Day 15 – Friday, August 4, 2017

We had a great night’s sleep.  Since we were hooked up to electricity, we were able to run the fan so that there was some air movement, which definitely allows for a more comfortable night’s sleep.  Here in Nova Scotia, we are on the Atlantic Time, so the sun isn’t quite up at 5:00, and therefore the kids are sleeping a little later.  Not to mention, I think we have finally exhausted the little ones.  I got up and got started on the laundry, knowing that I had a lot to do.

The high tide was supposed to be at 11:04am this morning where we were, so we headed down to the beach a little earlier to watch the tide finish coming in.  The beaches here are so different to me because the sand is all made of rocks and rock pieces, not shells and shell pieces.  We sat on the beach and just watched the water for quite a while.


Isaac and Annette playing Mancala while sitting on the beach


Damien pretending to be a pirate with his dinosaur headlamp


AnaClaire, Damien, Dominic, and Amelia “surfing” on a huge board that was found on the beach.

We took pictures of the high tide with plans to come back when the tide was low so that we could see the huge variation.


High tide at the beach at Advocate Harbor, Nova Scotia

We were in no hurry to leave though.  Ryon and Ben had been gathering large pieces of driftwood (the size of large dead trees) and started trying to put a raft together.  DSCF2260The younger ones were playing in the water and of course were mostly soaked and sandy.  Kathy and I finally went back to the campground to get some lunch items and bathing suits.  While we roasted hot dogs over a campfire on the beach, we decided to drive to Parrsboro where we were supposed to be able to see tides from the dock that were more dramatic because you could see boats sitting on the sand of the beach at low tide and in the water at high tide.DSCF2256DSCF2259DSCF2258


Carrying the raft to the water


Ryon and Ben riding their raft and eventually abandoning ship 🙂

So, we gathered everyone up as well as some BBQ for dinner in the crockpot and drove to Parrsboro.


View of the bay on the way to Parrsboro



It took us a while to find the dock in Parrsboro (none of us were using the internet on our phones since we didn’t want to pay the fees to use data or phones in Canada.), but we finally found it.  We sat down and watched the tide get to low.


Low tide in Parrsboro with the older kids walking in front of the lighthouse.

Tom took some of the older kids, and they ran out to the lighthouse that was reachable during low tide.  They had a great time doing that.


Victory at reaching the lighthouse

We hung out at the dock in Parrsboro watching the tide come in for hours.  DSCF2337IMG_0942It was so amazing to see the changes and how the tide slowly but surely overtook all the mudflats/sandy areas the kids had crossed to get to the lighthouse.  We watched some people fishing near the lighthouse and were sure they were going to get caught out there, but they knew more than we did and came across right before the tide took over their crossover to higher land.


Higher tide. It was completely dark when the tide was at its highest, and we were in bed by then.

The evening was very peaceful.  Everyone had a wonderful time just hanging out at the beach.



Day 14 – Thursday, August 3, 2017

We decided on Wednesday night that we had really already done the major thing that we came to the Eastport area to do – go whale watching.  We had also come to that area because it was close to the Bay of Fundy, and we wanted to be able to see the really high tides that happen there.  However, we discovered that although the tides in the Eastport area were higher than most other places, we could see much more dramatic tide changes if we ventured into Canada.  So, this morning, Tom got on the phone and found a campground in Nova Scotia that was close to the Bay of Fundy where we could witness these dramatic tide variations.  We decided to pull out of Cobscook Bay State Park and head to Nova Scotia.  The kids were so excited that we would be going into Canada.

