Sunday, July 15, 2012

Change in Plans

Friday morning we left The Big Moose Inn and headed for Acadia.  Just outside Millinocket we stopped a truck stop that Mom and Dad thought they had been to 6 years ago and gotten good pie – they weren’t sure because it wasn’t in the right place.  When we arrived we discovered that in addition to pie they had cell phone coverage which means internet!  It was there that I learned that a close friend had passed away suddenly leaving behind his wife, another close friend, and their 3 year old daughter, who is like a niece to me.  It was a huge shock and I wasn’t sure what the right next move was. 

We were headed to Acadia by way of Bangor and we were on I-95 south which would take me directly to Fredericksburg where my friends live.  I was very close to just not turning onto 395 and heading south.  The problem was that I had no plan, I was out of water and I needed to dump and all my clothes were dirty.  I was not prepared at all for a sudden 2 day journey.  I also had no idea what Susan and her family were planning and for when, I thought maybe I could wait it out a bit until I heard.   I stopped in Ellsworth for fuel and groceries – the groceries were hard because even then I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be sticking around on vacation for long.  While in Ellsworth I texted with Susan’s sister and learned of the plans they were beginning to make – I realized I wanted to be there sooner rather than later.  I second guessed myself the whole way into Blackwoods campground, wondering why I was driving all the way out there when what I really wanted to do was drive south. 

Sometimes, in these situations you make decisions you don’t really understand, either at the time or even later, and that’s what happened here.  Somehow I decided that I should stay in Acadia until Sunday – Sunday afternoon in fact was the thought at the time.  Dad and I could hike Saturday and then maybe even have lunch on Sunday before I headed out.  I think some part of me was knee deep in a river in Egypt here (that would be de-nile)

Saturday dawned sunny and hot!  Dad and I were planning on hiking a one way hike I’d wanted to hike the last time I was in the park in 2009 but the day I had to hike it (my last day in the park) it was foggy and this hike went up over the mountains and had views of the ocean, not a good one for a foggy day! 

We’d planned to both take the bus and meet at the nature center – he would take the bus from his campground and I’d take the one from mine. I needed to be at the bus stop in the campground by 8:45 to catch the 8:50 bus.  At 8:20 I randomly decided to check the battery level in the RV.  It was down to 1/3.  hmmmm….  Shouldn’t be that low after just one night, it had been full the night before.   “hmmmm…maybe I should run the generator for a few minutes to charge the battery before I leave”   So since it was after 8 and I could, I popped the generator on and ran it until exactly 8:40.  When I turned it off however, the power went out in the whole coach.  WTF?  The battery wasn’t working at all.  So I started the generator again.  But it cut off in about a minute.  It was time to get the bus so I pulled the battery disconnect switch, just to be sure nothing would go off or drain or anything and ran for the bus. 

I was surprised when I got on the bus and Dad was there!  He’d taken the early bus so got to go the scenic route!  I pulled him off the bus and we went back to the RV to figure it out.  It took a little while and reading the book and checking and double checking and pulling my bed apart and crawling on the floor and standing on our heads but Dad finally found the battery reset button and pushed it and there was power!  We ran the generator until it was time for the next bus and all was peachy! Not sure what happened, but it seems to be fixed!

The hike was lovely!  I had a hard time enjoying it though because I knew that Susan and her family were going through hell back at home and I felt bad for not hightailing it there and enjoying the hike.  But, one thing you can take from Mike’s sudden death is that life is too short not to enjoy.  Aside from being a bit hot, the day was perfect for this particular hike.   In the middle of the hike we walked around the edge of a freshwater lake and there was a perfect spot for lunch and a quick swim!

On the way into town on the bus before the hike my phone connected and I was able to get texts and emails.  I had an email from Susan which was 2 sentences – one of which was “I can’t wait to see you!”  That snapped me out of my denial that something horrible had happened and I decided that I wasn’t waiting until Sunday afternoon, I was going to get up Sunday morning and drive as far as I could and then finish it off on Monday, hopefully getting there by mid-day. 

