Misc Liisa

Random musings

Archive for camp

Day 12- Must. Make. Ferry!

When I awoke to the sunrise, I realized that Tom was already awake (this is rare- I usually always am up first). He was looking at his phone. We quickly realized that the time on his phone and on other devices were different. The time had changed- we were so far east at this point we were in another time zone, which we hadn’t considered when planning for this trip. Fortunately, it was still very early and didn’t affect our ability to get to the ferry on time. And it would mean we’d have an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day when setting up camps- yay!

We hadn’t setup much for camp so that packing in would be easier. But while we were getting ready, we had several more curious Canadians stop by for tours of the Shadow. I think Tom was on to something when he said we should charge for showing people around. Or I should have some cards from the folks at Little Guy and be getting some commissions. “And inside, there is a queensize bed, and cabinets and a fan. The ventilation is quite good. Oh yes, it’s very comfortable. And the back opens up for more storage and a kitchen. Yes, we have power with the marine battery and an inverter. We keep an electric cooler in the back when we’re at camp and in the car when we are on the go. Yes, it’s very easy to pull. Just 800 lbs and you can move it by hand when you get to a site. Oh, setup is simple. Just get it into position, plug it in, set the chocks, open up the doors and the back and pull out the camp chairs and rugs.”

I found that if you use the steel storage bin on the front of the camper to put the stove on and use the camper to block the wind, you can get enough water to boil to make a little coffee. We were happy to have an untimed hot shower this morning. It was good for me, since I’ve been fighting a sinus infection for days and steam always helps to clear my nose. My throat was also sore, and feeling sick made me a little homesick for the first time on our trip. I just wanted to be home lying on the couch under a blanket warm and snug with my sinus mask and nothing to do. Instead, I had to deal with cranky husband who was worried about getting to the ferry, drive through town with a trailer, get to the other side and figure out how to navigate in Nova Scotia. I still wasn’t used to the km instead of miles and doing the math to figure out how far things were and how fast I was going.

We headed out at 10am and thought we had plenty of time to get to the ferry. But of course there was construction. And more construction. And we got lost. Again. Often the notations on the map don’t correspond exactly to the way exits work in reality. And though the camper is easy to haul, I can’t turn on a dime (a quarter maybe. a loonie, definitely), so we often get to intersections and Tom isn’t sure where we should go. Often I just wing it since I can’t hold up traffic for him to decide and sometimes it’s right and sometimes it’s wrong. I figure you just go with it and reroute if necessary. He hasn’t quite gotten used to being that flexible and he’s gotten so used to maps on the iPad that track where you are that he’s nearly forgotten how to just read a map.

We got to the ferry in plenty of time and got the rig loaded without a problem. We packed the dog in his little bag and headed up to the passenger decks. After wandering around a bit, we got in trouble for having the dog on the deck. Keep in mind, he’s a tiny dog, in a bag hanging on Tom’s arm. His little toes haven’t hit the floor. But they told us he either had to stay in the car or go into the kennels on the boat. I told them they shouldn’t advertise the boat as “dog friendly” if that is the case. Nonetheless, he went back to the car for a nap, which he didn’t mind.

It was pretty cool to see how they loaded the semis in a row in the middle of the boat, the campers in rows on either side, then cars and motorcycles. It was all neat and orderly and probably pretty well weight balanced. The car deck was wet and smelled of fish. Tom was worried that maybe they let water in and I thought maybe it was that the trucks were filled with fish being transported back and forth. I overheard a truck driver up in the lounge talking about how they lost 32,000 lbs. of perch onto Highway 9 recently and made every bear in Maine really happy. We had just driven that long stretch of Highway 9 the day before and I was glad to miss the perch and bears.

We settled into the TV lounge area and got some coffee- Starbucks! It’s the first one we’ve had in I don’t know how long. It was nice to sit in comfy chairs with free wifi and drink good coffee someone else made. The trip was nearly 3 hours and a bit boring. Just sea to see. Tom saw a couple of porpoises, but I was inside and missed them. We got there without mishaps and back in the car we were nearly first off the boat.

As soon as we were off the boat, we stopped at one of the handy travel centers they have in Canada. I was a little weirded out that for the best brochures you had to actually talk to a human being, but I got over it and the woman was very helpful. She gave me tips on things we should see in the areas of Nova Scotia we were visiting and about 3 inches of brochures and booklets.

We had almost no cash at this point and were in sore need of some Canadian currency. We found a bank in Digby and got some cash and then found lunch along the way.

We headed for our camp at Sherwood Forest in the valley of Annapolis. After checking in, we headed through the campground and were a little surprised to see that though the place was full of campers, there was almost no one there. We guessed it must have been a place that has mostly people who own trailers and come on weekends and since it was during the week, no one was around. But it was really strange to be almost alone in a camp full of rigs.

