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Friday, August 31, 2018

I'm sorry........

7:04 am - Friday - August 31st - Southwest Harbor, ME - 57º F, 83% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the north.......sunny skies with a wonderful forecast high for today of 68º F.  It got down to 64º F in the bedroom last night.   Was wonderful to be under the covers once again.  The prior two nights it was in the 80's in the bedroom all night.....what a difference!

Over the past few weeks I had been puzzled at the lack of comments on my blog posts, especially after my posts about leaving SDC.  Posts like that usually elicit a few responses from my readers.  Then, yesterday, I got a message from 'Blogger' (Google platform I use to publish my blog each day) asking if I wished to continue moderating the comments which come into my blog.  Usually if someone leaves a comment I get an automated e-mail from Blogger very quickly advising me I have a comment to moderate, and it gives me the comment.  Through the e-mail I can decide to 'publish' that comment, 'delete' that comment, or report that comment as 'spam'.  When I got that e-mail from 'Blogger' I got suspicious, and went to the comment portion of the utilities menu finding I had over 30 unmoderated comments!  I went through them and reported about 5 as spam, and then published the rest immediately.  Please accept my apologies for not responding to your comments on a more timely basis, especially those who left time sensitive comments.  I just assumed 'Blogger' would tell me if I had any comments to moderate as it has done for years.  Didn't know I had to 're-up' to continue receiving the notifications.  I won't make that mistake again!  I am now trying to go through all the comments which have been published and reply to them as soon as possible.  If you left a comment, and were looking for an answer please go back and see my responses.

So, I write about that to say this.....there were several comments which gave me ideas for future posts.  One comment asked about the late night phone call I got back on July 22nd, and what the problem was.  So here goes......as I briefly mentioned in my July 23rd post, the ranger phone rang about 11:30 pm.....it was a call from a woman staying in cabin # 304.  She advised she thought they were getting bit by 'bed bugs'.....wait, what?  It took a while for the fog to recede from my brain, so I heard myself saying "Bitten by what?", and she repeated that she and her family were getting bed bug bites.  I advised her I would be over in a few minutes, hung up, and got dressed.  

All the while I'm thinking how can this be?  We had a customer in that cabin for the past 2 weeks, and they reported nothing of the sort.  This was the second night the current customers had been in cabin, and they had not complained the first night about anything of the sort.  As I drove the golf cart over to their cabin I'm wondering what on earth I can do at, now, almost midnight.  

I arrive to find the wife outside waiting for me.  She takes me inside to look at the sheets on one of the beds, and sure enough there appear to be some sort of almost microscopic bugs crawling around.....at least that is what it looks like....I'm not sure if I am just seeing what she tells me is there, or if I am really seeing bugs.  Their two young children are quite distraught, and the son is asking in a quite plaintive tone "Why is some random stranger in our cabin?"......over the next few minutes he gets more distraught, bordering on hysterical.  I, of course, am feeling quite useless, and decide to walk back outside and call the owners, who live about 5 miles distant.  The wife answers the phone and I relate to her what is happening.  She listens, and then says she will call back in a few minutes.  She is going to call local hotels to see if she can find them a room for the night, so we can deal with this in the light of day.

She calls back in about 10 minutes saying she could only find a room in Ellsworth....everything locally was booked.  I suggested I would have the wife call her back and get the information, which I do.  I then went back to the golf cart to sit and wait for the verdict.  After a few minutes the lady from cabin # 304 comes over to me to advise they will be driving into Ellsworth for the night.  They ask for some large trash bags so put their linens from the beds in to isolate them from the rest of their possessions.  I run over to the bathroom shed to retrieve a few and am back in minutes.  I hand her the bags, bid her adieu, and then head home.  By the time I get home it is going on 1 am.  I finally drop off to sleep around 1:30 am.

So, was it bed bugs, or where they imagining it?  The very next morning the owners had a local pest control guy come to investigate the cabin.  Within minutes he had determined they were not bed bugs, but 'bird mites'.......he found a bird's nest under the eves of the cabin, and came to the seemingly correct conclusion that the bird mites had migrated indoors over the past few days and were the cause of the bug bites.   The bird's nest was removed, and then the cabin was thoroughly cleaned and fumigated within a couple of hours.  The customers returned that afternoon and finished their stay without incident.  

