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Friday, September 15, 2017

The road trip from New York to Tennessee - Day 2 @ Shenandoah National Park

We both were quite sick during this road trip(flu and cough for almost a week), thank goodness we had a good night rest on day 1.... feeling slightly better we continued our journey to the Great Smoky!
Early morning we had our breakfast and headed to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary which was about 10-15 minutes drive from our inn in a nearby town (i think it's Hamburg, remembering hotels in Jim Thorpe is quite pricey)

Upon arriving to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary weather was nice and cool. Entrance fee was $8/pax it's quite pricey to be honest as it's not really a large area


i was so fustrated here though smiley face....my GoPro Hero 5 couldn't turn on although I've charged it full the previous night (usually the GoPro battery only last half day for me) so pissed that i had to use my smartphone to take this picture...not too bad




It's a nice short hike up to the summit with a nice view and good place for bird watching




it's nice to bring some snacks to nibble while enjoying the view.
I would recommend this place if one has at least 1 day to spend here ( there is a longer hiking trail available) or else it's just not worth the price tag.

Moving on, i did plan to make a short stop over to Centralia, Pennsylvania  (about 45 minutes drive away from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary) where the movie Silent hill get the idea from. Centralia has from more than 1,000 residents in 1980 to only 7 in 2013 because of the cold mine fire which has been burning beneath the borough since 1962. Some scary stuff!! unfortunately my travel mate don't want to drive all the way there to see some graffiti on the road, also we do have a rather tight schedule to drive 4-5 hours to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.


photo quality from GoPro Hero5
i got to say rather disappointed but it is handy but nothing a good smart phone can't do



video


And so we Manage to Arrive the North part of Shenandoah NP(Entrance Fee of $25/car valid for 7 days) at about 5pm a little behind schedule but we had a nice drive along Skyline Drive accompany with beautiful lushes green scenery and managed to hike a little @ Compton Peak trail (recommended)

at Dickey Ridge Visitor Center...unfortunately they close @ 5pm


photo take with my Nikon D90,
i still prefer my DSLR


scenic overlook


After a spending half the day driving, it's really rewarding to see this amazing view


Compton Peak trail

the hiking trail head doesn't really have a big sign from the Skinline Drive and we had to really pay attention to this small headstone with the trail name written on it










it was getting dark , we only manage to hike part of it and called it a day...don't want to risk being clawed by bears but the trail was not that bad...some rough area but nothing too strenuous 





video



one of the overlook


same location but with my D90


beautiful view of the Appalachian mountains


maybe one day we are crazy/sane enough to do the Appaclachian trail for now we just do parts and bits of it



we spend the night at a town called Luray @ Days inn which was really just outside north west part of Shenandoah NP. Day 3 more hiking in Shenandoah NP


~ to be continued~

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The road trip from New York to Tennessee - Day 1 @ Jim Thorpe Town

Our big road trip of the year from New York - Tennessee, it's by far our furthest road trip ever planned to date and it's a 9 days trip. This time around our focus would be the 3 National Parks of the East, Shenandoah National Park(In Virginia), Great Smoky Mountain National Park(Tennessee) and Mammoth Cave National Park(Kentucky)lot of driving(it's all in different states)lots of hiking trails and highway inns/motel! I even bought a Gopro Hero5 especially for this trip

road trip check list

car? check!
travel mate? check!
camera? check!

out we go!!!

Day 1

start early morning from home(NY) went to New Jersey for a nice ramen @ Mizuwa Marketplace before heading to Jim Thorpe Town in Pennsylvania (our 1st stop)

video

Jim Thorpe town, it's a beautiful little town


i love the architecture and the colorful colors of the buildings, It's really nice to just walk around









There is so much to do here! Frantastic place for biking, bring your own or rent. Cycling along the Lehigh Gorge State Park trail and take the scenic railway. Hiking @ Glen Oneko Trail(proper footwear are highly encourage) too bad we didn't have much time












Old Jail Museum(Carbon County Jail Musum) entrance fee $8


It's a small jail built in the 1869-1870. There is a famous handprint left by a prisoner(Alexander Campbell), a "Molly Maguire" who was hanged in 1877, to proclaim his innocence "This handprint will remain as proof of my innocence". Legend has it that despite many attempts to remove it, including building a new wall, the mark still remains today.