We packed everything up and left after I spent a while working on blog posts while everyone was getting breakfast ready (pancakes courtesy of Kathy and homegrown sausage courtesy of Charlie).  I am embarrassed to admit that I got rather upset when I needed help and there was no one to be found.  Well, Charlie and Ryon were working on hooking up the camper, but everyone else was a no-show.  Someone was supposed to be cleaning the last few dishes, but instead I found the dishes abandoned and all of the dish detergent (that was less than a week old) dumped out, probably into the dish water since it was very soapy.   Anyway, that was not one of my finer moments.  So, we finally found the help that was needed, packed everything up and started heading to Canada.  Well, we didn’t make it very far down the road before we heard a noise from a kayak.  We pulled over and adjusted the rack.  Went another 10 miles or so, and it happened again.  This time we decided we were done with the kayak problems and needed to get some part to make a better fix, so Charlie and the older boys took the kayaks and racks off the top of the van and put them into the camper.  Finally we could get some miles behind us.  Well, just before we made it to the Canadian border, Charlie realized that the camper brakes weren’t working.  So, we made it across the border without incident but stopped at the first gas station that we could find.  IMG_0892IMG_0895IMG_0899Charlie and Tom worked on the camper and got the brakes working again, and this time we were able to make it to the campsite without any more incidents (except for a wrong-way turn that left us with an interesting predicament about how to turn both the campers around to get back to the main road).  Whew.  That wasn’t the easiest trip.

We finally made it after an extremely bumpy ride on a back road to our campground by the Bay of Fundy.  This was the first private campground that we have been to, so we had electricity, water, and sewer and were all so excited to be able to not have to worry about our batteries going dead.


All set up and happy to have some amenities!

There were some nice playgrounds for the kids, two washing machines and two dryers, and best of all – wifi!  IMG_0904IMG_0902We had a wonderful dinner, put the kids to bed, visited with Tom and Kathy, and then crashed ready for the next day.



Day 13 – Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tom loves to make breakfast, so he made us a delicious breakfast of fried eggs with corned beef hash.  Afterward, we packed up and left Lamoine State Park to go to our next campground.  This route wasn’t as scenic as many of the routes we have been on, but I still enjoy looking out the window to see this beautiful country God has given to us.  We began seeing a lot of fields with something very low to the ground growing in them and finally realized that these were huge fields of blueberries.  Let me tell you, I would have no desire to go out and pick those gigantic fields of blueberries.  These wild blueberries are tiny and delicious, but “tiny” is the key word here.  It would take hours just to pick one bucket.  I now have a greater understanding of the gentleman at Glacier National Park explaining to me why the huckleberry ice cream was so expensive.  He told me the berries are tiny and it takes a long time to pick just one gallon.  I definitely have a new respect for people who pick wild blueberries and huckleberries!

Our trip wasn’t long, so we made it to the campground quickly.  We were staying at Cobscook Bay State Park near the Bay of Fundy.  This was one of the largest state park campgrounds I have ever been in, mainly because the campsites were very spread out.  They were also very wooded.  Our campsite had a hill with large boulders on it and much of the ground on the hill was covered in moss.  I thought the kids would have a great time exploring on that site.  The Rabideaus ended up with an even better site.  Theirs was flat with a lot of open space.  Ours had a flat spot for the camper, but most of the rest of it was steep hillside.

Kathy, Tom, Charlie, and I discussed that we would like to take a whale watching trip, so Kathy made some phone calls and found us a trip that went out late that afternoon.  It was recommended that we bring shoes that would keep our feet warm on the boat as well jackets.  We quickly got everything together and drove off to Eastport to find the boat.  They were ready for us when we arrived, and it turned out that we had a big enough group that it was only us on the boat.  We had two captains on our boat, Butch and Rob.  Butch drove, and Rob told us about the area.


Our boat

Before long, Rob was pointing out to us a harbor seal as well as some birds sitting on the water.  Then he showed us a whirlpool that is named Old Sow.  It is the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.  Having never seen a whirlpool before (other than in my bathtub), this was really cool.


Old Sow

We went farther out, and the next thing I knew Butch was speeding quickly ahead.  Evidently, a Finback Whale had been spotted not too far from us.  According to Rob, the Finback Whale is the 2nd largest whale after the Blue Whale.  We reached the area and sat waiting with three or four other boats.  Rob told us we would be looking for a blow first before we saw a whale.  Well, we finally saw it, and we were able to see it several times.


Finback Whale



A beautiful lighthouse near Eastport, ME.

