September 29, 2005

Post Script

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New York Times Article, Nov. 27, 2005 Click Here to read.

The view from our new home.

Alright one last note.
I am thrilled to report that Dan and I have fully assimilated to our new surroundings and more traditional lifestyle. We have successfully completed re-entry. For a while there we were worried about burning up, but the warning lights and buzzers seem to have been greatly exaggerated.

I lasted all of two weeks at my first job. Truth be told, after the first two hours I knew it was a bad fit. But once again the stars were aligned and through a chance meeting I secured an interview for a not-yet-listed job opening with Aspen Skiing Company and got hired on the spot. Somehow I have dumb-lucked my way into my perfect job. One that blends the things I already know how to do, with the chance to continue learning and gain real life experience in the field of marketing, (which is what my degree is in). And it is for a skiing company!

Dan is busy saving lives. He has had to adjust to adding “what illegal drugs have you taken today and is there any silicone in your body that I should know about”, to his laundry list of pre-treatment questions, but otherwise it was like riding a bicycle, everything just came back to him. He has been offered a job on Aspen Highlands ski patrol, which he is very excited about. Highlands’ is a prestigious patrol and he’ll get to throw bombs, in the name of avalanche mitigation, which is every man’s dream now isn’t it.

With much assistance from our friends we have secured housing. While the home is not much to speak of, the views would make it worthwhile even if there were only an outhouse and fire pit for creature comforts. Every weekend has found us biking and hiking in the beautiful forest lands around here. We hiked from Aspen to Crested Butte for lunch one day, an 11 mile hike with a 90 mile car ride back to the starting point. Most recently we have been hiking to see the fall foliage which is like watching a wave of fire sway across the sky. Flaming yellows, oranges and reds, intermixed with bright green, the stark grays of granite and the white of freshly fallen snow. If you have never visited Colorado in the fall, what’s keeping you?

The Maroon Belles, along the trail to Crested Butte.

Our lives here are so full that I really don’t miss traveling. I walk past the camper everyday and wave at it like you would an old friend. Sometimes I do miss the compactness of it, like when I have to get out of bed to brush my teeth, or start the coffee maker, but mostly it is just a great reminder of how lucky I am, and how I need to never forget it.

The crest between Aspen and Crested Butte.

I really have become a happier, more confident and, I think, better person because of this trip. If possible I adore my husband even more than when we left, and I have managed to fold the sense of adventure that came with being in a new place everyday, into being in the same place, (albeit still a new place to me). I have been taking lots of photos, it is easy to be inspired with the views we have and on the route I drive to work each morning. Dan has been busy keeping off the weight he lost when he was ill by riding long bike trails and hiking every chance he gets. I am channeling my inner Italian mother, force feeding him every fattening thing I can find. (In my mind a man who is 6’2” tall should not weigh 155lbs!)

Avalanche chute along Avalanche Creek, outside of Redstone, Colorado.

I truly appreciate all of the emails I have received asking us to continue the blog, but I just think it has reached a nice, tidy, ending point. If anything that really pertains to it pops up I may put some quick snippets on here, but otherwise I thank you all for a fantastic ride and wish that each of you will enjoy a journey of your own, sooner rather than later. I hope that you will continue to fill us in on your lives, so many of you have become our friends and mentors along the way, and it brings a smile to my face when I know that we helped someone plan their trip, or inspired someone to follow a similar path.
Again thank you.

August 11, 2005

El Fin

“It’s true; life really is generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend, the boy thought. Then he remembered that he had to get to Tarifa so he could give one-tenth of his treasure to the Gypsy woman as he had promised. “Those Gypsies are really smart”, he thought. Maybe it was because they moved around so much.”
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

If you asked what was the biggest err we made during this trip I would have to say it was our lack of an exit plan. We honestly believed that somewhere along the way we would have a great epiphany. “Aha!…this is the place, and what? You want to give us high paying fulfilling and infrequent employment. Well alrighty then.”

Except that isn’t what happened. Instead we spent the last month foundering. Even without the unfortunate events that we have been bombarded with, we would have been lost during this time. Most people seem to assume this is because we never want the trip to end, but really that isn’t it. You see Dan and I are task/goal oriented people; we set out to travel for a year and we did it! Now it is time to move on to the next adventure and we are both eager to get that started. The problem really stems from our lack of decisiveness. Somehow over the last year we have developed a serious case of co-dependency, so much so that if we cannot both reach the same conclusion at the same point, then we are rendered powerless to make any decisions.

