Sunday, July 15, 2018

More Family visits, Rhode Island and Maine

It is super great this year to be able to add a few visits to see family members across New England.  This time we headed down to Southwestern Rhode Island.  Always a pleasure to see grand daughter Emilie.

We thought it was fantastic that Gary wanted to share some barbecued striped bass that he  had caught.  But then he also added his own , made from scratch ,peach pie.  Delicious!

Some plating help and a team effort from Linda who also makes a great salad.
Not only a beautiful Saturday, but Gary actually had a day off.
A wonderful trip to Browning Mill Pond in the Arcadia Management Area of Southwestern Rhode Island. A bit of exercise with a hike around the pond.

It is always interesting to notice the things you have taken for granted over so many years.  Not just seeing a lily pond, but for us ,to see a lily pond in bloom--just absolutely beautiful.

And then---
Add in an all blue dragon fly.

Since Gary works almost every Saturday, he never has a chance to visit a local brewery called the Tilted Barn. Only open on Fridays and Saturdays.  Sooooooo--who were we to say no?

This large farm, as we understand it, is a producer of hops for local breweries. It has fairly recently been producing its own brews , some of which are listed above.   I had a Lil Libby-shared with Jan- and Gary had a Raffi Stout with Lactose(which I still don't get) but tasted very smooth.
Web page for The Tilted Barn

The thing about this place is that some people--and it was quite a popular spot----who arrive later might find that some selections are sold out for the day.  Gary has two choices and fresh eggs from hens that wander the yard.  We like the T-shirt worn by the bartender, "No Farms, No Beer"

Yes--it says Raffi.
Not made by Raffi, but inspired by "Oats and beans and barley grow"
We know--you have that song in your head.
So here is the link to Raffi's Oats and Beans and Barley Grow

Lots of room at the farm for a place to set your chair hand have a sip.  They even had a food truck with pulled pork and other items.
Back in Alfred, Maine, Scott was able to come up with Lucas and Lilly.  They, and Sean and Madison ,set up tents so they could enjoy the campground, the swimming pool, and a campfire.

Guess who is turning 14?
Good to have two younger cousins to help open the gifts.

Lucas had a great spot to practice riding his bicycle. Lilly and Lucas both enjoyed the fairy village created by one of the campers. 

The kids all love the display. 
Good to know that the camper plans to add another one soon.
Always nice to visit Billy's Chowder House in Wells, Maine.
Jan and I used to come here with my Mom and Dad many years ago. Then our kids would often have a chance to visit as well. So, now the 4th generation is still enjoying some great shrimp, steamers, fried oysters, seafood chowder,veggie burger, lobster roll , grilled haddock sandwich, and a seafood sampler of baked stuffed shrimp, baked haddock, and baked scallops.

This weekend at the campground we are treated to a visit by the Noreastern GMC owners group.  There were about 13 units, all manufactured between 1973 and 1978.
Some look very modern with new paint jobs and other improvements.
The webpage above has some great pictures of the interiors as well.

A classic look , even 45 years later.

A fun day with Keith and Alison.  
A little cloudy, so we had an adventure tour through Shapleigh, Newfield, Cornish, and more. Beautiful back roads of Maine.
This is a spot that Alison found on the app Only in your
This was Limington Rapids Rest Area, right off Route 25.
Earlier, Keith and Alison stopped at a restaurant they had found , Bay Haven Lobster Pound in Cornish, Maine.
What an excellent meal. Fresh baked rolls to start, excellent scallops, haddock, and fried clams, real home made french fries, and a great cole slaw too!
Yelp page for Bay Haven Lobster Pound Two
There is also a webpage for Bay Haven but it seems to load slowly.

Only a few people this day, but a popular spot for tubing, and swimming on the Saco River.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Family visits in Maine and New Hampshire; and White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

It has been more than a month since our last posting and--------- How the time flies.  Lots of nice visits with family and friends at different locations.  One of our first stops was to visit with Alison and Keith.
This picture is Jan and Alison at Swan Pond.
We were lucky this time to visit the new house construction after Keith had leveled the area in back , which allowed us to actually drive up the driveway and park on a level spot.
The above view of the new house is from the dirt road below.

