Red, White and Blue!

Memorial Day Weekend is one of my favorites!  You know why?

Because I get to come out and play for the first time of the new season!

Boy oh boy, did I miss my little campers!

Debbie and Brooke planned tons of fun stuff to do, from Arts and Crafts where we made red, white and blue decorations

for the Pots and Pans parade!

 

to the water balloon slingshot,

jewelry making, relay races,

a scavenger hunt, wiffle ball and candy bar bingo!

Whew!  And that was only Saturday!!!

That’s the other thing I like about Memorial Day Weekend,

it’s a three day weekend!!!

On Sunday, we started the day with Story Time in the office circle.

Tami picked out some of my favorite stories.  Moose stories!!

And Brooke made some moose mix to nibble on while we heard them. Yum!!  I love that Moose Mix!

After Capture the Flag and some water balloon target practice, we had more arts and crafts time,

We made eagles in honor of our veterans, of course.

and bubble play!

My little campers make the biggest, bestest bubbles!

And then it was time for my favorite weekend activity of all . . .

Nooooooo . . . not swimming. I’m not allowed to go swimming in the pool like this little camper . . .  something about my fur clogging the filter or something-

And it wasn’t fishing, because this guy beat me to it!!  A 15 inch crappie! Wow!!

It was our weekly Saturday hayride!!  The time of the weekend when we get all my little campers together for a group photo . . . it’s . . . it’s . . . .

what does Tami call it?

A tradition!

Come make some family traditions with us this summer!  We’d love to have you . . .

 

 

 

Fiesta Weekend with Pinatas

There was absolutely, positively no time for siestas this weekend . . .

there was too much to do!

We made sombreros . . .

and maracas too . . .

There were games! Sooooooo many games!

Like the one Debbie showed us,  called  the popcorn game . . .

We all liked that one!

The Red Chili Pepper Game was fun too.

Here’s Maggie waiting for the waterballoon slingshot to start . . .

Who wants to catch a water balloon!?

After teen jewelry making, a scavenger hunt, and horseshoes, we all gathered at the store for our traditional Saturday hayride.

Tami and Debbie and Maggie were very, very happy to hand out kazoos to all the good little campers . . .

My little friends loved them soooooooo much, they played happy tunes all over the place! In the store, on the porch, on the hay wagon and in the fire circle.

Tami kept saying, “I can’t hear you! Play louder!”

The Moms and Dads thanked Tami and Debbie and Maggie over and over again.

Especially when the little campers were told they could take the musical kazoos back to their campsites.

On Saturday night, we had a party.

But not just any party.

No. That wouldn’t do at all.

Poland Spring Campground had a

FIESTA

party!

There were four pinatas!

And this is what it looked like every single time the candy poured out . . .

My favorite bouncy house was up too!

With five carnival games to choose from  . . .

The Fiesta Can Stack
Balloon Darts
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Musical Sombreros
Ring the Bottle

I didn’t know which one to play first.  Every one had cool prizes . . .

There was even a tattoo stand.

Who is this beautiful senorita????

I kept running into her and her entourage all over the place.

The longest line though . . .

Longer than the pinata line and the bouncy house line put together . . .

was the line for Debbie’s famous sopapillas.

Mmmmmmm!  Yummy!

Do you know . . .

Even with all the laughing – running – game playing – bouncy house  campers all over the playing field, I still found someone taking a siesta!

Awwwwww!  How cute is that?  It looks like we wore this little one out.

We hope everyone had a wonderful time last weekend .  . .

I know I sure did!

I love hanging out with my camping buddies!

Come again soon!

A New Local Attraction

For our campers age  21 and over,  the Oxford Casino has now opened!

Boasting table games such as roulette, black jack and craps, as well as slot machines, the Oxford Casino is only six miles north on Rt. 26.  You can also eat breakfast, lunch or dinner in the new Oxford Grill Restaurant.

Several campers who’ve already been, give it good reviews. If you visit the Oxford Casino, let us know what you think!

 

 

Peaks Island

Maxx here again

Let me tell you about a hiking trip that I didn’t get to go on last summer.

Dave & Tami took Ben down to Portland where they hopped on the ferry.

