Category Archives: Maine

20220915 – Hadley’s Point CG (MDI, Maine) to Timberland Campground (Shelburne, New Hampshire)

THURSDAY 15 September

(There are no photos for this post.)

Today was another travel day, but with slightly different timing than usual.  Yesterday morning, we signed up for the “honey wagon” service for this morning, as it would be a lot more convenient than stopping at the sewage dump station on the way out of the campground.  The campground provides the service, and they start emptying waste tanks at 8 AM.  They prioritize rigs that are pulling out that morning, but could not tell us more specifically when they would get to us.

As an aside, it is the 15th of the month.  We started this trip on the 15th of June, and this was our 93rd day/night on the road.  We will be home in 25 more days (24 more camping nights after tonight).

We had an estimated 4-1/2- to 5-hour drive to our next campground, which had an earliest check-in time of noon.  We would have had to leave at 7:30 AM to be there by noon, but there was no reason to do that, and we needed to have the waste tanks emptied before we pulled out.  There was a chance we would be the first rig they emptied, so we wanted to be up and ready in case they got to us early.  Linda set an alarm last night on her Fitbit for 7 AM, but we were both awake and out of bed a little before that.

We each had one cup of coffee, half-caffe for me and high-test for Linda, and I had a banana for breakfast.  We then started working on our departure preparations.  While Linda started getting the interior of the trailer straightened up and battened down, I started on outside tasks.  I moved the hitch stinger from the back seat floor of the F-150 to the receiver and secured it.  I then packed up and moved our technology to the truck for travel, along with our wine box.  (All of that sits flat on the floor in the back seat.)

Linda had finished the dishes, and our fresh water tank was at 56%, so I started disconnecting and stowing our shore water components.  I hadn’t gotten very far when the honey wagon showed up around 8:15 AM.  It was one of the older guys who works at the campground.  He was very pleasant, and hoped we had enjoyed our visit to the area and our stay in their campground.  Except for the initial problem with our original site (#24) we had, in fact, had a very nice stay.  (The annoying things, like $4 for a load of laundry and pay showers, weren’t actually annoying as we did not need to use them.)

I finished disconnecting the shore water components and Linda helped drain the hoses.  With all of that stowed away, I positioned the truck in front of the trailer with the stinger lined up with the hitch.  I got it close on the first try and close enough to work on the second try.  It usually takes more tries and adjustments than that.  Linda turned the LevelMatePro+ on and I used the app on my phone to recall the hitch height for connecting the truck and trailer.  It was only slightly off from the hitch so I adjusted it by eye, and proceeded to back the stinger in with no problem.

We secured the hitch and connected the safety chains, breakaway switch cable, and umbilical cord.  When then set the WD jacks to the pre-determined height that we have used the whole trip (3-1/2” protruding).  We pulled the rubber chocks and removed the X-chocks, and stowed them in their respective places.  I then needed to pull forward to get the Andersen Levelers out from under the driver side trailer tires.  Unfortunately, we had done some things out of their normal sequence and had stopped referring to our hitching list, which resulted in me pulling forward without raising the trailer tongue jack.  That was a big mistake that could have had very undesirable consequences.  Thankfully, it didn’t, but it was a mental lapse on both our parts, and the first time we had made this particular mistake.

The last steps were to move Juniper-the-cat from the trailer to the truck (Linda) and disconnect and store the shorepower cord (me).  A final walkaround, inside and outside, and we were ready to go.  We pulled out of our campsite at 0920 with an ETA of 1348.  Five miles, and 10 minutes later, we crossed the bridge on ME-3 over the Mount Desert Narrows and said goodbye to Mount Desert Island and all that it had to offer.  We had thoroughly enjoyed our visit, but we had a schedule to keep and had to move on.

Our destination today was Timberland Campground in Shelburne, New Hampshire.  We had looked at routing options last night, and initially thought we would travel north from Mount Desert Island to Bangor, and then SW on I-95 to Augusta, and then head west on ME-219, picking up US-2 in Bethel, Maine.  The detailed directions, however, seemed to involve more road changes than that, and I wanted to simplify the navigation today.  We decided to take ME-3 north to Ellsworth, pick up US-1A north/west to Bangor, and get on I-395 west.  At the interchange with I-95, I-395 ends and becomes US-2.  Timberland Campground is on US-2, so that should have been the end of that.

To get the navigation system in the F-150 to go the way we wanted, we had to choose the “shortest” route option.  We should have known better, as that inevitably leads to some strange routing decisions where it takes us off of a main road, like US-2, onto smaller backroads (or through subdivisions) in order to save 0.1 miles.  Linda was following along on her phone, and spotted most of these diversions, but we both missed one for lack of a road sign indicating how to stay on US-2.  No worries, though; the system knew our campground was on US-2 and took us back to the highway.  My reason for wanting to stay on US-2 was that US highways are usually truck routes, which means then have the height clearances and weight capacities needed for semi-trucks. And if they can make it through, we can make it through.  In this case, I was also trying to minimize the number of different roads we would have to navigate.

We were still driving through low mountains for most of the day, so the roads had lots of curves and lots of up and down.  The entire drive was very nice, however, with partly cloudy skies, cool temperatures in the low 60’s (F), and signs of fall in the colors of some of the trees.  We did, however, have strong, gusty winds that made us feel like we were back in Atlantic Canada.  It also reminded us how well the Propride 3P hitch works, and how glad we were to have it.  Did I feel the wind?  Sure, just like I feel bad road surfaces.  Did the trailer ever give any indication that it might sway?  No, it did not; because it can’t (it’s mechanically impossible).

Timberland Campground is owned/operated by a young couple, Scott and Megan.  Linda registered with Megan in the office while Scott moved a picnic table out of our site (#18).  (W3W=”digesting.cheaper.reached”.)  The campground is gated, and required a $20 (cash) deposit for a Gate card, but we were aware of that ahead of time, so Linda was prepared.  Scott also told her to not leave any trash or food outside the trailer, as “the bears are real here.”  (There are black bears in this area.)

Our pull-through site was another one of these sites where you “pull-through” an open grassy area to get in or out.  (In our case it would be out, and won’t be a problem.)  It did not look promising at first, but I managed to easily position the trailer so it was level, side-to-side, and only 3/4″ off in the front.  Linda moved Juniper back to the trailer and put out her food and water bowls, and then rejoined me outside for the unhitching process.

