It took 6 hours to get to Sable Oaks, in Bath ME, state #31. We went right smack dab thru Boston, ugh…then the traffic between Boston and Maine was horrible. We pulled in around 4pm. My back was pretty much spasmed up good by the time I got out of the driver’s seat. 6 hours is definitely my max. A bunch of very young girls helped me unload and asked a bunch of questions, oh your horses are so beautiful…one said she was the assistant trainer, pretty cute. The mares went into sand round pens and I parked the rig nearby with the owner’s husband’s help, when suddenly the trailer was swarmed with wasps of some kind. I rolled up the truck windows while John tried to spray the swarm which eventually diminished but didn’t entirely go away. So I moved the rig away from that area, no way I was staying there. I ended up over by the main barn and we got settled in. Heidi and John are very nice. A 3 year old boy was having a lesson, he was going to be in a show the next day. He had light up cowboy boots on, very cool. Heidi’s dog, Ginny is an sweet lazy older big golden retriever with a lot of fluff. She reminds me of Chester who died last year. I miss my old dogs. Heidi has several Gypsy horses and we watched her braid up an enormous mane on one. Then she introduced us to every horse in the barn. This place is on a finger of land which keeps it quite cool. I suppose its freezing in the winter. There were gunshots all evening in the woods nearby. Other than that, its pretty and peaceful and tempting to stay and ride, but I’m on a schedule and want to get going. Acadia is next, its been talked up to me so much, can’t wait to see it. Unfortunately the camping is primitive again, so I’ll fill all the water tanks before we leave here. We also need gas and a stop at Tractor Supply for fly spray, grease and a few other things. So better get moving…
It was a long 6 hour haul to Acadia. I kept getting drowsy the last part which was a 2 lane road which passed thru a bunch of small towns, people crossing the road, cyclists, 35 mph speed limits, some 25 mph…and the map wasn’t clear, my atlas had our destination right in the gutter of the book. At our rest stop I bought a better map of the area. The Park Loop Road is winding thru the forest, big rocks lining the sides, my trailer was as wide as the lane, and there was a lot of car and bike traffic. It was kind of nerve racking. But we arrived safe and sound, the mares got large stalls in the barn with rubber mats and shavings. They sell hay and shavings too. Most of the horses here were part of a few carriage groups, none of them camping, they had homes to stay in and hired help to care for the horses and carriages. I got kind of friendly with 2 of the guys working for one of them. They had 4 horses to care for, German warmbloods, they also had an extra 2 stalls for tack and hay. Their trailer was ginormous and spotless. They cleaned all the tack every day. The owners didn’t really mingle with us. They hung out by their trailers of which there were many, some for horses, some for carriages and one had a bar set up in it with goblets set out on the table. These people have a lot of money.
The horses got the first day off, they had hauled 2 days and were tired. We set up camp, I started the prep for the Rhode Island painting and took Tommy for a long walk along Jordon Creek which is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. Oh yeah, and we drove down to North East Harbor for a cell signal for my phone interview with Xxxx Printing Co. It lasted 17 minutes and I have no idea how it went. OK I guess. She said they will contact me in 2 weeks if they want to go forward with the interview process. Everything is so different now, it sounded so odd to me. It would require a 6 to 12 month training period. It is base plus incentive (as opposed to draw against commission which is what I was used to), and she explained that the incentive was pretty complicated. I assume mostly to screw the salesperson out of commission on accounts as they become repeat customers. She gave me no details about it. Xxx is the 2nd largest printer in the world, 25,000 employees, 60 some plants. This job is for the signage and point of purchase division which are produced in 2 plants, Huntington Beach CA (which would be a perfect location for me, they have a dog beach and its close to where 2 of my kids are in college) and another one in Wisconsin. I got zero feedback from the interviewer so I don’t have my hopes up. But who knows?…
We have had absolutely perfect weather here and zero bugs. There are only a few other campers here but a big group is expected in soon. Today we went for a 2 hour ride on the carriage trails. Everything is very well marked and the map is good. It was a lovely ride. I spent the rest of the day painting and moving the horses (to different stalls, I had to for some reason, I guess cuz I booked late). The sun has gone down, everyone has eaten and someone is outside playing a saxaphone. Its quite lovely. I really like this place.