However, I am happy to report that even with this disorder and the drama that has distracted us oh these past few weeks, we have made our decisions and we are ending our trip on a high note. Next week we are moving to Ahhhspen. Now I realize that since virtually no one voted for Ahhhspen in our on-line poll, this may come as a small surprise. But, here’s what we learned this past year and what led us to the Roaring Fork Valley.

We needed to find a town that allowed us to balance career and recreation. Aspen is surrounded by world class skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, rafting, kayaking etc… And unlike some smaller towns Aspen has a booming economy and a veritable plethora of career options. Dan walked right into a job on the ambulance (he is, after all, the golden child, they hadn’t hired a paramedic in over five years and the very day someone quits he knocks on the ambulance bay door), and I got hired in the marketing department at The Ritz Carlton. We have secured housing and, save for my need to procure a car in the next week, we are right back into a “normal lifestyle”.

Among the harsh realities of re-entry is learning to embrace debt once again. Remember how I told you all early on that we are not independently wealthy? Well that is really crimping our style right now. We did plan enough to have not touched our savings account during this year, and we budgeted for a month or two extra in order to get re-established. But no matter, we are going to have to buy a car and soon a home.

What amuses me about this is that we lived a hedonistic, adventurous, dream lifestyle for an entire year, total cost approximately $20,000. In order to live in Aspen, drive a car and buy a one-bedroom condo the cost is approximately $30,000 a year, and that is just for the car and condo, add food, clothing, commuting etc. and we could travel for at least another two years!!! The American Dream is EXPENSIVE!

But I digress and we aren’t done RV-ing just yet. Our house in Aspen won’t be available until September 1, so for the next two weeks we will be living in our RV. Don’t you just love the visual of me exiting the camper in my business suit to go to my job at the Ritz? You can take the girl out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.

Time to reflect:
What a gift this blog has been, I can read back through this site for years to come and be reminded of how truly fortunate I am. I just got to spend an entire year with my best friend, experiencing some of the world’s most beautiful places. I pushed personal boundaries almost daily, allowing me to grow more confident and I hope more interesting. I learned first hand about geography, history, biology and culture. My belief that people are inherently good and generous was re-affirmed day after day. I had the opportunity to renew friendships and to spend quality time with my most cherished friends. Because of our trip, friends of ours and my parents got to see parts of Mexico that they had never been exposed to before, and I got to speak another language every day for three months.

And maybe, just maybe we have inspired someone we don’t even know to do what we did. I swear it is easy once you set your mind to it, I am hard pressed to think of anything that wcould ever be so rewarding and educational. Quit your jobs, rent out your houses and buy an RV, do it NOW, not when you are old enough to wish you’d done it before. Spend a year getting to know your mate and yourself. Leave the TV at home and read every book you always said you would. Ride your bike, hike or just stop the car and appreciate everything from the engineering feats that create roads like Beartooth and Red Mountain passes, to the smallest creature along the your path. Emerge from your trip embracing the kinder, gentler and more gracious person you’ve become. Know that whenever normal life gets you down you have something extraordinary to reflect upon and to make you smile. Take the time to make yourself better by allowing yourself to be different. You too can be an Under Aged RVer, even at 75, it is a state of mind, more than an age range. And when you do hit the road, create a blog and tell us all about it, you’ll be amazed how rewarding it will be.

Que les vaya bien.
Dan and Rachel Goddard

p.s. For Sale: 2000 Lance 810 Light Camper, slightly used ;)
p.p.s. We were interviewed by the New York Times the other day, when I know a publication date I will post it on here.

August 04, 2005

A Hitch in the Giddy Up

This is not quite the end...

Just when we thought things were going to settle down, life throws us another curve ball. Dan returned last week from his whirlwind tour of Thailand. His sister is doing really well and we are very relieved that she is safe and healing. Dan on the other hand seems to have brought home a nasty virus, most likely Dengue Fever. Dengue is also known as Broken Bone Fever, since the accompanying joint and bone pain is excruciating. After eight hours in the ER and a follow up visit with an Infectious Disease Specialist, we now know that whatever it is, it will just have to run its course and all we can do is keep him doped up and comfortable. I really wanted to post a picture of him administering his own IV of saline, but he refused to let me photograph him.

In the midst of all of this chaos we have made a few decisions. We have both found employment in Aspen and will be moving there over the next couple of weeks. That is assuming Dan can stand up by then.