Peak's Island Ferry
Peak's Island Ferry

It is only a few dollars for a round trip ticket and a 20 minute ride over to Peaks Island. Peaks Island is great for Day trips, you can rent a bike and enjoy the views as you pedal around the perimeter of the island (an easy four miles) or you can buy an extra ticket and bring your bike with you. You’ll find shops, art galleries, restaurants and a couple small museums. You can rent a kayak or take a golf cart sightseeing trip. The ferry makes 14 trips a day in July and August so you don’t have to worry about schedules.

Peak's Island
Peak's Island

On this day though they decided to hike into the center of the island to visit Battery Steele a world war II gun emplacement. They searched high and low but didn’t find the geocache at the fort.

Battery Steele on Peaks Island, Maine

View from on top of Battery Steele
View from on top of Battery Steele

After that they continued to the other side of the island and followed the coastal road back around to the ferry.

View toward Cushing Island
View toward Cushing Island

In case you are wondering, the reason I didn’t get to go — No Moose allowed on the ferry!

Fort Williams and the Portland Headlight

Last summer, Tami, David and the kids escaped for the day to one of their very favorite places, the Portland Headlight in Fort Williams Park.  There’s so much room to run around there with wide open fields made just to play catch or fly a kite.  Tami says the views of the ocean really help her to relax.

There’s a hiking path winding along the rocky coastline. There are several geocaches including the first in the state of Maine. They had a lot of fun doing a multi-stage cache that took them all around the park looking for clues.

right to the Portland Headlight – the most photographed lighthouse in Maine

You can take tours of the Lighthouse for a fee . . .  climb on the abandoned fort on the other side of the park or stick your feet in the ocean.

And you know what?  After they hung out there, they went to the Old Port and took a ferry ride around Portland Harbor and THEEEEEEN, they went to dinner after that!

Do you think they asked me??  Nooooooo.

Oh well.  I suppose my antlers would have taken up the whole back seat anyway!

Grafton Notch State Park

Maxx Here

Whether you want to go sight-seeing, beat the heat, get away from the crowds or go hiking, there is a lot to do at Grafton Notch State Park. There is a small fee of a couple dollars a head that you pay on the honor system.

Sightseeing

There are several fabulous natural attractions if you are just in the Mood for sight-seeing. Start off with Screw Auger Falls a series of cascades that includes a 30 foot plunge. One of the most visited falls in Maine.

Screw auger falls at Grafton Notch State Park in Maine
Screw Auger Falls, Maine

Mother Walker Falls, a gorge in the summertime, is more than 40 feet deep and 980 feet long.

Moose Cave. In this 200-foot-long gorge, lying within a 45-foot-deep canyon in the bedrock, water skirts boulders and disappears temporarily into a cave beneath a huge granite slab. (I don’t go in there, the last moose who did, never came out)

Moose Cave at Grafton Notch State Park in Maine
Moose Cave

Hiking

The Appalachian trail crosses thru Grafton Notch, so of course you can hike to Baxter Mountain or all the way to Georgia. If you are a little less adventurous there are several shorter hikes that are quite a challenge. We have tried Table Rock (2.5 miles with 900′ elevation gain) and the Eyebrow Loop (2.1 with a 1300′ ft elevation gain). There are also trails to the top of Old Speck Mountain and Baldpate Mountain a couple of the highest mountains in Maine.

The Eyebrow Loop Trail at Grafton Notch Maine
The view from the top of the eyebrow loop trail
The Eyebrow Falls Grafton Notch Maine
The Eyebrow Falls

Geocaching

There are several geocaches in and around Grafton Notch including one that brought us to a spot we had never found in several trips called ‘The Jail’ it is a sort of box canyon off one of the many gorges throughout the park.

The Jail at Grafton Notch Maine
The Jail

Grafton Notch is about an hour north right on Rt. 26, you can’t miss it. It is a nice leisurely and scenic drive with almost no traffic that is perhaps worth the trip itself.

Old Speck Trail Sign

If you happen to visit the geocache on top of Old Speck, write my name in the log book for me, thanks.

Freeport and LL Bean

A trip to Maine is never complete without a trip into downtown Freeport, home of the famous L. L. Bean.  We always hit the Outlet Store before going to the retail store.  You can usually find some wicked good deals there.

After shopping at L. L. Bean, we get an ice cream at the Ben and Jerry’s stand.  It’s conveniently located right outside Bean’s entrance.  Mmmmmm . . . coffee heathbar on a sugar cone.  My favorite!

