July 2016 - Bellingham, MA - Falmouth, MA - Woods Hole, MA - Hyannis, Chatham, Halifax, Nova Scotia

     The first part of July, we left Bellingham, MA, and drove to Falmouth, MA, to cycle.  We had 3 choices of bike trails so since we support Rails-to-Trails through our donations, we chose the trail from Falmouth to Woods Hole -- and back. The vistas were stunning and it made our hearts happy to see the trail so well used. 

      I surely need more saddle time--last week's rides have made me acutely aware that I've not been riding long enough or often enough. Bill's not complaining---guess he's tougher than I am!
     As we drove around Hyannis, I Googled "Kennedy Compound" and lo and behold, it led us straight to it!  All I can say is---it's quite lovely and requires more white paint than I can imagine.

     Early July we began our day at 7 AM to tour Martha’s Vineyard which is far larger in area than we’d ever have dreamed. In the summer 100,000 people are there and only 17,000 brave enough to endure their winters. I think we saw all 100,000 yesterday and we kept running into one couple again and again. As many restaurants as there are, we even had lunch at the same place!!! The biggest coincidence/happening was seeing a boating friend, Jane, from Marathon and the church we attend there…who ALSO is from Charleston! She was on her way to an art lecture in one of the galleries. As large as the island is, it’s a small small world.


     In Marathon several years ago, we met Peter and Diane, who are boaters but were vacationing by car.  As my tales generally are, how we met is a long story and I'll spare  you.  They are lobstermen and live in Hull, MA, which is on the very tip of a peninsula. 

     Diane saw on FaceBook that we were going to be in MA and they invited us to come for a visit. Of course we accepted their generous offer.  Peter is a septuagenarian and has lived in Hull all his life except for his time in the USN and college. He was explaining the tidal change to us and at that time it was LOW tide.  I asked if they'd ever found any treasures on the beach and he quickly spoke up and said that long ago, he did.  As a teenager he was a life guard on that beach and that's where he met Diane who was a nanny for some little children---and that's where their lives began.

     They loaded us up in their SUV and gave us a grand tour of Hull showing us where Peter used to play as a little boy, where he dug clams, where he grew up and the family home. He's happiest on the water and regrets when his day on the ocean is done.  Isn't it a dream for someone to love their job after so many years and they still look forward to going back in the morning and doing it all over again.  He offered to take us out fishing with him but he drops his lines at 5 AM!!! 

     Another of their treats to us was steamed lobsters in their home. I confess to devouring 2!  Peter prepared a side dish of pasta flavored with lobster and also contained large "chunks" of lobster. We are so spoiled now because getting a steamed lobster who swam that morning is difficult if not impossible to find.

     Another early morning, from Hingham, we hopped a high speed ferry to land in Boston to visit galleries, museums, and generally to broaden our horizons. Maybe we'll go to a Tea Party or indulge in some Boston Baked Beans.

Boston Architecture

Christopher Columbus Park

Faneuil Hall Market Place

Boston Marathon Finish Line
     We moved on to Cape Ann so that we'd be near Glocester, MA, so that we could visit Betsy and Martin, more boating friends.  They also gave us a great tour of the area and introduced us to Holy Cow, a purveyor of mouth watering ice cream.  We picked up lobster rolls and went to park to devour them.  Gloster is such a cool little village and we very much enjoyed our time spent with them.
Martin and Betsy and Lobster Rolls
Stage Fort Park, Glocester, MA

Halibut Point State Park Pond
Rockport, MA

Martin, Betsy, Bill
Halibut Point State Park

      The 4 of us took a 2 ½ hour boat ride to tour light houses.  Was hoping for a whale but alas...!  We did see many old and beautiful light houses.  Once upon a time I began a collection of miniatures of all that we'd visited but think after this trip, that accumulation will have to be halted.

