Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roadrunner Reflections - Thanks to Our Readers

One thing I don't do often enough is thank YOU --- our faithful and/or curious readers! So THANK YOU!  I had no idea when I started this years ago that it would be something that is so important to us.

As RVer's, one thing that is of great benefit to us is to know that we are not alone.  We know that you are out there and it is encouraging to get a note or some response from friends 'out there'.

It is almost like that 'letter in the mail' -- someone IS out there!  In a way, we feel connected and a part of your interest group.  We have some things in common…

It is also great to meet new people who happen by and stop long enough to say something.  Even those that take a look and become one of the 'stats' are if fact interesting to us.

Google Analytics indicates on this blog there have been:
  • 709 posts 
  • Over 130,000 page views
  • 2865 comments 
  • 274 followers

So for whatever reason it is that you stop by and view the Roadrunner Chronicles -- we appreciate it!  And keep adding those comments and notes!

That is all from the Roadrunner Chronicles this time!  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Great Days in Virginia Beach

Like most of the rest of the country, it has been hot here.  But I like hot, so it has been great.  I love warm weather.  Like yesterday - it was upper 90's when I went for a bike ride.  I use the mobile app:  MapMyRide on my iPhone to log my 'workout'.
Here is the route I took from our campground near the Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana.  I rode down to Virginia Beach and along the boardwalk.  I love Virginia Beach!

It has one of the best beaches any where.  Even in the middle of the week it was busy.  From 1st Street to 40th Street, it seems like there was a lot going on and a lot of folks on the beach.
For as long as the eye could see, there were beach chairs and umbrellas and people enjoying the great morning weather.

Our days are busy and I thought I'd give a recap for those of you that wonder, "What do those guys do with their time?"  Here is a rundown on my day:

I got up the usual time:  about 5:15 AM.  I do some reading and mulling over things during my 'quiet time'.  Early morning is the best part of the day for me - with a good cup of coffee, some morning solitude and a bit of a clear head, I like to think about things and plan my day.

Pam gets up a little after 7:00 AM and most days Kelly gives me a quick call on the way to work.  So we can check in and see how she's doing.  With the wedding a little over two weeks, things are moving right along.  She is a planner and a detail person, so it pretty much under control at this point.

The last week of the month, I begin getting ready for my online work by sending my accounts an email and giving them a 'heads up' that the Monthly Report is coming due.  I create folders, download report templates and basically get set up for about 40 hours of online on the 1st.

I also spent time contacting the Medical Group, our two doctors, and the lab that all have sent medical bills for two office visits and some lab blood work done six weeks ago.  Our mail service is in Sioux Falls, SD and we only get delivery of our mail every four weeks.  So bill payment for our doctors visits lag a bit.  Other items on our Visa, MasterCard, AT&T phone bill, Verizon mifi -- I pay online so we keep up on it with no problem.

After that, it was time for a bike ride.  While Pam was doing some wash, I went for the bike ride down to Virginia Beach.  By the time I got back it was lunch time.  I drank a couple of Gatorades and ate lunch.  Next it was time to get a haircut so I spent about 30 minutes getting out the clippers and giving my self a buzz.  Then I took a shower.

In the after noon, I answered some emails and had an issue with my computer access.  I need to make some updates on my work paperwork and went over to the Rec Center at the Navy Annex to use their computer.  I was partially successful and will need to work it some more.

By that time, it was almost time to head over to Kelly's for dinner with her.  Pam took some food and we actually went over to Jon's place.  She is moving some things from her place to his before the wedding.  He is out of town for a few days.  While Pam fixed dinner, Kelly and I fiddled with their bikes, went down to the beach to see a house one of their friend just bought.

Then we had dinner together and hung out a little while before returning to the Roadrunner.  I did some reading while Pam watched a baseball game.  I fell asleep for a few minutes and decided it was time to hit the hay sometime after 10:30 PM.

So - there is a rundown on a 'typical' day in the life of a full-time RVer.  I say "typical" because I am not sure there is any such thing…  We are here for another month or so and expect to be here at the same campground, so that part will be the same.  The rest of our time here promises to be more exciting and eventful as we get ready for the wedding in a couple of weeks.