It was magnificent!  I was so excited to see a whale.  I’ve never had the privilege of seeing a whale before, so this was a very special experience for me.  I was hoping to see another moose on this trip, but a whale was my top priority since I have managed to see one moose before.  We watched the Finback surface and dive multiple times before we headed off in the hopes of seeing a Minke whale.  On the way, we spotted several schools of porpoises, and then we pulled close to shore.  Everyone was congregating on the shore side of the boat.  I came running over there to see what whale would be so close to shore.  I could see no signs of a whale, so I asked someone what everyone was looking at.  Then I heard something I hadn’t been expecting.  They were looking at a Bald Eagle.  This was the icing on the cake for me.  I’ve never been fortunate enough to see a Bald Eagle in the wild.  It took me a little while to find it, and then it flew off.  However, the boat moved a little farther along the shoreline and stopped when they spotted the eagle again.  The eagle was perched high in a tree near a nest, and we were able to spend several minutes gazing at it.  It was such a beautiful and majestic bird, and I really felt so fortunate and privileged to be able to witness these beautiful animals in their wild and natural habitat.  DSCF2162Butch did manage to go on and find a Minke Whale also.  It wasn’t quite as big as the Finback, but just as beautiful.


Minke Whale


And the Captains weren’t done yet.  They stopped by a couple of their lobster traps to see what they had caught.  We were able to watch how they caught their traps and reeled them in as well as see the crabs and lobster that had been caught.  One of the lobsters was a huge size and was covered in eggs on her underside.


The underside of a female lobster covered in eggs

Butch notched her tail and released her.  The notching tells anyone who catches her in the future that she is a breeding female, and therefore they are required to release her also.


Ben holding a crab that was desperately trying to grab Ben’s fingers.  Ben won that battle!

After observing the catches in the two traps, we motored back to port.  Wow!  That was the experience of a lifetime!

Back to the campground for another late dinner.  We piled into our camper to eat dinner as it was dark and the mosquitoes were more than horrible.  Charlie made quesadillas for us all with our homegrown chicken that we brought with us.  We hollered at each person going in or out of the camper to hurry and close the door because we were being eaten alive.  Soon after we finished dinner, everyone went to bed as it was late.  Charlie and I played cards for an hour or so and spent that time still trying to kill mosquitoes in the camper.  I have never before seen so many mosquitoes in my life.  I hope I never do again.

Here are some more pictures of us all having fun on the boat.



Day 12 – Tuesday, August 1, 2017

During the night, things evidently got interesting.  In the morning, I heard the story.  Evidently, Annette had woken up during the night while sleeping outside and seen a skunk cozying up to Isaac.  She woke up the older boys and told them about the skunk.  Ben chased the skunk off with a light.  The skunk came back again, and again Ben chased it off.  Finally the skunk stayed gone.  I was so happy to hear that the skunk had not sprayed.  I dread the idea of having to deal with that.

The sun was up nice and early as it has been every morning.  This morning, though, most of the kids were up early too, as in by 5:45.  The sun is fully up and shining at that point, so they think it is playtime.  I went outside to see what they were doing and found them walking around with older boys and being fairly quiet, so I left them alone.  After a little more sleep, we got up and moving, had breakfast and headed out to do some activities in Acadia.

The Rabideaus needed to get their park pass, so we went straight to the Hull Cove Visitor Center.  While we were there, Kathy asked a ranger about a recommendation for a hike to do with a lot of kids, some of whom were little.  Strenuous hikes were fine as long as they weren’t very long.  Kathy wanted something memorable with cool features on the hike, so the ranger suggested a hike that she enjoyed up to the summit of Dorr Mountain.  She said that it was about 3.5 miles long and would take about 3.5 hours.  After she gave us the location of the hike and a list of the trails we would need to take, we were off.  We Whisonants had not yet done a hike on this trip, and I was feeling it was high time to do one, so we were excited to get moving.

We didn’t get very far up the first trail when we started going up these cool stone steps.  Well, we did A LOT of stone steps and just kept going up and up in elevation.


