Posts Tagged ‘Rain’

When we arrived in Verona, Virginia, first stop on our way back home, we were completely charmed by the Shenandoah Valley Campground.  What’s not to love about this:

Waterfall 1R

And these:

Bunnies R

Some of these:

Bunnies 3R

And a bunch of these:

Bunnies 2R

Temperatures in Virginia topped out at 89 F so when we set up, we had every vent and window wide open.

As soon as the sun went down, our nightmare began.

Noseeums (nasty little biting bugs) by the score began pouring in through our screens.  There were thousands of them – they couldn’t resist our lights.  We didn’t wanna start blasting bug spray around so we figured we’d just shut off the lights and go to bed early.  We wanted an early start in the morning anyway.

As it was still pretty early and our neighbours were having a fire and being rambunctious, we shoved earplugs in and went to sleep.  Because we both had our ears plugged, neither of us heard it start to rain.

It was, in fact, a downpour of biblical proportions.  We slept on.  It wasn’t until I rolled over into a big squishy patch of bed that I discovered that water was pouring in through the vent in the ceiling over my side of the bed.  It was all being merrily absorbed by the sheets, blankets, mattress – all things just made for sucking up water.

Cripes!” said I, or words to that effect.  I bounded out of bed, darting madly to and fro, closing open things and feeling about for wet bits.  Because I am so unusually alert when I first awaken (I wish I could have said that with a straight face), I reported back to Bob that all was well – no water had gotten in.  At least none that wasn’t currently occupying my side of the bed.  I got back in the sack, gave Bob a wee shove, curled awkwardly around the soggy zone, and went back to sleep.

A while later, I awoke, as I often do, wondering why the hell Bob has to be so flaming noisy in the morning.  This seemed worse than usual, so instead of just pulling a pillow over my head as is my custom, I got up to see what was happening.

Remember when I said that no water had gotten in?  I was wrong.  To my credit, the one spot I really did check while I was (ahem) sleep-walking and closing things was dry.  The rest of the trailer, however, not so much.  Suffice it to say my deluge detection skills are not quite up to snuff.

As I shuffled out of the bedroom, there was ole Bob on his hands and knees under the table.  He was attempting to sop up a lake with a bath towel.  He was already on his third towel and he really didn’t seem his usual cheery morning self.  He had upended most of the upholstered cushions and when I grabbed one to move it out of the way, it seemed a lot heavier than I remembered it being.  It also peed on my foot which I thought was a bit rude.

We had to eat standing up the rest of the way home.

Sigh.

 

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I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that it finally stopped raining!  The bad news is that this has happened just in time for us to go home.  Happily, our last day in Maine was spectacular, both weather-wise and fun-wise.

I know I’ve been a little vague about The Great Puffin Quest.  My reasons for doing so may seem odd to you, but, like that California Condor business, “See puffins” has long been a Bucket List item for me.  I was loath to jinx it by saying “we’re gonna go see puffins!  Neener neener!” just in case the whole thing went to hell like the whale-watching plan did.  I think I can speak for us all when I say that nobody likes to end up looking like one of those dorks who brags about all the stuff they’re gonna do and then end up with nothing but a handful of lamo excuses.

Anyhoo, the thing about puffins is that the little wheezers only come ashore for a very brief time each year to…er…well, y’know…beget puffinlets upon each other and whatnot.  When they do this stuff, they don’t really want us to watch, understandably, so they hide.  Most of this hiding goes on way out in the ocean on little rock-pile island-ettes.  As you might surmise, this makes the whole “See puffins” thing a tad dodgy as Bucket List items go.

For some reason, I had been under the erroneous illusion that one could simply arrive in Maine and say, “Yo, Where’re the puffins at?” someone would point, and we’d all live happily ever after.  Sadly, this was not the case.

The first roadblock came when we arrived in Maine initially (early last week) only to learn that the puffin tours weren’t scheduled to begin until June 13th, and that there would be only one tour per week (!!) for the course of the puffin mating season.  I feel we adapted rather well to this news:  I pouted pathetically and Bob rearranged our entire trip…once his query of “Do we really need to see the stupid puffins?” was met with…let’s just call it “hostility” and leave it at that, shall we?

So, already long story slightly less long, we headed over the border, as I mentioned in my last post, with the aim of being back in Boothbay Harbor (ha-bah) by Tuesday so that we’d be in plenty of time for the Wednesday morning puffin tour.

Unbelievably, it was STILL raining in Maine upon our return.  But, I was determined to see those pesky puffins so I checked and double-checked the weather.  No matter which website/TV channel I checked, the verdict was the same:

Precipitation:  Oh hell yeah!

Probability of it stopping:  In yer dreams, Skippy!

Boating conditions:  Sea – rough;  Waves – bring a barf bucket (it actually said that!) (I’m lying…again…)

Additional weatherisms:  FOG!  Visibility:  Nil to nada, with periods of zilch.

Perfect.