The showers here are a quarter for 5 minutes. I told Tom I thought we could splurge and have 10 minutes for 50 cents each! Tenzin was in the camper and decided there was something in my purse. For the last couple of days, we had been tucking something from lunch into napkins and into my purse and then taking them to him. He decided my purse smelled of lunch and that I was hiding something that he must find.

We spend a quiet(ish) evening planning the next couple of days of our trip and examining the many brochures. I say quiet(ish) because we quickly realized there was one other camper nearby. There was a tent and a bicycle and a couple of tarps and suddenly someone walked over and there was bountiful laughter and talking and coughing. An old man with a beard came out of the tent eventually and came over to see our camper. He told us he would keep it quiet to give us some peace and Tom said “no, that’s ok.” Famous last words. The guy cranked up blues music and played it all evening. It wasn’t bad, but I think Tom learned to say “Thanks. That would be great.” in the future.

There were a couple of other people who suddenly appeared from their campers at dusk. It was odd to me that people would show up without cars driving in. One stopped by to see the trailer and another just said hi as I walked the dog. I wondered whether maybe they were vampires. There were signs about karaoke and bingo and yet besides the blues guy, silence. In a forest overlooking a field of campers. And though it was Sherwood Forest, we never saw Maid Marian.

Pictures from today are here- http://bit.ly/9WPTSo

Day 8- Impromptu Lazy Day (for me)

We had expected rain on friday and woke to cloudy skies, but no real rain. As we headed off to the bathhouse to brush our teeth, we ran into Austin, who said that he’d decided to stay an extra night and was looking to bike the Park Road that day. He wanted to know if Tom wanted to come along. I urged Tom to go and looked forward to another day around camp.  Austin had to move camps before they could go and he had to wait for someone else to leave first, so Tom and I both tinkered around camp for a bit. He was excited to move to a cheaper campsite where he didn’t have to pay for the electric he really couldn’t use considering he only had a pup tent and a bike.

I  took the time to do a camp pedicure- well, I painted my toenails and put lotion on my feet. It felt pretty good after days of walking on rocky beaches and dirty paths in sandals. I also did more blog and photo work. It was becoming pretty clear that the problems I had with my camera card were related to  the card itself and not the card reader so much. My eye-fi card had cracks in the plastic and wouldn’t read on any reader or device I had. I finally got it to mount on my iPad and was able to get the pictures off of it and uploaded directly to Flickr. I had another SD card, but it was smaller and I knew I’d need to head back to Radio Shack in Bar Harbor and get a new card before we left MDI (Mount Desert Island).

I was amazed by how quiet things are at camp in the middle of the day. There is a flurry of activity at this campground in the morning. People are getting ready to head off for their bike/hike/kayak/explore adventure days and others are pulling up camps and shoving them back into packed cars. Each morning there was a surprise of different people leaving (oh, look, the hip campers are gone!). By midday, everyone was out and about and almost no one was at camp besides the workers straightening up sites prepping them for the fresh batch. By 7pm the place would be full and lively again, but it was nice to have this quiet time and dappled sunshine coming down through the trees to enjoy.

Tom texted me from the top of Cadillac Mountain where they had ridden. I wasn’t surprised he could send a text from there since it’s the one good spot of connectivity around here. But I was surprised to actually get the message. Being connected here is an effort and a surprise and not a given- which is nice. The churches here have signs that say things like “God has unlimited minutes” and

After Tom got back, he got cleaned up and we had some lunch. He said that Austin tells him that he doesn’t bother to bathe when he tours because it’s pointless- you just get a shower and 80 miles later are drenched in sweat again. I can’t see Tom doing that. He doesn’t mind getting stinky running or biking, but I pity the man who tries to keep him from showering afterward.

We decided to get in another short hike and headed over to a little path that went between Fernald Cove and another Cove where there is a cliff. It was a nice hike, even if Tenzin fussed a bit and had to be carried back. Tom lied and told me there was nothing at the end of the hike- that it was just about enjoying the journey. And then we came out at a nice little rocky beach with a sailboat and a really high cliff. Tom explained that he’d read that Man-o-War ships liked this cove because they could come into the deep cove and refill their water barrels from the water coming off the cliff without ever having to get off the boat.

We wanted Mexican food when we got done with the hike, but we didn’t want to drive back into Bar Harbor. So we decided to do the next best thing- we bought stuff to make nachos and we made them over the fire. We’re learning to be very creative about cooking our camp food and an aluminum pizza plate and the little grill over the fire go a long way.

Austin came back to hang out and talk around the fire that night. We talked about books and Austin told us about a book he was reading and one that he wanted to read. While he told us about it, I bought and downloaded the book on my iPad. He was really jealous that I already had a copy of a book that he’d have to look to find and probably wouldn’t have by the time he finished the book he was reading.

