Across Three States to Portland, Maine

Sunday, January 22: After a delicious breakfast of sourdough waffles (Brother-in-law makes sourdough pancakes or waffles nearly every Sunday) I left Jericho, on the western side of Vermont, and headed over to Portland, on the eastern coast of Maine.

The roads were clear (glad I didn’t wait for today, and the dump of snow that has even the Maine State offices closed!), but the overcast skies did not make for great photo opportunities. Across Vermont the secondary highways often parallel streams and small rivers; the icy waters dodged around river rocks with mounds of snow on them, both there and in New Hampshire. With poor conditions for photography, and no easy place to pull off, I didn’t take photos. On into New Hampshire, much of the middle of which is

The White Mountains are living up to their name – there were a few snow showers, and the wind had blown a lot of the previous snow out of the trees, but there was plenty of white around! I drove past Loon Mountain Ski Area at about noon; day passes were sold out, and the parking lots were full – at least they had a sign out by the road, so you didn’t drive in and be disappointed! The road crews in the national forest have done a wonderful job clearing not only roads, but also many parking lots and viewpoints. And they were well used! There were many hikers and people snowshoeing, and lots of people like me, just stopping for photos of the views. Not that one could see the higher peaks – the low clouds meant that places like Mount Washington and the rest of the Presidentials were hidden.

Hancock overlook, looking toward Mt. Osceola behind those clouds

View looking north from Sugar Hill Scenic Vista

And on a car window in one parking lot:

What I Did in 2022

I traveled, although not as much as previous years – no trip to Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Canada – but much through New England (the above photo Portland, Maine), and down the eastern seaboard to Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina. I usually travel with at least one kayak; I paddled in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont (of course; I live here!), Connecticut, New York State, Maryland, and South Carolina, usually twice a week or so through the season. The most open water was on a bay on the coast of Maine; most of the rest was rivers and lakes and ponds, and the northern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. There were a few outings to pull invasive water chestnut in New Hampshire and Connecticut, and I helped out with the Great Northern Canoe Trail Peddle/Paddle event on the Missisquoi River.

And of course, there is knitting, always – scarf and shawl:

Sweaters for cousins, and one dog:

Fingerless mitts and mittens:

Hats – one for me, the rest gifts or donations; three adult, two for children:

A couple of pairs of socks, these for me:

Two sets of Christmas stockings:

And a couple of toys:

I have requests to start off my knitting for this new year – there are a couple of outstanding Christmas gifts to granddaughters (a pair of socks, and a large bee to go with the little one), another monster for an infant to be born in March (and baby booties and socks, but they are so small they hardly count!), another cousin sweater – and then maybe I’ll get to one of the three sweaters for me for which I have yarn set aside. 

It’s less than an hour until the new year turns over here. Wishing you all safe, healthy, rewarding and productive lives in 2023!

Recommending for Knitters – and People Who Like Sheep

Debbie Zawinski wandered Scotland, looking for bits of fleece from all the local sheep breeds. Then she spun the fleece and knitted socks – one pair in honor of each breed. She does give the patterns for the socks – but this is much more a travel book where most time was spent on foot, with public transport (ferry, bus, train) when needed. Accommodations – usually her tent, set up in gorgeous spots, often along the shore. The weather – wet!! If you want to travel vicariously in rural Scotland, literally following in the footsteps of sheep, get the book! (I got it through interlibrary loan. Thank you, local public librarians!)

Roadtrek Roadtrip, to Upstate New York

Wednesday, August 12: After kayaking with ORFS on Tuesday, followed by lunch with the group – physically distanced, and outdoors, with box lunches provided by the host, I made a quick stop at home and then headed for Bennington, where I wanted to have my friend try on the sweater I’m making for her. The morning dawned beautiful,

and we visited outdoors, exploring the sunflower forest and other gardens.

In the early afternoon, I left for New York, arriving in time for a beautiful sunset.

Kayaking Narragaugus Back Bay

Narragaugus Back Bay launchFriday, July 31: High tide was relatively early in the morning – and it was a beautiful day! The highlight was watching three otters cavort in the water along the shoreline – but that photo only shows a couple of heads. Here’s one that left the water, and scampered up the rocks. You have to look for the tail center right – its camo is good! Narragaugus Back Bay otterNarragaugus Back Bay deerNarragaugus Back Bay viewNarragaugus Back Bay view 2Narragaugus Back Bay accumulateNarragaugus Back Bay where feathers come fromWhere the feathers come from – for my favorite photo of the day: Narragaugus Back Bay featherAnd later in the day, an illustration of why one goes out around high tide! Narragaugus Back Bay dry launch

McClellan Park Day Trip

McClellan Park sign

Thursday, July 30: The household took a lunch break at McClellan Park. Another beautiful day, and the park is along Narraguagus Bay. McClellan Park view 4McClellan Park view 2McClellan Park view 3McClellan Park viewMcClellan Park view 5McClellan Park view 1Those more agile than I walked the rocks further, exploring tide pools.  McClellan Park Tasha & NatThis wood lily is one none of us had seen before.

McClellan Park fernAnother beautiful day in the neighborhood!