Wednesday, July 29, 2015


     In Vermont, there always seems to be just enough: just enough state capitol building--a pleasing structure with the flashy, gold dome; just enough enough population--Charlotte's population about equals the state of Vermont's population; enough highways to get you where you need to go; enough state campgrounds. AND, as is the case in Maine, NO billboards. Ther flora is lush, the summer PM temp. is around 55 or 60. the air is clear and the people we met are gracious--the sort of folks you'd want to know back home.
     July 28th--29th
     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

New Discoveries at New Discovery

     Here at New Discovery State Park, Peacham, Vermont. Trailering gives us other stuff to discover, think about, and do & I'm so lucky because of it. A few examples follow:
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




     Because it freezes in the middle of the road & you gotta swerve.... but the EGG doesn't cotton to swervy driving. The dude behind me swerved, too, and Bucky finallly got some chutzpah & made it across.
     "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."
     " 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


     Pristine lake & flora around the lake, that seemingly goes for miles in every direction. It was 74 degees upon arrival at 1:00 PM. No elec., water, or sewer hookups, but who cares. We've got a Kelty 42 degree bag unzipped, & ready to go over the quilt. Cranked up the generator during Kosher gererator hrs. (4-6 & 9-11) and ran it till our trusty Presto elec. coffee pot made 10 cups. Tomorrow AM we'll reheat it using the tiny butane stove.
     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
the evening sunlight.
     Manana, Lake Placid.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


     Blue Knob St.----well, it was a blessing and a curse. We overshot it, got in a bind trying to turn around and I took a few steps closer to the firey pit with my cussing, but the park turned out to be beautiful. There were a few negatives: no hot water in the showers and no water, electricity or sewer hookups at out site. But the setting was breathtaking, as was the drive to and from, and we had a dandy time
     Humped for 5 hrs.---mostly interstate,to Watkins Glen KOA. Now this setting is a piece of work. KOA is a nationwide franchise. We hit them when there's nothing better around; they've got   Maytags,  clean bathrooms & lots of big rigs. There's a photo of a medium sized big rig, attached. The EGG is like Little Toot-Toot docked alongside mighty ocean liners.  I'm cooking on the tailgate; they're watching Fox on a plasma. What the hell. Whatever turns you on. They have a pool & we went for a dip. The water was cloudy, as in too much uremic acid (pee-pee). Somebody must have complained because it's closed today and tomorrow for "seasonal maintenance."  Oh well.....we go trailering to get out in the woods and hike, not to swim & hang out with the big-riggers. We're bailing at first light for the Adirond
acks, where the trailering is primitive (no hookups...just h20), but the vibe is more to our liking.

Blue Knob SP, Penn

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Canaan Valley West Virginia

Lovely but hard drive.  Lots of switchbacks but little traffic.  Saw some
mountaintop mining.  Ugly.


     A few photos from here at Canaan State Park, West Virgini:  The greatest bog of all time--- and  with a walkway across. At the end of the walkway lies a hemlock and spruce forest---the forest floor made up of spong-like moss and needles, the air smelling
like a Christmas tree.
     I'm bushed. 4 hrs. of mountain driving .    Later......

West Virginia



     Yesterday, after finishing the blog, everthing was set up---electric cable, water hose, wheel chocks; we'd had dinner, and we were chillin. Up pulls a gigantic fifth-wheeler (3/4 ton V8 truck) pullng a "Montana" ----a trailer as big as the state of Montana!  This wrestler-looking woman with a flattop hops down from behind the wheel and days,"Hey buddy, I hate to tell you but this is our parking spot. Her pal...a skinny woman with a flattop, cranes her head up out of the other window and bellows, "Yeah, and I got the paperwork to proove it."
The upshot was that we had to (a) move, and (b) we had to go down to the gatehouse and give the park dudes a piece of our mind for double-booking us but they were happy college kids & we all ended up laughing about Donald Trump---one of the kids actually pinched up his face like Trumpster---like the butt end of beagle and it was the Trumpster, incarnate.  The kid should be in show biz!
     We weren't angry any more and we found an even better spot, set up, and up walks a woman and her husband. I'm thinking, "Surely to God this, too,  ain't someone else's spot."  Turns out they're Australian; he's a noted poet & she was as witty as Mel Brooks, & we rapped for an hour.  Every two years they come to America, buy a Honda Gold Wing---the premo touring motorcycle---attach their tent to the rear of the bike, and tour our great country.. Been to all the states except Indiana and R.I. We exchanged emails and we're gonna hook up again---maybe even down under.  So, as mighty FATE would have it, being kicked out of our 1st camping spot allowed us to meet Karen and Joseph Flynn.  Ain't fate a hoot?
     Today, the drive over here on highway 220 between Roanoke and Millboro, Va, where Douthat State Pk. is,  was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever been on here in  America.  And I've been on a good number.  Hardwood covered medium mountains in every direction--clean, prosperous little farms, hay  on the rolling-hill meadows, a black Angus steer here-and-there.  It was a story book setting.  Must come back when the leaves have turned.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


     Been in a three-ring I.T. poop storm getting Oh, Nelly! published and out in the world. The book is available via Amazon or
& it'll be on Kindle July 19th.
      Too much  already with this book stuff; time to hit the road!  Threw the crates in the truck,hitched up the mighty EGG Camper, and we're bailing for Acadia Nat. Pk. on the coast of Maine.. Tonight we're camping in Claytor Lake State Pk., Dublin, Va.  I-77 the whole way.  "Whew!" And a second "whew!" Great camp site---woods on three sides.  Overcast and cool---aah, the cool. Just had a rain before we arrived. Took an hour hike through the pine and poplar forest. Nary another person in sight---so often the case when you get 15 or 20 mins. from the campground.  Good smells in the damp, pinestraw forest.
     Manana, we're off the Interstate---taking 220 north through the foot hills and mountains en route to W. Va.  The map says it's a "senic route". It's got to out class I-77.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Title: Oh, Nelly!  The Life and Loves of Penelope Evangeline Dougherty 1883-1963

     Meet Penelope Evangeline Dougherty, otherwise known as "Nelly":
"I've known genuine love's fierce passion and the love one feels for a soul mate. I've known parenthood's unmatched joy and agony. I've known abject poverty and financial contentment. I've known terrifying adventure, death's near misses and the double-edged sword of revenge."

     Inspired by a mysteriously discovered time-worn autobiography started by Nelly, her story is vividly brought to life once more for us, knitted with great love and a healthy dose of imagination into a compelling narrative by her grandson.  (me)

     About the Author:
A North Carolina Arts Council Writers' Fellowship recipient, Dick Randall is a retired counselor, an avid sailor and cross-country rambler. Charlotte, North Carolina is his home. Contact him at

     How to Purchase/Read the Book:
 Go to, or go directly to Amazon books and type in
 Oh, Nelly!  It will be available on Kindle e-readers on or about July 19, 2015