Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Haven't Finished Yet!

Haven't even completed collecting my thoughts from our June 2012 RoadTrip, but had to post this picture from Am - we had two days to clean and repack RoadAbode so Am could use her as a support vehicle for The Philadelphia Project's Trip to CreationFest 2012. We even popped in a new "house" battery to help with boondocking in the field that serves as their campsite. I hear TTP  has a few churches along, - including the Youth crew from RPC
Just had to post a picture that was sent to me - even if I'm not in on the fun - RoadAbode is!
RoadAbode @ Creationfest 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our 2012 RoadTrip to Maine and Massachusetts

Trip SlideShow
Link to Photo Album

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A first, Japanese tourists taking pictures of RoadAbode at a reststop

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Friday, June 22, 2012

@ the USS Constitution

Salem Harbor

A view of Salem Harbor from RoadAbode's spot on Winter Island
I think we were spoilt by Bar Harbor ME. Much warmer and less pristine here in Salem MA. Plan to travel down to Boston to sightsee today.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

In Salem

Made it to Salem MA, camped at Winter Island, by the harbor

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pictures from June 2012

SlideShow of some of our June 2012 Adventures

Oceanarium and Lobster Hatchery - and Catch up Post

Last night I was tired from our Travels to Acadia and back to Bar Harbor. Molly the pup and I sacked out by 9:30pm, so I didn't get to write about the fun we had. Let's see if I can catch up on yesterday's adventures.
We headed out later than I would like (but perfect for the girls and beauty sleep) to tour Acadia yesterday. First, we stopped at the Ranger station, just a few minutes from our campsite. There we got our Park Pass for the car to enter Acadia. Not sure if before season, but it was only $10 when it's usually $20. We entered Acadia Park a few miles before Bar Harbor, and followed the road to Cadillac Mountain, the  highest point within 25 miles of a coastline on the U.S. East Coast. The road twisted and turned up the mountainside, and we had to watch for the sightseers and bicycle riders along the way. As we reached the summit, we could see parts were still shrouded in cloud, and mist blew across the parking area. The vegetation was mostly short, due to the cooler clime, thinner air, and the forceful winds. We walked the summit trail, a walkway the rings the topmost part of the mountain. Even though our heads were in the clouds, we still managed to get glimpses of Bar Harbor and it's islands below. Truly a beautiful place!
Jordan Pond
After admiring the views, we stopped at the ranger station, bought some patches for our collection, and then headed back down. We continued on the road to Jordan Pond. Jordan pond is a large glacial lake, with visibility to up to forty feet in depth! The pond serves as the water source for Seal Harbor. At Jordan Pond, is the Jordan Pond House. Originally a farmhouse, it became a restaurant that members of "high society" in the late 1800's frequented. We indulged ourselves as they would have, having afternoon Tea, with Popovers. K and I also thought the seafood chowder sounded good, and had some as well. Everything was wonderful, seated on the lawn (with Molly the pup in tow) on wide benches and heavy tables, with a beautiful view of Jordan Pond, framed by the mountains.
At this point, I'd like to mention that Bar Harbor, Acadia, and the whole of MDI is very dog friendly. As long as a pup is well behaved, I think they are able to go to many of the touristy areas. If there is outdoor seating, then the pup probably can go.
Sand Beach
After our wonderful repast, we walked a trail ringing Jordan Pond, and then across one of the many Carriage  Roads in the park. The carriage roads are similar in scale and build to Fairmount Park's Forbidden Drive, just seemingly more attended to with gravel and fill.
After walking a bit, we again took to RoadToad and drove along the parks eastern side, stopping at beautiful Sand Beach (how people can dress that skimpy in cool weather, I just don't know) and to "Thunder Hole" Thunder hole is a crevass along the coastline that water enters into and whips back out with a large "thump" inside the stone. Standing beside, you can feel it within your body. We continued on after experiencing the "thunder" a few more times. We exited the park, after almost a full circle to Jordans Pond.
Sea Urchin @ Bar Island
We headed to Bar Harbor, to experience walking out to Bar Island. Bar Island is probably 200 yards from Bar Harbor. At low tide, it is accessible by a natural gravel shoal that even cars are able to drive onto. When we arrived at Bar Harbor, we parked near Bridge Street (aptly named), got on our sandals or flip-flops and walked to the shore. Regular shoes would have sufficed, as the water was drained off, and the path some fifty feet wide, was mostly just damp - and quite solid! Some parts there were pools still draining, and we found a sea urchin or two, and plenty of snails. We made the obligatory crossing to the island, took some photos, and walked back. Quite unique and quite touristy at the same time. We drove homeward to RoadAbode, made a stop for provisions, and had a dinner of Cincinnati style Chili - a comfort food dinner.
Awesome day of touring!