So, there you have it.  On the bright side, it was not bed bugs, which would have made for a theoretically embarrassing TripAdvisor review by the customer.  It was bird mites, and was totally the fault of the owners for not removing the bird's nest sooner.  I did not write about it sooner as I could not figure out how to relate what had happened without causing the owners extreme embarrassment, so I chose not to write about it again.  Now that we are no longer there, and due to the circumstances of our departure I really don't care if they are embarrassed, or not anymore.  Stuff happens, and there is no need to make a mountain out of a molehill, which is their proclivity. 

Thursday was the final day of the local heatwave, or so we thought.  As it turned out it began to rain about 9:30 am quite hard for almost an hour.  That unexpected rain completely broke the heatwave, and the rest of the day was delightfully cool.  We decided to drive into Ellsworth to visit a few local shoe stores, and outfitters.  TLE needs a new pair of work shoes for our upcoming stint at Amazon.  We visited two mom and pop shoe stores, then the local L.L. Bean store, as well as Remy's (I wrote about this outlet store previously), but TLE did not find anything which satisfied her requirements.  On our way back out of town we stopped at the local liquor store to see if they had anymore of the Leinenkugel Grapefruit Shandy we had purchased there a couple of weeks prior.  As it turned out they had two six packs left, so we quickly grabbed them, paid for them and headed back to the car.  I have been a fan of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy for years, but rarely ever find their Grapefruit Shandy.  TLE likes it as well, so whenever I see it I buy it.  If you like a light, refreshing summer beer, this is the one for you!

Leinenkugel's Grapefruit Shandy.....oh my!

We were home just before 4 pm.....we opened all the windows of the Newell and enjoyed the cool breezes wafting in the windows the rest of the afternoon.  For dinner TLE had been cooking a chicken dish in her crock pot all day (she wrote about this a few days ago).  About 4 pm she took it out of the crock pot to finish it in the oven.  I think it is called Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken.....OMG!  Bacon was involved so you can imagine how good it was!  She got the recipe off a website called "Dinner, then dessert".

We watched a recorded two hour episode of 'Masterchef', and were in bed a little after 10 pm......we have friends coming into town Friday, and they will be here until September 5th, so I am quite sure I will have plenty to write about over the next few days!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Forty-Seven.....

6:53 am - Thursday - August 30th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 68º F, 92% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the north.....partly cloudy with a forecast high of 75º F today.

If you read Wednesday's blog post you noted that in the opening paragraph I referred to August 29th as our 47th wedding anniversary.  Over the first 37 years we rarely focused a lot of attention on anniversaries, birthdays, or even Valentine's Day.  Instead we attempted to make every day of our lives together important.  We did go out for dinner once every two, or three years, but there was nothing regular.  Our goal each day was to wake up thinking of what we might do to make the other's life better.  However, about 10 years ago we began to celebrate our wedding anniversary each and every year, usually by going to a really expensive, high end restaurant, we take time out during that special day to spend time thinking and talking about our life together, and sharing memories that stand out to each of us.  It has been a good life together, and neither of us can imagine our lives without the other.

We started out our anniversary day with a drive over to the picnic area at Seawall.  There is no sand beach there, but there is shade, and numerous picnic tables.  If you get there early enough you can snag a picnic table, but we brought our beach chairs just in case.  At Seawall you have a lovely view of the entrance to Southwest Harbor, and can see the lobster boats moving in and out of the harbor.....





.....we arrived just after 10 am, snagged a picnic table (although we chose to sit in our individual beach chairs) and spent the next few hours reading and enjoying the cool ocean breezes coming off the harbor.  It was the perfect place to escape the continuing 'heatwave'.  

We were back home by 1 pm enjoying the A/C.  It only got into the high 70's on Wednesday, but the humidity was still high.  We had a 6 pm reservation at Red Sky in downtown Southwest Harbor for our anniversary dinner.  When we first arrived in Southwest Harbor we asked our co-workers for a recommendation for our anniversary dinner, and they, to a person, recommended Red Sky for the special occasion, so we filed that in the back of our collective mind.

We decided to arrive at the restaurant about 30 minutes prior to our reservation so we could have a drink at their bar before moving to our table.   TLE ordered a glass Prosecco for her drink, and I ordered a couple of shots of Laphroaig 10 year old single malt Scotch on the rocks.......