Our trip has come to an end in a rough and abrupt manner. While I have not had the time to reflect that I had wanted I can’t just simply say goodbye to you all or to this site. So instead I will simply say Que les vaya bien. And I will do my best to finish this blog with a follow-up in a few weeks, letting you all know where exactly we have landed and more about what we have learned.

Que les vaya bien = [may you] travel well.

July 23, 2005

Never a Dull Moment

On our way back to Durango we hit a few detours. The first was in Chicago. Now if you draw a straight line from Cincinnati to Durango you do not go through Chicago so this was an unplanned detour. We were just outside of Indianapolis when Dan’s mom called to inform him that he may need to go to Thailand. Dan’s sister, Tracy, had had a bad accident in her home there and needs his help to come back here for further treatment.

On this occasion I am reminded how proud I am of my husband's chosen profession, he is a paramedic. The doctors in Thailand only agreed to release Tracy to him because he is a medic and can care for her on the return flights. One problem however… Dan’s passport expired on June 20th. Public Service Announcement: NEVER let your passport expire. Many calls to the State Department, US Embassy in Thailand, an entire day in the Chicago Federal Building and Dan has a new passport.

Special thanks to Marc and Heather, our friends who put us up on three-hours notice and held our hands through the trains and throngs to get us to the right office. To our other loved ones in the Windy City, please accept our most humble apologies for not seeing you too, but I know you’ll forgive us given the circumstances.

Once that task had been handled we entered a “hurry up and wait” phase. Hurry to get into Colorado so that if Dan had to fly out I’d have a place to stay, and wait because we didn’t know when or if he’d be going. By Monday we still didn’t know so we detoured to Aspen for some job interviews. Tuesday at noon we got the call and raced to Durango, one more hectic preparation day and he was off. This morning he left for the 26-hour flight to Bangkok where he will meet his sister in the International Hospital there, help her settle some details and lovingly return her to her family, where she can heal and recover. Thailand is her home however, so she won’t be here for too long I don’t imagine.

I am resting in the veritable lap of luxury that is our friends’ Bob and Sherry’s house. You may remember them from the “Mexican Prank Wars of December 2004”. Bob is a dentist and he and Sherry are off charitably donating their time to help those in need of dentistry in Peru, before hiking the Inca trail and otherwise touring the country. While they are gone we are house sitting and watching after their oh-so-lovable dog Mailo, who is my protector while Dan is away.

It would be repetitive to gush yet again about how amazingly generous everyone is to us, so instead I will just say thank you.

Assuming all goes smoothly for Dan and his sister, he and I should be moving to a new house and beginning new jobs (thus ending this chapter), by August 1st.

July 13, 2005

Beginning of the End.

The beginnings of a plan are starting to take hold. After two weeks in Ohio, we are ready to hit the road again. And where are we heading, you might be asking?? Well it isn’t very original but, we are off for Colorado. Seems home for us lies in the Rocky Mountains and no matter how we try and rationalize it, we love Colorado more than the opportunities that a new place might present. Tomorrow morning we hit the interstate for the 30-hour drive west.

We will be traveling for the remainder of July, then the trip money really has run out and we must settle back into a more conventional lifestyle, for at least a little while. For me this isn’t a sad time, a bit crazy and unsure, but not sad. We have always been very task oriented. We set out to travel for a year and accomplished that goal. What an amazing year it has been. So instead of being sad, this is a celebratory time and I intend to keep that theme throughout my last remaining posts.

Over the course of the next few weeks, it is my intention to reflect upon our trip, perhaps list some mistakes, some triumphs and even a few humorous antidotes that will help to close this chapter and perhaps help one of you begin your own. Who knows, maybe we still have one or two more adventures left to enjoy before we find our new home.

Let me take this opportunity to start thanking those who have helped us along the way, beginning with all of you who read this site. It seems that I failed miserably at being unemployed, so I created a job for myself along the way. Maintaining this site has been so much fun for me. I thank all of you for keeping me motivated and helping to create this lasting record of our journey.

The generosity shown to us by strangers whose acquaintance we made only through emails, has been overwhelming. Over forty people emailed us with offers of free lodging, meals or Pabst Blue Ribbon. Many offered advice, solicited or not, but always read and considered. Some of you taught us things we really needed to know, like how to go clamming, how to repair our fridge, batteries, and heater, where to camp and where to avoid. You even helped us decided where to move.