Sunday morning I was up and out of the campground by 8:30!  The 1st part of the drive went pretty smooth and I felt like I was moving along making good time.  I stopped a few times but never shut the engine off because my stops were so brief.  I stopped for fuel in Lowell, MA about 2:00 and after that things went south with the drive.   I got on the MA Turnpike and went about 10 miles before I ran into a 20 mile back up.  ugh.  I was inching along.  Google maps said that it would take an hour to get to my exit but it only took 30 minutes so that was better than I expected!  Then Connecticut was just bad.  By then it had started raining and folks in CT must not know how to drive when water is falling from the sky just like in DC!  It was back up after back after back up.  I missed my exit because I thought it was the next one and had to take the scenic tour of industrial Danbury to get to the Wal-Mart where I’m staying.  But, because of my detour I got to see an amazing rainbow!  The rain had stopped and the sun came out and it was awesome!  It was a full arch – even a double in a few places!  I didn’t get a good picture but I got one of part of the rainbow over the Wal-Mart!

Once at Wal-Mart things started looking up.  I was told that I was allowed to park overnight, despite the sign saying that I’d get towed and the store closed at 11:00, which means that it will get quiet tonight (the 24 hour stores stay noisy).  The Wal-Mart had my DEF (it’s a diesel thing) and it was much easier to get into the tank than I expected!  Made that light on the dash go out!  I was also able to figure out how to replace the turn signal light bulb that had burned out and Wal-Mart had the appropriate replacement!  I love it when I spend my “campground fees” on stuff I need! :-)  I heated dinner in the microwave with the generator running and the battery didn’t pop when I shut it off! 

After my 2nd trip into Wal-Mart we got a doozy of a thunderstorm!  It was my 1st in the RV!  It was actually quite cool!  Lighting all around, thunder that shook the vehicle, rain!  I was right in the middle of it, yet protected!  I didn’t feel like I was in danger, so I hope I wasn’t!  It’s still raining a bit and the rain has cooled things off!  It has the set up to be a nice night in the Wal-Mart parking lot! I’m the only RV here, which makes me a bit anxious, but my phone has coverage so I can always call for help!

My plan is to be up early tomorrow AM and on the road.  Google maps says it’s still 7 hours to Fredericksburg and I’d like to be there before Leah goes to bed at 7:00.  Today took 10 hours and it was only supposed to take 7. 

The rest of the week I’ll probably be with Susan and her family, celebrating Mike’s life.  I’ll prob still be living in the RV but I probably won’t be blogging.  I’m not sure what’s happening with the rest of the summer, I may drive back north after things settle, I may stay in Virginia, I’m not sure at this point. 

Acadia Hike 7.14.12

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baxter State Park: Appalachian Trail Hike

One interesting thing about this area is that while Baxter Peak is over 5,000 ft high, the surrounding area is rather flat!  There are 10 miles of the AT that are inside Baxter and over those 10 miles you only gain 600 feet of elevation!  It’s practically flat!  Since Dad and I weren’t hardy enough to make it to the top of Katahdin and back (we both could make it to the top, it’s the AND BACK down that’s the issue!), we decided to hike the rest of the AT in the park. 

We drove to the Abol Bridge store and found where the AT crossed the road.  Dad and I set off and Mom took the car back to the campground.  She was going to pick us up later at the Katahdin Stream Campground.  The first part of the trail was flat as promised.  It was a little nerve wracking knowing what we got into yesterday and wondering if we’d run into something similar today, a thought that was much more daunting considering the mileage we hoped to cover today.  Lucky for us the AT really is like the interstate of hiking trails and it was in perfect condition for us!

Soon after we started we got to a registration kiosk and we were signing in when another hiker came up.  We asked if he was a thru-hiker and he said he was and that he’d started on Dec 16 and hiked all the way from Key West!  WOW.  That’s crazy! Said he wanted to give his grandkids something to think about or something like that.  We congratulated him on making to nearly the end and he sat down to rest while we walked on, we expected to see him again but we didn’t. 

The trail meandered along the banks of the West Branch of the Penobscot River, which is very wide and slow at this spot.  It was a nice walk, flat trail with a few “PUDS” (pointless ups and downs).  After about 3.5 miles the trail turned north and followed a more exciting creek/river.  The river had lots of cascades and pools and waterfalls! 

