Bike ride around Eagle Lake

eagle lake 4Yesterday was the kind of day that just had to be enjoyed..  a nice breeze, plenty of sun, not too hot…  I spent the morning applying bleaching oil on the shed, and then,  we set off for a bike ride ..  Eagle lake is a short 5 – 10 minute drive from the camp ground..  It is a popular access point to the carriage roads of Acadia National Park.    Apparently, the folks in the pic thought that it was a great day for a ride too!    Janet was out once before, but this was our first ride together, so we planned on just doing the ride around Eagle Lake..   one might think that sounds like a nice, level path, but, in fact, as we have found with most bike rides on the island,  there are climbs and descents everywhere –  no such thing as a level ride here!    But it was totally enjoyable to be on our bikes and to view the lake through the trees as we rode.  eagle lake 3the carriage roads form a great network of routes to cycle ( or hike or ride horseback)   –  we are continually amazed at the resources that outdoor enthusiasts have available  here on Mount Desert Island..  there is always something to do!

eagle lake 2

Mt Desert Campground – Season Finale

The final weeks at the camp flew by.. our time was filled with  re-decking tent platforms,  cleaning sites for the last time,  and attending staff gatherings.   Before we knew it, we were finished, and the campground sign came down, and we closed up our camper for the winter.   And now we are back in PA..  enjoying the last of the fall foliage and getting ready for winter.

Here are some final pics from the season.  We are already eagerly anticipating heading north in May, but until then,  I am sure that we will find something productive to do!

scene from final bike ride on the loop road  2015this is a scene from our last bike ride around the park loop which we did on a clear day in late September.

janet near top of the precipiceThis is Janet nearing the top of the Precipice Trail.   We did the hike with a group of co-workers  in September

sailboat from little moose island littlel moose island 1 little moose island 2These three photos were taking during a hike on Little Moose Island which is accessible only at low tide.  It is located in the Schoodic Peninsula area of Acadia National Parkmornng view as we were cleaning sites 3 morning view as we were cleaning sites morning view as we were cleaning sites 2These three pics were taken from different camp sites at Mt Desert Campground during morning hours..   I paused while we were cleaning the sites  to take the pics..   campsite at sunsetThis is site B-8   taken at sunset..   this site is located directly across from ours  which is B-18   ..   if you happen to read this and end up camping with us next year, be sure to stop and say hello!

bald eagle in a very small tree at floatsThis is a pic of an eagle , perched in a tree that appears way too small for him!   This was taken across from the floats where we happened to be cleaning the boats one morning..   Nikki destroying a deckour co-working Nikki, joined us  as we were replacing the top of one of our tent platforms…

Janet and I took a trip to St Andrew’s  NB  during our final week in Maine.   It was supposed to be a day trip, but we happened upon a cute B and B  –  Sea Haven  –  and we decided to stay!   this is a view from our  room…view from Sea Haven B and B   St  Andrew's  NB  the following three pics are of the sunset that we enjoyed during an evening stroll…sunset  St Andrew's  NB sunset St Andrews  2 sunset St Andrews 3

snake slowly eating toadThis is one very unfortunate toad..  he is  slowing becoming a meal for the snake that has his leg in his mouth..   a camper at the campground happened to point this out to us…

view from gorham mtwe did a hike on Gorham Mt with Donna, one of the owners of the campground..  this is a view looking towards  Dorr Mt and Cadillac Mt.

janet and donna  summit of Gorham mtJanet and Donna at the summit of Gorham mtview from Gorham mt  - hike with donnalooking towards  otter cliffs from Gorham mt

empyt parking spots at sand beach.. fall is here!an unusual sight..  open parking spaces at  Sand Beach!   you know that it is  fall when you see this 🙂

fall morning at the floatsone of the last pics from the floats before we started taking them in…

taking out the floats 2 taking out the floatstaking in the floats..   c building in the fallthe C bathroom building as we were shutting off the water..

no sooner did we return from Maine than our co-worker Nikki, her sister Rachul, and King the dog stopped by for a visit as they were heading south..   King looks very comfortable in our Bear Creek house, don’t you think?   They also stopped by the Apple Festival at the orchard..  King spent some time hanging out  in the tiny house..

king feeling at home in bear creek nikki and rachel at tiny house

and this closes the chapter on the 2015 season at Mt Desert Campground..   Workamping turned out to be a wonderful experience in so many ways..  we made new friends,  we  spent loads of time in the outdoors,  we explored Acadia ,   we ate lots of wonderful food,  and we can’t wait to head back in May…

Getting behind!

We just started our next 3 day hiatus, and I have yet to post on last week, and already it is becoming a blur… on Wednesday we decided to  take the Island Explorer into Southwest Harbor to explore..   what a wonderful gift to have free bus service around the island.. and it picks us up right at the campground 🙂   On the bus we met a nice couple from Delaware ( formally from Bucks County  where I grew up in PA) .. we got off the bus and they continued out to Bernard..    Our first discovery was a stand outside someone’s house where we bought lettuce and  cinnamon bread 🙂    we found so many lovely properties..  adorned with flowers..  flowers southwest harborhope these guys don’t mind their house on my blog!     next a little backyard tiny house..  these are near and dear to our heart, having lived in one most of last year!

tiny house southwest harbor  we  headed into town  and checked out some of the stores and then found some  chairs on the sidewalk where we enjoyed our packed lunch, while watching folks walk by..  Janet commented on the West Chester  t shirt that one girl was wearing and that precipitated a conversation..  it turns out that the family was  from Bucks County and that the  parents had lived in Quakertown when they first were married.. just around the corner from my childhood home…  so many connections!