Now, I’ll have you know that I’m no weenie.  I’d have been willing to barf for the cause, but I sure as hell am NOT barfing if all I’m gonna see is fog.  My disappointment was complete.  Until…

I had begun to think that those puffins would just have to stay on the stupid Bucket List a while longer when Bob looked at me and said, “Well, there must be other puffin tours…”  You’re probably wondering why this had never crossed my mind.  I know I was…

La-la-long yadda-yadda-short, we found a tour going out last evening from a little harbor just up the road called, imaginatively enough, New Harbor.

You’ve been very patient (assuming you actually read your way to this point, and, if so, bless your heart!), so without further ado or inane babblage from yours truly, I give you….  PUFFINS!!

(Hiding among a pack of killer black guill…mumble-something-or-others)

My apologies for being off the grid for several days.  We sneaked back into Canada (New Brunswick, to be specific) to visit family.  We had a wonderful time but the blogging sort of fell by the wayside.  Here’s a shot of one of the furrier relatives we went to see:

Her name is Olive and I would have stolen her, but she wouldn’t fit in our trailer!  Probably just as well – I don’t think we could afford to feed her.  If you’ve ever seen a Newfoundland dog up closely, you’ll know that they’re not in the same league as those little punter purse puppies.

We’re back in Maine now, and guess what the weather is doing!  Yup…sigh…still raining.  Our puffin-watching tour got cancelled today so we’re gonna try again tomorrow.  In the meantime, we farted around hunting down lighthouses and trying to get semi-reasonable photogs of them without getting completely soaked.

The first one was shot while we were still in New Brunswick, but the rest are from today:

Pendlebury Lighthouse, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB, Canada

Cuckold Lighthouse, Maine

Hendrick’s Head Lighthouse, Maine

A couple of other miscellaneous shots of Maine-in-the-Rain stuff:

If the gods are smiling, I should have some puffins photogs to show you tomorrow.  Cross yer fingers!  (Toes too…)

We’re still camped out in Freeport, Maine.  Touch wood, I think it’s finally stopped raining but we’re still under flood warnings.  Here’s a shot from yesterday of the Androscoggin River to show you why:

We figured we could either hole up and wait out the weather or damn the umbrellies and get out there and see what we came all this way to see.  The biggest challenge was keeping the cameras dry.  When I wasn’t holding the umbrella in my teeth to shoot, Bob was holding it for me and muttering colourful expletives.  I love that man.

These were shot out on Bailey Island, which is just a gorgeous spot that you can drive to along a seriously scenic causeway.  It was really cold and wet, but so so beautiful.

Around noon or so, we went to a wonderful restaurant for lunch called Cook’s Lobster House to sample the local wares (but mostly to get warm.)  The food was amazing!  When we first arrived, I told Bob I was gonna photog our food like I’ve seen other travel bloggers do.  I thought it would be awesome to have shots of us grinning at our fish and scallops and whatnot to remember the meal and the day.  I got as far as the (“award-winning!!”) coleslaw.   When the actual food arrived, we pounced on it like a pack of piranha and completely forgot about the camera.

(Best coleslaw I’ve ever eaten.  Seriously.)

Speaking of lunch, Bob said I shouldn’t post this shot cuz it would gross you out, but I told him that it was my vision of the turbulent nature of life (eyeroll) and that you guys would get that:

That’s the biggest fargin’ gull I’ve ever seen in my life!  I looked it up and it’s called a Great Black-backed Gull.  They weigh in at just under FOUR pounds!!  That’s twice the size of most hawks and about three times the size of a Herring Gull (the one’s most often seen at the coasts)!  I swear I thought it looked as big as a bald eagle in flight.  In fact, at first glance, I thought it was a bald eagle.  I purposely chose a shot that doesn’t quite show you what he’s eating (close your eyes for a sec if you don’t wanna know….it’s a baby eider duck)  Please don’t tell Bob I showed you that shot.

Oh, the minor set-back:  Apparently the wiring for the hot water heater has zorched itself.  We’re going to have to back-track to a place called Lebanon, Maine which has the closest Airstream dealership.  Bummer, eh?  We were supposed to hit Bar Harbour this morning.  Bogus.  I’m just glad that the wires burnt themselves up but left the rest of the trailer alone.

A few other rainy day shots before we hit the road:

Later, taters!

I’m sure this will astonish you to hear, but….I’m not a happy camper.  We’ve arrived in Freeport, Maine and, rather than describe what it’s like here, I’ll just show you.  This is our campground:

(Pretty sure those’re horseshoe pits in that puddle)

(How’s that for irony?  That’s not actually a beached boat but a kids’ sandbox gizmo!)

Rather than subject you to more of my whining, I’ll simply say that the bright spot of our very soggy day was going to the LL Bean mother ship and spending an obscene pile of money on bedding (and life jackets – ha ha!).  On the way back, we had to dodge “road flooded” signs and several washed out bits of pavement.  The news is telling us that it might be time to start rounding up pairs of animals.  I wish I was joking.  Bob has affixed pontoons to the trailer.