Eastport 2017

Saturday – the casual travel day. ZeusOS vet appointment, final load out, ready to hit the road. Then the unexpected, while hooking up the toad, the air dryer vented with a loud exhalation. This has never happened before and due to the recent other air system $$$ repair, hyper vigilance is the prescribed reaction. Freightliner 24/7 called, they talk me off the ledge and advised departure with precautions of what to watch for. The good news about the exhalation episode, the RV maintenance manuals and laptop made the load out.

The trip up was pleasantly uneventful. Air pressure remained reassuring stable. GPS guidance – solid. (Been up here enough times, can drive it without) Two hours to the first rest stop and break for lunch. 2-1/2 more hours to Seaview Campground in Eastport, Maine = scheduled paradise and serenity.

Driving stats:

* 239 miles

* 25.1 gallons of diesel fuel

* 9.5 MPG

* Departure: 11:17 AM

* Arrival: 4:27 PM

Being at the beginning of the off-season, the campground is well below capacity. About ten rigs in the lower loop, mostly clustered near the shore. We are on our favorite front row site. Dinner – brats on the grill with a glass of wine along the shore.

Sunday – the settling in. Really, not that much left to do – get the out RV Flag pole and fly our nation’s colors. Drove downtown to revisit memories. The new breakwater/harbor looks awesome. Lunch was hotdogs at Rosie’s by the Breakwater. Came home to spend the sunny afternoon trying to get Eagle pictures – the Eagle was evasive and distant, at least until I turned my back. Did get a great set of the Great Blue Heron landing and a long shot at a dandy new bird – a Belted Kingfisher.

Monday – impromptu drive to Lubec and back. Scored one Bald Eagle on the entry to town. Spaces visited include:

* West Quoddy Head Lighthouse: Foggy day prevented witnessing the awesome view. Cardinal point – easternmost point of land in the United States.

* Lubec, Maine: Great small town and a cardinal point – easternmost town in the United States. The town has a delightful vibe and killer views of Campobello Island and over towards Eastport – on a clear day, you can see farther.

* Light lunch at Frank’s Dockside Restaurant. Eat on the deck and be entertained by the harbor seals and cormorants.

Back towards Eastport, but first:

* 45th parallel marker in Perry. A chance to be halfway between the equator and North Pole. Similar to a cardinal point – really just a map geek’s “I was there!” The iPhone GPS coordinates confirm the small 140 foot error in placement – 44D 59M 58S.

* 45th Parallel Gift Shop: Always an eclectic adventure.

* Eastport – Cardinal point – easternmost city.

* Raye’s Mustard: World class stone ground mustard. Two dozen tasty & zestful varieties. Their Down East Schooner mustard has won 14 consecutive world-wide mustard competitions – held in Napa, California – in the American Yellow class.

* S.L.Wardsworth and Sons – the Nations Oldest Ship Chandlery. A hardware store for the maritime economy. Six generations of family ownership. I bought a hatchet to split campfire wood. Pirate Festival themed coasters were bought for the coach.

* Dinner at the Happy Crab: Another touch point for us. Good food & friendly atmosphere. Neal Diamond’s song Sweet Caroline played in background once and all the Boston Red Sox fans in the house sang along with gusto – Good Times Never Seemed So Good – So Good – So Good.

Tuesday: Still fogbound. One brief foray into downtown to walk the shopping district. Same stuff, nothing more needed.

Wednesday: Cabin fever dictates getting out for awhile, so the great firewood treasure hunt was on. It’s later in the season, so camp wood is being diverted towards winter heating wood. A great supply of quality slab wood was found up in Perry. We also went back to the 45th parallel store – closed – off season schedule. Over towards Pembroke, we found some small hardwood bundles, thus completing the quest.

* Dinner out to the Landmark 1887 in downtown Eastport. This space changes every several years. It is a Grill & Ale House that pours an honest glass of wine & does not disappoint.

* Back to camp for the first decent sunset and a warm the heart campfire.

Thursday is off to a Great Start! Best sunrise of the week so far. (Four days of fogbound & foghorns lowered the bar to below the horizon.) Even so, it was a decent last day of summer sunrise.

Today’s itinerary/theme focused on the weather warning of high surf. Destinations included West Quoddy Head, Campobello Island – Liberty Point & Sandy Beach, and East Quoddy Head. The good TS Jose waves were thwarted by Grand Manaan Island. Even so, there were some great splash pictures taken at most places.

Friday: Quiet day, lunch at the Waco Diner, final stuff at Rayes Mustard, and one more dash up the road to the 45th Parallel gift boutique. Surge of class A RVs arrived late in the afternoon. We are now surrounded. The winds died down to calm, thus allowing one final campfire.

Saturday: Hit the road.

