Sunday, September 28, 2014

From Maine to Massachusetts


Wow is it foggy out, I can not even see the row of buildings down below us.  It is a lot warmer out and I guess that is causing the fog.  It is to be sunny later so time will tell.  We have just two days left here in Island Falls and then we begin our trip home to WNY.

No big plans for today.  Bonnie wanted to drive back up to Houlton to browse through the Salvation Army store.  So we drove the 30 miles up the interstate, still hoping to see a moose.  While she shopped for a couple hours I drove around town and looked for a Verizon store.  I wanted to get a look at the new iPhones.  I even went to Walmart.  Then I call the US Cellular store.  She told me the closest Verizon Store was an hour away.  About that time Bonnie called and I headed over to pick her up.  She had two other stores to visit.  One was closed and she was not in the other very long.

We drove back Route 2, still no Moose.  Then we explored some really rough roads close to the resort but still no Moose.  So back to the condo.  I checked the air pressure in the tires and the one is 2 lbs low again.  I will fill it tomorrow I guess.  I lubed the steps and when I got the can of spray lube out there was a dead mouse in the trap.  So one must have gotten in somewhere.  At least I hope it is only one.  Each day when we get back the big window has a lot of flies on it.  Today there were close to 100.  Its much warmer today than it has been.  Bonnie suggested I open the casement window and remove the screen.  I did that and a lot went out side.  The rest I took care of with the fly swatter.  Twenty minutes later 10 or more are back.  Bonnie calls them cluster flies, says they come out from around the windows.

And so another day draws to a close.

Another nice sunset


We got up and were in no big hurry this morning.  Looks like it will be a beautiful day.  I did spend time on line with Verizon Wireless and finally ordered an iPhone 6 Plus.  Estimated ship date is October 31st.  So looks like there is a month long wait for the iPhones now.

On the way into town we pulled over and took a picture of the lake below the resort.

Upper Mattawamkeag Lake
We had skipped lunch and so decided to have a meal down in town at the Rive Cafe on the Falls.
Out front they even had an old English Phone Booth.

Ring Ring
The is a nice view of the river off the deck out back.

Mattawamkeag River
The food was very good and the people there were very helpful.  Bonnie was looking at a calendar and it showed another covered Bridge.  The owner looked it up on google and we decided to head up to Littleton, Me and look for it.  The bridge is called the Watson Bridge and google maps found it and led us right to it.

Rather new built in 1911
Closed to traffic but in good shape

A few through a crack

Sun coming through a knot hole

This is a truss bridge
 Here is a quick view looking up the river.

Lots of color
Bonnie wanted some close ups of the Buffalo

Like he was posing
 There is even lots of color along the interstate

Along I-95
Then we decided to pull down into the small picnic area the resort has down by the lake.  Bonnie wanted to see if she could spot any loons.  We were losing the light but did spot a couple, but they were not calling to each other.

Bonnie on Loon watch

Nice colors

A Loon A Loon

Now maybe a Moose
The mosquitos chased me into the car and Bonnie followed close behind.  Back at the condo we carried out a few things to the coach and I killed flies and then vacuumed them up.

Well we leave in the morning check out is 10am and we will be southbound shortly after that this time for Littleton, MA


Yesterday we visited the covered bridge near Littleton, ME and tonight we are in the Boston Minuteman CG in Littleton, MA.

We pulled out of the time share lot at 10:15 this morning.  I unhooked the power, and had to add air to the one tire again.  This is the tire I had to keep an eye on and add air in the spring, but its been good all summer.  So not sure what it is, but the braided valve stem extenders are probably a good place to start.  I started out driving but Bonnie took over behind the wheel at the first rest stop.  I snapped this picture with my phone as we headed down the road.

Bonnie at the Wheel
She drove until we got back down to the Exit 43 Quick stop.  This is the same place we fueled up at on the way north.  I filled up the fuel tank and Bonnie went in to get some lunch for us.  I checked over the rigs and ran the car through its setup procedure.  This keeps the transmission lubed up and charges the battery a little.  Once we were done eating I took on the driving duties and a couple hours later we had passed through New Hampshire and we were now in Massachusetts.  We soon exited and pulled into the Campground.  Its very nice here and we were lead to our site.  The sites seem crowded but ours is a good size pull through.  We chatted a bit with our neighbors who are from Colorado and have been here a week.

We finished setting up and Bonnie started a load of laundry.  Once it went to the dry cycle we ran into town to CVS to pick up a RX and a few groceries.  Then back to the rig to relax.  I got the free WiFi set up and it seems to be working pretty good.  We watched a bit of TV and now its after 11 and time to get some rest.


Up early this morning and ran the heat pump to take off the chill.  Then I turned on the TV to watch a little of the final round of the Ryder Cup.  Our view out the front window is the kids playground and they were out there by 7:45 playing on the swings.  Its nice and sunny out and not sure what we will do today.

