Atlanta to Maine. Big Shoes and Chocolate Moose

The Jolly Swag has been hard at work these last two weeks transporting us from Atlanta to Maine, the state in the northeast corner of the country and the only state that has only one neighboring state.


We logged high-mileage days from Georgia, through Tennessee, and Kentucky into Ohio, where we spent a week visiting friends and family, collecting hugs that had been saved up for decades.  Then we drove across the Pennsy Turnpike’s thick forests—an area so scenic that anything faster than an oxen-powered Conestoga wagon was too fast   We bypassed Washington’s record heat wave, million-home power outage, and weekend of biblical storms.  D.C. is now rescheduled for the late autumn.  We stopped in Connecticut to cross paths with friend Ayn and her extraordinary friends and a spend a day at Mystic Seaport.


On the eve of Independence Day, we arrived at the current seat of Clan Levenson in southeast Maine.


When I departed San Francisco on this voyage, my destinations were about people plus a few places.  If I kept moving, I could arrive at my turnaround destination of Prince Edward Island in a couple of months.  I counted on the benediction of Serendipity and the blessing of blessing of Solitude to fill in the empty spaces.


From the start, benedictions and blessings were abundant.  It took a year to cross the Mississippi and seven more months to glimpse the Atlantic Ocean.  Today, July 10, 2012, day 692 of the voyage, finds me in the heart of Maine at one of the short-listed destinations:  Acadia National Park on Mount Desert in Maine.


Superb climate, landscape and seascape to delight the eye, and a cornucopia of activities ought to earn a this park a spot on anyone’s bucket list.


The temp has warmed up to the mid-70s from the two-blanket overnight low of 50.  The light breeze off the water is bicycle-perfect.


Of the two campgrounds in the park,  only Blackwoods accepts reservations and is probably always booked way ahead.  I arrived at the other campground, Seawall, at 6:45 Monday morning and was first in line.  When the ranger station opened, I got one of the three available spaces.  I signed up for a week.  The park literature promises a full menu of hikes, ranger-guided walks, and campfire programs.


I will treat myself to a day sail on a four-masted schooner, my first time on a boat purely for my own pleasure in a locust’s age.   One morning I will hurry to the top of Cadillac Mountain to be the first person in the country to see the sunrise.


Maine is home to L.L. Bean, a hundred-year-old company based on a boot and who never forgot where they came from.


Maine is also home to a 1700-pound chocolate moose.  I will never again taste chocolate mousse without this picture coming to mind.










18 Responses to Atlanta to Maine. Big Shoes and Chocolate Moose

  1. David L says:

    Good to hear from you again. Is that dark Belgium chocolate or Hershy’s milk? The former could coax me east. Never bit into a moose, but new experiences are welcome – most of them.

    692 days! Wow, didn’t realize time was moving that fast. We’ll have to get busy.

    Your last leg, as descriibed, sounds grueling. Maybe because you went through it for us in one swoop. Maine is for lobster with big meaty pincers I think I recall – delicious and realtively cheap. Grab a bib and enjoy.

  2. Sandra says:

    We’re glad to hear you’re still going strong after no word for awhile. You’ve been busy. I don’t get around as much lately, but I may have just missed you on a short trip to Boston for ball game at Fenway, drinks at Cheers bar, and dinner at Durgin-Park late last month.

    • allevenson says:


      Glad to hear you got the Fenway trip in. I know that has been on your bucket list. I bypass big cities, they are not so welcoming to motorhomes. But your mention of Durgin Park brought wonderful memories directly to my taste buds. I may have to consider braving Boston’s paved cow paths when I head south.



  3. Risa says:

    So the adventure continues…great to hear the update. Was it a year ago at Squaw?? I have friends there this week. Brought back some memories. Keep on keepin’ on!

    • allevenson says:


      It was two years ago we ran into each other at Squaw. Time flies whether you’re havin’ fun or not, eh?

      Visiting writers’ clubs and crit groups has been one of the sweet truffles of this adventure. I’ve yet to meet a crit group that can measure up to the group you initiate–and in which I hope my absentee membership is still valid.