About 4 miles in we came to a spot where we had to ford the creek!  We were prepared for this with Tevas and Dad even had his dry bag.  We reached the spot and couldn’t see the white blazes on the other side of the creek!  We knew the trail went on on the other side so we made our preparations to ford – changed out of our boots, put electronics away, stowed stuff in the dry bag.  I crossed first and it was actually rather easy and I didn’t even get my pants wet!  The cold creek water felt great on my feet!  Once on the other side though I started looking for a blaze.  I couldn’t find one in the direction I thought we needed to go!  uh-oh.  A repeat of yesterday.  I turned around and walked the other way and discovered a blaze!  phew!  Later when we hiked on we saw that there was a spot where you could see the white blaze from the other side if we’d looked more carefully!  The AT is nothing if not well marked!

Right after we put our boots back on and put everything back where it normally goes, I looked at the map and learned that we had another stream to ford in a mile!  Kinda wish I’d seen that sooner but oh well!

The 2nd stream crossing was more exciting!  It looked easier from the bank, we could see the white blaze on the other side and there were some big rocks that made it look like you could rock hop.  I changed out of my boots and prepared to go across.  I got about a 1/4 of the way across and probably could have made it without getting wet, but the step was a little too big and I was afraid I’d miss so I sat down to try and get to the next rock, my foot slipped and I ended up waist deep in running water!  It actually felt really good and I didn’t mind being wet.  Since I was already wet I didn’t worry too much about the rest of the crossing and kinda made my across slipping and sliding and lacking all grace.  I was about 1/2 way across when I looked up and saw 6 thru hikers standing on the other side looking for how to get across!  How embarrassing to be practically swimming rather than fording and have an audience!   The thru-hikers (on their last 10 miles by this point) pretty much levitated across.  Only one took off his shoes and he didn’t even get his feet wet! 

I talked to the hikers for a few minutes and congratulated them on making it all the way from Georgia!  They were upbeat and excited and it was fun to be a small part of their hike! We saw them again later at the campground but didn’t talk to them. 

After the 2nd stream crossing the trail went up more and there were 2 falls – Big Niagara and Little Niagara – then we reached Daicey Pond.  We had to walk up a small hill to get to the pond but it was worth it! Dad sat on the porch of the library and chatted with some other folks and defended our stuff against attack chipmunks, while I went for a swim in the cool crisp lake water!  It was awesome!  Any hike that includes a swim stop is a great hike! I swam with a view of Katahdin for about 30 minutes then sat on the dock to dry eating a snack and watching the tadpoles!  There were a ton of tadpoles, all in different stages of development. 

Soon it was time to hike the last 2.3 miles to the campground.  The 1st mile went fast – we were refreshed from the break and still cool from wet clothes.  The 2nd 1.3 not so much.  It felt like the trail was just winding around and not getting anywhere, but finally we came out on the road and walked up to the campground to wait for Mom. 

When Mom got there she told us that the Roaring Brook area was open (it had been closed yesterday because the parking area had reached capacity – this is the area where most dayhikers park to hike Katahdin) so we decided to take our moose hunt over there so I could see the other side of the mountain.  Mom had made dinner and brought it so when we got to Roaring Brook we found a picnic table and ate our pasta salad and crackers before heading down the nature trail.  It was only about a 1/2 mile to a boardwalk with a great view of the basin on the “back” side of Katahdin!  It was a very cool view but the light was horrible since we were looking west and it was about an hour from sunset!  There was however a cow moose out in the pond and she was close enough I could get some pictures – they came out pretty good, even though they are grainy!

Baxter is an amazing place, but tomorrow AM we are heading south to Bar Harbor & Acadia NP!

Baxter State Park: AT Hike 7.12.12

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baxter State Park

This morning we drove into the park to explore!  Baxter is a different breed of park from other state parks, it’s totally wild and unspoiled!  There are a ton of rules, many of which keep out most people!  There are strict vehicle size limits, no motorcycles allowed, all the roads are dirt, there are no stores, no gas, no food, not even any potable water (there’s plenty of water, but it all must be treated before you drink it!)!  There are no flush toilets, only outhouses.  No trash cans, you bring it in, you bring it out.  Between the rules and the fact that it’s so remote, there aren’t many people there, just lots and lots of wilderness! 

