Tuesday, September 6, 2011

All good things come to an end.

Sunday and Monday were wind down days.  Pam and the boys were getting ready to leave on Sunday so Grandpa and the boys were trying to do everything 'one more time' while Pam packed the car.  It worked out great for everyone.  There was bike riding, ladder ball, fishing and swimming.  A good recap for a great vacation.

Pam was able to get everything packed without anyone whining about leaving!  I don't know how she does it!  She is soooo organized it's amazing.

The boys were having so much fun it was hard for them to pull away.  They didn't leave till about 2pm so they won't get back to Eastham till almost dark.  It's been a great week!  Probably the most fun week we have had all summer.  They boys are at a great age for camping.

We wind down Sunday night with Doug and Annie, a sunset cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee, and a delicious Salmon dinner!

It pours Sunday night and we had lots of thunder and lightning.  Glad the kids weren't here!  Buddy was scared and ended up with 'puppy dog eyes' begging us to come up on our bed.  We can't resist.  We snuggle during the storm.  After a few hours we all get to go back to sleep.

By morning the rain stopped and we get to pack up for the last time.  It feels great.  I love camping but am always happy to be going home.

Traffic heading out of NH is really bad.  We had hoped to make a stop at our son Ed's house but it's taking twice as long as we expect, so we decide to just head home.  It's hot and humid and we didn't get enough sleep last night.  We are anxious to be home again!

We get home to a sparkling clean house, and a freshly made bed!  Awesome!    But we still have a couple hours of work ahead before we can relax .  We have to put up the camper since it was still wet when we put it down.  We'll empty out the car and a little of the camper tonight and wait for another day to do the rest.  We don't need to rush to get the house back together--we're home now!  Yippee!

It's been a good summer.  Relaxing for the most part, with a few hic ups thrown in!  We only traveled about 4,000 miles instead of the 15,000 miles we traveled last year!

The weather on the Cape is now raining and probably will be for a few more days.  Not a problem.  We have lots to do to get our lives back to our Winter Lives!

It's good to be home!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Days 76-79 Wednesday Aug 31 thru Saturday September 3, 2011 He's an AWESOME Grandpa!

The kids, and Grandpa, are having an AWESOME time!  He is SUCH a good Grandpa!  They go hiking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and boating among other things!  Everyone is in such a good mood!  Everyone is relaxed and just enjoying ourselves.

We have campfires each night with So'm More's.  Everyone pitches in doing dishes and the boys go to bed without real complaints.

On Thursday Uncle Doug called to see what we were doing.  He was coming to his house in Moultonboro on Thursday night.  We invite him for dinner since we know it's going to be a long ride with the Labor Day traffic. 

We have American Chop Suey for dinner and hang around and chat.  On Friday he was hoping we could go out on his pontoon boat.  You don't have to ask us twice!  Everyone was very excited!

Uncle Doug's lake house is only 8 minutes from where we're staying.  We spent Friday on the Lake with Uncle Doug.  He'll make a great Grandpa, too!  He's so patient and really seems to like playing with the boys.  He even lets them drive his boat!  He's a big hit.

We spend the whole day on the boat, have dinner there and then they try 'Can't miss cove' for one more sunset fishing cruise.  And true to it's name, everyone catches fish, so it's the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 74 & 75 Monday August 29 & Tuesday August 30, 2011 I wonder if we can go back to Covered Bridge?

Tom & Louise left to go back to work and are graciously letting us stay here till the Covered Bridge campground reopens.  We have a reservation for a week starting today.  It's our last reservation!

The weather is beautiful.  Sunny, clear and calm.  Isn't that always the way after a big storm!

We haven't received any notices from ReserveAmerica, so we are checking the New Hampshire web sites and watching the news.  It does NOT look good.  Looks like the Conway/Bartlett area took a big hit!  The Kancamagus Highway is CLOSED!  Can you imagine?  Roads and bridges are washed out around Conway. 

Covered Bridge Campground is closed until further notice!  We have to tell Pam to wait one more day before coming to join us.  If the campground does not reopen, we'll look for another one to go to.  With the White Mountain National Forest closed until further notice, it looks like we have to try a private campground.  Bummer...but better then nothing!

View of the lake from the main road of the campground
Tuesday morning comes.  Still not opened.  We decide to go to Long Island Bridge Campground in Moultonboro, NH.  It' s right on Lake Winnipesaukee.  It has la lot of seasonal trailers parked close to each other, but we got a section of the wooded area so we can't even see the trailers from our campsite!  This will work.

