Thursday, August 6, 2015
It was the "Unknowns"---the hundreds of "Unknowns" with brick-shaped, granite markers and a number---like maybe 251 or 310. That's all that's left to note their existence.They were mostly young lads---many having been misled about the value and length of what was to be a 620,000+++++ casualty bloodbath. Chaps with their lives ahead of them--- but now lost in the vast expanse of time. What I'm talking about is the mammoth Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg. Can't seem to shake it the feelings it gave Ann and me.
Left Gettysburg KOA early, this AM and made it to Salem, Virginia's La Quinta Inn, bought a 6-pack of Miller Lite and headed for the pool. It was just 2:00 PM, but too far from the crib to do in one day (by our standards).
Some stream-of-conscious thoughts from this EGG trek up through Pa., upper N.Y., New Hampshire and Maine are:
The old, old buildings and churches and graveyards---huge graveyards because so much time has passed and so many people have up and died. The old, old homes, and skinny streets, and lush, lush flora---due in great part to the record amount of snow melt. The beautiful wildflowers---many the same as down south, but healther-looking. The lack of tacky billboards, the cool, clear air; the seeminfly endless forests in more places than I had imagined; the large numbers of churches---some 200 yrs or more old---all painted white, with neatly groomed yards; the stretches of awful roads---expanding in the summer, and then buckling up in the sub-zero winter. Met a nice fellow from Vermont who went through 8 chords of wood "...plus I ran the furnace most mornings. Had about six weeks of -25 below." Then, there was the very dandy haddock burger up in northern Maine at Beales---a feast in a big basket, with fries, tarter sauce and a side of purple cabbage slaw---all eaten right next to where the lobster and fishing boats dock up and the sea breeze was a- puffing and everybody laughing and stuffing their face.
Home to the crib manana---(knock on the simulated wood bedside table here at La Quinta.)
Here's wishing you peace and happiness.
Oh yeah, perhaps you'll want to check out www.richarddavidrandall.com. The book, Oh, Nelly! , was just released. A second book will be coming out late this fall.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
On the Interstates. Whoa unto us. Tks. to Dwight Eisenhower's Interstate Roads Program, for the most part, they get from point "A" to point "B" quicker than the red roads. Seems like we take the red roads to a destination and the Interstates home. Humm....
Last night, in N.Y. KOA, way the hell down many, many twisted, "Blind Curve" roads--- my horror being a dead end road with no place to turn a trailer around. This is the firery pit for a trailer'er. But there it was. And there was a hardy, 18 year old Croatian fellow with a chain saw, cutting a stump next to our site. Having driven 4 hrs., I wanted to rest a bit, have a suds, and chill. It had a happy ending... and it led to our meeting the
owner of this, and other
KOA's, a ranch..homes here and there...the whole works. BUT he was dying, and addicted to morphine. A handsome, charming, 49 yr. old fellow with a beautful wfe and children. It all stems from three, simultaneously ruptured discs in his spin, which led to a wire mesh around the discs, through-bolted with ss bolts. The morphine (doctor's orders) has rendered his colon disfunctional. The upshot is that he's dying & he's trying to fathom what this is all about. Alas......
At KOA, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Going to see what this is all about. Both Ann and I having kin who fought in the Civil War. We were a couple of hrs. away, and couldn't pass it by.
My Great Aunt Jenny B. Crane, who lost her fiance during the siege of Richmond and intentionally remained a widow, thereafter put it, "I was 18 years old before I learned that damn Yankee was two words,"
I'm going to try to put a bunch of non-published photos from Acadia and assorted other sites during early stages of trek home.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
"Yep..., pure lobster meat is $44 a pound; crab meat, $55."
"Gemme a hamburger steak and fries,"
"You get another side."
"Don't want another side. Double-up on the fries."
The waitress rolled her eyes and moved from the Harley, hamburger steak dude to us and we ordered lobster dinners and beers. The dinners were $23, each dinner, and came with clams, mussels, and an ear of corn. Ate outside. Nice breeze, cool, clean air breeze, cold beer, and great food ----apart from the fact that they'd put rubber bands on the poor little red bugger's claws and boiled him alive in a steaming caldrun not far from our table.
Gems from an Arcadia nature museum: a Raccoon is a Procyon lotor; a Red Fox, a Vulpes Vulpes
Sewer pump alarm switch problem here at Lamone St. Pk. Twelve midnight and the alarm fires off. Sounds like the prison- break alarm at Attica Penitentiary. Fellow in another trailer said he had flashbacks to Nam---expected to hear "Incoming...Incoming!!"
It seems that the pump and switch are antique; and the service rep "had to go backto the office and do some research." That was a week ago. The seasnal volunteer is telling me this the next day. A rather glib fellow who looked like Robert Duval, the volunteer says, "Yeah..., the switch ain't the half of it. The mower is the only thing that's working." About this time a 50ish woman with platinum blond,big hair storms up and says,"Exc-u-u-u-se me. The doornob on Womans' Shower #2 needs some spray---some of that WD 4-44, or whatever you call it. It stuck and I had a panic attack." She storms off with the same gait as upon arrival.
