Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunset Point Campground


Look where we are on the map:,-81.430664&spn=23.476512,53.569336


Know what they call this part of Maine?  Downeast.  We drove two and a half thousand miles north to get to Downeast!





Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We Like Maine


Nice roads.  Gorgeous scenery.  They have “Watch for Moose” signs.


We’re settled in for a week at Sunset Point Campground, Harrington, ME.








Fresh steamed lobster delivered to our door at 6pm.



The first of many.


Monday, July 29, 2013

We didn't move today


We’re still outside Freeport.


Today’s walk gave us a taste of Maine coastline on a misty summer morning.






Freeport gets a 10’ tide.  This is a floating dock.


Careful where you park your boat.


Tomorrow’s destination.  Sunset Point Campground, Harrington, Maine.  Just like last night, but this time we mean it.  (This morning we realized we were one day ahead of our reservation at Sunset Point so we hung around here for another day.  It didn’t suck.)


Sunday, July 28, 2013



Only cost us $20 in tolls.  So far.


We drove I-95 because we wanted to get the most states we could on a single pass through.  The tricky ones to get were Delaware and Rhode Island.  They don’t really need to be on the way to Maine, but we got them no problem.


Up this morning by six, gone by eight.  It was a leisurely coffee in the yard.  Good roads.  Light traffic.  Smooth sailing.  The way motorhoming is meant to be.


We followed I-95 again today, but we skirted Providence, R.I. with I-295, then skirted Boston with I-495.  Yesterday was a push to get through all the cities for 400 miles in 10 hours with lots of traffic.  Today was a breeze:  200 miles in 4 hours.  We got 9 new states in 2 days and still stopped nice and early today.



Only three states left in the lower forty-eight, but we’re through getting new states for a couple weeks.  We’re going to hunker down in Maine and enjoy it.


Today we’re at the Durham KOA.  Nice spot for an overnight.  It’s a destination KOA.  Lots of people are spending their vacations here.


Cool and misty.,-81.430664&spn=23.476512,53.569336



Judy is still laughing about my response at the toll booth to the George Washington Bridge.  I opened my window.  The booth attendant mumbled something.  I said “Excuse me.”  The attendant pulled the ipod headphone out of one ear and mumbled something that sounded like “Sixty dollars”.  I wasn’t sure I heard her right.  I said “Six Zero”?  She nodded.  I paid.  We moved on.  I was stunned.


And another thing.  Driving in D.C.  Imagine driving down a neighborhood, one lane either direction, and a left turn lane in the middle.  Cars parked in the curb lanes.  For rush hour traffic, they tell the cars to move out of the parking lane and signs over the road light up and say “Use all three lanes.”  Traffic in the center lane where it’s supposed to be; traffic going straight through in the turn lanes; and traffic in the parking lane except for when it has to dive left into the middle lane because someone is still parked in the parking lane.  Disconcerting.


A very comfortable day today though.


Tomorrow’s destination.  Sunset Point Campground, Harrington, Maine.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

We did this on purpose


We drove I-95 up the eastern seaboard through all the cities.  We want to touch every state in the Northeast, including the small ones.  This was the way to do it.


We were concerned about New York City traffic, so we left early; 6am.  We drove from Maryland to Delaware to New Jersey.  We got to Newark, across the Hudson from New York, by 11am.  It was still early.  It wasn’t early enough.  Traffic sucked.  Slow and go, stop and go.  Toll roads, toll bridges, toll tunnels, Altogether we spent $144 on tolls between New Jersey and New York.  $60 to cross the George Washington Bridge; and they clearly aren’t using the tolls to keep the bridge in repair.  Maybe the toll is a deterrent that’s not working; kind of like the death penalty?


Winding through the boroughs of New York City.  With patience and perseverance we cleared New York City and then the state.  Lots of interchanges, lots of decision points.  I didn’t have to use the air-horn, but I did have to pretend I was going to crush a car a couple times to create an opening to make a merge when I needed it.  But even with that, I think 90% of the people on the road are human beings and have some consideration for other drivers; and I’m pretty sure I’m a human being at least 90% of the time.


Stopped at the first rest-stop in Connecticut for a late lunch.  Considered having a glass of wine.  Got back on the freeway and drove slow and go, stop and go, across the entire state of Connecticut instead.  It’s the weekend; everyone’s on the beach route we’re driving.  Stopped for the night at Seaport Campground outside of Old Mystic, on the eastern edge of the state.


Car lanes.  Truck lanes.  Car only roads.  Car, truck, and bus roads.  Upper level, lower level bridges.  Slow and go.  Stop and go.  The roads in New York are in terrible shape.  We did this on purpose.  We saw a lot.  We’re glad we did it.  It will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.


Five states:  Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.  Four of those are new ones.,-81.430664&spn=23.476512,53.569336



Tomorrow:  Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Along the way


We sample a southern delicacy: Pork Cracklins





The National Zoo


I don’t know why so many people make such a big deal about not driving within the beltway.  We only had 8 miles to go so we didn’t have any trouble at all.  We waited until rush hour was over before we started; 9:45am.  We were there at the zoo parking lots by 10:45.  There are five lots and we got to wait in the line of traffic to drive by each one in turn; each one with an attendant at the entrance directing the stop and go line of traffic to the next lot.  By the fifth parking lot though, we got to turn in.  So did two cars behind us, then they closed that lot too.  We were out of our car by 11.


