This being a camper thing, I am faking it a bit. I’m in my last week here in the campgrounds and I do know how to use the features, most of them anyhow, of the camper itself. But do I feel confident? Not at all. I am lucky enough to be able to bring it to Cape Cod next, to my sister’s house, and I tell myself that I’ll practice putting it up and down while I’m there. Make sure that I can do it on my own. Having my cousin’s here for help and advice, and just plain fun, has been great. But that also means I haven’t been on my own. Plus computer quirks have me processing photos in a convoluted way that would probably have my photo group comrades shaking their heads. Which brings me to this morning, and a 4 AM trip to the bathroom, which let me see that the sunrise was coming soon. So off I went to the bridge to take pictures, and then came home to drink my coffee and see what I got. But Photoshop didn’t give me the option to merge photos into HDR like Lightroom does. Not that I could find with only one sip of coffee in me. There I was with three images open, I think, and I made one click and it came up with this.Wouldn’t I have loved it if it really looked like that? But it didn’t. It was pretty, but not that dramatic. I need to figure out how to open in Lightroom, and I need to make a list of all the things I have to do to be ready to pull out of here on Sunday. And I need more coffee, but maybe not in that order…
I hit the road again yesterday. Being in New England has allowed me to decide to attend the big graduation party for my friend’s graduates yesterday, and just get in the car and go. Since 1969, the year we both got married and I moved away, spending time with my closest friend has required much preparation. Vacation time, airline tickets, juggling husbands and children, and so for many years the closeness remained in tact, in spirit anyhow, but it wasn’t possible to actually be together. Time has been our friend as we have gotten older, except for the wrinkles and gray hair. But we have managed to visit more and more often as time has gone on, daily on facebook, and also in person. And these years going forward are probably the time we’ll need each other the most. I’m so glad to be here. I think this snowbird thing is going to work out just fine…
It’s days like today I feel like a genius. I’m snug in my camper, listening to the rain. No, not the adorable little blue camper above, but it’s also not the trailer that I originally bought. I loved it for the layout, but was too much for my Chrysler Pacifica to tow. In theory it was an okay combination, but other campers chimed in with their opinions, and they were overwhelmingly convinced that the combination wasn’t safe. The suggestion by the dealership was to switch to a 14 foot trailer, but it eliminated the one thing that convinced me to buy a camper in the first place, and that was the couch. Someplace comfortable to sit, or to lay back and read, someplace other than the dinette, or on a bed, to spend a rainy day. When I finally showed up in NH, at the dealership I’d bought from, on display in their showroom were pop-ups, and one of them had the couch I was looking for! Pretty much the same one that I liked from the first trailer. That it didn’t have a bathroom wasn’t too much of a worry to me because I hadn’t planned on using the one in the trailer anyhow. Or camping outside of a nice campground with facilites. I neglected to think about walking to the bathroom in the rain, which I will have to do soon. And then there is the bear that visits now and then to tip over the dumpster, and whom I would prefer not to run into on a late night trip to the bathroom. So maybe I’m only a semi-genius.
But so far I love living in the camper. I know that for most people camping is about living outdoors mostly. But I haven’t done this all my life and I’m set in my ways. I’m on a quest to reconnect with people and places I left behind years ago. But I also need my cocoon, my privacy, at least some of the time. This may not be the ultimate on-my-own camping experience since I have family here as residents as well as visitors, but they are a big part of the past that I’m looking to reconnect with, so it’s been great. I think I’m back to genius status!
Here are some random pictures I’m finding on the SD cards or in the phone, amusing myself on a rainy day…
The Jackpot being all the photos ops that could possibly be crammed into one 24 hour period. Or maybe it’s the jackpot of having your lifelong friend be the one person who would be willing to pull the car off to the side of the road to capture, or try to capture, the scene that has caught your eye. What a treasure it is to have someone in your life who has been your best friend since childhood. Somehow our interests, and also our worries, have always been compatible. We haven’t lived in the same state since we graduated from college together, but that hasn’t mattered a bit. And we are now finding our way alone in life, but together. Yes, I certainly hit that jackpot.
