Thursday, July 28, 2011

A 50-Mile Walk in Maine

Earlier this week we met Cassandra Curley, who is well into her challenge to walk all 50 states in 50 weeks.  She stayed two nights here at Wild Duck as she did her 50 miles in Maine.  We spent a little bit of time with her on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maine is her 29th state and she plans to complete the contiguous 48 and Alaska before the snow flies.

Cassie is a bundle of energy, walking 16 to 17 miles per day at a rate of 3 miles per hour.  To plot her daily route she uses (you guessed it) app for her iPhone.  Cassie has a web site at

It was fun to meet her and we wish her well.

A couple of weeks ago on our way to Cape Elizabeth we drove past this charming cottage clad in river rock.  On the way home we stopped and I got a few good photos.  The person who did the stone work was a real artisan.
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Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Whale watching off the coast of Boothbay Harbor , Maine

We took a leisurely drive north on U.S. Highway 1 to Boothbay Harbor yesterday morning and noted a few places along the way that we will want to go back and see.  Included were a great place for breakfast six miles away from the campground, the headquarters of L L Bean and the main store for DeLorme Maps. I’ll report on those in the upcoming weeks.
Maine is a really beautiful state.  The license plates carry the slogan:  A National Treasure.  Agreed.  Our drive certainly lived up to the slogan.
We got to Boothbay Harbor with about 90 minutes to spare and decided to poke around a little bit before having lunch.   Before I knew it, I spotted a whale.
Just east of this whale is a local eatery called McSeagulls.   Expensive, but I had the absolute best fish and chips of my life.  The fish of choice up here for fish ‘n chips is haddock.   Very light tasting with a nice texture.
This was our table and our view.
Boothbay Harbor has lots of neat Victorian-era homes and B and Bs and plenty of places to drop a few bucks if you are so inclined.  The greater municipal area is made up of five communities with a combined population of 30,000.  In the winter the head count drops to around 3,000.
We boarded our ship (no photo, just a typical sight-seeing boat) at 1:30 and got some good views of the harbor and surrounding islands.  When we win Mega or Power Ball, it would be tempting to buy one of these homes on the water.
This is an area where a lot of lobster fishing takes place as evidenced by the many floating platforms containing lobster traps.
This is Burnt Harbor Light.
The tour boat cruised at about 20 knots for close to 75 minutes and we heard a lot about whales from the on-board tour guide, but we were beginning to think we might have to invoke the “rain check” guarantee if no whales where sighted.
The ocean had a slight chop to it which made spotting the water spout of a whale that much more difficult.  But finally, someone spotted a whale.  In the picture below I have identified a water spout from a finback whale. Look just to the left of the wording.
The next two photos will show more of the giant finback whale as he or she performed for us.
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale,razorback, or common rorqual, is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. It is the second longest whale and the sixth largest living animal after the blue whale, bowhead whale, and right whales,[3]growing to nearly 27 meters (88 ft) long.[3] The American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews called the fin whale "the greyhound of the sea" because of its great speed when chased and slender build.[4]
On the way home we stopped in Wicasset at Red’s Eats, a famous little shack of a place known for its lobster rolls.  Sandy had a “lobsta” roll for lunch so we opted to split a shrimp basket.  It was not worth the bother.
But all in all we had a great day and saw four whales.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A great place to take a walk and a surprise visit

Leading the life of a retired RVer seems to enhance one’s ability to put on weight.  So whenever we can we try to find a good place to walk.  The surrounding neighborhood is very pleasant with some friendly dogs we get to pet, but the sidewalks and streets are hard surfaces and not kind to feet, knees or hips. 

We much prefer hiking/walking trails that are maintained as these are often built from sand, dirt or crushed stone.  There is a segment here of the Eastern Trail Alliance.

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One segment of the trail is just over 1.5 miles in length and gives me and Sandy a perfect one hour walk.  We get there often.

Tonight as I was grilling our dinner I took a walk around the coach. I do this frequently and look for anything that is out of the ordinary.  While I didn't find anything, which is good, I met a blog reader. Or more accurately, I met the husband of a blog reader.

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Bob and Trish Goodstein are at Wild Duck until Friday.  Sim, their Golden Retriever and Augie, the rescue dog with Yorkie and ??? parents are alongside their new Scamp travel trailer.  They are thinking about going full-time in four years -- so I told them about  This is  a website that helped Sandy and me find answers to a lot of questions back in 2006 through 2009.

Friday we are thinking about a day trip on Amtrak to Boston.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saying goodbye to Trixie

As pet owners know, there comes the day when it is time to say goodbye.  Our oldest PBGV (Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen) Trixie was declining rapidly the past week or so and we always said we would not let her suffer.  So this morning we had to say goodbye.

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Here she is at Christmas in 2007

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With her nemesis, Norton

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And here are Norton (left) and Trixie ready for another adventure on the road.

Both will be loved and missed and not forgotten.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Old Port Portland, Eating with the Locals and RVing 101

July1 - From Scarborough, Maine
A couple of tent campers here at Wild Duck Campground mentioned that the “Old Port” section of Portland was really neat.  We decided to go take a look today.
Portland is less than 10 miles from Wild Duck so it was an easy trip.  It’s an old city having its first permanent settlers in 1633 and many old buildings dating to the 1700 and 1800s.  Some neat looking places, lots of cobblestone streets , pretty much something for everyone.  And it is considered a foodies paradise.
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Going up and down the hills gave us an appetite.  We spotted a place with a line out the door named Portland Lobster Company and thought about going there.  However, having done a LOT of business traveling, I‘ve had some great luck with stopping people on the street and asking where they like to dine.  I saw two lades taking a shortcut between buildings and asked  if they were residents and where they like to have lunch?
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As luck would have it we just happened to be in front of J’s Oyster.  It’s where locals go and the ladies told us the the lobster rolls were outstanding. They were right and the clam chowder was also superb.portland 012
The restaurant is situated at the end of a channel.  The boat in back of me on the left is called Barrister.  And the owners law firm is on the dock’s edge.  Not bad.

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On the map that we see lots of tourists reading I spotted a place called Gorgeous Gelato.  We’ll we just had to go there. 
It was delicious.
When we got back home I had to do a few routine tasks that included changing the under-the-sink Everpure water filter that gives us great water for drinking and making coffee.  I also put in a new whole “house” water filter that traps any sediment and a variety of things you don’t want in your water.
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Then there was the successful conclusion to having the Honda tested to meet the Illinois EPA standards without driving the CR-V more than a thousand miles to get the testing done.  Lucky for us, Illinois and Maine have reciprocity for automobile emissions testing.  Several weeks ago I took our car to the Honda dealer in Portland where for $24.95 I was given a two page print out that we faxed to Illinois and viola! we could then complete the renewal process.  That and $99 got us the little yellow sticker for the corner of our plates.  The sticker arrived today.  We were only one day late in getting it applied.  Whew!
Also from the campground is this picture of momma duck and her nine babies.  They make me smile every time I see them.
Stay tuned.