Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Hiking the Precipice Trail in Acadia NP, Maine

A couple of weeks ago, I briefly featured parts of this hike for the Daily Post theme “edge”. Mark and I chose to hike the very strenuous Precipice Trail on the last morning of our five-day vacation in Acadia National Park for two reasons: it promised to be a sunny day, so the views would be amazing (they were!) and we could rest up afterwards in the car on the long drive home (we did!). The trail was one of the toughest hikes we have ever done, but all the sweat and effort led to a fun climb and a reward of incredible views.

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Biking the Carriage Roads in Acadia NP, Maine

 

Mark, not on a castle, but on a carriage road bridge

Mark, not on a castle, but on a carriage road bridge

There is a lot to see and do in Acadia National Park. Without the “distraction” of work and internet, I was amazed at how much one can pack into a five-day vacation! After a little reconnaissance of the park on our first day, we decided to rent bikes on the second one. For $25 per bike per day, we each picked a suitable model of the ones presented in the store and soon thereafter, we were proud bike owners for the day. Our starting point was the town center of Bar Harbor and our goal was to ride the park’s carriage roads. I expected a very relaxing day, coasting along flat roads. I was wrong.

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The Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, ME

Most National Parks in the US have a car route that allows visitors to efficiently visit the main highlights and enjoy views from overlooks. In Acadia National Park this route is called the Park Loop Road, and following it is a perfect way to get acquainted with the lay of the land, pick some favorites and take advantage of the easy photo ops. The scenic loop is 27 miles long, so ideal for a first (full) day in the park, especially if you’d like to do some of the shorter hikes along the way and stop at every pull-out!

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WW – Gorham Mountain Trail in Acadia NP, Maine

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. Also, I can’t manage completely “wordless”, but I try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

Start of the trail

Start of the trail

There is no photo challenge at the Daily Post this week, so I’m diving head first into the Acadia experience with a photo gallery of the Gorham Mountain Trail. If there is only one hike you can do in Acadia National Park, I highly recommend this one. The views are spectacular and get better with each step you take towards the top. It is a short, but moderate hike that involves climbing over rocks and boulders and that combines the right dose of exercise and beauty. Continue reading

Five Day Vacation in Acadia National Park, Maine

The clouds are lifting in Frenchman Bay

“Thank you for calling The Wirie. The customer support department is on a short vacation right now. We will resume our timely and personal support service again on Wednesday, September 14th. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you and thank you for your patience. Have a nice day.” I hear Mark change the message on the answering machine of our Wirie business. Then, he creates an automatic email reply for customers who contact us via the ticket system: ”The Wirie Customer Support team is on a short break right now. Please, allow us to get back to you after Tuesday, September 14th. Thank you for your understanding and your patience. Have a nice day.” It is the very first time we “close down” this part of the business, and these are the last preparations we make before our long anticipated trip, three years in the making. It is finally happening, after keeping a close eye on the weather predictions and postponing our departure a few days… Continue reading

Monthly Expenses – August 2016

Expenses - image

Every month, I post a report of our expenses to show that it is possible to live a comfortable, exciting and relatively adventurous life without being rich. Or even without owning/earning a lot of money. That being said, Mark and I seem to manage one big expense a month for some reason, whether it is car, plane, travel or computer-related. Luckily, we live totally rent-free and in comfort, wherever we end up. 🙂

This report includes ALL of our expenses, in US$, for the two of us. Under groceries we incorporate all the food, produce and non-alcoholic drinks (100% orange juice, oat milk for Mark and organic 2% milk for me) predominantly bought in supermarkets. Toiletries belong in that category as well. Dining out means eating at a restaurant/event or purchasing take-out food. I read somewhere that "dining out" is meant to happen in fancy places. Not in this list! But, I do like the term "dining out" better than "eating out", so I'm keeping it. The health category covers medicines and Mark's vitamins and supplements. Utilities are always Skype-related, now that our internet is free and our phone costs are business-deductible.  You don't see health care costs, because Mark and I are eligible for free health care in the state of Massachusetts, since our income is  in the lowest bracket (for now). I still pay a small three-monthly fee in Belgium for health care (required to keep my citizenship), which I will report on at the end of the year.

Here is an overview of our expenses in August, which is long overdue. It appears that September is a month of "running out of time" and "trying to catch up". It is, indeed, super busy due to our trip to Acadia NP (more about that next week) and being back in Newburyport - our home base - for only a couple of weeks.  In August, we managed to stay under $1000 again. Unfortunately, in September and on-wards this is and will not be the case anymore. Without further ado, here is the break-down of my latest report:

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Wordless Wednesday – On the Edge of Acadia NP

I have decided to post photos of past travels in general and our eight year sailing adventure on SV Irie in particular for Wordless Wednesdays. I hope you enjoy them. Also, I can’t manage completely “wordless”, but I try my best at “almost wordless”. 🙂

This week’s photo prompt of the Daily Post couldn’t have come at a better time! The theme is “edge“, while Mark and I hiked the Precipice Trail to the top of Champlain Mountain in Acadia NP yesterday. Precipice means “very steep and tall rock face or cliff”.  We were literally walking and climbing on the edge of these vertical cliffs for an hour. Strenuous, exciting, and for some, a bit scary. You will have to wait for an in-dept Acadia report starting next week, but here is a little preview of our last morning in Maine’s National Park.

Hold on to the rocks, and your pants…

The trail is certainly wide enough here!

The trail is certainly wide enough here!

A bit scary... it is a long way down from the edge

A bit scary… it is a long way down from the edge

Nobody has to convince us to stay on the marked trails!

On the edge of Frenchman Bay, Maine

On the edge of Frenchman Bay, Maine

View from the top of Champlain Mountain, Acadia NP - the edge offers front row seats

View from the top of Champlain Mountain, Acadia NP – the edge offers front row seats

Have you been on (the) edge lately?

Six Word Saturday – Scenic Drive to the Grocery Store

During our  recent four and a half month house and pet sitting assignment in Western Massachusetts, we basically lived in the middle of the woods, in one of the hill towns of Pioneer Valley. The town center of Heath does not have a store and the closest settlement of Charlemont has a small and expensive general store, that we rarely visited. The ten minute drive there – or anywhere further on – offered a couple of picturesque photo opportunities.

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IWSG Monthly Writing Update – Lots of Time, but Little Progress

Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) encourages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement or anything really about their writing.  Since August, the IWSG would like to see a particular question answered in each blog post. This month that question is “How do you find the time to write in your busy day?”

When Mark and I were cruising full-time on our sailing catamaran Irie for eight years, there was not much time (or electricity or internet availability) to write. I focused mainly on cranking out a sailing article once in a while, making notes about our travels and experiences, and creating about one blog a week on It’s Irie. One of the main reasons we left that boating lifestyle was to focus on our “careers”. The extra time, comfort and amenities a more settled life offers would certainly help with that. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Blog – Mirror

This week, I am breaking my blogging routine. Instead of posting photos for Wordless Wednesday, I am sharing them today. This week’s Daily Post photo challenge theme is “mirror“.

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