Well while in Acadia we took a long hike with Tommy along the Jordon Creek which was so beautiful, a rocky creek with small falls in the woods. (I realize I already said this, just want to elaborate a bit) We ended our hike at a beautiful carriage bridge road. Its entirely made from rocks and arches over the creek. There are quite a few of these bridges there. And at least one set of rock wall carriage gates complete with a good sized house which is called the gate lodge. I guess this is where they would stop to rest? Or the gate keeper lived here? And big cut rocks line all the trails (45 miles of carriage roads) and the “park loop road” (paved for cars). The amount of labor that went into making this park is pretty awesome. You can’t ride on the Jordon Creek trail, its for hikers only, the branches are too low. It was very peaceful and Tommy had a grand time charging thru the creek every opportunity he had. He needed the exercise, he can’t ride with me because of the abundant rangers but mostly because of all the bicycles, it is a super popular place for cycling. He charges at them and will cause a crash. Keeping him on a leash and using his shock collar was not effective in getting it thru his head that he has to stay out of their way.
We went for two rides on the carriage trails. Liza is getting the hang of it but sore and tires quickly. But she is a real trooper, she has a naturally good seat and posture.
I had to move stalls in the middle of our stay, they had told me that before. It took so many trips of hauling the wheelbarrel full of shavings. It took me over an hour, what a pain. The stalls are large and my plan was to not use too many shavings since I was going to have to move, but over a couple days I added more shavings, I kept seeing deep shavings in other stalls and felt guilty that my mares didn’t have enough bedding to lay down in. So I had to move them. That’s ok, if they have to stay in stalls they should be able to sleep laying down. Dreamy had shavings in her mane so I know she was enjoying this.
Liza took Tommy to the top of one of the mountains in the truck for a hike and to fill the gas tank for our departure. I went to the barn to feed the horses a little early. While I was there the skies opened up and it poured super hard for a long time. I hung around in the cozy atmosphere of the barn with the sound of the rain hitting the metal roof. I love that feeling with the smell of the horses and them munching peacefully. But it didn’t stop raining and I wanted to get back to the campsite so I put an empty bag of shavings over my head, cut a hole for my face and walked back. It was a perfect raincoat.
Our last night there a big group came in, a nearby trail riding group. Every spot was filled. Someone put up a plastic pink flamingo at their site which kind of said it all. It really changed the atmosphere. I’m glad we left the next morning. Acadia is beautiful but the riding is kind of boring to me. Even tho the trail is well groomed its for shod horses (small sharp rocks on a hard surface) and carriages, so there are no big hills which I love to ride.
I liked getting to know the two camper couples that were there before the whole gang arrived. One was from Maine (the trailer across from us) and one from New Hampshire (in a tent a few sites down). Having Liza along changes the way people interact with me I think. I don’t get invited to campfires and dinner as much. People always feel sorry for me being all alone and go out of their way to help me. I love having her company and help but I miss the interactions with meeting new people.
I bought 10 bales of their hay and loaded it into the truck bed and wrapped it all up. My big blue tarp is getting pretty beat up but it still keeps out most of the water if I wrap it right.
I wanted to pull out at 8am, I knew it was going to be a long haul (for me anyway). But by the time I stripped the stalls it was 9:45, oh well. We stopped for 2 rest stops about 45 minutes each, another stop to ask about the road we were planning on taking (NO don’t go that way with your trailer, its windy and steep) and another stop to ask where our turn was (we passed it and I had to turn around, nice guy let me use his front yard, and oh yeah, say hi to Dave). We pulled in around 6 or 7. Dave wasn’t here and left a note for me in a bucket in the driveway. Debbie (a camper for work) showed me my options. I chose one by the bath/shower house with two big overgrown electric corrals. Got everything hooked up (full hook up finally), fed everyone, took a shower and crashed early. The drive was long and we encountered a few thunderstorms with heavy rain but none of them lasted all that long.