Friday, July 19, 2019

Back in New England

And here we are---
Back again with a posting after 2 months.  Lots of pictures and connections since May , but we are going to share some pictures of our family visits first.
The picture above is of Gary, Scott, and Alison at a family event in June.

We had a great visit with Scott, Lucas, and Lilly at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn, New Hampshire.
Massabesic Audubon

What a great place for a hike. Scott had packed everything the kids might need plus a great lunch.
Jan borrowed Lilly and Lucas's hat for a while.
Lookin' good!
Some great trails at the Audubon--just east of Manchester, NH off Route 101.  Also a great center with live animals that adults and kids both loved.

At Lucas and Lilly's house, Lady Blue enjoys becoming an art center. Below is a video link to Lucas's piano recital. Great job Lucas. Note that Lucas plays the upper notes on this piece and his wonderful teacher plays the lower notes and accompaniment.
The following link is a video of Lucas at his recital.
Lilly loves the markers and stickers for her creations.

Had a chance to go to lunch with Sean at Walters Basin restaurant on Route 3 in Holderness, New Hampshire on Little Squam Lake.

Right at the bridge . Places to tie up for those who stop by while on the lake.

A beautiful June day and notice all the traffic on the lake!
The restaurant was quiet and we had a wonderful table view.
Check out this link to the restaurant website.
Gotta love the name Basshole Pub too!
If you wait a while the pictures on the website should change.
Walters Basin Restaurant and Pub

Also had a chance to visit with Marsha and Mark at Hammonasset Beach State Park. Just June and the beach was very well attended on a week day.  The campground, where we stayed, was also quite busy. Had a great chance to see the new additions to Mark and Marsha's home.

A rainy Father's Day at White Lake State Park in Tamworth, New Hampshire, but everyone enjoyed some great food and visiting. Did not enjoy the abundant wealth of mosquitos though.

Also enjoyed a great visit with Gary, Linda, and Emilie. Oysters, shrimp, and steak--on the grill!
Emilie always has that great smile!!

Sean and Bailey took us to the Canoe Restaurant and Tavern in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.  The drink that Bailey is holding was, we think, called Empress? , a kind of martini.
The link will take you to the Canoe website. If you click on the picture on the website, it will enlarge. Then clicking on that picture will give you 4 pictures of the restaurant.
Website for Canoe Restaurant

Jan and I have enjoyed staying at the Hancock National Forest Campground in Lincoln , New Hampshire; on the Kancamagus Trail. Right across the street is the Lincoln Woods with all kinds of trails and links to trails , all over the Presidential Range. The following link takes you to our video on YouTube of a short section of trail
Lincoln Woods Trail video

From the Osseo Trail link, you can see that there are many possibilities. We saw a number of hikers with full packs heading in for a few nights on the trails.
The following link is a video of part of our hike .
Another section of the Lincoln Woods Trail

Over the 4th of July, we were able to get a walk in site at Dolly Copp National Forest Campground in Gorham, New Hampshire--off Route 16.  We were able to have a nice hike on the Great Gulf Link Trail. A little video shows a swimming hole section of the river.

On the Great Gulf Link Trail

The campground is still being renovated. It is a 4 year project that makes some very big changes.  When done, the campground will have mostly paved roads, a large number of sites with electric and water hookups. There are new bathrooms and a shower facility--previously it was mostly vault toilets and no showers. There is also a dump station that will be a new addition.

We were treated to a show of a large number of moths that seemed to really enjoy the screens and posting boards at the office.
This one can look like a leaf at a distance.

We agreed that we would probably never see this one if it was on the bark of a tree instead of the screen.

There were a large number of Luna moths. According to the following link, the adults only last for about a week, and humans are their worst enemy.
Luna moth article

This one on the posting board blends in easily.  From a distance the color patterns could suggest head and eyes for a larger insect--maybe scare away predators.
This one was on the office door at Walnut Grove Campground(where we stay for a few weeks in Maine). So unusual with the yellow, fuzzy colors and the pink and white.

This is a new sculpture placed at Dolly Copp Campground. Something of a tribute to the local logging history.The little sign tells everyone to stay off the sculpture.  Not sure how that is going to work

A little share time for some units at Dolly Copp. This was for one person. The tab trailer has a good campers kitchen that opens on the back. He found an easy-up that also had a screened enclosure to keep out the bugs when needed. He was pretty comfortable.

There were at least two of these Toyota Tacoma based motorhomes at Dolly Copp.  We are amazed to see so many of these all across the country. Not sure of this one, but the other one that looked similar was an early 1990's model.  They still run great.

This was unique.  The woman from this trailer was camping with another unit.  The paint and window scheme evokes the trailers of traveling European Gypsies.  There was an overhang on the back that created a bit of a porch feel.

This was a unique example of tent that fits right into the bed of a pickup truck. In this case a short bed pickup.
The following link shows an example
Rightline Tents
We did not get a name on this truck tent, but it was quite fascinating. The tent sits on a platform that, when closed, is about as high as the truck roofline. The ladder is going up to a large door on the driver's side.  The set up allowed the gentleman who had this unit to store his gear, including a bicycle, below the tent. He had full use of the bed of the truck while the tent was up or down. It set up very quickly. We had heavy rain while this unit was here, and they showed no signs of water problems. 

