(OK, so while we’re already back from Canada in reality, I hated for you to miss any of the fun spots we hit on the way. So here’s a little flashback!).
We said good-bye to Elna & Henry in Bradford and headed north. After a quick (is that really possible) stop at the Costco in Burlington, we headed up through the Grand Isles of Lake Champaign on our way to Canada. Rte 2 through Lake Champaign is a very beautiful drive which I highly recommend. Guess I was too busy gawking to take pictures, but wanted to send the recommendation along! We were headed to the Thousand Island Bridge to Canada, and we made a stop at Alexandria Bay to see Boldt Castle. This is another of those famous “cottages” built during the Gilded Age (before income tax and the Depression).This castle was built by George Boldt, owner of both the Bellevue Stratford and Waldorf Astoria. He was building it for his wife who tragically died about four years into construction. After her death he halted all construction. Workers (so I am told) just laid down their tools and left. The property remained unfinished and open to the whims of nature (and those northern winters aren’t too whimsical) and local curiosity seekers. Fortunately, the castle was fully enclosed before construction was halted, but by the time it came into the hands of the Thousand Island Port Authority it had been ravaged by harsh winters, high waters, vandalism, fires and graffiti upon graffiti. Thirty years later, most of the out buildings have been restored and the Castle itself is safe to tour. While the first floor of the castle is mostly restored, the remaining floors (up to 6 in the turrets) are still covered with memories of curious tourists from generations ago(like “The Lewis family was here – 1947”).
This is the “out building” that housed the generators….
And building in the front was just used for entertaining. It even had a bowling alley –
And while you can’t really get a feel for the enormity of this building – this is the castle itself – taken from the boat as we approached to island –
Mr. Boldt never returned to this island after his beloved wife died. But now hundreds come every day. Go figure! It was a totally self guided tour – we took our time and even though the day was not very pretty, we were glad we stopped.
As the co-pilot on this trip, I am called upon to follow directions and keep track of route numbers, etc. This has, unfortunately, not been the easiest role for me.
However, if you think (know) that I am Directionally Challenged – then what about this sign?
And you think I’m confused?
Although my first love is Vermont, New Hampshire is a lovely state. And truth be told, the White Mountains are a little more impressive than the Green Mountains. (We won’t try to do the comparison with the Rockies, OK?).
We took a run up Rte 93 in NH, through the Franconia Notch State Park. Do it if you get a chance, OK? Even tho The Old Man in the Mountain fell off the mountain last year, this is still an incredibly beautiful stretch of country.
Here are just a couple of shots – I took a lot, but somehow they don’t really capture the awesomeness of the area.
Where the Old Man in the Mountain used to live:
Rushing water at the Flume:
Well, we’re getting ready to pack up – so I thought I’d try to do a quick post before we head on our way. The next two nights are scheduled to be Walmart Nights, so this may be my last full power day for a bit!
We left Bellingham, MA early on Monday, and arrived just outside of Plymouth, MA by 8:30AM. Found the new campground, Pinewood Lodge, parked our girl Lizzie and headed off to Plymouth. The campground offered us their Gold Pass for Plimouth Plantation which got us in for $5.00/ea (instead of $22.00!). Needless to say, we were delighted with the bargain. The day was dreary and rainy, so the crowds were small. The Plantation was very interesting. Instead of having guides around, the people in the village are actually role-playing their characters in the 1620’s. So if you say you are from the Philadelphia Area, they are quite puzzled as to where that might be – near Greece maybe? There were some pretty interesting conversations going on! They also have lots of information about the first Thanksgiving – and the actual interaction between the Indians (Wampanoag’s) and the Pilgrims.
From there we went into Plymouth – checked out Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II – an exact as possible replica of the Mayflower that was built in England in 1950 something and then actually sailed across the Atlantic. More actors, but also some guide folks that could answer questions about both the original voyage and the one from the ‘50’s.
Plymouth is a very quaint town – glad we made it one of our stops.
Lobster for Dinner – mmmmmmmmm Doncha love New England!
Tuesday we headed off to Cape Cod. We decided to do some biking, and landed in Chatham where they had just completed 2 mile bike path. Just my speed. Since I hadn’t been on a bike in about 8 years – and even then was not a very confident rider, I loved being off the roads and on reasonably level surface. HOWEVER – it ended right in the middle of Chatham, so we decided to head on into town. I must say the drivers were very bicycle friendly, but riding on main roads (even though they are rural) was quite a stretch for me. After a couple of hours I kept trying to think of some way to have the truck come to us instead of having us get back to the truck. Maybe a taxi? About 10 miles and a couple of sore butts later, we made it back to the truck (where we rewarded ourselves with an Ice Cream Stop!). It was a very fun – though exhausting day. We took 6A back to Plymouth – very scenic, and although not along the coast, still a very lovely ride.
Off to Maine today – before we hit Acadia National Park, I think we’ll be checkin’ out LL Bean!
Oh – the campers next to us here in Plymouth are from Warrington, PA. Go Figure!
Well, before we actually began our travels, we first had to say good-bye to some dear friends. Of the many good friends who supported us through the research for this trip (that means we dragged them to countless RV shows and bored them with more information that they ever wanted to know), helped us get the house ready to sell (each time we put it on the market!), and helped us downsize and reorganize ourselves so that we would fit into our new home…..none were more critical to our journey that our dear friends, Joe & Janet Ikoniak – without whom I don’t think this whole trip would have come together (or at least we wouldn’t have left on time!).
And one last hug for and from our son Josiah –