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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kennebunkport, ME Vacation - 2012

We were off to Kennebunkport, ME for a week of vacation.    It’s a family tradition.

The house we rented last year worked out well so we rented the same one again.  There is lots of space, large rooms, private (on 3.2 acres), quiet, half mile from the ocean, backs up to a golf course, etc. 

I have a “Type A Personality” when we go on vacation and “I NEED TO DO STUFF”.  The others are much more content and happy going to the beach a lot, resting, etc.  I can do the beach a few times but I like to explore and lucky for me, Pam gives me the opportunity to do that.  Whew …

We loaded up Saturday morning and headed out.  Once settled in the house we relaxed.  The weather for the week turned out to be perfect.  Sunny and in the high 80’s most days, low humidity, and low 50’s at night. 

My first little adventure started Sunday morning.  I missed church as I was on the road early heading north to check out the Barnyard Firecracker 4x4.   It was fun.  I saw a nice barn on the drive and had to stop for a picture.  Kevin and Kate said they want to go next year.  The others went to church in the morning then headed to the beach. 

Being an early riser (even on vacation) I was up between 4:00AM and 5:30AM each morning.  One morning I headed out at 4:30AM to see the sun rise.  I ended up at Cape Porpoise and took a few sunrise pictures.  I had another sunrise experience at Perkins Cove too.

We walked down the beach to the jetty and the cove at Gooch’s beach several times.  We walked through the shops in town and found a new homemade ice cream place.  We played on the rocks at spouting rock.  I saw this person painting the “Dark Shadows” house.  It recently had new shingle siding installed and a garage addition.

Kevin brought 2 of his RC cars (e-revo and rock crawler).  The house has a long driveway and rock ledge in front so he had fun with his cars.  He also tested his skills on the rocks near spouting rock which was challenging. 

We went to Ogunquit and walked Marginal Way.  One day the kids had fun at Ogunquit beach riding their boogie boards up the channel in the strong current as the tide came in. 

I used my GPS to drive the back roads during the week and went to Perkins Cove, Moody Beach, Wells Beach, Drakes Island, Parsons Beach, Kennebunk Beach, Kennebunkport, Cape Porpoise, Goose Rocks Beach, East Point in Biddeford, continuing to Old Orchard Beach, etc.

Throughout the week I saw seals sunning themselves on the rocks, heron, other birds, and lots of pretty skies.  I saw fishing boats, sail boats, lobster traps, pretty beaches, neat houses, a couple barns, and nice winding back roads. 

One of our traditions is to have pizza on the beach for dinner on Friday.  It’s our last beach experience before we head home the next morning.  We had everything set up and ordered our pizza to be delivered.  We had teams playing “ladder toss” when former First Lady, Barbara Bush, stopped and watched as we played.  I talked with her briefly.  She seemed well and said her husband was doing well also.  I told her I had seen her earlier in the week driving the Bush #41 golf cart around Walker’s Point with a sign that reads "Property of #41 Hands off!” 

We packed up Saturday morning and headed home.  Before we left we reserved the house again for a week next year even though it’s for sale (for $2 million).  We were making the assumption or hoping no one will decide to empty their piggy bank and buy the place.  Once home we unpacked only to get ready for the NASCAR LENOX Industrial 301 race.

My vacation started with 4x4’s and mud … beach, sun and driving … ending with NASCAR speed … Great family vacation.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

NASCAR – LENOX Industrial Tools 301

We headed to the NASCAR LENOX 301 in New Hampshire on the final day of our vacation.  Everyone met at 9:30AM so we could drive to the track together.  We left at 9:45AM and hit a good amount of traffic the last 9 miles.  It was going to be hot so we froze the water and Gatorade to carry in our coolers along with food.

We parked in the South Lot for an easier exit.  My plan was to cut out with 20 laps to go so we could try to avoid the traffic.  We walked from there and stopped by some of the trailers outside the gate.  We thought Tyler was going to do pull-ups at the Army Trailer to win stuff.  I looked but no Arm Wrestling station for Elmo … we could have won some money if they had that. 

We went through the gates and headed for our seats in turn 4.  We passed the merchandise trailers selling car and driver stuff.  All the NASCAR shirts, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, sun glasses, etc. from your favorite teams or drivers.

NHMS is a one mile track so an occasional accident or yellow flag resets the field.  There were no accidents but several cautions.

