Maine, Apples and Trees

So when Bill and I first started making a list of things we would want to visit and see when we bought an RV the first thing on my list was enjoying the fall in New England. So when we set off from Florida this past spring I had only a couple things scheduled. We needed to be in Indianapolis for GenCon and in Maine in September. We arrived in Maine a little ahead of the color but planned to stay a couple weeks before heading south to Alabama to have Serenity worked on before making our final decent to Florida for the winter. I had planned to see fall leaves, visit Acadia National Park and pick apples. We have accomplished all of these and so it is time to head south.

Thursday we drove over to Schoodic Point to continue our tour of the Acadia National Park. While there I slipped on the rocks and twisted my ankle pretty badly. This put a bit of a damper on our plans for our last few days.

Leslie Schoodic Point

Leslie at Schoodic Point

The color around Bangor was not quite up to my level of expectation and knowing we have to be in Alabama in mid-October for our appointment we couldn’t afford to stay any longer so we headed to find color. Friday morning we hopped in the car and drove toward New Hampshire hoping to see more. We drove about 2 hours and boy did we find color. It was absolutely beautiful. We then found a fabulous little Bistro (Brian’s Bistro in Mexico, ME) for dinner and then headed home.

Leaf Peeping

Leaf Peeping

Saturday we called the local apple place where we picked some Macintosh and Cortlands last week and the Honeycrisp were ripe so we jumped into Sunny and headed to The Apple Farm in Fairfield, ME. We picked a half-bushel of apples and enjoyed the free cider and headed home again.

 

Apple Picking

Apple Picking

So now we have picked a bushel and a peck and saw plenty of color and so it is time for me to make my way toward my lovely niece that will be one year old in a month. Can’t wait to see my sister-in-law and my brother too. But first we will see what trouble we can find in New Hampshire for a few days.

Rainbows of Fall

I grew up in Florida for the first 13 years of my life. Imagine my surprise when my parents dragged our family to Massachusetts in November. We were too late to see the fall colors that year but had a beautifully dreadful winter (blizzard of 1987 anyone?) The spring came and I learned what tulips and daffodils are but was still too disgruntled over the god-awful winter to enjoy them. The summer heat with no a/c did little to improve a hormonal angsty teenage mind. Along came September and back to school. I was staying at a friend’s house as my parents decided to move (again) over the summer and they wanted me to start the new school year off in my new school while they searched for a house in the district. Out in front of my friend’s house was a glorious maple tree that suddenly (in my teenage mind) burst into bizarre colors. Now I assume that I had seen fall trees on TV by this time in my life but it never occurred to my Florida-born mind that those trees had initially been GREEN!?!? I grew up loving rainbows. Half my wardrobe had rainbows on it. (Yes I am a child of the 80s).

I began to notice so many trees around that just last week were green were now the colors of flames in a fireplace. There were bright yellows and beautiful oranges and brilliant reds, RAINBOWS! There were trees all one color and trees with almost a flame effect going from dark to light. There were trees that were so beautiful I would gasp when I saw them.

You have to click on this to see better!

Some people think I love trees a little bit much, but to be fair it is in my blood. My aunt owns a tree farm and nursery that I literally grew up in. My grandfather spent much of his life growing trees and planting them all around the local towns in Indiana. My family is full of horticultural geniuses (of which sadly I am not one). Half of the evergreens in the area of Osgood, Indiana were planted by my family. My Sophmore year, our school did an aptitude test to determine what types of jobs we would be good at, mine said I should be a farmer. LOL

 

So here I was an angsty teenager in the glorious northeast amidst the wonders of fall. I think it is apt that they call it fall because I did. I fell in love with fall. I had never really put much thought into season before then. I hated cold and I loathed hot but here is a time of year in this area of the country where the weather is perfect. Highs in the 60s and 70s lows a little chilly but enough to have an evening fire in the fireplace and everything turns rainbow.

 

I wanted to go back to that teacher in kindergarden that told me that trees weren’t orange and say, “See! They can be!” Fall… what a wonderful time you are. So sweet that you visit with us each year and bring your friends pumpkin and apple along.

Leaves and Waves

We got up yesterday and it was gorgeous outside and when we looked at the weather report for the rest of the week did not look as nice, so we decided to head out and visit some more of Acadia National Park.  Today we decided to visit the only part of the park that is on the mainland – the Schoodic Peninsula.

