Friday, July 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Betsy!

Even more mesmerizing now than she was half a century ago--and she was a very beautiful baby! Betsy and I got together to celebrate her birthday at Slades--earring shopping, cake and old movies afterward. How many people get to have best friends for sisters?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Yes--More Lighthouse Pictures!

Neglected to include pictures of the alarmingly striped West Quoddy Point headlight. Was it the stripes? An astral divergence? All I can remember about this particular point in the journey is that I couldn't seem to see straight or walk straight--tripped on the doorsill, dropped maps and bumped into corners for about twenty minutes straight. I suspect poltergeists...nice lighthouse, though.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The "Over the Top" Tour (in which we travelled to the top--of the USA, anyway--and beyond, and returned more or less in one piece)

This is how we looked at the END of this year's ride--nice and dirty and bug-splattered, and over 2,600 miles on the tripometer. Details follow:


At Lake Seneca, NY: the Tiki Bar; palm tree; Blaine; Blaine's bike. Blaine told us many stories. Some of them may have been true.

Playing Polish horseshoes (washer toss) at Victory Lane in Lake Seneca, NY.

Probably the less said, the better: experiencing electrical problems in Lake Placid, NY--we get towed to nearest HD dealer (about fifty miles away, spend the night in EconoLodge, lick wounds, and wait and worry. By noon the next day, we were back on the road!


Riding up Mt. Washington: the higher you go, the thinner the vegetation and the stronger the winds!

Here we are stopped and waiting for a road grading operation to let us proceed; that's SAND we are riding on, guys! This was possibly the tensest part of the climb.

Above the timberline...

Winds were gusting in the 50mph range at the mountaintop; mist enshrouds even nearby objects (that's the weather station); chains secure the buildings to the mountain; bold travellers and informational plaque.

Images at the summit: Damn! We're so proud of ourselves!

Clouds swath the mountaintop; Drew assists another climber.

Going down the mountain is almost as exciting as riding up--we stopped a couple of times to enjoy the view--and a sense of accomplishment (relief?).

Our visit with Dad and Vivi in Orono, ME included a pilgimage to Ruth and Wimpy's Kitchen (Ellsworth), where Drew channels the "Inner Crustacean" (after eating his first whole lobster!).

At Schoodic Point: Betsy likes this place so well, she even named one of her cats "Schoodic." We made two trips, a few days apart.

The Point is a perpetual photo-op. Vivi, wild iris, wild lupines and big waves even at low tide!

Waves breaking over the rocks at Schoodic Point--Drew and Vivi, and a wonderfully dilapidated farmstead--my fantasy home!

Just across the Canadian border, on Campobello Island, this sweet old lighthouse...

Can you even recognize this very pixillated image as a bald eagle? Look carefully! Humor me!

This was our furthest venture--to Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada. In these images: we crossed the ocean floor at low tide to reach the East Quoddy Headlight (?) where we saw whales feeding, and bald eagles doing whatever bald eagles do--also feeding, probably--it was a beautiful, exciting scramble (check out the ladders!)

At a rural roadside rest stop--one of many:
"#@!*! Obsolete AAA maps!"

In New Hampshire, at the Upcountry Tavern: Billy the bartender and the Upcountry's dollar bill-encrusted ceiling ($2,671.00 and counting...)

On the way to Fort Ticonderoga, we found another ferry...always a welcome chance to stretch legs and talk with fellow travellers.

In Hague,NY, we stayed at a cool little eponymously-named motel on the shores of Lake George; we had our own teeny porch (mit flag!) and a view of the water.

Hague was having its 4th of July celebration on the 2nd (so as not to interfere with nearby Ticonderoga's bigger shebang on the 4th)--we were the fortunate beneficiaries of fireworks off the dock, and the requisite 4th of July Elvis impersonator...

At Fort Ticonderoga, we mounted ramparts and counted cannons--we also discivered that the fort was originally built of wood and clay--forts were intended to last only a few years in those days--which is why the original fort was in a state of ruin, and why it is now being rebuilt entirely of stone (because otherwise the whole maintainance thing just gets to be ridiculous...). Attempts to incorporate parts of the old structure into the rebuilt one have been problematic, because the wood and clay just keep on falling apart.

These are two historical reenactors (surprise!)--bagpipe player who turned out (to my disappointment)to not be Scottish ("I don't know how I got interested in bagpipes--I just think they're cool...") and a woodworker who is in the process of making an 18th C.-type drill, the better to build the period furniture etc. for the Fort's continuing recreations--

...And don't EVEN tell me you haven't heard of the famous Blenheim Covered Bridge!!!

This is supposed to be the longest covered single-span bridge in the whole wide world (see plaque)...

Again with the covered bridges! We can't seem to escape them--this one is in Downsville, NY (sounds very Beat to me--as in "I'm feeling downsville, Daddio!").