Thursday, September 29, 2016

LL Bean

We are in Freeport, ME. We stay in a motel once a week so that I can be assured of good Internet for my online class. I did not know where I was until I mentioned that I was in the home of LL Bean and someone in the class then told me my location.

This part of the county is certainly LL Bean territory. This time of the year there is a certain look about many of the campers. You see few families because kids are in school. You have the hippies. They like tent camping. Then you have the LL Bean crowd. There is a certain look - brand new hiking boots, khaki pants, a green shirt and either a vest or sweater tied around their necks (not worn).

I spent most of the day getting ready for class so Cindy walked to the shopping district. It is true that I had asked for something from LL Bean. She bought khaki pants. She doesn't quite understand the look - correct fabric and color, but not enough pockets like those down the side of the legs. She said that she was looking for something that had a large enough waist and legs that were narrow. I guess that is my look.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Doesn't seem fair

This was supposed to be a National Parks tour on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the parks. We decided to start in Acadia (Maine) and then move to the next closest park. Acadia was really great and we stayed 5 days. 

I should have taken a closer look at the map. We have under a week left and we are not close to another park. Time to move to plan B. We now are going to spend a couple days in the Poconos and then we will head home.

I have a theory based on the history of Acadia. I think the interesting land in the east was purchased by rich folks. They decided to give Acadia to the government to protect it. Many generational, multimillion dollar homes surround the park. Land in the west did not receive the same attention. Just look at the map - my theory seems an obvious conclusion.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Gathering Place

This is my perch for the morning. It is raining and in the low 50s so we decided to take a rest day. No reason to let our hectic schedule burn us out.

Imagine me sitting in one of those red rocking chairs, thinking deep thoughts, taking the long view, and pondering the big picture. All of this with a great view. I have a wall socket to keep charged and good wifi. A few others have started showing up as well. They are quiet. Not like the coffee shops I frequent in MSP. No business guys talking about deals or those poor souls interviewing all dressed up in their suits. I am not certain why the image of 20 somethings in suits always makes me smile. They look so cute. I would have taken a selfie so you could actually see me in this picture, but my arms are too short.

I am thinking I could probably run my online class from here. Probably not - I am kind of an introvert and talking in front of people who did not pay to listen is not my thing. It would be fun to try and I am running out of my data allocation from the month from AT&T.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nail down your tent

The Maine campground we are staying in very nice. Large spots with great trees so you feel you are not staying in a Walmart parking lot.

The owners have taken an interesting approach to make use of the land they have. Much of ground is uneven and very rocky. To offer customers a place to put up their tents, the owners have constructed wood pads. You nail your tent to the wood platform instead of staking your tent to the ground.

The result can be quite spectacular with many sites hanging over the sides of steep side hills.

We have encountered this approach one time before and we think we may have visited this same campground many years ago. We were in Maine at the time and we did set up a tent on a platform. We never actually got to use the tent because Cindy had an infection in her arm that required we visit the ER and then stay in a motel.

Nailing down your tent reminded me of one similar experience - riding the ferry on the inside passage on the way to Alaska. Young backpackers took their dome tents to the bow of the boat and duct taped the tents to the deck. They were out there drinking wine and having a great time. I also remember a storm came up with winds and heavy rain and they had to retreat inside in the middle of the night. The adventures of youth always make me envious.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fantasy failure

Located in the deep woods or not, Sunday is still the day for football. Time to check my fantasy team. I have never been a fan of the fantasy game. You should root for one team and stick with your team. Being loyal is a big thing with me.

I have been participating in a fantasy league to keep other people happy. It seems to be the thing to do.

My team has been struggling. Today I am down 50-12 while having more men in play than my opponent. My quarterback earned one point today - two interceptions and no touchdowns. I did draft Tom Brady, but then I remember that he was ineligible for the first four games. I told everyone else that I thought this was a good move because the others thinking they were smart passed him up. I would have him for all, but the first four games. There are more quarterbacks - I think mine got to play the entire game. My players seem to be turning in poor performances just to spite me.

I see there is a button labeled "get a team". Maybe I should give that a try.

