Thursday, October 25, 2018

Part IV - Massachusetts and Home Again

We had quite an adventure in Boston.  Our hotel was beautiful inside (and expensive) but was in an awful neighborhood and we had to park our car in a parking lot next to the hotel.  Our second night, we found a space right next to the hotel which was difficult to get into but...  Anyway, at one in the morning, the phone rings and then someone comes knocking on our door.  Seems in this awful neighborhood, I managed to have left both front windows open!!  Luckily, all was okay!  We never left anything of real value in the car anyway.  We spent our full day in Boston taking an all day tour of the area by bus, stopping along the way at various sights.  This was one of the beautiful trees around the Commons in Lexington where the Revolutionary War started!  We had a FANTASTIC lunch at Faneuil Hall . We then headed to the USS Constitution.  I had toured that many years ago so passed on that.  

We were supposed to do a whale watch on Cape Cod but it was cancelled because the weather was too windy to take the ship out which was disappointing but we did spend the day driving all the way out to Provincetown and then back to New Bedford where we spent the night before heading back to Rochester.

We stopped by a lovely beach near P-town where there were quite a number of Greater Yellowlegs -- don't think I have ever seen this many in one place before!

They were quite a ways off and it was very bright and sunny so not the best pics.

This is a Semi-palmated Plover.  There were also some Herring Gulls and Sanderlings on the beach.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Part III - Down Maine - Naples, Acadia National Park and Portland Maine

Our first stop in Maine was in Naples Maine where we took a ride down the river on the Songa Queen. It was a nice day which I can't say for many of our days in Maine! 

This is Mt. Washington off in the distance.

No trip would be complete without some birds.  This is a Common Loon with his winter plummage.  We also saw tons of turkeys along our way by the side of the road.

Our next stop was Acadia National Park which is just outside Bar Harbor Maine.  We first took a bus trip and then drove up ourselves through the park to the top of Mt. Cadillac.  The park is beautiful and not at all what I expected!  I am so used to seeing low lying lands near the water and in no way expected to see nothing but rugged rocky coasts, and mountains with little discernible beaches.  The coastline was gorgeous as was the drive around the park.  Would love to come back when the puffins are nesting.  

 This was a series of pictures taken in our ride through the park.  It was overcast and drizzly.

This was overlooking the bay at Acadia.

We then headed down the coast to Portland Maine.  The weather was just awful there but we took a really fun boat ride on the mail boat which I highly recommend.  It darts to the various islands to deliver mail and packages.  I had no idea that areas like this existed outside of books!  The coast was just dotted with these small islands high up off the water.

This is a Common Eider.  I saw lots of these but the weather was so bad, I only got pictures good enough to identify the bird.  I did get one picture of the very colorful male but it is too blurry to post -- but good enough to clearly identify the bird.  From Portand we headed down the coast to Boston.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pt. II - Mt. Washington -- the Auto Road!

Despite some warnings not to, we decided to tackle the auto road to the top of Mt. Washington ourselves rather than taking a tour or take the cog railroad.  They give you a cd at the entry to the auto road that you can play as  you drive up the mountain.  There is a reason they sell sweatshirts and bumper stickers that say "I drove to the top of Mt. Washington"!  Three quarters of the way up, we were engulfed in clouds and the road was gravel, narrow, curvy and very steep.  Cars coming in the opposite direction are driving in first gear.  The road is so narrow that there is an established right of way - can't remember now whether the people going up or coming down have the right of way.  

 The trees disappear and you are in a Alpine environment.  The final altitude is over 6000 feet and is the highest on the East Coast.  It also serves as the convergence of several weather systems according to the cd and the lowest temp recorded was here in 1934. 

 As we were in the middle of a cloud, there was no great view from the top for us.  You can see us heading into the cloud here and below we are actually going above the cloud.  So no view of the Atlantic Ocean which  you supposedly can see on a clear day (and these are very rare).

I should add that at the top of Mt Washington, the temp was 32 degrees and the wind was a steady 50 mph the day we were there.  We saw on the news the next day that the fog had frozen and there was rime at the top!!  There were some steps to get to the absolute top but there was no way we were going to attempt it in that cold and wind!!

We wanted to explore a little more of New Hampshire so we took the long way into Maine.  These pictures are of Crawford's Notch.  

We then headed from New Hampshire into Maine.  We stopped In Naples Maine on our way to Acadia National Park.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

Travels of a Leaf Peeper! Part I

Well, I haven't been online for about a month  now for a variety of reasons!  I was supposed to come down to my winter home in North Carolina about a month ago but Hurricane Florence made my destination an island off of another island basically.  I was supposed to head to New England with a friend starting in North Carolina.  A few days before the trip, it was obvious that I wouldn't be able to get to my winter home as so many roads were closed.  So last minute we replanned and headed to New England from Rochester.

First we took the back roads through the Adirondacks  and took a ferry across Lake Champlain to Shelbourne Vermont.  From there we headed to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and then onto Acadia National Park in Maine trying to stick to back roads for leisurely rides.  We then went down the coast to Portland Maine, Boston and ended in Cape Cod before heading back to Rochester.

This first picture was of a surprise falls in the Adirondacks called Wadham Falls.  Pictures don't do justice to this beautiful cascading set of falls.  We weren't the only ones just stopping the car to take pictures!

Just a view in the Adirondacks as we were driving along.  This was through the car window.

Just another view of Wadham Falls.

My partner in crime with the autumn leaves in the background at Shelbourne Museum.  We concentrated on the textiles and circus buildings.  It is a huge place.  I did get to see some of the paintings as well which I hadn't seen the last time I was there.  Below are several of the many quilts that they rotate through.

Vicki is enjoying a ride on the carousel at Shelbourne.

Onward to Mt. Washington in Part II.