Friday, September 29, 2006


It was eight days on the road, the rail, and the water! And, let me say up front it was wonderful!

Our big red DATTCO bus took us from Boston to Portland, Maine for our second night of the tour. The harbor there is beautiful and the view of it from our room in the Holiday Inn was spectacular. The only problem with the hotel was the bath tubs. The bottom of the tube is six to eight inches higher than the floor and you normally expect to step out of a tub at floor level. I caught myself before falling, thought briefly about all the older people on the tour, and wished them well in my thoughts. However, my wife did fall, pulling the towel rank off the wall, but only hurting her dignity. I regretted forgetting to warn her, but that is how things go.

Our friend Billy Joe was not as lucky, he actually fell in the tub when the shower mat slipped and he probably broke a couple of ribs. He was a trooper and endured the pain for the rest of the trip. I thought of the old joke, “Have a good trip?” when someone trips, but held it back. I knew he was hurting and probably is still hurting today.

We took a very short ride on a “narrow gauge” railroad the afternoon we arrived and got a bayside view of what would come the following day as we traveled by water. The first evening in Portland was topped off by a wonderful meal at DeMillo’s.

The grandest sight of the entire trip was Portland’s Head Light lighthouse. The rocky cost line with waves crashing against them was what I have always wanted to witness. The sky was so blue that day and the white lighthouse against it was spectacular. I do not think there is anything I will ever see again, that will replace this vision as number one for me – WOW! The only thing that would come close would be the lighthouse wrapped in snow and ice! If you click on the embedded link above, you can find a picture of that very thing!

We ended the day with a Casco Bay tour – out past Fort Gorges, around the islands of the bay where people take water taxis to and from the mainland, past the huge oil tanks and tankers, and around the bay past several lighthouses. It was interesting to us that the water on these islands is turned off at the end of October because the soil is so shallow the water lines cannot be buried deep enough to prevent them from freezing in the winter. The glaciers of the ice age scraped it all away leaving just a few inches of topsoil. That is why there is little farming, except cattle farming, in these New England areas.

The DATTCO bus hauled us on to North Conway, New Hampshire and the Green Granite Inn where actually spent two wonderful nights. My wife enjoyed a full evening of outlet shopping at the mall that was just a few steps away from the motel. I enjoyed my one and only cigar that evening on the patio, but the next morning I had a sore throat from something I had inhaled on the airplane. I do not know why, but that always seems to happen to me – don’t they ever change those filters?

Day four was highlighted by the best train ride of the trip through the White Mountains and White Mountain Valley countryside on the Conway Scenic Railroad. Lunch was at the top of the notch pass where we again boarded the bus back to the Green Granite Inn.


Goddess said...

Wow. That lighthouse pic is even more gorgeous in the winter.

BTW, the trip sounds fun, but too many planes, trains and automobiles for me...LOL!

Fathairybastard said...

Yea, sounds exhausting, like one of those tours of europe where you go everywhere for ten minutes and then they herd you back on the bus.

Becky said...

That's a great view of the lighthouse. The one I posted used to be close to the shoreline, but over 2,500 feet of "land" has been added since it was originally built. I love it when they're close to the water like yours.