Wildlife dreams come true

A deer whooshed and crashed away through the woods as I loaded my canoe at Kimball Deadwater in the Seboeis parcel of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Continuing north two miles on the American Thread Road, I parked at the sign for Twin Ponds, on the left. I would just take a look today and perhaps return with the canoe tomorrow.

A short tenth-mile trail leads to Twin Ponds

My feet fell silently on the soft path as I cautiously approached the small oval pond. The far shore rose high enough to support a narrow strip of spruce and other conifers. Gradually, most of the perimeter came into view, and there was a cow moose feeding contentedly in the shallows at the south end. I watched her, alert for any sign of a calf or two, for it was that time of year. Sure enough, she soon climbed on shore, and a light brown calf emerged, fuzzy in the morning sun.

Just big enough to see, before the calf appeared. No camera this trip, so photos are from my phone.

I planned to return the next morning to see if I could get through to the even tinier twin pond that lies behind this one. And so I did.

Sunny and still, this is the shoreline that separates the two ponds.

A loon was diving for breakfast, and I watched him swallow more than one silvery minnow. Paddling toward the southwest corner, the connecting stream materialized from what had looked like solid shore. I scrambled out of the boat to lift over a narrow bridge of land and continued on.

The second pond was quite shallow and perhaps a third the size of the first. Along the eastern shore was a colorful bog, its palette rich with reds and greens. Later, checking out the Maine Natural Areas Program categories, I believe it would be classified as a Mossy Bog Mat. Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) flowers poked above the sphagnum mosses, and there were a few scattered trees and clumps of sheep laurel. Walking just far enough for a couple of photos, the spongy ground gave and shifted underfoot.

That afternoon, my friend Chris Gill commented on my last blog post, saying he missed the days when he’d had to identify the plants for me. I said, “You only need to ask,” with a photo of the little orchid below. Chris identified it, of course, then also suggested that next time I look closely in the moss for carnivorous sundews as well. Horned bladderwort, a third carnivorous species with yellow flowers, might also be present, according to MNAP.

The shaded shore is always the place to back the canoe in and watch for wildlife. It just so happened that the spot I chose offered up a new orchid. “New” meaning that I don’t remember having identified it before, although I well could have. A rose pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides), just a single specimen.

This rose pogonia will have a second bloom
The flowers of the carnivorous pitcher plant
A pitcher-shaped leaf awaits an unwary insect

From Twin Ponds, the road continued north to the intersection with Grondin Road. Turning right, another three miles brought me back to Route 159. This would conclude my time in the national monument for now.

That evening, my parents and I took a drive to fill our water jugs at a local spring. On a typical whim, we turned into the gravel road to the Shin Brook Falls trail, happily bumping and bouncing along. On the way out, I was perched in the middle of the back seat. Looking ahead to the crest of the slope, there was a bear, smack in the middle of the road. Right size and shape, ebony black, and gone too quickly, before anyone else could see it.

Up with the birds : Kimball Deadwater by canoe

When you rise at four, nature rewards you. Rain was forecast, and I was on the road by five. A porcupine waddled surprisingly quickly along the shoulder of the road, then vanished into the woods. I entered the Seboeis parcel of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on the American Thread Road. Since yesterday’s drive, I’d been pondering that name.

At first, I envisioned the historic site of a mill that manufactured sewing thread. Not so, although I was on the right track. The American Thread Company also produced wooden spools to hold its thread. When the supply of birch was exhausted in one area, a new spool mill would be built elsewhere. The last, in Milo, Maine, was in operation from 1902 to 1975.

Kimball Deadwater soon narrows, winding into an impassable tangle of alder

At the short Kimball Deadwater trail, I unloaded my canoe and carried it down to the water. The telltale wake of a cruising beaver cut across the wide water, and I spotted a sleek brown head gliding along. I savored the short paddle, drifting close to photograph sheep laurel and blue flag iris.

Sheep laurel
Blue flag iris

Of course, the true barometer of success would be spotting a moose. I spent an hour quietly waiting. A strong wind had risen ahead of the rain and it washed over me, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Delicate heads of marsh grass bowed low, and the red-winged blackbirds moved with restless energy, flashes of color bright in the cloudy sky. From near and far came the twang of bullfrogs.