Mt. Katahdin is the crown jewel of the park.  It rises over 5,000 feet from the surrounding area, most of which is flat.  There are several other mountains in the range, but they all just shoot up out of the ground, they are not part of a chain of mountains or anything.  The area around the mountains is mostly flat and filled with ponds, bogs, pine forests and mosquitoes. 

The park road goes about 50 miles around and then you have to drive another 50 miles to get back to the highway.  We decided we weren’t going to drive the whole road, just part of it, and explore. 

When we arrived at the park entrance station the ranger had a lot of questions for us – where were we going, what were we doing, who should we call in case of emergency, etc.  We then had to turn in out parking pass on the way out so the rangers knew who was in and who had left. 

We stopped at a few ponds and got out to look and take pictures.  We found the Katahdin Stream campground which is where the AT crosses the road and then goes up to the top of the mountain.  It’s funny how this is the end of the AT and the big finish for many hikers, yet it seems like no big deal in the park.  Other parks I’ve been to make such a big deal about the trail going through but here, where it should be a big deal, it’s not.  It was fun seeing some of these places myself since I’ve read about this park so much in different AT books that I’ve read! 

We got to Kidney Pond in time for lunch and lucky for us it was the perfect lunch spot!  There were some rustic cabins you could rent and they were along the lakeshore and there was a small picnic pavilion where we ate lunch.  The pond was lovely and there was a nice breeze blowing. 

After lunch dad and I decided to take a quick walk around the lake.  The sign said it was about 3 miles and we knew it would be mostly flat.  The first part of the trail was flat, but very rocky and hard to walk on because you had to hope from one rock to another.  If it wasn’t rocks slowing us down it was roots!  As we went around the lake more of the surrounding mountains revealed themselves to us!  We could see about 6 big mountains as we walked!  Kidney Pond was surrounded by mountains!  I was thinking I wanted to go for a swim in Kidney Pond but I didn’t have my backpack and pockets were loaded down with electronics – between my keys, my fitbit, and my phone! 

Soon we’d walked most of the way around the lake and got to the Kidney Pond Outlet Trail (also called the Kidney Pond Cutoff Trail on the trail signs).  It all started out fine – we were making good time – the rocks were fewer and the roots were smaller!  Then we came to a spot where the bog bridges (logs that had been laid down to walk on so you weren’t waist deep in mud) were at odd angles and there were a bunch of blow downs.  It was tough getting past it, but we did, and the trail got better just past it.  Then we came to another spot where the weeds were so overgrown we couldn’t see the trail very well, but we kept seeing blue blazes on the trees or these orange markers we’d seen at the 1st trouble spot.   Then we came to a spot where we had to ford the creek.  The ford wasn’t hard, but we had to take off our shoes and we couldn’t see where the trail went on the other side.  We consulted the map and determined this was likely the spot for ford and went for it.  Sure enough right after we forded there were orange trail markers and then a blaze!  The weeds got worse.  We were up to our necks in weeds and brush.  I was trying not to think about the snakes and other critters that live in the underbrush, while at the same time wondering what had happened here and why the trail was so overgrown.  We kept seeing blue blazes though so we were on the right track. 

Until the blazes ended.  We saw one, but we couldn’t find another to know where to go.  The whole area was so overgrown it was almost impassable.  We were still up to our necks in weeds, yet there were no blazes.  No signs of a trail. We bushwhacked around and couldn’t find the trail.  Finally we thought maybe we should head to the river and hike in the river since it crossed the road like the trail did.  We were going to do that, but then we couldn’t get to the river, it was too overgrown.  We went back to the blaze we’d seen and decided to head in the general direction of the road.  Soon we came out of the weeds into the trees, and there, we found the trail!  It was there that Dad’s GPS finally connected with the satellite and was useable also. 

