Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eyes to the West

We've been traveling since March 3, logging in 13 states in 20 weeks. We've reached 6,200 miles on our tripometer, which was set to 0 when we left Orlando. Amazingly, our blog views have roughly accumulated at 1 per mile; we have 6,126 blog views as of today! So far in our travels, our constant goal has been to drive North. Now, we've reached the Northern terminus of our trip, and we've turned the van Southward. Bar Harbor, Maine, was as far North as we decided to go. It seems odd now to be heading back South, turning our eyes and minds towards the western portion of this country. Of course, we still have many stops in New England and New York before we return to Pittsburgh, which we approximate will be in about a month. Though this is the end of our Northward trek, we still have the preparation for and actual experience of our wedding, which doesn't seem like it can possibly be so soon, then we have our Westward trek, which will be a new adventure entirely. 

In our travels, we've gained a completely new perspective of America. We have seen so much, but we've also skipped over a lot. At first, seeing the whole country in a year seemed like a reasonable goal. Now, we realize we could have spent an entire year just exploring the Eastern Seaboard. It seems impossible that we've seen so much in just 13 states over the past 4 1/2 months. For so long, all I wanted to do was travel in Europe; I'm so glad we took the time to explore what was in our own backyard first. America has some wonderful things to offer. 

Leaving Maine, which for so long was our ultimate Northern destination, felt like an appropriate time to step back and look at where we've been these past 6,200 miles. Maine was especially good to us, and driving out of Maine wasn't an exception. We stopped for lots of photos, trying to capture scenes that encapsulated our Maine experience. 

We were spoiled with so many of these fantastic views! 

This sign on Ellsworth's Main Street might have went a little far with using New England dialect! (Translation: Oh yeah, you bet we have summer candy, chocolate, Needhams taffy, and lobster too.) 

We've passed an astounding number of antiques stores and markets, and have stopped at our fair share. We loved all the vintage signs on this shop. 

If there are two things New Englanders love in the summer, it's their lobster and their ice cream, both of which are located on every corner. It amazes me that New England has more ice cream shops than Florida ever could have dreamed of. Lobster is also everywhere, especially at this time of year in Maine, when it is in season and sells for about $4.00 per pound, cheaper than buying hamburger! 

We've been charmed by the character of so many small coastal towns, where we've found gems like this old fishing boat. 

Driving through Maine and approaching New Hampshire, we had to stop for this amazing landscape. Views of rocky rivers like this one really are our all-time favorites. 

We took photos of the rocky river from this bridge. 

A fishing boat coming in with the day's catch. 

Get all your ducks in a row! The water was this astounding green color due to all the lush greenery along the river bank reflecting onto the water. 

This is the Androscoggin River Swinging Bridge. It was constructed in 1892, and is one of the few remaining active pedestrian swinging bridges. It is a Maine Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. 

The view of the Androscoggin River from the swinging bridge, which was a lot of fun to cross. They could've named it the bouncing bridge with the way it lurched and bounced around when people crossed over it.

Groundhogs are one of my favorite critters, and, after sitting quietly by the river for a while, we turned around to realize this little guy was happily eating just a few feet away from us. We got the camera out very slowly so we wouldn't scare him away. We've been lucky enough to see so many creatures on our Northern adventure this summer: groundhogs, bald eagles, ospreys, a seal, a moose, Northern Pike leaping out of the water, deer, fawns, and others. The North is still wonderfully wild and well worth seeing.

Again, we'd like to say we appreciate our readers; thanks for traveling North with us! 


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