And in the tradition of Bud Light commercials… We salute you, faceless travel blog reader. You aren’t afraid to correct our spelling and historical errors. You freely offer advice and are willing to wait days or weeks for a reply email. You click the ads and you, faceless blog reader, have helped us to stay on the road and realize our dream. Thank you.

July 06, 2005

Back Home in the 'Nati

Dan and I near Tupper Lake, New York. Our Neighbors that night, Paul and Kathy, took this photo and emailed it to us.

Clouds at Tupper Lake

Last Tuesday we entered Ohio, my home state. Our first night was spent in Geneva on the Lake State Park, where we watched a gorgeous sunset and took a nice dip in Lake Erie. Unbeknownst to me then, 55 years prior my grandparents had come to the same place for a few days on their way to Niagra where the spent their honeymoon. Wednesday we arrived in Cleveland to visit my grandmother. Gram, Dan, myself and my cousin Jamie had a fabulous visit. Visiting my older relatives like Aunt Kitty and Gram make me wonder how many more times I’ll get to enjoy their company. This though makes me a bit melancholy, and reminds me to call, write and visit more often.

Me, My Gram and cousin Jamie.

Before we got to Ohio we visited Niagra Falls.

The Canadian side of Niagra Falls- also known as Horseshoe Falls.

Niagra Falls

Niagra Power Plant.

Association Island Campground Sunset.

In a thinly veiled attempt to trap us in Ohio my father went and broke his leg. I can see through his cast and pain to the underlying coercion within. Sure he thinks we’ll feel obligated to stay longer and help him in his hours of need, sure he’s testing our caretaking abilities for the future, and defiantly he is testing my mother’s patience with us all. Due to Dad’s injury we hurried up and got to Cincinnati on Thursday.

When I was eleven I began attending a summer camp which always fell during the first week of July. After that I moved away and as a result I have not been with my mother on her birthday in 21 years. So this year we threw a big party for her and denied her nothing. Daddy bought a giant tent for us to erect and we felt like carnies again. We would have decorated the entire block given the roll we were on, but the festivity preparedness came to a screeching halt when we learned of the helicopter crew’s fate in Durango.

Despite our best efforts to put on brave faces and enjoy the party a deep and all encompassing sadness had taken a hold of Dan and I and our productivity level dropped to almost nonexistent. Despite our zombie-like behavior the revelry continued on and we bucked up enough to enjoy the company of our friends and family who were in attendance. My mother had a ball.

The band, also known as my father, Jude, Jan and Ron. I am very blessed to have a ton of musical friends, and they like to play all the time. They even wrote a song for Dan and I and performed it at our wedding, and from time to time they play it for us and make me cry because I love them all so much and have known them my whole life.

For the fourth of July holiday we attended parties, parades and fireworks displays. Somehow the mere sight of a fire truck was enough to bring tears to Dan’s eyes and once again we are unable to shake the loss of the two brave men who Dan had the great fortune of working with, and the pilot of the helicopter who was a friend to them.

Dan is back in Durango today, attending the first of three memorials this week. For now all of our plans are on hold. When he returns we have some big questions to answer, like how much longer do we travel for? Maybe this is a good ending point for our trip, just head back to Durango from here and call it quits. Kind of nice book ends really, we left from Dan’s home town and finished in mine. Beyond that we wonder, what jobs will we be getting and where will those jobs be? And I wonder how to put a nice neat bow on this website and give it a happy ending.

But today none of these questions can top the big ones we are struggling with, like why those guys, why that day and that way, why so young? Take a minute and think of your loved ones, let me remind you that you are not promised another day with them and may we all be better friends, spouses, and children, so we don’t have to regret the things we forgot to say and the love we forgot to give.

These beauties are Ruby and Essa Britt, daughters of one of my oldest and dearest friends.

July 02, 2005


Once again we are overcome with grief and as such I will not be making a normal post today. Thursday afternoon two of our friends were killed along with a third Durango man when the Careflight Helicopter they all worked on crashed. Dan was close with "Pod" and Scott, as was the entire Durango EMS family. Dan will be returning to Durango on Monday to attend memorial services and to be with his friends while they all grieve. We feel so far away from home right now.

