Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Through Ontario to Michigan

My internet connection is iffy here, but will try to post anyway. Tuesday I got up early, (well early for me) and was on the bridge connecting Niagara Falls with Canada by 8:00. The roads were good all the way and I did not encounter any construction. They must do it at night. I made it across in just under 4 hours until I came to a crawl at the Blue Water Bridge. The left lane is for trucks only, the middle for those who have an easy pass and the right side for all the rest of us.

The border is just on the other side and traffic was backed up on the entire bridge. Stop and Go. The bridge is magnificent but not for people who are afraid of heights. It is 1 1/2 miles long and 152 feet at the top. About 15 stories till you hit the water.

CUSTOMS AT THE MICHIGAN BORDER

I stopped at the place that was going to fix my jacks to make sure they had the parts for the Wed. appointment. They did, but told me it is an all day job. I decided to get a pull through for the first night so I could keep the car hitched. It worked out well and I was at Blue Gryphon before 8 the next morning. Good thing for me that it was a beautiful day as most places will not let you bring a dog inside. Let me tell you it is a long day. We stopped at every park we found and drove around to see the area. I also went back to Thousand Trails and put dibs on the site I wanted. I left a chair and my cooler to make sure it was still available to me when I picked up the rig at 5pm.

I went to the Thomas A Edison River Walk. They have a nice boardwalk along the St. Clair River where you can watch the big boats go by. There were a group of kids swimming in the river and having a great time.
RIVER WALKS IN PORT HURON
The park is kept up really well with lots of trees, park benches, flowers and green grass. You can see the Blue Water Bridge from there.

HURON LIGHT SHIP MUSEUM

Light ships were like floating lighthouses which were anchored in places that were too deep, expensive or impractical to build a lighthouse. The Huron was the last light ship to retire from the Great Lakes and is now a museum. I was there too early to go inside. They did not open until 11a.m. and I did not think they would let me bring Maggie inside any way.
Until next time........................

Monday, July 26, 2010

Niagara Falls video

Now that I know I can post a video, this is of the Horseshoe Falls
video

The roar of the falls is awesome. You can't feel the mist, but let me tell you it was there. We also saw a sign that said to beware of freezing mist. video

Niagara on the Lake, Canada

WELCOME TO NIAGARA ON THE LAKE
This has got to be the most beautiful flower I have ever seen.


If this little town is not called the town of flowers, it should be. We had a wonderful day, clear and not too hot. They had quaint little shops, beautiful parks, biking/walking trails, yummy bakeries, fudge and ice cream shops.

PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL


You can take a carriage ride around the town.


They had a clock tower in the center of town.


STREET SCENE


From there, we stopped at the famous Niagara Clock made of flowers.


I liked this totem pole.


I have never tried to post a video but here goes. From a couple of days ago. It is taken from the Canada side below Horseshoe Falls. I don't know it the sound comes with it, but it was awesome.
MAID OF THE MIST
video

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Niagara Falls.

Today we had a fantastic time. Our tour guide picked us up in our RV park. No driving for me today. Yea! We had a nice group of people to share our adventure.

Niagara Falls is the oldest American State Park and is 125 years old this year. Our first stop was at Whirlpool State Park. Our guide told us that the whirlpool is probably the only one in the world that changes direction twice a day. It can go clockwise and counter clockwise because of water being diverted to the power plants at certain times of the day.
WHIRLPOOL

Gondolas cross over the whirlpool from Canada to what looks like the US, but is actually still Canada. In the past, some unscrupulous men tried to make money by telling people they would smuggle them into the US after dark. They even went so far as removing the Canadian flag and replacing it with a US flag.


Next we went to Cave of the Winds on Goat Island. You can't get closer to the falls than this. We were issued rain ponchos and disposable sandals and we were told, "you will get wet".
Here we are dressed in our stylish yellow ponchos. We descended down to the foot of the falls in elevators cut out of solid rock. We were told the shafts were built without the use of dynamite.


Janice is at the bottom of the boardwalk to the Cave of the Winds. Look at the rushing rapids behind her. With the mist swirling, this was the end of our hairdos today.


The pounding of the water is awesome. The boardwalk goes up so close to Bridal Veil Falls that it feels like you will be blown off. The platform that goes closest to the falls is aptly named "Hurricane Deck".

We recycled our yellow ponchos as we knew we would be getting new blue ones shortly.

A short walk from the Cave of the Winds put us at Terrapin Point which is very close to the famous Horseshoe falls. The rate of water flowing over Horseshoe Falls is 681,750 gallons per second.


Onward to the Maid of the Mist. This is a boat ride that goes right up to the base of Horseshoe Falls. We picked up our handy dandy new blue ponchos and boarded our boat. They are very well organized with little or no wait times.

