Border to Border

So here I sit at another border altogether, trying to figure out how to catch the blog up to “real time.” Yes, it’s behind, but I was determined to finish all the posts I had started while meandering through Mexico. To those readers who stuck with me through two months of making Mexican memories, I thank you.

And now, I’m knocking on the door of our northern neighbor, Canada, knowing that as soon as I cross the border into the “Land of Marginal Internet,” the blog is going to be behind again.

I’m parked at the Walmart in Calais, Maine, waiting for the waves of holiday madness to subside after Canada Day, Canada’s 150th birthday, and our Independence Day stretched out over a four day weekend, predicted by AAA to be the “biggest travel weekend ever.” And me with no reservations. I am starting to feel like Tioga George with my “day camp and night camp.”

So how do I get from border to border in one blog post? Well, lets go back to Guanajuato…

Nothing really excites me about hitting the road again, after having cancelled my plans to go east this year due to fear of overcrowding as a result of the free Canada NP pass. But it’s heating up across the country. If I go back I’ll need to find higher elevation or latitude, one or both. I toy with other options such as Colorado or California’s Hwy 395.

But that leaves me remorseful over having to miss the National “Skinnie Winnie” rally being held in Cape Charles, VA, for which I already registered months ago when I thought I was headed up the East Coast. The rally is being hosted by a long time Facebook friend, Pamela Barefoot, former owner of Blue Crab Bay Co. Pam and I both have the same model rig, so we have built an online friendship via Facebook. Pam has spent an entire career marketing the Eastern Shore of Virginia, so I know this promises to be an exceptional rally with 64 other View/Navion rigs in attendance. So I make plans to leave Mexico…for now.

My favorite seat on the double-decker Mexican Luxury Bus, ETN, sitting right above the driver. Bound for Mexico City to catch a flight to DFW.

My favorite seat on the double-decker Mexican Luxury Bus, ETN, sitting right above the driver. Bound for Mexico City to catch a flight to DFW.

My sweet brilliant niece back in Texas, Hannah, getting a lesson from her Uncle Don on how to make her first shishkabob

My sweet brilliant niece, Hannah, getting a lesson from her Uncle Don on how to make her first shishkabob

You know you're in the south when you see the Big Peach!

You know you’re in the south when you see the Big Peach!

Once I leave my house-sitting commitment in Mexico, it will be a tight turnaround. It’s time for the Winnie to have an oil and transmission fluid change, She needs to be dewinterized and restocked, as I removed all the food as rodent prevention. I’ll need a few days to get Mom’s pantry restocked as well, and get the lawn mowed. Then, it will take me four straight days of driving to reach Virginia in time for the rally.

It's $31 to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the Winnie with the Tracker.

It’s $31 to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the Winnie with the Tracker.

This view always slays me...where the bridge disappears underwater, then reappears again.

This view always slays me…where the bridge disappears underwater, then reappears again.

The CBBT is about to undergo a massive tunnel bore project, adding a second tunnel to make it 2 lanes in both directions. Rally-goers get an incredible tour of the workings of the tunnel.

The CBBT is about to undergo a massive tunnel bore project, adding a second tunnel to make it 2 lanes in both directions. Rally-goers get an incredible tour of the workings of the tunnel.

On the tour, we get to enter the tunnel and act like kids again, signalling the truckers for a "honk."

On the tour, we get to enter the tunnel and act like kids again, signalling the truckers for a “honk.”

I make it across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel just in front of a storm and high winds that threaten closure of the bridge on the eve of the rally. So many great activities are planned, from a big oyster fest where our fellow View/Navion owners do the shucking, to an in-depth tour of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Sixty-four View/Navion rigs descend on Sunset Beach RV Park in Cape Charles, VA.

Sixty-four View/Navion rigs descend on Sunset Beach RV Park in Cape Charles, VA.

Biking through nearby Kiptopeke State Park with rally goers.

Biking through nearby Kiptopeke State Park with rally goers.

Sunset Beach RV Park has something for everyone, with kayaking, pool, and beachside restaurant.

Sunset Beach RV Park has something for everyone, with kayaking, pool, and beachside restaurant, complete with fabulous sunsets over the Chesapeake.

Softshell blue crabs are in season!

Softshell crabs are in season!