The zoo itself is wide open and free, just like practically everything else in D.C., except for the bag checks at every entrance.  The zoo didn’t even have a bag check.  It didn’t even have a gate!


It’s not especially big, not like San Diego, but it is a very nice zoo.  Winding trails, well planted, partially shady, hilly.  A good hike.  The Orangs have an interesting exhibit that lets them commute from one enclosure, across the park, to another enclosure.




Going to the National zoo, you see things you don’t get at every other zoo.  We saw triceratops,


….giant pandas,


…and the usual elephants,



We got to see some real Giant Pandas too.


Doing what they do best.


An uneventful drive home (except for the traffic), a stop at the grocery, and we’re positioned for a dawn exit tomorrow morning.


We’re east coast newbies.  We’ve driven in and around big cities before, so we know to be careful around them, but the road north from Washington DC seems to have an awful lot of big cities awfully close together.  There don’t seem to be many places between Washington DC and New York City to stop for the night in a motorhome either.  We were having trouble figuring out how to drive through this corridor while avoiding rush-hour traffic in every city along the way.


Then the solution suddenly came to us.  Wait until the weekend (tomorrow).  Duh.  Get up early Saturday morning before anyone else wakes up and blow north without stopping until we’re past New York City!  The perfect plan.  We’ve thought of everything!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Washington DC


Today’s adventure started and ended with public transportation.  We caught a bus to the train station and rode the train to the correct stop (with some trepidation)(it all seemed to happen pretty fast).


The Lincoln Memorial was going to be the highlight of our visit so we decided to go straight there while we were still fresh.  We got off the train close to the east end of the mall (the capitol building end).


We walked past the Washington Monument, still hidden under scaffolding while earthquake damage is repaired.


From there we followed the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial.


It has been a lifelong ambition of Judy’s to visit the Lincoln Memorial.


It was a moving experience.


…and our President Lincoln ended up with a pretty good view.



We finally wandered away from Abraham Lincoln and over to the Viet Nam Memorial.


That was sad.


It was sad because I couldn’t remember anyone’s name to look up.  It was sad to stand there holding Judy while she cried because she was glad she wasn’t here by herself looking for my name.  It was sad that all these soldiers died and I still can’t figure out if this war accomplished anything or ever made any sense.



We moved on.  We ate Polish dogs from a street vendor then walked to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  That was a treat.


Architecture, parks, ponds, gardens, monuments, memorials, and seven miles of walking.


We had pre-paid tickets for the train rides.  To get to the trains you have to scan your ticket through the turnstile.  To get away from the trains and back out onto the street you have to scan your ticket through the turnstile again.  My old-guy pass worked perfectly.  Judy’s pass worked fine to get her on the train, but when we got to our destination, the turnstile wouldn’t let her back out.  We got an attendant to check it out and he explained that the fare was $4.20, her card only had $4.50 left on it, so she would have to go put her card and a $1 bill into the money machine to get an updated card so she could get out.  He was right.  The money machine took her dollar and gave her a new card.  Judy got out, the machine kept the change and we headed happily home.


Tomorrow, the National Zoo.  We’ve had our public transportation adventure.  Tomorrow we’re going to have a driving-a-car-inside-the-beltway adventure.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013



We’ve moved on.  Now we’re in Washington, D.C., parked in an RV park right on the north side of the beltway.,-81.430664&spn=23.476512,53.569336


We’re actually in College Park, Maryland, so another state bites the dust:


…and know what else?  College Park, Maryland is close to Baltimore, Maryland, where Suzanne is studying at Johns Hopkins!  She came to see us tonight.  Cool.  We’re in an RV park with a cafĂ©, so we met her there and ate pizza.  Nice visit.


Tomorrow, the Lincoln Memorial.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It didn't rain on us today


That’s the first time this trip.  We’ve been enjoying the afternoon showers.  The rain has been a real treat for us.


It has been 14 days.  Time to get the stitches out of my back.  What to do about that?  The last time Judy needed stitches taken out of her thumb while we were on the road, she called a local doctor’s office and they wanted a full office visit and examination before they would take out the stitches.  That felt like extortion.  Annie had a vet appointment, so Judy asked the vet while she was there and the vet just popped them out gratis.  Professional courtesy.  So what about my stitches?  Call a doctor’s office?  Call a veterinarian?


Maybe Judy could take them out.  I can’t see the middle of my back, so I can’t take them out myself.  Wait a minute! We’re here visiting John and Ronnie.  John is a Marine.  He’s done several tours.  He’s played rugby.  He’s seen plenty of stitches.  We’ll get John to do it.


John had a toolbox full of tools for the job.  Ronnie held the flashlight and served as spotter.  She has the best eyes of the bunch.  Altogether we found 7 stitches.  It was an entertaining process for all concerned.


I didn’t get any full-family pictures, but here are John and Ronnie in the kitchen.


With Evelyn and Annie and Brees (sp?).


We played in the yard with daughters Mae and Ellie (they have a zipline), but they went unphotographed by me.  Here is the house and yard though.