      I am enjoying reading your columns in *Hipocampus*.

      Best regards to all,


  4. Patricia Grace says:

    Ayuh, Al!

    As always, I’m impressed with your adventure, and, I’m envious. The last leg—wow!
    Hope you have the opportunity to keep moving. It’s glorious country. But then,
    hasn’t it all been, one way or another. Good on you, Pat

    • allevenson says:


      Yes, I am closing in on the eastmost mark of this cruise. I am still hoping to get as far as Prince Edward Island. Since shoving off on this voyage, I’ve had Newfoundland recommended and even Labrador. I dont know if I will try for those places but the recommendations were full of enthusiasm.

      And this is not the end. I have enough steam for another eight months or so. THEN I will have to decide what to do when I grow up.

      Thanks for joining me on this ride.


  5. Betty St. John says:

    Think about Camden, Maine, a lovely town, and a detour to St. Gaudens’ house and gardens in New Hampshire, a breathtaking sculpture collection. Good to hear from you.

  6. bobmarcus says:

    Arcadia sounds great….should give you plenty of material to write about…been our bucket list..the storm that hit us was worst i have seen…”derecho….”Carole will be here Sept 26th to Oct 9th..

  7. DickNewick says:

    Look up Jim Munves on PEI. He is an author who knows St Croix and who shares the rare distinction with you of having sailed TRICE from the islands to New England with Follett and Newick.
    I have just returned from Hawaii at 30,000 ft instead of at sea level as intended on one of my 50′ trimaran designs. We lost the rig 500 miles out and got back to Honolulu under jury rig and slow speed engine use. Call for more details
    Am enjoying reading about your travels!

    Cheers, Dick

  8. Karen Goucher says:

    Good to hear from you. You were missed. Traveling this year through your eyes. I am
    staying put to care for Herb who finally had his double aorta issues taken care of. Nurse
    Karen is doing fine. Ah! to dream of traveling again!

  9. Karen Goucher says:

    PS Doug and Vera stopped by on their way to the interior of BC. They are hanging up their
    boots in the fall after this last summer fishing and doing less than nothing one more time…..
    after 20 years living full time on their TREK! God bless them. The good news for us, they will
    be living in our local community for us to see often. Anyone looking for a wonderful, well kept
    TREK? This particular one is their third I believe.

  10. MaryAnne says:

    I dunno, Al, yer makin’ me re-think my vow never to venture East in my Cambria. I’d almost forgotten how scenic and historic the New England area is. I’m guessin’ yer just about a few miles from York, MN where my youngest son”s in-laws live and hang out in Kennebunkport. That mention of lobster got my salivary glands going……hope U get lot’s of it. Gotta tell ya, I might give a second thought to driving the JS thru Boston……jes sayin’.
    Smooth roads and tail winds, to U.


    • allevenson says:

      There are parts of this country so beautiful, places so unusual, and communities so interesting, it would be easy to allow yourself to belong to an area, to know you’d never tire of it.

      But as long as I continue to stumble in to special days, I will drive around one more bend in the road.

      Be careful, Maryanne, cross the Mississippi and a year will slip by before you know it.

      As for Boston, I’ve learned that motorhomes are out of their element in cities and I avoid them unless I find a secret passage.

      See ya,


  11. April Edsberg says:

    Your trip is fun to read about. I have never been to New England, ut it is on my bucket list.I’m looking forward to more stories.

  12. Vikki Williams says:

    We hear on the left coast that there is an overabundance of lobster in Maine.
    Do your best to alleviate the overage.
    I love travelling vicariously with you to places I have been in Maine and enjoyed so thoroughly!!
    The coastal towns there are molto gentile!!! Vittoria

  13. Kathleen Schwartz says:

    Hello Al from Kathleen in Vermont–we met at a writers group in Nokomis, FL, in early March. You read a chapter from your book and had me email to you the first chapter of my slightly racy novel. (I’ve since edited out much of the snarky stuff). I’ve been following you ever since. The pictures of sunrise in Maine are inspiring. Did you ever write about the 100-year-old guy from Venice, FL who writes WWII memoirs? Hope our paths cross again.

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