Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Robyville Covered Bridge

Presidents Day 2017 was a perfect storm of days off and weather for this cold winter.  The kids were on vacation, Kate's bank was closed, I was on my second day off, and the weather was in the mid 40's and sunny!  So Kate, myself, the kids, and AJ jumped in Vanna and headed north.

The first stop was in Corinth to visit the 1876 Robyville Bridge that spans 73 feet across the Kenduskeag Stream.  Robyville Bridge is the only completely shingle covered bridge in the State of Maine and was designated a Maine Historic Engineering Landmark in 2002.

With a visit to this bridge Kate and I have now visited all nine covered bridges still standing in Maine.

Because of all the snow we had to park a short distance up from the bridge and couldn't go down to the shore.  We walked back down and of course across the bridge which Wesley just loves to do.  That and stomp through puddles which he got to do.

We loaded back up in the van and headed to Bangor for some Toys R Us action.  We had told the kids we would take them sometime to use the Christmas money they had saved.  Canaan got two Nerf guns as they were buy 1 get 1 50% off and Addison got the Toys R Us version of an american girl doll.

After a quick stop at Jo-Ann Fabric's we had lunch at Chick-fil-A which was hopping!  Kate mixed it up and for the first time got a grilled chicken sandwich, which she enjoyed.  I too got a little crazy adding extra pickles to my original chicken sandwich.

We got the three youngest some nuggets and waffle fry's to split.  I had gotten Kate a fruit cup which Wesley claimed as his own and devoured all save the apple pieces.  It was a really nice fruit cup.

We concluded out time in Bangor at Books A Million before making the drive back south taking the bigs to their mothers and AJ to his abode.

We finished out day with a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics in Topsham so Kate could buy material to make curtains for the living and play rooms.

It was a delicious small taste to the day trips we have planned for this year!

Later Readers!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


As you can see I have updated the blog and changed the name of it was well to Labbe Family Voyages.  I also went back and deleted several posts and are re-posting a couple dozen of them on my wrestling blog.

It's a New Year and that means new adventures and we've got some ideas of things we'd like to do.

Check out my other blogs:

and don't forget to buy my book

Later Readers!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Columbus Day Cruise

Once again the Labbe's headed out on a adventure to the White Mountains, for the first time though it was during the peak of Autumn foliage.

A few weeks back I had discovered the Sandwich Notch Rd in the southwest corner of the White Mountain National Forest.  Built in 1801 and still in use it is a single lane dirt road that according to research even though it is steep at times it is traversable, one guy even said he took his mercedes across it.  I'm pretty sure we were not talking about the same road.

I planned this whole trip around taking this road and seeing some covered bridges in the area as well.  The night before we left, I was looking at the map and for only 40 miles longer we could still hit Sandwich Notch Rd, but go north after and hit other covered bridges, plus go to Chutters and take our favorite route back home through Gorham, New Hampshire.  When given the option Kate went with the new route.

I got out of worked, grabbed Kate her coffee at Dunks, a bag of ice and after changing we were on the road before 8am.  Wesley is such a good boy on these adventures, riding in his car seat doesn't seem to bother him and he loves to get out and explore the covered bridges.  Of the four that we took in two were in busy areas, one not so much, and one closed to vehicles.  The secluded and closed one we like a lot because he can just run around on them with out a care.

Our first stop of the day was at Durgin Bridge in Sandwich.  Originally built in 1869 spanning 96 feet over the Cold River.  Surprisingly we saw a lot of people at the covered bridges.

Next we drove over the road that was the inspiration for this trip.  Ultimately I don't regret that we drove the road, but really there isn't much to see for us.  After stopping at Beede falls 3/4 of a mile in it's just hiking trails, which we can't do with the boy, and a narrow road that we scrapped a half dozen times on.  I sincerely doubt the guy drove his Mercedes with no issues.

Beede Falls was neat, but it's been so dry that there was no water flowing.

After completing the road with headed north taking rte 112 west towards Bath.  This side of the Kancamagus Highway we had not taken before.

Along the way we stopped in Bath at the Swiftwater Bridge.  Built in 1849 spanning 158 feet over two spans, 77.6 & 57.5 feet over the Wild Ammonoosuc River.

We had lunch in Bath right near the Vermont Border at Little Grille with has two year round locations and a season one.  It's actually a Mexican restaurant that specializes in Burgers.

