Thursday, September 20, 2007

*END* of East trip, heading home via VT and NY states

A picnic stop along the way at a nice rest area

On Wednesday we got underway pretty early, as we usually do on travel days. We expected to stay overnight somewhere on the way, and get home tomorrow.

It was another pleasant camp at Queechee (pronounced Kweechee) Gorge. There are hiking trails there, and a highway bridge with a great view of the gorge. There's always some traffic noise at the park, but it's well treed which muffles the sounds, and we usually camp at sites furthest from the highway.

This was a beautiful driving day, sunny and cool. Light traffic on the route we took, right across hwy#4 through Killington and Lake George. #4 is a lovely drive, especially with fall colours. There's not much colour here yet, but will be spectacular in another 2 or 3 weeks. We've been through here later in the fall on earlier trips.

From Lake George we headed to Adirondack Gateway campground. Another nice private park, rustic but good washrooms, with water/electric hookups for only $12.50 on weekdays with our Passport America membership. It's far enough from any busy roads to have no sense of nearby roads at all.

We had considered camping for a couple of nights near Niagara on Lake Ontario, but decided to just head for home and miss the weekend traffic. The trip home along I90 etc was uneventful, the border crossing was slow but no problems otherwise, and we got home in the daylight.   

This trip had its high points (the Aliner rally, the PEI visit) but the rest of the trip just seemed kind of flat. We'll have to work on some different routes and destinations I think.





Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Moving to Queechee Gorge VT for 2 nights

On Monday we headed out in good time, expecting to stay at a campground in NH. Nobody was around there though, and we just didn't like the look of the place anyway (we always listen to our gut feelings when travelling). 

So we pressed on to Queechee Gorge VT campground for 2 nights. We've always liked this park for short stays. No hookups at the sites here, so it was a good chance to try out our (limited) battery power. It worked fine overnight, even though we ran the furnace overnight. It's a propane furnace, but the fan takes quite a bit of electricity.

for our grandson...

On Tuesday we decided to take a day trip. Nice to be able to do these without the trailer, as we booked for 2 nights at Queechee Gorge. 

There's a pretty good Camping World store near Concord NH. Good parts and accessories supply, and no sales tax in NH. 

Later we stopped in at a LL Bean store in West Lebanon NH. This is a satellite store, not nearly as large as the main Beans complex in Freeport ME. A good selection though, it's not a discount outlet store, and again no sales tax.

Back at the trailer I wished we had brought our old camping stove so we could cook outside. I think we can find room for it on future trips.






Sunday, September 16, 2007

Crossing into the USA, camped at Whispering Pines for 2 nights, day trip Sunday

Camped at Whispering Pines, ME

A short drive to the border on an overcast day. I have to document a border crossing frustration here. The agent had us pulled over for inspection because we admitted to having a few slices of roast beef left in our fridge. They took that, and also confiscated an unopened frozen package of sausages we had carried all the way from home. They were just pork sausages, but the farm market label didn't specify that, so they were taken.

We try not to let this stuff get to us, as it could easily spoil the US experience if we let it. It sure is aggravating for us tourists though, and seems like such a waste of border security resources.

We found a Walmart in Calais, right beside a Super Saver grocery, so stocked up again. The stores are not on the main route to US#1, so likely get more local customers than travellers. 

Carrying on, we found a beautiful rest area park not far out of Calais, on US#1. It depicts Champlain's settlement on nearby St Croix Island. It seemed pretty new, and immaculate, with bronze statues, informative signs, and even a model of what the settlement would have looked like.  


Steady rain fell as we moved south on US1. Very busy around Ellsworth as usual. We were headed for a state park at Cambden, but after a nice stop at the Searsport marine and antiques, decided to head back to Whispering Pines, near Orland. Someone at the Aliner rally (Susan I think) had recommended it. 

It's a nice park, and we had a beautiful site right on the lake. It had electric hookups, but with little current capacity. We popped a breaker a couple of times before we were told the circuit is shared with other campers, and can't be used for anything heavy like our Griddler or toaster oven.

The circuit breaker culprit


The next day, Sunday, we headed out for a drive around the area, with a leisurely start. In a nearby town we withdrew some American cash, at a conversion rate that sure looks terrific in 2023.

On the way back north we took one of the side roads out on a peninsula. The day had turned sunny, the tide was out, lots of mud flats and shorebird activity. 

We stopped at a little seafood shack for lunch. We didn't want much, so just each got a haddock on a bun. It would have taken 3 buns to cover each piece of haddock:

When we returned to the trailer we found a lot of people had cleared out of the campground, this being Sunday evening. Now that other campers had left we were able to use our Griddler to cook up the rest of our bacon, without popping breakers this time.




Friday, September 14, 2007

PEI to Oak Bay park in New Brunswick

Just a driving day today, starting for home. 8am came awfully early for the 2 revellers. However we got away about 10 am, complete with lobster salad sandwiches courtesy of Nancy. 

Crossing the PEI bridge is free coming to PEI, and cost $54.25 today when leaving.

After a picnic lunch stop in Sussex, we carried on to Oak Bay Provincial park for the night. Unusually, it was a provincial park contracted out to private managers, and our Good Sam membership was accepted for a 10% discount.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

A few days on Prince Edward Island

A day hike on PEI

A nice easy drive Tuesday, from Murray Beach park to Stratford PEI. It was still windy, with a light rain. We had a long rest stop at Gateway Village, a tourist spot just off the bridge when entering PEI. 

Cathie's sister Nancy made soup and subs for supper. 

Nancy and Pat were working Wednesday, so we toured around some. Still breezy and drizzly, but pleasant. It did brighten up in the afternoon, a common pattern here.


