Jimmy Carter Plains Georgia

Pine Mountain State Park is the closest park to both Warm Springs and Plains GA.  Its a beautiful park on the highest land in the area.  We picked a nice site overlooking a small lake.  Some bridges in the park have the distinct style of CCC bridges that we’ve seen in other areas.

After spending a day exploring FDR’s history we drove to Plains, the boyhood home and current residence of Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn.  Plains is a tiny town even today.  The former high school is home to the Jimmy Carter Museum and Visitors Center.

Former Plains High School

Plains is little changed over the decades

Railroad depot that was Jimmy’s Campaign HQ

Jimmy’s book “An Hour Before Daylight” details the future President’s life in rural Georgia.  Born in 1924, he grew up during the Great Depression in the severely segregated deep south.  His boyhood home and farm are open to the public.

the Carter home

the Carter Commissary

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Warm Springs Georgia

Since we had visited Hyde Park and Campobello we decided to visit Warm Springs GA where FDR had many polio treatments and his Little White House.  He first visited the warm springs baths to treat his polio.  He became a part of the community and purchased the facility to keep it going.  While Governor of New York he built a home in Warm Springs.

FDR’s Little White House


When he became President he continued to visit the place as his personal retreat.  Many of his ideas for the New Deal and Rural Electrification came from his expereinces in Georgia.  It was during a visit April 12, 1945 as he sat for a portrait that he suffered a severe stroke and died a few hours later.  The chair, the room and the unfinished portrait are part of the tour at Roosevelt’s Little White House.  After visiting the home we toured the baths and even FDR’s favorite picnic spot atop nearby Pine Mountain overlooking the valley.

Room and chair where FDR suffered a stroke

Unfinished portrait

Warm Springs polio baths

FDR’s favorite picnic site


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Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a destination all on its own.  We only had a few days in the area due to the campground closing but we think we got a good taste.

The Cape Cod Canal was developed in the early 20th century to benefit shipping around the Cape Cod peninsula.  It was started privately but unsuccessful until the Army Corp of Engineers rebuilt it to safe standards.

Cape Cod Canal

Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory offers factory tours.  We like these kind of tours but this day they sent everyone home early – so no tour.

Hyannis is well known as the haven of the Kennedys.  We saw the Memorial at Veterans Park and visited Kalmus Beach as the sun was setting.

Hyannis – Nantucket Ferry

Cape Cod National Seashore has several beautiful lighthouses and long stretches of sandy beach.  It is also well known for dangerous sharks.  Unfortunately there was a fatal shark attack a few weeks before our visit.  Provincetown seemed to us like a tiny Key West.

Nauset Light AKA the potato chip light

Outer Cape beach

Recent shark attack victim

Province Lands sand dunes

Highland Light
Cape Cod Light

One very nice stop for foodies on the Cape was Atlantic Spice Company in Truro.  Great selection of bulk herbs, spices and teas as well as kitchen tools.  Free shipping on $50 orders… https://www.atlanticspice.com/ Thanks to Sandy for recommending it.

It was very nice to visit in the off season.  We can only imagine what its like here in August!  Its a special place.


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On our way south from Maine we stopped near Cape Cod for a few days before the campground closed for the season.

Our first excursion in the area was to Newport Rhode Island.  We have heard about Newport for years and fellow travelers told us “If you liked the Vanderbilt Mansion and The Biltmore, you gotta see Newport”.  They weren’t kidding.  One after the other we toured five of the “cottages” as these mansions were called.  Traditionally they were only occupied 6 to 8 weeks each Summer.  This was the Gilded Age and each tried to out-do the other.

The Breakers was the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II.  He made his fortune in steamships and the New York Central Railroad.  Built from 1893 to 1895 it has 70 rooms and over 125,000 square feet.  It was designed by famed architect Robert Morris Hunt in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo .  The Vanderbilts had 7 children.  The youngest of them, Gladys, was an ardent supporter of the Preservation Society of Newport and opened the Breakers to tours in 1948 to raise funds.

The Breakers

The grand staircase

The dining room

The music room

Typical ceiling

Marble House  was built for William K. Vanderbilt from 1888 to 1892 and has over 500,000 cubic feet of marble.  It set the pace for the stone palaces of Summer Newport society.  Upon completion Mr. Vanderbilt gave the home to his wife Alva.  The home cost $11 million to build.  Alva called the home her “temple of the arts”.  They  divorced 3 years later.  It was an interesting time.  Their daughter Consuelo married into British royalty and became the Duchess of Marlborough, son William Jr became a leading figure in auto racing while son Harold became a world famous yachtsman winning the Americas Cup 3 times.  Mom Alva held women’s suffrage rallies on the lawn.

Marble House

The Gothic Room

The Tea House

Yachtsman Harold Vanderbilt

Women’s suffrage rallies at Marble House

We also visited Rosecliff.  Commisioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled the palatial home after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles.  Many films were shot in this home including The Great Gatsby.


Chateau sur Mer was built in 1852 for the China trade shipping merchant William Wetmore.  The home was built in High Victorian style inside and out.  It was the center of Newport society until the Vanderbilts moved in.

Chateau sur Mer

China trade on display

Victorian style

Servants stairs

The Elms was our last stop of the day.  It was the summer home of Edward Berwind of New York and Philadelphia who made his fortune in coal.  The home was modeled after a chateau outside Paris and the interior and furnishings were designed by Jules Allard of Paris.  Allard was the interior designer of choice for Newport.

The Elms

Allard designed interior

The conservatory

Over time the homes became obsolete and over 40 were torn down but what remains is a testament to the excesses of obscene wealth during times when the average family was barely getting by.                                                                                                                                The Preservation Society of  Newport  https://www.newportmansions.org/ has purchased or acquired all these homes and more and does a great job preserving and hosting tours.