Following our unhitching checklist, we put the tongue jack down to take some of the tongue weight and proceeded to install the rubber chocks and the X-chocks on the trailer tires.  We then disconnected the safety chains, breakaway cable, and umbilical cord.  I set the hitch height for disconnecting using my usual technique of feeling and watching for the trailer tongue to pull away from the hitch and the ball hitch latch lever to move.  The over-center-latches (OCLs) released without the truck or trailer moving, which is usually an indication that I have the trailer tongue height set correctly.

However, when I pulled the truck forward, and pulled the stinger out of the hitch, the trailer dropped an inch or so.  I never let things like that pass without trying to figure out ‘why.’  My analysis of the situation was that the truck was sitting over a high spot.  As I pulled forward, the front/steer axle was going slightly downhill and the rear/drive axle was going slightly uphill, raising the rear end of the truck relative to the trailer and lifting the hitch.  Linda would not have seen that unless she was looking for it.  Again, no harm, no foul.  I adjusted the tongue jack to  get the hitch opening height aligned with the stinger height, and saved the setting in the LevelMatePro+ app.  I then adjusted the trailer tongue jack to level the trailer, front-to-back.

Linda went inside to start preparing lunch, which was a hot dog, potato chips, and red grapes, while I connected our shorepower.  Our “50A” full-hookup site turned out to be a 30A full-hookup site.  Not a problem; I have 30A(shore)à50A(trailer) adapters and have used them a lot on this trip.  But we booked and paid for a 50A electrical service, which this clearly was not.  The price difference was $3/day, so not a big deal for a 4-night stay, but as a matter of principle, Linda went to the office to get the $12 refund.

Scott had left the campground to run errands, but Megan walked down to our site.  Megan was surprised that it was only 30A as Scott had assured her that there were outlets for both 50A (4-wire) and 30A (3-wire) service, and she understood the difference.  We have managed on 30A service quite a bit over the last 3 months, but were looking forward to the convenience of the 50A service.  She said Scott would look at it tomorrow, which was fine with me.

Our driver-side neighbors were a somewhat younger couple with two younger children, but apparently retired and on the road full-time for the last 18 months.  The husband noticed the Propride 3P hitch and offered his approval.  A quick glance confirmed that he also had one on his F-250 and travel trailer.  They also had X-chocks, Anderson levelers, and a Hughes Power Watchdog.  He approvingly told Linda later that we “had all the cool toys,” as did he.  They were pulling out tomorrow morning and heading to Mount Desert Island where they have reservations at the Bar Harbor KOA.  I told him about the Island Explorer bus service, downtown Bar harbor, and the Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.

With the trailer set up, and lunch taken care of, Linda stripped the beds and added the bedding and towels to what was already in the laundry basket.  The laundry room here had four functioning washing machines and four functioning dryers.  That is not a given in many RV parks.  The washers were $1.75 per load (there were $ 4 at the last place) and $1 for a 30-minute cycle on the dryers.  Very fair pricing.  I set up our Verizon Jetpack Mi-Fi and got my computer set up to use.

The high temperature here never made it much above 60 (F), and started dropping well before sunset, so we never opened any of the windows in the trailer, and closed the door sooner than we normally would.  I turned the furnace on, and set it for 68 (F), but still traded in my shorts and short-sleeve shirt for my sweat pants and shirt.

Dinner was Amy’s frozen entrees, Indian this time, with mixed vegetables, dahl, and basmati rice.  Quick, easy, and tasty, but not large servings.  We had popcorn later.

The only thing we had discussed wanting to do while in this area was take the cog train to the summit of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, but it appeared that might not be possible or desirable, due to the weather.  Winds of 60+ mph, with hurricane force gusts, were pummeling the summit and forecast to continue tomorrow.  Temperatures were dropping into the 20s (F) and ice was forming.  We have “warm layers” in our clothing arsenal, but we were not outfitted for those kinds of conditions.   The weekend looked to be warmer and less windy, but overcast with a strong possibility of rain.  If that forecast holds up, we won’t go but, as has been the case through our trip, the weather/forecast often changes by the time we get close to an event or destination.  We will look at this again tomorrow for Saturday or Sunday.  Otherwise, we will likely take the truck and go sight-seeing, and possibly search out a winery and/or vegan restaurant.

20220914 – Acadia National Park by Bus, and Pirate Golf; Mount Desert Island, Maine

WEDNESDAY 14 September

(There are 20 photos in this post, distributed through the text.)

Our rig in site 21-22 at Hadley’s Point Campground in the early morning sunlight.

Today was our last full day, and our last night, on Mount Desert Island, Maine.  The weather was forecast to be good, partly cloudy with cool temperatures, the best of our short stay here.  Having used the Island Explorer bus system on Monday, we thought that would be an ideal way to re-visit Acadia National Park.  There are lots of routes with frequent buses, several places where they cross and we cold transfer, and it was all free.  After studying the Island Explorer bus schedule last night, our plan was to tour the one section/road we had already visited, and another section/road we had not yet seen.

 

 

 

We saw these mushroom at the Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park.  From Wikipedia:  “… this first national park east of the Mississippi River and the only one in the Northeastern United States.  Acadia was initially designated Sieur de Monts National Monument by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.  …”

We decided to take the 9:25 AM #1 Bar Harbor bus from our campground to the Hulls Cove Entrance Visitor Center.  We walked up to the bus stop, which was at the campground office, at 9 AM and stopped in the office to see about signing up for a waste tank pump-out tomorrow morning.  The cost was $12, which was fine, and they started at 8 AM, which sounded great, so we signed up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw these mushrooms while waiting for the next bus at Wild Gardens of Acadia in Acadia National Park.  A park person new just what they were and that they were poisonous, but I don’t recall the name (because I couldn’t pronounce it anyway).

The #1 bus arrived right on time, and pulled into the Visitor Center parking lot around 9:40 AM.  There were already a lot of vehicles there, but not as many as on Monday, and it didn’t matter anyway as we were riding the bus!  We disembarked and walked up to the Visitor Center building (52 steps) and had a look around.  I picked up another hang tag pass holder, as a spare.  We spent a few minutes in the small gift shop, but did not see anything that we wanted to buy and carry around with us all day.  I had also chosen to leave the SONY SLR behind, and just capture images with my Pixel 6 Pro smartphone.

 

 

 

 

 

View looking WSW from the west end of Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.  The beach itself is a fine sand.  These rocks, not so much.

