Friday, August 16, 2013

Service Pins

We have jumped the hurdle to earn the prestigious 10,000 hour "The President's Volunteer Service Award" pin that we are wearing on our collars.  Along with the pin was a letter signed by President Obama congratulating and thanking us for our devotion to service.

We each  have 10,000 hours plus...that is like an employee working five years for each of us!!!  These hours are not guesstimated, they are honest and hard earned hours...hours that are documented. Any volunteer worth their salt knows what we are talking about.

This honor came as a complete surprise to us.  We are proud to have earned this award...and glad it was presented to us at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge!!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beaver Trapping

Bill thought we should get this on our resume! Wallace went out with the intern to learn how. Then we were put in charge of doing the job. There are two types of traps, one being easier than the other.  The one he is setting is called the clam type, and it will snap shut on you if you're not careful!!!  They think all the beavers have been trapped here...we shall see.

I'm standing on one side while Wallace is getting it latched on the other side.

A nice bundle of fresh aspen twigs ready for baiting.  Then we smear some scent and wire the bundle on the cage just above the pedal.  Snap...we got it!!!  Doesn't it look tasty?

The next morning, we check the traps and lo and behold, we got the granddaddy.  This fella is huge.  The traps are not submerged, so they don't drown.  Now, maybe this is the last one!!!

Ain't he cute?  We had to tie the trap shut because he was so strong he almost escaped twice.

The cage itself is pretty substantial. When you add another 35 pounds of beaver, it gets heavy!
With Wallace's ingenuity, he made it back up the incline to the truck.

This is the area two years ago that shows the havoc those beaver cause.  The road was completely washed out.  Now a lot of money is being spent to repair it.

We released him in an area where it did not matter.

It didn't take him long to find the water and he was on his merry way!!!

Another project we were assigned.

Wallace built five of these to be placed at trailheads on the refuge. After painting, we placed forms and pencils inside for them to sign with how many in their party...and any comments they have.

Until next time...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Festivities...Day 3

Group shot at the visitor cabin here at Moosehorn, day three, then a tour of the refuge.  After the tour, we ladies wanted to do a little shopping, so I took them to my favorite shop, Knock on Wood, while the men remained behind.  Hum, I wonder what they did!!! 

Next was a quick tour of the visitor center in Calais.  Upon leaving, this resounding baritone voice singing "She's The Yellow Rose of Texas" was coming from somewhere...right in the middle of town! I knew it was Bill Kolodnicki, project leader of Moosehorn NWR, but where was he?  He was standing on the hill behind a bush just in front of where we were, singing for all he was worth.  He sings that often when we meet and he has a glorious, beautiful voice.

Just across the St. Croix River from the visitor center in Calais, you can see this, the Ganong candy store in St. Stephens. Back into Canada to get some of that wonderful chocolate candy.

Just down the road from Calais is the St. Croix International Historic Site, the first French settlement in America in 1604.

There are several life size bronze statues spaced along the trail with interp panels.  Here is Travis posing with a Passamaquoddy native statue.  The French were met by the friendly tribe when they arrived on the island.

Then on to Eastport, Maine where we took them on the tour of how Ray's Mustard is made.  It is stone ground using cold spring water without cooking.  They have about 27 flavors of mustard.

Our favorite restaurant in Eastport is the Chowder House and since it is now time for lunch, this is where we go.  We had seafood chowder, really, really good, and I had the lobster stew.  

Our view from the window.  That is the ferry that leaves Eastport to Deer and Campobello Islands.

A stroll on Main Street (the Historic District)...the bakery was closed!!!  Just as well as this was waiting for us back at the rig.

Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream.

Here are the berries Wallace picked for the pie.  Visitors at the refuge can hand pick two quarts per person a day.  We always have plenty of blueberries when we leave. They freeze well.

We had a fun-filled three days with relatives and friends.  They made it home safely, and I just talked with Deanna.  She  was wishing they were back here in Maine as the temperature is 107!!!

See y'all in New Orleans next.

Until next time...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Festivities...Day 2

We started this day at 7:00 am.  The gang decided they would pick up sausage biscuits and donuts in town (Calais) on their way out. We could eat on the way as I had a full day planned for us. Wallace being the driver decided to eat leftover breakfast casserole at home.  
We entered Canada from highway 6 driving east in order to make our first stop at McAdam, New Brunswick.

This is the train depot that was built of local granite in 1900.  This stop turned out to be popular with the guys.

Do you see the cross?  Notice how the soot has colored the granite on the side the train entered the town.

Can you see yourself pumping this vehicle while checking the tracks? 

This sculpture is one of three (above picture).  Could this be John Henry?

Our tour guide Andrea, gave us a wonderful tour of the CPR, (Canadian Pacific Railway).  If you visit on a Sunday you just might want some "railroad pie."