We get here before Pam and the boys arrive so we can be set up and relaxed and can just welcome them to camping.  They were so excited to go camping with 'Grandpa' that it would have been a shame if we couldn't make it work!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 73 Sunday August 28, 2011 It's raining cats and dogs!

We wake up Sunday morning to the wind blowing!  The lake outside looks like an angry ocean on Cape Cod!  Lots of white caps.  And the trees are swaying with lots of wind.  Probably a consistant 20-30 mph with lots of gusts all day.

And the rain!  Looks like a wall of rain at times that you can see coming at you in waves over the lake.  Very cool looking while inside!  Not something you want to be in.

Towards noon, it's clear that the boats left in the water were a mistake.  A neighbor comes over looking for help on trying to bring another neighbors boat to shore.  This is a great group of caring people!  Soon there were five neighbors and Tom, Louise and Ed all in their raincoats going from one boat to another to get them safe.  Then since the water was churning up quite a bit, they decide to take up their two docks.  It was quite an adventure.

Then we heard a roaring SNAP!  A tree has snapped in half and fell on Tom's boat and hit the roof of Louise's dad's house!  Now, real teamwork happened.  It was just amazing.  Everyone rallied around to remove branches that we could and we tried to move the boat.  No luck.  One of the neighbors is in excavating and had his equipment with him! He used a backhoe to hold up one end of the tree trunk (about a foot and a half in diametor!) to take the pressure off the limbs overhanging the boat.  Then they used a chainsaw to saw that limb.  Then everyone pushed out the trailer and got the boat to safety.  Miraculously, it doesn't look damaged...just scraped!

Another group got tarps and covered the hole in the roof of the house. 

They spent the next few hours cutting up the limbs of the trees, piling up the debris, and assessing the damage.  All this in torential downpours!

I feel so bad for Tom and Louise!  What stress!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 72 Saturday August 27, 2011 Evacuation Day!

It's Saturday morning and the sun is shining.  No rain and no breeze and we need to evacuate with our camper and all by noon time.  Very annoying.  But I guess you can't fight city hall, so we are off.

Lake Wentworth view from Louise's Cabin
We get to Louise's house.  Lake Wentworth looks great.  Calm and a little overcast, but the sun is trying to peek out. It's a beautiful spot!  Louise and Tom are getting their Sailboat out of the water 'just in case'.  The news channels are all still really hyped about the storm.  After their work is done, Tom and Ed go out for a Kayak tour of the Lake.  Water was getting a little choppy since the wind was picking up.

We talk about where to put the camper and their sailboat in case of high winds.  There are lots of large and very tall white pines all around this area.

Louise's dad has a home right behind her with an open side yard.  They decide to put our camper and car on the side of the house and the sailboat in front of the house.  We go back to relaxing, have a great dinner and hang out and just talk.  No rain yet, but they are expecting it to rain quite a bit.

So far so good!

Days 69,70,71 August 24, 25, 26 2011 And we thought the worst was over!

It feels good to be in a site we'll be able to stay in for the rest of the traveling time!  No more set ups and take downs.  Now we can just nest and get ready for our grandsons visit.

On Wednesday, I decided to get the laundry done, wax the camper floor and generally get organized.  I was able to get to the Library to get Internet, also.  It's a very good day.

Ed went for a hike.  He loves this area and can always find a hike that is interesting and good exercise at the same time.  This particular hike is pretty steep, but has lots of caves and tunnels to crawl through, so he was 'checking it out' for when the boys come.

On Thursday it was much of the same.  The pace is good.  I have a couple paperbacks to tide me over till Pam comes with the Kindle on Monday.  We have a new neighbor next to us.  A mom in her 30's and 2 tween and teen kids.  There's a little bit of yelling and quite a few F bombs being thrown around.  Not too pleasant.  Wonder how long they'll stay?

On Friday, Ed takes an ambitious hike.  Very steep.  The map says it's 2 miles (4 miles round trip) but it's actually 2.7 miles.  Ed gets back a little later and more tired then expected, but feeling good that his knee let him complete it pain free!