The volunteer renders a prolonged, deep sigh and says, "See what I mean? Just how much do they expect from a volunteer?"
"How 'bout a cold beer," I say.
"Can't. Gotta go turn on the sewer pump switch. It's on manual, now. Somebody's gotta do it every 4 hours or we'd all be up to our waists in sewage. Like I say, just how much to they expect from a volunteer?"
Ann and I looked at each other over breakfast. It was that look you get when it's time to go home. It's a subliminal thing.....a feeling You know it's time to return to the nest. We've thoroughly "done" Arcadia National Park. I reckon the next batch of pictures will speak for themselves.....
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
We arced north to the skinny part of New Hampshire, zipped across, and found ourselves by exceedingly good fortune in a cool, grassy site in Lamoine State Pk. next to Frenchman's Bay, which skirts next to Acadia National Pk.,our destination (maybe). There'll be an assortment of photos from yesterday's and today's sojorns into the park.
Acadia is "sculpted" from three ice ages---the last one being 150 million yrs. ago. Ice is estimated to have been as much as two miles thick. Note the photos of the shoreline rock---how it was "tormented" by this shifting ice. I have no words to describe the raw beauty here at Acadia..
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
1. Moose skat looks like deer skat except the pellets are larger. A fellow camper was fishing down at the Park's, Osmore Pond & he cast his bait over next to a large rock in the pond only to discover the rock was a bull moose's butt. It seems they often graze on the bottom, thus only showing their bottoms.
2. 1.7 mile hike over roots & rocks up Owl Head mountain. Great view, but it busted my chops. Ann's, too. I'm not 35 any more! During the return hike we came upon 4 or 5 fellows, one of whom was photographing a slug on a red toadstool. His buddy said, "He wants to show the dichotomy," to which the photographer quipped, "And I'm from New Jersey.
3. The moose butt fisherman gave us three 10-12 inch speckled trout he'd just caught---all cleaned and in a ziploc bag. I rolled them in 1/2&1/2, and then yellow cornmeal; we fried them & it was by far the best fish I've ever tasted. The pinkish, moist meat pulled away from the bones as slick as a whistle. We ate it with our fingers---no tarter sauce or lemon---just scrumptuous, pure, wild fish.
4. Took an early morning canoe trip around Osmore Pond---about a mile. Thick mist & a cool breeze, but the water felt warm.
5. When we're not connected to a spigot (no hookups) & we're camping, "Billygoat Gruff", the EGG's water pump, makes a deep, howling noise. A fellow camper down in Alabama said it kept his kids awake---that they thought it was a monster. After 20k+ miles of the Gruffster, today I discovered on the pump a tiny screw accompanyed by teeny font lettering that said "Increase Pressure" with an arrow pointing right. Thinking too much pressure was the problem, I turned the screw to the left and Shazam!! the noise diminished.
Tomorrow we cross the skinny part of northern New Hampshire and go as close to Acadia Nat. Pk. as we can handle in preparation for our pounce Tuesday morning, on Blackwood Campground's first-come-first-serve policy.
Friday, July 24, 2015
"Life is a shadow's dream."
---Pindar, ancient, Greek poet
Notes from the womens' toilet stall door, Nick's Lake St. Pk., Old Forge, NY
"Why are people so mean to Justin Bieber?"
"The reason I'm standing on the toilet is because there's a giant lizard thing on the floor.
"This is the place we were meant to be." (The toilet? Out in the woods at Nick's? What.... already?
Actual, Intercom announcements made by principals where Ann worked:'
"As you know, the Athletic Booster's Club is having a shrimp boil this Saturday
and I expect all of you to attend. Remember...if you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter."
"Who....is the dirty dog that put the condom on the water fountain?"
At Lake. Placid (Plastic) KOA. Heading for Vermont manana. 85$ ferry ride across Lake Champagne to Burlington. Then, maybe we can scrounge up a Vt. St. Pk. campground toward the northwest of Burlington, as we arc north and east over toward Maine.
Accompanying photos are from Nick's Lake, en route to Lk. Placid, etc
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Feeling detached like I truly needed to feel; Ann, too. We talk a good bit about I.T. insanity--- being hexed by it; etc. On that note, I'd like to officially pay homage to our Garmin GPS. Without it, we'd still be driving in circles down in Pa. You wouldn't believe the twisty, remote, little roads (once, no doubt, Indian paths) we've traversed during the past 2-3 days. Those thirty GPS satellites overhead deserve God-like status.
There are a couple of photos of Nick's Lake and environs. The clouds up here in the Adirondacks are busy---mounding up blue-gray, dissipating---maybe a little sprinkle, a shower, and then the sun breaks out. Like I say,the clouds up here are busy. And then there's the always the cool,cool, clean, clean air buffeting around.
Finally, there are a few snapshots of some sweet little conifers---a whole family of them all jolly in
Manana, Lake Placid.