Today's Journey - over the Bridge to the Oceanarium and Lobster Hatchery

Touch Tank
Again a late start - but I didn't exactly get moving all that quick either. Had a great breakfast of Hashbrowns, bacon adn eggs, then off to the Oceanarium. We left Molly behind, as today is rather hot (in the low 80's) and figured a day in air conditioning rather than out in the hot marshland she might appreciate after traipsing about Acadia all day yesterday. The Oceanarium is right across the bridge, a mile or two away from our campground. It was interesting! We got to see mother lobsters ; baby lobsters, & the hatchery process. We also got  a hands-on look with lots of local sea life, including sea stars, sea scallops, Sea Urchins, Sea Cucumbers, and Horseshoe Crabs. The other interesting part was talking with a local lobstermen, and learning about the Lobster traps and other tools. It was a neat insight to the way of life and how challenging lobstering can be.
Lobstering History
After our tours and education in all things lobster, we came back to relax at RoadAbode, enjoy the view of the "Narrows" and check in @ work. Girls headed to the pool and some reading. For me - typing here and watching the biplanes fly overhead for their tours  follow the Narrows toward Bar Harbor. Tomorrow - On the Road to Salem MA.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Overcast Morn

A bit overcast this morning on our stroll around the resort. Misting here and there as well. We'll see if it burns off, and we can head outdoors.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Checking out a Show tonight

The Great Maine Lumberjack Show is Run by "Timber Tina" Scheer, a world champion "Lumberjill" and a past contestant on the Reality Show "Survivor" During the research phase of planning the trip, I had read about the Lumberjack show, and  let the girls know. It was a "maybe" on our list, and we were all glad we went! We learned about the saws lumberjacks use to use, and some of the skills they employed in the early days of logging. Timber Tina really made the show fun, even thru some technical difficulties, and especially included kids in the fun. Some of the skills shown were timber climbing, single and two person cutting, and carving with a chainsaw. Jeremy, one of the young men in the show  - had his mother attending, and Tina made sure she was included in on some of the jokes that were part of thier script. The show was local, funny, entertaining and educational. If your in the Bar Harbor Area - Check it out!
Timber Tina & Lumberjack Jeremy

Short Walk to Bar Island

headed here today.

There is an island, Bar island, that you can walk to from Bar Harbor Towne when there is a low tide. Hope the tide maps I found are correct!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Road Trip around Bar Harbor and the MDI

 After a great Fathers Day Breakfast, we took a Scenic ride along Route 3, thru small towns and into Bar Harbor and the area known as MDI -  Mount Desert Island. Bar Harbor was busy with tourists, even though we are  a week early than the official  season here.
Bar Harbor Towne will definitely be a "shopping destination" in the next few days for the girls. We continued along to Seal and Northeast Harbors, both just as picturesque areas, with less crowds.
On most of our trips, we try to see interesting rock formations, or visit lighthouses. Here we can do both in the same place!

 We passed thru Bass Harbor, and saw signs for the lighthouse. We took the short steep steps to the rock outcroppings to get a better view of the lighthouse. Girls and I climbed down the rocks to check the tidal pools. The water was amazingly clear, and we could see plenty of snails, and sea grass, but not much other marine life.We were a bit apprehensive of sticking fingers in the sea grass or crevices, so other things could have been hiding.  The girls have been having more luck in the tidal pools by our campsite. Snails, mussels and crabs have been easy finds for them there.
The Coastline of MDI  is beautiful, rugged, and peaceful. Easily can understand why it has inspired writers, presidents, and others to preserve it as one of Americas Treasured National Parks.

After the lighthouse, we continued to follow the coast to Tremont and Bernard. There I remembered Thurston's Lobster Pound on my Maine research. We found it, but the outside dining was not 
"dog friendly" We'll need to checkout another Lobster Pound in the area. We headed home - for dinner, a little napping, some cable tv, and checking in at work. Chilly night - and lots of stars!. We'll sleep well tonight.

Looking out from our site

Beautiful view and cool temps. Girls are already saying they want to come here again. I agree.

Bar Harbor, ME

It sounds crazy, but the sun seems brighter, or stronger here. Where are my sun glasses?

