Before I left the Catskills I wanted to try cooking something different.
It worked out OK, just needs some fine tuning.
So last week I left New York temporarily and crossed the Hudson River into Vermont.
I holed up for a couple of nights at Woodford State Park.
At 2400 feet of elevation, Woodford is the highest state park campground in Vermont.
It's 76 sites include over a dozen on the shore of Adams Lake, like numbers 23 and 42.
I was engulfed in green at site 41.
Two huge non-lakeside spots are 66 and 83.
There are also 20 lean-to shelters and 4 cabins.
The price was right at $18 per night.
Inside the campground is a campers-only beach area.
The picnic grounds offer boat rentals and an even bigger place to get your tootsies wet.
I will be checking out many more campgrounds in Vermont and New York in a few months so I was Maine bound last Tuesday.
After a quick stop at the visitor center I arrived at Sebago Lake State Park.
This is a huge park on the shores of Sebago Lake, the second largest lake in Maine. It is also the deepest and is famous for it's land-locked salmon and sandy beaches.
It's proximity to Portland and the lakes region combine to make it the most popular campground in the state.
A large deep lake is subject to waves if the wind picks up and it was blowing when I arrived.
I made reservations here back in February, trying to pick out a good site by looking at the campground map. I picked a good one.
The lake was just steps away.
There are four types of sites.
My site, 206, was my favorite Res No-E.
Site 31 was the best No-Res No-E.
128 was a great No-Res E.
175 fits the bill for a Res E. Right across from the beach.
Oh, and 117 was my favorite walk-in tent site. It would be classified Res No-E.
After walking all of these 250 sites I made a fresh batch of taco meat and hit the lounger to read for a little bit.
It rained all Wednesday and Thursday but Friday morning was clear so I rambled to the beach for a few sunrise photos.
The water was transparent.
I headed into Portland Friday afternoon to visit a certain store and checked out the Songo Lock on my way.
It's the last operating lock in what was a series of 28 from Portland Harbor to Long Lake.
It's located just outside the park and is so hip that it has it's own snack bar.
Finally wound up at my favorite store.
I wandered the aisles and drooled over the cool gear. Checked out the giant aquarium and left only $9 poorer. A larger sum would be spent at my next stop, Wally World.
The trailer battery was not holding a charge, never really has. I could use it for my phone and Nook but it would not run an inverter or my laptop.
It's a Wal-Mart brand so I took it in and they ran a test. Not a happy battery. So I picked up a fresh deep cycle battery and another nifty item.
Back at camp I installed both of them.
That bump on top of the battery box is a heavy duty marine 12 volt outlet.
Six holes and two zip ties and now I am rocking outside power!
Works perfect. My laptop is plugged into it as I type this post.
And the item I bought at Cabela's?
Bungee cord replacement for my lounger.
Old wimpy cord on the left.
Much better. The old cord had broke in a few places so this was definitely needed.
I left Sebago on Saturday morning and spent just one night at Lake St. George SP. Nothing much there. 35 sites next to a busy road. No pics.
But I did enjoy a taco dinner and the final bit of my lettuce. Keeping the lettuce in the cooler lets you use every last leaf.
Sunday morning I crossed over the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.
I wound up at this place Sunday afternoon.
Maybe you have heard of it.
Monday morning I drove down to Sand Beach. The sun rises early here at this time of year in far north-east. The sky starts to lighten before 4am with sunrise around 4:30.
Still, I was the only one there just before 5am.
This was my first glimpse of the Atlantic since 2011. It was beautiful.
I continued on towards Otter Point.
Looking back I could still see Sand Beach.
The Park Loop Road is spectacular along the coast.
But can be downright dangerous when the crowds arrive in the summer.
Check out this sign.
Here is a closer look.
My advice, stick to the left lane. This section is one-way and you do not want to round the bend and slam into Clark Griswold's station wagon stopped right in front of you.
I went back to camp for a warm breakfast.
Pop quiz time.
What is the most visited National Park in the US?
Great Smoky Mountains, shared by North Carolina and Tennessee. Probably not what you were thinking. I will be there this fall to explore.
How about number two?
If you guessed Acadia you win a prize. A taco. Come and get it.
There are two campgrounds in Acadia NP on Mount Desert Island.
The price is a reasonable $20 and there is no fee for reservations.
I am staying at Blackwoods, the more central campground and closest to Bar Harbor, the largest town.
Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning I walked the 290 campsites. Unlike Seawall, the other campground here, Blackwoods has not changed to site specific reservations yet. That will be coming soon.
For now you just reserve an RV or tent site.
B59 was my abode.
Good site as are most here, like number A150, another RV site.
The only difference between the RV and tent sites are large rocks placed on the spur.
A3 and A14 are prime examples.
Wednesday I visited several small harbors on my way to Seawall Campground.
First up was Seal Harbor.
Then came Southwest Harbor.
I took a gander at Echo Lake, one of the only lakes that permits swimming.
A neat back road took me to Long Pond.
And from there to Bass harbor, a working port for lobster fishers.
At the entrance to Bass harbor is a small lighthouse.
With Homeland Security now running the Coast Guard, it was hard to get close. But I found a way.
The old back door.
On to Seawall.
It's named after a naturally occurring seawall.
There are four loops here.
A and C are for both tents and RV's while B is tents only. They add up to 105 sites.
The sites here are larger and offer more privacy than Blackwoods.
Here are A6, B9, and C41.
Most of C loop consists of pull-throughs.
D loop is the walk-in/hike-in area for tents only. There are over 100 sites and I did not take pics of them.
On the way back to camp I stopped by Cadillac Mountain.
At 1530 feet of elevation, it is the highest mountain on the eastern seaboard.
Oh, and the views are pretty cool.
Thursday morning I went to Bar Harbor.
A quaint old town.
Maybe 200 years ago...
But a wonderful place to visit nonetheless.
I am going to finish up this overly long post with a quick flashback to last Saturday.
I had spoken with my dad when I arrived at Sebago Lake and he remembered going to summer camp on the lake here back in 1949 and 1950.
With Father's Day this coming Sunday I decided to get him a unique gift.
I walked down to lakeshore early Saturday morning before I left.
If you look close you can see my footprints and the indentations where I paused on the shore.
To get him this:
A little bit of beach sand and a small sample of the crystal clear water. Somehow, I will get this to him. I hope it will bring back fond memories.
Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. Have your kids take you camping, or at least enjoy a nice walk or picnic outside. And have them leave their cellphones at home.
Regards, Park Ranger