......we both had looked at the menu online earlier in the day, and pretty much knew what we were going to order.  To start I ordered their Beech Hill Mixed Greens salad, and TLE their Gazpacho.....


....we always order an expensive (for us) bottle of wine for our anniversary dinner, and since we are now into Malbecs we ordered their 2014 Catena Malbec (Argentina)....it was well worth the cost!


For our entrees I ordered their Bavette Steak (grilled with a mustard crust and served with a blue cheese butter over red wine caramelized onions) and TLE their Pan Roasted Breast of Duck (with a port demi glace  and pear and blackberry sauce).  The food was worth every penny, the service was second to none, and the ambiance was just perfect!  



We were on our way home by 7:30 after 2 wonderful hours spent in this wonderful, local restaurant.  I cannot imagine a better experience!  And that was our 47th wedding anniversary day.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

'Socket' to me......

7:05 am - Wednesday - August 29th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 70º F, 85% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the west.  I highlight the date in red as it has significance.  On this date, 47 years ago, The Lovely Elaine said "I do" in answer to the question put forth by the minister presiding at our wedding; "Do you take this man?".  I first met TLE in January of 1968 in Pasadena, CA, and have been captivated by her ever since.

August 29, 1971

It never occurred to me on that day that I would ever be without her at my side for the rest of my life. Exactly three hundred and sixty-seven days later our first child, Christopher, would be born, meaning he will be 46 years old two days from today. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was 46.....okay, enough reminiscing for now!

Thank goodness Tuesday only got to 78º F......seven degrees is seven degrees, and there is something psychologically pleasing about it being in the 70's, and not the 80's.  The humidity on Monday was only 52%, which mitigated to some degree the temperature.  Even though it only got to 78º on Tuesday, the humidity was about 20 percentage points higher making it 'feel' like it was in the high 80's.

When it gets that warm I really don't feel like doing much except, maybe, reorganzing my metric and SAE  (Society of Automotive Engineers....referring to sockets measured in inches, not in metric units, or millimeters) sockets (used with socket wrenches), torque drivers, Phillips and flathead drivers, etc.  I have to stop here and comment on the term 'SAE'.....I have used that term forever, but never knew what it meant, or for what the letters stood.  After almost 69 years I finally looked it up.  Here is the definition of SAE: 

"SAE stands for the Society of Automotive Engineers and refers in this case to tools whose size is marked and aligned with fractions of an inch, eg. 3/8". This is as opposed to metric tools which are measured in millimeters."

I knew that is what it referred to, but never took the time to find out what it actually meant.  At any rate, I have acquired a lot of metric and SAE sockets over the years and they are scattered all over the trailer in various containers, which take up precious space, as well as make it hard to find that for which I am looking.  I decided I needed to consolidate them to make sure I have all the sizes I need, keep the ones in the best shape, and get rid of the rest, or at least store them in a way that doesn't take up as much space......

 These are the ones I use on a regular basis

 Backups

 Extras

......I took my time, and after a couple of hours I had winnowed the field down to a manageable number.  TLE provided a couple of extra food containers for the 'Backups' and 'XTRAS'.  These two containers take up about one third the space the other more formal, factory issued containers occupied.

By the time I finished is was 11:30 am, and time to turn on the A/C.  It was more to dry out the inside air, than to cool it, so we set the thermostat on a setting that caused the A/C to cycle on and off frequently.....just enough to keep the air dry, and slightly cooler.

We both spent most of the afternoon reading, but eventually ventured out around 4 pm to make a quick shopping run to the local Southwest Food Mart to pick up a few things, including a very nice ahi steak for me to grill later around 6 pm.  The ahi steak ended up being my best effort ever.  I left it on the Sea-B-Que for exactly 8 minutes and it came out just rare enough in the middle to be deliciously perfect!  So perfect, that I am still thinking about it as I write.

We watched a couple of recorded TV episodes ('Elementary' and 'So You Think You Can Dance') and then 'Deadliest Catch' when it was aired at 9 pm (6 pm Pacific Coast Time) and were in bed a little after 10 pm.  It was still 82º F in the bedroom, so sleeping on top the covers was in order.  The temp finally 'plunged' to 78º F around 3 am.....it's going to be a warm anniversary day!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A pause in home improvement......