     We relish the time that we had with Betsy and Martin but it's time to move on to Bar Harbor and our campsite was within a stone's throw of the water.  Not a bad view from our back yard.  We spent 6 nights there and there were umpteen trails to hike and bikeways to discover.  The journey to Bar Harbor along the back roads was exquisite. There was one little old town after another. Felt as if my head were on a swivel.  I LOVE New England!

     Acadia Park, MA, is an absolute breath-taking destination and a wonderful place for an escape.  Its huge but quiet, pastoral, fresh air...a perfect piece of paradise. 

Bass Harbor Light

      Somehow we by-passed (2 hours back down the road), Owl Head, ME, that has a collection of old cars so Bill wanted to visit it bad enough to back track.  Can't imagine anything being good enough for a 4 hour drive in one day but he loved it and said it was worth every second of the trip.

      While we were there we did a really dumb thing and I take full responsibility. We were looking for a hike and decided on Cadillac Mountain knowing nothing about the terrain and only that it was 6 ½ miles with a 1530 foot elevation.  Piece of cake, I thought.  Mistake #1-not researching the terrain.  Mistake #2-leaving at 12:30 PM with an early breakfast as our only fuel.  Mistake #3-appropriately dressed for a "hike"---which this was NOT.  Mistake #4-having in our possession a few almonds, 1 very old Cliff Bar, and a bottle of water each.  Oh, good grief!  We were expecting a hike like we flatlands are accustomed.  Little did we know we should've taken a Camelback, pick, ropes, spiked shoes, and gloves. It's probably an exaggeration to say that it seemed to be a vertical rock climb with a shorter but steeper descent.  Either I'm really out of shape...or I'm certainly not in good shape.  I pondered summoning a chopper to come pluck us off what felt like Pike's Peak.  About 4:30 PM, the temp drastically changed by dropping about 15 degrees and I was freezing.  Our jackets were in the car. T'was definitely not a walk in the park and in the future, I vow to research the topography before blindly taking off on a "hike". Never too old to learn.

THIS is Cadillac Mountain!!!!!
Do you feel my pain?

     When we reached the flat peak, the view was extraordinary and well worth the huffing and puffing.  The only piece of litter we saw the entire time was a cigarette butt near the top.  I was sucking in the atmosphere with clear pink lungs. Can't imagine a smoker making it the far.  Even saw a woman in flip flops---all the other hikers/rock climbers were in hiking boots.  Flippity Flops??  Just can't fathom.

     Jeff and Karen, (wouldn't you know it!)  boating friends, recommended a place in Bernard, ME, very near Bar Harbor/Acadia Park for lobster.  What a place!!!What a thrill to sit on their screened in porch devouring their catch of the morning while looking out on their harbor with many moored lobster boats and quite a few came in to off-load their catch.  Loved this place.

  Basking in the afternoon sun while having afternoon tea and popovers on the lawn of the Jordan Pond House is a tradition.  Our server was a delight.  She studied abroad this past year and will transfer to south FL this fall---and she's never seen the campus.  She's a biology major and has medical school in her sites. 

The lawn of Jordan Pond House
 after tea and popovers

       As this month is drawing to a close, we sit in a long line to enter Canada.  The line's probably composed of Americans going in search of Canadian real estate. We're near Halifax for 7 nights--we never roost anywhere that long.  What if we grow roots???  Aye??

     We made far more stops than is chronicled here...but this is more than enough to lull you to sleep.

     We've heard so much about the (up to) 52' tidal change in the Bay of Fundy so we had to go see for ourselves.  We drove to Sussex from Bay of Fundy Provincial Park and these are photos of lobster boats sitting on the bottom awaiting water beneath their hulls to get on with business.

Bay of Fundy's LOW Tide
We could walk on the ocean's floor

Below are photos from our stroll around downtown Halifax.

     We had lunch/dinner in downtown Halifax at the Old Triangle Irish Ale House.  I'd just "enjoyed" one of the famous Bill Bender Walking Tours so thought I'd earned a Raspberry Wheat Beer which was very tasty.

                                          More lighthouses!


Signing off from Halifax, Nova Scotia
Bill and Laura Bender


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