Travel to New England
with Buzzy, Dianne, and Cheyenne Crowe
June/July 2004

 

A reluctant Spring and inclement weather have developed in me a severe case of cabin fever.  I have found in the past that a mental road trip is just the thing to help with the symptoms.  So, if any of you need a little relief from said fever, let's put the top down and turn the radio up for some crusin' through New England (via some ramblings about the trip Dianne, Cheyenne & I took in June/July of 2004).  Just let your mind go and feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Just let go and come with us....

 We begin our journey by visiting some old time favorites, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We make a stop to see for the first time the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills just south of Kitty Hawk.  We learn that the monument that stands atop Kill Devil Hill marks the spot where the Wright Brothers flew their gliders before attempting powered flight.  From the monument one can gaze to the other end of the memorial and see the four stones that mark the distances of the first four powered flights.  At the time we are here, those first tiny steps filled with such portent took place 100 years (plus six months) ago.         

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The next day our adventure continues with our first crossing of the Chesapeake Bay via the Bay Tunnel/Bridge.  It is early morning, and like a rabbit coming out of a hole, we emerge from the tunnel to find a parking area with a breathtaking view of the Bay, just beginning to awaken to the sun's touch. The waters of the Bay look like a sleepy soul stirring beneath some vast blue blanket. I look to the east and wave a good morning to TCO,  then we are on our way again. 

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By late afternoon, we find ourselves looking at the Statue of Liberty from the New Jersey side (I have been told that the Statue is actually in New Jersey, but I do not know if that is true). We are looking at the Statue through a circle of flags that are flying at half-mast in remembrance of Ronald Regan. The scene finds and plucks that patriotic string inside me, and it resonates throughout my body. 

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The next day we "do" Cape Cod and Plymouth Rock, but we have to bypass Boston this time in order to make it to Kittery, Maine at a reasonable hour.

 It is in the town of Bath, Maine the next day that we begin to feel the flavor of New England . We walk the waterfront by the tidal river, and explore the shipworks at the east end of town. We see a number of classic New England churches, and we eat dinner at a restaurant with a terriffic view of the twilight boat traffic.

The next day we explore the coast and find some great lighthouses to photograph. At the end of the day we find a postcard cove full of lobster boats lying still at ebb tide, their reflections sharp in the last brilliant rays of the day's sunshine. We have dinner on a little pier in the cove where the lobster boats deliver lobsters that, a few minutes later, we are dipping in drawn butter at a picnic table on the pier. Corn on the cob and cold beer make things just right. An endless supply of paper towels allows us to forgo the daintiness required when eating lobster in a restaurant. We pursue our meal with gusto. 

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As our travels resume the next day, we are greeted with a gray day, shrouded with mist. We visit a lighthouse on a cliff near Rockport, Maine and watch an angry sea throw itself in tantrum after tantrum on the unmoved and unmoving rocks below. Later, we find a perfect little lighthouse sitting in a fog bank at the end of a short pier, patiently repeating its warning with the surprisingly deep voice of its fog horn. 

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Moving up the coast, we operate out of  Ellsworth, Maine for the next three days. We spend a lot of that time in Acadia National Park . Being first-time tourists (and unapologetic about it), we visit all the popular spots, including Otter Cliffs and Thunder Hole. I enjoy the contagious excitement of all the other tourists, although there are not really that many when compared with other parks we have visited. The sights are incredible. A sea of dazzling blue competing with the sky for depth of color; each quite capable of causing sensory overload. The green trees and gray-black cliffs add a beauty that defines "breathtaking".  

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We also spend some time hiking to less-frequented spots. I climb a steep granite outcrop, the sun becoming warm and insistent on my back. I am rewarded with a view that makes me forget my toil. There is a turquoise crescent of a bay inviting explorers to a wide sandy beach, but, for the moment, there are no takers (to the delight of this lone observer).  

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We make the drive up  Cadillac Mountain and see the town of Bar Harbor and the endless expanse of the ocean. There is a fair breeze blowing, and several times I am seen doing the old tourist run and stoop to recover my wayward hat.  

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We take our evening meal on the main street of the quaint little town of Bar Harbor.  We sit on stools at a table beside an open window and eat humongous burgers and fabulous fries while listening to a live show of Jimmy Buffet music. Now this is my idea of a vacation.

  In the dewy coolness of the next morning we happen upon a field of lupine, deep purple and pastel coral, carpeting a gentle hillside. The flowers ease us into a day that will later find us standing next to a postcard-perfect lighthouse on the easternmost point of land in the U.S. The end of this day we fulfill my oft-ridiculed quest to find "The Boy With The Leaking Boot" fountain in Houlton, Maine.  This fountain has watering stations for people, dogs and birds. It looks quite dandy in the late afternoon sun.  

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The next day we cross the top of Maine and head back down  to see the middle and western parts of the state. In the early evening, we watch a moose standing contentedly in the clear waters of a pond, enjoying a meal of tender greens while the sun chases down the horizon.

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Nighttime finds us holed up in a cabin in a wild part of Maine, knowing no one for a thousand miles, but being quite happy in our universe of three. There is connection here.

The next morning we look across the lake and see that the mountains that had settled in for the night by the fire of sunset awake to find blankets of cotton clouds tucked under their chins. We sit on the porch of this little cabin and let the pure, fresh air awaken our own senses.

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As we travel through New Hampshire we see where the "Old Man of the Mountain" used to be, and we celebrate the Fourth of July with the locals of Littleton, NH . It is inspiring to hear the sounds of freedom echoing from the mountains. We take the obligatory drive up Mt. Washington, but we also follow roads less-traveled. We find covered bridges; and we find waterfalls rebuking the heat of the day in cool voices with their wonderfully wet tongues.

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In Vermont we find a sun-mottled, shady lane so serene that we slow to a crawl and finally stop completely to fully enjoy the experience. We visit more covered bridges and a Revolutionary War monument that is 300 ft high. The park Ranger allows Cheyenne to ride with us on the elevator up to the observation level. We see four states (or so they tell us).  

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The trip home takes us through the Catskills and the Blue Ridge (via Shenandoah National Park ) mountains. Along the way we talk about the little moments that add up to life...like the three of us sharing monster twist ice cream cones at a road-side eatery in rural New Hampshire  while the locals smile or laugh at us. We are a little sad to see our trip end, but we are already anticipating the next adventure. I hope you will come with us again next time.

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