8:12 am - Tuesday - August 28th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 68º F, 87% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the south by southwest......partly cloudy with a forecast high for today of 74º F.

We knew from the get go that Monday was going to be a warm one, and it delivered big time.....


 It got up to 85º F (↑), but felt like 88º F (↓)

.....we were expecting something in the high 70's, but it got to the mid 80's before it began to cool down once again.  We are so glad we were not working anywhere Monday!  We sat out side at the table reading until almost 2 pm before we were chased inside by the rising temperatures.  We turned on the A/C and it remained 'ON' until almost 7 pm.  

At 3 pm we turned on the TV to watch an English Premier Soccer match between Manchester United F.C. and Tottenham Hot Spurs.  I don't know how many of you followed the World Cup this year, but many of the English players came from Totteham, including one of our favorite players, Harry Kane.  The match remained tied into the second half, but then Tottenham scored two goals in as many minutes around the 51st minute, and added a third for good measure at about the 84th minute.  It was probably the best soccer match we watched in the past week.

Due to the heat I deferred any additional home improvement tasks until this mini heatwave has finished venting its spleen.   I did, however, assist Tony in mowing his lawn.  Since I have amazing, almost magical string trimming skills gained this summer at SDC I offered to do all the string trimming for him so he could just concentrate on mowing....he graciously accepted my offer.  Fortunately I got to the string trimming before it really got warm, and that was my physical activity for the day.  I hope to get back to my home improvement projects by Thursday, or Friday when it cools down once again.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Home Improvement - Part 3

7:12 am - Monday - August 27th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 65º F, 89% humidity, wind 4 mph out of the west by northwest.....sunny skies today with a forecast high of 78º F.


When I left off cleaning and waxing the Newell I had reached the middle of the right rear wheel well.  So far I had spent parts of two days getting that far.  In the morning the rear of the coach is mostly in the shade so I got out my step ladder (for the higher parts) and got busy.  My goal was to get around the rear of the coach to the middle of the left rear wheel well.......


Right rear

 Rear

 Left rear

......and after around two hours of toil I reached my goal.  Just have to get to the left front corner and then do the roof and I am done!  Looking good so far!

By the time I finished it was just after 11 am, and it was getting warm.....lol....all the way up to 72º F!  Time to get out of the sun and relax.  I spent the rest of the morning watching English Premier Soccer, and the afternoon watching the latest PGA tournament.  There were, of course, a couple of naps interspersed throughout the afternoon. 

So, that is the long and the short of our Sunday.  I've got a few more home improvement projects to complete after I finish cleaning and waxing the coach, plus a few friends dropping into the Bar Harbor area for a few days, so the next few weeks prior to our departure will be busy.

Thanks for stopping by!

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From the desk of TLE........

It has been quite a while, in fact a few years, since TLE contributed a blog post, but the other night she became inspired and delivered to me the following post for your reading pleasure! Enjoy!

I haven’t written about my thoughts on living in an RV on Clarke’s blog for awhile, but would like to take some to time today.  Living in a small space requires you to look at how you do everything and what you need to make life work for you in a small space.  I have mentioned in other blogs several things that make my life better in this small space.
My Splendide washer dryer combo: Clarke has given you info on this but I love being able to do laundry as needed without leaving the coach.  Especially when we are working.


My induction burner: I don’t have to open the lid to my stove for all three burners and take away precious counter space.  I have learned to make even two pot meals with the one burner - stir fry means you cook the noodles then stir fry everything else adding the noodles at the end to heat through!  Induction burners cook like you are cooking on gas. Just be sure to get good pans.

Crock-Pots: I have gone through several crock pots over the years. Buying, giving away, buying again until I now have one I like.

This one is small and I can keep it on my small counter with fruit in it and still open my glass cupboard door.  Most of the other ones were too big or too tall and I didn’t know where to store it. Plus the insert can be used in my oven.
Toaster oven: I have never been a big microwave person so after we blew the convection microwave in our first year on the road (bad electrical outlet) I realized I wanted a toaster convection oven again.  I know how to reheat food without a microwave. Yes they are faster but can that microwave make really yummy cheese toast! It allows me to not have to find space for a toaster.


I would rather find space for my whirleypop stovetop popcorn maker. Better than microwave!