I finished shopping on Friday and was reading the paper back at our Camp Site when the Camp Host came to visit.  He had bad news.  Hurricane Irene is coming this weekend and the Federal Government has issued a Mandatory Evacuation of all of the Campgrounds. WHATTTT?????  That's absurd!  I just bought lots of goodies, newspapers and wine in anticipation of the rain and wind, but we're in the mountains.  How can we really be affected?  Now what?

We are scheduled to visit our friends Tom and Louise at her cabin on Lake Wentworth on Saturday.  Ed decided to ask if there is any chance we can just stay over till we can get back in the campground.  They are very gracious and say yes.  We can't believe they will keep us out of the campground until Tuesday morning, but just in case, it's nice to know we'll have a roof over our head.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 68 August 23, 2011 Hope it's a better day!

Ed awoke early.  Much earlier then I wanted to get up.  We each take a shower and have to wait for everything to open before we know what we're going to do.

We take advantage of the FREE Continental Breakfast offered by the hotel.  I simply lost my appetite and decided to wait for lunch.

By 8 am we are back in the hotel room watching early morning shows.  I finally suggested that Ed drive over to the large RV place he left 2 messages for yesterday to see if they will be able to be of help today fixing the camper.

Ed arrives back an hour later.  We're on the road.  They are unable to help but did give Ed a couple of suggestions.  One that he called said they would be willing to take a look at the camper.  The ONLY place that was even willing to look.  It's about an hour away, so we are on our way back to the campground.  Ed has decided we are cancelling our reservation at this campground (I don't think he was looking forward to chatting with John for a week), bringing the camper to be looked at and will decide what we do from there.

We are off to Ray's Marina & RV Sales in Milton, NH.  It takes us past Tom & Shelly's area and Tom and Louise's area and Doug and Annie's area.  Sure wish someone was around to visit! A mechanic spoke to Ed right away about what the problem was.  He was a young guy and seemed to understand what it probably was.  He told us to leave the camper.  He would take a look at it after lunch.  He would probably have to take the roof off to get at the cable area--no access from the outside.  The cost was $100 an hour for labor and if they needed parts they could probably get them within a day or so.

That's all we could do.  If it took 10 hours, we would be just out of luck.  We are over a barrel!

We decide to go to lunch at the Poor People's Pub in Sanbornville, NH.  It was good.  Then we decided to go sit on the dock of our friend Louise's 'cabin'.  It sure is a beautiful spot!  We just hung out watching the water and mountains for awhile when the cell phone rang. 

They fixed it!  No discussion of the cost yet, but since it was only there for about 3 hours, we're hoping!

Wow!  We pick up the camper.  The cost:  $100.00!  You got to love that business!  They could have charged us ANYTHING!  Apparently, the chain just got tangled around it self due to being turned too much.  Looks like it was my fault!  When I put it down, I always like to see the cover go down as far as possible.  They say that is not a good idea.  You don't have to tell me twice!

Now, where are we going to go camping?  After talking about it, we decide to go the Covered Bridge CG in the White Mountains--where we have a reservation starting next Monday.  Perhaps, if there are any decent sites open, we can just set ourselves up and then transfer the reservation to that site.  That would mean we wouldn't have to take the chance of not getting it back up again before we get home!  Just a thought!  I guess Ed is thinking the same way, so it's off to Covered Bridge in Conway, NH.

We decided on site 18.  It's flat, wooded nicely and large enough for both our camper and a tent when our daughter comes to visit next week.  I think we'll be fine here.

Boy, am I glad that trauma is over!  Now we can relax again!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 67 Monday August 22, 2011 Our most expensive camping day yet!

Well. It rained buckets last night. It rained so hard it actually cleaned off our camper roof and canvas ends. And the good news is, it stopped raining about 5 am. The sun was even out while we were packing up the camper. Today is moving day to White Ledge Campground in the White Mountains. We are scheduled to be there for one week. It is in Albany, NH right near Conway where we camped earlier in the summer.

I am in charge of cranking down the camper. That's why I'm called 'Cranky'! And Ed is in charge of tucking in all the canvas around the camper as I do it. When I was done cranking, Ed said I had to put it back up a little bit since some of the canvas did not get tucked in properly. I could not. The crank would not move to the right.

Ed came around not believing me and being somewhat annoyed. He tried it. It will not put the camper roof up. Our camper is broken and we have 2 weeks left of camping before we can get back into our home.  This is not good.

