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

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