From the Visitor Center (parking lot) we caught the 10:20 AM #4 Loop Road bus.  We had driven the Loop Road on Monday when we drove up Cadillac Mountain, but parking was insane and we did not even attempt to stop along the way.  Our main interests on the Loop Road today were Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, but first we got off the bus at Sieur du Monts (finally, some French again) to visit the Wild Gardens of Acadia and the original/old (closed) Abbe Museum.

We got off the bus just before Thunder Hole and walked down a trail to these rocks.  Actually, it was an opening in the vegetation, and we climbed down to these rocks and back up.  It was obvious that a lot of other people had done the same.  If the Park Service doesn’t want you to go someplace, they rope it off and put up signs.

The Wild Gardens of Acadia had not been on our radar at all, but what a wonderful stop it turned out to be.  It is a private operation that has been run/maintained by volunteers for the past 50+ years.  The gardens are laid out in sections, defined by meandering paths, for the various environments and their plant communities found within the park.  The old Abbe museum building dates back to the 1920s and is permanently closed, all of the artifacts having been moved to the newer/larger museum in Bar Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda did not go as far down as I did, so had a chance to get this shot looking back in her direction.

The #4 Loop Road bus runs on a 20-minute schedule, so we boarded the next available one to continue our journey to Sand Beach.  Like much of Maine, much of the shoreline of MDI is rocky.  Sand Beach, however, was an exception to the rule.  Located in a cove with unique natural conditions, it had a fine sand beach.  It also had a 12’ tide swing and water that was 45-55 (F) year-round.  But the weather was lovely and, in spite of the water temperature, someone was in the water swimming.  The south side of the cove had some dramatic rocks, and I took a few pictures.

 

 

 

The view looking northeast from the stairs leading down to Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park.

Another photo looking northeast from the stairs leading down to Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park.  This is essentially the same as the previous photo but slightly different.  I could not decide which one I liked better.

A panoramic view of Jordan Pond and the Jordan Pond House restaurant and lawn, from the upper deck.  We sat by one of the main floor windows to have our popovers and tea.

Another ubiquitous “we were here” selfie.  Taken at the southern tip of Jordan Pond with “The Bubbles” (twin peaks) behind us.

We reboarded the next available #4 Loop Road bus for the short drive to Thunder Hole.  This is one of the most popular “attractions” in the park (along with Cadillac Mountain) for non-hikers, and non-bikers.  (Hikers and bikers have a LOT of options for what to do in the park.)  We spent some time there, and I got a few more photos, but our timing was off.  The best time to experience Thunder Hole is ~2 hours before high tide, especially with strong waves out of the ESE.  Neither of those conditions were present, but a lot of people had taken up position anyway to see the phenomenon.  (Water pours into a cave and traps air which then gets blown out in a dramatic spray and makes a sound like thunder, hence the name.  Under certain weather conditions, the area becomes dangerous and the Park Service closes it off to visitors.)

My eye continued to be drawn to the green palette of Acadia National Park.  We were still at the southern tip of Jordan Pond waiting for a table at Jordon Pond House.

Back on the next available #4 bus (we never had to wait long) we rode past Wildwood Stables to the Jordan Pond House, and the southern tip of Jordan Pond.  We did not have a reservation, but decided we would try the Jordan Pond House Restaurant for Popovers and Tea, which has been a tradition here since the 1890’s.  The restaurant had both indoor and outdoor seating, and the “grand thing” to do here is have your popovers and tea “on the lawn.”  We added our name the waiting list at 12:50 PM for “first available,” and were given a pager.  The wait time was one (1) hour, so we used the time to walk down to the Pond and take a few photos.

The view towards the lawn from my seat at our table by the window at Jordon Pond House.

Back at the restaurant we studied the menu and the bus schedule while waiting to be paged.  We were seated at 1:50 PM, and would like to have had lunch, but wanted to make the 2:40 PM #6 Northeast Harbor bus.  We each ordered the “Two popovers and beverage” special, and each got blueberry iced tea.  The popovers came with butter and strawberry jam, which we both used.  We asked for the bill when the drinks were delivered, and our waiter took care of it right at the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another selfie, with the interior of the Jordon Pond House restaurant behind us.

The #6 bus went south from Jordan Pond House to Seal Cove, where it picked up Hwy-3 going west along the coast and then followed the east shore of Northeast Harbor to its northern end where it took a spur to the southwest into the Village of Northeast Harbor.  According to our bus driver, Northeast Harbor is where the money is on MDI.  (He mentioned names like Rockefeller, Stewart (Martha), and Travolta (John).)  We had a 10-minute layover at the marina which afforded the opportunity for a bathroom break.

This was our lunch; two popovers each and blueberry iced tea.  Overpriced, of course, but tasty enough, and it was really about the experience of having popovers and tea at this old/iconic location.

The bus returned to Hwy-3, and continued NNW up the east side of Somes Sound to its terminus at Hwy-233 near Mt. Desert Campground.  The drive from Jordan Pond House to here was the part of the Park we had not yet seen.  We headed east on Hwy-233, going past the MDI High School, ANP Headquarters, the north end of Eagle Lake, and through North Ridge, finally arriving at the Village Green in Bar Harbor.  At the Village Green we only had a short wait for the #1 Bar Harbor bus and were on our way back to our campground.

 

 

 

I have mentioned the Island Explorer bus system on Mount Desert Island in several blog posts, but I think this is the first photo of one of them.  A propane powered transit bus, but with very comfortable seats (they even had seatbelts).

It was still early enough in the day, and not that long after our diminutive lunch, that we decided to drive a few miles back towards Bar Harbor to Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf (mini-golf) before dinner.  PCAG had two 18-hole courses; The Captain’s Course, and Blackbeard’s Course.  Bluebeard’s Course had more obstacles and was considered more difficult.  A ticket for one course (either one) was $10.  A ticket for both courses was $15.  We were not sure we were up for 36 holes of miniature golf, so we chose to play Blackbeard’s Course.

 

 

The Office at Pirate’s Cove Adventure (mini-) Golf.  It was located between our campground and the Hulls Cove Entrance to Acadia National Park.  It only took a few minutes to get there

Pirate’s Cove Adventure (mini) Golf is one of the larger themed mini-golf franchises in the U.S.  Just like Jellystone RV Resorts, KOA Campgrounds, and Chinese restaurants, all of the elaborate decorations had to come from someplace that could have them manufactured.  Even the course layout was elaborate enough to have required a very detailed design and construction plan.  I do not know if each franchisee has a unique course layout or not.