There was even a small jail.  We decided to bail Wallace out.

The guys posing at the telegraph office where we played around with the morse code transmitter. When they decided to open up the depot for a museum, they found this safe.

And inside this safe, they found this.  

Looks like a dragon's head.  When Andrea placed a scrap of paper in it, the words raised were "Invisible Empire of the Ku-Klux-Klan of Canada...McAdam Klan # 5.

McAdam was a bustling place back in those days...look at how many people were employed.

An original piece of the furniture was displayed.

Now onto the dining room where the wealthy ate.

The fancy dishes with their emblem CPR on each dish.  The salt and pepper shakers were pretty.

And this is where you ate if you did not have much to spend.  Notice the jukebox in the back-ground.

We thought the street signs were pretty neat as we drove out of town.

We left the train station and drove to Hartland N.B. for a tour of the potato chip factory. This area is well known for their tasty potatoes.  We took the self-guided tour while we ate a sample of chips.  They do it all here, from planting, to harvesting, to filling the bags to sell.

Our choice was a bag of sweet potato chips with sea salt.

There is always time for goofing around and getting a few laughs!!!

Then it was off to see the longest covered bridge in the world at 1282 feet.  It is one lane and you must wait your turn to go through it.  It is near the potato chip place.  

This is an accepted leave your name.  This we did two years ago when we visited, and we found our faded names.   

Naturally we just had to walk the entire length of the bridge where the St. John River flowed beneath us.

We crossed back into Maine at Holton...long line at this crossing, but we wanted to stop here for a little treat.

Back on highway 1 is what they call a million dollar view.  This panoramic does not do it justice.  It is a view of Grand Lakes.

This is a view of Mt. Katahdin traveling south on 1.  It looks like an Indian at rest.  The mountain is not always noticeable and this was a photo from 2011 to show y'all what it looks like.  It is the highest mountain in Maine and the terminus of the Appalachain Trail.

Day 3 will have to wait.  We no longer have computer access from home, so it is slow to catch up on goings on.

Until next time...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Birthday Festivities

Wallace's brother Louis, and his wife Deanna, along with Travis and LaJuana, flew in to celebrate my birthday and to see this part of Maine. The traditional pose in front of the visitor cabin at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.

August 1, my birthday, they arrived here at 7:00am.  I prepared a breakfast with hearty breakfast casserole, biscuits and hot coffee which we ate at the picnic table outside.  After gifts and their birthday song, we loaded up for the day with our first stop at headquarters for introductions.

Day one...was a trip to Campobello Island, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "beloved island," and summer home.  We needed to drive to the top of the island to catch the Bay of Fundy's 28' high tide.  This is where the East Quoddy Lighthouse is located and I wanted them to see it surrounded by water.  After viewing and picture taking, we backtracked to tour the cottage where we spent time waiting for low tide.  You will see why later.

At the visitor center, notice the logo, middle top.  The letters FDR form a sailboat, his favorite pastime.

This is inside, up and over the counter, a young FDR in his canoe that was given to him by the Pasamaquoddy chief.  Click on any picture to enlarge.

This is a photo of the whole family that was taken in 1920.

We watched the 15 minute introductory film and visited the exhibit room.

Then we walked over to the cottage (back view) where we toured the 34 room memorabilia filled home.  Franklin came to the island in 1883 at the age of 1 and spent most of his summers on the island.  The summer of 1921, he contracted polio-myelitis at the age of 39.  After five weeks, he was carried off the island on a stretcher where a boat took him to Eastport, Maine and he was put aboard a train for New York.

This is a view from the back yard.  Friar's Head (tiny rock formation at the base of the ledge) and fish weirs (the circular enclosures in the water) are for fish farming purposes.

We also toured the Hubbard cottage that is next door.  A beautiful window from the dining room looks out on the bay.  That is Louis, the person in the window, who was outside looking in.

Now we travel back toward the lighthouse where we came upon this scene and just had to pull in the driveway for this picture. The owners were very gracious to these friendly Texans who invaded his yard (we asked first).  This is something we all enjoyed, visiting with the locals.

By the time we got to the lighthouse, it was low tide.  This is when you have access to the lighthouse by hiking down two flights of these stairs, and walking on the ocean floor.

Going back up to go down again!!!

Here we are surrounded by rock weed.

After the lighthouse, we crossed back over the FDR International Bridge that took us back into Lubec, Maine.  After a tour of the town, we drove over to visit the West Quoddy Lighthouse.

Lighthouses were requested and today we showed them 4: Mulholland, the Spark Plug and both East and West Quoddy.

We stopped at Uncle Kippy's for chowder before calling it a day.

When we pulled in the driveway, there was this surprise placed by the front door from "Moosehorn Folks!"

Day two and three will come later.

Until next time...