Vacations are good for the soul -

By Amy Boyle in personal vacation maine maryland cape cod ma pa pennsylvania biking rail trail gap acadia national parks me md

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain

Here is a glimpse back at three vacations in one. This year we took our traditional (18th annual) trip East and shook it up a bit.

Why not start the vacation with a short (cough) 90 mile bike ride from PA to MD? I used to just ride a few miles at a time. Lately, I can't get enough of my bike - Once underway, I am in awe of the changing landscape, the movement, and of people powered transportation! Doing this ride with my family was so wonderful. I am impressed at the commitment my guys made to this ride and just how many wonderful memories we shared together!

The GAP Trail

The Great Allegheny Passage rail trail was beyond my expectations. We saw so many great vistas, enjoyed cooling off by the Youghiogheny River on a 97F day, ate copious amounts of blackberries/raspberries along the trail, and arrived each night to a comfortable Inn to rest for the next day.

Day 1 - Connellsville, PA  to  Confluence, PA

Day 2 - Confluence, PA to Meyersdale, PA

Day 3 - Meyersdale, PA to Cumberland, MD

After 3 days of biking we took a car break and made it to Tanglewood to see good friends and catch a James Taylor show - The moon was spectacular that night! Not to stand still for long, the next day we were in NH and ME. Another awesome break with good friends and family.

We now had the momentum for the next leg of the voyage, Acadia National Park!

I had never been to Acadia before. This park took my breath away. We were back on our bikes for gorgeous rides around Eagle Lake and Witch Hole Pond on the carriage trails. Stopping to take in the beauty, catch frogs (Well, the the boys did that!), and to eat the sweetest low bush blueberries I had ever tasted. Speaking of amazing food, I have to say the delicious meal complete with local Mussels and Craft beers at McKay's Public House sure was heavenly.  Three days in Acadia was enough to give a a taste for more... I would venture a guess that Acadia will be visited by us again soon!

So on to the third vacation - Cape Cod!

On our way down to the Cape we enjoyed a beautiful drive through much of Maine's beautiful coastline. Stopping one last time to shoot a portrait session. Someone has to work! ;0)  We were then on to the Sagamore Bridge and vacation tradition as we know it. I cannot believe that we have had the great fortune of coming to Chatham for 18 consecutive summers. This familiar and beautiful place is such a haven. After 2200 miles so far on the van, plus all the biking miles, we were all ready to park ourselves at the beach. 

The weather was beyond agreeable. Making it hard to find the desire to go anywhere but our beach in Stage Harbor. We sailed, kayaked, and the guys water skied and wake boarded. Jeff and I got out on the bikes again with a boy or two as the Cape Cod Rail Trails are also not to be missed.

So to sum it up - Wow, A 3200+ mile oddessy for 6: Complete with smiles, memories, and personal accomplishments.

Arriving back at home with an even more grateful heart and eyes open to seeing new things!

More Later!


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