The facility was in very good shape, generally, and the two courses were cleverly intertwined.  There were other people there, but it was not crowded.  All of the pirate themed stuff was fun.  I had one hole-in-one and Linda had two.  Our worst hole for both of us, was 15, a Par 3 that took her 5 strokes and took me 11 strokes.  It was a Par 42 course that took me 56 strokes and took Linda 51.  But it was not a competition, and we enjoyed the hour it took to play through.

 

 

The character of Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf comes from constructions such as this tower.  The course we played also had a story board at each “tee” with the continuing story of Blackbeard’s (Edward Teach’s) life/career as a Pirate.

Back at camp, we got the Weber-Q propane grill out of the back of the F-150 and set it up.  Dinner was a simple affair of hot dogs and grilled corn, with mixed fruit cups.  We had So Delicious Vanilla Bean non-dairy ice cream with pineapple topping for dessert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two 18-hole courses at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in Bar-Harbor, Maine were intertwined.  It was a complicated piece of construction and made me wonder if each franchise had a unique course layout to fit their property and, if so, was part of the cost of building such a franchise the design and construction of said course(s)?

Linda had been texting with Nancy about their return to our part of Michigan on Friday to pick up their Winnebago BOLDT.  They planned to spend the night in it, in our driveway, and then visit with their son and daughter-in-law, as well as our son and his family, on Saturday.  They will have access to our house as they have things stored there, as well as in our shed, and will need access to some of the facilities.  I shut off the water to house when we left in June, so I called Paul after dinner to go over how to turn it back on, maybe.  It’s been three months since I turned it off, so we agreed that he would take a photo and send it if what I was describing didn’t match the reality in front of him.

The Pirate ship at the far end of the courses.  Our course did not take us onto the ship, but it might have been a hole on the other course.  The place was a tiny bit like Walt Disney World, and we enjoyed being in that environment for the hour we were there.

At some point in the evening, I copied photos from my phone to my computer and began looking at them.  I deferred editing them in favor of sketching out the blog post before I forgot the details of our day.  We needed to be up by 7 AM tomorrow morning, so Linda set an alarm on her Fitbit before going to sleep.

Of course, all good stories involve pirates, so this post ends with a picture of a pirate ship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20220913 – Western Mount Desert Island and a trip to Ellsworth, Maine

TUESDAY 13 September

Breakfast was toasted slices of Rob’s walnut date bread with butter and fresh blueberries.  (I think I have referred to this in previous posts as cranberry walnut bread.  It’s not; it’s walnut date bread.)

We had woken up to fog hanging above us in the campground.  After checking the weather forecast, we decided that today was not the day to use the Island Explorer bus service to re-visit Acadia National Park (ANP).  We looked at our map of MDI/ANP and decided to drive to Southwest Harbor and up the western side of MDI and on to Ellsworth.  I worked on the blog post for yesterday but did not get finished before we left to go explore more of Mount Desert Island (MDI).

The tree-covered hill on the east side of Echo Lake at Echo Lake Beach.  Our impression of Mount Desert Island generally, and Acadia National Park in particular, at this time of year was a palette consisting of shades of green, with occasional hints that fall is just around the corner.

We left around 10 AM and drove back into Bar Harbor on Hwy-3 where we picked up Hwy-233 over to Hwy-3/Hwy-198 and on to Hwy-102, bearing left to Somesville.  We did a slow roll through town, because there was a lot a traffic and pedestrians.  It looked like a cool place to stop, with galleries and shops, including food and coffee, but parking looked to be a problem.

The west side of Echo Lake as seen from Echo Lake Beach, with the hilltops still shrouded in mist.

We continued traveling south, parallel to the west edge of Somes Sound, and stopped at Echo Lake Beach where I took a few photos.  There were two people swimming in the Lake wearing wetsuits.  A sign warned that the water was “wicked cold.”

We continued on to Southwest Harbor, which impressed us a working harbor in a working town; definitely not upscale MDI.  The harbor, however, really caught my eye as it was shrouded in mist.  I turned in to a small roadside pull-off and spent a few minutes looking at the scene.

We then took Hwy-102A to the left through Manset, and on towards Bass Harbor.  We turned south onto Lighthouse Road, which led down to the Bass Harbor Head Lightstation; a 19th-century cliffside lighthouse that is still in operation as an aid-to-navigation at the southernmost point of MDI.  We had encountered very little traffic up this point in our drive (except in Bar Harbor) but the way-too-small parking lot was full with a few vehicles waiting to get in, and no easy way to turn around.  When we were finally first in line, I managed to turn around and we left.  It was practically fogged in, so we weren’t really going see much anyway, and the building is not open to the public.

Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine, shrouded in a fine mist.  (My attempt at a ‘high key’ photo, which is not something I do very often.)

The U.S. Post Office in Seal Cove, Mount Desert Island, Maine.  We think the postmaster lived in the matching house off-camera to the right.

We continued on Hwy-102A into Bass Harbor, which ended at Hwy-102 at the north end of town, and continued west and north past Bernard.  We continued north as far as Seal Cove, where we stopped at the US Post Office so Linda could mail two postcards.  The post office was a small white clapboard building that shared a parking lot with a somewhat larger adjacent white clapboard house.  We presumed that postmaster lived in the house.  We continued north and east on Hwy-102, eventually going back through Somesville.

The drive up to this point took us in and out of the western part of ANP.  It seemed less crowded than what we experienced yesterday, although the parking at major trailheads was full to overflowing.

We eventually rejoined Hwy-3 just before crossing the Mount Desert Narrows, and drove through Trenton enroute to Ellsworth.  Our destination was John Edward’s Market on Main Street in downtown Ellsworth, Maine.  Main street was quaint and busy; very different from the impression we got just driving through the new part of town on ME-3.  Street parking was in full use but there were large free public parking lots just behind the stores on either side of the street.  Finally, free public parking!  We walked through the space between two buildings, looked to our left, and there was the store!  (IMO, there should be a nationwide designation for “tourist/visitor friendly city” and one of the requirements to get this designation should be a LOT of FREE parking.  Other requirements should include pedestrian friendly, etc.)

The lobby door to the Seal Cove Post Office.  The ZIP Code is just above the right edge of the door.