He said he had sat by the pool and read all afternoon.  He’s a lobbyist for renewable energy and Tom and I were surprised at the sort of “techno retro” attitude he had. His whole vacation was about leaving his email behind, but he also seemed to not have a lot of tech savvy beyond that. It was an interesting and different attitude for us to consider. Someone younger than us who wrote letters and read physical books and didn’t care about connectivity other than a cell phone to make a couple of calls.

There are many loons here at Somes Sound. You can hear them in the evening calling to each other at dusk and just after. There are also owls who call out in the night. It’s very peaceful.

Pics for today can be found here- http://bit.ly/dCh8Dn

Day 7- Wandering through Wonder Land

Ok, so I’m still running a few days behind on keeping the blog up to date. Here it is Saturday afternoon and I’m still writing about Thursday (and then it’s Tuesday and I still haven’t posted this!). But there is too much to do and see to always find the time. My priorities are: 1- Explore, 2- Relax, 3- Take Care of Everyone(thing) and 4- Blog. It also took a few days to settle things out with “internet difficulties” before we finally found a wireless network to buy into since the ATT connections are lousy here and so is connectivity with the Verizon mifi card we have. It may look like you have connections, but you don’t. At all. Anyway, here goes with some more of our adventures.

Tom wanted to get in a couple of rides on his bike while we are here are Acadia and I was welcoming a day to sit around camp and work on the blog and some reading in my hammock. He got up and around and after some oatmeal got out on the road headed over to the Park Road. It’s never quick for him to get out on a ride. He likes to tinker with the bike as much as ride the thing and since it had been packed in the car (he refuses to risk damage on his Lemond Poprad by having it carried on the car) he had to put the wheel back on and check things out. But he got off and gone pretty quickly since we had gotten up so early.

One of the things about camping is that you inevitably adjust your schedule somewhat. It’s hard to stay in bed too late with the light streaming in the camper windows in the morning. And after a long day of driving and running around and then cooking over one burner or the fire, it feels like it’s time to go to bed once it’s been pitch black for a couple of hours. So it’s off to bed early (for us any way)!

While Tom was away I puttered around camp. I got breakfast and a shower and walked the dog. I washed up the dishes and straightened up the car and camper. I worked on organizing my rocks and photographers. I uploaded pictures and wrote more for the blog. I lay in the hammock and read some of my book. And before I knew it, Tom was back and it was time to make some lunch.

After lunch, we drove to a spot near our camp to hike out to a place called “Wonder Land”. We figured this short hike would be a good foray for Tenzin and we took a bag along to carry him if he needed to be carried on the way back. Wonder Land is a point that has a very rocky beach and at low tide many tidepools in the bigger rocks.

As we got there, there was a group waiting for an ambulance as someone had been hurt out on the rocks. They had been able to send in an ATV to get the person and bring him back to the road.

It was a beautiful spot and there were many things to explore. We were overly cautious parents, making sure that Tenzin didn’t fall or catch a foot in one of the many cracks in the rocks. He tripped on a rock in the middle of the path on the way out and we were worried that he was starting to get around okay again after his injury earlier in the week.  We found many good rocks and only got a little lost on the trail on the way back. We stopped at a grocery on the way back to camp and stocked up.

When we got back to camp, Tom noticed someone at a camp near us with just a tent and a fully loaded touring bike. He suddenly disappeared and I had no idea where he had gone until about half an hour later when he came wandering back to our camp. He told me that he had met a guy who was on a bicycle trip riding up to Acadia and around for 5 or 6 days. He was fascinated by the idea of a trip like that and intrigued by how little you could carry and how you’d get by. I was fascinated to see that he had gone and started a conversation with a stranger. This is something my dad always does and Tom’s mom does, but Tom almost never approaches a stranger to start a conversation.

That evening we noticed the “King of the Swings” was back at the playground. He was taunting a little kid with a mohawk and then the mohawk kid came back with his hair greased up to be spiky. It didn’t scare the king. The mohawk kid’s parents have moved camps earlier that day from one along the main road to one across the road from us. This particular camp inspires camp moving and we watched several people do it over the course of the week. Some carry their tents. Some load the car and go back and forth in trips. It all depends on how much gear you have and how much you want to break down.

A tall man walked into our camp and it was Austin, the bicycle guy who Tom befriended. He came to hang out and talk and enjoy our fire. We sat around the fire for a while talking about his trip and what there is to see at Acadia. He hung out for a while and left to go to bed even earlier than we do. I guess riding around 60 miles a day is a little more strenuous than the meandering we do!

We used the grill we have for over the fire and cooked bbq chicken and fresh local corn. It was delicious! We were a little freaked to realize that some neighboring campers were killing the lobsters for their dinner by stabbing them on the rocks by the road. I know people here are pretty lobster crazy, but that definitely didn’t seem to be the right way to prepare it for cooking.

See pics of today here- http://bit.ly/aHz2WP