Dominic and Nicholas (looking thrilled to be having his picture taken) walking under some huge rock formations.


The stone steps


On the trail (I’m lagging behind which allowed me to take this pic of everyone above me).

After the stone steps were gone, we were going across huge pieces of exposed granite (at least I think it was granite).  We just kept going up and up.  Charlie actually hung back with Dominic and I while Kathy and Tom led the way.  They had Damien up front.  Ben and Ryon took turns carrying AnaClaire in a backpack.  She was not very happy about this for very long, but it was a lot easier on the rest of us (excepting Ben and Ryon).  We saw beautiful views on the way up, and there were wild blueberries all over the place to snack on, which Dominic and I took advantage of.   IMG_0781When we reached the top of the trail, Dominic looked at the view, stretched out his hands, and said, “I’m on top of the world!” IMG_0786 Just then, my alarm on my phone went off indicating it was 12:00, time for the Angelus.  We all stood on the top of Dorr Mountain and said the Angelus together on such a beautiful day.  That was a special experience.  We all sat down and had a much-deserved snack and rest while we basked in the view.IMG_0789


View of Cadillac Mountain from Dorr Mountain.


After our little break, we began the descent.  The hike was mapped out for us like a loop, so we were happy to be going down a different way.  At least we were happy in the beginning.  We soon discovered that this way down was definitely not better than the way we went up.  We went down steep granite slope after steep granite slope, and then we had to scramble down rocks.  Fortunately, marking our path down the mountain were placed many markers that were called cairns.  These are piles of stones that are used to point the way on a trail.


A cairn

Dominic was with Charlie and me again.  He was goofing around a lot, so we were worried that he was going to take a major tumble on the rocks.  We were holding on to him a lot and trying to keep him from pulling us down the mountain.  Charlie finally took charge of him, so we began to move a little quicker.  By the time we reached the bottom of the mountain and were back to the van, my legs felt like jelly.  We were all exhausted and ready for a fresh supply of water.  Fortunately we found a water fountain that dispensed nice, cold water.  We all hopped back into the van and the Rabideau’s truck and drove off to find the ranger program that the upcoming junior rangers needed for their badge.

After PB&J sandwiches on the way, we reached the ranger program that they called Touch Tank.  Here they had a tank full of intertidal sea life, which the ranger introduced us to.  She explained which creatures were herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores, and what their roles were in the intertidal zone.  The kids were able to touch most of the creatures.


At the touch tank

They had crabs, whelks, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers, bladderwrack, etc.  The kids seemed to learn a lot, and I was really encouraged when Dominic told the ranger something that I had read to him in a book about the Atlantic seashore.  Sometimes I feel like they don’t pay much attention when I read to them, so it really helps when they start talking about something that I read that interested them.  The ranger signed their Junior Ranger books, and off we went back to the visitor center to complete their Junior Ranger program.

Some of the kids had one or two pages to finish up, so we helped the kids to complete those pages and then interviewed a ranger (the last requirement for the Junior Ranger program).  Then they turned their books in, said their pledge, and received their badges.  This program has been so good for the kids at whichever national parks we have participated in the program.  They learn a lot and it keeps them involved in learning about nature and respecting the beauty and design of the world God has given us.


Annette, Dominic, Damien, Amelia, and Isaac reciting their Jr. Ranger pledge.

Next, we had been promising to take the kids swimming, so we drove to Echo Lake for a swim.  They had been begging us for a swim, so we were finally getting to it.  The water temperature was listed as about 65 degrees, but no one complained.  The swimmers in the family went out pretty far while the adults waded in with the little ones.  The water felt great.  We were hoping the cool temperatures would help our knees that were so weak after descending the mountain.  We all had a great time.


A nesting loon at Echo Lake


The nesting loon’s mate. Evidently they take turns sitting on the nest.

