Howdy from New Mexico! Pam and I have been hanging out in Albuquerque since April 3rd visiting my family and Pam’s daughter, Jandi. My brother John’s daughter, Joanna, was married on April 28th at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm. My sons, Patrick, Aaron, and Anthony, were also able to attend the service, so it was nice for all of my immediate family to be together (my parents, Ross and Anne, would be so proud!). We had a blast having family all together and getting out to see some of the sites and exhibits while we were in the area. We were also thankful for being able to eat some excellent Mexican food. (They just can’t make it better any place else but New Mexico!)
From Albuquerque we plan to return to Carlsbad to visit Pam’s son, Josh, and the granddaughters for about a week. Then we’re headed to Orem, Utah for Patrick’s wedding which will be held May 19th through the 21st. After his wedding, we plan to travel to Oregon and Washington for the summer and fall. Thanks for tuning in and letting me share our continuing adventure.
We’ve had a wonderful time in Texas visiting family and taking care of annual business (banking, doctor appts, mail, vehicle maintenance, etc.) and now it’s time roll again and we are ready. Being here for the past 3 months has allowed us to “be in the neighborhood” of several family members at different times hanging out and catching up. Both of my parents, my sister, my two brothers, and one of my children live here in Texas and it is fun to come be a part of their lives for a little while. I am very thankful for them and their families and the time we were able to share with them.
So now we begin heading west tomorrow. We will ultimately be doing a Northwest trip this year, but Big Bend National Park in TX is first on the list. We are meeting some friends in the Alpine/Marfa/Fort Davis area for a few days, then on to Terlinqua TX to see Big Bend. We always intended to make this trip from Carlsbad and never followed through, so now’s the time. Then we’ll make our way up to New Mexico for a while.
We get asked quite often about how long we hope to continue this lifestyle, and we both agree there is still way too much to see and do to think about ending any time soon. This journey has been way beyond our expectations and continues to excite and challenge us each day.
We appreciate your interest and taking time to keep up with us. We continue to hope your lives are filled with peace, joy, and love.
Thought I’d better let everyone know we are still alive and well. This is what we’ve been doing:
—Gettysburg. We stayed at a Pine Grove Furnace State Park outside of Gettysburg and drove in to tour the museum and cyclorama on one day, then went back to do a driving tour through the battleground the next day. It was truly amazing to see and hear about all the battles during those 3 days in 1863. Learned so much more than I ever remember covering in school.
—Washington D.C. We decided at the last minute to visit D.C. (at my dad’s suggestion, thanks Dad) and were so glad we did. Cherry Hill RV Park (in MD) had a sightseeing session providing us with all the info we needed to see the sights. We went into D.C. 3 days and tried to absorb all we could during our visit. I have to say, especially during these difficult times in the USA, it was inspiring to be reminded of how our country began and to see and read so much of what it has taken to get to where we are today. The museums were so very interesting, so much to try to take in. But the memorials were absolutely stunning; wonderful tributes to extraordinary people.
—Claytor Lake State Park, Virginia. We are parked here for a few days to get back to nature after being so busy sightseeing. We took a nice walk around the park yesterday, then took the kayak out for a trip in the lake. We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway today, lovely scenery even though the colors are almost gone. It is quiet and peaceful here, a nice break from the busy city.
Coming up next:
—Nashville TN. We are headed that way and plan to stay several days in the area. If any of you have suggestions on places to go, we’d love to hear them.
—We will be in Arkansas for Thanksgiving to visit our daughter and her family!
—Getting closer to TX to visit family and friends, take care of necessities and hopefully stay somewhat warm for the winter.
I have not included any pictures in this post until we resolve our issue, sorry:-(
We continue to hope you will find peace, love and joy in your lives each and every day!
As you may or may not know, we left Branbury State Park in Vermont a few days ago where we’ve been campground volunteers since May.
We met and got to work with a great group of young people at the park and were able to visit often with Aaron (Carl’s son) and his girlfriend, Krystal, who live in Burlington.
We got to take many hikes and see the beautiful fall colors of New England.
We also visited Carl’s brother, John, and his wife, Jeanne, in Maine a couple of times.
Now that we’re finished workcamping for a while, we look forward to being able to explore our way down to Texas for the winter. We can just take our time without being on any time schedule. For now our plans are to stop over at Gettysburg and then visit our nation’s capital before it goes to hell in a handbasket on November 8th. After that, we’ll head over to Kentucky and Tennessee and plan to spend Thanksgiving with Pam’s daughter, Brianne, and her family in Arkansas. Then we’ll head to Texas and plan to stay there until after February.
Living as long as we did in Vermont we felt like we knew where to shop, eat and take shortcuts through the towns of Middlebury, Brandon and Burlington. The young people at the campground and the family that adopted Darcy were very friendly and made fond memories of the times we spent together.
The public library in Middlebury was also a great resource as we were able to use the facility for Internet service and DVD rentals.