Spatterdock

Before giving up, I paddled the length of the deadwater a second time, 15 minutes for the round trip. It isn’t large. Near a patch of spatterdock, I saw the beaver again, or another one. After I was well gone up the trail came an emphatic tail slap that said, “Good riddance.”

Exploring the Katahdin Woods and Waters Seboeis Parcel

It’s been a long two years since I’ve written a blog post. Amazing!

There is one good explanation. In the spring of 2021, I began writing a monthly column for the Northwoods Sporting Journal. My articles for “View from the River” are varied, covering paddling, wildlife, wilderness places, and even book reviews. The discipline of a deadline has been motivating and the writing itself rewarding. But with summer here, I want to blog, too.

Today, my parents and I explored the national monument parcel that lies south of Shin Pond. Not long after passing the monument boundary on the well-maintained American Thread Road, we had our first view of the mountains.

About a mile in was a sign for the Kimball Deadwater. Down the short trail shone the unmistakable brightness of water. Here was a place where I would like to return one early morning with my canoe. It looked moosey, and perhaps a half-mile long on the map.

Kimball Deadwater

The wildflowers along the roadsides were stunning in their sheer quantity. Our field guide yielded new discoveries: pink ragged-robin and large displays of yellow king devil, which looks much like orange hawkweed.

Ragged-robin
King devil

The large flowers and leaves of cow-parsnip gave us quite a scare. I was sure I’d seen the flower before, but Dad pointed out that it looked remarkably similar to giant hogweed. In the Adirondacks, we’d seen posters warning about this very toxic invasive plant. Its sap causes a dangerous skin reaction and even blindness if it gets in the eyes.

As it turns out, the two are closely related, in the same genus. Giant hogweed can get twice as large as cow parsnip (14 feet tall) and has stems mottled with red, while those of cow-parsnip are solid green. I am going to give cow-parsnip a wide berth as well, after learning that it can also cause a milder irritation.

Cow-parsnip

We saw both a spruce grouse and this ruffed grouse with two chicks, rounding out a drive that left us wanting to return to this quiet part of the monument.

About that new book

IMG_0567

I am the ultimate morning person. The fresh promise of a new day always energizes me, and I can often be found writing as the sun rises, at least in the darker months. Today, here in Bremen, Maine, the sun rose at the precocious hour of 4:54 a.m., as it has for the last week or so. This is the third day of my summer vacation, so I was still deep in sleep at that hour. Nonetheless, I arose a little later with a much-anticipated mission—to give you all a glimpse into my new book and update you on recent milestones.

IMG_8087

There is no better place to begin my story than with Maine Authors Publishing, my partner in publishing and marketing my work. Located in Thomaston, around twenty-two miles from my home, MAP has welcomed me into their fabulous community of authors and guided me through the years with wisdom and patience.

As a veteran author, navigating the publishing process has been smoother this second time around. One week ago, the edited manuscript was returned to me. Hundreds of edits, many repetitive in nature, awaited review. As I worked through them, the value of professional editing was once again clearly apparent. I learned a lot, too.

I hereby resolve to remember not to indent the first paragraph of a chapter or section, to spell good-bye with a hyphen and nonprofit without one. Note, in top paragraph, how proudly I exhibit my newly acquired ability to insert an em dash in place of a minus sign. Perhaps there won’t be so many edits next time around!

IMG_0344

 

With Upwards, the adventure inspired the writing. With Through Woods & Waters (or will it be Through Woods and Waters?) , the writing inspired the adventure. By spring 2018, I was yearning to embark on another long wilderness expedition, one that could become the subject of a second book. I wanted a compelling destination and challenges in getting there. Tough river sections, novel vistas, thrilling beauty, rich history—I found them all on the way to and through newly established Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. (Look, another em dash!).

IMG_0578

 

My travels began with a backpack and hiking boots, following the International Appalachian Trail up and over mountains and along part of the river I would later descend by canoe. After the backpacking trip and a long-awaited book event, I put my small canoe in at the western end of Seboomook Lake, some 150 miles from the national monument boundary. Going the long way ’round allowed me to incorporate a couple of hitherto unexplored alternative routes of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, as well as the upper reaches of the East Branch Penobscot watershed.