Kate had the burger of the day, it has caramelized onions and mushrooms and she really like it.

Wesley has a cheeseburger with ketchup, and I had The Sticky Vermonter, sticky glazed maple bacon, Vermont cheddar, maple aioli with tomato.

It was real good!  They boast themselves as the best burger in New Hampshire and although it was good, they are not the best because I've had Black Mountain Burger Company.

Less then a mile away we stopped at the Bath-Haverill Bridge, this was the bridge that was closed to traffic and the one Wesley really got to have fun one.  This was also the only bridge to have an attached walkway.  This two span bridge was built in 1829 crossing 256 (104 and 120 feet) feet over  the Ammonoosuc River.

The fourth and last bridge of the day also located in Bath is the Bath Bridge, a four span bridge also crossing the Ammonoosuc River was built in 1832 totaling 374.5 feet, 117.5, 66.5, 62.5, & 80 feet,

The final stop of the day was in charming town of Littleton.  My main reason for wanting to go was to stop at Chutters, home to the world's largest candy counter.

It is here were I can buy ten different flavors of frooties for just 1 cent each.  That's right actual penny candy.  I few hundred for the kids and I.

On the street they had a few pianos sort of a community music appreciation.  We set Wesley up and let him tickle the ivories for a spell.

Littleton is the birth place of Eleanor Porter who wrote the beloved children's novel Pollyanna in 1913.  The Littleton library features a statue of Pollyanna on their front lawn.

I had been awake some 22 hours by the time we left Littleton so Kate wisely drove us home.  I slept more than halfway, Wesley watched Winnie the Pooh and slept a spell himself.

Along the way we some wonderful fall foliage including snow on the mountain tops.

We've had a year or day trips exploring the White Mountains, what's great is there is so much more for us to still see!

Later Readers!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maine Highlands Adventure

Thursday August 25th Kate took the day off from work because Wesley's Day Care was closed for the week and she had told her mom she would take AJ for the day.  I was off the night before and couple that with the fact that it was our night for Canaan & Addison it seemed like the perfect time for a day trip.

We were on the road that morning before eight heading north for a day of exploration.  Our first stop was just off Route 15 in Guilford at Lowes Covered Bridge.  The plaque on sight states the bridge was built in 1830, the State of Maine DOT lists it as being built in 1857.  Either way no one can argue the fact that the great flood of April 1, 1987 washed the bridge away.  This was the same flood that destroyed Fort Halifax in Winslow and devastated much of Maine.

Rebuilt in 1990 on the original abutments the bridge spans 120 feet over the Piscataquis River.  Of course we drove across the bridge before parking and then walking across it.  This bridge is not as remote as most of the others in Maine but Wesley still got to partake in his favorite activity, stomping back and forth across the bridge while yelling loudly enjoying his echo.

All the kids really seemed to appreciate the bridge and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Our next stop was going to be Tobey Falls and although I thought I had good directions the road started getting sketchy and we found to markers ensuring us that were going in the right direction.  We ended up turning around and someday we will try to return.

We continued north passing through Greenville and into Bowdion College Grant West Twp where we stopped at Elephant Mountain to explore the wreckage from a B-52 Bomber that crashed on the side of the mountain on January 23, 1963.  Only two of the nine member crew survived the crash.  For more information on the crash check out this wikipedia page here.

All the kids had good time and thought the wreckage was neat.  Canaan however loved it, he found it to be very fascinating and thanked us multiple times for taking them up there.  He took over 130 pictures on his phone!

The drive from the Lily Bay Rd to the parking area is about 7.5 miles of dirt roads with varying degree of rockiness that at times narrows to one lane.  The road was very dry and dusty coating vanna with a fine layer of dust from bumper to bumper.

The final stop of the day was at Lily Bay State Park.  It's a beautiful park with a beach that has a picnic area, playground, basketball hoop, and volley ball net.  There are also campsites, hiking trails and more.

We had our picnic lunch there before the kids and Kate descended into Moosehead Lake for a swim.  I wadded in myself, the water was quite choppy and refreshing, not cold at all.  Wesley loved the water showing no fear when charging in and not getting upset when his face dipped into the water whenever he fell.  They spent over an hour in the lake.  

The kids made sure to take advantage playground before we headed back to the comfort station to get changed up for the drive home.

It was great to get this trip in before the kids headed back to school, and most importantly fun was had by all!

Later Readers!