This day still wasn’t over.  The Rabideaus had not had a chance to travel the Park Loop, so we gave them our audio tour and let them listen while we all followed the Park Loop Road.  While on the Park Loop Rd, we stopped at Sand Beach.  Temperatures at Sand Beach were at the balmy temp of 56 degrees.  Needless to say, there weren’t many people spending a lot of time in the water.  Our kids decided to give it a try.  Some just waded in and others took the full plunge.  Nathanael, Ben, Isaac, and Amelia went completely under, but didn’t stay in for very long.  I got my feet wet, but that was all I was willing to do.  After rinsing everyone off, we jumped back in our respective vehicles and finished the loop tour.


Dominic and Damien jumping waves at Sand Beach.


Dominic and Isaac enjoying Sand Beach.


AnaClaire at Sand Beach.

Wow did we get a lot accomplished that day.  Charlie and Tom left Kathy and I to drive the kids back to the campground while they went to the grocery store.  Kathy got dinner ready while I got kids ready for bed.  We fed them quickly and put them to bed quickly.  We were all exhausted after a very busy and fulfilling day.   This was our last day in Acadia, but we used our day to the fullest!  Tomorrow we would be on our way to our next stop.



Day 11 – Monday, July 31, 2017

Some of the older kids had been begging me to go shopping at the LLBean outlet in town because they had money burning holes in their pockets.  Since we didn’t make it there yesterday in favor of going into Acadia, we had promised them that we would go shopping there first thing this morning.  We made it there soon after they opened the kids made their purchases.  Then we had to make what is beginning to feel like the requisite daily trip to WalMart.  Other children wanted to make still more purchases there.  I managed to stay in the car with some of the younger children so that I could get some writing done for the blog.  After WalMart, we headed to a different part of Acadia National Park called the Schoodic Peninsula.  This peninsula is separated from the main part of the park (called Mount Desert Island) by about an hour’s drive and is less popular because of its distance.  However, that always appeals to us, so off we went in a different direction than most of the crowds.  They also had a loop around this peninsula, so we did the loop drive as well as stopped at the education center where we were able to get some hands on experience learning about animal tracks, Morse code, using the tools of a naturalist, etc.


Cadillac Mountain (I think) from the Schoodic Peninsula. The things you see floating in the water are lobster trap buoys.


Winter Harbor Lighthouse

DSCF2008DSCF1995We also found a great spot to climb around on the rocks at low tide.  The younger kids were participating in the Junior Ranger program that is offered in the national parks, and they needed to find some tidal pools to explore for this program.  So we climbed around on the rocks, looked into the tidal pools, and tried hard not to fall and hurt ourselves.  The older ones and Charlie really walked a good ways off.  DSCF2029


Alex and Ryon. They were quite far away from me when I took this picture.

DSCF2026DSCF2038AnaClaire and I were lagging behind of course .  She was so funny.  At one point, she and I were looking into a tidal pool when she said, “Mom – look at that dead chicken!”  Well, it wasn’t a dead chicken, but she had seen something that I later found out was called Bladderwrack.  It’s like a seaweed that has these little nodules at the ends.  The nodules are like little bladders that are full of air and help the bladderwrack to float.  I think those bladders gave somewhat of an appearance of a dead chicken to AnaClaire.  Anyway, it was quite funny.  The plus side of this was that my usual child that lags behind (those of you who read the Trip of Blessings blog series know which child I am writing about) climbed around with absolutely no difficulties by himself and went off to catch up with the rest of the bunch.  I usually don’t think of him as being very sure footed, but he sure did prove me wrong on this occasion.  The views were great and we managed to find some wild blueberries to munch on too.

After our adventure on the rocks, Charlie was determined to find a place for a picnic as opposed to eating lunch in the car.  Unfortunately, the only picnic grounds on the Schoodic Peninsula loop were on the opposite side of the loop from where we were, so we drove the one-way road back around to get to the picnic grounds.  Lunch was delicious although we had a bout of tempers flaring up.  After explanations and apologies most of us managed to move on from our hurt feelings and have a great day.  We drove to see another lighthouse off the Schoodic Peninsula, but the grounds were closed off by the Navy, so we weren’t even really able to get at a good spot for a picture.

