finding my way, go with the flow, Just do it, leap of faith, learning, life goes on, live and learn, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography

Details…

I’ve never taken a trip as long as the trip I’ve just returned from, so I’m not an expert at knowing if it’s always a let down to finally get home.  But it was. Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I limped home, what with the broken trailer jack and all.  And feeling dirty and smelly and dying to take a nice hot shower, and finding no hot water, that wasn’t fun.  The water wasn’t stone cold, but it sure wasn’t what I had in mind.  Then I went to my son’s house to pick up the mail that I had had forwarded to his house while I was gone, imagining bringing home a whole box of mail to sort through, and he had exactly FOUR pieces of mail for me.  In five months!  The post office had been returning all my mail as undeliverable.  There was no replacement credit card waiting for me (I never did find the one I cancelled but didn’t think I’d really lost it, just misplaced it).  There was no dividend check from Publix, just a letter wanting me to make my ‘new’ address official.  My primary care doctor had become a specialist while I was gone, so he couldn’t be my primary anymore, which was disappointing since I liked him a lot.  And I now needed to find a new doctor asap since I had just taken my last blood pressure pill.  Maybe that’s what made me so frustrated with all of this, no more BP meds.  I might have thought that the lesson I’d learn from all this would be to never go away again.  But no, my immediate reaction was to want to just run away… but then there is the issue of the broken trailer jack.

I woke up yesterday and started tackling the problems.  First I called my go-to plumber, Billy the Sunshine Plumber.  The first time I needed a plumber here in FL I called them because their name cracked me up.  They are absolutely great, which is why I called them the second time I needed a plumber, and now this is the third time and my uncle is now a believer.  Not only did they solve my problem, but they installed the kitchen faucet I’d bought before I left and then forgot about.  But better than that, they suggested I call UHaul for my trailer jack problem.  UHaul couldn’t help me but they told me to call Rentz LLC, and I bopped over there and they fixed it on the spot, the best $55 I ever spent.

I’m feeling better now, maybe it’s the nice hot shower.  Or the fact that I got a new doctor, and my credit card will be delivered soon, and Publix knows where I live.  Just another example of needing help and finding it, and finding out just how nice people can be.

'scene' along the way, birds, Camping, ducks, egrets, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Camping…

I’m still in Maine, but when I leave here on Tuesday it will feel like the beginning of my trip home, even if I’ll be heading west rather than south.  A stop in NH, and then on to PA to be with family.   Eventually I’ll have to head south.  I’m procrastinating, wishing to see fall in all it’s glory before I’m back in the land of palmetto bugs and palm trees.

So how was camping?  How did this 100% novice like her first camping adventure?  A lot actually.  I’ve lived in the camper for a total of 11 weeks over the summer, and it felt like home.  I loved it.  Slept like a baby, fell asleep on the couch watching Netflix on the computer a couple of times when it was raining.  But mostly I went out to see as much of the not-Florida scenery as I could.  It didn’t seem like the other campers did much but sit outside, so I guess I was an oddball being inside a lot, but on the computer dealing with photos.  Which is how I spend most of my time at home also.

I didn’t know what to expect from a campground, but with three under my belt I find that they have a lot in common.  The first was The Pastures in Orford, NH.  I probably had the most fun there, but I had family there and got to talk with a lot of people.  They have a pool and playground for kids, plus a great covered pavilion where they hosted breakfasts, pot luck dinners, and Friday night was movie night, complete with popcorn.  It’s on the  Connecticut river, so kayak and canoe rentals were available.  Newly upgraded bath facilities.  It’s a great place and the best bargain.

The second campground was Shore Hills, in Boothbay, Maine.  No playgrounds or  pool, but each campsite was wooded with a lot of privacy.  I was almost surprised to realize how steep the climb back to the campsite was after meandering down to the river to take sunset pictures.  There were lots of options to go out and take pictures, from the Coastal Botanical Gardens to Acadia National Park.  And when you get hungry the lobster roll from Red’s Eats in Wiscasset was to die for.  So good, but be prepared to wait in line.  Found some very nice people there also.