June 26, 2005

New Hampshire, Vermont and New York

When you have lived out west for as long as I have you become westernly ethnocentric. You start thinking that only the west is this beautiful, only out here is the skiing this good, or the mountain biking or…well anything. I had forgotten my eastern roots. Maine reminded me, but New Hampshire and Vermont brought me to my knees to beg eastern forgiveness for my presumptive snobbiness.

From Acadia we drove west, through beautiful farmland and past dozens of lakes and streams. When we hit New Hampshire we were speechless at the beautiful rolling farms and green fields. Vermont though is when we realized we could live out east.

As soon as we crossed the border we were enamored. We began by touring a maple syrup factory. Now let me tell you this. I am not a big fan of sweets. After a nice meal I may order a crème brulee, and when Dan makes me a cobbler I enjoy it. However, I am not a candy bar girl, I can go weeks without a dessert, and aside from the sugar I put in my coffee each morning I can pass a whole day with no other sweet urges. I do, however, have one weakness. This weakness is what landed us at the maple factory. This particular place produces more maple candy than any other producer in the world and I am ashamed to admit that after the tour I took not one, but three candies from the sample plate and I purchased five boxes of the nectar of the Gods.

The spread in the Ben and Jerry's Sampling Roon
We had opted for a small and quick breakfast since we were a bit rushed on this particular morning. This came back to bite us when after the maple factory tour we landed smack dab in the middle of the Ben and Jerry’s tasting room after another factory tour. Now sated with enough sugar to fuel and army we both endured full-fledged tummy aches. Fortunately we weren’t far from camp, so we hurried on and ate something flour and milk-based to try and rectify the situation. We camped outside of Stowe Vermont, near Smuggler’s Notch.

Flavor Graveyard at Ben and Jerry's

The next morning we headed into Burlington and this is when we fully realized that there is a place for us out east. Now don’t you worry we aren’t moving there any time soon…but, if my beloved husband should decided that he is going to medical school someday then we can now consider a few schools out here. Burlington is a beautiful, small college city surrounded by mountains and Lake Champlain.

Burlington, Vermont, as seen from atop our camper on the ferry.

Ausible Chasm, New York

After a fun hour-long ferry ride, (the kind we like where they let you remain in your vehicle, allowing us to picnic on our roof and enjoy a bird’s eye view), we landed in northern New York. Again we were blown away by how rural, rustic and beautiful it is here. We made a stop at Ausible Chasm and hiked along the river, for as long as you can without paying the $16 hiking fee. From there we ventured on to Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Both Dan and I are Olympic junkies so this place was extra especially cool for us. Warranting the big words I just used ;)

Ausible Chasm.

Lake Placid's bobsled track.

Lake Placid proved every bit as cool as we had hoped. Unlike Salt Lake, you can go play Olympian here for a reasonable price. A Bobsled ride will run you $30. For $14 you can learn to shoot like a biathlon and try your skills at two rounds of target practice. And if you are lucky like us, for free you can drop in on a freestyle camp’s exhibition show.

Back Flip to one Ski landing.

Dan took a nasty fall biking and broke this part. We figured we were doomed since he insists on riding his circa 1985 Cannondale. Somehow we dumb-lucked our way into the only place in the world that still had this part burried deep in a spare parts box.

Tonight we are camped outside of Tupper Lake, enjoying our first real sunset in months. Even with reality creeping in on us, we are able to enjoy this moment.

An apology: We have not had consistent Internet access for the last week or so. Go figure that when I pose a question for you all to answer I am struck silent by lack of cell coverage. As a result when I can check we have 20+ messages and I am failing miserably at replying to them all. If you have written us before then you know that I am a reliable responder. If this was your first correspondence then I apologize for failing to get back to you in a timely manner, and perhaps at all, because honestly I have lost track of whom I have responded to and whom I have not. But fear not, we are weighing all relocation suggestions equally at this point since no one has yet included a job offer.

June 22, 2005

Acadian Rhythms

We spent our anniversary riding about 30 miles along Cape Cod's bike trails, capping our evening off with a celebratory lobster dinner and bottle of wine. The next morning we were on the road again.

We passed this guy along the way, he was cleaning his groups' daily catch of stripers, in preparation for a fish fry. They caught these guys surf casting.

Our first stop was good old Plymouth, Massachusetts. We played the typical touristas and practically ran through the town searching for the rock. All we need is a picture and then we can leave. Did I really just say that? Am I so jaded after 12 months of sightseeing that all I care about is a photo to post on here? I guess so. Well that and just how excited we were to finally reach Maine. We did force ourselves to slow down enough in Plymouth for the picture and to buy a bag of salt water taffy.

