Santa Was Here! Santa Was Here!

Gotta love having Santa visit in July!!

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Unleeeeeess, you’ve been a naughty moose.

But I convinced Santa I changed my ways!  No more butt in the ice chest.  No more trying to steal the golf cart. No more trying to get on the hayride.

We had a great time last weekend!
It all started with our usual list of activities – Debbie and Brooke have fun stuff to do every day  – all day!  THIS weekend though, they loaded up with Christmasy stuff . . .

Like making Santa hats at arts and crafts!

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And playing field games, and having a snowball-waterballoon toss,jewelry making, parent/child horseshoe tournament and lots more!

By the time it was Sleigh Ride time . . .

okay, HAYride time . . .

my little campers were asking Tami and Debbie and Brooke over and over and over again when Santa was coming.

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Tami said, “Soon! I just talked to Santa and he’s on his way down from the North Pole!”

Debbie and Brooke handed out kazoos to distract us.

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We played them on the Sleigh Ride to help get everyone in the whooooole campground in the Christmas Spirit.  Although the Moms and Dads kept putting their hands over their ears.

I wonder what that means?

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Finally, after supper, it was time!  We all gathered at the campground entrance to wait for the Big Guy himself.

I asked Tami, “When will we know when he gets here?”

“Oh, you’ll know,” she assured me.

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Because Santa arrives in style!

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While Santa sat and talked to every little camper here . . .

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We played lots and lots of carnival style games, run by our teen volunteers!

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For prizes!!

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And I can’t forget the lazy man s’mores!

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We were all having so much fun with Frosty,

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the Grinch

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and Santa

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that we almost forgot about the handing-out-the-presents thing!

We all lined up and listened carefully for our names . . .

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Imagine! Christmas Presents . . .

In July!

From *gasp* Santa, himself!!

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Hanging out with Santa never, ever, ever gets old.

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Thank you, Campers!

This weekend was an amazing one!  Mother’s Day and Clean Up all rolled into one . . .

Tami, David  and I think we have amazing campers. Every Spring, they sign up to camp and help us rake sites, culverts, roads, playgrounds and more.

And in return we give them donuts.

 

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I looooooove donuts.  But it’s not nearly enough!  Our campers work hard!

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Okay. Most of them do. I’m going to have to talk to that Ben. I want to know how he does that.

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After the Clean Up, kids gathered to make a special treat for their moms.

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Tami got all teary and stuff, when she read their notes to their moms.

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We’re looking forward to this 2016 camping season!  We have lots of fun planned!

Come and join us!

Hiking and Geocaching at Preservation Park!

Hey! Maax here!

Last Year, the weather was so super, duper, amazing on Easter Day, Tami and David took Ben and I geocaching with a picnic lunch up at the Poland Spring Preservation Park.

They have five miles of well kept, awesome trails!  And you know what?

They’re only two miles from the campground!  Two miles!

We decided to start on the trail behind the original Poland Spring Water Spring House.

That trail, followed the edge of the golf course for a little while, and we were able to step onto the edge to look at Lower Range Pond

See the first jut of land, just over the tree line?  That’s our campground picnic and swimming area! It’s pretty cool to see it from this side of the lake.

If you like to hike, we have lots and lots of trails within half an hour of the campground!  Just click on the hiking link to the right to see some more!  Or when you check  in, ask Tami.  She’ll give you directions and talk your ear off about all her favorites.

As for the geocaching, we were able to make four finds!

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!

Mt. Apatite

Hey!  Maxx here!!

A couple summers ago, Tami, Dave and Ben discovered another awesome hiking trail.  It’s only 15 minutes away, you can look for gemstones and it has many geocaches. You think they would have found it sooner . . .

I am talking about Mt Apatite in Auburn Maine, just off of Route 11.

Mt. Apatite was an important part of Maine’s mining history.  They mined commercial feldspar, and found (among other precious minerals and crystals) green and pink tourmaline. So if you like rock hounding, this is a great spot!

Tami said she saw lots of quartz and mica on the trails, and she brought me a couple pieces.

Dave said he and Ben got to play with their new hiking GPS a little bit . . . this photo makes me think of the commercial for UP



“With my handy dandy GPS, we’ll NEVER get lost!

Not only didn’t they get lost, but they found two geo-caches with it!

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Ben was pretty excited to have found these humongous polywogs sunning just below the surface of the water, too.

He said it was the best hike ever!

But he says that about aaaaaaallll the hikes.

A Note from Tami

Everyone here at Poland Spring Campground hopes you and your family had a fun, safe, relaxing Labor Day Weekend.

Our recreation program has sadly ended, but we’re still open till Columbus Day Weekend with off season rates.  My campers will attest to the fact that Lower Range Pond is so quiet and gorgeous time of year.  In the last two weeks, it’s been reported that the loon family has been out and about, and the gray heron has been seen quite often too.