IMG_0776

Shortly after creating this blog in spring 2015, I wrote a post about the “why” of attempting a solo NFCT thru-paddle. That post, entitled May you find fireplace birds, still rang true as I embarked on my newest adventure. Should you decide to come along on the journey, you will see that I found more this time than I ever could have anticipated.

 

An amazing, extravagant day

By now, we had made peace with a slower, more thorough pace than originally planned. We toured only one chateau, but we chose well – Chenonceau, billed as “The Ladies’ Chateau,” influenced over the centuries by the women who lived there. In the 16th century, there was Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of Henri II, and later his wife, Catherine de Medici, who ousted Diane when the king died and she became Regent. Then, in the 18th century, came Louise Dupin, a brave, enlightened promoter of writing and learning, who cleverly protected the chateau during the French Revolution.

P1010859

The history doesn’t end there, as Chenonceau also had a role to play in both world wars. We decided to rent audio guides and again found them a wise choice. In room after room, I would listen, then go back to hear again the more interesting tidbits. The chapel’s stained glass was destroyed by bombs in 1944, but has since been tastefully replaced.

P1010797

Visitors walk on the original floors, where in some places the design remains only at the edges of the room. This carefree hare was protected by the nearby furniture. Although some corners were roped off, we were free to wander more than I would have expected.

P1010793

P1010844

The stately arched bridge that reaches out over the River Cher was Diane’s creation, but it was Catherine who later built on it a long, elegant ballroom. It’s possible to rent a canoe and paddle downriver and underneath the chateau, if you have time.

P1010848

By World War I, Chenonceau was owned by the Menier family, of Paris chocolate factory fame. They transformed the ballroom and another gallery above it into a 120-bed hospital at their own expense. Simone Menier served as matron of the facility, which was equipped with a state-of-the-art operating theater and one of the first X-ray machines. From the windows, convalescing soldiers would fish in the river below, tying small bells to their lines to signal a bite. Then, during the second world war, the chateau found itself sitting on the line between the occupied and free zones, allowing the Resistance to spirit many people through these same rooms to safety.

P1010809

In honor of baby Prince Louis, whose birth was announced while we waited in Charles de Gaulle airport for our flight home, I am including this incredible portrait of Louis XIV. The massive ornate frame draws the eye and dominates all else in the room. The Sun King reigned for over 72 years, the longest of any European monarch. He visited the chateau in 1650, at age 11, and later sent this portrait to commemorate his visit.

P1010828

Every room had fresh flowers, often many arrangements in one room, all changed twice weekly by the chateau’s florists. Here are some from The Five Queens’ Bedroom.

P1010842

Don’t you just love this photo of Mom and Dad, patiently waiting for us to finish?

P1010836 (2)

Of course, Diane and Catherine both had their gardens…Diane’s was my favorite.

P1010872

Next time you are in France, I hope you will go to the Loire Valley and see Chenonceau. It’s worth the trip. Now, though, it’s time to say au revoir, after one last story.

To make our adventure complete, we wanted to visit a winery and not just any one. In Charlottesville last fall, Megan had been impressed by a red wine from Domaine Fabrice Gasnier, from the nearby Chinon region, and had taken a photo of the restaurant menu. As we drove, though, vineyards lined every road and there were countless signs with grapes and bottles on them. How would we find Fabrice?

P1010885

Luckily, we soon came across a large, helpful map on a display board near the river, showing the location of all the local wineries.  After one small wrong turn, we found the right place and squeezed into the crowded driveway. By the doors to a large barn, a couple was sitting outside, but there were no signs to indicate where to go or if the place was even open. They came right over, though, smiling. “Come, come,” they said, drawing Megan and I through a door into a dark, crowded room, filled with voices and music. In the dim recesses ahead, a long row of barrels faded into the darkness.

P1010889 (2)

Incredibly, we had stumbled on a party, been welcomed into a gathering of friends, to celebrate the first bottling of the new year. Before long, we each had a glass in hand and were tasting different red wines, while chatting as best we could in both languages. Then Dad got up there and sang “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad,” with his new friends.

P1010896

Afterward, we all agreed that this had been a highlight of the trip. Eventually, we even found the retail area. In the photo above, Megan and Dad are making a few purchases from Fabrice himself. I plan to save the bottle that I bought for when Megan comes up in August and we’ll drink a toast to serendipity! So, a la prochaine, until the next time.