The Whirly Pop
Stovetop grill:  Many times the weather does not allows us to grill outside.  We were at the RV show in Quartzite, AZ in January of 2016, and saw this stovetop grill being demonstrated.

Since I have a gas stove this was perfect.  We also bought the Coleman stove to use with it outside and have used it at a potluck when I wanted to keep a dish hot and ready.  


Blenders: My latest acquisition is a MRQ immersion blender. I spent a few months investigating immersion blenders.  I read all the reviews and chose this one for a couple reasons.  It had good reviews and I was also able to get the food processor, chopper and whisk along with the beaker.  I have now used all of the attachments and am happy with how this performs.

The blender made a great yoghurt and fruit shake - very well blended.  I have also blended soups, especially my famous vichyssoise to perfection.  It even allows me to make blender hollandaise.
I have shredded veggies and cheese.  Sliced veggies and chopped tomatoes etc in the food processed.  I chopped jalapeños for salsa in the chopper and whipped cream with the whip!  
When I first decided what I could and could not take with me in the coach I had felt that I had to give up some of the kitchen equipment that made life easier.  Now I have found several items that are multi-functional and work well for me in a small space.
Counter space is a premium and I can cover one or both of the sinks if need be but my old wood chopping board comes on handy many times.  It covers one and a half sides of my sinks leaving me with room to run the faucet but also gives a a large surface to chop or roll out dough on.  Thankfully I don’t cook for 7 people anymore!!!
I love living in a small space and have really appreciated learning to live “small” and find the items to make life seem “large” at the same time.  Giving up some conveniences doesn’t mean I give up comfort. I have just learned to adapt to what is important to make us comfortable.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Home Improvement - Part 2

7:58 am - Sunday - August 26th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 64º F, 87% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the south......partly cloudy skies with a forecast high today of 68º F.

We installed our current faux wood vinyl flooring back in October of 2013....wait, what?  Has it been 5 years? Hmmmm......when I sat down this morning to write today's missive I wasn't thinking it had been that long.  Considering the fact that we live in our coach full time it has worn pretty well.  There were a couple of issues with some of the 'planks' in the bedroom area losing their adhesive and coming loose on one end, another 'plank' that was missing a corner, and the one in the kitchen on which the 'wood' had worn off in a spot about the size of a dime.  When we finished installing the original flooring we kept one box of flooring in case we needed to make repairs, because it is not 'if', but 'when' repairs will be needed.  Saturday was the second time I have accessed the contents of that box to repair damaged planks.  At the beginning of Saturday we were down to 4 full length planks, and 4 smaller pieces.  

I figured I could turn the one plank around which had the missing corner, and hide that blemish under the 1/4 round trim at the foot of the bed.  The loose planks I could pull up, and reapply Scotch brand spray adhesive to their backs, as well as on the underlayment, then reinstall them.  There were, however, two other planks needing complete replacement (one in the bedroom, and one in the kitchen)......


 The new plank ready for installation, and the area where I am reinstalling the planks is taped to prevent over spray

 The other planks reinstalled, and two more almost ready


 Everything in the bedroom reinstalled

The new plank in the kitchen is installed

.....while I was working on the flooring project, TLE went into town to buy some groceries since I was occupying about two thirds of the coach fixing flooring.  In all it took me about 2 hours, maybe more.....I kind of lost track of time.  All I know is that I could hear TLE pull into the yard as I was installing the last new plank in the kitchen. 

I get a lot of satisfaction from fixing things around our tiny home, and from the fact that I usually have on hand what I need to effect those repairs without having to run to Home Depot, or Lowe's three times.  We are not always near one of those box stores, so it is imperative that I think ahead.  I can probably make repairs to the floor one more time with the two remaining planks, and 4 partial planks, but it will be time, probably after our Alaska trip, to redo all of it.  Lowe's no longer stocks our flooring, so it will be time to pick out something new at that time.

By the time we had lunch it was time to find a seat and watch some golf, and that is what I did the rest of the afternoon.....TLE read, watching occasionally.  Tiger, if you were wondering, is about 13 strokes back of the leaders.  He has played pretty well the first three days, but just isn't getting his putts to drop.