did a video with my Gopro Hero5 too bad the file is too freaking big!!!!


the building was designed by John Haviland's son. John Haviland was a Englosh -born architect who designed the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The architecture between both buildings are very similar. I would suggest yo skip this Old Jail Museum if you have visited the Eastern State Penitentiary which is way bigger



had dinner @ Jim Thorpe town and headed to highway motel at the next town.....hotels in Jim Thorpe is slightly on the pricey side....as usual our budget is tight...haha
nite nite

~to be continued~

Friday, July 7, 2017

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Just last weekend, our 2nd camping trip of the year, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. After driving 3.5 hours we finally made it and it's lunch time! we stopped over in S Yarmouth for some lobster roll which I've been craving since planning this trip


yum yum, lobster rolls and fried clam chowder


local clam baked Quahog @ Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House food was good 


it takes another hour drive from the south to the north, and time to check it to our campground!

There were many camping ground to choose from in Cape Cod, it's a huge place. the location we picked was almost to the end of Cape Cod in North Truro, a town next to Provincetown aka P town. However i would not recommend this campsite where we camped(Horton's Camping Resort)!!! the camping site we were given was small (not to mention NO to limited space between campsites) and there were ant nests all over the campsite, and i even saw cockroaches...they really need to do some pest control around the area. Oh ya it was the most least crowd campground we ever been. it was abit boring in the evening but at least we got a good night sleep. toilet were clean but there were only 2 shower rooms (and there was a big spider in it on the 1st day)

Anyway i didn't took any picture as it was a little disappointing. Good things about this campsite is the location

There is a bus stop just right in front of the entrance where one can take the bus to the Pier/ P town. It cost $2/ride or $6/ day unlimited rides which was nice as we don't have to drive to P town and stress with parking


also within walking distance to Highland Light(Cape Cod Light)


one can hike up the lighthouse, with a small fee of course 












when i booked the campground it says beach access, i though it was like a 5 minutes walk from the camp as it turns out it's about 15 minutes walk to Town of Truro, Coast Guard Beach. it's only free after 4pm


we saw seals swimming close to the shore, which was pretty cool to watch. According to the sign there are great white sharks in this area and the prey on seals so swimming near the seals is a big  NO NO


it's quite a quiet beach, must be the cold weather i guess. it's was almost cloudy the whole time we were in Cape Cod...thanks to my Photoshop skill, we got blue sky...hahaha


the water was like ice water





very nice,peaceful and clean beach


we had a nice walked along the beach



 Day 2
a must do in Cape Cod is Whale watching. It was our 1st time and it was fun.
taking the bus early morning at 8am to Macmillan Pier


hangout by the pier before our boat ride



there are many whale watching boat company to choose from. Pilgrim Monument on the background standing tall


hey free willy



fishing boat 




Our whale watch was with Dolphin Fleet in P town for $47/ pax  there is a $2 rebate if you booked online


there are some refreshments on board


heading out at 9:30am


many said morning the ocean are calmer but unfortunate ours was quite rough. Seawater was splashing, strong wind was blowing and the boat was rocking. Jacket is highly recommended, it was effing cold!!


the whole tour took about 3 hours , 15 minutes out we already spotted whales, Fin Whales to be exact 


it was so fun....everyone was making uhhhsss and ahhhhss


it is said that the whale can communicate with each other for as far as few hundred miles 



unfortunately free willy didn't jump up and make a big splash , we just got a nice small side flip

i was hoping to see few types of whales but we only got Fin Whale but i'm happy that i finally see whales in their natural habitat. The captain said the whale comes to Cape Cod during summer, and the spend winter in the Caribbean


after whale watching, time for more seafood!!! we had a very heavy yummy lunch @ Lobster Pot. The food was great and the seafood fresh. I had seafood Pamela(it's not the average Paella) more like a seafood stew with I'm not sure what;s that tiny ball which taste like some type of pasta. Boon had his favorite Seafood Ciopino (he still thinks the one in San Fran taste better)
both huge portion. It was a total seafood overdose!!! in a good way. Price was reasonable too


after a heavy lunch almost feeling sleepy we walk lazily around P town


a relax, vibrant cute little town with charming little shops


boon admiring flower...such a delicate soul...hahaha




there are hydrangeas in like every corner...so beautiful. i wish mine would bloom more flowers




