Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rain in a lean-to

Thursday, June 25th

Thursday morning we reserved a lean-to in Baxter State Park. We set up the wet tent inside the lean-to and hooked the dripping tarp to the top of the structure with the other end tied to the pick nick table with a bungie cored. Then we headed out to hike hoping everything would dry out by that evening.

In the morning we headed up the Little Niagara trail. The weather was perfect all day.
I could spend ages at this park, and never grow tired of it!
Canoe's were only a dollar an hour, so we spent some peaceful time gliding across one of the many lakes the park has to offer.After getting back to camp we took another trail nearby up to Katahdin Stream Falls. Rain fell as we started up the trail, but once in while the sun would stream through some of the trees on the the vibrant greens.

Even though it did rain most of the night it stopped by morning. We had a nice pancake breakfast at the picnic table, packed up our dry gear and headed to New Hampshire.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Moose encounters

Wednesday, June 24th

Wednesday we arrived in Millinocket and checked into the Econo lodge. It was a great place to wash a few soggy clothes and dry out some of our gear.

In the morning we rode our bike from Millinocket up to Baxter State Park. The ride was great with nice rolling hills and beautiful scenery. Our original plan was to spend one day in Baxter State Park, then head to the White Mountains in NH. After talking to the park ranger however we decided there were too many things we wanted to check out in this park so we decided to give it another two days.

Wednesday evening we drove back up to the park and hiked up South Turner Mountain. On our way into the woods we stopped at Grassy Lake Pond. Trin noticed that the "huge rock" in the middle of the pond seemed to be moving. We watched for quite some time before a Moose head poped up out of the water and stood there chewing. We were amazed at how long she could hold her breath in search of food on the bottom of the pond.

We circled the other side of the pond and followed a narrow trail onto a large rock in the pond. Once on the rock we heard loud splashed right over the ledge. A big bull Moose appeared, circled the rock and stood right next the the narrow path we had just crossed. For the longest time he stood starring at our only path back to land. We pondered the wisdom of walking two feet in front a very large wild animal. Eventually we decided to go. First I went a little closer and asked, "do you mind if we walk in front of you" I wanted to make sure he knew we were there so that he would not be starled. Then without looking at him we walked in nonchalantly accross the path in front of him. Once in the woods I did have to pause and turn around to snap this picture. =)

The hike up South Turner Mountain was worth every step. I could sit all day and just stare at views like this.
Clouds just rolled by as we gazed at the mountains.
Eventually, we did have to head back down.

Acadia Rain

Tuesday, June 23rd

Today we checked out of our campground in Acadia and headed our car up to Baxter State Park.

Acadia was beautiful! My favorite scenic bike ride was the Schoodic loop. It's a short ride, but has a nice view of the beach almost the entire way!
The short hike up Beehive mountain was worth every step / crawl.

Acadia Natl Park

Sunday, June 21st

We made it to our Blackwoods camp site very late Saturday night in pouring rain. When we shut off the car lights it was pitch black, perfect - how a night in the woods should be. We shuffled around in the car getting our gear ready for a mad dash to set up the tent and jumped inside.

Crawling out of the tent in the moring I was greeted by this beautiful view!

The rain had tapered off by morning so we made pancakes on the camp stove and geared up for a scenic ride through the park.
We had one misshap with a flat tire, aggravated by the fact that the brand new pump from Dicks Sporting Goods did not work at all! Thankfully we were only six miles into the ride so I rode back for the car. We headed into town to get a new pump - the one from Wal-Mart works great! We stopped for lunch at Maine Luau Seafood and BBQ - excellent food!! Excellent service!!!With the tire fixed and the car back at the camp site we started the loop again.The park loop from Black woods up to Bar Harbor and back was a nice relaxing ride. Pedaled away all the thoughts of work.

Along the way we detoured on some of the carriage roads. Moss covered everything in the woods, the green was vibrant in the rain.

We detoured up Cadillac Mountain. I love the nice smooth roads in this park. Although the rain cuts down on the view it also cuts down on the traffic. =)

Tonight we shall sleep well to the sound of pattering rain.

NH Sea Coast

Saturday, June 20th (just catching up on this blog)
Finally on vacation!!! Maybe a day late since both of us ended up working another 12 hrs more than anticipated. Normally I start packing a week or two ahead of time. For this trip I started Friday night.

Saturday we stopped at the New Hampshire Sea Coast and did a 30 mile loop on our bikes with beautiful views of the sea. It was a good break before heading on to Maine.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Farnsworth Ghost Tour

The Farnsworth House in the middle of town stands as a bullet-strewn monument of the carnage that took place decades past. Standing right up against the red brick wall you can see the chips and cracks where the bullets left their mark. The tiny window way up close to the roof was a sniper's nest. Nowadays, the structure hosts visitors and diners. The cellar is decorated as a portrayal of a funeral, wherein a session of ghost storytelling is conducted by an able host. We attended the 11PM "adult" session. The age restriction allows nothing more than cuss words to fly out freely from the storytellers mouth as he recounted incidents of the supposedly supernatural, which mostly happened during previous sessions. They were probably just that, stories. Entertaining and not too far-fetched to be scoffed at, and well delivered by our storyteller that night.
The second half involved a walk through the woods, with a different storyteller. This second storyteller is garbed in a civil-war era messenger looking costume. Like the first storyteller, most of his stories were about incidents in previous sessions. The question in our minds the whole time was, before they accumulated all this stories about previous sessions, what stories did they tell? We kept this question to ourselves, out of courtesy. I got the impression that he was new to the job, not yet as comfortable or adept in his delivery as the first storyteller.
Still the other attendees seemed all too willing to believe. One young woman showed the storyteller a picture that she took with her digital camera. It showed some white globs that to us looked like reflections from the wet grass. The storyteller was all too willing to make a story out of it, claiming that it must be some ethereal energy. He is a storyteller after all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Short & Sweet

Our fourth and final day on the C&O Trail. We made this a short day, only 22 miles, so that we could start heading home before lunch.
Our favorite part of the trip was a detour that took us through the local countryside, beautiful area.

