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.
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.
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.
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.)
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…
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!
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.
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.
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!
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…