If you like a quieter pace, Poland Spring Campground in Fall is the place to be!

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Fall 2009

Boat rentals are still available; we have kayaks, rowboats and canoes.  Lower Range Pond is a long, 290 acre lake with a 9.9hp limit.  There’s lots of room to explore!

Kayaking August 2010
Early morning by Kathy Edwards 2009

To see more fishing pictures, click on the fishing tag on the right.  There’s small mouth bass, large mouth bass, perch, rainbow trout and pickerel.  Brown trout is stocked by the wardens every Fall.  The largest reported catch this season was a a 6lb 22 inch small mouth bass.  And yes!  I do have proof of Joe Fowler’s catch!   Look for a 2010 fishing post, soon.

Warm days, cool nights, the soulful cry of the loon

and a crackling campfire with gooey s’mores.  Fall camping is the best!

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.

Fall Kayaking

Tami closed up the campground store late afternoon yesterday so she and her friend Sue could go kayaking on Lower Range Pond.

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Do you think they’d ask me to tag along?

Nooooooo!

Shucks!

Fall kayaking is so pretty, too!  The lake was calm as could be, so it reflected all the red, yellow and orange tinted trees like a mirror.

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The first place Tami and Sue headed was to the beaver hut, but they didn’t see anything happening there.  Of course, they were probably chatting back and forth so much, the beavers heard them coming a mile away!

But on their way back . . . heading toward the state park beach,  Tami discovered a new beaver hut!

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We can watch this one from the campground shoreline.  With her telephoto lens, Tami should be able to get some great shots!

No geese to report.  Or eagles.  Or loons.  Only one lone duck  landed as the sun was dipping below the tree tops.   But Tami said the geese and ducks were on their way.  In the meantime, views like this one made it all worthwhile.

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Maine Wildlife Park

Just about eight miles south of us, right on Rt. 26, is the Maine Wildlife Park.   It’s been a family favorite of ours since Alex was born 19 years ago, and I recommend it over and over and over again to our campers.

Wild animals that are injured, abandoned or have become human dependent are housed in The Park.  Most are here permanently for their safety because they couldn’t survive on their own in the wild.  I could talk for hours about the positive changes I’ve seen through the years, mostly through volunteer services . . .  Larger living areas for the animals; new trails; informational exhibits . . .

B and I visited The Maine Wildlife Park last week.  Before my camera’s batteries ran out, we saw these cuties:

lots of deer

bobcat

black bear

moose calf

Through the rest of the visit, I kept whining over my dead batteries until Ben said, “You’ll just have to come back, Mom.  I’ll come too, if you want.”  You would have whined too, if you saw the cool stuff we did.  Imagine these:

The mountain lion, sitting up tall on top of his rock, surveying his kingdom.

The coyote was sleeping, but the fisher was running back and forth, back and forth in his cage. He was bigger than I thought he’d be.  And the claws on his feet . . . whoa!

The albino porcupine came out for a minute.  He was kind of an odd looking fellow.  Eventually, he slowly lumbered back into his log.  The raccoon was adorable, though.  He calmly watched everyone going by.

The eagle sat high on his perch, looking down over the turtle pond and the wetlands trail.  His enclosure is relatively new, and very impressive.

The peacocks were in rare form, screeching over and over, while fanning their feathers.

At the turtle pond, Ben tried very hard to find all the species listed on the information board.  I didn’t realize how many of them were endangered.

Ben and I also discovered the hawk we saw this winter was really a Cooper’s hawk. The red tailed hawk was much bigger.  We also got a very close look at the Barre and Great Horned owls!

Throughout the park are signs like these:

and interactive displays like these

to help educate and entertain.

There’s three different trails you can wander along, too.  The Tree Trail identifies the different varieties of Maine trees. The Game Trail challenges you to find as many different animal silhouettes as you can.    And the wetland trail offers a chance to see birds (Ben saw a veriole!), turtles and fish.

I recommend you bring a picnic lunch.  There’s a nice pine grove area with picnic tables and B-B-Q grills right inside the entrance of The Park.  After lunch, you can buy a drink, ice cream or other treat at the snack shack.  Then visit the Nature Store for fun and/or educational souvenirs.  Ben picked out a really cool whistle/compass combination to carry on our hiking trips this summer.  I bought some posters to go in our rec room . . . aaaaaaand a pair of silver, dragonfly earrings.  I couldn’t resist!

Feeding the animals people food, is not permitted.  But bring plenty of quarters because you’ll find animal food machines to feed the bear, deer, pheasants, ducks, geese, and turkeys.  And if you walk all the way down to the end of the fish hatchery, you can feed the fish too.

On Thursdays in July and August, there’s Story Time with a craft at 11:00am.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, there’s animal talks at 11:00am and 1:00pm.

For more information on prices, directions and such, click on the link on the right.  You can’t go wrong with this day trip!