The John Edward’s Market specializes in organic food, has an amazing spice department, and a small but very good wine selection, including vegan wines.  (Mostly wines are not vegan because of the way they are filtered.)  Our only disappointment is that they only had grape wines, and even then almost nothing from Maine wineries.  We were hoping to find a selection of good blueberry wines, which seem to be available in regular supermarkets.  We bought a few onions, some non-dairy cheese, some fresh and dried fruit, and a few other things, and opined how we wish we had a market like this close to our house.

It was approximately 13 miles back camp.  We through about stopping in Somesville to grab a bit to eat and something to drink, but somehow missed the very quaint downtown area.  (We studied maps later and still had no idea how that happened.)  We were hungry by this time, so we had the left-over pasta from last night for lunch.  The foggy, overcast weather had persisted all day, and we closed up the trailer against the slightly chilly, humid air, and the misty drizzle that eventually developed.  We each had two cups of decaf tea between lunch and dinner.

I worked on the blog post for yesterday and finally finished it.  I started assembling it in WordPress, and was about half-way to done, when Chuck-the-barn-builder, called.  We had a long chat and pinned down some important details about the barn.  We also agreed to deal with the added cost of the roll-up doors for the RV bays in a way that was acceptable to both of us.  We have had a great working relationship with Chuck, and have complete confidence in the barn being built while we are away, and I wanted to make sure we maintained that to the end of the project, and beyond.

We wrapped up our conversation and I finished assembling the post and published it before we sat down to eat.  Dinner was Amy’s “chicken” noodle soup (vegan) and crackers with vegan butter and peanut butter.  Dessert was pear wine and cookies.

The rest of the evening involved reading for Linda, and some photo processing and writing, for me.  Today was “patch Tuesday” for Microsoft products.  I had checked several times throughout the day to see if updates were available.  They were not, but I checked again and there they were!  There were four of them, and I went ahead and initiated the update process.  We had both been seeing a lot of app updates on our iPads as well.  That usually means an iPadOS update is imminent.  I also saw a news item about the recent annual Apple product event, which covered the new features in upcoming release.  I checked for the update, and there it was!  We are very glad to have our Verizon Jetpack Mi-Fi back in service (it doesn’t work in Canada) as it has an unlimited data plan and it’s generally pretty fast.  Even so, all of these updates took quite a while and kept me up latter than I intended.  I started working on a new multi-sudoku puzzle, but was too tired to concentrate, and finally went to bed.

20220912 – Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Maine

MONDAY 12 September

(There are 11 photos in this post, distributed throughout the text.)

I woke up around 3 AM to the sound of light rain but went back to sleep.  We were both up by 7 AM and had one cup of coffee each.  Breakfast was fresh blueberries (jumbo size) and a slice of Rob’s Cranberry Walnut Bread, lightly toasted and buttered.

This is how much of the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park looks.  Because of the micro-climate (altitude, winds, moisture, sunlight, temperatures, etc.) there are some flora found here that are only found much farther north into New Brunswick, Canada.

Our main activity for the day was a visit to Acadia National Park.  The Hulls Cove Visitor Center is on Hwy-3 (Bar Harbor Road) on the NE coast of Mount Dessert Island (MDI).  Hadley’s Point Campground is also on Hwy-3, at the northern tip of MDI.  We left at 9:45 AM and it took ~5 minutes to get the Visitor Center.  The parking lot was very full, but there were spaces at the far end (of course), where we prefer to park anyway.  The Visitor Center was mobbed, and there was no way we were going to get to the front of the line and still make our timed entry onto Cadillac Mountain Road.  Linda got one of the park staff to give her a map, but he didn’t seem very happy about doing it.

The view to the south from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine.

We headed into the park on Paradise Hill Road, which became the Park Loop Road a little way before we arrived at the Cadillac Mountain Road Entrance Station at 10:30.  (Our timed entry reservation was for the 10:30–11:00 AM window.)  We were cleared through at 10:40 AM, and picked up a plastic park pass “hanger” in the bargain.  (The hanger holds one of our Senior Pass cards and hangs from the rearview mirror so it can be seen through the windshield.)

The view to the SSE towards Otter Cove as seen from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine.

Cadillac Mountain Road was very cool to drive.  It had some nice scenic pullouts, but we passed those by on our way to the top.  The parking at the summit was already crowded, since once you are there you don’t have to leave until you want to. We pulled in to a spot in a small parking area just before the main lot, and walked the short extra distance to the summit.

This is a composite image of six photos take from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine.  The left edge is north and the right edge is southeast, more or less.  The compositing was done with Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE).  The photo is 1198×234 pixels, but displayed at 599×117.  Click to view full size on a compatible device.

It was a very sunny but hazy day, not ideal for pictures, and quite warm on the summit, with no shade.  We walked the Summit Loop Trail, an easy and well-defined 1/2-mile loop around part of the top of the mountain.  BTW: Cadillac Mountain is the highest mountain on the eastern U.S. seacoast at 1,527 feet AMSL.  On the way back down, we pulled into a couple of the scenic pullouts (or Lookoffs, as the are called in eastern Canada), but did not get out.

The confirmation /ticket for our timed entry reservation to drive up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine.  Linda booked this online, and the confirmation/ticket came as an e-mail.  We could have printed it (we have a small printer with us), but easier to just open the document on my computer and take a picture of it with my phone.  The park staff at the entrance station had handheld scanners for readying he QR code on a phone, and that was what most visitors did.

Once back down to the Park Loop Road, we headed back towards the Visitor Center and stayed to the right for the one-way Park Loop Road.  (Most of the Park Loop Road is one-way, going clockwise from its northern starting point at Paradise Hill Road, except for the stretch from there south along the western edge of the park the Wildwood Stables.)   The road was two-lane, and parking was usually permitted in the right lane near major attractions, but prohibited elsewhere.  And the street parking was absolutely needed, as the park was mobbed.  Fortuneatly for us, we were only doing a scenic drive-through today.

 

 

The requisite “we were here” selfie from the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine.  We are looking south.

We had only visited Acadia NP once before, almost 20 years ago, and did not recall it being this crowded.  (A local supervisor for the Island Explorer bus system told us later that it has only become overwhelmingly crowded since about 2017.)  Our recollection was that we just drove up Cadillac Mountain when we wanted to, and had no difficulty finding places to park at the attractions, such as Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.  (The operation of the National Parks is a delicate balance between protection/preservation and access/recreation, and the massive number of people now seeking to visit the larger and more famous parks has become a real challenge for park managers.  It looked to us like Acadia NP was doing a good job, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ultimately have to institute a reservation system just for park entry.)