MAID OF THE MIST

We passed the American Falls which is the larger straight falls and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls on the way to Horseshoe Falls. The wind created by the fall of so much water, practically ripped our ponchos off. Even with rain gear, you still get wet. It was such a warm day, it felt wonderful. The mist was so thick, you needed windshield wipers on your glasses. No kidding, it was really to wet to take up close pictures. I am sure any picture this close to the falls would have looked like smog.


The view from the boat really shows you how majestic these falls are, and makes you aware of how very small you are. Another perk from being on the boat is the view you have of the New York State Observation tower.
NEW YORK OBSERVATION TOWER.

Can you see the people who look like ants at the rail of the deck?
The Observation Tower is the only place in the park where you can view both the American and Horseshoe falls at the same time. The tower deck extends over the Niagara Gorge.

When you get off the boat, an elevator brings you up to the tower platform that has spectacular views. The bridge you see is the Rainbow Bridge connecting the US with Canada. I plan to drive my RV across this bridge next week when I go through Canada to MI.


Just to show you how high up the observation deck is, I took this picture over the side railing of the people getting ready for the boat trip. The tent like structure at the base is where you get your blue ponchos. Can you see the small blue dots near the tent? Those are people in their blue ponchos. The Maid of the Mist can be seen in the bottom left corner.



So long for now, until next time...................

Maine to NY

Two days ago we left Maine and made it as far as Richfield Springs NY. I almost had to sell Janice to pay for the tolls. I think we have paid enough tolls to pave most of New England. On the way, we noticed that the cornice holding my front drapery was really loose, and the more we traveled the looser it became. I told Janice that if it fell off and knocked me unconscious it was her job to jump over and steer the RV to safety. Scary thought as she has never driven the RV!
Janice took this picture while I was driving. We figured this guy really was prepared. Check out the back of his RV


I asked at the KOA if they had any of those "thingys" you put in the wall that open when a screw is inserted. Mike, the owner asked to take a look at the problem and he fixed it right then and there. What a great guy. RVers are always so helpful. Later, I was able to capture this fantastic sunset shot.

The next day we were off to Niagara Falls. Just outside of Rochester, we had a thunderstorm and the driving was pretty rough. I usually don't mind driving in the rain, but wind is another matter and it was really whipping. Last year my slide awning was pulled right out of the slide by a gust of wind. The wind almost knocked me off the road. Now I watch the trees to see how bad the wind really is. We heard later that Rochester even had hail but luckily, we were just ahead of it.
This park is behind a small motel, but it is really nice. They have paved sites, trees and grass for Maggie to play on, and the owners are very helpful. We have arranged a tour to pick us up at the RV Park on Thursday.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cape Neddick Light, Maine

It seems we are either looking at lighthouses, wildlife, shopping or we are some how connected to food. Still, we had another beautiful day in Maine, so why not explore some more. Today we took off for York to look for the Cape Neddick Light. It is situated on a rocky island, called a "Nubble" a short way from the point of Cape Neddick and the York River and Harbor.
CAPE NEDDICK LIGHT SITTING ON THE NUBBLE


In 1842 there was a ship wreck of the "Isidore". According to legend, the ghost ship still reappears from time to time. Even with the wreck, the lighthouse was not built until 1876 and was not lit until 1879. They did have a large fog bell that could be heard 6 miles away. Don't think I would like to be standing anywhere near that thing when it went off. They tore the bell tower down in 1961 so no pictures of that and of course, the lighthouse was automated, so no more lighthouse keepers.

Some of the lighthouse keepers had children and in the beginning, they were transported by boat to the mainland to go to school. That is until they had this cool bucket on a cable to do the job. Someone took a picture of one of the children being transported in the bucket and it appeared in the newspaper. The district commander saw the picture and arranged for the children to be boarded on the mainland during the school year. Soon after that, families were no longer stationed at the light.
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM!!!


Oh, I almost forgot, I found my summer cottage, once I win the lottery..........


We will be moving on to new adventures early this week. Until next time.............

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Southeastern Maine

We moved the rig to Saco on Tuesday. We have had pretty good weather although quite warm. The last couple of days we have had some off and on showers. I had a really nice visit with my friends, Debbie and Pete. She brought me the most delicious homemade Rhubarb marmalade. They told us about this great store with all kinds of discounted stuff. Of course, we had to go see later that day, and who do we see there, but Debbie and Pete.

I had been looking up oddities in "Roadside America" on line and discovered that there was a 1700 pound milk chocolate moose close by. His name is Lenny and he stands in a pond of tinted white chocolate.


Recently they have added a momma bear and 2 cubs made of dark chocolate. The momma weighs 380 pounds and the cubs are 90 pounds each. Of course we had to buy some chocolate while we were there. I opted for milk chocolate covered cashews. Yum.


Thursday we went to Portland to take the "land and sea tour". The land part was by trolley.


We had an excellent guide who told us about the history of Portland. Did you know the city burned 3 times. They decided when they rebuilt it for the fourth time they would use granite and brick. Good choice.


The tour included a trip to the Cape Elizabeth and the famous "Portland Light". It is amazing how you can be in bright sunlight one minute and fog the next.