In total we rode 196 miles

The day of the ice cream

Day 3 on the C&O trail was hot. We stopped a few times to douse ourselves with cold water from the water pumps along the trail. Late in the afternoon we came upon Barons store and bought some ice cream.

Soon after the ice cream we reached our hiker-biker camp for the evening completing 54 miles for the day.
The tarp over our tent has been perfect. Our tent is very old, but small and light. The tarp is also very light, but has kept us, our bikes and gear dry through a number of rain storms.

Crowded & Hot

During our first evening on the C&O trail we were awakened by the a troop! We heard footsteps, laughter and the sound of voices happily chattering. As the sounds drew closer to our camp flashlights began to illuminate the area around us, soon finding our tent. Then we began to hear loud "SSSHHHHH" sounds. After everyone in this approaching group had a chance to hiss this sound through their teeth the peace of night could be heard again and we drifted off to sleep.When we awoke and crawled out of our tent were were surprised by the "town" that was at our doorstep. A boy scout troop had hiked their way in.

We packed up and rode to the next H/B site then pulled out our stove and made pancakes for breakfast.

Mid morning we ran into a battalion of walkers. Suddenly the trail dissapeared and there was only a sea of people ahead. It crossed our minds to go back, but decided it could not last too long. We yelled "On the left!" as we approached. It was repeated like dominos up the trail and the left hand side of the trail began to appear. We slowly pedaled past the walkers and the woods soon became quiet again.
We pedaled 62 miles before making camp the second night. There was plenty of time to relax, enjoy the breeze, listen to the birds, read a book, or just stare up into the trees.

Just after we set up our tent and crawled inside it began to rain. The wind grew very stong and then thunder cracked. We looked at each other excitedly. Thunder storms from a tent are awesome! After the first thunder crack however the rain stopped, the wind died down and the sky spoke no longer.

Long & Flat

For our first tour of 2009 we decided to take an easy flat trail. We began Friday morning and headed out with our loaded bikes onto the C&O Canal Trail.

A light rain shower started a few miles down the trail. Soon after we put on our rain coats it stopped and the weather was nice the rest of the tour. Many sections of the trail were lined with flowers.

Along the way we passed many of the old locks from the canal system.

By the end of the first day we had ridden 58 miles. A day without spreadsheets, phone calls or IM's. Lately we have been spending 10-14 hours at work each day. Although the trail was long and flat, the leisurely pedaling was a nice relaxing break from work. We stopped at this free hiker-biker campsite for the night. All of the hiker-biker sites along this trail have a water pump and porta-john

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Packing the Pannier

The panniers are finally packed for our first bike tour of 2009. Tomorrow evening we are headed down to Maryland to bike the C&O Canal trail. We will be parking at the visitor center in Williamsport then biking down to Washington DC and back.

Since I so often Google for lists of things to pack - just to make sure I didn't forget something I decided to post my packing list. The following list has been printed and packed for the trip. This should make the job of finding what we need much easier.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The iPhone has a number of fitness applications. Many are free so I've been giving them a shot. Today before my ride I opened Fitnio and clicked on the bike. Two simple clicks. It then began tracking my mileage and calories. I thought this was pretty cool.When I got home I was pleased to see it was accurate. Then it suggested that I log onto the web site associated with it. Sure, why not. It gave me a map of my ride along with stats for each mile and elevation! More data to play with!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who is watching?

This blog was started our of curiosity for blogging, then it became a good way to keep track of our bike tours. Eventually it morphed into a great way for my sister and I to keep up communication.

Eventually I added Sitemeter to observe traffic and see how many countries I could get to hit my site, just for kicks.Now I'm very curious, someone recently has been reading this blog that I work with. I don't know who. Sitemeter shows they are on the network for the company I work for. I wonder if they will leave a comment? =)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I feel like Benjamin Button

Today was my birthday and I had a wonderful day!

Pre-20's I dreaded birthdays. In my 20's I was indifferent to them. When I turned 30 they were OK and every year since they have gotten better.

When I walked into work this morning my cube was decorated with balloons and a banner. Then I got a talking card. The Charlie Brown teacher was telling me something important - I didn't catch it. Then another co-worker brought in cupcakes and my friends sang a lovely rendition of "Happy Birthday". After work my husband took me to dinner and then to Pet Palace to pick up a gift.

A perfect day! Who could ask for more? =)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mud, Snow, and Ice

The 2009 biking season has begun!!

Saturday March 7th warmed up to 59ยบ! We threw the bikes on the back on the car and drove to Tobyhanna State Park for our first ride of the season. The trail started with deep snow but cleared up after the first hill.
The rest of the trail was a mix of mud and ice patches. This was my first ride on ice since the "mishap" last summer so I was excited to ride through most of the patches without incident.

This year we have a number of long weekends planned and hope to get in quite a few tours.