The time table for the Island Explorer #1 Bar Harbor Road bus.  The top table is for when the bus is in-bound to Bar Harbor.  The bottom table is for when the bus is out-bound.  Column D (circled in the top table) is our campground.  It was a fabulous system and we planned to use it on Wednesday to re-visit the National Park.

We were going to stop at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center on the way out of the park, but the parking lot was still packed.  Part of the reason it was full is that visitors doing serious bicycling through the Park, park here and start their rides from here.

Back at camp we had Fritos and roasted red-pepper hummus for lunch, and each had 1/2 of a pear.

One of the things we learned about upon arrival yesterday was the Island Explorer transit bus system.  The service began in 2002, and has received massive support from L. L. Bean since the beginning.  It is free to use, and has 12 bus routes linking Bar Harbor with hotels, inns, and campgrounds, destinations in Acadia NP (including campgrounds) and neighboring village centers.  The buses currently in use run on propane, which burns much cleaner that petroleum fuels.

This green space is near the center point of Main Street in Bar Harbor, Maine and offered a nice place to sit on a park bench in the shade.  It also served as the main terminal for the Island Explorer bus system.  Given how crowded Main Street was, the Village Green was only lightly used.

Our campground was one of the scheduled stops, so we caught the 2:55 PM pick-up and rode the bus to the Village Green in Bar Harbor.  I like to ride on buses.  I don’t mind driving (we’ve put over 7,300 miles on the truck this trip), but I don’t like parking in cities, especially tourist towns like Bar Harbor.  The Village Green was a grass square with trees and crisscrossing paths.  One whole side, and part of a second side, served as the central “terminal” for the bus system (routes 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, & 10).  The other main “hub” was the Hulls Cove Visitor Center (routes 1, 4, & 5) and the Southwest Harbor / Tremont area, which had a dedicated bus (route #11).  (Take the #7 Southwest Harbor bus to get there.)  (Route #8 is the Schoodic Woods area of the park.  I was unable to find any information about route #12.)

The S/V Margaret Todd coming into Bar Harbor with the sails down.  She’s a 4-masted schooner that is 151 ft long (overall) with a 23 ft beam, and displacement of 150 tons.  She drafts 5’9” with the centerboards up, and 12 ft with them down.  She flies seven sails—a main on each of the masts and three foresails (jibs and genoas)—with a sail area of 4,800 sq. ft.

We arrived at the Village Green around 3:20 PM, and walked the main commercial street for about 90 minutes.  It’s a quaint place, in a touristy sort of way, and we enjoyed strolling through town and down to the harbor.  As it was Monday, some of the shops and eateries were closed, but most were open and had customers.  Indeed, there were a lot of people in downtown Bar Harbor this afternoon.  Some of them were almost certainly passengers from the two cruise ships anchored out in Frenchman Bay.  The larger one was the Celebrity Summit (1950 passengers) and the smaller one was the Regent Seven Seas Navigator (490 passengers).  But even without cruise ships, there are a LOT of hotels, inns, cottages, B&Bs, and campgrounds in and around Bar Harbor, and the rest of Mount Dessert Island, and Bar Harbor is the place that many visitors, like us, gravitate to at some point.

The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.  There were many old buildings in town, but I took this photo because I thought the building was interesting and there weren’t cars and people in front of it.  (There was a very modern addition on the back, not shown in this photo.)  We did not have time to go in, but I looked it up later.  From the museum’s website:
“In recent years, the Abbe has grown from a small trailside museum, privately operated within Acadia National Park, to an exciting contemporary museum in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor. In 2013, the Museum became the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine. 
At the Abbe’s downtown museum, visitors find dynamic and stimulating exhibitions and activities interspersed with spaces for quiet reflection. The history and cultures of the Native people in Maine, the Wabanaki, are showcased through changing exhibitions, special events, teacher workshops, archaeology field schools, and workshops for children and adults. From spring through fall, the Abbe’s historic trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring continues to offer visitors a step back in time to early 20th century presentations of Native American archaeology in Maine.”

 

While walking, I spotted a pillow in the display window of My Darling Maine with embroidered Puffins on it.  Linda really liked it, so she bought it.  They put it in a protective plastic bag and set it aside for us to pick up later on our way back to the bus.  At the Espresso shop across the street from the pillow place, Linda got an iced coffee.  I wanted something like a Frappuccino, but none of the coffee shops in town had anything like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our trailer in site 21/22 at Hadley’s Point Campground.  This view conceals the uneven and unlevel reality of the site.  It also gives the appearance that fall might be under way, but that is a trick of the light.  We did see the beginning of color in the trees and bushes around Mount Dessert Island, but the color palette here was still overwhelmingly green.

 

When we had walked all we cared to, we found a shaded bench in the Village Green and watched the world go buy while we waited for the 5:30 PM pick-up of the #1 Bar Harbor Road bus.  We had the same seats going back, with the same couple seated just in front of us.  Small world.

 

 

 

We were back at our trailer by 6 PM and Linda started working on dinner right away.  We started with a nice green salad with peanuts, vegan blue cheese, and raspberry vinegarette dressing.  The main course was  organic Lumaca Rigata pasta (from Napoli, Italy) with arrabbiata sauce and mushrooms sauteed with dried shallot flakes (we forgot buy onions yesterday).  The arrabbiata sauce had a bit of kick, which we both liked.

The rest of the evening was the usual reading, games, puzzles, photo processing, and writing.

20220911 – Farewell Canada, Hello USA

SUNDAY 11 September

Today was a travel day, taking us from Rockwood Park Campground in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada to Hadley’s Point Campground in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.  Our planned driving distance was 177 miles, with an estimated time of 3-1/2 hours, not including the time to get through the Port-of-Entry (PoE) at Calais, Maine.

ABIR, we got up at 7 AM, and had one cup of coffee each (mine was half-caff).  We finished the fresh blueberries and bananas for breakfast, as we could not take them across the border.  I finished off the coffee creamer as well.  We disposed of some grapes, greens and an apple.

Earliest check-in time at Hadley’s Point CG was 1 PM EASTERN time.  We were starting our drive in the ATLANTIC time zone, so we would “gain” an hour when we crossed into Maine.  Paul and Nancy used this border crossing on August 27, and reported that they were boarding every RV.  Not knowing how busy this POE would be on a Sunday, we estimated it could take 30 minutes at the border.  We targeted a 10 AM departure, aiming to arrive at Hadley’s Point CG around 1 PM local time.

