Tag Archives: Hampton Beach

Bear Spring Camps 2017 was a smashing success

Greetings, readers. I am back from Bear Spring Camps and ready to begin work again. I am feeling energized with many ideas for blog entries and personal writing projects. I sat in my cabin every evening listening to the crickets and the loons while I was deep in thought reflecting on the year to come.

First of all let me tell you about my rental car. OMG! The 2017 Hyundai Tucson is that company’s small SUV. It had adequate space, more than enough power and every gadget and readout known to man. With cruise control on the interstates it averaged 31.5 miles per gallon. Not too shabby. Along with the GPS unit I purchased, I was easily able to go on my side trips. I stopped at Portland, Maine on the way up and on the way back, and even spent an hour at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. I used my computer’s webcam to take a few snapshots. Only one turned out very well and I put it up on Facebook.

I used the computer’s webcam to take this photo. I think it really well.

As Rebecca said in her blog entry a couple of weeks ago, I got a late start the Thursday morning I left for camp and was only about 30 miles down the highway at lunchtime. I stopped at the Flying J truck stop for lunch, over ate, and then had to blare music and freeze myself with air conditioning just to stay awake. The Hyundai had Sirius XM radio, which I took advantage of quite a bit. Did I love that car? I put 1,455 miles on it. That should answer the question. I always tell myself I will drive back to Maine during the year but that never seems to happen, nor do I think it will this year. I will have to return to using Zipcars for my driving around town.

Driving down the lane to my cabin for the first time brought back all the wonderful memories of years gone by. I felt Mom with me in the car and in the cabin many times. I had a nice surprise; the tree in front of my front porch was trimmed back a bit, giving me a better view of the lake.

It rained a bit more than usual. When it was raining, I had to go inside and close the door. At night time I don’t mind that. During the day there is not much to do. I tried a couple of times on rainy afternoons to connect to the Dunkin’ Donuts internet in Waterville and I am sorry to say I didn’t have much success. I always got coffee and a doughnut. Not much changed in Waterville or Belgrade Lakes, but not much ever does.

I went early morning fishing just once and it was a truly magical experience. For a short time we were fog bound, then it lifted to be a gorgeous morning. The lake’s water level was higher than it has been in a number of years. That was good for people with pontoon boats like me. I’m already signed up for next year and am eagerly awaiting August 4th.

I had one disposable camera and I think that 25 out of the 27 shots will be good ones. On two occasions the camera was slipping out of my hand when I heard the click, so I will have a beautiful blurry shot of a boat seat and another of my foot. Better to do that then drop the camera and lose all my pictures.

When I came home Sunday afternoon, Keekee was beside herself. She meowed, jumped on me and nuzzled, wanted food and lots of loving. She is a happy kitty cat once again. I am sure her extra affectionate mood will calm down when she realizes that I will not be going anywhere else again soon.

How would I rate this trip? Family and friends: 10 out of 10; the weather: only 7 out of 10 [more rain than usual]; fishing: 8 out of 10 [usual for me, fantastic for others. Both Dave and his nephew Cole caught pickerel and pike.] Food; 10 out of 10 as usual. For an overall score of 8.75 out of 10.

There is a summary of this year’s Maine voyage. As much as I loved being there, it is good to be back so we can get to work. Until tomorrow, take care, have a wonderful day, and happy reading.

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My options for my side trip on the way to Maine

Greetings, readers. Over the past few years when I have driven myself to Bear Spring Camps, I’ve taken a half day for a side trip. One year I stopped in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and spent a few hours at the seaside. The town looked nothing like how I remembered it from when I was a boy. With many more shops and hotels, it is certainly geared for the tourist trade.

Two years ago I stopped in Portland, Maine and had an absolute blast. I drove to the Portland Sea Dogs baseball stadium, Hadlock Field, to see it they had a souvenir shop. I was extremely happy to find that they did. I bought way too much stuff; two baseball caps – both home and away, two sweatshirts, a baseball, a coffee mug, and a refrigerator magnet. After that I drove around Portland a bit and had a late lunch at a waterside seafood shop. They had a delicious lobster roll. After spending way too much time in Portland, I had to tear myself away to get to Waterville for my Friday evening hotel reservation.

What to do this year? Hmmm. I could revisit one of those two places, or choose something completely different. Now that I own a GPS unit, I might even venture into a bigger city, such as Boston or Hartford and do a little sightseeing. My Friday evening hotel reservation this year is in Augusta, roughly 20 miles from the Waterville exit, so I will be close enough to camp on Saturday morning so as not to feel rushed or think that my first day is getting away from me.