We decided to go and visit the Lowell National Historic Park.  I called and we made reservations on the 2:00pm boat tour.  We left here at noon and were parked and in the visitor center in about 30 minutes.  We paid for our tickets (no senior pass here) and watched the 20 minute film about Lowell.

Lowell was a textile town and grew rapidly.  It was named after Francis Cabot Lowell.  He went to England learned and memorized the technology and came back and built a mill.  At its peak there were at least 60,000 looms in operation in the city in several huge mills.  This was in the 1800's so a series of canals were built to harness the Pawtucket Rivers power.  The river drops 32 feet in this area and provided a tremendous amount of power to run the mills.  The size of the buildings is impressive.  We did get to see some looms operating at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum part of the NPS also.  The mills are all closed not but a lot of the buildings are now being converted to apartments and luxury lofts.  We saw so much and there is still so much to see if we come back this way.  Here are some pictures.

Market Mills houses the NPS visitor center

All Aboard

No time to visit this museum

Monument to the med that built the canals by hand

On display where the tour started 
Gas for 327 cash only

Clara explained the canals
 The first canal was actually built by farmers to float logs past the falls and rapids.

Restored trolly our ride to the boats.
The trolleys, boats and locks are operated by volunteers!  We got on the boat at the Swamp Gate and went out to the Pawtuckett River Dam.  The dam is a historic wooden flashboard and pin system and has been in use for over 130 years. Check it out I have never seen this before.

Above the Swamp Locks

Below the Swamp Locks

Swamp Lock

This old mill has been converted to Artist Lofts

In the Francis Lock
We locked up in the Francis lock to the level of the Pawtucket river

The river flooded to the 1852 mark, then in 1934 flooded up to the top of the wall

Old RR bridge on the canal
This is the top of the Flashboard Dam
The dam bends over if the water or ice pressure is too much and releases water.  Once the water goes down they repair it.

After the boat tour we stayed on the trolley and it took us out to the Boott Cotton Mill, also part of the NPS.  This mill had 5 floors with 200 looms on each floor.  The first floor is still operational and volunteers run the looms.  They only run 10 looms at a time.  What a noise, they issue ear plugs.  Can you imagine what all 200 would sound like and 1000 in the whole building.

The company clock, workers lived by this time

200 looms

One of the looms with auto spindle changer
After the mill we went next door to the boarding house where the woman that came to the city to work lived, ate, and slept.

The boarding house

Two tables in the space for one

Two girls to a bed Four to a room.
Close living quarters and not very good sanitary facilities.  Disease was easily spread.

We took the trolley back to the visitors center and headed back to the coach.  Its been a great week and we have seen a lot.  Tomorrow we hit the road for NY.  The next post may be from home.  We have one more stop in Verona.

Thanks For Checking In!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 
― Albert Einstein

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Colorful Island Falls, ME


I heard rain when I woke up and it was very foggy when I looked out.  Now a couple hours later the fog is lifting and I can see blue sky and the sun is breaking through, it should be a nice day to explore.

Well we got a late start but we ended up doing a lot.  I called the town hall to see about the Historical Museum.  She gave me the number of the lady in charge.  I called her house and talked to her husband.  Becky is also the librarian and is at the library today.  She asked what time would be good for us and then found a lady to meet us at the museum at 1pm.  So we went and drove around the town and looked at houses.  I showed Bonnie the jail that I thought was the museum.  Then we stopped at the library and Becky came out to the car and talked to us for a while.  Good thing she did because the museum has moved.  I had actually driven to it yesterday.  So we went over there and meet our tour guide.

The Tinley house is home to the museum
This potato storage barn is yet to be restored

We helped put this shelter back together

All fixed
I can't remember the ladies name but she was a wealth of information and has lived here here whole life.  She also is a retired nurse so Bonnie and her had a connection there.  I asked how Twin Falls came to be and got its name.  Seems an explorer came over this way from Patten, about 10 miles away and claimed this area.  He saw a small island in the river with a water falls on each side thus the name Island Falls.

The house is an all volunteer project and they have done a wonderful job of preserving the towns history we spent over an hour there and learned way more than I will remember.  Here are a few pictures.

A table full of radio equipment

A Radiola by RCA $24.95 in 1926 (that was a lot)
 She gave us a tour of the whole house and the were a lot of rooms on 2 floors and all nicely decorated with historical items.

The old wood cook stove

Original Slate stone sink.

And yet another Victrola radio
Bonnie bought a recipe book to help support the efforts here and we said our thanks and good byes.

We headed back toward the condo but decided to keep going up the Smyrna where there is an Amish Settlement.  We were not sure exactly where it was so we pulled into the Smyrna Post Office.  About that time the UPS man came out of the PO and Bonnie asked him where it was.  He knew exactly and even gave us the address of the store.

We found the hardware/variety store.

Amish Store
Bonnie took a quick look inside and decided to go to the vegetable stand.  I went in and looked around.  Just natural light in there since the Amish do not use electric.  There was just about anything you could want in there.  I looked around and the only thing that called out my name was some Coconut Bon Bons.