We then decided to travel back to Mount Desert Island.  We went to see the Carroll Homestead, but they didn’t keep a ranger there full time, so the house was closed when we arrived.  We were told that we were free to pick the wild blueberries that were growing on the edge of the woods, so we had a great time munching on those for a little while.  These are the wild low-bush variety as compared with the high-bush varieties that we grow in the South.  The berries stay much smaller, but they have a very sweet, delicious flavor.  We then left and drove to nearby Echo Lake.  This is apparently a favorite swimming spot as it was very busy.  It is a freshwater lake in Acadia National Park.  The temperature was supposedly around 65 degrees.  We had not brought swimsuits with us today, so the kids just waded in a little and begged to come back in appropriate clothing.  The temperature of the water felt pretty good according to those who got wet (I was not one of them).


Damien and Alex wading in Echo Lake.


Damien, Annette, Dominic, Amelia, and Isaac trying not to get their clothes wet in Echo Lake.

Back we started to the campground to get dinner ready.  We were to meet up with our friends, the Rabideaus, that night, and everyone was anxious to see them.  They will be traveling with us for most of the remainder of our trip.  The Rabideaus have 7 children, most of whom are grown.  We met them when they lived in Rock Hill, and although they live in Pennsylvania now, we remain close and try to see each other as much as possible.  Their youngest son Ben is their only child still at home and traveling with them.  He is between Ryon and Nicholas’ age, so those boys always enjoy getting to hang out together.

Tom, Kathy, and Ben Rabideau

When we reached the campsite, the Rabideaus had just pulled in.  It has only been about 2 months since we have seen them, but everyone was jumping out of their seats to run and say hi.  While they settled into their campsite, I got dinner ready.  Kathy came in and cut vegetables for a salad while I mixed up the chili and cornbread.  We all sat down to a delicious dinner, and the kids were able to make s’mores afterward.  We put most of the kids to bed but let the older kids stay up way too late visiting.  We adults went to bed at a much more reasonable time.

Day 10 – Sunday, July 30, 2017

After a great night’s sleep, we got the kids up at around 6:45 to go to an 8:00am Mass.  After Mass, we went back to the campsite for breakfast.  Nicholas mixed up the pancakes while Charlie cooked them.  I sat to the side doing pretty much nothing.  Eventually, they needed someone to cut up the pancakes for the younger kids, so that became my job.  I believe, out of habit, I even cut up pancakes for all the older kids too :0  Oh well.  After brunch, I headed out to take care of the laundry.  It cost $29.50 to do the laundry for all of us for a few days.  Wow!  Meanwhile, Charlie and the kids had a good time just playing at the campground.

When I got back, we discussed the options of what to do for the rest of the afternoon.  We decided to go into Acadia National Park to pick up a park map and schedule.  That way we could decide what we wanted to do tomorrow.  After buying our pass for a week, we saw that they were also selling an audio tour CD.  We bought that so we could take an audio tour in our van.  After we got back to the van, the kids pointed out that we don’t have a CD player in the van (we just bought a new radio for the van so that we could have Bluetooth and listen to music we have downloaded – however the new radio did not come with a CD player).  I had a quick moment of panic until I realized that I had my laptop in the van, so we downloaded the CD to our iTunes library and then copied it onto an iPod.  After finally getting through all the technical difficulties, we started following the audio tour, which did a good job at explaining various aspects of the park.  The trouble we ran into didn’t really have anything to do with the audio tour; Charlie had thought we would do this quick audio tour to give us an idea of which parts of the park really interested us and that we would come back to see.  However, the rest of us were having a hard time passing by all the beautiful areas of the park without stopping and getting out to see them and taking pictures.  This was a perpetual conflict the entire time we did the tour. DSCF1954DSCF1972DSCF1984DSCF1979

The tour finally culminated in a drive up Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the East Coast.  The sites from there were stunning.  A wonderfully friendly woman took a picture of all of us, and we all had a great time walking around on the exposed granite to see the stunning views.IMG_0758DSCF1945DSCF1946IMG_0759

We also had the difficulty of kids whining in the back seat about being hungry.  We had made the mistake of not bringing dinner or any snacks with us because we weren’t going to be gone on the tour that long.  Hopefully, “we” (let’s just clarify and say that I was NOT the one who made this decision) have learned from this mistake and will at least bring snacks along in the future.  When kids have only had brunch and it’s about 8:00pm before you ever make it back to the campsite, they are pretty hungry.  I did finally remember that I had 2 ½ granola bars that we split among 10 kids.  I don’t think that even made a dent in their hunger, but it satisfied them enough that we didn’t have to listen to any more whining for maybe all of 15 minutes.

