What we did on our summer vacation

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Hard to believe summer is gone and we are already into fall. Each year while we were in school we had to write what we did on our summer vacation. Because we want to still feel young (but perhaps not be back in school), you will get to read about our summer of 2019.

This was our first summer in our new home on the coast of Maine (or Downeast Maine as it is commonly referred to.) It was a big adjustment for us going from the large house to a small condo. On the plus side, cleaning the house is a lot easier.

We had lots of rain at the beginning which, of course, brought out the bugs–mosquitoes, black flies, and gnats. They made it difficult for trying to do any kind of outside activity. We didn’t get the ticks up here as was prevalent in some areas. Good for Shelby and for us.

There are a lot of beaches on the coast with some nice hikes leading into the beach. So we explored many of these beaches.

One of the Cutler storms brewing. Unfortunately, we got caught in some pouring rain before we got back home.


Bog Brook Cove is a great hike and as most Maine beaches, it is mostly rocks. They are very smooth and great colors. It looks as if they have been in a tumbler for days. I loved the green moss color on these rocks.

Bog Brook Cove


Here are some other hikes we did this summer.

Moose Cove


Another view of Moose Cove


This Bold Coast trail is quite popular and has some great views. Lots of mosquitoes when we went.


This is a view near Schoodic (part of Acadia National Park). This is after the hurricane passed by and the waves were quite high. This is a place where we used to camp at Ocean Wood Campground. Hoping someday they will open it up again.


Rogue Bluffs State Park


West Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec is a nice place to spend some time. There are trails following the coast. A little confusing to be called West Quoddy Light since it is located on the most eastern point of the continental United States.

West Quoddy Head Light. This is a different view than I usually get.


Coast Guard Trail at West Quoddy Light.


West Quoddy Light is in the United States and East Quoddy is in Canada. We are close to Canada and took a day trip to East Quoddy Light on Campobello Island.

You have to go at low tide to get close to East Quoddy Light.


One of our extended trips in our motorhome this year was to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. A great time visiting friends and seeing some new sites.

View of Miramachi River.  A beautiful view from the house and a great visit with Ken and Sheilah.


Shelby and John relaxing on the deck at Ken and Sheilah’s.


Next stop was over to Prince Edward Island. To access the island you go over the Confederation Bridge which is over 8 miles. The first time we went over this bridge, it was so foggy we couldn’t see anything. This time we had beautiful weather and it was a great bridge to cross.

We spent a few days with Debbie and Percy. They were great hosts taking us all over the island. They are renovating an old schoolhouse into their home. Lots of work involved but they have done a great job.

John, Will and Percy.


Deb and Annie.


North Rustico, PEI



French River. Loved the colors of the houses in this town.


Our next travel spot was Nova Scotia. We stayed at many provincial parks and some national parks on our stay there. We covered about 1400 miles on this trip. Here are just a few pictures from our travels.

Kejimkujik Seaside. A beautiful walk around this area.


Kejimkujik River. I liked the color in the water.


Amherst Shore


Thomas Raddall Park


We stayed home about a week after this trip and then headed on to Vermont. This trip we visited Ron and Lisa and Kris and Joanie. Kris and Joanie were very accommodating and invited us to park our motorhome at their place in St. Albans. Lots of fun and great company.

Lisa, Joanie, Ron, John and Kris on a hike in St. Albans.


View from our St. Albans hike.


Other than the two longer trips, we did go camping locally a few places. One of our last camping trips was at Lamoine State Park where there was a beautiful sunset.


We had a hummingbird feeder outside our house and I was able to catch a hummingbird getting some supper. You have to be quick to catch a picture of them. They don’t like to hang around long.


In case you are wondering if we did any work this summer, here’s a picture to prove that at least John is working.

John painting the pickleball court. He also painted all the benches in the community as well.


That concludes our summer. We leave Oct. 9 for a 3-week travel to Arizona where we will be spending the winter. Here is a map of our route for this trip.


Hope you had a good summer as well. Let us know what exciting adventures you had.




Ready to get on the road again

posted in: Maine | 0

It’s that time of year again for us to head west for the winter. We have managed to get in a couple small hikes recently to occupy our time.

Below is a picture of Eastern Nubble, a pretty hike in Cutler that is a few miles from us. This is only a 1.7 mile hike but at the end is a cobble beach with views of the Bold Coast. At low tide, you can walk over to Eastern Ear, a little island. A side trail takes you to an old silver and copper mine.


View at end of Eastern Nubble hike.


Shelby walking very carefully over the rocks.


Tough to see but this is the Old Silver and Copper Mine


Across the street from us is a small pond with a  little waterfall. The beavers love it as they are constantly trying to build a dam to stop it from flowing. We haven’t seen the beavers but the other day we saw what we think were two or three otters. (Sorry no picture of them.) Sometimes when the waterfall backs up it produces lots of bubbles. It is almost as if someone added lots of detergent to create these bubbles.

Waterfall where the beavers like to create their dam.


Close up of the bubbles.


We (okay mostly John and Shelby) have started the packing process. It’s not easy fitting in everything we (as in me–John says he doesn’t need to bring much) need for 5 months in a small car. We should be getting good at this since we did lots of packing all summer. We didn’t quite get out of here quick enough since we got a snowstorm with about 3-4 inches of snow, then sleet, then rain. We head out on Tuesday, November 20th to visit friends and family from Maine to New York. On Sunday the 25th we start the rest of our trek to Arizona. We expect to arrive in Eloy on the 29th.