That is all for now - Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oh Canada! - Quebec City

First - I am way behind in my blogging.  Anyone of my readers ever have that issue?  We are now in Virginia Beach where we will be for about six weeks.  But I wanted to do a post on our time in Quebec City so here goes.

We drove from Presque Isle, Maine crossing the border into New Brunswick Canada at Fort Fairfield.  From there we headed north and then west into Quebec.
We stopped at the nearest rest stop/tourist information center for a stretch of the legs.
We traveled along the Saint Lawrence River and had moderately long driving day.
We arrived at our campground (Campground Transit) mid-afternoon.  It was a 243 mile day and we were tired.  We got set up and enjoyed an uneventful evening at a nice campground.

The next morning we drove into Levis and caught the ferry over to Quebec City.  Ferries are always interesting.
We were in the midst of regular 'commuter' folks and some tourists like ourselves.  The approach over to the city is pretty spectacular.
You can see the Citadel, Frontenac and some of the old city.

Once on the island we proceeded to the historic section of the city which was about a two blocks from the ferry.
 In the middle of the old section stands the Notre Dame des Vicotires church.
We had lunch at an outdoor cafe
And we walked around some more after lunch
Along the Promenade
To the Citadel
We came across some street performers before we went back to the ferry
It was pretty day for walking around the old city.

That is all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us.  Until next time...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Key West to Fort Kent on U.S. Route 1

We spent a couple of months in Key West last winter, arriving just before Christmas.  We headed north the last part of February.  One of the notable 'touristy' items commemorates the beginning of U.S. Route 1 going north.

At any rate we thought it was noteworthy and took a picture of the mile marker in downtown Key West.  Mile Marker 0 is at 490 Whitehead Street not far from Ernest Hemingway's old house.
We had no idea that one day we would travel to the northern most point of the highway someday, but sure enough, last week when we were up in Presque Isle, Maine, we took a day trip in search of the beginning of U. S. Route 1.

We drove from Presque Isle to Fort Kent, Maine and found a very nice display.  The city has recently redone their site and have built a well-done historical marker.
The information says it is 2,446 miles end-to-end.  New highways systems are in place these days but it generally parallels I-95.  Google maps indicates the distance is 2100 miles, so it is a little shorter than it was years ago.

Have any of our readers also been in both places?

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Maine - Points North: Bangor / Presque Isle - 2012

From Bar Harbor we drove to Bangor and spent a couple of days.  Then on to Presque Isle (PI) where I lived when I was 5 years old.
From Bar Harbor we drove to our campground near Bangor:  Pumpkin Patch RV Resort.  It is actually in the little town of Hermon, ME which is a couple of miles outside of Bangor.  What a great campground!
The staff was very professional, gave a very good orientation to the campground and surrounding area and then one of the guys escorted us to our 'roomy' campsite.

The whole campground was in tip top shape:  very well maintained, the sites were level and the grass and flowers were at their best. Looks like the campground could host a few rallies.  It has a couple of big tents and a nice sized room for other events.    I think some folks were staying here before heading northeast into New Brunswick, Canada.  I rated them pretty high (9) on RV Park Reviews (my #1 source of campground info).

Bangor was a nice little mountain ish type of town.  A highlight of the couple of days there was the Rascal Flats concert.  We saw about 8 of their big rig trucks at the truck stop the first night we were in town.
Then we saw the stage being set up and people starting to get ready for the show.  We opted out thought I'm sure it would have been fun.  I like their music.

During our windshield tour of the city, we stopped by Stephen King's house,
drove through the downtown area,

and went across the Penobscot River to see Freedom Park and monument dedicated to Joshua Chamberlain of Little Round Top and Civil War fame.
There was also some Underground Railroad action here during that part of our history.