We finally made it back and fixed a quick meal of tuna on top of salads.  Tomorrow we would venture back into the park, but for now we were all going to get a good night’s sleep.

Day 9 – July 29, 2017

We had a good night’s sleep at the shop of the gentleman repairing our camper, despite the mosquitoes.  We got up, had breakfast, cleaned everything up, and closed up the camper so that it could be repaired as soon as he returned with the part.  Then, off we went to run an errand.  When we returned, he was back from picking up the part and beginning to work on the camper.  An hour later, it was done, so we paid him and thanked him, hooked up, and took the camper down to the campground.  Finally!


Another beautiful view of a bay.

After we settled into the campground, we headed out to explore more of the Maine coast.  I came across the fact that a couple of well-known authors in sustainable farming, Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, live in Maine.  They are a married couple who own Four Season Farm in Maine and are open on Saturdays to sell produce.  Always wanting to see what other small farmers are doing and how they are doing it, we decided to drive over there.  I managed to pick up some veggies for dinner, and we were all able to walk around and see their greenhouses and all of the growing that they have going on.  One of the books that Eliot Coleman wrote is The Four Season Harvest in which he describes his methods of raising vegetables on his farm in Maine year-round.  Although we don’t have difficulties in SC growing produce year-round, it has always interested me that he and his wife are able to do so in Maine.  I also always enjoy seeing farms that are growing things in the summer that we aren’t able to grow in SC during the summer because of our heat.  For instance, I really dislike that it is too hot to grow lettuce in SC during the summer because I would love to have a salad full of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers at the same time that I am growing lettuce.  Maybe if I tried to grow my summer vegetables in a greenhouse in the spring (like Coleman and Damrosch do), then I would be able to eat lettuce with my summer veggies.  If we ever build a greenhouse, it will be well worth a try.


Tomatoes growing in the greenhouse at Four Season Farm.


Damien climbing an apple tree at Four Season Farm.

After leaving Four Season Farm, we drove to another homestead that turned out to be only a few properties down the road.  This place is called The Good Life Center at Forest Farm.  The Nearings moved to the Maine coast in 1952 and established a homestead where they lived very simple lives.  They provided for many of their own needs, authored books, and welcomed people to their homestead to teach them some of the skills that they had developed.  They were pioneers in the modern homesteading movement.  Although I had heard of them, I knew very little about them, so we decided to stop and visit their former homestead.  Scott Nearing died in 1983 and Helen in 1995 and since then their homestead has been kept as a center for learning.  We met their farm manager as well as the couple who are currently living there and taking care of things.  Evidently, each year someone applies to become a resident there for the year and gives tours and helps to take care of things.  We were able to see multiple stone buildings that the Nearings built themselves as well as a stone wall that they built around their garden.  That stone wall around their garden inspired Charlie and I into thinking that we may take on something like that one day.  It was beautiful, and although it wouldn’t keep the deer out, it may keep out rabbits and deter guineas, chickens, and such.  If nothing else, it would be beautiful!  There were also a couple of yurts that a friend of theirs had built on their land that we enjoyed going into.  They were truly works of craftsmanship.  We had a great time learning about this couple, and then we headed back to the campground.


One of the yurts at Forest Farm.


Annette and AnaClaire sleeping in the van.


Isaac, Dominic, Alex (under the blanket), and Damien in the van.

Dinner tonight was made up of some of the delicious produce that we had purchased plus our own home-grown sausage.  We managed to get everyone into bed at a decent time and hid in the camper away from the mosquitoes for the rest of the evening.