As we say farewell to Vermont, we know that we will visit the New England area again in the future; but in leaving it behind, we get a strange feeling we’ll not only miss the people we met but we’ll miss the persons we were at that time and place because of the experiences we encountered and enjoyed. As the saying goes, “To everything there is a season…” and we will continue to enjoy this ride/journey together until the wheels fall off!!!
Thanks for your interest in our travels and peace, joy and love to you all!
Pam and I visited my brother and sister-in-law, John and Jeanne, in Greenville, Maine. We stayed at a cottage on Moosehead Lake which is one of the largest fresh water lakes (outside the Great Lakes) in the U.S.
We explored several areas around Greenville one of which was the crash site of a Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 stratofortress which crashed on January 24, 1963.
The SAC bomber, which was based out of Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, was on a routine low-level radar exercise when the vertical stabilizer failed attempting it’s fly over Elephant Mountain 6 miles northeast of Greenville. The bomber was not carrying any armaments or weapons at the time of the crash. 7 crew members perished and two survived in the crash. One of the survivors’ ejection seat parachute failed; but fortunately he landed upright in five feet of snow, fracturing his skull and three ribs. He and the other survivor suffered the night in -28 degree Fahrenheit before they were rescued the following day. One of the crew members was able to parachute from the plane but died when he hit a tree on his way down. The others on board didn’t have time to escape since it took 10 seconds for the plane to crash after its stabilizer failed. The wreckage at the site is a memorial to the crew members that died in the accident; therefore the public is asked not to disturb or collect any of the thousands of plane parts and debris that are scattered all over the mountain.
Even though after the crash, some of the locals carried off parts to their homes; many items have either been returned to the crash site or donated to the local museum. There are also reports of parts even found on the other side of the mountain. The hiking trail to the crash site is relatively easy, and is only about half a mile long. There are also smaller trails in the surrounding area that leads to more wreckage. The main part of the crash site is about 300 yards long and you can see parts hanging in the trees or wedged tightly in the ground. When I was researching this incident, I read that about a week after the crash, another SAC bomber from New Mexico crashed when it’s vertical stabilizer failed as well. These two incidents brought back memories of a Cub Scout field trip, when we were allowed to board the stratofortress and fueling planes stationed at the SAC’s base in Roswell, New Mexico.
While we were at Moosehead Lake, we hired a fishing guide who took the four of us out on the Lake. We left the marina around 7:00 a.m. and cruised to an area the guide felt we’d have the best luck of catching fish. As mentioned above, Moosehead Lake is one of the largest lakes in the U.S. It’s surface area of 117 square miles has over 400 miles of shoreline. In some places, the lake is about 250 feet deep. Since there were five of us with fishing licenses, we were able to put 10 lines in the water. Our guide who was originally from Michigan and experienced at fishing in the Great Lakes, used gear that enabled us to fish in deep waters. He would attach our lures to the lines; then after he cast them out on the water, he attached the lines to outriggers with “cannon ball” weights which would sink our lures and lines to various depths (i.e. 50′, 80′, 100′, an so on). He also had a “fish finder” that indicated the depth of the lake, water temperature and trolling speed. We fished anywhere between 80 to 250 feet of water and trolled about 2.5 mph. The water was unusually warm–about 67 degrees Fahrenheit which makes the fish head for the cooler (deep) areas of the lake. I figured since the lake is so massive the fish would be all over the place and even further in the northern part of the lake, however our guide said that 85% of the fish in Moosehead Lake are in about 5% of the lake area. He also mentioned that the fish like to hang out near the schools of fish the Game and Fish stock the lake with. We hooked our first fish about an hour after we started and then caught six more before we headed back. It was beautiful fishing out on the lake. Lots of fabulous scenery after the morning fog burned off. As for the thrill of fishing on the lake, the guide would hook the fish and we would just reel them in so we felt like we were kids fishing off a dock with our parents for the very first time.
I landed the first fish–and won $3; while Pam had the bragging rights for catching the largest fish of the day–and won $15. After we came ashore, Pam and Jeanne went to the grocery store to buy fish dinner fixings while John and I met our guide at his business to learn how to filet the fish. We caught two salmon and four lake trout. It was a good memory for all and we learned a valuable lesson on catching fish in a deep water lake.
The day before we went fishing, we drove north of Greenville to see if we could spot a moose or two. We got to see Mount Kintahdin, the highest mountain (5,267 feet) in the northeast and is the beginning/ending of the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail. The “AT” as it’s called, runs through 14 states, north-south from Georgia to Maine. The road, which eventually went from asphalt to dirt, took us through some scenic and rugged terrain. As we were coming across a one-lane bridge over a creek, we spotted a mother moose and her calf walking out of a shallow pond and into the woods. We quickly turned the truck around and headed back up the road a few feet to a clearing and waited. Sure enough the two creatures came out of the forrest and faced us about 30 feet from the truck. The mother kept herself hidden by the trees (although we could see her a little); but the calf was very curious and came out of the trees into our view. It was definitely a Kodak moment.
