East Boothbay, Maine

July 21-23, 2020

We spent a few days at home in Cumberland tending the garden and enjoying the birds, including this rather large pileated woodpecker.

We went to a beautiful spot on the Damariscotta River owned by our good friends Joan and Bruce, a location that we agreed not to disclose. It was the epitome of mooch-camping, with a pool, dock, and nice power boat with captain and first mate!

The second mate, Jessie, was delightful (but don’t tell her I said second mate – she’s the captain in her mind).
Evening reflections.

Eustis and Weld, Maine

July 6 – 9, 2020

We traveled to Eustis and stayed at the very popular Cathedral Pines Campground on the shore of Flagstaff Lake. It’s a beautiful setting and was crowded with families, mostly from Maine. Our site was right in the middle of everything, and too close to the noisy basketball court!

We rented a canoe for a paddle down the west part of Flagstaff Lake – no photos from a tippy canoe!

Good cooking fire

We enjoyed a fun dinner with Rudy and Tessa.

Bigelow Mountain

We then headed west where we saw some lighter traffic.

We went down through Rangeley where there was quite a bit of damage from the thunderstorms that happened during the preceding days. We drove over the Height of Land with its views of Lake Mooselookmeguntic.

From Route 17 we headed east through Byron Notch and by Tumbledown Mountain on the Byron to Weld Road to Mount Blue State Park. We had lunch looking out from Center Hill towards the Northern Appalachian Mountains, including Old Blue, Elephant, Tumbledown, and Little Jackson Mountains.

Lake Webb

Boothbay, Maine

June 28, 2020

We spent a beautiful day touring the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay courtesy of our friend Chip. When I took Mom to the gardens ten years ago or so, it was a short walk to see the entire facility. Now it is more like a hike to see everything, and you can return again and again, because the plants, colors, and scents change constantly.

There are lots of sculptures
And artwork

And all the plants.

Beautiful waterfalls and ponds

Some wildlife

The gardens are along the tidal Back River.

We certainly recommend that you try to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay!

Summer in Maine

June 15, 2020

The famous Yellow Weasel

While not strictly travels in our van Sylvie, Doug and I are doing some fun things around Maine. After we returned from Range Pond we headed to Orr’s and Bailey Islands to help launch the motorboat we own together with my sister Kristin, the Yellow Weasel, aptly named by our nephew Rudy. It was a beautiful calm afternoon at Garrison Cove.

A lobster man was getting his traps ready to set.
Another one beached his boat to paint the bottom.
Here comes the Yellow Weasel over the Cribstone Bridge!
Orr’s-Bailey Yacht Club
Max and Lynnie’s mighty Red Fox with OBYC and Merritt House in the background.
Beal’s Cove from Harpswell Sound
The Cribstone Bridge from the OBYC docks.

Range Pond, Maine

June 13 – 15, 2020

Our next trip was to Range Pond in Poland, Maine. Look at the sign in my last post! The name is pronounced as if there were no “e” at the end – like, I rang the bell.

Lower Range Pond

Rangeley, Maine

May 29 – 31, 2020

Height of Land, Rangeley Plantation, Maine

Sylvie is back on the road again! Life changed in March for everyone, so our plans to head to the American west are postponed for now. We are planning to spend time visiting places in Maine and maybe other northeastern states and eastern Canadian provinces.

We crossed the Appalachian Trail again.
Lake Mooselookmeguntic in the background

On Mooselookmeguntic

We are very lucky to have friends who let us park in their driveway and plug into their electricity in Rangeley!

Then there was the scramble back down Bald Mountain. Two miles up and two back. It was very worthwhile in the end!

We enjoyed another beautiful sunset over Mooselookmeguntic.

The next morning we headed west and south by Route 16 and Route 26 through New Hampshire and on to Stoneham, Maine, where we had a nice lunch and visit with Doug’s brothers Clay and John, and John’s wife Bette. Along the way we saw one small moose, too briefly to photograph!

John and Bette’s house in Stoneham and Clay’s car!
Sylvie at the original sign in Stoneham. Then we headed home.

Tarrytown, New York, and Home

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, we arrived in Tarrytown, New York, to visit cousins Susanna and Jonathan. They fed us well, both dinner and breakfast the next day.

Cousins, not kissing on this visit!

On Friday, March 13, we drove home to Cumberland, just in time to go into stay at home quarantine. We logged 9,224 miles for our first trip in Sylvie. We hope to head west in the next couple of months, but timing is out of our control now.

So much for avoiding winter! April is a snowy winter month in Maine!

We hope everyone stays healthy – we will blog again when we are allowed to get out on the road, hopefully soon!

Cheers from Sylvie, Doug and Judy!

Winchester, Virginia; Hershey and Elverson, Pennsylvania

After staying at Candy Hill Campground in Winchester, Virginia, we set out to see the sights of Winchester. A pretty little town, but its claim to fame certainly seemed focused on Patsy Cline and the headquarters of George Washington in one century and Stonewall Jackson in the next. We then headed to Pennsylvania, crossing the Susquehanna River and north past Gettysburg.

Susquehanna River
The Hershey Hotel, where Doug recalled a visit for Easter with his Aunt Edie many years ago.

Then it was a chocoholic’s dream.

Chocolate Kiss Lamppost Lights

With our sugar high and chocolate cabinet filled, we went on to French Creek State Park in Elverson, Pennsylvania. Social distancing was becoming the norm. We felt sufficiently safe, even walking around the woods. It’s a nice park.

There was some clearing of trees going on, but not much other activity.

The trails are nice, not crowded!

On March 12 we continued on to New York.

Natural Bridge and Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

This is an interesting sight and beautiful area. It’s probably lovely later in the spring when everything is blooming.
This area was surveyed by George Washington.

The land was owned by Thomas Jefferson. A highway runs over the top.

We walked up the Cedar Creek Trail. It was peaceful and pretty. This is the water body that created the bridge over millions of years.

Thuja occidentalis (eastern arbor vitae tree)

From park signage:”Before dying in 1980, this more than 1600 year old specimen of the arbor vitae tree was the oldest and largest known in the world. Its diameter measures 56 inches. Depending on climatic conditions that determine its growth rate, the arbor vitae increases in diameter about one inch every thirty years.”

It was March 9, 2020 and daily we were learning more and more about the corona virus, so we were happy to be heading home to Maine. We headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway and made a few stops.

We stopped at McCormick Overlook

We had lunch at Doyle’s River Overlook on the Appalation Trail.

On our way through Virginia we saw a few new signs. It was just after the switch to daylight saving time: “Spring forward with Jesus – Don’t fall back into sin.”

Also: “Store the Bible in your heart, not on a shelf.”

North Carolina to Virginia

Hardy, Virginia

We had more civil rights education to experience at this lovely, working farm in rural Virginia. Booker Taliaferro Washington was born to a slave mother on this tobacco farm, where he, two elder brothers, and his mother lived in the Kitchen Cabin. He never knew his date of birth and his father was never identified. In spite of living in the kitchen and his mother being the plantation cook, they often went hungry.

The Kitchen Cabin is on the left

Freedom came when he was about 10 years old and still living on the plantation. Booker taught himself letters and found his own way to school in Hampton, Virginia, 500 miles from home, where he arrived with no tuition money. He learned to clean and thus paid his way. Later he developed Tuskegee Institute and founded the National Negro Business League. He was honored in many ways: the first African-American to receive an honorary degree from Harvard, the first on a US postage stamp, the first to have a US ship named after him, the first on a US coin, and the first with a national monument in his name.

We continued north to the Natural Bridge-Lexington KOA for overnight, another nice spot. It was March 8, 2020.