Sounds like something broke, dropped, got stuck or something in the gears of the crank shaft. It's a manual lift system and it doesn't work. Now Ed is REALLY not happy. I'm particularly pleased that there are no walls around. By now, his fist would be thru one of them. We stand around trying to do the same thing we were doing (sign of insanity, isn't it??) when finally we give up and lock everything up and get ready to go.

Ed takes a shower which I hope will calm him some while I set up our Trip program. We also have the Garmin GPS which I program for the same spot. Between the two we should do fine. Not exactly. Right when we get out of the campground, one is saying take a right the other says take a left. Not a good start! We decide to trust the Streets and Trips after looking it over since it looks like the fastest route.

We are fine for 20 miles or so. A lot of the roads are torn up with reconstruction so it's slow going. We were on Rt 17 for a bit. Then the instructions took us right for another 5 miles or so to get us to Rt 5. Right after we made the right hand turn, the road started to rise, the pavement stopped and a sign said "Road closed in winter for repairs" . We aren't too bright. We didn't turn around. We spend a lot of time on dirt/rock roads when we are in the North Country. How bad can 5 miles or so be?  It can be. There is NOTHING on this road. In fact there are signs on some trees that indicate a tract number.  Ed says that's so you can tell someone where you are when you get shot by a hunter.  Testy, isn't he?  At a point there are forks in the dirt road (that are not on our map, by the way!) and we have to make a choice. The day is not going well, we are jostled from the trip, we're both worried about the camper and not knowing where we are. We are both a little testy. Actually, though, a little further on this road we surprisingly come across two old cemeteries.

Finally, we begin to see a house here or there (how in God's good earth do people POSSIBLY live out here?!). We have gone far more then the 5 miles we expected--obviously we were wrong on one or two of our forks in the road! We finally see a lake thru the trees and we come out to a paved road.  Now, there are a LOT of little cabins and houses on this little lake. I think the name of it was Ellis Pond in Oxford County, ME. We found where we were on the map and began to feel a little better. We got onto Rt 5 which is a better paved road.

We stopped for lunch at the Sunday River Brewery. Ed said they always eat here when he and his friends come to ski. Food helped buoy our spirits a little...but not much. The Pollyanna in me wanted to consider how we would handle this:

  • If we simply go home and sponge off Chuck and Jean, we'll still have to get the camper fixed and the repair place is by the bridge---a 2 hour ride to bring it there and 2 hours to go home.

  • If we get it fixed this week, we'll stay in a hotel in Conway while it's being repaired and Ed can still hike. We can leave the Kayak and bikes at the campsite that we already paid to reserve for 7 days.

  • If we go home, we miss visiting Tom and Louise at her lake house on Saturday and we won't get to have our Camping time with Pam and her boys which starts next Monday. We'll all be very disappointed!

  • So it costs a little money. We can make it work! Ed says I sound like his mother:)!

    We call a few RV places and none seem to work on Monday. There is a pretty big one on Rt 302 right near the Maine line not that far from where we are camping, so Ed left a message with the Service Answering machine. Their web site says they go out to campsites to do repairs. Let's hope he's not a really busy guy.

    We finally get to the campground. It's very small and very wooded. It looks nice.  We are right next to the Campground Host, John. It must be a slow day. John comes right over to us as we finish (poorly) backing into our site (we are both still grouchy). John listens to our tale of woe and he is going to help get the top up!

    Well, he and Ed try to prop the corners of the lid with logs and keep trying (unsuccessfully) to crank.  Finally, John and Ed take off in his truck down the road. John thinks there is a good mechanic down there that can help with this problem.

    They arrive back in a half hour.  No luck.  This guy is one we already called while on the road. 

    John is still chatting.  About his Cancer, his Agent Orange health problems, and his Vietnam experience.  Like I said...it's a slow day. We decide  to leave the camper, kayak and bikes at our site and go off to find a hotel for a night or two.  It's mid week and there are dozens around.

    Well, it takes longer then expected.  Now I have three criteria for a hotel:  they have to take dogs, they have to have Internet and they have to be cheap.  Now we first had to find Internet to save some driving time, then we had to call them.  Not as easy as expected.

    We end up at Mt. Washington Inn right on White Mountain Hwy (Rt 160 in the heart of North Conway.  Now I am being very specific when telling you about this hotel so that you NEVER attempt to stay there!  It had a King sized bed which was comfortable, it had Internet and a TV.  The pet friendly room was at the end of one of their buildings.  There is NO key card access to the buildings and they are all unlocked all of the time!  There is no deadbolt or good lock on our room door.  There is no chain.  Simply a little latch to lock the door.  Sure glad I wasn't alone! 

