Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Friday, September 25, 2015

RV Park Review - Moorings RV Resort (Belfast, Maine)

Website: http://www.mooringscamp.com/

Location: 191 Searsport Avenue, Belfast, Maine 04915

Date: August 2015

Price: $66/night for a pull-thru site (50 amp, water, sewer, cable, wifi)

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Overall:  This is a great little private RV park with awesome views (from some sites) and great access to the ocean.  The park is conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Belfast (a sweet little Maine town) which offers plenty to do and see.  Plus, you are just five miles from the cute town of Searsport which houses the wonderful Penobscot Marine Museum and two miles from Moose Point State Park with hiking trails and gorgeous views.

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Site description:   The park offers a variety of sites (44 total) depending on if you want oceanfront, oceanview, or a pull-thru.  All sites have electric (50 or 30 amp), water, cable and wifi.  The five pull-thru sites also include sewer.  A mobile sewer pump-out service is available for guests staying one week or longer and there is a dump station.

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Roads and sites are gravel with grass patios.  Sites are level.  All sites have a fire ring and picnic table.  Our Verizon 4G phone and Hotspot worked great but we mostly used the free wifi which worked very well.

Amenities:  Park amenities include private ocean access, horseshoes, playground, laundry, showers/bathrooms, free coffee in the morning, free weekend papers delivered to your site, free donuts on Sunday mornings, and a restaurant on-site.  The park organizes a lot of group activities including pot lucks, lobster shore dinners, and free wine and beer during Friday Happy Hours.  The office/store has a great book exchange and an assortment of RV/souvenir items for sale.  The laundry has two wash machines/dryers and was clean and tidy.

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Surrounding area:  The Moorings is in a great location.  It is just a few miles from downtown Belfast (voted one of the “top ten culturally cool towns in our country” by USA Today) where you will find restaurants, a brewery, boutiques, a movie theater, art galleries, historic museums/sites, and plenty of water-related activities.  Grocery stores and fuel stations are within a few miles of the RV Park.  Just a mere 20 miles away is the popular coastal town of Camden.   

What we liked:  We love the town of Belfast and how close the RV park is to downtown.  Also, the parks small size and friendly people make this an enjoyable place to stay.  We like the fact that they had social activities (like free happy hour and donuts) that bring people together.

The ocean access is great!  A short set of stairs takes you down to the water which is great for exploring, launching kayaks, and letting the dog run/swim when the tide is out. 

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The not so good:  The biggest downside for us was the price and lack of sewer and 50 amp at some sites.  Our site was $66/night for a FHU (50 amp) pull-thru on the hill in the front of the park without much in the way of a water view.  Premier oceanfront sites (with no sewer and 30 amps) are $72/night during high season.  That being said, there are not too many options for campgrounds in the Belfast area and we really did like staying here. 

Spirits two cents:  From a dog owners perspective the park gets mixed reviews.  The rules ask that dogs be on a 4’ or less lease, you may only have two pets (unless you get prior approval), they must do their business in one small area and are not allowed on most grassy areas throughout the park.  We make a consorted effort not too let our dog pee or poop in others yards but we don’t always have control over where she goes and found this park very restrictive.

We did like the fact that you could take them down to the ocean to play in the water and on the beach when the tide was out.  Spirit was lucky enough to find a young boy who was happy to swim with her while we enjoyed a cocktail and the lovely water view. 

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Within two miles of the RV park is Moose Point State Park with a few miles of hiking trails, picnic area and water access (a daily use fee is charged).  Downtown Belfast does have a fenced off-leash 1.4 – acre dog park with water for dogs and benches for owners. 
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Happy trails!



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stonington, Maine

Tucked away down on the Maine coast away from popular tourist towns is the little harbor town of Stonington.  It takes some effort to get here – nearly 40 miles off coastal Route 1 and two bridges later you reach Stonington and realize it was worth the drive.  Stonington continues to rank as a top nearby destination for us and our coworkers.  When someone says they are going to Stonington for the day, we affectionately say, “aww, we love Stonington.”  Maybe we like it so much because it is a real working harbor.  Tacky t-shirt shops, cheesy gifts, and chain restaurants are no where to be found.  Downtown buildings still house a working Opera House, library, a general store that meets locals needs, and restaurants appropriately named “Fisherman’s Friend” and “Harbor Cafe” proudly serve local seafood.

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The harbor is alive with lobster boats coming and going as this profession is still a way of life for many of the 2,400 year round residents.  But fishing came by accident as early settlers hadn’t come looking for a life at sea instead they focused on the land and farming.  When soil conditions deteriorated from over farming and deforestation residents turned to the sea for their livelihood.  Like many other coastal towns shipbuilding and fishing became big business. 

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Granite mining (hence the reason the town was named “Stonington”) which was once a booming business in years past still clings to life today and a statue down by the harbor pays homage to the industry.  Stonington granite has proudly made its way to such prestigious places as the U.S. Naval Academy, Smithsonian Institution, and John F. Kennedy’s tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. 

On our way to Stonington we stopped at the Edgar M. Tennis Preserve on Deer Isle for a beautiful walk that wound through the piney woods along the waters edge.  Spirit found the cold ocean water perfect to frolic in and made us laugh when she found a lobster buoy to retrieve.  What an appropriate toy for a Labrador retriever in Maine . . . and the reminder of fresh lobster that gave us an idea for dinner!

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We strolled the downtown streets admiring the harbor and historic waterfront buildings that grace its streets.  Lunch was a deli sandwich on a park bench overlooking the harbor and smelling the sweet ocean air.  There are certainly no complaints when we spend a summer day on the coast of Maine with the sun shinning brightly and the cool ocean breeze that keeps the temperatures in the 60’s. 

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Finally, we had to tear ourselves away and head back for home but were so glad that we made the drive down to Stonington.    





Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RV’ers Census – Let Your Voice Be Heard!

There is no disputing RV demographics are changing.  Young generations are leaving behind sticks and bricks houses and downtown office jobs to explore life and work on the road.  The number of fulltime RV’ing families are on the rise.  In order to keep up with the changing demographics Escapees RV Club is asking RV’ers to take a couple of minutes to fill out an important survey that will provide necessary information to help continue to fight for and protect the rights of the RV’ing community.

Click HERE for the survey link.

Escapees earned a reputation for being a leader in advocacy for RV’ers’ rights.  Over the past 37 years, Escapees has fought to uphold full-time RV’ers’ right to vote; defeated unfair RV-specific taxes; protected overnight parking rights; and stood up to city, county, state, and federal regulations that threatened our personal freedoms.

When working together, the RV’ing community has the ability to shape regulations affecting issues such as healthcare, employment, insurance, voting, and more.  Participating in this survey is crucial to Escapees advocacy of your rights and to the protection of the RV’ing community as a whole.

Together we can let manufacturers, companies, employers and government agencies know that we are a powerful demographic.

Please share this survey with other RV’ers and encourage them to participate.  Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to complete the survey and making a difference in your community!

NOTE:  The survey is a quick twenty-four questions that does not identify you personally and the information will not be collected or stored.