Saturday, August 17, 2013

Some Very Generic Pictures of What I Did This Summer

Putting pictures up is really too much work at times, at least when you have to do it at 1 a.m. Hardly any of them ever turn out to be much good, and I can't even find half of the sets I am looking for right now. But I am too far gone into the process to shut it down and too tired and hurried to find the rest, so I will put up a characteristically half-buttocked post.

I was on vacation for much of the last 3 weeks. I was off for twelve days, then had 3 days of work, and then was off another 5. I liked this arrangement, though I only was able to get it this year due to a fluke which required me to rearrange my original vacation schedule, and I probably would not be able to get it if I asked for it straightaway. This is the way the world works. We didn't take a big trip this year, but we did go away for a couple of overnight stays in standard tourist hotels, and we went to Vermont for a few days and  took some other day trips. Some of the day trips were literary related, and I put some of those pictures up on my even more rarely updated and lightly read (if one can imagine such a thing) Vacation blog.

I have gone to Maine four different times so far this summer. The first was for my class reunion back in June, which I wrote about a few posts back. On the second occasion we went to Wells Beach to visit some relatives who go there every summer and stay in an RV park, though they are probably the most affluent people in the family, and could go to Paris and put up at the George V Hotel for a month if they wanted to.

1. Running Around the IV Park. The place is popular with French Canadians, who are a big presence in many of the less-celebrated Maine coastal towns.

2. Wells Beach in the Evening. I was going for the moon here. There is no excuse for shoddy photography, but do bear in mind that I am often trying to shoot pictures at the same time that I am keeping an eye on numerous little children who are running around in all directions, and of course getting them to hold still, or even remain in the frame for a picture is practically impossible.

3. Ice Cream at High Tide. This is actually the head of a staircase leading down to the beach. At this time there was no beach, and the water was crashing nearly halfway up the steps.

The Wells trip was on the Sunday before my actual vacation started. When that came we went to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for a couple of days. Even though I lived in Maine for several years, and have lived in northern New England almost half my life now, this was the first time I had ever been there. It's the sort of place I should have been going to for a weekend every year, or at least every other year. It seems to have a most salutary effect on one's state of mind, at least such a mind as is in the state to which mine has diminished. The town of Bar Harbor is so sugary as to be in danger of inducing mental toothache. At night especially, when it is lit up, it looks like a 1940s movie set of the perfect American town that supposedly never existed. On the whole the contrast of the class of tourist at Bar Harbor/Acadia to the class of tourist at Gatlinburg/Smoky Mountains National Park--which I also enjoy visiting, and am surprised more people from the northeast never bother to venture down to see, I should add--is quite remarkable. On one of the hikes in Acadia I was in the proximity of a late 20ish couple for about 20 minutes whose conversation the entire time concerned gourmet cheeses. There were a large number of obviously gay men in town, which is decidedly not the case in Gatlinburg, and a substantial portion of the tourists, even those wearing t-shirts and shorts and other casual vacation-wear, gave off an air of being expensively dressed and educated.

4. This is Along one of the Trails up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia. The Acadia pictures are not very good, and I did not even remember to bring the camera with me when I went to town. There was a book shop there whose storefront and window display were of such calculated and effective tweeness that I can't help suspecting a line may have been crossed.

This trail was the hard trail by the way. There was no parking at the easy trail. The smaller children, and, on the last leg of the ascent, your author, were not able to maintain a uniform happiness throughout.

5. View From the Mountain. I believe down towards the town of Bar Harbor, and across to the mainland.

6. We Are Actually On the Wrong Path Here. We were trying to get to the famous Sand Beach here. We found it eventually. It was pouring rain at this point, and all through our time at the beach, and everybody was so soaked and grouchy that I thought we were going to have to give it up and go home. We were on a one way loop road around the park however, so we drove for a little bit, until we came to the next famous site, by which time it had miraculously stopped raining. So we decided to give the trip another chance.

7. I Think This is Called Otter Point. This is all on the main road/itinerary of the park. Since it was our first time here, and we had all the children with us, I figured it was best to stick to the established highlights. This place we actually had to ourself for a good half-hour. If we are able to return regularly I have no doubt we will make it out to some of the islands and other remote parts of the park that have no restaurants or other tourist services and that hardly anyone therefore goes to.

8. My Daughter at Otter Point. To be honest she looks rather strange here. The color is hyperbright. 

9. This is on a hike near Manchester, Vermont. We did this in the afternoon after the picnic lunch in Stratton that you can see on the other site. It was a typically beautiful Vermont hike.

10. The View From Prospect Rock, Which is the Object of the Hike. The mountain in the distance is Mt Equinox, which is a mountain of some renown that we were at the top of a few years ago. There is an abandonded hotel on its summit that you can see from the ridge, though I am not sure if you can make it out in the picture. Evidently staying in mountaintop hotels has gone out of fashion, as there are several of them that are abandoned or altered into something else around the region, including atop Mt Washington.

11. Oldest Son at Prospect Rock, a Strong and Sturdy 11 year old. Certainly when compared with myself at the same age.

There are still other days to be relived. I will probably find those and put them on at some point.

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