We did bring ear plugs.  The drivers were off the gas in the corner but it was still loud.  We did see several people with small children sitting near us with no ear plugs.  They looked uncomfortable so we gave them a couple pairs.  We also saw one new born near us with no ear protection.  What are parents thinking when they do that!!!

I walked to turn 3 playing with my camera and taking pictures as I walked.  Cars were coming into the corner doing well over 100 mph when I saw these 3 cars coming and thought COLORS … I aimed and fired thinking I got the picture I wanted until I realized my settings were wrong.  The fence is in focus, the cars are not!!  How many people go to a race to take nice pictures of the fence?  Not quite what I had in mind but it is interesting.

I also headed to the top of the stands on the straight to take a couple pictures. 

It is fun to people watch.  This guy had an interesting hat …

FYI, #5 Kasey Kahne in the Chevrolet won the Lenox 301.  Several weeks prior #5 Eric Wood won the 89th Annual Loudon Classis motorcycle race.  Must be the lucky number for the track this year …

We did head for my truck with 20 laps remaining to try to avoid some of the traffic.  It was still heavy until we passed the Concord toll.  Elmo stayed to the end of the race. He said it was hard getting out of the parking lot and traffic on the road was real bad for him.  They didn’t get back CT until 11:00PM. 

We all enjoyed ourselves.  I told Pam the SYLVANIA 300 is in September and asked if she was interested in going.  I got the blank stare … glassy eyes … and the “Like Watching Paint Dry” reaction.  She went once for the experience but it may not be her thing …

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Barnyard Firecracker 4x4 - 2012

I headed to the Barnyard All-terrain Park in Maine to check out the Firecracker 4x4.

The “Hill N Hole” was a course set up with several hills and mud holes hence the name.  It looked like speed was needed to make it through the mud.  There were no stands and lots of people so it was hard for me to see.

The “Long Jump” was next on the list.  The trucks were to take the jump and land on flat ground which can mess with suspensions, etc.  The jumps from the previous day took its toll on some of the entries so only one truck entered.  I had to move my truck not realizing I parked in the landing zone. 

The truck takeoff looked good but made a loud bang on the landing.  It looked like the front suspension or axle broke.  As the truck came to a stop the driver got out and didn’t look well.  He went right to the ground and onto his back.  It looked to me like he could have compressed his spine or hurt his neck from the landing impact.  When I look closely at my pictures I see the drivers shoulders up high and helmet above the headrest when in the air.  The impact picture shows shoulders and helmet much lower in the seat.  They kept the drivers head still.  An area was cleared for a possible med flight helicopter landing in case it was needed.  After about 40 minutes he was taken away in an ambulance.

Unlike Vermonster, the “Deep Mud” (Classes 2, 4, 5, 7) competition had 2 trenches.  One was for the class 2 vehicles and was not as deep.  The other was for the class 4+ trucks.  It looked to be 5 or 6 feet deep at one spot.  A couple trucks came close but I didn’t see one make it all the way through that deep section.  There was more continuous action with the 2 lanes going at the same time which was nice.
At the starting line a long cable was hooked to the back of each truck.  As they made their run the cable was dragged behind them.  The cable would be unhooked if the truck crossed the finish line and the cable would be pulled back to the start line by the skidder.  If the truck didn’t make the finish line their distance was measured and the skidder would pull the truck back to the starting line and off the track.   

I am not a huge Jeep fan but several surprised me at how well they did in the class 2 competition.  They seemed light enough so they didn’t get bogged down in the mud.  A couple of the big stock trucks like mine were too heavy and didn’t have the tires or clearance to get very far. 

This truck was driven by a young lady (16 years old) with her father in the passenger seat.  She made a full run in the class 2 but went up the bank at around 130 feet so was not given credit for the full run.  I saw it and didn’t think she went out of bounds.  She did an excellent job although I did tell the person next to me it was similar to many parents “Drivers Ed” experiences with their kids.  On her second run she bogged down about a foot short of the finish line. 

I only saw one truck flip on its side in the deep trench.  They used an excavator to help get it out.  I’m pretty sure the truck frame got twisted in the attempt.

There was no work area so it was fun walking around watching people work on the trucks up close.
They did have “Fast Track” drag races but I had to head back before they started. 

It was family friendly and fun to watch.  

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