About My Blog

My photo
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.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Foliage Run - 2020

I wanted to take some foliage pictures as the leaves change.  Pam and I decided to go on day trips instead of staying over somewhere due to Covid.
Foliage this year ended up being early due to drought conditions.  We didn’t think the leaves were quite as colorful this year.  We took a quick trip to see our new grandson.  The leaves had just started to turn so I took a couple pictures.
It was peak around Franconia, etc. which would have been nice to see but we didn’t want to deal with the traffic since we weren’t staying over.  It was a good call seeing the traffic congestion on the news at a standstill in that area.  The weather was a mixture of clouds and sun.  I think it was more clouds.  Sun hitting the colors on the trees make them really pop but clouds and grey sky make colors stand out in a different way. 
Our first destination was the Woodstock, VT area.  We decided to stay off the highway and take backroads Northwest to Claremont, cross over the bridge into Vermont and continue our Journey. 
We took nice winding roads with very little traffic.  As usual, we were looking for barns that could be nice pictures.  We were also looking for dirt roads to explore.
Many towns have old church buildings or town halls that were nice.  The frustrating thing I see often is telephone poles and powerlines all around them.  Nice buildings but the poles, transformers, wires, etc. don’t really do it for me.  I took a couple pictures anyway.  I suppose church buildings could be a new blog post for me.
As we traveled north, we saw the colors improve.  When we got to Woodstock it seemed like it was past peak a bit.  We had rain and high winds earlier in the week so some of the leaves were already on the ground. 
We went down several unmarked and class 4 roads.  At one point we had to have been 5 miles in the woods.  2 UTV’s approached so I pulled my jeep off the trail.  They stopped and I asked where this trail went.  They said it went to a big mud hole but didn’t come out to a road.  I was told there were more UTV’s coming and sure enough there had to have been 15 more pass by all mudded up.  Once they passed, we discussed and decided to be safe and turn around.  My though was no winch on my jeep, no one with us to help if we got stuck, no cell service, and a long trail walk back to anyone unless I run into the UTV’s again.  If Kevin was with us in one of his jeeps it would have been fun to continue.
From Woodstock, we would head through Barnard and did a slow loop.  We jumped on the highway heading home as it started to get dark.
Our second destination was west toward Spofford, NH.  We stayed off Rt101 going west so we could explore.  Again, nice winding roads, small towns, some good color, etc. 
We both enjoy exploring and the colors made it that much more enjoyable.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Kennebunkport, ME - The Federal House - Shock and Awe

When I got married in 1988, the family tradition was to vacation in Kennebunkport, ME every year.  In the early days, we rented from Gooch’s Cabins.  Small efficiency cabins that were tiny but nice with a great location.  Eventually, we would rent 3 cabins for the week.  They ended up being purchased and converted to condos.

At that point, we started renting a house every summer that could accommodate our 3 families.  As families grew in numbers and kids grew physically bigger we needed to look at larger houses. 

When walking or driving to the beach we would pass “The Federal House” on the corner of Doanes Wharf Road and Beach Ave. 

In the early years of our vacations it was a house in disrepair with vines growing up all over the unpainted exterior, a terribly overgrown yard, etc.  It was a real eyesore.  I bet the interior was a mess also.  It was sold and the property was completely transformed inside and out.

It had become a bit of a landmark being the big yellow house with the iron fence you would pass on the way to the beach.  It had a flag painted on the side of the garage. 

We started renting The Federal House in 2013 for our vacation.  This is a bit of the history I know of the house from asking the owners.

The Federal House was built in 1765 making it the 2nd oldest house in the area.  I
t has 6 bedrooms and 3 ½ bathrooms, a 3 car detached garage with a flag on one side, a wrought iron fence around it, with the property going to the cove connecting to the Kennebec River. 
In the early years, the cove was dredged to the property and they would tie up schooners to protect them from storms.  That is now the flat part of the backyard just behind the garage.  We were able to launch kayaks and have fun in the water when the tide was coming in.   The location was ideal with a short walk to the beach, into town, etc.  You could park your car and would not need to drive anywhere to enjoy the area.

We rented this house for a week every summer from 2013 to 2019.  During our time renting, the owners gave each of us a mug they had made up to celebrate the 250th anniversary of The Federal House.  The house was sold in 2019.

Because of COVID, etc. we did not have our KPT family vacation this year (2020).  Pam and I took a day trip to Kennebunkport in late July.  I told her if we see anyone when we drive by The Federal House I want to stop and say hello, introduce ourselves, and let them know we would be interested in talking if they end up renting the house.

SHOCK AND AWE … As we approached we saw a dumpster and an excavator … the house was torn down and the garage was gone … WOW.  The dumpster, the pile of dirt, and the excavator in these last photos are sitting where the house used to be.  

It was such a great house.  There was so much history there.  I am surprised the town would approve a tear down with that kind of history.  I sure hope they reclaimed all of the interior wood trim and molding, etc.

It will be interesting to see what is built in its place.  Who knows if it will be residential or commercial.

We have such fond memories of our family time in that house.  Our family memories will live on along with my pictures.  It was and is all about family and friends …