Initial summary. This is a simple, weeklong travelogue – void of the personal sense of place. It deserves to be posted anyways. It has been posted and updated daily, just not announced. The Eastport, the Quoddy & Passamaquoddy are special places. Future content will include a summary of birds sited (casual birder), we saw Eagles daily. A bunch of pictures needed to be sorted through, posted to Flickr and linked to here.



Just When

Time ultimately and always curves to return. Whether it be an orbit, a clock face or a circumference, the beginning and the end are the always in the same place.

Just when you think you are somewhere else along the path, you really have not moved yet. To tell a story, think once upon a time.

The oak tree is that story, Once upon a time there was an overlooked fallen acorn. Many of the other acorns had been either gathered for later, or consumed for right now. Not this fallen acorn. The snows of winter came to cover the ground, hiding it. Spring came, the melting snow yielded to warming showers, softening the shell, encouraging the acorn to sprout. Some of the sprouts grasped downward into the earth to anchor the upward, reaching for the sun, sprouts.

The earth turned day to night, to summer, fall, winter, then spring. Time curved, the oak tree stretched even more. Just then, one more, just when it was time, Finite Became Forever Again.


Too Many Photos

And all have been neglected over the accumulation of time. Why? Because I don’t take the time to truly learn. Instead, I rely on the falsehood of intuitive intellectual intelligence. Only that in and of itself is its own falsehood.

It’s time to do some different. Eliminate the digital clutter, keep the gems and then go back to make the gems better.

Workflow is key. I’ll be working in the left side of Lightroom – one month at time.

1. Create by month folders.

2. Move pictures into the right month.

3. Keywords (on the right side).

4. Collections on the left.

It’s time to get started

2003 done: Tent trailer camping, Thor Tres Thunder, house projects – garage mud porch, kayaking, geocaching

2004 done: HR4US, Porch, Salem, Philadelphia, Grandparent birthday, Durham, Family, Olympics of the Mind, Porch Project, Boston Aquarium, High School Graduation, New Orleans, Atlanta, Bass Harbor, South Arm


Anthem in Port

Another day, another vacation, another cruise ship in port. This is Royal Caribbean’s Anthem in the Sea.

Every day away from the daily grind is precious. The passengers have worked hard & planned long to get to where they are today. There are numerous expenses designed to extract accrued & perhaps future value. The excitement tends to override good judgment, eroding the intent of making better financial decisions.

Time is beyond financial decisions. And time is all we ever really have. Spend it wisely.


Can this really be true?

Since this appeared on the internet, it must be true! Let's take a brief walk through time.

Maine Forest Cafe is my first and longest lasting blog.

It was followed by Maine HR Cafe.

At the time, I was trying to establish a Maine <word goes here> Cafe theme.

Along that theme, I might still have the rights to Maine Photo Cafe. That was my attempt to commercialize my own brand of photARTgraphy on SmugMug. After two years of paid subscriptions later & zer0 sales, the effort was abandoned. That name moved into my FaceBook presence and enjoys occasional fits of picture posting. Truth be told, it takes a lot of marketing to commercialize.

Maine HR Cafe transitioned to Wicked Good HR.

Blogging is a way to tiptoetyping through thinking and thoughts. Not all the best thoughts escape through the fingers. It also takes time, which is not always available, sometimes other obligations do take precedence.

Now is a good time, we are at the Poland Springs Campground on the scenic shores of Range Pond. Sitting outside with a cup of coffee, iPad with Brydge keyboard, and ZeusOS – the wonderful dog – at my feet.

Maine Forest Cafe is in the midst of a transition to being my RV blog. Resources, an RV Blog Roll, trips, lessons learned & lessons to be learned. Other travels will make occasional appearances as well.

At this time, special thanks need to be given to the great folks at WordPress.com. My blogging started on a Windows PC. Along the way, the hardware has progressed to include an Apple iMac, several iterations of the Apple iPad, and the Apple iPhone. A blog can be started on either of the four platforms and finished on another.


Just Getting Here

Wow & we made it!

The rig went in for unscheduled maintenance on Thursday. AC1 – the main air compressor tank suffered from fluctuating pressures. It would fill to 120 PSI and then drop back to 100 PSI, fill to 120 PSI and drop back to 100 PSI….. Not stable enough for extended road worthiness. Even the trip to the nearby Freightliner service center was a concern. I'm glad that it would fail safe, but who really wants the brakes to lock up while in motion? Yeah, me neither.

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2017 RVing – Not So Much

There sits GETAWAY, not moving so much this season. Other stuff has gotten in the way. The kind of obligations that takes precedence over all other opportunities.

Even the one trip we made had its challenges.  The decision to replace the pair of 12VDC lead acid batteries with a pair of 6VDC golf cart batteries just didn’t work out. IF there had been room for four golf cart batteries and an appropriate charging system, things would have worked out differently.  Instead, a new pair of 12 VDC of the AGM variety.

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