I spend a couple of days hanging out with Pam and her husband Jim, crabbing on their beautiful dock while waiting on some mail and parts for the Winnie…(the dreaded “Y-cable,” a known failure point for my year rig that limits battery from charing.) Pam and Jim are the consummate hosts and have a gorgeous property on a “crick” tributary of the Chesapeake.  Wonderful conversation, cuisine, and crabbing!  (Read more about the rally here.)

Catching crabs on the dock with Pamela Barefoot, Jim Davis, and dog Shiloh.

Catching crabs on the dock with Pamela Barefoot, Jim Davis, and dog Shiloh.

Picking blue crabs with Pam.

Picking blue crabs with Pam.

I get my “beach fix” in with a few days on the Assagteague National Seashore, still uncertain as to what point I will turn back west, or keep driving north.  Things are looking good back home, and Mom is doing well, so I’ll drive north a bit further…

Assateague National Park's main fame is their wild horses, about 100 on the island.

Assateague National Park’s main fame is their wild horses, about 100 on the island.

Edicational display in the Assateague Visitor Center, "A fed horse is a dead horse."

Educational display in the Assateague Visitor Center, “A fed horse is a dead horse.”

Here at the NP, it's possible to enjoy sunrise over the ocean and sunset over the bay...with the horses.

Here at the NP, it’s possible to enjoy sunrise over the ocean and sunset over the bay…with the horses.

While at the rally, I meet fellow View/Navion owners Diana Rubin and Phyllis Dixon.  I mention I am headed north with the hopes of visiting the JFK Library on the outskirts of Boston.   I end up staying four days in the beautiful Wopawtek State Park, wondering why it has such a low occupancy rate being only 20 miles outside of Boston, and $26 for electric sites!    Phyllis and Diana invite me to their beautiful home with 270° views of Boston Bay.   We enjoy wine while watching the Wednesday night sailboat race.  What a treat!

Check out the view from Phyllis and Diana's terrace! Such hospitality!

Check out the view from Phyllis and Diana’s terrace! Such wonderful hospitality!

Watching the Wednesday night sail races from Phyllis and Diana's balcony. Better than a movie!

Watching the Wednesday night sail races from Phyllis and Diana’s balcony. Better than a movie!

You know you're in the Northeast when McDonald's features a Lobster Roll on the menu. $8.99.

You know you’re in the Northeast when McDonald’s features a Lobster Roll on the menu. $8.99.

Two stops along the way are worthy of their own separate blog posts. I could write an entire chapter on the emotions that I felt while touring the JFK Library in Boston, the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thoreau’s Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. Those two days will come in their own individual blog posts.

The visit to the JFK Presidential Library was so captivating, particularly during the celebration of his 100th year. I look forward to sharing it in a future blog post.

The visit to the JFK Presidential Library was so captivating, particularly during the celebration of his 100th year. I look forward to sharing it in a future blog post.

Equally riveting was my stop in Concord, Mass, visiting Ralph Waldo Emerson's home, Louisa May Alcott's home, and Thoreau's cabin replica at Waldon Pond. Blog post to follow...

Equally riveting was my stop in Concord, Mass, visiting Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home, Louisa May Alcott’s home, and Thoreau’s cabin replica at Waldon Pond. Blog post to follow…

When I was at Quartzsite in Jan, 2015, I met blog followers and View/Navion owners John and Mary Wells.   We spent some time together there, and later at Mittry Lake.  They said “If you ever get to Kennebunk, you have to stop by and visit!”   And stop, I did!   I “moochdocked” in the driveway of their beautiful home.   John knows about my love for craft beer, so we visited a unique “rustic” brewery, the Funky Bow, complete with portable pizza ovens, out in the middle of nowhere.

Friends and View/Navion owners John and Mary Wells from Kennebunk, Maine.

Friends and View/Navion owners John and Mary Wells from Kennebunk, Maine.

The Funky Bow brewery was very cool, with portable pizza ovens.

The Funky Bow brewery was very cool, with portable pizza ovens.

I scored three nights in the impossible to get Blackwoods Campground inside Acadia National Park due to some other poor persons misfortune who had to cancel. I don’t have words to express how great it felt to be back in hiking boots!

Would you wait in this line for what is reported to be "the Worlld's Best Lobster Roll?"

Would you wait in this line for a lobster roll from what is reported to be “the World’s Best Lobster Shack?”

I can't attest to the "World's Best," but it was certainly the best one I've had.

I can’t attest to the “World’s Best,” but it was certainly the best one I’ve had.