My wife keeps trying to explain this fantasy thing to me. "You have to drop some players and look for better ones," she says. I try to explain my loyalty thing to her, but she says that is not how the game is played. 

Just wait - Tom Brady will return and my fortunes will turn around. This is probably why they call it fantasy football.

BTW - the Vikings (the team to which I am loyal) did win today (again). Take that all you midwest loser Packer fans. 

Leaf Peeping

We are making a northeastern national parks tour to view and photograph the leaves. To be impressed, fall foliage in this region will need to meet a high standard. Our lake home in northern Wisconsin provides our comparison and I need not venture off our deck to view a large maple that turns a beautiful red. I have large collections of photographs from our place.

The peak season has yet to arrive in Maine and I have taken to photographing leaves I find on the ground. The changes that have happened to this point are not spectacular and we will likely miss the peak of the season.

You can't blame the trees for functioning on their own schedule. However, as is typical of my personality, I found something to annoy me. The "in thing" here is to refer to visiting to view the fall foliage as leaf peeping. The folks here have a strong accent and I was not certain what I heard when I first heard leaf peeping. Cindy and I have since spent considerable time to come up with something we regard as superior. Leaf peeping sounds like something an advertising executive would think might draw tourists and their money to an area. Leaf peeping does not sound like a way to describe those of us who search for beauty in nature.

I am a fan of alliteration when attempting to promote. How about "leaf looking"? Leaf looking is kind of catchy and has a more obvious meaning. Peeping sounds kind of sneaky. For those fans of "peeping", I have also given some thought to your needs. For example, "people watching" suffers from the same lack of imagination as leaf peeping. People peeping would be a better description. People peeping is kind of surreptitious as in "don't stare". So by switching leaf peeping to people peeping I have restored balance to the universe and all should be well.

Leaf looking at some bland leaves in Maine,

Saturday, September 24, 2016

National Parks Day

Today is National Parks Day. Unlike other unusual days, National Parks Day has real benefits. You can get into the National Parks at no cost. It is now probably too late for most of you, but maybe some of you on the west coast can get in a few hours of free hiking.

Free access to the parks does me little good. I have one of those golden eagle cards that gets us old folks in for free. I was thinking about why the government would offer this benefit to old people. I am not certain, but it seems possible the goal was to have the elderly walk in the parks and cut down the clutter in the malls. Maybe.

Here is something neat to consider. We are celebrating National Parks Day during the 100th anniversary of the National Parks in a National Park (Acadia in Maine). Wait to see what great feat I accomplish on eat a hot dog day.

Cold showers are free

I am in the midst of an area of great beauty so the photo of the day may be a bit confusing. There is no reasonable explanation for what I find amusing.

I was in the campground bathroom ready to take my shower and I saw this sign. We had been warned when we checked in that showers cost $1 so I was not surprised by the charge. For whatever reason, I read the sign until the end. The last line is what caught my attention - cold showers are free. Now, this is the fall and temps are in the 50s. Somehow, the thought of attempting a cold shower was funny. If you can afford the campground, saving a buck on a shower seemed pretty funny.

I laughed and took out my phone to take a picture. It seemed that guy shaving looked at me strange when I left the shower stall. Not sure how he interpreted my laughter and the sound of a camera shutter. He did say something, but his Maine accent prevented me from understanding. I wished him a good day and headed out.

Friday, September 23, 2016

To Maine and Back

This is the first entry from our Fall 2016 trip. We decided to drive to Maine and back to look at the leaves. To get to Maine, we took the northern route through Canada. I have little to report from this part of the trip. You drive slow when pulling a camper and Canada is large. We spent most of the time driving. Nice country - Canada.

Now, we are in Maine. Our immediate goal is to spend time in Acadia National Park. It is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Parks and Acadia is rated as one of the best. National Parks are great, but often very crowded. No place to park. No campsites unless you plan far ahead. We  waited until the kids went back to school and the parents went back to work. Old folks are smarter than most people think.

Today, it was time for lobster. We settled on lobster rolls - all meat and none of the mess.