 

 

 

 

The humblest and grandest of dwellings

P1010742

Mention of the Loire Valley brings visions of exquisite châteaux, but there are other living spaces here, that couldn’t be more different. In the Loire Valley, winding our way up along France’s longest river, we would experience both.

As we left Carnac, I was navigating, tracing our route carefully to find the smaller roads that would hug the river. Driving in France, unless you are on the large toll roads, is slow and picturesque. If there is a village, it seems, you will pass through it, with a sign as you enter with the village name and another as you exit, showing the same name with a slash through it. Just past Angers, we found the river and followed it toward Saumur.

P1010746

Dad had been telling us the history of the area’s sparkling wines, when suddenly we came upon the grand facade of Gratien & Meyer, the cellars that he had visited long ago. They offered tours to see how their wines (not called champagne because we weren’t in the Champagne region) had been made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Their cellars, like the many troglodyte cave homes around Saumur, were originally quarries. When the soft limestone called tuffeau was dug out in this region, the caves left behind were inhabited and still are. Often, part of the structure would be in the hillside caves and part would be outside, constructed of blocks of the pale yellow-tan tuffeau that had been quarried there. Tomorrow night we would sleep in rooms like that.

P1010758 (2)

Deep in the cellars, we were introduced to the wine-making process, from the careful blending of grape varieties, through the labeling of the bottles. Labels were applied up the neck of the bottle to hide the inconsistencies in how full the bottles were. Men turned the bottles 1/4 turn each day and could do 50,000 in one day. Then there was the innovative change to metal wire to hold the corks, rather than the hemp cord that rats would sometimes chew through. Note the knight-like face mask above, that the workers wore to protect themselves from carbon dioxide-fueled accidents!

P1010774 (2)

P1010776

From Saumur, we drove to our B&B in Amboise, whose chateau towered above the city. We enjoyed the family feel of Les Collones de Chanteloup, located along a quiet lane. Our breakfast there included some dainty local strawberries very close in size and taste to wild ones and tiny individual pots of chocolate mousse, served in antique flowered porcelain as old as the recipe. Of course, there were also the typical cheeses, meats, breads, cakes, croissants, yogurt, and freshly-squeezed orange juice, too.

P1010766

That day, we visited the chateau at Chenonceau and had our most surprising adventure, a true serendipity and the subject of tomorrow’s post, most likely the last for this adventure. We’ve been home now for almost a week – time to finish up!

P1010914 (2)

The experience of cave dwelling for a night did not disappoint us. Megan and I had the interior room. The curving walls, damp and rugged, set off the clean bed, which was bravely made with crisp white sheets. Crusted on the rough walls were bits of rocks, tinged green with moss or lichen, that mysteriously made their way into our hair. The cooler sleeping temperature (naturally around 54 degrees Fahrenheit unless the heat was on) was a nice change after several sweltering nights in much fancier rooms.

The hotel’s restaurant served dinners centered around bread baked in the traditional troglodyte manner, with various toppings, but we opted for burgers a short walk away at a restaurant by the small village church instead.

P1010919

P1010905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carnac’s mysterious standing stones

P1010646

I wish we’d had more time to devote to the old walled city of Saint-Malo. Familiar to Megan and I as the setting for the second half of the captivating WWII novel, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, we felt honored just to be there. This was also the home of Jacques Cartier, who, in 1534, sailed from here to explore the St. Lawrence River, claiming (and naming) Canada for France. We spent our too-short time in the many high quality shops, buying gifts.

P1010707

Carnac, which we reached after driving south across Brittany, was one of the areas that Dad most wanted us to experience. Think Stonehenge, but with nearly three thousand prehistoric megaliths, the largest number anywhere in Europe, scattered throughout the countryside. These mysterious, giant standing stones date from as early as 4000 B.C.

 

We loved our small hotel, Lann Roz, which had a nice patio area and stellar cuisine. Dinner started with three amuse bouche, which we’d first encountered at Le Spinnaker. These surprise treats, courtesy of the chef, included a miniature cup of savory mousse, a cube of smoked salmon and a tiny pastry. From the fixed price menu, I chose langostine cream soup, lamb with new potatoes, and a chocolate, coffee, caramel tart. Heavenly!

