Road Trip 2021: The Long Distance Relationship

We left Trenton, Maine and headed for the Farmington/Chesterville area. We wound up staying at the Skowhegan/Kennebec Valley KOA; it was further away from our destination than I would have liked but it was an amazing campground that we would gladly stay at again. (My review is available here.) Our first stops were near sites we wanted to see, so what drew us to this area? Friendship.

When I was in high school, I had several pen pals – up to 21 at one point. Over time, that number dwindled to just one and we have now been writing for over 40 years. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, my remaining pen pal lives in Maine. There was no way I was going to visit the state and not take advantage of the opportunity to meet. So, we exchanged (more) letters and phone numbers and I kept her apprised of when we would arrive. I have to admit, I was nervous. I’m shy and writing is easier for me than face-to-face interactions, but I shouldn’t have worried. Our meeting was… easy. You would think we had known each other for years, LOL.

Kenn and I spent a day with Ruth and her husband, John. We went out for lunch and then stopped for ice cream. We spent the remainder of our time just sitting around our campsite and talking. Ruth asked one of the campground employees to take our picture.

John, Ruth, Linda and Kenn

One of the souvenirs I collect when we travel is (are?) Christmas ornaments. Somehow, I got home from our trip without an ornament for Maine. I turned to Amazon (of course) in my search for a Maine ornament but wasn’t happy with the selection; many of them were too similar to ornaments that I already have. Then, inspiration struck and I turned to Shutterfly where I had the photo shown above printed on a metal ornament. I think it’s perfect and look forward to it gracing our tree in all the years to come.😊

Here’s hoping that it won’t take us another 40 years to get together again!

Until next time, here’s to friendships and happy trails!

Adventures in Camping: Winter Storm Izzy

This isn’t the post I originally had planned for this week; that one has been postponed until the 27th. (A winter storm takes precedence, LOL.) Kenn and I hauled our travel trailer to South Carolina on Thursday, January 13th. This is going to be a longer stay for me but I’ll go into that in another post. We always keep an eye on the weather for our destination when traveling but apparently didn’t pay as much attention as we usually do. It wasn’t until I heard the weather reports on the drive up that I realized that there was a real chance that our destination would receive snow and/or ice.

Since I’m going to be here for a while I had elected not to bring a lot of groceries with me and just do some shopping after we arrived. We made a Walmart run after getting the camper set up and resting for a bit. We were able to find most of the things we needed but several areas (especially dairy and luncheon meat) had been cleaned out. We visited with our family in the area for a bit on Saturday and then hunkered down for the storm. I use a white noise machine and ear plugs when I sleep but some sort of noise still woke me up around 5am on Sunday morning. I could see snow accumulated on the skylight in the bathroom and sleet/freezing rain started shortly afterward. (We eventually realized that the recurring noise was the awning over the slide snapping in the wind.) Once the sun came up, we ventured outside. (As Southerners, we rarely see snow and ice so we have to enjoy it while we can!)

Snow selfie in front of the RV park office
Our campsite fairly early in the storm
Our trucks wondering what in the heck is going on

We wound up with 4-6 inches of snow interspersed with layers of ice. Now, I know you Northerners are probably rolling your eyes at how Southerners panic over a little snow. However, there is a reason for our panic: simply put, we aren’t equipped for winter weather. (I saw one snow plow in this area.) In my home state of Georgia, we don’t have snow plows or road salt. We also don’t have snow tires or chains nor do we know how to drive on snowy/icy roads. The safest thing to do is to send us home until everything melts – after we buy up all of the bread and milk in the area, of course.😂

It looks like we may have another round of snow and ice rolling in next weekend so, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make another run to Walmart!

Until next time take care, stay warm, and happy trails!

Road Trip 2021: Acadia National Park, Maine

We had very few definite plans during our 2021 road trip; one of those was visiting Acadia National Park. Prior to our visit, Kenn had expressed some concerns about it. When I asked what he meant he said that he was afraid that he had put Acadia on such a mental pedestal that the actual park was going to be a disappointment. Little did we know how true this statement would turn out to be. Sadly, neither of us was blown away by Acadia.

Don’t get me wrong. Acadia National Park is beautiful, but we didn’t see anything in the park that we hadn’t seen during our drives along the highways and byways of Maine. It might have been different if we had made reservations for the Cadillac Summit Road or Sand Beach but we elected to skip those so we didn’t have to spend our day working around reservations.

Our favorite picture from Acadia

After visiting Glacier and Yellowstone in the month of July (2019), we intentionally scheduled our trip to Acadia for September, after Labor Day when the kiddos are back in school; we thought this would make for smaller crowds. We were wrong. According to one of the park rangers, up until a couple of years ago we would have been correct in our assumption. She said that she doesn’t know what has changed but that over the past couple of years, they no longer experience a lull in the number of visitors after Labor Day.

Due to COVID restrictions, masks were required in all park facilities and no more than five people were allowed inside at a time which meant that there were long lines at all visitor’s centers, etc. There were outdoor kiosks for the purchase of park tickets and the stamps for national park passports were also set up outside. (Acadia was the first stamp in our passport!) Since our schedule was flexible and we’d had a day of rain we discussed staying in the area longer so we could spend more time in Acadia but decided against it.

A very Dr. Seuss-ish tree

Whereas I have dozens of pictures from our visits to Glacier and Yellowstone I only have a handful from Acadia. We have no regrets about visiting Acadia; it would have been a shame to travel to Maine and not go. However, should we ever return to Maine, we’ll skip Acadia and visit places we missed this time around.

My next post will be about one of my favorite parts of the trip.😊 Until then, take care and happy trails!

Road Trip 2021: Bar Harbor, Maine

We left the Lubec, Maine area and headed to the Narrows Too Camping Resort in Trenton, Maine. The campground was an easy drive from both Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. (My review of the campground is available here.)

I have to admit that, in general, I’m not a fan of “touristy” towns like Bar Harbor; the sheer number of people everywhere overwhelms me. I’m not comfortable stopping to look at architecture (something I love) or anything else because stopping is a good way to get trampled. Of course, if we were going to be in Maine and within spitting distance of Bar Harbor, we had to go. (We actually went twice.🙄) It was every bit as stressful as I expected it to be. The roads were narrow with vehicles parked down both sides which meant a big truck like Ruby was practically in the middle of the road. Parking was difficult to find. We found a park at the far end of town and parked there during both of our visits.

We did stumble across a really cool restaurant in Bar Harbor – Route 66. Route 66 features a lot of things I love: old architecture, high ceilings, stained glass windows, and vintage tchotchkes. The food was pretty good too.😉 We sat in the loft area of the restaurant which wasn’t crowded at all and gave us a good vantage point from which to view everything. It was a great place to relax, refuel, and prepare to take on the crowds again.

Route 66 interior. So cool!
Vintage tchotckes at Route 66
Fried mac and cheese bites. Yum!

While I may not like touristy towns I did take advantage of our visits to Bar Harbor to buy souvenirs and a few Christmas gifts. When in Rome, right?🤷‍♀️

We only planned three nights, two full days in the area. It rained the first full day which gave us an unexpected but much needed down day. The second full day we reserved for Acadia National Park but I’ll save that post for next week.

Until next time, happy trails!