Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heading to Canada

Greetings from Aroostook State Park in Maine!
Brian again. We are about to cross over into Canada this morning, after taking care of some last-minute things. Many of you know that we will be there for a few weeks. After Saturday, when we have campground reservations near Moncton, New Brunswick (so we can attend a Geocaching Event with about 500 people attending), we have no plans or schedule! We want to see New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, and will give each one at least a week. If you do the math, we will be back in the Good Old USA after Labor Day. By that time, it will have sunk in that we are both retired!
Since our last report, we have traveled some extraordinary country, and at a leisurely pace. In Pennsylvania, we stopped for a panoramic view of the Cumberland valley at a place called The Pulpit. It has a jump-off platform for parasailers, and it was awesome.
The Pulpit view
After camping at Promised Land State Park, we were headed to New York, when I saw a sign for Steamhouse National Historical Site. Who could resist? We took a short, unplanned, side trip, and found a restored roundhouse and trains. Since it wasn't a planned stop, we were only able to spend about 2 ½ hours, but we got to take a short train ride in an old train. Our car was about 100 years old. What fun! I'd like to come back on the way home and see them demonstration of the turntable. We'll see.

The roundhouse

All aboard!
Good advice - not only on a steam train

After leaving PA, we wandered around NY for the day, and ended up at Glimmerglass State Park. Isn't that a wonderful name? It was the name of a lake in J.F. Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales. It is near Cooperstown [get the connection?]. When I saw Cooperstown on the map, I thought how much some of my friends would LOVE to be there to see the museum. I don't care about sports, so I thought to myself that at least it is during baseball season, so nothing will be going on. What do I know? It was Hall of Fame Induction weekend! We found an overflow camping site, and got out as soon as possible. If we had wanted, we could have parked on someone's front lawn for only $20.00. Several people had signs.
The Adirondacks are one of our favorite places, so we drove through part of them. Our campsite was right by a river, so we were able to sleep with the back end up, and had to get into our sleeping bags because of the chill (in July!) The river provided a very soothing background noise, which is a LOT better than listening to a CD!
My second cousin, Travis, and his wife Jen, just had a baby last month. They usually attend the Luther reunion, but couldn't make it this year. We were able to stop by and see Nora, the newest Luther. I think she is my second cousin, once removed. It doesn't matter, because she is CUTE! We were able to visit a while, and Travis asked if I wanted to go try to find a Geocache that is less than a mile from his house --yes HE asked ME ! It would have been rude to say no, so we gave it a try. Luckily, we got it after a half-mile hike. It hadn't been visited since last October.
Baby Nora!

When we got back to his house, he discovered that the water pump had stopped working. So much for showers! He made some phone calls, and decided to wait until morning's light to try to fix it. We had some bottled water in the truck, so we donated it to the cause, and we all headed to bed. Luckily, at last report, it was only some bad wires, so I don't think it was an expensive problem to fix.
After a foggy ferry ride across Lake Champlain to Vermont, we took some more scenic drives through the country. We found another place we want to return to in a month or two, named Smuggler's Notch. The only drawback would be that if this trip was any indication, the traffic would be impossible when the leaves are changing colors.

     I've mentioned barns and covered bridges already. Another thing that I enjoy seeing is churches. You see some quaint, clapboard country churches {try saying that quickly 3 times}and ornate gothic style marvels in many small towns. Many of the country churches make me wonder where the people that attend them live. There is often nothing around to indicate that there would be enough people around to support a church.
     Another frequent stop for us is waterfalls.  We've seen quite a few nice ones!  I'll put sone pictures her.  Let me know if you want to know the names.

     We ran into another quirky place, The Museum of Everyday Life.  It was just a old barn in the country with displays of pencils, dust, paper clips, toothbrushes, etc.  Strange.
     Northern New Hampshire and Maine were new territories too.  We didn't spend as much time as we would like there, so we may return in a month or so.  The highlight of Maine was seeing Mount Katahdin.  Kris has always wanted to go there, but we didn't have time.  The best we could do was see it from an overlook on the Interstate.

      Kris has been reading to me from her Roadside Geology of ....  books that she got as a retirement gift.  To summarize what I have learned, there are a lot of rocks here, and glaciers helped form the mountains and valleys.
     Well, it is time to head off on the Canadian part of our journey!   Adieu for now.

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