From Bangor, we went directly north to Presque Isle where we lived when I was 5-8 years old.  My dad retired from the Air Force here back in 1961 before the Air Force Base was closed.  We camped at Arndt's Aroostook River Lodge and Campground.  The view across the valley was great.  I liked the campfire.
The main detractor of the campground was getting to the site on the bumpy dirt road up a steep and winding hill and the uneven / un level campsite.  But we managed and it turned out fine.  I didn't rate them so high (5).  But we knew what we were getting before we arrived because we checked out earlier comments on RV Park Reviews.

Presque Isle is a small town that is struggling with the economy.  We drove in on a Saturday and not much was going on.  We started some sight seeing and I tried to locate some places I remember:
Zippel Elementary School where I went to second grade.
Our first grade school (Gouldville Elementary) I never found.  It apparently is an administrative building of some sort.

Presque Isle High School - home of the Wildcats.  This is where my oldest brother Marty went.
Pine Street Elementary - where my brother Brad attended.
The fairgrounds.  Every August they had a carnival and I remember seeing harness racing.
And the town Little League fields next to the swimming pool.  It was here my twin brother and I learned how to pitch and catch and to switch hit.
I don't remember the homes we lived in on Judd and Turner Streets, but we drove by hoping to see something I recollected.  Nope.  Just another neighborhood.

Then out to the Air Force Base that was closed.  It is now a regional airport and some of the housing area in low income and rental.  It is always tough to go back to these places because they are in a rough state of repair than what I remembered.

Here is the house we lived in on 58 Sunset Loop.
And some of the neighborhood.  And the big back yard / common area.
We drove around the base some more and went by base operations area which is now the regional airport.

It was a fun couple of days and a bit nostalgic.  I was glad to go back and see it.  If it weren't for being a full-timer, I doubt we would ever get back here.  As with most of the rest of the country, the weather has been unseasonably warm.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4th of July Parade & Seafood Festival - Bar Harbor

It was a great day on the 4th of July.  We celebrated in Bar Harbor at the small hometown parade and seafood festival.  We were told to be there plenty early for the 10:00 AM start.
 And we were - Tom and Cathy and I.  We were so early we had time for a hot cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll.

We picked out a good spot and were ahead of the crowds.
They filled in the empty spots along the parade route quickly.

A little after 10:00 the grand marshall and marchers passed by us.
Then it was a steady stream of pure fun!
 These paraders were well trained:  they tossed the candy on the ground so it wouldn't hit anyone.

Then a real highlight - a group of go carts in various forms from the Shriners in Bangor.
 And marchers, political candidates, a band, a local theater group,
and more go carts - this time NASCARs
 then some older antique models
And Elvis made an appearance in a mail truck!
It was one great parade!!

After everyone cleared out we moved on up the street over to the annual seafood festival.
And to everyones favorite:  the lobster races!
There were lots of people there watching the log rolling, and checking out the booths and eating lobster.
And lobster rolls.
It was a great day in Bar Harbor for a parade and seafood festival.  Hope your 4th was a memorable one too.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Northeast Trip - More Days in Acadia National Forest

Bar Harbor and Acadia  National Park are about 200 miles from Kennebunkport Maine in what is know as the 'Downeast Region' of Maine.
This was one great place!  Our 8 days there were not enough time to enjoy all that it has to offer.  We will definitely be back!  Here are some more photos of what we did at Acadia NP, Bar Harbor and the surrounding area:

1. On the drive up to Cadillac Mountain overlooking Bar Harbor.

2.  Cadillac Mountain - the highest point on the eastern U. S.

3.  One afternoon we walked around Bar Harbor and went over to the park near the waterfront. 
One of two beautiful parks in town.

4. We really liked our campground and spend many evenings around the campfire.

6.  Or walking around and seeing other campsites.

7.  Another morning Tom, Cathy and I got up early (like 4:00 A.M. early) to see the sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain.
We were not disappointed!  It was well worth it!  We were not alone -- there must have been 200 people up there with us.

8.  We also did some hiking in the park.  One morning we went on a nice 3.2 mile hike around Jordan's Pond.

I leave you today with a photo looking across Jordan Pond toward the Bubbles.
As you can see, it would be hard to run out of things to do at Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  We didn't.  In fact stay tuned for the next edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles to see a recap one of the great small town 4th of July celebrations…

Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...