To What Purpose

There is always more than one way up, down & through. Fast, slow, steady, easy or strenuous. How much time will it take to get there is always dependent upon the challenge and personal endurance.

This is Mount Washington in New Hampshire. It can be hiked, you can ride a train or you can drive a vehicle. Each way has unique merits. The quickest way is to drive. The easiest is the train. The most meaningful is the hike. Life is a hike.

On a good day, the mountain can be seen from afar. On other days, it can’t be seen at all, even when you are standing on it. Do you see the life you are living?

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Here Come The Holiday Catalogues

Ti$ the $ea$on.

I’ve been saying this years, time to post a log of the holiday season catalogues. All those cool titles from cool places that exist solely to entice you to spend money on neat things that you may or may need or want, but just have to have.

DISCLAIMER: Posting of the catalogues is not an expressed or implied endorsement. Also, the Maine Forest Cafe has not and will not accept any direct or indirect compensation. This is just for some Wicked Good Fun!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 – 4X

The Noble Collection: Gifts and Treasures for the Season

Plow & Hearth: Make the Season Brighter

Bits and Pieces: The Source for Intriguing Gifts, Clever Products, And Much More

Levenger: Gifts for Him Gifts for Her

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 – 1X

L.L Bean: Be an Outsider. The legacy & tradition continues.

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Gone Away 2017


Well, the end of the 2017 season was today. GetAway was delivered to winter quarters today for a seven-month hibernation.

There were two short trips – Meadowbrook in Phippsburg & Poland Spring Campground, in Poland. The one long trip was to Eastport. So it is now official, GetAway did not cross the state line. What does this mean? It means that we didn’t get out enough this year.

We did go to other places by other means. One pure airline round trip. One Hail Mary fly/drive then drive/fly trip. & then a drive/drive stay drive/drive trip. Entire states crossed without our feet touching the ground.

So now what? The off season will be spent researching & learning the engine, Chassis & coach systems inside & out. The purpose of this didactic exercise will be to develop confidence through competence. Why I should be doing as the owner/operator v what should be outsourced to a higher authority.

A parallel output will be the development of an RV blog to both chronicle and become a resource.

Stay Tuned.

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Commonplace

Lately, I was reading a book about Thomas Jefferson. As an American Patriot & our second president, he was an admirable man with un-admirable stuff. To go further down that path would be to judge the past with the standards of today. That fails to recognize that the human condition is continuing to evolve towards becoming more humane.

The book was drier than arid dust. Extensively researched, one must presume that it is technically authentic. But, it is a lifeless emotional void. The one exception to this void is the occasional inclusion of TJ’s use of a commonplace book. These quotes provided insight into TJ’s mind and philosophical influences.

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces are used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they have learned. Each commonplace book is unique to its creator’s particular interests. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.

I kept an active commoplace book. Most entries are from a decade ago. The book was dug out of its common place – stacked with the more than several mostly blank journal books of started then abandoned good intentions. Browsing through the book reminded me of stirring captured thoughts. There are even some that I wrote myself, thus proving that at one time in the past, I had original derived philosophical ideas.

What I have missed while doing what I have done is remaining who I was before. RMSmithJr – 48.1.22.

So, for now, and hopefully for longer than that, the book has rejoined the active stack. This active stack includes current reading material – books, magazines, and www wanderings, the handwritten journal (another recent resurrection), and this eDevice for publishing my own works.

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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.

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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.

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