About 5:30 pm I lit the Sea-B-Que to grill a single filet mignon for our dinner.  We bought a couple of them a few days ago, but they are pretty good sized ones, so we are splitting one betwixt the two of us.  TLE added some sauteed potatoes, mushrooms and onions, and some asparagus with hollandaise sauce.......triple yum!  To chase these delicacies we poured a 2015 Coppola Malbec.......I have to say, I have had Malbec maybe once before, but now I am totally intrigued.  Our good friends Steven and Linda like Malbec.....I'll have to search out some more in the near future.


We've got a few more home improvement projects to complete in the next few weeks before we haul anchor and spend 5 weeks seeing a few more states we have yet to visit.  Oh, by the way, TLE has written a blog post which I will be posting to the blog in the next few days.  She does not contribute often, but when she does it is usually a pretty good read.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

A little home improvement - Part 1

7:41 am - Saturday - August 25th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 60º F, 99% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the south by southwest.....partly cloudy with a forecast high of 70º F.

After our somewhat harrowing rock climbing expedition on Thursday we opted for a 'stay at home day' Friday.  There are always things requiring attention when you live in a home with wheels; much the same as a sticks and bricks home.  

One thing which had caught my attention with our recent move from SDC to Tony's property was a small hole, or worn spot in the fabric (Sunbrella) of our patio awning ( by Zip Dee) along the track that the little wheel affixed to the left top corner of our entry door has made over the years......


 The little wheel protects the awning fabric from being torn by the sharp corner of the entry door

The wheel track left by the little wheel after 36 years of doing its job

......it was inevitable that at some point the fabric would be breached by the thousands of passes the wheel has made over the same spot over 36 years of opening and closing the door.  I failed to take a picture of the actual spot where the Sunbrella fabric wore through, but did get pictures of the repair.  Frankly, I am impressed with how durable the Sunbrella is.


A number of years ago I had another small tear in the Sunbrella fabric and had contacted ZipDee about how to repair that.  They sent me, free of charge, several fabric swatches which matched what we have, which is called 'Hemlock Tweed Fancy, which is still made by Sunbrella.......they told me to just apply a good outdoor silicone caulk to the fabric and then apply the swatch over the tear.  Since Sunbrella is essentially made from silicone the silicone caulk forms a perfect bond.  I followed their instructions and it worked.  I still have several swatches of that fabric so pulled them out to cover the worn spot.......



.....here you can see the fabric swatch applied to the worn area.....the pattern is not an exact match, but it passes the 5 foot rule......hard to see the difference from 5 feet away.

Once the repair was done I turned my attention to continuing to clean and polish the passenger side of the coach.  As you will recall I cleaned the front of the coach a week, or two ago.  I try to avoid doing the whole coach at one time as it wears me out.  Doing a section at a time is much more enjoyable.  In addition to cleaning the passenger side back to the right rear wheel well, I got on a step ladder to clean the area just under the awning......it hadn't been cleaned in about a year, and was quite filthy......

 The area where the awning attaches to the roof was quite dirty....this is the 'after' picture

 Making 'her' look pretty again

.....everything came out quite nicely.....I even took time to apply a little AmorAll to the black wheel covers.

I also spent some time in the trailer going through the tool bag in which I keep my larger, heavier tools.  I don't use them often, but it's always good to sort through them periodically to see what I have.  Over time other none tool stuff seems to find its way into this bag, and I found and removed a number of 'intruders', plus rediscovered a few tools I forgot I had.

While I toiled outside TLE vacuumed the interior, plus spent over a hour defrosting the Dometic absorption fridge.......frost tends to accumulate more rapidly in this more humid climate.  I think this is at least the second time she had gone through the defrosting regime since we arrived in Southwest Harbor.  In the dryer southwest climes where we spend much of our time we can go 6 months between defrosts.

For our evening entertainment we began watching the mini-series entitled 'Pacific' released in 2010; produced by DreamWorks, HBO and Play Tone.  It is a 10 part series of which we watched the first three episodes.  It is about the Pacific Theater during World War II.  IMDB gives it an 8.3 stars of out a possible 10.....we would agree.  So far we are quite impressed with the historical accuracy, acting, and cinematography.  We are watching it courtesy of Amazon PrimeVideo on our smart TV.....Tony's WiFi is amazing!

Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, August 24, 2018

On the bubble.....

6:38 am - Friday - August 24th - Southwest Harbor, ME - 56º F, 91% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the west......sunny with a forecast high today of 73º F.