The last 0.8 of mile of the hike we were able to stay on the trail, but it was overgrown as well.  There were bog bridges and the bridges were covered with weeds, but we knew we were on the right track so it was easier.  Eventually we did come to the road and we made it back to the parking area!

We collected Mom, who we’d left to defend her candy against the platoon of attack chipmunks who live at Kidney Pond, and drove a little further down the road to Ledge Falls and then we headed out, back to the campground for showers and dinner at the restaurant here.  When Mom and Dad were here 6 years ago they discovered the wonderful restaurant at The Big Moose Inn which is why we are staying here.  It wasn’t open last night so we had to go tonight.  It was very good and I left fuller than I’ve been in months! 

After dinner Dad and I walked to the lake near the campground and then stopped in the General Store that’s right here to ask some questions.  While we were there I picked up the local Bangor newspaper which had a picture of the destruction from a flood 2 weeks ago.  A major flood that had occurred just 45 minutes from where we were.  I then remembered that when I made the reservations here I’d checked the weather forecast and it was raining and there were flood warnings.  hmmmm….  I asked the gal in the store if the flood that was on the newspaper could also have caused Kidney Pond area to get flooded and take out trees and then get overgrown and she “yes”.   She was surprised to hear about the conditions over there – she said it’s usually wide open and very easy to walk. 

The newspaper also had an article about yesterday’s brush fires.  Apparently they were caused by burning debris that flew out of truck heading down 95.  Apparently, the truck had a container of debris and when it was lifted onto the flatbed truck they realized the container was too tall and wouldn’t fit under the underpasses on the highway so they cut it shorter with welding tools.  Well, the welding process caused some of the debris to catch on fire and then the burning debris flew out.  

As interesting as today has been tomorrow we are, hopefully, sticking to something tame and hiking 10 miles of the AT in Baxter State Park.  Hopefully this is like the hiking “superhighway” and it will at least be passable!

Baxter State Park 7.11.12

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

To Baxter State Park

One of the places I didn’t get to visit the last time I was in Maine was Baxter State Park.  Baxter is the home of Mt. Katahdin which is the end (or the beginning) of the Appalachian Trail.   We are not planning climb Katahdin – it’s a 10 mile round trip hike with 4,000 feet of elevation change and it’s not just straight walking, there’s lots of rock scrambling and hand over hand climbing and then there’s the “knife edge”.  This time we are just exploring and hiking other trails. 

I was up early this morning and took a walk around the campground before we headed out to drive north. 

We had some errands to do before we could depart – I needed fuel and Mom and Dad had to get the mail and return something at L.L. Bean and then Mom needed a new computer mouse.  We all left the campground in separate vehicles to accomplish our tasks and met up again at the Staples.  I was quite excited when I got fuel because my app told me that I’d gotten 19.5 MPG!  Amazing!

We quickly finished our errands and started north on 95!  I-95 in Northern Maine is totally different from I-95 in Virginia!  There were many places where the only vehicle I could see was my parents RV!  The only other things I could see was sky and trees! I’m not sure what caused them, but there were about 5 brush fires burning on the sides of the road.  Only one of the fires had a fire truck – the others appeared to be being fought by folks who pulled over and got their own fire extinguishers. I think northern Maine is the only spot on  a I-95 where you can park your car on one side of the road and walk across without getting killed!

We arrived at our campground a little before 4.  We were excited about this campground, Big Moose Inn, because Mom and Dad had been here 6 years ago and thought they couldn’t fit in the campground, but when I called to make a reservation I was told that they would fit.  As a bonus we had electricity and it was only $15 per person per night! We were worried that it was too good to be true, and it almost is.  It seemed like quite a stroke of luck that we got a preferred site so close to Baxter for so cheap!

The campground is very tight and we weren’t sure that Dad could get his RV in.  Also it’s not level – not only downhill but also full of pot holes – making it hard to even begin to level the RV!  We spent about 20 minutes planning how Dad would bring the RV in and it turned out to be easier he thought it would be!  He had to put down his boards and use his air levelers to get level, but the leveling was easy.  I on the other hand, pulled my RV right in with no pre-planning before I started, but it took 20 minutes, my high tech boards that dad made me, both Mom and Dad working on it, and moving the fire circle to get my RV level.  But, it is spot on level with the bubble in my level exactly in the circle!  Not sure it’s ever been that level before!

