After the horrible destruction of Hurricane Sandy this fall the weather we experienced this summer on the East Coast made more sense. Climate change is here. It wasn’t our imagination as July 2012 was the hottest month ever on record. It was close to 100 degrees almost every day and the storms never stopped, even as we headed north to NYC after a stop in Annapolis, Maryland to visit my buddy Wyatt and his very special human, Cheryloni. Oh, and those crabs were delish! Though the weather didn’t cooperate (so no pics) we also had a great time in Annapolis visiting my cousins Kristy and Allie.
It was so stormy we only ventured into the Big Apple once, and that very night yet another Durecho (straight line thunderstorms) headed directly for us. A tornado touched down in the city as we all hunkered down on my buddy Truman’s porch in New Jersey.
I must take a moment to remember my friend Truman, as he has since passed. He was not only incredibly handsome but he was a “true man”, dearly loved by his humans and all who met him. He will be sorely missed. RIP Truman.
Truman and I bonded instantly as we huddled together commiserating because our silly humans insisted on sitting outside on the porch as lightening danced all around. We would look at each other as if to say, “really?”. Then we’d chuckle when a bolt hit a bit too close and they’d scream like banshees!
We left our buddies in New Jersey to visit my friend Ace. We had to drive like mad to get there ahead of yet another huge storm. We had yummy cocktails and a fabulous dinner with long time friends while we waited for the weather to pass.
We made a quick stop at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut to see the tall ships and then it was on to Newport RI. One of my humans had never been to New England before so the next few weeks were all about… lobsters and lighthouses.
There are very few RV parks near Newport, but the closest one is Meadowlark Trailer Park in Middleton. It was tight but adequate for touring the area. This fabulous beach was just down the road.
We drove the scenic 10 mile Ocean Drive and walked the famous Cliff Walk. If these are summer cottages then what the heck is my trailer?
We also took a harbor tour to look at all the beautiful boats.
Though we arrived in Cape Cod in the rain the weather quickly improved. We stopped for 2 days in the lower Cape so we could tour Hyannis, Barnstable, Sandwich and Falmouth. We really wanted to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard but the only RV Park on the island doesn’t allow dogs. My nerves!
We headed out to the tip of Cape Cod to stay at Horton’s Campground in Truro. It was near the dunes and the sun was out to stay, at least for few days. We took Art’s Jeep Tour of the Dune Shacks where many famous artists have lived and worked during the summers with no electric or water, including playwright Eugene O’Neill, Norman Mailer and Jackson Pollack.
Now I have seen the movie “Jaws” numerous times and so I wasn’t thrilled about swimming on those beaches. There had been a great white shark attack just days before we got there though the signs on the beach only said “recent shark sighting”. Sighting my *#*, the brave man and his son survived, but his bite was determined to have been from a great white.
See how unhappy I look.
You all know by now how much I love to swim but you have to admit, I look just like a seal in the water and I had no intention of being shark bait, fosho. Lots of humans were swimming (along with the seals) so I kept a sharp eye out… but from a very safe distance.
Luckily the Old Harbor Lifesaving Station was nearby though I later found out it had been de-commissioned in 1944. These stations were positioned up down the Cape and were manned 10 months of the year to rescue stranded sailors at sea.
I couldn’t wait to get to Provincetown; it’s such a colorful town but has changed a lot over the years. It’s year round population of 3000 people swells to 60,000 during the summer. It’s an artist colony and has the highest concentration of same -sex couples of any zip code in the US.
We had a fabulous lunch at the Bookstore Restaurant in charming Wellfleet with one of our favorite humans on earth, Gayle. We got to meet her then fiancé, now husband, the fabulous Al. Congratulations to you both!
We were sad to leave the Cape but we had a schedule, based on the seasons. We wanted get to the Canadian Maritimes by the end of summer before it got too cold. So we made brief stops in the beautiful coastal towns of Gloucester and Rockport, MA.
Then it was on to Maine!
The first stop was York where we stayed in Libby’s Oceanside Campground. Seasonal campers took the best sites but we managed to squeeze into an overflow spot with a peak- a- boo view of the ocean. From here we toured Ogunquit, Kennebunkport and north to Cape Elizabeth.
Next we scooted up to Boothbay Harbor and stayed in a wonderful spot, Shore Hills Campground and RV Park. Though we had wanted to stay at Grey’s Homestead Oceanfront Campground, it was full. But Shore Hills was beautiful, sitting on a wonderful inlet just above Boothbay and convenient for travelling the peninsulas.
The drives along the many “fingers” are all stunning, one beautiful vista after another. We tried to do them all. We visited The Cuckolds Lighthouse at Cape Newagen in the fog.
And then had a wonderful lobster lunch at Robinson Wharf Restaurant outside of Boothbay Harbor.
One of our favorite areas was Pemaquid in the Bristol area. There was a very small campground, Sherwood Forest Campsite and Cabins, in New Harbor that would be a great place to stay for the season. And they have a lighthouse!
From there we moved up to Saltwater Farm Campground overlooking the St. George River near Thomaston where we could explore the Camden/Rockport Area. The Saint George Peninsula is not to be missed, it was there we found our favorite lighthouse at Marshall’s Point.
As one of my humans has relatives from the area we also visited the Union Fair and watched some tractor pulls, visited with the livestock and went to the Moxie Museum on the grounds. Known for their smart marketing campaigns this Moxie bottle is 33 feet tall, and was designed to be easy to take apart and put back together to tour trade shows and amusement parks a century ago as a Moxie vending booth.
Moxie soda was one of the first mass produced soft drinks in the US. It’s creator, Dr. Augustin Thompson, was a relative of ours. His granddaughter, my Aunt Virginia, used to tell us stories of how Ed Wynn, the famous actor, would stay at their summer house on Friendship Island and later coined the term “to have a lot of Moxie” meaning a lot of spunk, on Broadway. The drink is somewhat bitter and has a kick, which comes from its secret ingredients of sassafras and gentian root, which was used in the original nerve tonic. The use of sassafras was outlawed in the 1960’s and the formula was changed making it sweeter to compete with other sodas but it’s fans were outraged and it was changed back to gentian root and wintergreen in the 1980’s. It is still sold today.
We had a great lunch in beautiful Camden, famous for being the setting of the TV show “Peyton Place”.
The view of Camden from Camden Hills State Park.
Next it was on to Bar Harbor and the famous Acadia National Park that comprises 47,000 acres (73 sq miles) of mountains, lakes, woods and shoreline. We stayed at the Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA, a very well run place right on Western Bay. The sunsets were gorgeous.
We drove the 20-mile loop road to the top of Cadillac Mountain. What a view!
And of course we had to stop at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse.
The loop road was beautiful.
We also took a lobster boat tour with Island Cruises out of Bass Harbor and explored the islands off Mount Desert, learning a lot about the lobster business and the lengths they have gone to sustain the lobster population. It’s worked so well there was an overabundance of lobsters last summer and the price reflected the glut: around $2.00 a pound in the grocery stores where they will cook it for you.
Besides lobsters we saw seals…
And glacial erratics like below. An erratic is a boulder transported and deposited by a glacier having a lithology different than the bedrock upon which it is sitting. I googled it.
We also explored the Blue Hill Peninsula down to Stonington, a sweet little fishing village.
On our way north from Bar Harbor towards the Canadian Maritimes we stopped in Eastport, another quaint fishing village and saw the Fisherman’s Statue.
Don’t worry, in case you haven’t seen enough lighthouses by now there are more to come! Stayed tuned for Part 2 of Lobsters and Lighthouses in the Canadian Maritimes. It’s coming right up, you won’t have to wait long, I promise!