Lobster shacks are more common in Maine than BBQ in Texas.

Lobster shacks are more common in Maine than BBQ in Texas.

So that brings me to the border crossing. I have a lot of uncertainty about crossing the border, something I’ve done on foot a thousand times, but this one leaves me with a knot in my stomach. How do I cross the border into Mexico every year with such ease, yet am having an anxiety attack in crossing into Canada? It’s simple. I’m behind the wheel. I crossed the border between Syria and Lebanon in 2002 with much less trepidation! And people wonder why I don’t drive the Winnie to Mexico! If it were a rental, it would be no big deal. Or even a mere “recreational vehicle.” But it’s my Home…

The border crossing just down the road from here seems like some impenetrable barrier, when in fact it’s just a kiosk beside the road. But still, beyond lies the unknown. I’ve been to Canada many times, but again, never behind the wheel. I feel as if I am stocking up for a drive across the Mongolian Steppe.

But I have to confess, my biggest fear is in leaving behind what has grown to be an addiction to 24/7 data. One would think that I would have “weaned” myself in Mexico, but in fact, when it comes to ease of obtaining cell phone plans and mobile data coverage, Mexico is as advanced as we are if not more so, and we are more advanced than Canada. Everyone I ask who has been this road before me gives the same standard answer. “You’ll just have to get used to depending on libraries, Visitor Centers, and drink lots of Tim Horton coffee!” But (gulp) what about the nighttime? Insomnia?? My entire social life is in this little black box… But not just the social aspect. When it comes to travel, I’ll truly be on my own. No Gas Guru. No Google Maps. No Allstays App. Not to mention my most favored co-pilot Siri. I think I feel my eye twitching already…

Scenes from Acadia National Park and Mt Dessert Island

Lots of fragrant wild roses in bloom at this time of year. These, along the Otter Cliffs Trail.

Lots of fragrant wild roses in bloom at this time of year. These, along the Otter Cliffs Trail.

Looking down over Sand Beach. People swim, though water temp is 55 degrees.

Looking down over Sand Beach. People swim, though water temp is 55 degrees.

Hike to "The Bowl" one of my favorite spots in Acadia, as a local once told me they ice skate on this pond in winter. I always wanted to skate on an outdoor natural pond!

Hike to “The Bowl” one of my favorite spots in Acadia, as a local once told me they ice skate on this pond in winter. I always wanted to skate on an outdoor natural pond!

The "Featherbed," a pond about two thirds up the South Ridge Trail to Cadillac Mountain summit at 1,530 ft. This is my favorite trail in the park, as you see a little of everything...forest, ponds, broad vistas of the ocean and surrounding islands. It's 4.2 miles OW from the Campground. Add in the mile circle at the summit, and I had a nice 10 mile hike!

The “Featherbed,” a pond about two thirds up the South Ridge Trail to Cadillac Mountain summit at 1,530 ft.

South Ridge to Cadillac Mt. is favorite trail in the park, as you see a little of everything...forest, ponds, broad vistas of the ocean and surrounding islands. It's 4.2 miles OW from the Campground. Add in the mile circle at the summit, and I had a nice 10 mile hike!

South Ridge to Cadillac Mt. is favorite trail in the park, as you see a little of everything…forest, ponds, broad vistas of the ocean and surrounding islands. It’s 4.2 miles OW from the Campground. Add in the mile circle at the summit, and I had a nice 10 mile hike!

Acadia National Park uses the very efficient "Bates-style" cairn system, whereby opening in the cairn and rock on top point direction of the trail. Educational signage, "Listen to the Cairns" and even teeshirts seem to have cut down on all the "rock piling" that used to litter the trails.

Acadia National Park uses the very efficient “Bates-style” cairn system, whereby the opening in the cairn and rock on top point to the direction of the trail. Educational signage, “Listen to the Cairns” and even teeshirts seem to have cut down on all the “rock piling” that used to litter the trails.

Looking down toward Featherbed on the Cadillac Mt South Ridge trail.

Looking down toward Featherbed on the Cadillac Mt South Ridge trail.

Jordon Pond House, home of famous tea, popovers, and strawberry jam.

Jordon Pond House, home of famous tea, popovers, and strawberry jam.

Acadia's Bass Harbor Head Light, built in 1858, automated in 1974. Has Fourth Order Fresnel lens covered by a red acrylic shroud. Signature 4 secs on/off.

