After 7 years in Caroline County, MD, we spent our final day at the fantastic Turnbridge Point B&B. Rob and Steve hosted an exquisite Sunday brunch (which they try to do once a month) and I cannot begin to describe what we ate. The theme for September's event was "Maryland", a fitting salute as we departed, and after crab and oyster delicacies (and so much more) it was time to say goodbye. I've highlighted their place on my "Food Adventures" page". Take a look!
When someone decides it's time to move on, for whatever reason, it is not so easy for those "left behind." But, I insist that the emotional energy it takes to turn away and step through that door is underestimated. We have said goodbye to so many special friends and colleagues this week. We were especially touched by their kindnesses and often tongue-in-cheek tributes to Ken. I will be celebrating those friendships on my "Friends and Other Heroes" page. Take a look!
Toward the end of this week Hurricane Florence, soon to be a Category 5 they think, will make landfall on the lower east coast. We have been fighting the early rainfalls ahead of her. Ken reported that every time he opened the window for a drive thru moment it was if a cold cup of water was flung in his face. Bless his heart, he did 90% of the truck packing while soaking wet. We'll be watching Florence carefully as we head up the coast ourselves.
What has kept a few of my tears at bay is the thought of once again seeing our grandkids and their parents in Emmaus, PA, (an old but vibrant town near Allentown.) Mike and Katelyn will be moving as well this fall, so Ken and I will be helping with a few projects! Painting, drywall patching, wallpaper glue removing, babysitting, etc. It's what we do. More on this on my Parenting page! Take a look!
Wow. Maine is more beautiful than we imagined. We got there via upstate NY and Vermont which are gorgeous in their own rights. Just south of Bar Harbor is Mt. Desert Island, on the border of Acadia National Park. We camped there for 3 days, went on a lobster tour boat, tried our hands at eating one, found the easternmost spot in the continental US, and hope to return. We drove home via Connecticut and then through Long Island to see more friends. Fantastic week!
9/7- We said goodbye to some friends, but the highlight of my last day was when I backed up over the town crosswalk sign. I never saw it, but I heard it. Now Denton wants me to pay to replace. More on this later.
9/10-12- As promised, we spent Monday-Wednesday with Katelyn, Mike, and the 3 grandkids in Emmaus, PA. We helped with some pre-move projects, including painting bathroom, flood control in basement, and wrangling. See MOATET blog for details!
9/13- If you clicked on my "Friends and Other Heroes" page, you will see an old pic of Kari Arnesen Max. We had the chance to meet up in New Hartford, CT and chuckled at our pre-60 status. We agreed it was ok so long as we kept moving.
9/13- Montpelier, VT has its charms, but there is a reason the Econolodge is only $51 per night. Dinner was nice though, as we chose from a board of excellent craft brews at the Three Penny Taproom. Ken's "Hill Farmstead "Edward" American Pale Ale had incredible citrus aroma with a mild hoppy taste and smooth finish. Had mashed potatoes with horseradish which was a first, but delicious!
9/14- "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" stickers have been around for a while, but now we own one! An interesting fact according to the Mt. Washington Observatory: "The highest natural surface wind velocity ever officially recorded by means of an anemometer, anywhere in the world" was 231 mph on April 12, 1934. I guess we are to trust that their instruments were accurate that day.
9/15-Bangor is where my brother, Bernie, spent several months immediately following his spinal cord injury on August 14, 1978. Here he is on his recent birthday with 2/3 daughters and wife, Keels. This was taken just a few months before the 40th anniversary his injury. This is the best picture of "Bangor, ME" I can think of. Click below to read one of his own posts. He is a chaplain at Brooks Rehab in Jacksonville, FLA, and works with patients and families with similar trauma.
9/16-9/18: Mt. Desert Island Campground was as lovely as pictured on the Maine parks website. We had A7 on the water. Unfortunately, we were just off the main entrance to the camp road and battled late-night headlights. And, the road noise across the way was disappointing although it did calm down to cricket music by midnight.
Ken did most of the setup since we are still fine-tuning our gear. The Coleman stove is legendary, and we have top drawer bags from Teton, the Celsius XL. Check them out here: https://www.tetonsports.com/Sleeping-Bags/Sleeping-bag-main.htm
9/17: Took a 2-hour excursion on this authentic (modified with seating) Maine lobster boat. Our guide and captain were absolutely charming and offered tons of info on the local lore and economy. I would highly recommend this tour if you are in the area. You can actually hold one of the (banded) lobsters they bring up in the trap. I had no idea lobsters lived as long as they do.
Click below for info, and here for a link to the mating habits of these crustaceans. https://umaine.edu/lobsterinstitute/education/life-of-the-american-lobster/life-cycle-reproduction/
9/18: Checked out of the campground and found the northern Ft. Knox. It sits on the Penobscot River Narrows, adjacent to the bridge and observatory. I wrote a short piece about Jackie, a docent, on my Odds and Ends page. The fort is well preserved and interesting if you like that sort of stuff, but I am spoiled by my hometown Ft. McHenry.
Here is a link! https://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm
One of the special things here is the short movie outlining the battle and penning of the national anthem text.
9/19: Checked out of forgettable hotel in Nashua, and flew down I-95 toward CT. I met Sharon K. for lunch and shopped at the famous Stew Leonard's. (Sharon and I go back to college days, and I have highlighted our friendship on my Friends page.) If you visit this old establishment, it is easy to get distracted by the animatronics and dairy history displays but their products are outstanding!
See below for their story!
9/20: Today my dear friend, Dody, turned 59 like the rest of us! I surprised her with a visit (see my Friends page.) But after, we discovered the beauty of nearby Fire Island, just off the coast of Long Island. It boasts miles of pristine beaches, and I imagine it is packed with city folks in the summer, but we found it warm and inviting in its quiet. You can walk along the dunes on a fantastic boardwalk and see deer and natural landscapes up close. The Fire Island lighthouse is stunning. See below
9/21-22: Back in Emmaus for a quick visit with the Quashne family. I so wish I could post every single picture I have of our grandkids, but for so many reasons, I won't. I think the beauty of a child's smile belongs in the moment as it is shared with a fortunate loved one. Suffice to say, we enjoyed every smile. Since Emmaus is a cool little town, I've posted a link to their market.
These two are happy fellows, yes? My favorite vendor sells Asian pear butter.
Ken is back in the hometown for his annual ICMA conference. I'm staying uptown in Parkville. Since he is at the Baltimore Convention Center, we thought it best to stay near a Light Rail station. If I get him there at 7:00 it takes about 40 minutes to land in the city. Baltimore is sad, he reported. The good news is that I have a few more days to explore the old neighborhoods and have dinner with Jo! Will miss them all.
As mentioned, Katelyn and Mike are moving a lot of house in one short month. We are back for a few more days to help clean, dump, sort, etc. My job is watching grandkids. I'll be sorry to say goodbye on Sunday, but we soon turn west to see Lis!
The big day when we turn the rig west toward Montana will be here soon. We are thankful our families are so supportive. Friends have wished us well, and many would like to do the same type of trip. So cool that today is my dad's 85th birthday. I know he is on this borrow pit adventure too! I would look for his face among the clouds, but that's going a bit too far.
As I write, I am predicting we will be somewhere near Ohio/Illinois. I will confirm as we get there. In the meantime, thank you for checking in on us this past month! I look forward to reporting each week, and to your comments, questions, etc. Being on a Borrow Pit Adventure has been a greater deal more complicated and wonderful than I could have expected.
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Becky and Ken Decker