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Portland Maine

Portland is a small city with a progressive vibe.  We visited on an amazing day in October with 87 degrees!  The city has a nice little railroad museum and preserves a 2 foot gauge railway.  Thats 24 inches between the rails as opposed to standard gauge 48.5 inches.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum

The harborfront is a busy place with ferries coming and going and 2 cruise ships the day we visited.  Its a very walking biking friendly city with an interesting history.

We visited two beautiful lighthouses that guard the coast, Bug Light and Portland Head Light.  There are many more along the island dotted coast.

Bug Light

Portland Head Light

Old Orchard Beach is the nearby town we camped at.  In October this is a pretty quiet place but we could imagine in season it would be extremely busy.  We had a nice beach day while there.

Old Orchard Beach

The Pier

Maine is a great destination for many reasons.  We had a good time and know there is so much more to see and do.  We’ll be back.


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New Brunswick

We really did not plan to see much of New Brunswick on this trip.  While we stayed at a campground near Calais Maine it was so close and such an easy border crossing (think no lines, relaxed border guards) we thought, why not?

St. Croix Island is a National Park Service site near Calais Maine and a Provincial Park in New Brunswick.  Its one of those surprise little parks with a huge historic story.  It was the first attempted European settlement in 1604, 3 years before Jamestown.  The French settlement was a total failure but lessons were learned that enabled the next group to succeed.

This little island made history

First European attempt at settling North America

St. Andrews by the Sea is a lovely seaside resort town with a historic British Blockhouse, lighthouse and famous botanical gardens.

Pendlebury Lighthouse

Low tide at St. Andrews by the Sea

Early 19th Century Blockhouse

Low tide bar to Ministers Island

Kingsbrae Garden

Hopewell Rocks is a popular site in the Bay of Fundy and home to the “Flowerpots”, rock structures visable at low tide in an area of 40 foot tides.  Seeing these rocks at high tide and then walk the area at low tide is incredible.  The tide here can rise up to 13 feet in an hour.  We stayed in nearby Alma NB where the impact of tides on the local fishing fleet is obvious.

Hopewell Rocks low tide

High tide

High tide

Low tide

40 feet underwater

Low tide at Alma NB

The Moncton Tidal Bore is world famous for the tidal wave (not tsunami) rushing upstream twice per day in downtown Moncton New Brunswick.  It is amazing to wait and wait and then here it comes.  The visitor center has the timing down to within 15 minutes.

Moncton River

The Tidal Bore

Deer Island is a small island in Passamaquoddy Bay between New Brunswick and Maine.  We took the free car ferry.  This is a very rural quiet place.  It is most famous for “Old Sow”, one of the largest tidal whirlpools in the world.  Tides are so serious here anything can happen and this whirlpool is awesome.  Scary!

Free ferry to Deer Island

Typical shoreline

Old Sow tidal whirlpool

New Brunswick is a very pretty province with great roads and friendly people.  It is probably the most bilingual of all Canada.

Cape Enrage Light

Sawmill Creek bridge 1905



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Campobello and Eastern Maine

Our Northernmost goal this year was Campobello Island International Park off the extreme east coast of Maine.  Campobello is actually located in the Canadian Province of New Brunswick.  In Roosevelts time the nearest ferry was from Lubec Maine.  Now the bridge from Lubec connects the island with the US.  Due to some ferry closures the only way to reach the island is through Maine.  So, much like Hyder Alaska, Campobello residents must have a passport to visit the rest of their own country.

Campobello is best known as the vacation home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family.  The Roosevelts called it the Beloved Island.  FDR swam, sailed and enjoyed family time on the island.  The home is preserved almost exactly as it was in 1920.  There was no electricity or telephone.  It was here that FDR came down with polio when he was 39 years old. The first thing to do at Campobello is have “Tea with Eleanor”.  Tea is served at least twice per day and the first tea is free if you arrive early enough to book a seat.  Tea is served in the Wells-Shober Cottage a short walk from the Visitors Center.  It includes not only tea and ginger cookies but a detailed presentation by 2 women about Eleanor Roosevelt, a truly extraordinary woman.  Plan on an hour.  The park also offers home tours and guided walks of the area.  There are carriage roads to many points of interest.

The Roosevelt home at Campobello

Relaxed interior of FDR cottage

The Wells-Shober Cottage where Tea with Eleanor is served

One of our wonderful hostesses at tea

Campobello Island is home to East Quoddy Lighthouse.  It sits on the northeastern end of the island and is accessible for walkers and occasional tours at or near low tide.  We were lucky enough to arrive in time to hike and a volunteer was giving tours all the way to the top.  We kept an eye on the time as the tide can rise up to 5 feet per hour.

East Quoddy Lighthouse

Volunteer guide and the red light

Rugged hike to the light

Lubec is the Maine town nearest Campobello and the easternmost town in the United States.  West Quoddy Lighthouse stands nearby.

West Quoddy Lighthouse

Eastport sits in Passamaquoddy Bay.  It was the commercial center of the area in the 1920s and today. The Roosevelts got most of their supplies from here.  Its another Maine city with huge 25 foot tides.  In 1833 it was the second largest trading port in the United States behind New York City.  Back in the day it was a big cod fishing port.  Sardine packing was big business here and as an ice-free year round port potatoes and hay were shipped.  Though much has declined fishing and tourism are primary today.

Low low tide at Eastport

Monument to the cod fisherman

We were surprised to learn that Campobello is considered the second best place to view sunset in the US.  #1 is Hawaii.

Sunset from Campobello

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