The wagon ruts above are still remaining from the Santa Fe Trail. These are in Kansas.
We made it to Niagra Falls! More info coming soon, but I wanted to share some quick photos. We’ve dried off now! It is amazing and WET!
Vermont harvests a lot of apples in the fall. They are famous for making apple cider. Cider is made by grinding whole apples up into a mash. A large plate with holes in it has a piece of cloth spread across it to catch anything that isn’t juice. The mash is spread on that cloth and the cloth covers the top. Then another large plate, and another large cloth, and another batch of mash is poured until they get about 10 layers. A large hydrolic press is used to gradually increase pressure and squeeze out all of the juice.
In the old days, the cider wasn’t cooked. Now it is cooked fast to raise the temperature and pasteurize it (kill any bacteria) without cooking the cider. It is safer to drink that way.
Leftover apple parts are fed to livestock.
We also saw smaller hand crank presses that were used in normal, smaller farms.
The cider was a little tart, but good.
Lily Bay State Park was my pick of things to do in Maine. It is in the upper Northwest part of Maine along Moosehead Lake. My brother actually threw himself in the lake here! There are actually signs that say “Watch out for the Moose” on the roads. We didn’t see any moose, but we did see a family of deer with little babies that still had their speckles. Since the moose is the largest member of the “deer” family we are going to count this as close enough for now! This was the most relaxing place we visited in Maine. We sat in chairs on a rock beach, and painted the scenery. I stood in the water for inspiration. There aren’t many people anywhere up here. I love it here!
It seemed a little strange to go to a lobster shack right after we had just been to the oceanarium where they were raising lobsters, but then we said “oh well” and just went for it! We learned that it is not “uncool” to wear a bib while you are eating a whole lobster. We also studied the correct steps to follow when eating a lobster: Front claws, tail, legs, body. If you find green stuff you can eat it or toss it. If you find bright orange eggs, you have a girl and just scrape them off. A lobster’s brain is in it’s throat. We are not sure what to think about that!
Low’s Covered Bridge is located in Maine. It was here before the Civil War. Bridges were covered to protect the parts of the bridge, because they were so important and hard to build. You can still drive across this bridge today!
The granite in Acadia National Park was created by molten rocks that came up through volcanos as lava. Glaciers cut through the area leaving large marks in the rocks, and holes in the land which The ice flowed like a slow moving river taking rocks and other items with it. The glaciers moved by gravity toward sea level. They made all of these huge cuts in the land.
This mountain is made of pink granite. It is 1,528 feet high. The wind speed is higher than it is on the ground. (You can see my hair going crazy!) It is the first place to see dawn in the continental U.S. Many people go to the top to see the sunrise in the morning. It is colder at the top of the mountain. I found out this is because when air rises, the pressure on the air is less. The less pressure, the colder the air. (this is how refrigerators work too). My favorite parts about the mountain were the wild flowers, climbing on the granite rocks, and the view.
A very nice man named Joe gave us a quick tour of this church before mass started. The mass was to be held in French. Joe is elderly now, but worked at Pratt and Whitteny in CT when he was younger. This Bacilica is on the National Registry of Historic places. The Pope sent them a bell to put in the church when they became a Bacilica. The Basilica has beautiful stain glass windows and is made of local granite. It was made by people from Canada that came to Lewiston to work in the mills. It has a huge organ with pipes in the front and back of the church. People come from all over the world to play the organ. Men from Quebec in Canada came to install the organ, and did such a nice job on the woodwork that they were hired to hand carve all of the woodwork in the church. The bottom of the church was completed in 1906 and the top in 1938.
This is a lobster trap a nice man named Gill showed me at the Portland, Fish Exchange. Lobstermen put bait on the inside, the lobsters crawl in for the bait then BAM they can’t crawl back out. The way you can tell different lobstermen’s traps apart is the color of their buoy. 90% of the U.S.’s lobsters come from Maine. The lobstermen’s main rule is throw back the ones that are smaller than 3 and 1/4inches to let them grow, throw back the ones that are bigger than 5 inches because they need to keep producing baby lobsters, and they have to throw back the mother because she also has to produce baby lobsters.
Here is a picture of a real lobster that I saw at a fish market. I also saw bluefish, butterfish, and squid.
We took a duck boat that was invented in World War II, but this one was made in the 21st century. It can go on both land and water. The tour guide was really fun and cool. I learned the word WICKED is use in Maine as an adjective for instance, that is WICKED good or that is WICKED cool.
This is a picture of the most photographed lighthouse in the U.S.A.. It is the Portland Head Light. It was the first lighthouse built by our federal government. Did you know Portland, Maine has burned down 4 times, 4 TIMES?!