Lady blue liked her view of The Imp mountain.

We also had a great visit with Alison and Keith! This is the kitchen of their new home that they have been building for two years now--from clearing and leveling the site to now finishing an approximately 100 foot long deck on two sides.

The view from the road of the deck and preparations for the roof over the deck.  The following link shows a video of the deck work.

And in between all these visits, Jan and Bruce had a chance to visit an old favorite.  Bayley's Lobster Pound--(not Bayley's Restaurant)at Pine Point in Scarborough, Maine. Jan's parents found this lobster pound when they made many trips to the area. The lobster rolls are still made the same way.  Now there is also this great wharf-restaurant-bar addition. Not easy to find a seat in the busy season, but we picked a good time and had the best Maine steamers and a glass of wine.
Webpage for Bayley's Lobster Pound
The restaurant section is called The Bait Shed. The following is a link to that webpage.  Worth taking a look just to see a seagull's view of Pine Point
Webpage for the Bait Shed

Sunday, May 26, 2019

San Luis State Wildlife Area and the Great Sand Dunes National Park,Ruby Mountain at Arkansas Headwaters in Salida, Colorado

We headed west from Lathrop State Park in Colorado on Route 160. Beautiful views on the way , going through two 9,400 foot passes and ---------
Blanca Peak--14,345 feet.  
A turn north on Route 150 and west on Route 6n brings us to San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area.

As it turned out, the campground, with electric hookups , was free.
And the view above was of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from our site.

Looking to the left in the distance is part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. There were a number of RVs here. Probably because the National Park campground was full.

We will agree that the sand dunes seem totally out of place here at the foot of the mountains.

The dunes rise up to 755 feet above Medano Creek that flows by here.  People climbing the dunes are little dots(you can see a file of them heading up on the right side.) Kids were splashing in the creek and making sand castles.
These are the tallest sand dunes in North America, about 440,000 years old. The prevailing winds out of the southwest blow the sand from western mountains and then from the dunes themselves. Lesser winds from the northeast blow through the mountain passes and blow the sand back on the dunes. 

The water flow causes waves. You don't see these mountain views at the ocean beaches.  And yes----the water is cold!

From the dunes we head west on Route 6n to Route 17 north to Route 285 north to Salida, Colorado. Our destination is Ruby Mountain SRA Campground at the Arkansas Headwaters.  We called a number for the state office in Salida and had a wonderful talk with Mary, who helped us to choose Ruby Mountain(there was another campground-more difficult to get to) and to reserve a great site.  Wish all of the reservation operators were as helpful.

Inside the park, this gate leads to the Ruby Mountain Ranch, a private home.

What do you think?  Could you live here?
The property looked in good shape, but no one seemed to be here at this time.

We have spent a bit of time around Little Rock, Arkansas and enjoyed a number of different Corps of Engineer parks on the Arkansas River.  So this was great to be at the headwaters in Colorado.  If any readers have a question about too many National Monuments in the U.S., just staying here for a few days would illustrate for you how many people take advantage of the river  and the hiking,atv, and horse trails.  By the way the following is a link to a current (May 26, 2019) news bulletin about a record crest of the Arkansas River to come at Van Buren,Arkansas--near Fort Smith. We camped at Lake Fort Smith State Park on November 15, 2018. We met some very nice people in the park office and in the camp.

And a link to a few images from the recent flooding

WSA means Wilderness Study Area. There are 22,000 acres here and miles of trails.
A link to info on Browns Canyon WSA
Also, there are some dedicated outdoor groups in this area of Colorado. Check the links in the following 
There are also links for trails on the website.
A view from above the river(hidden behind the trees)
Lady Blue loves her campsite.
Everywhere you look are views.

We saw a number of rafters coming down the Arkansas.  The signs and maps indicate that you can raft for around 20 miles.
Hard to catch a picture, but there were a few who rode the river on standing paddle boards.

A lot of work went into the stones and gravel and leveling to create camping sites like this one. The steps go down to the tent site. You can see to the left of the middle tree the table for the same site. And all right on the river.
While we were there, a busload of school children--older elementary or younger middle school--came with a number of adults to spend a full day. They divided into 3 groups at tables and were totally into various lessons.  GREAT!!!

Worked a bit to get this picture upriver.

Above video is from Lady Blue's back window.
Jan and Bruce really enjoyed Ruby Mountain.

Our camp road. This corner is a single lane road.
Luckily no traffic when we entered and when we left.

A view downriver from the road.
Do you see Lady Blue??
Once again in Colorado, we can watch the clouds form as the moisture is forced up by winds against the mountains.
All kinds of rafters.
Just a picture from our back window.
Somebody's gotta do it!

Sometimes a group of rafters.

Views again as we leave Ruby Mountain and head into Salida.
Jan and I enjoyed our short visit to Salida. The people were very helpful and friendly. We were impressed by the homes, most of which were of different designs and looked very comfortable. The town itself reminds us of a North Conway, New Hampshire, in the sense that a lot of business is geared to outdoor adventure and the population we saw was fairly young. Unlike North Conway, it did not seem to have a touristy feel to it.
The following link is to images from Salida on their home page. 
You might like to click around for other galleries like the videos, or the dining guide.