Bicentennial event of June 8, 2012. In less than 10 months over 70 barns quilt blocks were completed. The quilt blocks have come to represent the pride shared for the people of LeRoy, a town rich in heritage and a vision for the future.

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Nonesuch

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Dash Churn

The barn quilt block project has continued after the Bicentennial as more blocks appear around town and the surrounding areas every day. Each person that makes a quilt block and displays it has a story as to why they choose that particular block, it can be of their own design or a pattern from years ago.

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Lady of the Lake

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Dutch Dream

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No Place Like Home, Grandma’s Puzzle, Gather Round the Campfire

When we were in Marion, N. Carolina about 2 years ago, I wrote a blog (McDowell Quilt Trail, May 22-31, 2015) about the Barn Quilts in that area. So I was super excited to spend the afternoon hunting these down. Guy had gone to his sisters in California so this gave LaciLou and I the perfect time to head out.

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Carpenter’s Square

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This block was not painted but carved out of wood

This was just a small sampling of the wonderful quilt blocks I found, using gps and making many wrong turns, stopping on the sides of the road and walking thru many fields. Some of the blocks I could not find as easy as they were placed in the opposite direction and then had to make many u-turns. I loved the hunt, not so sure LaciLou was as excited as me.

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Windmill

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Railroad Crossing

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Diana’s Star

Thanks for following along, I hope you enjoyed this tour with me, until next time have a Blessed Day.

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Stained Glass

 

 

 

 

Letchworth and Niagara Falls

June 7, 2017, Byron, New York

Letchworth State Park and Niagara Falls

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Upper and Lower Falls with the bridge in background (being worked on) at                          Letchworth State Park

 

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a peak of the upper falls

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the bridge in the distance to view the upper falls, 200 steps down

About an hour south of us is Letchworth State Park, commonly know as the “Grand Canyon” of the east. The Genesse River roars through the gorge with three waterfalls, Upper, Middle and Lower, which are between cliffs as high as 600 feet, with lush forests surrounding the river. The Upper falls trail was closed due to construction of the bridge.

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Middle Falls, the largest at 107′ tall and 285′ wide

The state park was once the native land of the Seneca Indians. In the 1800’s W.P. Letchworth purchased 1,000 acres that he deeded over to the State of NY, making the state park 14,350 acres so that the park could be preserved for future generations. Letchworth worked to preserve the Native American history of the Genesse Valley. In 1913 the museum opened and includes Native American artifacts, photographs, with a movie that showcases the park history.

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Us at the middle falls

 

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if not for the heavy rain clouds the view would be fantastic

There are 65 miles of hiking trails, there are also trails for horseback riding, biking, and snowmobiling. In 2015, out of 19 state parks, Letchworth State Park was voted as the best State Park in the U.S. by USA Today.

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Glen Iris Inn and Restaurant

The Glen Iris Inn and Restaurant has been welcoming guest since 1914 and is the former country estate of William Pryor Letchworth and is located adjacent to the middle falls. Since it was lunch time, the vote was let’s eat. What a wonderful restaurant, with excellent food, Guy and I had onion soup and shared a burger (not your ordinary burger, onion rings, bacon, pepper jack cheese and an awesome sauce) Gary had broccoli cheese soup, sharing a monte cristo sandwich with Carolyn.

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One of the highlights for me was our tour of Niagara Falls!! The first thing Guy and I did was walk across the Rainbow Bridge from the American side over to the Canadian side of the falls leaving Carolyn and Gary on the American side.

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About half way across we noticed a group of people, police, camera men, men and women in shorts and tees, men in regal attire with plumed hats all heading in our direction…with a banner…as they got closer we could read the banner..”Torch Run for Special Olympics”.

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Wow, how exciting…I worked with Special Olympics many years ago with my friend, Shelly, who has a Special Son, Dustin. Shelley’s husband, Phil is a retired police officer, who also runs with the Torch Run for Special Olympics. Guy and I also, 40 years ago, had a Special Son, Ryan. So this torch run holds a special place in our hearts.

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There are many things to do while at the falls, one thing I noticed on the Canadian side is that its more or an amusement park, with zip lining, ferris wheel, with many large hotels with awesome views of the falls. The US side was more sedate, the one large building was the observation tower (no way was I going on that thing) it has a ledge you walk out on and can view the falls. There are tour boats on each side of the river that take you into the Horseshoe Falls, wearing rain gear, thinking your not going to get wet…but guess what if you are under the falls your getting wet.

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Observation Tower

 

SPA_5477.jpgThere is really nothing you can add to this experience…of Niagara Falls….so I will let the pictures do the talking…enjoy

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Rainbow Bridge with access from the US side to Canada ( need passports)

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The day before we toured the falls we had gotten some really bad news that Guy’s sister Robin’s husband, Rubuen had a heart attach while riding his bike. He was with 4 of his buddies and had a heart attack and died on the scene. We immediately starting making plans for Guy to head to California, plane tickets, hotel, car.

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Also, changing our reservations for our next stop, the camp ground we were in was full for the weekend, we had to move to the group camp area, better reception, for both the tv and internet and less expensive, a win for us. I took Guy to the airport on Thursday morning, the flight was 10hrs, his flight home on Sunday is 12 hrs, 2 stops both ways.

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SPA_5525.jpgOne day while Guy and I were walking around the campground we came upon a beautiful campsite, paved patio, storage house with patio, a rock carved statue of wolves, at the end of the street surrounded by trees. Something triggered in my head that I had seen this before but not sure where. The name sign said “Bott”…I looked it up on the computer and low and behold it was David and Brenda from “Outside our Bubble .com”. I have been reading their blog since they started their full time traveling. Guy and I have watched their videos and bought or done some of the suggestions they have made. I sent them a message, they walked down to visit with us and Gary and Carolyn. Soon we were all at their place checking out all the things they have done to their lot.

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Before you know it a party had been organized for the next night, with Gary singing and playing guitar, David playing the box drum. The owner of the park, Mike come down with his guitar and joined in. The weather was perfect, the fire was nice and warm, the 20 some people were truly enjoying themselves.

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Gary and Carolyn, left the next day, Friday to our next spot in Henderson, Ny.  Guy and I  caught up with them on Monday and we shall all continue on our merry way thru the east.

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the Horseshoe Falls in the back ground

Thanks for reading about our travels, come on back and check out where we head next, in the mean time y’all have a Blessed week.