Monday, July 6, 2015

Get up to the Schoodic Peninsula soon! or you'll be sorry!

We had one of the best July 4th weekends ever!  How can you not when you're in a beautiful setting and the weather is about as perfect as it can get!!  I'd yet to make up to the "quiet" side of Acadia, The Schoodic Peninsula.  Although it is very similar in scenery to Mount Desert Island, its coast is far more secluded and quiet.  If you get a chance, go soon as the area is bound to explode once a national campground is opened next year.  

The only campground in the area seems to be Mountain View Campground which is located in Sullivan, Maine....just a few miles down the road from the National Park entrance.  Although most of the sites at the campground are small and too close to others, if you plan in advance, you can get one of the few beautiful sites right along the coast.  This was one of the views from our camp site:






And in the morning, this was the view that we woke up to!  Isn't it just beautiful!  That's Cadillac Mountain in the center.  Cadillac is located on Mount Desert Island, within Acadia National Park.  It's the highest point in Hancock County.  At night, we could see the bright headlights of cars descending the mountain.

Mike preparing breakfast....


At dusk.....

and quite a spectacular sunset!





Dare you to climb up and sit there!

We were in search of the trailhead to Schoodic Mountain which we never found, but we found this, the Schoodic Bog!  
An Osprey perched way up high, was keeping a watchful eye on us!


That's Schoodic Mountain to Mike's left, but where is the trailhead?!  We've heard that the views from the top are amazing, good luck getting there!  We walked further down
the Down East Sunrise Trail which is pictured here.  It's an 85-mile multi-use corridor which connects Ellsworth to Ayers Junction in eastern Maine.  We walked over to the base of the mountain and continued for a about another mile or so, but the trail to the top continued to elude us!  Very frustrating!!!!





We brought our bikes along on this trip and rode the popular loop road on the Peninsula.  It is a six-mile one way road that offers views of lighthouses, sea birds and forest-draped islands.  Along the way, we locked our bikes and hiked one of the four trails in the area, the trail that led up to Schoodic Head.  It was pretty amazing.


lots of photo opps!



The picture above and the one below were taken from the top of Schoodic Head....the one below was pretty far away, I like it, wonder who lives there!?



The roses were fragrant and in full bloom!



You can't beat this, can you?  The best part was that there were very few people around, and it was July 4th weekend!!!







Meanwhile, down in Winter Harbor...

and in Corea. it's as picturesque....what you expect to see along Maine's rocky coast...lots of boats and lobster traps



I just can't get enough of this picture, it's the same as above, cept in b&w....very serene, isn't it?



and this one is pretty as well....


 so, make sure to get up to this part of Acadia before too long....there are several b&bs up there if you're not up to camping!


Monday, June 8, 2015

I'd made plans earlier this summer to go camping with my husband, Emily & Josh, Eliza & Andrew at the Dolly Copp Campground in New Hampshire, and I was especially thrilled that Alejandro and Oscar would experience it with us as well.  Alejandro and Oscar are our two Homestay sons, the former is from Spain and is a senior in the local high school, and the latter is 15 and from Vietnam.  He is a Sophmore.  I'm hoping that it will be a mutually rewarding experience!

The weather forecast was so sketchy for the weekend, calling for intermittent rain and thunderstorms throughout the area we'd planned to be camping in, and therefore, at the last minute, we decided not to go to the reserved campsites, but rather to stay an hour south of that as the weather forecast was not quite as dreadful.  We ended up finding two sites at the Covered Bridge Campground which is one of four or five campgrounds off of the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire.  The sites were big and private and perfect!  What a bargain for $22 a night, and how lucky were we to simply be able to drive in and secure two sites for two nights!

The boys were going to share a tent.







Emily got each of the boys a t-shirt; it was her first time meeting her two Homestay brothers!


Eliza, Alejandro and I took a walk down the road from the campground to the covered bridge!


The history of the covered bridge.

Card games during the rainstorm


Roasting hotdogs and marshmallows..
jumping into the Swift River at the Big Eddy

Maneuvering our way from the Big Eddy to the Little Eddy in the Swift River



Although it's not deep, it can be tricky...the water moves swiftly and the rocks are very slippery




Mike and I hiked the Boulder Edge trail? which we could access right at the campground
Awesome views for the effort!








Awesome views for the effort!







Friday, September 12, 2014

L'ile D'Orleans

L''ile d'Orleans!

This island, cradled in the middle of the mighty St. Lawrence River, is designated as a historical district.  In fact, one of the reasons that I wanted to go was to find out which specific property that my ancestors (the Lachances) had originally settled on in  "New France" in the 1600's.  We camped on one of the two campgrounds on the island (make sure to go to the "right" one unless you want to see the "wild" side of the island!).  We brought our bikes with us and cycled from one town to another, stopping at the various agricultural sites and sampling the wares and farm-fresh products along our way!   It became clearly evident as to why the island is also known as the "Garden of Quebec. During the course of the week, we sampled and purchased several fine wines, cheeses, meats and bakery products, oh, ice cream & chocolate as well! 


From our campsite on the Island, we were able to see large cargo ships on the Saint Lawrence; we also lucked out as it was a full moon during our stay..



The campground is located in St. Famille, one of six towns on the island, and it just happened to be the orignal site where my ancestors had land (Pepin Lachance family).  I was able to walk a quarter of a mile or less from the campground into town each morning (this is it!)

The church above was adjacent to this Chocolate shop?  how perfect is this?!

and it's about a mile or so from this observation tower which was pretty cool.  After walking up 80 or so steps, you were treated to an awesome view of the surrounding fields, the river and the towns across the river; oh, and also, views of a ski resort (St. Anne?) and Saint Anne de Beaupre cathedral.






90% of the island is agricultural




The island has many vineyards, we went to several tastings.

This is Lucy at the little bike rental place on the island.  We had to go there twice during our short stay; my husband discovered that his bike had two broken spokes and the chain on my bike snapped one morning!


While we were waiting for our bikes to be repaired we went to the local beer pub and had some tasters as well as onion rings.

The pub was next door to this church ( think  this is in St. Francis) which is also next to a Registry where you can find out which families were the original settlers of the island; I was able to confirm that my mother's father's family had originally settled there.  Next time I will see if the Veilleuxs on my dad's side did.






If the land is unsuitable for crop farming, it is put to other uses....such as vineyards!

there were several places that offered fresh cooked corn




A lavendar garden, we'll have to visit that next time!

The bakeries were the best esp. this one in St. Jean...



Typical houses on the island:


typical houses on the island





This was our campsite....


Love these cypress? trees....

There were also lots of these small churches that individuals had built on their properties.  I'm not sure if they actually worshipped in them!


love these trees

this is that most excellent bakery in St. Jean....my bike chain had snapped and Mike had to go and retrieve the car....I waited at the bakery!












love these street lamps...









we had sangria at this vineyard where they produced wines and liquers with black currants....so yummy!


and this special cheese which you roast in a pan on the stove..



I bought a bottle of the wine and the liquor to make the sangria, I can't wait!







riding across the island was a treat...so pretty and far fewer cars than on the perimeter of the island


amazing moon followed by brilliant sunrise the following morning


























A view of St. Anne de Beaupre across the river....








I hope that you have enjoyed your visit to the island...we hope to return some day!