The Mayflower II.

Not long after we crossed into our last east coast state. Maine and Acadia have always been the end goal, anything after this is just icing. The Maine coast is defiantly worth the trip. The coast is speckled with lobstering communities and very quaint inns. Every cove is replete with buoys marking the pots anxiously awaiting a lobster. Each fisherman has a state registered buoy. They are assigned a color pattern and buoy shape. The traps are no longer drab wood and string, now they are a rainbow of plastic and polycord. Lobstering is a very colorful occupation it would seem.

We walked through the city of Portland and I fell in love. What a charming city. The buildings all have a historic feel to them. It is a small city with a friendly vibe. We strolled through the Public Market and got lessons on how to cook soft shelled crabs and lobster from the local fish merchant. Were it not for the rain, clouds and seemingly sub zero temperatures I would add Portland to our list of possible residences.

We made a few detours off of the main road to visit some more remote fishing towns and finally made camp at around 5:30 at Camden Hills State Park.

The next morning we high-tailed it for Acadia. As far as National Parks go Acadia is an anomaly. It seems to me that since what is now Acadia was all acquired by private land donations it has less continuity than other parks we have visited. There isn't the normal grand entrance we had come to expect. The island that most of Acadia is located on is checker boarded with small towns, private campgrounds and Bed and Breakfasts. There are park roads and regular roads, so in fact you can see most of the park without ever going through a park gate.

None the less Acadia is as grand as we had heard. The park is jam packed with coastline, forest and carriage roads. I would recommend visiting some of the surrounding towns, Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and further away Freeport. The little towns are what really gives you the feel for the place.

As an aside we heard from multiple people that Acadia's campground reservation system is a bit screwy. If you are headed that way there is only one park campground that takes reservations and you may have to enter various sizes for your RV before it will give you a spot. For instance all the spots for 21-24' truck campers were booked but 18' were available as were ones for 22' class C's. Our 18' spot would easily have fit a rig twice that big, and I'd guess that the park was at less than 50% occupancy. You just have to let's say... caress the system a bit. If all else fails there are many private campgrounds on the island as well and you can hope for a first come spot in Seawall which is supposed to be nicer and newer anyway.

We quickly realized that Acadia is not a friendly place for a 12' tall camper. There are roads you can take to get you safely to the campgrounds but if you want to see anything along the park's roads you had better be under 10'4". As a result we unloaded the camper for the first time in six months. Dan was thrilled to have his sports car back (he thinks a ¾ ton truck is a sports car when it isn't hauling around another 3000lbs in the bed). Unbeknownst to us, when we chose which week to come here, there is a bus that provides "free" (with your park admission) transportation throughout the park, but this bus doesn't start until 6/23. The bus would be a fantastic way to see the park, so if you go it may be worth waiting until the bus is operating.

Our first Acadian morning we opted not to watch the sunrise, even though atop Cadillac mountain you can be the first people to see it come up in the US. While this sounds novel it takes place at 4:30 in the morning and aside from sleep or the occasional bad dream- nothing take place for us at 4:30am. Instead we joined a ranger-led tour of Otter Point. This was a nice introductory to the park and a good way to learn about the local flora and industry. Later we drove the Park Loop to the carriage roads. We rode along 16 miles of the roads which were built by John D. Rockefeller nearly 80 years ago. The roads are shared by bikers, hikers horseback riders and horse drawn carriages.

A bridge along the carriage roads.

We had some very nice neighbors in the campground and spent our evenings chatting with them, which was a nice distraction from the weighty thoughts we were prone to over the weekend.

Monday we opted for a hike. If you go to Acadia do this hike! We parked at Long Pond, hiked the Perpendicular trail to Razorback making for a nice loop. Perpendicular is so named because it runs directly, get this, perpendicular to the lake, the catch is that next to the lake is a mountain, so perpendicular could just as aptly been named Straight Up. After climbing 1000' vertical in just under a mile we were treated to some fantastic vistas and a very pleasant trail back to our truck.

The trail up is a series of individually placed granite stairs built by the CCC.

One more night with the neighbors and our time here has drawn to an end. I am glad that we were in such a beautiful place during this time. Only a place this special could provide a distraction from the sad thoughts and homesickness that were creeping in on us. Now it is time to head for the Midwest and the valley that spawned yours truly.
OHIO- round on the ends and HI in the middle, here we come.