Monday, May 23, 2016


With spring's arrival, Tom and I have been spending more time fishing. We're blessed to live near many clean, clear Maine lakes, and appreciate our time on the water. Not only do we see spectacular sunsets, but we've seen loons, herons, beavers, turkey vultures, Canada geese, mallards, and numerous other species of wildlife. (Unfortunately FISH haven't been abundant, but it's early in the season...) How about going along with us on a boat ride at sunset?

Until next time...

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Tom was finally able to find and purchase a hitch extender for our camper. Unfortunately, the standard hitch I had for my mini van was not long enough to clear the continental tire kit on the back of the camper. With the extender, he hitched the boat up to camper while I packed our food into the RV fridge, and we headed off. But, first, he had to work. 

I hung out in the camper, spending a quiet, comfortable morning crocheting, reading and decorating. It was rather peaceful and refreshing despite being in a PARKING LOT (and truth be told I'm looking forward to more of that downtime).

We watched his son's baseball game...

And then it was off to Cochnewagon Lake for an afternoon of fishing. Although the boat ride was enjoyable, it wasn't long before the wind picked up and bounced our little skiff around like a toy. There's nothing enjoyable about being tossed about in white caps! With the fish not biting as well, we ended our evening early and headed back to the dock. 

At the dock were 3 teenage boys, one in swim trucks. It turned out that he had lost a bet with the other boys and had to dive into the FRIGID lake water. We couldn't help but encourage him (and laugh along with them). It was a QUICK dip, but he did it!

We hitched the boat back up, and drove a few miles away to Cobbosseecontee Lake, our boondock spot for the night. We're not sure if it's an OFFICIAL boondocking spot, but there were no signs prohibiting overnight parking nor were we blocking business traffic or private residences. We were soon the only people there. What we didn't figure on was the rush of fisherman at 5:00am...

What our spot looked like as night came on:

What our spot looked like by 7:00am:

We decided to wait to eat breakfast and head out onto the water while the rain held off and the wind was calm. It was a successful fishing day! Tom caught a 3' long Pike and I caught a Smallmouth Bass. 

I took over the trolling motor and spent some time chasing down loons. Such interesting birds! Have you ever seen or heard them? (The 2nd video is NOT MINE, but you can hear what they sound like since they were silent in mine.)

While Tom hitched the boat back up and covered it over, I pulled out the ingredients for brunch, omelets, English muffins and fruit, and did some tidying up. Tom cooked breakfast (because he makes THE best omelets) and we had a nice meal together before going home. It wasn't long before the rain began.

Until next time...

Monday, April 25, 2016


When I created this blog, I should have added another C. Campfires, Casting & Crochet. Crochet is my "thing". It's what I do to express my creativity, to unwind and relax, and to make pretty, useful things. A few days ago, I created a towel holder for our camper kitchen. No more fallen towels when we're driving down the road!


Super Saver Worsted Weight Yarn. 3.5mm Hook. Button. Needle.
* Use Scrap Yarn and Any Hook. 

Begin: SL ST into a covered hair elastic. CH 1. SC around to cover elastic. SL ST into top of first SC. CH 1.

Top Tab: SC in next 10 sts. CH 1. Turn.*Repeat until desired length or 8-12 rows.

Button Hole: SC into next 4 sts. CH 2. Skip 2 st. SC into next 4 sts. CH 1. Turn.
Finish Row: SC into 10 sts. Fasten off and weave in ends or continue with border.
Border: (optional) CH 1. SC around, including elastic. SL ST into top of first SC. Weave in ends.
Button: Position button near elastic section. Sew to attach. Weave in ends. 
To Use: Fold tab over kitchen bar. Push button through button hole. Place towel through elastic circle.

I'm probably going to make a couple more of these towel holders since they're super quick and simple to whip up. We've already "road tested" this holder, and not once did the towel slip through and fall to the floor during travels.

Until next time...

Thursday, April 21, 2016


With no real destination in mind, Tom and I headed out in the camper last Saturday, cooler packed with food and drink, fishing gear in the storage box, with thoughts of bass and boondocking on our minds.

We stopped at The Heath, one of our favorite bass fishing spots. The bass weren't cooperative though, or maybe they didn't like what we were casting with, as we didn't get a single nibble. I did catch something though...

Yes, that's a spinner bait! I snagged a lure off the bottom of the lake. What are the chances? My first catch of the year was a hook! (Last year it was a freshwater clam...)

It was a beautiful mid-afternoon though.

Then we headed north into Bethel and Newry, deciding along the way to drive into Grafton Notch State Park and see Screw Auger and Mother Walker Falls. We walked along the falls, enjoying the sights and sounds of the water.

With night coming on, we still had no idea where we were going to actually boondock. We drove back into Bethel before I remembered a spot we had tried to see weeks before. The road had been closed for the winter then, but we hoped it was open now. It was!

Down a long lane-and-a-half dirt road, we found several cleared areas in the woods with firepits, and chose one near a bubbling brook. A perfect spot for a quiet overnight!

In the morning, I made coffee and cocoa and took a walk to the brook while Tom made a fire. The sun was shining, but we were hovering around freezing. Easing into the day with warm drinks, a walk and a crackling fire is DEFINITELY a pleasure.

We decided to head down the road a bit to the parking area for brunch. Tom made omelets and English muffins which we had with OJ, skim milk and bananas. How thankful we were to share such a special time with each other! Not many people get to have a wonderful breakfast sitting by a rocky river.