After we parked up we decided to go hunting for moose!  We packed a picnic dinner and headed out!  We realized that we were out too early for moose so explored a bit first.  We discovered the Abol Bridge Campground, which is a commercial campground just outside the park and it has AMAZING views of Mt. Katahdin!  WOW!  The best sites in the campground were empty too! AND, it’s cheaper than the place where we are staying (they don’t have electricity, but as we learned later, we don’t really have it either, we just paid for it!)  Next time I’m staying there!  We headed back down the road to the moose watching spot, which also had some great views of Katahadin, and found a cow moose heading to find dinner in the the pond!  We watched her for awhile until it got dark.   As we headed back to the campground we realized we should have eaten our picnic dinner when we made it!  It was all good though, now we had lunch all ready for tomorrow!

We got back around 9:00 and made a quick pasta dinner and in the process discovered that the electricity here is crap – when you put a load on it it cuts out! Dad mad a few trips to the management to complain.   It’s late and it’s time for bed, but we are still planning our day tomorrow!

Katahdin Sunset 7.10.12

Monday, July 9, 2012


Last night after dinner we drove into Freeport to see if the Bootmobile was still around.  This year is L.L. Bean’s 100th anniversary and they are celebrating all summer.  They somehow created a “Bootmobile” that looks like a signature L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoe on wheels! It was quite a sight to see!  I think they should outfit it as an RV, which made me think of all the times when the kids were driving me crazy and I’d say “I have so many kids I think I need to go live in a shoe!”  L.L. Bean is open 24 hours, however they are the only store in Freeport open past 6:00pm!  We got there around 7 and all but the Gifford’s Ice Cream store were shut tight!  Lucky for us all we wanted was ice cream and to shop at L.L. Bean!

Even though we went to L.L. Bean last night we returned this morning!  This time the outlet was open as well as the other touristy shops nearby.  I tried on 2 pairs of hiking boots, I’m considering replacing mine, but am not convinced they need replacing, neither of which seemed like they were something that I needed.  I looked at a new day pack, but the one I have is fine.  Ended up not buying a thing at L.L. Bean!  Amazing.  I even shared the gift card I’d gotten as a “Happy Trails” gift, with my dad!

After a morning of shopping we went to Yarmouth, which is just a few miles from Freeport to have lunch with some of Mom and Dad’s friends from Florida, Art and Charlotte.  Charlotte had a fixed us some yummy Lobstah Rolls with fresh lobstah!  YUM!!!!  They have a great townhouse right on the water and we sat and watched the tide come in as we ate! 

After lunch we ran a few quick errands – the grocery store and a search for diesel fuel (I have about 50 miles left before I’ll run out...and we were surprised that we couldn’t find any diesel in Freeport, turns out there’s a service plaza about 30 miles up the road that I can go to), Dad and I went kayaking in the Casco Bay. 

The Casco Bay has huge tides!  At high tide the bay is full of water.  At low tide, it’s a mud flat.  You can only rent the kayaks 3 hours before and after high tide.  Lucky for us high tide was a 4:30 this afternoon! We got in the kayaks at exactly high tide, so we only had 3 hours!  We kayaked about 4 miles around the bay.  We went up the Little River but there wasn’t much to see so we went out around an island that was a Osprey Sanctuary and it had a Osprey nest high in a tree.   By this time the tide was starting to go out, we could see the water level dropping on the rocks!  We paddled against the tide up to the end of the bay – it wasn’t very far, and then coasted, more or less, back to the beach.  At this point I drug my boat out of the water and tied it up so I could go for a swim.  Dad paddled around the cove a little.  The water was a bit chilly, but refreshing!  It was salt water, but it was more like swimming in a lake than a regular beach.  