Alison and Keith's trailer provides a great home while the finishing touches are added to the new house. Great spot for a fireplace too!

I tried to get a picture of Alison and Jan inside the new game room.
We wanted to show the beautiful knotty pine wall covering, so their faces are in shadow.  Nice windows at the end and a sliding glass door looking out to the view. The open ceiling adds a great feeling of space.

This will be the kitchen area with a study/office/other area beyond the door.  You can see the dark stain wall on the left.

In amongst the clover on our walk in the back of their property.
This toad must be lucky.

The end of the Lady Slipper season, but still some great color.

We were heading to Sebago Lake State Park where the guys were planning to do some weekend fishing.  Always looking for a new spot, we took a drive around Long Lake out of Naples, Maine on Route 35.  At the end of the lake , beyond Harrison, was Crystal Lake  and Vacationland Campground.  This was the view from our spot at the beach.  Still offseason, so the beach was a quiet place to be with a great view.

Gary had organized this fishing trip and you can see he is quite happy to be here.

Alison and Keith dropped by on Sunday and we had a chance to get a picture of all four siblings-Sean, Alison, Scott, and Gary-(a rare occasion) together.

Nice picture of all thanks to Mike.
We will sometimes stop overnight at Cabelas near Portland , Maine. It is close to some appointments and other interests near Portland, Scarborough, and Saco.  This Bengal 4x4 Class C motorhome by Tiger caught our eye.  Thinking of the fishermen, this is a great clearance 4x4 Dodge. Rather than sliding a truck camper into the pickup truck, The Tiger company built this motorhome onto the frame. And , yes, there is access to the motorhome from the cab.  The one drawback is that --unlike with a truck camper---you cannot slide the camper off the truck and have your vehicle to use as a regular pickup truck.
Tiger Vehicle Website
A great visit to Scott and Rachel's.  Just in time to catch Lucas's piano recital.  Great performance, Lucas!

Lilly loves to go outside for a hike.

Jumping off the boulder is great fun!
Must hold onto Baby at the same time.

For Lucas , the boulder is time for Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick!

Back into Maine and we head out on a less traveled route out of Portland.  North on the turnpike to Route 26 out of Gray. This is an official scenic drive which brought us to Poland Springs Campground .  One of the views is out to an island with a huge eagles nest atop that second pine tree from the left.
From Poland Springs we go north to Bethel and catch Route 2 west.
Just before the New Hampshire border, we head south on Route 113 into the White Mountain Nation Forest. The road is quite narrow, requiring some stops and pulling off the road to allow other vehicles to pass in the opposite direction.

Along the way is a great view of Evans Notch.
Bailey had recommended Basin Campground and Jan and I are so glad she did.  What a wonderful campground and hiking experience.

We had made reservations--good thing.  Our site is huge.  The firewood is good and a campfire keeps us warm until the sun heads down.
The view from the boat launch area of Basin Pond. A small pond for kayaks and canoes.
Our first hike on Basin Trail.  

This is from the end of the pond.  We hiked up the Hermit Falls Loop, did some rock climbing(proud of ourselves) and were glad we had a chance to see the falls.  At another time we might keep going on the trail to Wild River Campground, but this gave us a good workout. We saw a number of hiking groups who were coming back from overnights along the trail.
Bailey was great to suggest taking our bikes down to Stone House Road, off Route 113. It would have been difficult to park Lady Blue or turn her around.  The Shell Pond Loop Trail was perfect with some great views.
We think we are looking towards Baldface Mountain, but someone can correct us is we are wrong. It was a perfect day for hiking.
Couldn't resist the selfie.
At another time we would consider the Stone House Trail or the White Cairn Trail to Blueberry Mountain which has a great view point as well( according to the map)

The trails are well kept and well marked.

Well, mostly well marked. We are on the trail here. It leads straight through the trees ahead.
After the trees we come to the Air Strip-two wagon wheel type lanes heading to the hills ahead. And yes, it was an airstrip. The house on the right has a sign that says Stow Airport. This used to be 200 acres, now about 35 acres.