We knew that our trip to the park today would take about an hour and half so we figured we would combine it with some leaf peeping. Leaf peeping is an informal term mainly used in the United States to describe people that travel to view and photograph fall foliage.

We did get to see a little color; however the areas we are in are still listed on the official Maine foliage site as very low color. We now realize that we are going to have to leave Maine to get to our appointment in Red Bay, Alabama before color really hits in most of the state. We might take a trip to the far north of the state at the end week, but even there the color will only be between 30 and 50 percent. Even though we did not get so a lot of color – the scenery is beautiful.

Leaf Peeping - Low

Leaf Peeping - Low

Acadia National Park on the Schoodic Peninsula is like the much larger portion on Mount Desert Island, made up of majestic shoreline, woodlands, and a tall mountain (for the East Coast). We took the loop road and made our way to Schoodic Point. At the point the coast is covered in huge slabs of rock that have been etched and carved by years of pounding ocean waves.  I hung out and watched the waves while Leslie went to find the visitors center for her passport stamp.

A note on the collage of pictures below as the molten magma cooled it cracked allowing new magma with a different mix of minerals to intrude. This can be seen in the picture in the upper right.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point

I was going to post this blog yesterday but I got busy searching for new software to stitch together panoramic pictures. Then when I tried to upload the pictures for the blog – I got errors. I was too tired to figure out how to fix it – it appears the GoDaddy changed something on their site and I needed to adjust some configuration parameters. In any case there are some panoramic pictures – we will try to take more.

Schoodic Point Panoramic 1

Schoodic Point Panoramic 1

 

Schoodic Point Panoramic 2

Schoodic Point Panoramic 2

Challenges Pt 2: Bugs and rodents

Challenges Part 2

 

My next challenge is bugs. They are everywhere and the more you travel the more you find. I didn’t know there were so many types of ants. Spiders make webs everywhere (shower, rear view mirrors, tires, windshield). Moths, ticks, fruit flies, flies, unrecognizables every type of bug you can imagine. We had these weird flying beetles. In PA we had these things that looked like house flies but were the size of a small bird! (okay maybe not a small bird but at least the size of an unshelled peanut!)

 

If you don’t like bugs you may not like living in an RV. When you stay in State Parks or heavily wooded campgrounds (in our experience about 1/3 of them) you not only won’t have satellite but you WILL have bugs. Now there are some things you can do. We have a pellet stuff that is animal safe (I don’t have animals but I respect other peoples) but is anti-ant. You can get it in many hardware stores or big box stores. You should buy it in bulk because you will need it nearly every campground you move to. Even if you DON’T move you will have to reapply it if it rains hard or after a few weeks when it just goes away or become ineffective.

 

I cannot speak to the problems with rodents (yet). Friends have given us advice on how to keep the rodents out and thus far (knock on wood) they have been affective. However, we know lots of people that have had problems with them.

 

Then there are the nightmare stories of Raccoons, bears, snakes, scorpions, etc. Luckily thus far we have not had major problems in this area but if we keep going I know some day it will happen.

A Stroll along the Shore

Maine is known as the “Vacation State” and since the weather was wonderful Friday (although it could have been a few degrees warmer) we decided it was time to do some more exploring. Acadia National Park encompasses over 47,000 acres with just over 30,000 of them on Mount Desert Island. Within the confines of the park there are mountains, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes in the park.

The park was first created as Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It became the first National Park east of the Mississippi River in 1919 and renamed as Lafayette National Park. The parks name was changed to Acadia National Park in 1929.

We started our day in the park in the visitor’s center where we watched the park movie. In January we visited Jean Lafitte National Park when we were in Louisiana. The movie in that park talked about the Acadians, who were 17th century French colonists who were forced to leave their colonies in what is now Canada and Maine.  Some of them settled in Louisiana and became known as the Cajuns.  The movie in Acadia also talked about the Acadians.

We purchased the audio CD tour and started on our way through the park stopping at various scenic lookouts. As we drove along the loop road we found a picnic area and enjoyed our lunch. After lunch we made our way to the meeting place for the Ranger led Ocean Path Walk. The two mile walk was interspersed with breaks where the Park Ranger talked about the history and nature of the park.

We only had about 6 hours in the park on Friday and discovered that it was not close to enough to enjoy the stunning scenery so we will return to see more of the majestic park. Below are a few pictures of the ocean shoreline. Once we have some time with a good internet connection we will get more of the Acadia pictures up to our smugmug account.

Acadia National Park Shoreline

Acadia National Park Shoreline