Friday, August 24, 2007

Back from Vacation!

Funny, I was just starting to get into the swing of posting more often, when I went away on a vacation and stopped writing again.

But now that I'm back, let's see if we can write more often.

I'll start with vacation...

Annie and I headed up to Maine, with the goal of getting to parts of the state neither of us had seen. Basically, neither of us had been further north than Bar Harbor, so that left a lot of ground to cover. We had just over a week, and leaving from Virginia, that meant a lot of driving. Too much driving, in hind sight, but we still had a great time.

First stop in Maine was Freeport, where we "camped" in a friend's backyard for two nights, giving us a chance to take a kayaking class with L.L. Bean. A lot of fun, and I learned a lot too. I've really never been given any sort of guidance in a kayak, and had really only been in one a couple of times previously. I'll cover more about the class in a separate post, hopefully.

Next, we headed up the coast, to the very tip of the Maine coastline, camping at Cobscook Bay State Park. A lovely park, with secluded campsites for tents, with water views all around. Really pretty, quiet, and fun. And much to our surprise, not far from Campobello Island, where FDR had his summer "cottage"... all 34 rooms of it! I guess everyone has a different definition of cottage. :-) It was a lovely place, and it's very well preserved and presented. And the rest of the island is lovely. Small quiet villages with modest homes and great views. Alas, there's a plan to put a Liquified Natural Gas terminal in Passamoquoddy Bay up there, to get gas to Boston... and wreaking havoc on everything up there in the process I'm sure. Needless to say, the residents of Campobello (which is in Canada) are less than thrilled. Lots of signs protesting the plan all over the island.

Our next stop was Presque Isle, near the northern end of the state, inland. While I'm sure there's more to the town and the region than meets the eye, we just weren't that excited by it. Not a bad place, but not a place I'd race back to either. And I have no clue why it's called Presque's land locked! Anyone who knows, drop me a line.

Oh, on the way to PI, we ran smack into a parade in the small town of Houlton. Turns out it was their 200th anniversary there. We had to make one heck of a detour to get around the downtown area. It would have been nice if there had been some signs, but oh well.

Our last big stop in Maine was a night in Baxter State Park, in more or less the center of the state. Wow, that's a pretty area! Right at the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail too, at Mt. Katahdin. I took a little hike the evening we got there, and it was great. No moose sightings, but still some pretty scenery, and I did get to watch a woodpecker for a while.

All in all it was a great trip. If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would visit fewer places and stay in each a bit longer... especially the nothern coast. Baxter was great too, and would be a fun place to camp for a week or so, I bet. It must be gorgeous in the fall!

And it was wonderful to have daytime high temperatures in the 70s, instead of the 90s we had when we got back. I could really get used to cooler summers, honestly. Then again, I imagine winters must feel pretty long sometimes up there. I enjoy winter, but I haven't lived somewhere where it really hangs around for a very long time. It would be good to try it though.

Well, that's about it. I'm going to try to post more steadily now... wish me luck.

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