Thursday Cathie and Nancy went shopping, while I drove Pat to work. Later I rebuilt an outside water tap on the side of their house. Win/win, they appreciated it, and it's the tap we connect to for trailer water. 

Lobster cooking in the back yard tonight. Pat's brother Kurt and his partner Yimara came for supper and a visit. It was warm enough for a campfire later on. Cathie and Nancy stayed up until 4am visiting, when the wine ran out.

Nancy's garden pond

Cathie and Nancy, starting already

Cathie with 2 of our used-to-be-little nephews, Mike and Tim

Time to get outside some lobster




Monday, September 10, 2007

East to Murray Beach Provincial Park


Setting out about 8am, we were camped at Murray Beach park by 4:30 pm. The hills, headwinds and HiLo made the drive more tiring than usual, so we decided to stop for the night at Murray Beach instead of pressing on to PEI. 

We got a beautiful site, right at the cliff overlooking the large tidal beach. A really pleasant evening, although the mosquitoes descended later on. The wind picked up too, and I don't know how the mossies keep from just blowing on by.

Here are a few pictures from this nice park:







Sunday, September 9, 2007

On the road again, after the Aliner rally weekend

After an enjoyable 3 days with the Aliner group, we set off heading further east. Still south of Montreal we crossed the St Lawrence River to get to a new Hwy 30 route. This takes us northeast to join up with Transcanada 20 east of Montreal, bypassing the city traffic in Montreal. It's still slow going (better in later years with the new bridge to get to Hwy 30) but a much nicer drive than going through Montreal.

Driving east from Montreal to Quebec City is not our favourite drive. This trip had the added feature of stiff headwinds all the way through to New Brunswick. Towing the HiLo was so much harder than towing our Aliner that we really wondered if making the change was the right move.

In hindsight with more experience towing the HiLo, I should have just slowed down on the highway instead of trying to keep up with traffic, and stayed in 3rd gear instead of 4th (overdrive). So towing the HiLo became ok on later trips, but this one gave us a small taste of what it could be like towing a large 5th-wheel trailer in similar conditions, something we'd never want to do.

The scenery and drive do improve from Quebec City on east, but the headwinds persisted.

We arrived at the De La Republique (formerly Les Jardins) Provincial park near Edmundston New Brunswick about 6pm Eastern time, 7pm Atlantic time with the time shift at the NB border. A nice park to walk around in.





Thursday, September 6, 2007

*START* East to our last Aliner group rally, and on to PEI

The Aliner rally group

For this first trip in our new HiLo 22T trailer, we headed east as we often do. This time our first stop was at our last rally for Aliner owners. We've enjoyed several get togethers with this group and will miss them. We sold our Aliner just before we left on the trip, and it will be picked up after we return home. 

For a change we had a leisurely start - after 8am on a getaway day. We're going to just south of Ottawa Ont so shouldn't be a long travel day. We took what has become our usual route when heading east through Canada, going over to Orillia and east on hwy 7, which keeps us off the busy 401 and 417 highways.  

Sleepy Cedars campground is south of Ottawa, near Greely. It's mostly seasonal sites, but our group had pretty much all of their transient camping area so all camped together. We had a warm reception from George and Marie, and Piet and Marilyn. Lots of friendly/snarky comments from the group about us and our SOB trailers (3 of us no longer have Aliners, so we have Some Other Brand!). 





Wednesday, March 28, 2007

*END* of Southwest trip, Feb/Mar 2007

Again an early start, helped by a noisy thunderstorm right over us at 6am. We left in the dark about 6:30, trying to beat the morning traffic to Indianapolis. We did fall into a lot of traffic, but also got on the west side of the ring road. I think the east side would be better, even though the distance is about the same. The west side contains a major exit to Chicago, which added to the traffic. The rain and darkness didn’t help either. 

Once we got clear of Indianapolis though, it was clear sailing. Again we stayed right on I69 through Fort Wayne, rather than taking the eastern ring road, and again no problem. It likely saves 20 minutes or more going direct, as the ring road goes out east a long ways.

We just kept on driving steadily, with regular stops. Final fill-up was at Imlay City MI again. The border crossing was really easy. Very little lineup, no problems. She didn’t even check our passports, although we had them ready to hand over. 

Once past the border we stayed on 402/401 to Woodstock, then turned north there through Innerkip etc, the usual route home. A high-mileage day (1,010 km, about 625 miles), but pretty easy once we were through Indianapolis in the morning. We got home about 6:30, to virtually no snow!

We drove about 10,365 km (6,440 miles) altogether. US gas averaged 80 cents Cdn per liter, much cheaper than Ontario where it would have averaged over $1. We got out of Texas and Oklahoma just in time, as they had many tornadoes in the days after we left, making the news here in Ontario.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

AR to Indianapolis IN

We kicked into go-home mode today, covering 810 km (about 500 miles). No real rush to get home, but we both feel ready. So an early 7:15 start today.

Nice drive across Arkansas, still on 412 (and 62/67/60 later on). Then on to I57N up to I70. A nice route, it bypasses St Louis altogether. A mild day, up to 28C in the afternoon, some overcast, a good driving day.

We took I70 towards Indianapolis and camped about 40 miles west of Indianapolis at Cloverdale RV park.

Open all year, just ½ mile off I70.  You can still hear traffic, but it’s well-muffled by trees and just became white noise. Good washrooms. $19.08 for w/e site right on their little pond (with a mud bottom, as our half-black Lab found out!). 

The hosts are smokers, but pleasant. Free Ethernet wire connection in the lounge.