Very Good
Bonnie bought some tomatoes and molasses cookies and sweet rolls.  She also got directions to the cheese factory and furniture store.  We missed the cheese place but found it on our way back.  When we pulled in we recognized the owner as the Amish man and horses that we had passed out on the highway.  Bonnie went to talk to him and then we met his son who makes the cheese.  We had a nice chat and even got to get a quick tour of the artificial cave where they age the cheese.  It is kept cool by ice that is cut from the lake in the winter.

The ice goes in this door and the cheese is underground in the building
We even picked up some cheese to try.

Looking forward to trying this
Next we went next store to the Rustic Furniture factory and store.

In to the storeroom
There were lots of logs around the building and lots of rustic furniture to admire in the showroom.  These pieces would look great in a cabin in the woods.  They must not of seen us drive in as no one ever came out into the showroom  I believe they were in the shop working.

It was late afternoon so we headed back to the condo.  Oh look what we spotted on the way back.

A small herd of Buffalo (farm raised)
 We also captured some nice views of the Mountains, wow the trees are turning quickly.

I hope we get a clear sunny day to take some pictures soon.  Maybe all the wind that is blowing today will blow the clouds away.  It is really windy here and makes the condo creak.

Bonnie made a nice chicken dinner and tonight we plan to watch a few new shows on TV.


Nice and sunny this morning at least until the clouds rolled in over the mountains.  Bonnie stayed up late reading and slept in this morning.  We talked about what to do and decided to to take it easy today and take a long road trip tomorrow.  Bonnie decided to go into town to look at the thrift shops and I got a couple movies from the office.

Watched two of the movies but I could not finish the third, it just did not appeal to me.  Bonnie came back a lot sooner than I expected and showed me the few things that she had picked up.  We planned a big drive for tomorrow and then just relaxed and watch TV the rest of the evening.


We were up earlier than usual this morning.  Our plan was about a 200 mile road trip.  We had our breakfast which included some of the Amish Sweet rolls from yesterday.  Then we headed to Patten to visit the Lumbermen's Museum.  There was a lot to see there but we limited ourselves to just the reception building and looked at a lot of the pictures, watched a video, and browsed through their books.  There is a lot to see there and one could easily spend a half day there.

Its Moose hunting season here and we passed by a game checking station on the way to Patten.  This young man shot his first Moose this morning.  It weighed 679 pounds and the 17 point rack had a 50 inch spread.

Bigger than it looks
From there we headed toward Ashland, Presque Isle, and Caribou.

Small part of a large log yard
We found our selves suddenly in farm country.  There was field after field.  The found looked nice and sandy and there were lots of potatoes ready for harvest.

Potatoes ready to harvest

Harvesting potatoes is a dusty job
We soon arrived in Caribou, ME the Northeastern most city in the USA.

A nice little city.
Then we decided to head into Canada at the Fort Fairfield border Crossing.  No wait we drove right up showed our passports and answered a couple questions.  We were on our way into New Brunswick.  The GPS showed the speed limit in MPH like 68 and 43, instead of KPH.

Nice views of the river
The landscape looked pretty much the same as in Maine and the TransCanada highway was just like an Interstate.  We saw the sign for the worlds longest covered bridge in Hartland NB and decided to take the exit.

We could not drive across the bridge as they are working on it but we did take a few pictures.

Watching the river flow by

Resurfaced road, its a long bridge

Over 1200 feet
A bonus stopping here was we toured the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company

Old time truck

Chips and Gifts Hard to beat
This is a small family owned business.  They have three kettles and cook 50lbs of potatoes at a time.  They ship all over the world and you can find their chips in Aldi's under a store brand name.  They brought us a sample bag of chips right out of the kettle, made from potatoes that were in the ground yesterday.

We crossed back in to the USA at the next exit which was at Houlton, ME.  After a short wait and a few questions we waved on.

Back in the USA
We headed South for Linneus looking for a restaurant called Grammy's. We kept hearing about it from people we met so we wanted to try it.

Found it
And we were not disappointed.  Delicious food and huge portions.

Single serving of cole slaw

Shrimp, Fish, and Sweet Potato Fried

Homemade Coconut Creme Pie
I brought half of mine home and Bonnie did not come close to finishing her fries and left them, in favor of the pie and a cream puff to go.  We had about an hour until sundown and I set the GPS to take us home.

It took us the shortest route but it was down a dirt road.

Bumpy dirt road
 Not only was the road dirt, it was being worked on and we met truck after truck coming back in and stirring up the dust.  My guess they are either repairing or preparing the road for heavy log trucks.  We did get to see some colorful trees.  It seems they are changing in front of our eyes.

Bright red trees
 We got back just as the sun went behind the hills.

Day is done
We have seen a lot since coming up here to Island Falls.  Another great week in progress.

Thanks For Checking In!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” 
― Albert Einstein