As we were preparing our rig for departure, a group of three RVers walked by with their dogs and we ended up chatting with them for about 15 minutes.  They had just arrived from the U.S.  They were headed to PEI and beyond and were curious about our visit there.  One of them was from the Finger Lakes region of New York, so we were curious about what to do there.  Wine was the answer.  By the time we were ready to leave it was going on 10:30 AM.  We made our way slowly out of the campground and in less than a mile we were on NB Hwy-1 West.

It did not take long to move beyond the limits of Saint John, and the maximum speed bumped up to 110 km/hr (~68 mph) at that point.  NB Hwy-1 was a 4-lane, divided, limited access road and was in fabulous condition all the way to the border.  I set the cruise control at 64 or 65; fast enough to get the transmission to shift up into 9th gear.  We cruised along easily and comfortably at this speed for most of our last 72 miles in Atlantic Canada.

The Port-of-Entry at Calais, Maine.  Six lanes for personal vehicles.  Lane 6 (far right, not in photo) was the only one for RVs and trailers. Commercial/truck lanes were separate and far to the right
(Photo by Linda.)

The Port-of-Entry in Calais is not huge, with six lanes for passenger vehicles and RVs, and a couple of separate lanes for commercial trucks.  There were two cars ahead of us (in the RV lane) and it took 5-10 minutes before we could pull up to the booth.

The young female officer was pleasant and chatty, and was joined by a young male officer who was equally friendly.  She boarded the RV with Linda and had a quick look around, including the refrigerator and freezer.  We declared the 2,625 ml of wine we had on board, which was 625 ml over the duty-free limit, but she let it pass as inconsequential.  We were on our way after about 10 minutes, so a 20-minute total time to get through the PoE.

Our route in Maine was US-1 to ME-9 to ME-179.  ME-9 was a good, 2-lane road that rolled and curved through the heavily wooded countryside.  ME-179 was also a really good road surface that looked like it was recently paved, but was narrow with no shoulders, and was really hilly and curvy as it ran along the top of ridge.  The sights along the way were a slice of rural Maine.

Waiting our turn in Lane 6 at the Calais, Maine Port-of-Entry into the U.S.  (Photo by Linda.)

We pulled into Hadley’s Point Campground around 1:30 PM EDT, and that is when what had been a lovely day started to fall apart.  It started with our assigned site (#24), which was right on the entrance road where RVs lined up to register, and was a back-in water/electric.  We knew all of that before we got there, but what we didn’t know was how unlevel the site was going to be.

 

I tried to pick the best placement for the trailer, but couldn’t get backed in.  The longer this took the less well we were communicating, and the more frustrated and, frankly, deeply annoyed we got with the whole situation.  We had leveled side-to-side and were getting ready to unhitch, when I finally determined that we would not be able to get the trailer even close to level, front-to-rear.  (I would have had to raise the trailer tongue 14.5”, which was beyond the capability of our equipment.)  IMO, this was not a usable RV site and the campground had no business trying to sell it as one.

Linda finally went to the office and explained our situation.  Even though they were “fully booked” (Linda had called while we were driving) they had a site they were not planning on using and the older gentleman, who had tried to help us get into the site, drove me down to look at it.  It wasn’t great either, but it looked manageable and I said we would take it.  (We really did not have any other options as all of the other RV parks in the area had no sites available to book.)  Since we had not yet unhitched the truck from the trailer, or hooked up any services, we did not have as much work to do to move to the new site, but it was still extra work to get the trailer ready to move again.

I had a rough idea of where I wanted to place the trailer on the new site (21 & 22) but had a really difficult time getting the trailer positioned where I wanted it.  (W3W=”trial.increments.drizzly”)  But I finally did (sort of) and we got it level, side-to-side within 1/2”, and level front-to-rear, which was good enough for the refrigerator and for our comfort.  By the time we had the rig ready to use, including 30A electric power, it was 4 PM, so 2-1/2 hours to “make camp” versus our usual one (1) hour.  It was very warm, and we were both sweaty by then.

We still needed to register and pay for our four nights here, and go buy some groceries, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.  We stopped at the office on our way out to take care of the first item.  Linda had a nice chat with the woman in the office, and let her know (politely) about the issue with site 24.  We then headed to the Edwards Brothers Supermarket in Trenton, about 5 miles back up Hwy-3.  The Market was small, but had a decent selection of the things we needed most.  We also bought a bottle of Pear wine.  Now that we are back in the States, we no longer had to be concerned about buying and traveling with wine, other than our limited storage space.

When we got back to the trailer, I hooked up our shore water equipment, which was my last setup task (we do not have a sewer connection at this site).  While I was working outside, I heard what sounded like our TV.  Linda had turned it on and found at least one usable station!  It had been a long time since we could tune in a TV station, especially in English, but I haven’t really missed it.  I finished my water task at 6 PM, 4-1/2 hours after we arrived here.  We were both beat and, frankly, more than a bit annoyed with the campground and with each other.  It happens sometimes.  We ended up having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Fritos for dinner, which was fine; it was quick, easy, and tasty.

The day ended on a good note, however, as we were able to get our Verizon Jetpack Mi-Fi online and use it to Facetime with Brendan, Shawna, Madeline, and Sadie.  Once we signed off, we each had a glass of the Pear wine we had just bought at the supermarket.

The rest of the evening followed its usual routine; Linda read and played word games for a while, and I caught up on some of the blogs I follow.  She managed to stay up until 10 PM, which actually felt like 11 PM, and then went to bed.  Juniper-the-cat followed her, as she does every night.  I set up my computer, connected it to our Mi-Fi, and uploaded, assembled, and published three blog posts covering the last two days.  I backed those up, and then started working on this one before finally going to bed.

 

 

20220909 – A short travel day to Rockwood Park CG, and some shopping in Saint John, NB

FRIDAY 09 September

We got up with the sun, watching it rise above the land and trees directly behind the trailer.  The temperature had dropped into the lower 50’s (F) overnight, so I ran the furnace just long enough to take the chill out of the floor.  I also turned on the gas burner for the hot water heater.  For all the arguments against propane, it really does allow an RV to be useable without much, or even any, external AC power.  There’s not a lot we can do on a 15A electrical hookup; mostly it runs the refrigerator, the battery charger/converter, and some lights, plus the control circuit for the hot water heater.  And during daylight hours, especially if it’s sunny, the solar panels and charger can keep up with those loads.