After kayaking and swimming it was time for dinner.   Since I waited to leave until after my CSA pick up I have a lot of fresh veggies we’ve been eating up.  The problem is that what works for me by myself doesn’t seem to work for the three of us.  We planned dinner last night around my eggplant and when I pulled it out of the fridge I realized it was tiny and wasn’t going to be enough.  Then tonight we were going to eat the broccoli I got but it was all yellow and not good looking – it tasted ok, but was def “off” a bit.  Not sure what was up with that since the other broccoli I’d gotten was great.  I love my CSA, but I think a one person share is just that!

After dinner we took a walk around the campground.  With all the driving and doing other things my step count has fallen off – I’m shooting for 10,000 steps a day, and when I’m at home I achieve it but lately it’s been tough.  Last night before bed I paced in the RV for about 50 steps to get myself over that magic 10,000.  Even with our walk I wasn’t quite there so I walked up the road a bit on my way back to my campsite to get to 10,000! 

Tomorrow we will be driving again, heading up north to Baxter State Park, home of Mt. Kathadin, the northern terminus of the AT!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Driving to Maine

School finally ended, the Fourth of July passed and it was time to head north!  And not a moment too soon since the Mid-Atlantic was experiencing record shattering heat, it was definitely time to head for the hills!

I’d planned to leave after the 4th of July because campgrounds get full and it’s hard to get a reservation.  I’m part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and have my share pick up on Friday afternoons at 5:30 so I decided I’d leave after that.  I spent Friday loading, packing and shuffling stuff in the RV.  It was 105 degrees outside, probably at least 110 in the RV.  I’m glad I had all day so I could go inside and get  air conditioned every few trips. 

As I was pulling up the leveling blocks to depart I happened to glance back at my house and noticed the front gutter was hanging at an odd angle.  My 1st thought was to not look again and just drive off, not wanting to see that there was something major I needed to deal with.  But, I went back and looked and sure enough about 1/2 the front gutter had fallen down.  I debated what to do and decided to call my landscape company since I know they cleaned the gutters once, the gal I talked to seem to think they could fix it up even with me not there so off I went! 

It was a 4 hour drive to Allentown, PA where I was meeting Mom and Dad  I started a 6pm!  It was a nice drive, through the horse country in VA and up through Gettysburg.  It was the only “scenic” portion of the entire drive! 

I arrived at the Wal-Mart in Allentown a little after 10 and pulled in behind Mom and Dad.  It was hot.  Not quite as hot a DC, but hot.  They had their generator going (Dad ran his generator for 55 hours continuously to combat the heat!) so it was cool in their RV, but mine, not so much.  I tried to sleep with just the windows open and the fan – it wasn’t so bad, but the noise of the parking lot and cars coming and going was keeping me up.  At 1:30am I fired up my generator – 1st of all it drowns out the noise, 2nd of all the AC was blowing directly on me! The only problem is that the generator is loud and it’s right under my bed so it vibrates the bed – neither of these things is all bad.  The bad part about the generator is that it runs at different speeds depending on the load so it’s not consistent white noise.  I did manage to sleep with the generator on for few hours.  It was a pretty bad night between the noise and the heat, but finally it was morning and time to make a LARGE cup of coffee and drive off!

We stuck to the interstate the whole way and while that was nice for fuel mileage (I got 18.5 MPG!) and speed, it was boring!  We went through 5 states - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire – and they all look exactly the same from the highway. 

We did drive across the Tappan Zee Bridge which was exciting simply because we used to live just on the other side in Tarrytown, NY.  We stopped for lunch with some friends who live across the street from where we lived.  

The 2nd night we were near Worcester, MA.  I’d found a Wegmans there and a Wal-Mart right next door!  We couldn’t sleep at the Wal-Mart though because of the construction.  Luckily the Target let us sleep there!  It was better than Wal-Mart though because the store closed at 10 and they turned the parking lots off! 

With only 150 more miles to go we spent a leisurely Sunday morning at Wegmans.  It was a very nice store, looked brand new, even still had that “new Wegmans” smell!

Yesterday afternoon around 4 we arrived in Freeport! We are staying at a lovely campground I found when I was here in 2009.  It’s quiet, dark, spacious sites! The weather is perfect!  I woke up at 2am and I was freezing!  AHHHHHH!!!!!!