We caught the bus just before some rain showers hit.. a few stops later the first couple that we had met re-boarded the bus, and we enjoyed their company all the way back to the campground…   Although I can’t remember exact details of the evening, chances are strongly in favor that they included a camp fire and smores 🙂

Thursday we decided to travel to Phippsburg to  scope out our land and to talk to the code enforcement officer..  we stopped in Belfast along the way.. what a pretty town..  at the docks a noticed a flicka tied to the dock .. I started talking to the owners and lent a hand as they were rigging their outboard..  it turns out that they also own a compac 23  .. just like our own..   I left them my phone number and offered to serve as crew if they ever needed an extra hand..  this is probably the smallest blue water capable boat  available..  i love it!  flicka Belfast

after the stop in Belfast we drove to Bath where we visited the bank before heading down to  the Phippsburg town office where we chatted with the code enforcement officer..   every interaction that I have had with the town office has been pleasant and welcoming..  I think that it will be a lot of fun working with him once we get started on the house project..  but that is at least a year off..   in the short term, we hope to get some clearing done on the land..  I think that my son and I can handle most of it, but we did meet with a neighbor who has the equipment to  pull the stumps after we do our thing..   perhaps one of the highlights was stopping at 5 Islands Lobster Company for dinner..   view from pier at 5 islands the view is incredible, and the fish and chips were great.. we met a couple there and shared some conversation..  she is an accomplished vocalist so she and Janet had a lot to chat about..   on the way out to the lobster company , we stopped at 5 Islands Farm Stand  janet at five islands market

it was a late night by the time we arrived back at the campground, but it certainly was a productive day!

Friday was made for exercise…  we headed out for what I called the great circle route on the carriage trails..  covered about  22 miles in all..  we started at  Eagle lake and rode to Aunt Betty’s pond.. then  on to  Upper Hadlock pond where we stopped for a short hike.. janet on carriage trail bridge  and a photo opportunity 🙂    then on to Jordon Pond where we enjoyed our picnic lunch…bubble - jordan pondand then over to Day Mountain where we enjoyed the view from the top..  and really enjoyed the ride down the mountain!   view from day mountain

on our way back towards bubble pond, Janet saw a deer..  I was looking off into the woods to spot it, but it was right next to her!   It turned out to be a rather tame deer, and she allowed us to watch as she sauntered across the road in front of us and began munching fresh greens along the side of the path..  she was in no special hurry…deer on carriage trail

During our ride, we found out that a close friend and co-worker and her dad were going to be spending a few nights in Southwest Harbor 🙂    We ended up connecting with them for the fireworks on the 4th,  and they joined us for dinner on the evening of the 5th..  we took them for a walk down to the floats..  the tide was out, so there was lots to see, and the kids were having a blast  catching crabs…   some adults were too 🙂   kids crabbing on the dock

Amidst all of this activity, perhaps one of the most special moments that we enjoyed was an impromptu campfire that we ended up having when the folks camping next to us came over to chat..  before we knew it,  their kids were there..  our co workers and their kids stopped by,  the campground owner showed up..   and fantasies of all fantasies.. we had smores for dinner!   With all of the beauty that Acadia has to offer,  and all of the options for adventures..  we have been reminded over and over this week that the most important opportunity that this move in our life has created is the gift to connect with interesting folks from all over…

and that brought another week on Mount Desert Island to a close..    time is flying by..  work is great.. playtime is even better … life is good..

Lehigh Gorge Trail


My wife took the initiative to  organize an 18 mile bike ride on the Lehigh Gorge Trail.   She sent out an email at school inviting all faculty and staff  as well as students in the outdoor club to join us  on Sunday.    A few took the offer seriously and made the effort to come along!    We figured that even if one couple joined us it would be a success. In fact, we had a total of 6 folks joining us for the ride. DSC01303

I tried to do some research on the trail which is, indeed, a rail trail now called the D and L trail. It begins in White Haven and ends in Bristol ( near Philadelphia) for a total of 165 miles. this is a link to the trail website which is very informative. Someday we would like to take a week and do the entire route, camping along the way. But, for now, we are happy to enjoy the first segment which is located just 20 minutes from our home. The path that we frequent is well maintained and absolutely beautiful as it follows the Lehigh River, a popular river for rafting and kayaking as well as for fishing. DSC01304

We were impressed with the number of people that we encountered on the trail. It is wonderful to see it get a lot of use. We are hoping that our next event will be a hike at the Bear Creek Preserve in two weeks. Perhaps more of our colleagues will take an interest since no special equipment is involved. Our plan this year is to offer outdoor opportunities on at least a monthly basis to the school community with the intent of involving as many folks, both faculty and students, as possible.