John packing the car with Shelby’s help.


Nearby stream looks pretty with the recent snowfall.



Sunset in Cutler before the snow.


Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll be in touch.




Downeast Maine

posted in: Maine | 0


It’s been a while since we posted on our blog. It was a very busy summer with the sale of our house in Washington. While we have been pretty excited about our move from Washington to Cutler, it has also been a very difficult move. The hardest part has been to leave all of our friends in the area. We know we will still see everyone but just not as often. We have also been deprived of playing pickleball as much as we’d like. We hope to get some recruits in Cutler but that may take some time.


Washington house (Picture taken by Cates Real Estate photographer)


Trying to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of has certainly been a difficult task. So how do you leave a home with more than 3600 square feet, a full basement and a four car garage to a place with 1200 square feet, no basement, and a one car garage? We are happy to say we did accomplish this but not without a few tears and a lot of organization.

So the hardest part is now behind us. We moved in on August 24th and have most everything organized. Although, we now have  some very full closets and a very full garage. (You mean the garage is there to park the car? I don’t think so!) We owe a big thanks to Larry (John’s brother) and Nancie (sister-in-law) for all the help we got. Not only with all the furniture moving they did, but they also took Shelby off our hands so we could get things done. Of course, now Shelby likes their house more than ours. When we walk him, he wants to continue on to their house (which is just a little ways past ours).

We have had some beautiful weather and have done some hikes in the area. Here are some of the nice places we have been to:


Cutler Harbor


Western Head – a beautiful scenic hike in Cutler


Long Point Preserve. Nancie and Shelby (if you can find him) taking a hike.



West Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec


Quoddy Head


We were also able to get some camping in near Acadia National Park.We were fortunate to be able to stay at a campground we used to stay at years ago. It is currently closed but got permission to stay there for a couple days with our friends, Jim and Genie. The surf was really high while we were there and was such fun to watch at Schoodic Point.

View from our campsite.


Waves at Schoodic Point.


Waves so high I couldn’t capture them in the camera.


Jim and Genie at Schoodic Point.


We did allow a picture of us to be taken at Schoodic. (A rare thing for us.)


A view across the street from our house looking at Holmes Bay.


A sample of the nice sunsets we get to see across the street from us.


Our new home in Cutler is about 3 hours north from Washington. It has a population of about 500 people. A few people have asked to see our house. While it is nothing special, here are a few pictures. This is old Naval housing that has been converted to condos. They are duplexes and ours is on the left. Shelby loves to get into the pictures when I am taking them.


The new McKeary abode.


Living room (Notice Shelby relaxing in his bed.)


Kitchen. We added the cupboards on the right when we moved in as I needed more space.


Master bedroom upstairs


Guest bedroom (when you come to visit us)


My office / Sewing room


That’s all for now. We leave around Thanksgiving for our winter vacation in Eloy, Arizona. We’re always up for company wherever we are, so feel free to let us know when you can visit.



Lamoine State Park – Camping

posted in: Maine | 3

It is the time of year when we get to start camping again. Cold weather merges to cool and then to warm weather, bugs come out in force (not so good) and hiking is at its best. Our first camping trip of the year was a two-night stay at Recompence Campground in Freeport, Maine. The weather was a little rainy but  with the company of the Barkers and Daileys we had a good first trip out.

The second camping trip of the season took us to Lamoine State Park. This is a great 55-acre park away from the crowds of Mount Desert Island yet close enough to do day hikes while returning to the campground at night.

View from our campsite at Lamoine.
View from our campsite at Lamoine.


We found a nice hike called Beech Mountain Trail and Firetower. At 839 feet this has many great views on the way up overlooking Echo Lake and the southwestern part of Mount Desert Island. The firetower is now closed but you can walk up a few stairs to see some views. Of course even if you don’t walk up the stairs, the view is incredible.

This trail is only 1.2 miles roundtrip but certainly has a lot of “bang for the buck”.

Beech Mountain Trail and Firetower
Beech Mountain Trail and Firetower


View of Echo Lake from hike
View of Echo Lake from hike


Firetower at top of hike


Marian, Cheryl and Shelby resting at firetower.
Marian, Cheryl and Shelby resting at firetower.


Back at our campsite, we celebrated John’s birthday with friends Marian and Genie. A nice appetizer to start things off and then a steak on the grill and some Grand Marnier to finish off the evening.

Marian, John and Genie celebrating.
Marian, John and Genie celebrating.


This was the first time we had a view of the water while camping at Lamoine. These sites are usually all filled up. We enjoyed our time and the weather was absolutely perfect.


The Shake Down Trip

posted in: 2015 camper trip, Maine | 0

May 1, 2015

Now that we are both retired, it is time to begin our next adventure. The camper is being packed, groceries are being bought, and the direction of the trip is being discussed. We leave on May 18th with excitement (and a little trepidation.) The trepidation is on my part as I watch the tornadoes and storms hitting in places we are planning to go through.

Our shake down trip was at Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park on May 1. The weekend temps were a little cool but the snow was gone (okay mostly gone as we saw a couple patches of snow) and the sun was shining brightly. The camper checked out all okay with a minor refrigerator problem that John has since fixed so we should be good to go.

The Daileys and Barkers celebrated with us for toasting to our upcoming trip.

View the slideshow below and come along for the ride as we travel state by state. We will post pictures and commentary as we go along and hope you enjoy reading about our adventures. Click on the arrow or each individual picture.


This map shows the beginning of our trip.
This map shows the beginning of our trip.