    There must have been LOTS of previous pets there since Buddy sniffed around every inch of the rug for at least a half hour.  After that, all he wanted to do was go back to the campground.  In fact, at one point the next morning, he refused to come back inside the room!

    But it was next door to an Applebee's so we went out to dinner for awhile, which was nice.

    OK.  I started by saying this is the most expensive camping day yet.  We have had lunch and dinner on the road and gotten a hotel room.  All of this before we pay for repairs on the camper.  The repairs could cost ANYTHING!  We have to get it fixed.

    We're going to go to bed early and hope for some good luck tomorrow!

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Day 62 & 63 Wednesday August 17, 2011--Thursday August 18, 2011

    The sun did come out today!!
    It's a beautiful day.  Clear and comfortable with lots of sunshine.  Ed decided to put the Kayak in the water and go fishing.  Looks like a beautiful lake to do that in.  I'm heading to town for the usual:  Internet, food shopping and laundry.

    Suds & Sizzle
    Rangeley has the nicest Laundromat I have ever been in!  A cute little log cabin that this picture doesn't do justice to.  Now it has American flags and pots of flowers on the porch!  Very sweet!  And it's a Tanning Salon if you want to have something to do while your laundry drys!  It's called the Suds & Sizzle!

    On Wednesday night we were able to sit down by the water for sunset!  Very nice.  Hopefully, tonight will go as well.

    On Thursday, Ed decides to ride his bike into town and meet up at the Library.  Now, it has to be at least 10 miles one way from our campsite to the Library!  Looks like a lot of up hill to me, too.  I wouldn't do it!

    I'll spend Thursday afternoon balancing checking account and credit card statements.  Always makes me feel productive when I do that!

    Day 60 Monday August 15, 2011 Traveling to Rangeley, Maine

    Well, today is moving day.  We are heading to our last Maine Campground--Rangeley Lake State Park Campground--in Rangeley, Maine.
    We woke up this morning.  It was raining--lightly, but it was raining!  Now, I'm usually a good sport with the rain.  I'll go food shopping or spend a few hours at the library with electricity, so I don't really mind it too much.  But I am now getting a little sick of it!  It feels like almost 2 weeks of off and on rain.

    We went to dinner last night at the Back Lake Tavern set on Back Lake, about three miles from Lake Francis CG.  Nice little place.  The waitress has been there since 1993.  They are open in the winter for snowmobilers.  Tonight, however, there was only one other table of four there.  How can they possible make any money?

    Rangeley Lake
    We got to talking about where we were from and where we were headed.  She asked if we were going thru Canada to get to Rangeley, Maine.  We told her about how our Streets & Trips travel planner was sending us and she looked very hesitant.  She said that's a logging road.  That section on the map program said it was about 30 miles.  Now we've been on logging roads before, and they're not great but we could survive.  Then she said:  "If the gates are open".  Perhaps that's not a good choice!  We made new plans!

    After packing in the rain this morning, we headed back toward Colebrook, NH where we would hang a left to get to Rangeley, Maine.  The program indicated that wasn't much longer then the logging route, so we got to pass thru the Dixville Notch again, which was pretty.  But it's raining.  The whole way.  Then when we got to the campground, it was raining as we set up and didn't stop.  All day.  All night.  It's now noon on Tuesday and even as I sit in the crowded to capacity Library in Rangeley, it is drizzling.  I'm told the sun should be out tomorrow!
    Rangeley Library

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Day 48 thru Day 58 Thursday August 4, 2011 to Saturday August 13, 2011--Lake Francis State Park, Pittsburg, NH

    Lake Francis
    Well, this has been a pretty dreary stretch of weather. Both at Umbagog CG and here at Lake Francis State Park, it has rained a lot--which is why I have not posted a lot on the Blog!

    I can't say every day, but it's been grey and raw and wet and cold enough to feel like it rained every day. I think that's what we mind the most. The color grey. The dreary sky. There were times, when the sky was blue and we saw sun, but soon enough, the big clouds would roll in and you felt the cold again. This is August isn't it? And all the time we kept listening to the weather reports: "beautiful sunny skies, high in the 80's". They certainly were not talking about the North County.