Which brings me to Wild Duck Campground in Scarborough, ME.  I took pictures of the wild ducks of Wild Duck Campground today.  They look pretty tame in the feature photo, all the ducks in a row.  But they all got pretty riled up a little while later.  Plus an egret catching his dinner.  This campground is adjacent to Scarborough Marsh, so egrets are plentiful.  The Audubon center is just down the road.  As is Old Orchard Beach, Portland, and Portsmouth, with lighthouses galore.  It seemed like every time I looked up a place to go it was 12 miles away.  Right next door from my point of view.  What a great spot for a photographer to spend a couple of weeks.

When I do head for home I can follow my trail of breadcrumbs, in the form of lost bath scrunches, face wash soap, underwear (I swear I don’t know where they go), and  lost glasses.  I briefly lost my phone, found my phone, and broke my phone.  Next year I’ll bring half as much stuff and hopefully keep myself better organized.  And there will be another snowbird adventure next year, but where will I go?  I’ll have a lot of time to plan…Egretgotchagotcha2pondscenewilderducks

Did I forget to mention Scout?  He’s a full time RVer.  His young mom and dad work online and have their itinerary set through March, traveling in an Airstream trailer.  I’m told they love it.  Scout sure seems like a happy camper…IMG_9952

'scene' along the way, adventure, bucket list, Camping, finding my way, fun, Just do it, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, travel

Portsmouth and it’s lighthouses…

Honestly?  I didn’t expect to like Portsmouth, NH quite as much as I did.  I entered from Kittery, ME, and as soon as I crossed the Memorial Bridge I saw brick sidewalks and a small parking lot from which to enjoy the harbor.  So of course I stopped for pictures.  And while it seemed at first to be more of a working harbor than something meant photo ops for people like me, there was more than one vantage point and I thought the views were lovely.Portsmouthharbor1Portsmouthharbor2Portsmouthscene2Portsmouthscene3

I had yet to find the Portsmouth Harbor Light however, and as I drove into New Castle to see it I was awed by the New England charm of the town.  The narrow streets along the water, lined with clapboard houses sitting close to the road, and painted in soft, pretty colors.  The access to the lighthouse was closed, and I knew that, but I thought I’d find another vantage point to see it, and I did.  And, of course, yet another lighthouse, Whaleback, off in the distance eough to make me struggle for a picture.  On such a lovely day it was frustrating to find that I had to turn the picture of that one into a black and white image, but it pretty much was black and white already.PHL4PortsmouthharborlightPortsmouthharborlight2distantlightfarlighthouseB&WPortsmouthpadlocks

I googled the significance of the locks on this chain link fence at the Portsmouth harbor and got an unexpected answer.  It’s been deemed the Portsmouth Love Wall, and it’s in Prescott Park.  I missed the initials written on the locks, initials of lovers who place the locks on the wall and then they may choose to throw the keys into the water.  Or they may place a lock on the wall to represent a lost loved one.  I see that this is a world wide trend, possibly beginning in Paris.  I wish I believed that placing a lock on the wall would keep a loved one with you, it would be nice.  And it just so happens that I have a padlock in the camper, just in case…

'scene' along the way, boats, Camping, fun, go with the flow, Just do it, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel, weather

Perkins Cove…

If I hadn’t dithered so long in the gift shop at Nubble I wouldn’t have even known that Perkins Cove existed, which would have been a shame.  I asked the clerk for suggestions of other places to go for photos, and her face just lit up when she mentioned Perkins Cove.

I knew I’d love it as soon as I drove into the little town.  Like Kennebunk and Ogunquit, the shops and restaurants were charming, sitting as they were at the docks with sailboats tied up, just waiting for someone to sail them away.  And lots of people about too, I half expected Jessica Fletcher to pop out of the little book store, and if you know who that is then you are old, like me!PerkinsflowersPerkinsfrom the bridgePerkinshousesPerkinscommingthrough

Do you see that the bridge is up?  The controls are on the bridge and a sign says that only adults can operate it. The sign called it a pedestrian bridge, so maybe it’s up all the time until someone wants to cross it.  Unlike the campground which is emptying out, this town was full of tourists, shopping in the pretty shops or having lunch on the porches of the waterfront restaurants.