Acadia’s Bass Harbor Head Light, built in 1858, automated in 1974. Has Fourth Order Fresnel lens covered by a red acrylic shroud. Signature 4 secs on/off.

Mt Dessert Island is all about the Lobstah!

Mt Dessert Island is all about the Lobstah!

Lobster traps

Lobster traps

Different colored buoys identify commercial and personal traps below.

Different colored buoys identify commercial and personal traps below.

Take no prisoners!

Take no prisoners!

16 thoughts on “Border to Border

  1. Here I was still catching up in Mexico and getting ready to comment on “hazy” and you’ve made your way all the way across the USA and off to Canada …Wow!
    Fantastico!!!
    Imkelina

  2. Mark summed it up! I was expecting another beautiful Mexico post only to see that you really can put the hammer down! It’s too late now, I suppose, but Google Fi has become my favorite friend, especially when borders are concerned. I’m more than happy to pay $10/gig to stay connected.

  3. Uh. whew! ditto Mark and other who are dealing with whiplash. I have been known to do some serious catching up on my blog now and then, but you have won the master award for a magnificent catch-up post. I was still contemplating your subtle comments about what you were going to do next in your life, and bam….two countries later here you are. Whew. Time to go back and read slowly and savor the photos of Acadia especially.

  4. Wow, this is a seriously amazing catch up post. Beautiful photos, and so many great adventures you’ve been having. I have to go back and take notes! I empathize with you feeling anxious about limited internet. We just arrived on Lopez Island where we have zero connection except for the library. Sure does show me just how dependent I am on staying connected…..

  5. “A person susceptible to “wanderlust” is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.”
    ― Pico Iyer

    Suzanne, We are there right with you! It’s an amazing life, isn’t it? Maureen

  6. Ditto to all of the above. Hard to put your timeline in perspective, still feel a little dizzy, but it doesn’t matter anyway. I am glad you are back on the road where you feel the best, or so it seems. I just visited a friend who moved about 6 years ago from Florida to Montana. Went to Glacier, Many Glacier and Two Medicine en route to Banff and Jasper. Of course we weren’t in an RV which would have been amazing, but I loved the people I met in Canada who were from all over the world. Would love to go back one day in an RV , before winter arrives, of course. Starting in Acadia would be a good launch site. Look forward to new adventures, thank you.

  7. Whew, I’m out of breath! I think you threw us all for a loop. :) We have lots of good memories of camping in Nova Scotia. And lots of good lobster there to eat!

  8. Life just whizzes by, so I for one (and only) appreciate the quick trip from Mexico to here. Thanks so much for posting a photo of Hannah….I think of her often…I said Awww when I saw who the photo was. Can’t wait to see what you discover in Eastern Canada. Ever since watching “the Shipping News” I dream of going there some time…for now Cuba was fantastic, Florida was great and more trips planned for this year. Plus getting married (yes me) in August.
    Take care and safe travels

  9. You’re brave traveling the coast of Maine in July. I grew up along the coast down east and know it’s a crazy time of year. I just returned from a short trip in Ontario. Get ready for $4 per gallon diesel, 3G mobile data (if you get a signal at all). and try to remember some high school French.

  10. So you decided to go for Canada after all! Looks like a fun whirlwind up the eastern coast…can’t wait to see what you get up to in Canada…when you are able to post! Safe travels, we’ll miss you in Portland in Sept!

  11. Great job moving across the country in one post!! I sure hope you decided to take the jump and head into the Maritimes. I don’t remember struggling with WiFi when there. Love that you enjoyed all the lobster…my favorite part of Maine! We’ve done Reds Eats twice. The first time it was fabulous, the second not as good. Hope we hear from you in Canada!!

  12. WHY is the internet so hard to connect to in Canada? Admittedly, we were there in 2009, but it was just abysmal! For such a wonderful country, they do torture their citizens with lack of connectivity.
    Do you not love the McHomard? We ate several while in the area. They weren’t great, but they were pretty good.
    Have a good time in Canada. Our border crossings into Canada were never bad. It was the coming back where people were somewhat testy about things.
    Go to Newfoundland if you’re in the area. We didn’t go and have always regretted that we didn’t.

  13. I have to agree with the other comments, whiplash! What a change and a very good choice. If you’re still up in that region in mid-August, just so you know, we’ll be in Montreal and Quebec City at that time.
    I know I owe you an email, I’ll try again over the weekend

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