Cape Elizabeth has some of the most beautiful homes and this is just one of them.


The second half of the trip was on the water. We saw at least 4 lighthouses including a sea view of the Portland Light. It was fully functional, as the fog was not lifting.
SPRING POINT LIGHT


BUG LIGHT


RAM LIGHT


PORTLAND LIGHT


We are always on the lookout for wildlife and Janice was able to get this picture. Don't know where the rest of his pals were, but you can see him on the right side of the picture. These seals do not have flippers, so they have to use their stomach muscles to move them up on to the rocks.


We had a great seafood lunch at a tavern pub in Portland before heading back.
In the evening we took a ride to Old Orchard Beach which is a kind of Myrtle Beach/Coney Island type place. The traffic was horrendous with pedestrian walkways every 2 feet. Motorists have to stop for pedestrians (and rightly so) however, I didn't think I would ever get out of there.

No trip to this area is complete without a trip to LL Bean in Freeport. I am not a shopper, but Janice really enjoys it. Guess who bought stuff? Me. I have birthday and Christmas presents bought.

Today we had two celebrity sightings. You have heard the expression "Elvis has left the building", well he did and he was walking down the streets of Saco. We were so startled, we forgot to take a picture. I thought the guy behind me was going to fall off his motorcycle. This "Elvis" was about 65 and in full rhinestone studded white cape and bell-bottoms. What a hoot.

We stopped at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and wandered around on the mile long trail. It was really pretty in the wooded sections. As you can see, Janice was prepared with camera and binoculars.


However, the only wildlife we saw were these geese.


We stopped at this really neat "Lighthouse Store". Isn't this a great playhouse for a kid?

I really liked these lawn decorations too.


From there we traveled to Kennebuckport. I didn't have a map, so I just kind of meandered through town trying to get close to the ocean. There was a pull off spot ahead and people were out taking pictures, so I pulled in. I thought I knew where I was and I was right. George and Barbara Bush's Summer estate.


Glad we had our trusty binoculars because we spotted both Barbara and George. George actually waved up at the road to us. We watched for some time while he got into a golf cart and drove to another part of the compound. He got out and went into one of the buildings. Both Janice and I were surprised at how feeble he was when he walked around. I guess I didn't realize that he is 86 years old. I guess you always think people stay the same.
Until next time.............

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baxter State Park, Maine

Our day trip started out in Bangor in a small park across from the casino. The statue is the legendary giant woodsman, Paul Bunyon. He represents the great era in the late 1800's when Bangor was thought to be the "Lumber Capital of the World". The statue is 31 feet high and weighs 3700 pounds. There is a time capsule in the base that will be opened on Bangor's 200th anniversary.

PAUL BUNYON


From Bangor, we took a trip up to Baxter State Park. It was about 90 miles north on I-95. The day was beautiful. We were told we had a better chance to see wildlife if we went to Sandy Stream Pond. After parking the car, we took a rustic trail (meaning rocks, roots and muck) about 1/2 mile to the pond. Not entirely true, there was a long section where you walked on logs with the surface smoothed. Kind of like walking on a wide tightrope. It was well worth the trip as we saw a bull moose feeding in the water. He was enormous.

BULL MOOSE


They kick their feet around to dislodge the grasses and roots, then stick their head down in the water to feed. I counted 15 seconds while his head was in the water. They say they keep their ears out of the water so they can be alerted to danger. He was a little far away to see if that was so.



They do have good hearing though...as we watched him, he alerted and just stared at the opposite shore before we even saw the white tailed deer come into view. That moose did not stop looking at that deer until it had traveled a distance away from him.

We also saw two beavers playing in the water, but they would have looked like stones at that distance as only their heads were visible. They were fun to watch.

Yesterday we traveled south to Saco. This is a great area to be in as it is central to Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach, Portland Lighthouse and LL Bean. I am looking forward to a visit with friends, Debbie and Pete, this afternoon. Until next time.............

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A day in Acadia National Park



Yesterday was a day of exploring the beautiful Acadia park. The views or the coast are breathtaking. There was some fog in spots and clear in others.









This is THUNDER HOLE. It is a deep depression in the rock. Tide water rushes in, hits the back and thunders back out. We were there at low tide, so it wasn't as spectacular as it could have been, but still very impressive. I am told that at high tide, the water can shoot up as much as 40 feet.







Maggie got to come with us this time and she enjoyed all the people walking by. Here we are at the top of Sand Beach. She was not allowed down, and frankly, I was not into the climb down or up either.



The water at Sand Beach is a chilly 50 degrees. I can not imagine swimming in that cold of water. Janice walked all the way down and took some pictures from the beach.



Here she is walking back up from Sand Beach


This is the sky from our campsite. In one direction, it looked like the sky was on fire.......



...and in the other, pink skies.


What is that old saying? Pink sky at night, sailor's delight.......not so much, it rained all day today. Until next time.................