The Stone House is just beyond that house. The main stone building was built around 1850 with the main walls from granite slabs. Three bedrooms, three fireplaces,  a large sleeping loft, and a wood stove.  Oh, and also an attached barn.

Looking back at the first house.
The picture does not do justice.  This is a huge field of large white daisies that goes on and on.  So large, that we believe it was planted and also seems to be harvested in sections.

Heading back out to Route 113 on Stone House Road is this comfortable looking cabin. The sign above the window says 1896. Obviously upgraded a bit(metal roof), with a large open field in the back. One of Jan's favorite houses!!

Across the street is Notch View Farm.  WE came back with Lady Blue to pick up some eggs, look at the horses, and chat with the owners.
Jan and I had hoped to go to Dolly Copp National Forest Campground on Route 16 in Gorham. But it was closed for improvements until later in the summer. So, we headed west to a campground to empty our gray and black tanks and fill with water.
Then it is south on Route 3 and 93 to the Kancamagus Highway and Hancock National Forest Campground just east of Lincoln.

The campground is large with large, level, and well separated sites. Like Basin Campground, this is also dry camping--no hookups.
It is a short hike across the highway to Lincoln Woods and the East Side Trail that heads up the east side of the Pemigewasset River. A lot of the hike is like this .

We go as far as the entrance to the Pemigewasset Wilderness.
This will give us a good 7 mile hike for the day.
After some rains, there is a good amount of water in the river.

Not sure, but Whaleback Mountain and Potash Knob are in this direction
On the Lincoln Woods Trail the next day(west side of the river) we saw a large number of these butterflies.  

A view to the east across the river.

With a heavy rain day in the forecast, we look for a private campground. A couple we met at Sebago Lake State park recommended Glen Ellis Campground in Glen , New Hampshire off Route 302 and along the Saco River.  We are happy to enjoy the river--before the rain--at our site. Many sites in this campground are on the Saco River or the Ellis River. A well managed and beautiful park.

At a great family get together at 
Bailey's. The guys are getting the gear together for----WHAT?--FISHING!!!!
This is Scott, Sean, and Joe.
Most of these pictures that follow are thanks to Mike.

We ended the month with a family get together at Bailey's house.
Such a great time!  This picture was from Scott of a sunrise in the back yard.  We had Lady Blue and the other families brought tents.
The fishermen had a great time. Some of these pictures are from Sebago and some from the family get together. Sean had some good luck with Large Mouth Bass.

We had to put  this picture in for Gary. It was from Rhode Island, but one of the biggest he has caught at 5lbs, 6 oz.

Scott was having a good day as well.

Another good catch. This is Joe, who is the husband of Bailey's sister Meredith.

Also with good catches at Sebago and Bailey's is Mike , who is the husband of Bailey's sister Jessica.

So----the next day -------
not fishing; but Rachel, in front, and left to right in the back--Jessica, Cristin(Bailey), and Meredith
all go kayaking and paddle boarding.
Have fun much????
On shore are Lilly, Bryce, and Lucas.
Lot of fun in the sand.
Bryce had some fun fishing with Dad(Mike) and also trying some paddle boarding.
Some firsts for Lilly and Lucas as well.
Lilly had a chance to get comfortable in the water with swimmies
And here, Lucas did a great job on his first kayak excursion.

Lilly enjoyed the beach and water.
She also had fun socializing with some other younger beach goers.
What's a fire for if not s'mores.
From left--Rachel, Lucas, Scott, and Madison.
Mike is the master of selfies!!
Everyone that was at Baileys except 
Joe, Alex, Brittany, Alison, and Keith

Also at this time of year--in June--Gary likes to head to Truro, Mass. to take a fishing charter with The Reel Deal out of Pamet Harbor.  The boat itself is usually parked at the Whitman House Restaurant in North Truro. Seems like the Striped Bass fishing was good!
Back down to Scarborough, Maine. Jan and I really enjoyed a ride on the Eastern Bike Trail.  Even better, the temperatures were in the mid 70's here, while inland was  mid 90's.

On our way to Alfred, Maine, but we check out the Homestead By The River Family Campground. Just on the line of Biddeford and Saco on Route 5, the campground is on the Saco River. A small campground on an old farm property. Still have horses and chickens and more.