Friday, August 25, 2006

Hanging Out in NB

On Wednesday we made the trip south to Houlton from PI and crossed over into New Brunswick, Canada. The weather was beautiful, albeit at bit cool. The clouds had that “wintry” appearance and the brisk northwest wind had a taste of autumn.

We took Canadian RT 2 to Fredericton and much of this road is under construction. The Canadians apparently anticipate that the Americans will be sending more business up through Maine and have the superhighways ready for all the added traffic.

Fredericton is a happening’ place with lots of new development and people plus a great historic downtown. The main attraction downtown is an 18th Century garrison which now provides places for lots of tourist activities and shopping. The Canadians are masters at tourism. Every town, no matter how small, has some historic and tourist related attraction; all the information is published in full color tourism brochures provided by the provincial government and free to tourists. The US could learn a lot about tourism from the Canadians.

One of the neatest attractions in beautiful downtown Fredericton is the Lord Beverbrook Art Gallery which contains three masterpieces by Salvatore Dali. This summer they are also boasting an exhibit of Rodin sculpture. It is absolutely amazing that a small city like Fredericton could have a treasure like this. With a population of under 50,000 the town has a nice feel and good combination of things to do and places to see.

We hit the Mactaquac Provincial Park and played golf on Thursday. A splendid 18 hole course with beautiful views of the Mactaquac dam and hydroelectric facility. The dam holds back the St. John River which flows from northern Maine to empty in the Bay of Fundy in St. John, NB. Good golf – I shot a 104.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hanging out in PI

I've been hanging out in Presque Isle, ME since Sunday as the first leg of my golfing vacation with my friends Bob and Kathy. Bob and I played PI Country Club yesterday in the rain. It was cool in the temperature sense but we didn't get too wet.

The course was in excellent condition and relatively empty. I shot a 105 which is good for me and didn't lose any golf balls; a rarity.

Today we played one of the most unique golf course in the world. Aroostook Valley Country Club actually straddles the Maine/New Brunswick border. That's right, the course runs through the U.S. border with Canada and there are no customs stations or guys with walkie talkies in site.

AVCC was built during Prohibition and has the club house in Canada so the locals could come over and play golf and drink legally. People still do. I shot a 106 and lost two golf balls. The course is much more challenging than PICC and very slopey...not sure if that's a word. There is a lot of slope which basically means there are lots of hills and valleys.

After our round and a couple of Alexander Keith's on the deck, we drove over to Perth, NB and had dinner at York's Dining Room. York's is also rather unique because it has a "fixed price" menu that includes everything from soup to nuts as well as an opportunity to sample one of the other items on the menu. Good food and lots of it. We always make a stop at York's when were in The County.

Tomorrow we move on to Fredericton, NB and plan to play three different courses there. See you later.



I just switched over to Blogger beta and re-set the template. It deleted some of the customization I had on the page. We'll see how this works. Taking it for a spin...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mystery Beast

It must have been a slow news day today.

The buzz was regarding a strange "mystery beast" that was killed in the western Maine town of Turner. Apparently for 15 years the locals have reported seeing a strange beast and now question if this is the "monster."

The Animal Control and State Wildlife people think its a mix-breed dog. This thing looks like it has human teeth!

Here's the news report


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fall is in the Air? Maybe

When you live in Maine, you get use to long winters and short summers. About ten days ago we were all crying about the excessive heat and humidity, the dew points, the oppressive conditions. We had forgotten momentarily where we live. We forgot that old adage about New England: "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute!"

I never really gets hot in Maine. I think the all time record in Portland was 102 and I can only remember twice in the last 30 years when it was at the century mark. We also know that August is one of the greatest months in our state because every year, just about now, the middle of the month, we get that first blast of sweet Canadian air, dry, and crisp.

So, it came as no real surprise when I ended up closing the windows last night after a particularly wild thunderstorm. I had missed the storm in July when the trees were blown down, but this one was up there in severity including strong winds, small hail and, as the weathermen like to say, frequent lightning. It was very concentrated and lasted only about 30 minutes. But the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in that short period and never recovered. It was a right bit nippy last night!

But, it was perfect sleeping weather and I woke late and refreshed.

Ah, Maine!

Here's a little picture of the fuschia on my porch after the thunderstorm, as well as the rainbow that followed.

~ j