Even the electric kettle—that we use to boil water for coffee, tea, or other uses—draws enough power to risk tripping a 15A circuit breaker.  The breaker for our guest outlet was in the house, and we did not want to risk tripping it, so Linda boiled water in a pan on the propane cooktop.

We had coffee while we doodled on our iPads.  For breakfast, we had some of the wonderful cranberry walnut bread that Rob gave us yesterday.  We then got dressed and took care of some of our departure preparations before sitting outside on the patio in the warm morning sun with our tablets.  Rob came out and we visited with him for a while (Sheila had already left for work).

Our departure preparation was a bit easier than usual, as we did not unhitch yesterday or hook up the water filter and water softener.  We aimed to pull out at 11 AM for the short drive to Rockwood Park Campground in Saint John, New Brunswick, which allowed check-ins starting at 11:30 AM.  We actually left at 11:15 AM and were registered and in our site by noon.

Our rig in site 101 at Rockwood Park Campground in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Site 101 (W3W=”exacted.labs.lanes”) was at the north end of row where most of the sites were back-in from both sides.  Site 101 was a single site, so I was able to treat it as a pull-through.  It was not level in either plane, but I was able to position the trailer so it was only 1.25” low on the passenger side; easily corrected with our Andersen roller levelers.  It was 5.25” low in the front; easily adjusted with our equipment.

It was obvious that it used to be two sites, as there were four (4) electrical outlets on the pole and four water connections, but only three (3) sewer connections.  The electric and water setup was very strange; if four rigs had been parked here, two of them would have had their utility connections on the wrong side.

When I plugged into what I presumed was the 30A electric outlet for our site, the Hughes Power Watchdog EPO immediately threw am E07 error code.  I called the office to them know there was something wrong with the outlet and “discovered” the other three.  I plugged into each one, and they were all fine, so I let the office know that we would be OK.  The young lady said she would let the campground manager know, and he showed up about 10 minutes later.  Linda looked up the E07 code and it was “Missing Ground.”  Yup, that’s a problem, but it was only that one outlet, so I shared that with the manager.  Probably the ground wire had come loose or the connection had corroded, although the open could also be in the distribution/breaker panel.

We finished setting up and then tried to connect our iPads and phones to the park Wi-Fi before the park manager arrived to look at the electrical issue, but there wasn’t any.  He said it was down and he was headed to the laundry building next (at the south end of our row) to try and get it back online.  But he admitted that even if he was successful, it was “wonky” (his word).

With our return to the U.S. just a couple of days away, we took stock of our Canadian Money.  We thought about converting back to US dollars at the currency exchange at the border, but decided it made more sense to just spend it.  We headed to the Sobeys in the new East Point complex and discovered a Costco there as well.  We hit Costco first and then Sobeys.  We only bought processed/packaged items; nothing fresh.

Everywhere we saw flags they were at half-staff for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, although apparently they were raised temporarily to mark King Charles’ III accession to the throne.  Linda read about “The London Bridge Protocol,” which went into effect upon the death of Elizabeth II.  Basically, who does what and who says what to who in a detailed and highly orchestrated manner.

I exchanged text messages with our barn building, and got some pictures of the stairs that go up to the storeroom about the shop.  (See separate update post from this same date.)  I also exchanged text messages with Busnut Bill, who sent a photo of the twin grandsons sleeping next to one another.  So precious.  He and Karen are headed the U.S. on Sunday as well, returning to Jellystone RV Resort in Frankenmuth as then have done every fall for years (except during the COVID-19 pandemic).  They return to Ontario on October 9th, the day before we get home, so we will miss them on this visit.

Dinner was angel hair pasta with the usual preparation of onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil, and then sun-dried tomatoes and greens added in and heated through. While we were out shopping, I got a BDW stay request for our host site for 5 nights starting October 13, and needed to deal with it before too much time went by.  It was from a guest who had stayed with us in 2019.  Our BDW host site calendar is open as of October 12, so after dinner I accepted the request.  It will be a bit inconvenient, as our bus and trailer will both be there, but we will make it work, as we have before.  I am hopeful that we will have the bus in the new barn, although without electric power to the building, I will have to disconnect, and possibly remove, all of the batteries.  Another possibility is to put our guest down there, as their rig is capable of being off-grid, and apparently they use it that way quite a bit.

I also wanted to leave a reference for The Lake House, but couldn’t do it using the Harvest Host app on my iPad, or at least could not figure out how to do it.  I connected my laptop computer to the hotspot on Linda’s phone, and was able to log into the HH/BW website.  Even then, it took me a long time to figure out how to leave a reference/review, but I finally did.

We were near the eastern edge of the Rockwood Park Campground, which is atop the distant ridge east of the valley, chatting with a few other RVers when Linda noticed the moon break above the ridge farther to the east.  It came up quickly and full, and was a brilliant orange as the sun had just set.  This photo does not do justice to what we actually saw.

After dinner we went for a walk through the campground.  The 1/2 of the campground we were in is basically a big gravel parking lot with hookups.  But that was OK with us, and is often preferred by RVers who need to access satellites for Internet or entertainment.  The other half, to our east, is mostly sites carved into the woods.  Some were ‘no services,’ and the others were ‘water and electric.’  About half of them were tent sites, all of which were empty.

Even though it was now dark, we continued our walk up to the Lilly Lake Pavilion on Lilly Lake, near the entrance to the Park and campground.  The water was calm and there was a nice glow from the sunset backlighting some ducks.

We came upon three people chatting, a couple and another woman (whose husband was still in their van).  We joined the conversation, and found out they were all from California but had no prior association before getting to Rockwood Park.  They both had class B van conversions that looked like they could go places we would not be able take the trailer.  One was a self-build and the other one was a Mode 4×4 made by Storyteller Overland.  It was on the 4-wheel drive Sprinter platform with a raised suspension for greater ground clearance.  It also had side “pop-outs” that allowed the beds to go across the width of the body side-to-side.  Both vans were also crossing back into the U.S. on Sunday.

Back in our trailer we spent what was left of the evening reading, writing, and processing photos before going to bed.  Our plan for tomorrow was to visit downtown Saint John.  The city itself is ~150,000 people and the greater metro area is ~250,000.  Big by Atlantic Canada standards, but about the same population as Ann Arbor, Michigan when the University of Michigan is in session.