    Now I'm not looking for heat and humidity. Just sun!

    During our time at Umbagog, however, it was easy to ignore. I had Internet and electricity. I was on from early morning till Ed kicked me off. We had no cell service. But at least there was Internet. I even played Bridge for a few hours on line each day. I was on so much I almost got sick of it:). I finally had to go out and buy some books!

    Here at Lake Frances it's different. We reserved site #1 because all the sites by the water were taken. What do you have to do to get those good water views anyway? We've had this site before. It's a little tight for the camper. We had to maneuver it into the site bringing our bed basically over the fire pit. Good thing we don't usually have a fire! The site peeks thru the trees to the lake and a grassy area...and "ye old out house". Convenient and quaint, Ed says, and not as smelly as you'd expect!

    Now Lake Francis does have hot showers, flush toilets (if you want to walk that far) and a washer and dryer.

    Did I tell you about the sign in the shower and toilet house?

           Please do not step on the frogs in the showers or bathrooms

    I have to admit to being a little anxious while reading that sign as I was using the facilities!  But I can tell you I never did see a frog--except in Buddy's water bowl one morning at our campsite.

    But here again.  Despite having some amenities, there was no cell service and no Internet. Internet and Cell service is 23-25 miles away. I head there every day, but at $3.69 a gallon of gas (20 mpg) it's over $7.00 a day.

    The civilization I found is back in Colebrook, NH. A quaint, somewhat distressed town (but healthier then other local towns around). To get there you can go straight down Rt 3 (boring), or take the roller coaster road of Rt 145. That's a kick! Very windy, 2 lane road with steep hills and beautiful green valleys.

    The local towns you go thru are Stewartstown and Pittsburg, NH. You can even make a one mile detour (for different scenery) and go through Canaan and Beecher Falls, VT. Canada is another 2 miles away. Like I said, God's country.

    It was sad going thru some back roads, though, since many of the missing posters for the 11 year old named Cassie were still up on the telephone poles. Lots of the local newspapers still had articles about the investigation of her disappearance and murder . Very sad. There are so few houses up here, with no real appearance of wealth, you wonder what was someone thinking by kidnapping and killing a little girl?

    We're in the North County...the true land of 'Live Free or Die' folks. Apparently, there is an on going battle of some Canadian/American company who wants to put in Electric Towers. Lots of anti signs.

    They call it : NO to the Northern Pass! You almost think there are people just inside those curtains who would shot you if you were 'pro' in this electric battle!

    Today, Saturday, is a beautiful sunny day. Lots of billowing clouds and the temps in the 70's. Now I'm happy!

    Ed decides to leave to go fly fishing "up the river". Buddy has been really good all summer with us leaving him behind since he just physically is having more trouble taking anything but a short walk to the Lake.

    But he looks so hopeful, Ed decides to take him. Tails wagging, Ed and Buddy leave.

    They were gone for 5 hours. Buddy was not as energetic when he arrived home. He was pooped. Once he had water he was thrilled to snuggle up on his blanket/bed and not move for the next 2 hours. Ed said he had a lot of trouble getting over the logs and downed trees thru the woods, but always found a spot to sleep when Ed started fly fishing.

    He's such a good dog. Just wants to be with you.

    We leave here on Monday morning. We are heading to our last site in Maine, at Rangeley State Park a few hours away. It's our first time there. The map, however, shows like the trip, while short may be interesting. The road is marked with 1 line --not 2--which probably means a dirt road. Now we've done those before. Heck, it's a mile in on a dirt road to get to Lake Francis! But other times, it's been a little hairy with the camper. We shall see!

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Day 47--Wednesday August 3, 2011 Travel day to Umbagog State Park, Errol, NH

    Well, I think we have seen the last of civilization for awhile.  While Dolly Copp is 5 miles from the things that I like, I don't think I have that luxury with our next stop.

    We get up after a rainy night and pack the camper.  No rush again.  It's less the 2 hours away.  We decide not to have breakfast before we leave but to stop along the way to have Brunner (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) so I don't have to cook tonight.  I like those days.  Also we'll go food shopping for the week.

    At least that's what we THOUGHT we were going to do.  Who knew there would be no place to eat between Gorham and Errol NH?  We even went through Bethel, Maine to get there.  I thought for sure we would find a decent restaurant there.  No such luck.  They must be the reverse of the Cape---busy in the winter with skiers and then close down in the summer.