P1010708 - dolmen

The next morning, we were (or mostly I was) determined to see some of the stones without company. No little trolley trains or fenced in areas for us. So off we went, map in hand, for a driving loop in the country. The route, we discovered, consisted mostly of walking paths and narrow overgrown drives. However, we felt right at home after years of exploring dubious logging roads in northern Maine.

P1010715

Dad headed our low clearance Opal sedan down a steadily dwindling farm lane, one of its warning sensors dinging in outrage. We saw two not-very-skittish partridge, gorse in full yellow bloom and, at last, three of the vertical standing stones known as menhirs. (The table-like configuration of three stones, as in the top photo above, is a dolmen, often a burial site.) Though their origins are shrouded in mystery, the Carnac stones are believed to have both religious and astronomical significance.

P1010712

This small chapel is typical of Breton architecture, clean and white and simple. The weather, as you can see, continued to be totally unlike the rainy cold we’d anticipated. The temperatures around 80 degrees F. were near record highs, and I was glad to have brought some sleeveless tops. Leaving Carnac in the noon heat, we headed east toward the Loire Valley, where chateaux and wine awaited.

 

A millennium ago in Normandy

Coronation of Harold

The 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry is a remarkable work of art and storytelling. Embroidered with richly dyed woolen yarns on a 224-foot-long strip of linen, it is not actually a tapestry at all. Tapestries are woven, not embroidered. Its colors, primarily blues, greens, gold, and russet, still hold true after more than nine centuries.

Going to see this treasure is a must; the visitor experience is so well done. Before entering the darkened room, each person is given an audio guide, like a telephone handset, that narrates the tale and keeps everyone spaced out and moving at the same pace. The subtle lighting enhances the colors and you can move up close to see the details of the stitching. No photography is allowed; these photos are from Wikimedia.

330px-Bayeux_tapestry_laid_work_detail

The tapestry’s more than fifty scenes tell of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest, culminating in the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. There’s a Norman spin to the story. The scene at the start of this post shows the coronation of King Harold after the death of England’s King Edward, despite Harold having previously pledged allegiance to William of Normandy. Much like a comic strip or graphic novel, the scenes are action-packed, depicting treachery, heroism, and humor. The audio guide pointed out details we might have missed, like Hailey’s Comet, seen as a portent of the coming invasion.

P1010657

Mont-Saint-Michel is even older than the Bayeux Tapestry. Clinging to the top of the island of Mont-Tombe, this monastic enclave has grown over the centuries and has long been a place of pilgrimage. Early in the 11th century, the abbey church was built.

P1010671

The simplicity of the architecture and stained glass, the glorious weather, and the silent presence of the nuns and priests who still serve here, made this a very meaningful time for Megan and I, who climbed to the top for the full self-guided tour.

p1010668.jpg

P1010677

P1010691

P1010686

The Benedictine monks ate in silence in the refectory, shown below, while one read scripture from the pulpit in the right wall.

P1010692

The wheel below was used to haul provisions up to the abbey in the years following the French Revolution when it was used as a prison.

P1010696

Below the abbey, the narrow streets were packed with shops and tourists. We settled for a quick picnic lunch before hurrying to catch up with Mom and Dad. We tried two types of galettes or buckwheat crepes, vegetable (filled with spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes) and a cooked apple and cheese variety. We loved them!

P1010703

A freedom dearly won

P1010601

Men would have to come to France by sea, and many would have to die.

It was simply a question of where to land and when. Tens of thousands of lives depended on finding the best answer. At the Musée Memorial 1944 Bataille de Normandie, which we visited in Bayeux, it was sobering to learn that an entire department of the military was fully prepared to handle all the fallen soldiers before the first had even landed.

P1010594

Two alternative plans were considered for Operation Overlord, the initial sea-borne invasion that would liberate France. The first, crossing the Pas-de-Calais, where Great Britain and France lie closest, seemed intuitive. There, in northeast France near Belgium, the Allies would be far closer to friendly air support and supplies, and within striking distance of the heart of Germany. The strait, though, was heavily defended.