But it was Marginal Way that had caught my attention.  A mile long ‘cliff walk’ overlooking the ocean.  I was so lucky to be there on such a perfect day.PerkinscovePerkinshousescenePerkinssailboat2PerkinssailboatscenePerkins2benchesPerkinslighthouseThis is Little Beach Light, it sits at about the halfway point in your walk.  I just loved it.

Perkinspaddleboarder2Perkinspaddleboarder

I spent a lot of time waiting for this paddle boarder to decide to ride a wave so I could try for some action shots.  Maybe he was shy because he kept letting them go by.  And maybe I’m not the only senior citizen who doesn’t seem to know enough to act their age.

Perkinscove2

My last shot of the visit, taken while sitting on a bench with my back to the parking lot, and eating a coffee kahlua brownie ice cream cone.  The sun felt wonderful, almost too warm and then you’d feel the breeze and it was perfect.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Camping, fun, Just do it, kayaking, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Scarborough Marsh…

I went to Scarborough Marsh a day ahead of the sunset canoe trip, both to see if there was space for me to sign up, and to decide if I really wanted to go.  I had a little experience in a kayak, and absolutely no experience in a canoe.  My hiker/backpacker friend says kayaks are ‘tippy’, but sitting up high as you do in a canoe feels a lot ‘tippier’ to me.  I enjoyed watching the woman in the feature photo as she blew up her inflatable kayak and proceeded to head out on the Dunstan River.  It’s great she says, and weighs in at 40 pounds.  She also said that her husband hates it, which is why she was paddling by herself.  You see how high the river was that morning?  Well, by Friday night it was low tide and our group of inexperienced canoeists were bumping into each other and getting stuck in the mud.  But no tipping!  And no alligators.  Oops, I just thought of a reason to not get an inflatable kayak.

Knowing this was an official Audubon facility had me expecting some big, fancy building, so this little place was a surprise.  But I quickly learned that these people were very professional and experienced, and with a lot of information on how essential the marsh is to the ecology of the area.  Maybe I’ll go back and rent a kayak.  They said if I put in there they’ll know to look for me if I fail to come back.  That seems to me to be a plus.  Taking pictures from the canoe was almost impossible, I thought any move on my part would tip us over.  But I did manage to get a couple that morning, and also on the trip… with the iPhone of course.  I wasn’t about to risk the ‘real’ camera.  I posted one picture on Facebook already, so if you’ve seen it I apologize.marshofficemarshegretmarshdinnermarshscene2marshscenemarshscene4marshcormorantmarshsunset28-30-19canoeDid you notice that the seagull is bringing home the bacon, er, crab?

'scene' along the way, bucket list, Camping, finding my way, healing, Just do it, life goes on, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Nubble, Boon, and Bill…

There was a perfect view of Nubble Light.  That’s it’s nick name, it’s actually the Cape Neddick Light.  But I became intrigued with the lighthouse I saw off in the distance, and whether I’d be able to get a decent photo of it way out there.  I got to talking cameras and lenses with some fellow observers, which got me to get my 150 to 600mm lens out.  The biggest, heaviest one, that requires the biggest, heaviest tripod.  But what’s often the case with that was that at 150 I was still too close for a good picture.  I believe the above feature photo was taken with that lens.

Here you have the full effect of the scene I found as I watched and wandered the site.Nubble1NubbleonemoreNubble2The rocks, the lighthouse on the hill, with workers doing repairs.  And painters, four by the time I left.Painting

Looking left…Nubblelookleft2NubblelookleftLooking right…NubblerightsideNubblebirdscloseAnd the distant Boon Island Light, demanding my attention…Boonisland2NubbleBoatandboon

It was a lovely day, which brought me out of the sadness I’d been feeling on that day, the 5th anniversary of losing my husband.  At the gift shop I enjoyed the banter of an artist talking with the clerks and patrons of the shop.  He admitted he was 90, and a local legend.  Bill Thomson, a former professor of New England History at Salem State College in MA, and author of 26 books.  Now retired he sells prints of his paintings, and he was there that day, and wrote the name of my choice on the boat.  I returned to the shop several times before I made my decision to buy a print.  I love that it will have a history to it when I look at it, and in some way a history that includes Charley.9-3-19