We meandered through New Hampshire on the return trip home, stopping for candy at Zeb's in North Conway and the grocery store in Bridgton for dinner fixings. Once home, we hooked the boat up to the mini van and headed out to another lake to see how our new-to-us outboard motor worked. And that hook I caught at The Heath? Tom hooked a fish with it on his first cast using it...only to have the line break and the fish took the hook with him. What are the chances?

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Tom and I went on our FIRST EVER boondocking adventure April 2nd. Our destination was Jasper Beach in Machiasport, a boondocking spot Tom had found at Free Campsites, and about 230 miles, give or take, from home.

We arrived later then we planned. We ended up taking a route that we hadn't mapped out on Google, but it didn't matter as we found our destination without too much frustration. It was almost dark by the time we parked, and the air was rapidly cooling. Flurries were in the forecast (although we only had overcast skies that weekend). We stretched our legs a bit, walking down the path to the rocky beach, then it was dinnertime.

Not surprisingly Jasper Beach was deserted. Who goes to the beach in early April, in Maine, with snow in the forecast? WE DO! The only sounds we could hear were the crashing waves of the Atlantic onto the beach that Tom described as "Pop Rocks". (You know - the candies.) It was a perfect spot for secluded overnight!

While Tom pulled the camper curtains closed for the night and then relaxed from hours of driving, I made steak, cheese and pepper subs on the stove that I served with potato chips. We read our bibles. We chatted. We walked up the dirt road to have enough phone signal to text our kids good night. And then settled down for our first sleep in Rhoda. 

Yes! We gave our Roadtrek a name. It seems like THE THING every owner does with their campers, so why not? We decided on Rhoda Roadtrek. Rather unusual name, right? (Hopefully you read that with silly sarcasm...)

We slept quite well considering that I thought I had turned the propane furnace on, and, well, I hadn't. Our forecasted low was 30 degrees. Around 4:00am, I awoke, peeked out from underneath our pile of cozy blankets and knew it had gotten a little too nippy. A flip of a switch and Rhoda was comfortably toasty a few minutes later.

Around 7:00am we decided to start our day. Our plans were to head to a small town called Cutler and purchase a used outboard motor from a private seller for our fishing skiff. We couldn't leave Jasper Beach without another walk down the path to explore in the growing daylight. There wasn't any sand, but instead a dune of smooth rocks of different colors and sizes. Amazing, really, the vastness of all those stones! There's just something special about the Atlantic.

Then it was Tom's turn to cook. He makes the best omelets! We shared a 4 egg (from our own free ranging hens) omelet filled with peppers, onions, bacon and cheese, and buttered English muffins for breakfast. I made a pot of coffee for Tom while I sipped on skim milk. A quick clean-up, and we were on our way into town to stop at McDonald's for their bathrooms and a drink for the road.

With several hours to go before we were able to pick up the outboard motor, we decided to meander to Lubec and see West Quoddy Head lighthouse and the eastern most point in the United States. The lighthouse and ocean views are stunning! (But the wind was bone-chilling!)

After picking up the motor, we headed back west towards home along a different and more mountainous route. We passed field after field of wild Maine blueberries. There's even a place called Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls. Who would have thought? It was closed, but I jumped out to take some photos. It's not often you see a building shaped and painted like a blueberry. We ate an early dinner in Ellsworth at Governor's and then fought the wind gusts most of the way home. 

I'm anxious to boondock again! Let's start planning, honey!

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


When we realized that my husband's kids had never been to New Hampshire, we HAD to bring them to the White Mountain National Forest and North Conway, New Hampshire. (After seeing my photos of all the sweet treats at Zeb's General Store, I don't think the kids would have let us skip North Conway anyway!)

Our first stop? Albany Covered Bridge! We headed from Maine along Route 302 to Route 113 and finally to the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountain National Forest. If you're going to visit New Hampshire, don't skip the Kanc! (For more information and a bit of history, click here.)

We then explored Lower Falls a little further along the Kanc. This happens to be one of my favorite spots, a place I've enjoyed with my kids many times and was excited to bring my step-kids. The forest service has done a lot of landscaping in recent years and I miss the more natural look of the area, but it's still a wonderful place to see the Swift River close up as it's flows over and around smooth boulders. (It's also perfect for active boys to climb rocks and get a little wet even in March.)

We ventured further on, stopping at Sabbaday Falls for a picnic in the camper and a slippery walk to the falls. (Although an easy walk, I'm not sure I would recommend it in early spring, in sneakers, with little traction. I should have put on my hiking boots...) The stairs around the falls were closed so the best vantage point to see them wasn't available, but further along the trail we were able to get a somewhat unobstructed view of the falls and enjoy some warm sun and rushing water.

Our last stop on the Kanc was Sugar Hill with vast views of the mountains. (If you want more extensive views of the mountains I would recommend driving most of the Kancamagus, especially at peak foliage season, but it was well into the afternoon and the kids were anxious to get to THE CANDY.)

North Conway was bustling with people out enjoying the low 50s and bright sunshine. We walked down to the Weather Discovery Center, but found it was closed. Instead, we went to The Cupcakery, a specialty cupcake shop that was on "Cupcake Wars" and picked up a couple of treats, and then to Zeb's for a few more treats before going to the park to throw a baseball around. (It's almost baseball season, so my step-son is super excited to play again.) 

With over an hour left to drive home, we decided it was time to head back. We must have tuckered out the kids because it wasn't long before they were snoozing in their seats. What wonderful memories for the kids' first trip to New Hampshire!

Until next time...