The beaches of Lower Normandy, forever memorialized now with the simple code names Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword, were also well protected,. There were mines, physical obstacles (Dad stands by one above), and artillery batteries hidden in bunkers. But there was also a weakness. If the bridges across the Seine and the Loire were destroyed, the German troops would be cut off from reinforcements. So, on June 6, 1944, the Allies cast the die there.

P1010619

This museum’s focus was the entire battle for Normandy, up until the liberation of Paris in late August 1944. I wish we had more carefully researched which museum to visit. The town of Bayeux was a good choice for us, though, as we also saw the Bayeux tapestry, part of a future post. We opted for a quick lunch in town, ham and cheese crepes with some of the fabulous Normandy cider, then returned to the museum for the English showing of their film, which did not even include any footage of the beach landings.

P1010604

At the museum, the woman at the information desk grew very emotional as she told me that veterans still often return to visit the area. I was moved, too by the photos of town after town where homes and churches were reduced to rubble.

My greatest wish had been to visit one or more military cemeteries. In fact, I’d seen a documentary about German cemeteries still carefully tended by the French. So it was a huge disappointment to arrive at the American cemetery near Omaha Beach literally as the entrance gates swung shut, 15 minutes before the posted closing time. Almost crying, I was tempted to try to wiggle through the ornate gate that barred the way, but didn’t.

P1010634

Today, Omaha Beach looks much like any other beach, even down to the running children and lipstick-pink umbrellas. This sculpture, called Les Braves, was commissioned for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. What happened there may seem invisible, but after a visit to France, I know that it is not forgotten.

Someday I will come back, to walk among the headstones of the fallen soldiers and pay my respects. After finding our hotel in Saint-Malo, one of an excellent chain called Ibis Style, we enjoyed our best dinner yet at a harborside restaurant called Le Spinnaker.

P1010645

 

First impressions of rural Normandy

P1010511 - Monet's house

Normandy’s countryside made for a picturesque day of driving, the most we would have this week. Quilted fields of yellow-flowering rapeseed and white-flowering orchards bordered pastures where cows of all colors grazed by half-timbered barns.

The sun was warming the air beneath deep cobalt skies as we arrived in Giverny. Here was where Monet had lived for exactly the second half of his life, from 1883 until his death in 1926. At 80 rue de Claude Monet, we found ample free parking in a spacious lot just across the street from his house. The ticket was a bargain at 9.5 euros.

P1010480 - poppies.JPG

The large rectangular flower garden behind Monet’s house was a riot of brilliant hues. Having just left the dull brown landscape of wintery Maine, I drank in the color. Bright green grass, tulips, azaleas, poppies, and pansies lined the walkways, while vines climbed trellises, arches, and ancient stone walls.

P1010478 - me at Giverny

What I’d been dreaming of seeing, though, was Monet’s water garden, which has been recreated in its original design. A passageway took us under another road and toward the Etang des Nympheas, the lovely French translation of “water lily pond.” And there it was, with the curving bridge and the rowboat and mysterious carp hovering near thick lily pads not yet in flower.

P1010490 - Monet's boat

There were plenty of paths to wander. All of the bridges had been painted rather a shinier, brighter green than I would have chosen, but the other touches blended easily into the garden’s natural design. Bamboo railings were lashed together with dark brown twine and rustic wooden borders lined the tiny, fast-moving stream.

This was a garden of textures, merging with colors, creating the living painting that Monet had intended.  People strolled, their voices hushed, as if around the next bend they might come upon Monet intent upon his work.

P1010534 - Monet's kitchen

Inside, the house overflowed with art, as Japanese engravings mingled with the paintings of Monet’s contemporaries and his own. The yellow dining room and blue kitchen made me feel right at home; they were my favorite rooms.

P1010544 - cliffs at Etratat

Our next stop, a detour to Etratat, on Normandy’s north coast, was well worth it. White cliffs bracket the beach on either end like encircling arms and tower high above mere humans. The sea in places has carved out arches and tiny caves. Mom and Dad sat on a bench looking out over the English Channel, perhaps remembering early days on a beach on the other side of the Atlantic.

P1010555 - Mom and Dad at Etratat

We ended our day with dinner in the scenic town of Honfleur, where tall narrow houses, some 2 windows wide and 7 stories tall, marched along the far side of the harbor. We will have one more day in Normandy, then head to Brittany.

P1010567 - Honfleur