Tag Archives: ME

Four Foto Friday – Acadia NP

Well, it sure feels good to finally be on the road, and Acadia National Park in Maine was a great first destination. The initial long drive in the the RV was quite a thrill (I’ll be writing a separate post about that) and our five days in Acadia were filled biking, hiking, boating, and exploring the gorgeous natural surroundings. It’s really hard to narrow them down to just four (I’m also working on setting up a photo gallery on our website), but here are some photo highlights:

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Jordan Pond: Our first day was spent exploring the interior of the Mount Desert Island, which contains many picturesque, glacially-carved lakes and ponds. We biked along the carriage roads, which were built by John D. Rockefeller nearly one hundred years ago, and crisscrossed the forested hills. This shot was taken at the Jordan Pond House, where some of our readers recommended that we stop to enjoy the traditional afternoon tea and popovers (great suggestion… mmmm!).

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Oceanside and Gorham Mountain Hikes:  Day two was classic Acadia – hikes along the rocky shoreline with spectacular views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman’s Bay. The Oceanside trail took us to Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs, two must-sees. Gorham Mountain was a steep climb, but afforded great scenery at the top. In this photo, the boys are recording their observations as part of their Junior Ranger program. Teacher Jen is taking advantage of this “school work” and grabbing a quick nap.

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Boat Tour: Day three and four were down along the coast: first at the less travalled Schoodic Pennisula (which can be seen in the background of this photo) and then on a Maine lobster boat tour which took us around the bay. We learned the ins and outs of lobstering and caught several glimpses of the area’s wildlife: porpoises, harbor seals, sea birds, and even a bald eagle. This pic shows one of the seals frolicking in the surf, a rare event to see at mid-day, according to our guide.

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Yummy Lobstas: No trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster dinner. Here we are on the wharf in Bar Harbor enjoying the scrumptious crustacean. Food was definitely a highlight on this trip, which also had us sampling such “Downeast” staples as steammed mussels, fried clams, blueberry lemonade, whoopie pies, BBQ, and craft beer. A delicious way to refuel after some very active days.

We left Acadia on Wednesday and are now camped just north of Boston. Yesterday we toured the bewitching town of Salem and today we’re headed to Gloucester, Marblehead, and Rockport. The boys are with their aunt and uncle, so Jen and I have the “run of the house”… all 35 feet! We’ll reconnect with them next Monday on Boston’s Freedom Trail. Hope you’ll stay tuned!

Exploring Nature in Acadia

DSC_0087We did many activities in Acadia, which is a national park in Maine. We stayed there for one week but two days were definitely the best.

One of my favorite things that we did in Acadia was going to Sand Beach. Sand Beach is a small beach that we swam in and also hiked around. First we did the walk and went off the path to look at the tide pools. The tide pools were packed with sea creatures: barnacles, mussels, and snails. After we were done with the tide pools we continued on the walk to Thunder Hole, which is a hole in the rocks that if a big enough wave hits it, it makes a sound like thunder and the water sprays up. Next we climbed Gorham Mountain which was about a 2 mile climb and took us to the summit of a steep mountain were you could see sparkling lakes and rolling forests. Next we went down the mountain and went to sand beach where the water felt refreshingly cold (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit). We used our skim boards and relaxed on the beach after the long hike. To end this great day, we went to the Jordan Pond House to eat popovers which are like the a big a cream puff without any cream and you put jam and butter on them. It was a sweet and smooth end to the day.