    It rains on and off while driving.  The weather has been odd the last few days.  It's sunny, then storm clouds go by, a pouring rain comes and then it clears up.  More fickle then Cape Cod!

    As we travel I check our phones.  Sure enough, service is gone.  I'll turn mine off until at least our next stop maybe longer.

    Beach at Umbagog Campground
    We arrive at Umbagog Campground and remember that we were here once before.  A few years ago when we traveled a lot in New York State we stopped by here late in the day (thinking it was SOOO out of the way that no one would be here!) to find it full.

    Umbagog Campground is right on Umbagog Lake, which is part of the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge and is also a New Hampshire state park.  It lies in the towns of Errol, New Hampshire, and Upton, Maine. This is one of the most pristine lakes in the State of New Hampshire. The name Umbagog is said to come from the Abenaki Indian word for "shallow water".

    Views over Umbagog Lake
    The lake is beautiful!  And I think this place is going to be alright.

    Our site is small (as they all are) but we can see the lake through the trees and we can hear the Loons.  The site has electricity and water.  They have showers and flush toilets.  They sell ice. And the BEST part is you can purchase Internet for the week!!  At $25.00 it's a bargain.  I will save a fortune in gas going to the next town to find it!  So even though we don't have cell service, we have the Internet!  Write to me:)

    Once we were set up, we decided to head to town for groceries.  The center of Errol is about 7 miles away.  They do not have a supermarket, bank, Laundromat, or library.  For that you need to go to Colbrook, NH another 20 miles away or so.  They do, however, have a restaurant that was pretty good.  Not many people at 2 pm but they have big signs welcoming bikers so I'm sure it gets hopping at some time. 

    They also have Errol's General Store.  So we go shopping.  Hopefully, we will rely on the fish that Ed will be catching this week for dinner, but we stock up with eggs , bacon, chips and wine.  That's all I need.

    We come back to the camp site, put things away, and Ed goes fishing and I get to play on the computer.  Just the kind of day I like.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Day 44 Sunday July 31, 2011 Amazon.com---I LOVE that company!

    Remember when I wrote the other day that I thought I had lost my Kindle?  Then I was relieved to have found it?  Well, that relief didn't last too long!

    We finished playing cards last night (we're tied for the season at 32 games each) about 10:30 pm.  Ed took Buddy for a walk and I jumped into bed--literally.  I had thrown my Kindle onto the bed, pulled back the covers and then rolled in under them--right over my Kindle!  I went to open it, and it was clear the screen was cracked inside!  I could not open the Kindle and could not read any of the books I had in there!  How could I be so stupid!

    It sure didn't feel like I would have been able to break it.  I didn't hear any crack or anything.  But it's fried.

    On Sunday morning, I dropped Ed off at a Trail Head for his hike that day and decided to make the trek back to Conway.  I knew I had to get Internet access to find out if the Warrenty would cover this stupidity (I doubt it.) and if not, maybe Staples would be able to fix it.  They just started selling Kindles and they fix computers, so maybe?

    While checking the Amazon.com web site, I read the Warrently and it looks like "neglect and misuse" are not covered, as suspected.  I went on the "Kindle Customer Service Q & A Forum" to see if anyone else had the problem.  Based on what I saw there I knew I was doomed and should probably just go buy another Kindle at Staples.  Before I did that, I decided to call the Customer Service department just in case.

    I spoke to a very nice man, Brad, who after explaining my situation said I probably should not be too quick to blame myself.  "These things sometimes just happen".   After a review of my account and seeing that I just received my Kindle for Christmas, he said he would send me a new Kindle for FREE.  No penalty for stupidity!  I LOVE Amazon.com!!!!!!

    My Kindle will be arriving in a few days, but since it has to be sent to my home address, I won't be able to get it till our daughter Pam comes up camping with the boys the last week in August.

    I did mention I should start working on my Genealogy again, didn't I???? 

    As I said....be carful what you wish for.

    Day 45 and 46---Monday August 1, 2011 and Tuesday August 2, 2011 Days at Dolly Copp

    Days are spent at the usual:  Ed goes on ever lengthening hikes while I go to the Library and food shopping.  It's a nice pattern.