But this particular jackpot took place at the Quechee Balloon Festival on Sunday morning. We actually went on Saturday, almost all of the photos we took were on Saturday, and it was a perfect day from the cardinal we saw as we started our day (a husband or two stopping by to cheer us on?), the glorious lunch we got at Simon Pearce (gazpacho soup and a fabulous quiche, two grown up ladies such as we may have pictured ourselves years ago when we were little girls together), and the lovely day with blue skies sandwiched between days of rain in the weather forecast. Yes, all was going well, and then the clouds got heavier and the winds came up, and we started fearing the balloons wouldn’t go off at 6PM. Which is about when I realized I didn’t have my phone. I lose things often, but not usually my phone, which currently is my lifeline for this adventure I’m on. We gave up on looking, left info to reach us, and went back to the campground with a damper now weighing down the entire day. Only they did call! They had my phone! We decided to wait until sunrise to go back to Quechee and got my phone, and also saw the balloons launch! Every good story needs some drama, and this was no exception. We made it back to the campground in time for the wonderful Father’s Day breakfast the owners put on for everyone.
Quechee has a covered bridge, we’ve taken pictures of it before, but it was the kids under the bridge that I hadn’t ever seen before. Jumping off the cliffs (sort of) and into the water. Do they really know that there are no rocks hidden under the water? It was nerve wracking to watch, but of course we took pictures. These aren’t as clear as I wish they have been but they do show the scene.
But it was the balloons we came for, the third time I had come to a balloon launch and the sixth time for my friend, but we saw the balloons for the first time together.
Quite an eventful 24 hour visit. Can’t wait for the next one…
That was my goal Wednesday when I set out to take some pictures. I think I just like to say Kancamagus, and it was too pretty out to stay home. If you look at it on a map it looks like it goes in a diagonal line from where I am now, to Lincoln, NH. That’s not true though. You have to drive a bit to get to Rt. 112, and I discovered several distractions along the way that slowed me down and kept me from traveling the whole highway. Which is okay because a friend of mine is most at home in the Lincoln area and I’m in hopes we’ll get back there together eventually. This farm was a distraction along the way. And when I stopped to take a picture this cow came over to say hi.
Then the town of Bradford provided it’s own distraction. Just a block long, but quaint, and good food. A pastrami reuben at a little coffee shop called The Local Buzz. What a great name, and a great sandwich.
Eventually I did make a run at the Kancamagus though, and I got there. As promised by my cousin, the scenery is spectacular. But pull-offs are too few and far between. Which explains why I turned around after I passed the Beaver Pond scenic area and returned for photos there also. But I turned out to be the main course for the black flies and mosquitos that were just hanging around waiting for an unsuspecting tourist to show up. When I told my cousin that I stopped at Beaver Pond he said that he and his wife hiked a trail there once and encountered a swarm of black flies that had them running to their car. Glad to know it’s not just me being a wimp. Nobody bothered my DEET infused legs, which was nice. But too bad I didn’t think to spray my ears because they got gnawed on pretty fiercely. Now my ears are burning, you aren’t talking about me are you?
I thought that this would be the day that I would make a blog post without a single picture. You see I discovered a potential tick bite, yes again, on Sunday morning. I could feel the skin wasn’t right, but for the life of me I couldn’t see what was wrong because it was located in an unmentionable spot. So I resorted to taking a picture, a picture that I’d have bet you a million dollars that I’d never take. And yes, a bite of some kind, but maybe it would heal on it’s own. Besides, Sunday was a busy day that started by waking up in NY and finished in front of a campfire in MA. And the next morning it was back to NH by way of VT, several times back and forth it seemed. But this morning I decided to go get it checked out, if for no other reason than to be able to delete that picture from my phone before I mistakenly posted it online. And, darn it all, turns out I have the full blown bulls-eye of Lyme disease. Let’s see, it took me a little over a week of camping to get Lyme disease? That must be a record.
So I got checked and I got my prescription, and asked Siri to take me home by the back roads, in search of a photo op. So she sent me home on Lyme Road. Sigh, of course she did.
But the good news is that I saw that Dartmouth College was in the area, and I didn’t even have to make a turn in search of the campus to stop for photos. Lyme Road took me straight through the campus, so I did get a few photos today, and none of them are embarrassing! A very good thing.
I have to say that Charley would have had a field day with this whole Lyme disease thing. Oh, he’d be sympathetic alright, but he would have had a grand old time speculating on what I was up to that led to a tick bite on the butt. And that’s the really not so great part, because I did nothing out of the ordinary. So I have no clue what to do, or not to do, so it doesn’t happen again. Excuse me while I go take my pill…