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My other favorite day was Wednesday when we did a lobster boat tour. First we went and looked in stores around the port. Normally I don’t like to shop but these stores had some hilarious shirts. The shirts that they had in these shop were incredibly funny which said things like “Confidence: The felling you get before you fully understand your situation”. Even though I didn’t buy any I took many pictures. After this we went on a lobster boat tour on the calm ocean where we saw the captain bring up the huge lobsters in the cages. Each cage was large and had about 10-15 lobsters in it and he brought up 3 cages. The tour guide said the average fisherman brings up 200-300 cages a day. We also held the lobsters. They felt hard on the top and on the bottom soft and squishy. After we were done holding them we threw the small ones off the boat into the water rushing past us. One of my favorite parts of the tour was getting to stand at the very front of the boat where I could feel each wave jarring the boat as we past over it.  The tour guide showed us a book of lobsters that were vivid blue and half black on one side, half orange on the other. She said that one blue lobster can cost up to $10,000! On the ship they also had other animals that we got to touch and hold. My favorite was the sea cucumber. It felt slimy like a snail and like there was nothing in it. When I held it, it squirted water everywhere. Some other animals that we saw were porpoises that swam close and happily jumped in the water. Then we arrived at an island where we saw seals laying on the rocks warming themselves in the sun and playing in the water near the rocks. Overall I loved learning about lobsters, riding on the boat, and seeing the ocean animals.

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My First Junior Ranger Badge

Junior RangerMy first Junior Ranger badge was in Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia is a beautiful place because of the lakes, forest, mountains, and ocean.

To get a Junior Ranger badge I had to complete many questions in the Junior Ranger Activity Book. Most of the activities were fun. Some of the activities were a word puzzle, matching the pictures with words, tide pool bingo, and a maze. There were also learning activities. One of the learning activities I did was to find the plant that the book shows. I found a paper birch, quaking aspen, red spruce, balsam fir, white pine, and striped maple. Another thing I had to do was collect two rocks. I had to see what the difference was between the rocks like the colour, shape, and texture. Then I had to guess what type of rock it was.

Besides the activity book, I also had to talk with the Park Rangers. At a Ranger program I learned about satellites. Satellites cost about 200 million dollars and a geostationary satellite is 19 thousand miles away from Earth. I also had to have a park ranger look over the book to make sure I did the activities. Before I got the badge I had to say the Junior Ranger pledge.

I’m going to try and earn more badges during this trip at different national parks.

Four Foto Friday – Hitting the Road

This past week took a lot of energy… unpacking our shipment from China, getting our home ready for the house-sitters, gearing up with supplies for our first big trip, and learning all that we could about the new RV. That said, we enjoyed a great Labor Day weekend at the Goshen Fair. We’re also looking forward to this coming weekend, as we made it (today) up to Acadia National Park in Maine. Stay posted for more pics from Acadia. Here are four from this past week: Jen and chicken Goshen Fair: This is an annual event for Jen’s family. The agricultural fair in beautiful Litchfield County is a Connecticut tradition that we’ve truly missed each year while overseas. The fair itself is a throwback to much simpler times, when swine judging, tractor pulls, log rolling, and carnival rides all made for a memorable day. I have so many great photos of Jen to choose from – beating Miles in Whack-a-Mole, grinning ear to ear with a steaming bag of fresh apple fritters, competing against a field of much larger women in the “skillet toss” event – it’s too bad I have to pick just one. But this one really captures Jen’s enthusiasm for everything at the Goshen fair, even the chickens. Truth be told, they were pretty amazing chickens.

Hit the Road Thursday, Sept 4: The official start of Gold Family Road Trip. As you can see, the RV is loaded, the truck is hitched up, and the Golds are ready to go. There’s an air of excitement, but also apprehension about driving such a formidable beast. This was taken just seconds before our departure. So glad to finally be hitting the road!

Welcome to MaineWelcome to Maine: Our first drive took about 4 hours and ended at this campground in Old Orchard Beach, just across the border in southern Maine. Getting through traffic and construction in CT and MA was a challenge, but the open road and beautiful scenery of Maine made for an auspicious end to our first day of driving.

IMG_5072 Our new home: This was also our first night in the RV, which will serve as “home” for much of the coming year. We testing out the equipment (with a few quick peeks at the Owner’s Manual), had a simple meal of pasta and veggies, then settled in for a long and much deserved rest from a very exhausting week.

In many ways, it feels like we’ve left our home and stepped into a whole new world. It’ll take some time to adjust to life on the road, but if Acadia is any indication of what’s to come, then I think it’ll all be worth it.