It had been two days since we last took a hike, and we were anxious to get out and put some more miles on our odometers so we headed to Jordan Pond about 9:20 am to see if we could snag a parking spot and knock out two trails in one trip.....the Jordan Pond Loop, and the South Bubble/Bubble Rock trails.  There are three trails you can take to reach Bubble Rock.  The most popular, because it is the easiest, is the trail beginning in a parking lot off Route 6....it is very difficult to get a parking spot there unless you arrive before 8 am.  The second and third trails branch off the Jordan Pond Loop trail.  Little did we know at the beginning of the day we would be choosing the most difficult of the three.......



......we reached the Jordan Pond parking lot about 9:40 am and were able to snag one of about 10 remaining parking spots....within 20 minutes they would be all gone, and then the waiting game would begin for those arriving after 10 am.  Twice we have arrived before 10 am and gotten a spot easily.  After putting on our Camelbaks we walked a short distance down to what they call the 'boat ramp'.....it is just a place where people put in kayaks, and canoes.....

Explain to me how this is a 'pond'....

......the skies had been relatively cloudy when we left home, but they began to clear as started our trek.  By the end of our hike, 2.5 hours later, there would be virtually no clouds left......


.....the trail circumnavigating Jordan Pond is reputed be 3.1 miles in length and is pretty much a flat walk all around the lake......I really cannot bring myself to call it a pond.  The word 'pond' just conjures up a completely different image in my mind.  Our plan was to pick up the trail to South Bubble, and the famous 'Bubble Rock', about a mile, or so into the Jordan Pond Loop trail.....'Bubble Rock' is technically a 'peculiarly placed glacial erratic', or in layman's terms, just a big rock which appears to be on the verge of falling over the cliff....more on that later......


.....after about 1.3 miles of very easy hiking we came to the fork in the trail where we picked up the .4 mile trail up to Bubble Summit and Bubble Rock.  It began as a very steep, rocky ascent.....nothing new here, right?  Eventually we came to a point where we could see Jordan Pond, and then the fun really began......



......I wish I had taken pictures of the 25 yard section we had to literally climb, hand over hand, to reach the summit, but I was scared spitless....the last thing on my mind was freeing up either of my hands to take a picture.  It took us literally 25 minutes to go that last 25 yards.  Several times we were stymied about how to get to the next level, but finally figured it out.  There was one point where I thought we might have to turn back, but the thought of having to descend what we just had climbed scared me more than continuing the ascent.  Eventually TLE and I safely made it to the top of the precipice where we sat down to regain our composure....it was then I took the picture just below......


......that granite ledge you see in the foreground hides a 75-100 foot wall which you must scale quite carefully to avoid becoming a statistic.....I could not bring myself to walk back to the edge and take a picture of what it looked like......


....within 5 minutes we were smiling again, and so very grateful we did not have to descend the same trail to get back to the Jordan Pond trail.......


......in the picture above you ca see people 'trying' to push the famous Bubble Rock over the edge.....of course it cannot be done, but everyone, but us, seemed compelled to give it a try......




......eventually we reached the South Bubble summit which sits at 763' above sea level at which time we began the much gentler descent  back to the Jordan Pond trail....


......once we hit the Jordan Pond trail it was easy walking again, and we quickly finished the circumnavigation of the lake.......


  Looking south toward Jordan Pond House


.....the last half mile of the trail was upon this boardwalk which kept us off the ground to protect the native flora and fauna.......


......we arrived back at the car around 12:30 pm having covered just 4 miles.......


......in spite of the slow, hair raising climb to South Bubble, we averaged over 2 mph covering the aforementioned 4 miles in one hour and forty-two minutes of 'moving' time, gained 546' in elevation, and burned 725 caloric units in the process.


Well, after that exhilarating hike what more perfect way to celebrate our still being alive than to stop off at the Asticou Inn for some popovers and coffee......




.....by the way, their coffee is amazing, and I'm sure, magical.  We talked like two magpies for about an hour before paying our check and heading for home.  On the way we stopped at the Food Mart to pick up some fixin's for some of TLE's famous salsa, as well as more fixin's for some good old fashioned Cadillac Margaritas......and that my friends was our dinner....chips, salsa and Cadillac Margaritas.....isn't it great being an adult?

Thanks for stopping by!


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