Then we shop a little more:  Cool As A Moose, The Mangy Moose, Yankee Candle, Lindt Chocolate, Earrings and Co., Reebok . . . the list goes on and on and on!  It’s fun to walk the streets and look at everything they have to offer.

There are many, many fabulous places to eat in Freeport, from hot dog stands, to pubs to fine dining.  You’ll see a list on the Freeport website (link is listed above) as well as other sightseeing ideas.

But we like to stop on the way home at the  Muddy Rudder in Yarmouth, right off of Route 1.   Steak, seafood, pasta . . . their menu has something for everyone.  I can recommend the Broiled Seafood Medley.

Portland – Fort Gorges

There are a few old forts in Maine you can visit, one of  my favorites the most interesting is Fort Gorges in Portland.

Fort Gorges sits in the middle of Casco Bay.  Built in the 19th century, It is now a public park accessible only by private boat.

Fort Gorges in Casco Bay Maine
Fort Gorges

On a clear summer day you can easily see the fort from the boat launch off the eastern promenade. If you are adventurous, you can launch your kayak or other sea-faring boat and paddle out there like my staff the camp staff did. It is a little over a mile away.

fort-gorges-082blog

fort-gorges-071blog

There is a geocache hidden there too!

fort-gorges-064blog

Fort Gorges in Casco Bay Maine
Inside Fort Gorges

fort-gorges-072blog1

After that, drive over to the Old Port to do a little shopping in all the quaint shops along the harbor’s edge before eating at DiMillio’s Floating Restaurant.

Other forts in Casco Bay include Fort Scammel on House Island which is private but gives tours on Tuesdays in the summer (by prior reservation only), Fort Preble in South Portland (a good place to view Fort Gorges) and Fort William in Cape Elizabeth.

Two Lights State Park

Alex, Dave and Tami wanted to get some family time in last week .  . . they wanted to rest and recuperate from the busy-ness of the campground.

So they left me here at the campground to take charge of things

“Suuuuuuure!” I said.  “Go have a good time!” I said. “I’ve got every little thing under control!!”

Tami only looked back once with her “you-better-behave-or-you’ll-be-in-so much-trouble”  looks as they grabbed their chairs and books and went to  Two Lights State Park.


If I’d known they were going to  Two Lights State Park , I would have joined them!   It’s all rocky coastline with amazing views of Casco Bay and the Atlantic.  There’s tidal pools to explore and you can climb the rocks until you can’t climb anymore!  Sometimes we bring a picnic lunch and spend the day; they have picnic tables  with   stationary grills, a hiking trail, and a playground too.

Tami says those are all great reasons to go to Two Lights.  But they aren’t HER reasons

she goes for the breath taking view and the soothing sound of waves crashing over the rocks.

She’s so boring, isn’t she???

Still, she said her bare feet itched to climb down and explore the shoreline.  So she got Alex to take her nose out of her book for awhile 

so she could join her.

Isn’t it great there??

When Tami got back, I told her everything went very, very smoothly.

She doesn’t have to know about that one little, itsy, bitsy problem thingy . . . the one Paula had to rescue me from

It’s our secret, okay?

Poland Spring Preservation Park

Hey, Maax here!

Did you know that Poland Spring is full of history??

Just a couple miles up the road is the Poland Spring Preservation Park. Not only do they have about 5 miles of beautiful hiking trails, but they have several historical buildings.

There’s the original spring house,

where the water phenomenon all began somewhere around 1845.  The water was said to have healing properties, and by 1904, it gained international praise after winning several awards.  People began to flock to the Poland Spring Inn.

Above is the current inn, the original having burned to the ground in 1975 after a grand history of housing presidents such as Cleveland and Taft, and celebrities like Babe Ruth and Mae West.

Below is the Maine State Building, created to represent Maine in the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.  It was dismantled, piece by piece to be brought to the Poland Spring Inn.   It now houses the museum for the Poland Spring Preservation Society and a gift shop featuring Maine products.

This is the Old Souls Chapel

A grand building, it was created in 1912 for the staff and guests of the Poland Spring Inn.  It has beautiful hand painted windows and is used now for weddings, plays, and baptisms.

The Poland Spring Preservation Park is a really cool place to visit if you’re into history!

Their website has their times of operation, or you can get their brochure off our rack of area attractions.