As the sun set

The girls on RoadAbode's site last night before our evening walk. Great views!
Sun was up high in the sky already @ 5th this morning . out for mollys walk, and ready to start the day.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

visited Author's Ridge in Concord MA.
Horrendous traffic around stanford yesterday. Nestled in at Minutman Campground near Concord. Looking forward to an hour or so of sightseeing in Concord MA. then off to Bar Harbor ME.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another graduate! Graduation today for E from elementary school.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Spring Cleaning

A little late for Spring Cleaning - but perfect timing for Camping season. Brought home RoadAbode early this morning and gave her a through bath from top to bottom, stem to stern. Everyone helped - though not sure how willingly the younger two were. Even Molly came out and guarded the washing tools. Am washed and inspected the roof, and cleaned up inside. RoadAbode does not look perfectly clean, but she looks much better with all the quarry grime (her home is near a quarry) and last years bugs off her front. Before we go out, just need to get a new "house" battery, and should be all set. Pretty sure she's ready to go out on some summer adventures! Bar Harbor ME, Salem MA, Creation MusicFest and more are on the summer itnerary.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

2012 Project for RoadAbode - Entry Step & Door Window

In the past, my Winter/Spring Projects for RoadAbode have usually revolved around installing "new" things. Past projects included an inverter, new TV and sound system, and new table mechanism to name some favorites. This year's major project was repairing something old. RoadAbode's entry step. Am had noticed that the first step as you come into RoadAbode felt soft on it's right side. So on our Mother's day trip out I lifted the rubber tread and took a peek underneath - and didn't like what I saw.
The wood had dry rotted and was crumbling away. Just like a scab or hangnail in an annoying spot, we started picking and pulling at the wood, and pretty soon saw the extent of the damage. The way it was constructed was pretty cheap too. Three or four layers of plywood built up inside the metal box in front of the battery box and glued to each other, with Elevator Bolts that held the mechanical step in place embedded between the layers. Plywood was neither marine grade or pressure treated. I was looking for the next upgrade of RoadAbode - and looks like it found me! We took out what we could with our on-board toolkit, then cut in a temporary replacement step from one of our older foam interlocking playground pads we use for our "patio". The next few days we formulated our "attack plan". We took measurements and on work day, stopped at Lowes to pickup supplies.
When we got to RoadAbode, not being a carpenter, I forgot what "Nominal" means when purchasing lumber. So while Am did some cleaning and prep - I went and picked-up another pressure treated board to serve as our new step (at $9 - a cheap reminder in lumber measurements) First, we disconnected the electrical connection for our mechanical step.Am borrowed a Saws-All and after removing what was left of the bad step with a wood chisel, we cut the bolts - which were pretty rusted and not easily accessible. We setup some cardboard and padding for the mechanical step to safely fall on to. I did forget to remove the magnetic switch that let's me know if the step is in or out from the driver seat! (Doh!) After removing the glued-on magnetic switch, I could lift the mechanical step totally out of the way. Test fit the wood. It was two pieces of Pressure Treated Deck, 2X10X25" (Nominal, that made it about 3" think, which perfectly fit. The top one I needed to shave off a 1/2" of width to make the reduced area of the threshold.
Next, we cleaned the box the step had been set into. The steel was in good shape, with only some surface rust. We sanded out the rough spots, cleaned, then Am taped out and painted the interior with Rust inhibitor/neutralizer. That needed to dry for 24 hours, so we cleaned and closed up till next time.
Next time I could take time to work on her was a week later. I was alone on the assembly, as Am had a baby shower to attend.  After a few stops, Got to RoadAbode at 11am - a little later than I wanted, but at least it was a beautiful day to work outside. Marked the Step to drill holes for the Elevator Bolts - fit perfectly! Used my car jack to lift the mechanical step in place (too heavy for me to hold AND bolt in place) Worked great in a pinch! Got three nuts on and hand tightened - easy! Except - of course - last nut was the wrong size! Back to Lowes. Felt strange to exchange one nut - but was easy, no cashier involved for that.
Back at Roadabode, fit the top piece of wood over the elevator bolts, then drilled pilot holes and screwed the pieces together using deck screws (something that wasn't done on building the original step apparently) Lastly, I tacked the rubber threshold on the front side, then used Liquid Nails to glue it down, and tacked along the edges.
Reconnected the Mechanical Step electricity and magnetic switch - looks good, sturdy and feels good to do ourselves. Took longer than if I took it in for service, but I used "better" materials, and learned more about how RoadAbode is built!
After feeling good about how the step went together -and still having time - I looked at another small issue RoadAbode was having. The glass in the "house" door kept sliding down and leaving a 1/2" crack at the top. I first used painters tap to secure the outside bezel to the door. Then removed the screws holding the inside bezel. (the bezels connect together and hold the glass in place) Why the glass was sliding is the black bezel has plastic pins that hold the glass in place, and the bottom pins were broken. Also, the silicone caulk needed to be replaced, as it was missing in places. I figured I could cut some more of the foam from the patio tile I used previously, and it would help replace the plastic "pins" on the bottom of the bezel. I glued that in place, removed and re-caulked the bezel - re-inserted the glass, and fit everything back together. I think the glass will stay in place now! By the time I finished cleaning  and packing up - it was 4:30pm. Two jobs and RoadAbode should be ready for her next adventure!