P town, town hall




from P town we took the bus to Race Point beach which is the most north point of Cape Cod








just chilling








Day 3
we venture slightly toward south visiting Wellfleet town and we stumble upon this trail, Hamblen Park. It's a nice place to visit during low tide





we saw live Horseshoe crab, something I've not seen in a long long time, back in Penang.
it was pretty awesome to see it again. it is said that Horseshoe crab exist way way back before the dinosaurs like 450 million years ago, they are considered living fossils 












horseshoe crab shell


there were everywhere along the shore



I'm not sure what these are....clams? mussels?


they are like everywhere. i wonder if they edible ,
we were discussing how we would totally lived here if there is a Zombie apocalypse, free seafood!!!


there are also plenty of mini crabs with asymmetric claws. According to Google, the male Fiddler crab(that's their name) will use their one big claw to perform a waving display as a form of female courtship. Females(claws are both the same size)choose their mate based on claw size and also quality of the waving display..... every one put your hand up.......hey.....hoooo.....hey hooo and wave  .lol 


the trail connects to a small beach area, it's probably only accessible during low tide otherwise it's kind of a private beach 


beautiful cactus flower 


trail through a mini forest, back to our car. Good thing about this trail is that it's Free and so much to see

we then headed south again to Cape Cod Seashore National Park, Salt Pond Visitor Center
on our way we stop over Arnold's lobster and clam bar. we ordered a big fried seafood platter(there was, calamari, cod fish, big scallops. oysters, shrimps and fries) big enough for 2-3 person and a nice strawberry milkshake. Food was good and fresh......too bad i was too hungry to take any photos. 



Salt Pond Visitor Center, it's free only beaches are not...but one can also go to the beach for free after 4pm


there were a few short trails around the visitor center both for bicycles and for walking.
This is the Nauset Marsh trail a short easy trail....however there was a lot of poison ivy along the trail, so caution!!! mosquito repellent is a must during summer


beautiful landscape 








i wonder what they are catching




after the trail we headed down to see the light houses @ Nauset Light Beach just a short drive from the visitor center.
This is the three sister Lighthouses. To see the light house is free but parking is not. as the parking is limit here(it's literary just 3 parking spots) one can always park at the Nausea Light beach, for $20/day for private vehicle, $10 for motorcycle and $3 for walk in and bicycle

we were about to give up as we refuse to pay $20 just to see the light houses. so we drive up further and there was a school parking lot just 10 minutes walk away from the Three Sisters Lighthouses which was free.....win win!!! parking was almost full too.....we are not the only smart ass


from the Three Sisters we walk another 10 minutes to Nauset Light


it looks like the light house on the CapeCod potato chip package


the light house is literary in front of this house's front porch....how many people can actually say that about their house??


we then waltz right through the parking lot and to the beach


admiring the view and the smell of the Atlantic Ocean

it's amazing how people can swim in this freezing cold water......salute
i only manage to soak my feet in the water


is that you Zac Efron


after that we head back north to Marconi Station Site just a 10 minutes drive away from Nauset Light Beach. 


This is the place where the 1st 2-way transoceanic communication and the 1st wireless telegraph between America and Europe by Gugliemo Marconi






finally our last day we have blue sky...lol...not too bad at least we got to see Cape Cod at it's best




but the good weather changed after 10 minutes when we wanted to go to the beach...oh well we can't have it all, right?


after a tiring day we came back to our campground and found wild turkeys


busy pecking on insect

and that's the end of our 3 nights Cape Cod camping trip. I love that i got to see so much though the camping was a disappointment however whales, horseshoe crab, wild turkey and the fresh yummy seafood did make up for it. I just wish that the weather was warmer so that we could go for a swim in the Atlantic ocean...oh well like i always say, you can't always win just enjoy and embrace both the good and the bad


happy summer time

~ bye bye ~
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