    In fact, on yesterdays hike, Ed met up with a nice couple, John and Barbara, who were also camping at Dolly Copp.  They stopped by our site to give Ed their e-mail address so he could forward a picture he took of them.  As we were talking, they mentioned that they were heading off to a lake house they own with her brother to finish their vacation.  Guess what?  It's on Pine River Pond....on the opposite side of Tom & Shelly's house!  Small world!

    After they left we went on a sunset cruise to try to find an ice cream shop.  No such luck.  Although there is a Burger King, McDonald's and Pizza Hut in Gorham, there is no good ice cream shop.  Disappointing.  Then we came back to our usual card games.  I was losing this night and Ed was bemoaning the fact that at least I didn't score less then 100 when I lost.  I insisted he didn't either...he was just being a baby.  We made a bet.  If I lose, I make breakfast.  If he loses, he makes dinner.  When I checked the record book, he actually did lose a few games with scores under 100.  I lose and have to make breakfast.

    I don't like to make breakfast.  That means I have to get out of bed sooner then Ed to get it started and I like to be lazy in the morning.  But a bet is a bet, so I made breakfast.

    Mt. Washington Auto Road Entrance
    After making and eating my 'crow' , on Monday morning we decide to play tourist and take the ride up the Mt. Washington Auto Road.  We had done that years ago, but the views are beautiful and it was a clear and sunny day.  As always the views are spectacular!  I don't look down, however, since I am somewhat height challenged.  I look out into the distance and it's really beautiful.  They give you a CD to listen to while making the ride that's very interesting.

    Does this mean I can say I 'climbed' Mt. Washington?  

    Tuesday is our last day in this area so Ed plans a hike that's a few miles long but lots of elevation.  It will be a challenge.  I drop him off at the trail head at Pinckham Notch.  It's a little cloudy in the distance but he's going anyway. 

    Gorham Library
    Good thing we had cell service.  Within five minutes of dropping him off, I got a call to pick him up.  The rangers had current weather reports that indicated hail, lightning and heavy rains were coming over the mountain within a half hour.  Not good to be hiking in that weather, so Ed came back to the campsite and played his guitar all afternoon, and I went to the library and wrote a couple days of Blogs.

    It looked like the library was the place to be today.  Lots of locals took refuge on this rainy day along with me.  One local in particular was in the room where I was seated. He had taken off his shoes to be more comfortable and was walking around in his socks.  He had a one gallon jug of water next to him that he took a swig from every once in awhile along with a shopping bag filled with who knows what.  He realized I was a visitor after a while (is there a sign on me??), welcomed me  and began to give me tons of facts about the area, i.e. Gorham is the most populated town in this county, 90% of the residents on the other side of the river are bi-lingual, etc. He's lived here eight years and just loves it!  Small towns are so nice!

    Tomorrow we are off to Lake Umbagog!

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Day 43---July 30, 2011 Have I told you how grateful I am?

    I was reviewing my blog, the Followers who have joined my Blog, and the comments I have received by e-mail from many of you. I am overwhelmed and grateful!

    I have never been comfortable writing.  Ed and Pam are the writers in our family.  They can describe things perfectly and can conjure up lots of images when they write.  I'm a fact driven person.  No nonsense...just the facts.  I've always been in awe when getting Christmas letters, especially from my high school friend Linda Loboda Seibert Pedersen.  They take up three detailed pages of all that has happened in her family and to her during the year.  If I even tried to make up one of those letters--no matter how much I love getting them--it wouldn't even make up a paragraph!  I always said I just lead a boring life!

    When we started on our summer travels 10 summers ago, Ed is the one who would send awesome e-mails to our family and friends.  They were creative, interesting and sometimes even profound.  Our son Ed even made up a 'book' of these e-mails as a present one Christmas that Dad treasures.  I certainly had no interest in competing with that.

    For some reason, last summer I decided to simply write about our 'every day living' in a camper.  I found it fun and was really not intimidated by that type of writing.  I sent it by e-mail each time I wrote one and probably clogged up some people's e-mail boxes that couldn't really care about what we were doing on a day to day basis.  I decided to try the Blogger route this summer.  I think it is probably a better process.  I know the people who care,  will either become a Follower or check in on the Blog occasionally.  Those who don't, won't be intruded upon.

    What surprised me most, are some of the people who are 'following' me.  Even three of my young nieces are followers!  I am honored.  Thank you.

    And to all of you who are, and have been, encouraging me to continue....be careful what you wish for:)