Then after a while, they backed out and wandered off out of sight. So was the extent of our moose expedition. We learned later (from our fishing guide) that the moose population is slowly dwindling due to ticks. These parasites are so thick that they weaken the moose herds to where they cannot thrive like they normally used to. It’s sad to think such beautiful animals might wither away to extinction and that nothing can be done to save them.
It was great exploring some beautiful areas of Maine with John and Jeannne and look forward to seeing them before they leave for New Mexico. They’re plan is to swing through Burlington, Vermont in mid October and meet with us, Aaron and his girlfriend, Krystal. Until then we hope for the leaves to turn and see the real beauty of Fall in New England.
It’s been a while since we have posted. We’ve been busy helping get ready to close the state park where we’ve been camp hosting. And we’ve been active “leaf peepers” (that’s what the Vermonters call all of us tourists driving slow and braking to see the beautiful Fall colors along the roads here). Being here to see the fall foliage in New England has been one of our bucket list items for many years, and we have not been disappointed. We have enjoyed a lovely summer and are now relishing in the vistas of beautiful Fall colors all through the countrysides.
Today was our last day of work as our time at Branbury State Park comes to an end. This has been a wonderful experience and good learning opportunity for Carl and I. We have truly enjoyed the staff here and hope we’ve been a sincere help to them. We have met many new people from all over the US and Canada. We have been asked how we were able to score this great site and job, and we are always asked about our lifestyle. It’s time for us to get Max (truck) and Tana (RV) ready to roll down the highways and byways again.
We did go on a great drive/hike yesterday at Smuggler’s Notch north of Stowe VT. It was cold and windy and partly sunny. There were beautiful views all along the drive up the mountain. The road narrowed to one lane only at times and was full of twists and turns. When we reached the summit, we parked and bundled ourselves up (coats and gloves) and found the trailhead to the Sterling Pond Hike. The hike was quite a climb up but only 2.2 miles. And the reward at the end was definitely worth it…a lovely pond and amazing views from the nearby ski slopes.
We also took a drive through the White Mountains in New Hampshire last week and drove along the Kancamagus Pass. We hiked through Franconia Gorge, stopped at a few historical sites, gazed at colors along the roads and on the mountains, found some waterfalls, and finished our day with a great burger in Lincoln, NH before heading home.
It’s been apple season here which has included apple picking, apple cider doughnuts, and of course apple pie. We have also seen these dressed up life size stick people all over Brandon VT (they call them leaf peepers and dress them up in different outfits setting them on street corners and in front of homes for the Fall season and Halloween). And there have been pumpkins and corn mazes everywhere.
So now our time is coming to an end in Vermont. We plan to leave here in about a week and begin our journey south hopefully before it freezes…it was 35 degrees last night. We’re excited to be on the move again soon and will keep you posted of our travels.
It’s been a while since we posted anything, partly due to lack of cell data or wifi at our place. We just haven’t taken the time to come into town to get the work done. We’ve been playing instead!:-)
So in the past few weeks we have visited Mystic CT where we consumed lobster rolls, took a “lighthouse” cruise, and watched beautiful sunsets over the water. We hiked into Lye Brook Falls (the most photographed falls in VT), attended a Volunteer Appreciation lunch for the state park camp hosts, and kayaked Echo Lake and Sugar Hill Reservoir.
We continue to enjoy our spot in the state park and are beginning to see the first signs of color in the trees…hope of things to come! Most of the staff has returned to school and the park attendance has slowed way down. “It’s the beginning of the end” says Jesse (the park ranger). You can feel Fall in the air, a few leaves are falling, and apples are almost ready for picking, pumpkins and sunflowers are everywhere. We are told we need to go apple picking and try the apple cider donuts….so I’m sure we will!
Our plan is to leave here on Oct. 13 to begin our journey south for the winter. The park closes on Columbus Day, Oct 10. This next month will be all about finishing our job well and becoming “leaf peepers”. We plan to soak it up while we are here.
Now as to our blog…….
Some of the staff here were checking out our blog and informed us many of our pictures are rotated. We were told this was happening earlier in the year and thought it had been resolved. But alas, it was not, and we would have truly appreciated someone letting us know this was an ongoing problem. It is a little embarrassing to think we have been publishing this blog for over a year with screwed up pictures. But in our defense, our pictures are all in order on our devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac). There is nothing for us to correct as the images are not rotated.
So we are thinking the issue has something to do with iPhotos not transferring to non-Apple devices correctly. It seems (and please let us know if not) the images are okay on Apple devices. We are able to login to our blog on another type of computer and edit the images, but then the images are not okay on the Apple devices. Therefore, we are looking into trying to fix this with our blog host. We apologize for “our amateur blog” and will try to correct the issue at hand. We hope you will continue to follow us and we will keep you informed of any changes.
I am including a few photos even though they may not appear correctly.