Obviously I did not see all of Portland when I was there before. If I venture back this year I can drive all around, not just down Commercial Street. As some of you might remember from a previous blog entry, that street is depicted in one of my train simulator routes and it was amazing how accurate the game was, right down to the corner convenience store. If I do go back to Portland, I will stop at that seafood shop for another lobster roll. I really enjoy them, as did my mom.  It was Mom’s favorite meal during the Maine trip, and I will have one in her memory.

Usually I don’t stop anywhere on the way home, but depending on traffic, I just might this year. Again, having my own GPS unit will come in handy. It opens up a lot of options for me. One of these days, if I sell enough books and become independently wealthy (LOL), I will use my Garmin and visit places in the country I always wanted to see. For now though, the Garmin is only for the Maine trip.

Next week I expect to have a two-day work week with Rebecca, even though Thursday is my birthday. I’m not a kid anymore and I don’t mind working on my birthday. We’ll have two more exciting blog entries for you. One of them just might be political. I’ve been biting my tongue ever since President Trump got elected. I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I might just have to speak out.

So we bid you a good weekend, please do take care, good wishes to any people in the Montana earthquake who might have been injured, and as always, happy reading.

I got my vacation pictures back and the students are back

Greetings, readers. I am back in the flow of working again and it feels good. I spent a wonderfully productive morning typing one of the new camp book stories. Speaking of camp, I got my vacation pictures back the other day and all but one clunker turned out beautifully. I had taken shots not only of the trip to Maine and Bear Spring Camps, but also several pictures when I stopped at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. I got pictures of the waves, of the sand, a couple of birds, and as far as people, I purposefully did not take any close up shots of strangers. Boy, has Hampton Beach changed since I had last been there. Let’s see, last time I was there was 1975. It obviously is much more built up with shops, eateries and motels. And of course, everything is more expensive, including food and parking. Still, I would not have traded those couple of hours for anything; a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

One of the pictures, most likely the shot of my cabin, will be the cover photo for the upcoming camp book; while other very cute shots, such as the sculptures of a moose and black bears at two rest stops in Maine, will definitely be used inside the book. I  believe they will be just as beautiful in black and white as they are in color. Also in the photo packs were pictures of the grand nieces and nephews, as well as other members of my best friend David Trost’s family. While not all shots turned out great, I will choose some photos to include inside the book. I will also ask Peg, the owner of the camp, if I can include some photos of the camp ground itself. Oh, how I love those one-time throw-away cameras with the high shutter speeds. They allow me, even with my wobbly hand, to take decent pictures.

Part two of this blog entry, deals with the end of summer. Or at least summer as I know it. Yes, the Penn State students are back in town. Gone are the nights that are quiet; back are the nights where whooping and hollering will be heard until the wee hours. I suppose though that after seven hours of classes that the students need to let off some steam. We have a pub right across the street from my apartment building that can get quite crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, especially on a football weekend. But this is a college town and these kids do support the local economy. And I do understand that lots of students the PSU football games, which I also enjoy on TV, unless I’m at Rebecca and Darren’s place playing Dungeons and Dragons.

By the winter time the football season is over and the town calms down a little. However I still enjoy the time from early May until the third week in August. Yes, there are students here taking summer classes, but places like Panera and the Diner don’t ever seem to be as crowded. On football weekends I don’t even try to go to Panera anymore. Lines are out the door. Enough said about that. I am done ranting and raving.

Until next week, have a great weekend. Enjoy the good weather if you’ve got it. Take care and happy reading.

Back from camp and off to a slow start

Greetings, readers. First, thanks to Rebecca for keeping you all up to date while I was gone. This is going to be a short entry; I’m still trying to get my back-to-work routine worked out and have not gotten off to a good start. I plan to put another blog entry up tomorrow and to get back to the at-least-two-a-week schedule by next week.

Greetings, Readers the book turned out very well. Here’s to success.

Lastly, a little bit about my trip. Fishing was as good as it ever was since I’ve been going to camp. Baskets full of bass and white perch everyday. Plenty to go around to all the family members. We had bonfires and story time as well as a couple of powwows with my best friend Dave. I just love our brother-to-brother chats. On Friday, however, I felt like building an ark. Three and a half inches of rain, with local flooding, in a twenty hour period. I actually had to pack the morning I was leaving. Not fun. But I made it up to Maine and back, including a side trip to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, with no problems.

Until tomorrow, take care, enjoy, and happy reading.