I decided to head out Thursday, the 20th, instead of Friday to get a bit of a head start and give me more time with my son and his family.
But the trip was beginning to look like it was going to be cursed before it even began. The week before, the van threw an engine code. Took the shop 4 days to fix it but, having given me a loaner it wasn’t too bad. I grew concerned after:
1. they did not have the part and,
2. when they had it they realized they needed a gasket (which needed to be “next day’d’)
In the meantime I was waiting on my new glasses to arrive (the prescription was wrong the first time) and when I tried on the replacements one of the lenses was scratched. It’s not bad and I will use them as a spare until I return and get the 2nd replacement.
They say bad things come in threes and on Wednesday before I left the Vette threw a code for the charging system (I think it needs a new battery.)
So I figured I was good to go. Three all in a row.
Not so fast.
On the way to my son’s the van’s USB drive up and quit mid song. Just like that. I tried a different USB and no luck.
So maybe these things come in fours?
I’m up to 5. You will see why soon enough.
As luck would have it I stopped for gas, took off again and on a whim threw the USB drive back in and it worked again.
Had a blast with the grandkids and I think they enjoyed it, too. Played card games, other games, toys, etc. Also got a chance to catch up better with Dan and Tiff. She gets promoted 1 August. Woo-hoo! Always helps to have a bit more money coming in and another stripe to move up the ladder.
Just to be on the safe side I had Dan burn me mp3s on a disk to see if the CD drive would read them. I figured if the USB drive pooped the bed again I could always burn a few MP3 CDs for music off my laptop but it’s nice having over 200 discs on one small drive instead of 15 disks.
I dreaded the drive out of Delaware fully expecting to get stuck in NYC traffic and George Washington bridge hell.
It didn’t happen. But it was a “toll” nightmare. NJ Thruway, Geo. Washington Bridge ($13!!!!!) and various other tolls in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. But, it’s a liberal hell here and the people demand to be taken care of so someone has to pay for it. Like me. Bastiches!!!
I get crapped on in the outskirts of Boston, however, with traffic. God, I hate big cities!!
Finally made it to Rockland, Maine where I stopped for the night.
Camped out and it was steamy hot well into the night. Took a while to fall sleep but I did eventually.
Awoke the next morning at 4:45. The sun rises at 5 so it was already dawn. This is why I can’t ever find anyone to travel with me.
Went to the McDonald’s to suck their wi-fi and get a cup of coffee. Was contemplating bringing the laptop inside to catch up on email and I glanced over my shoulder and saw an orange sky. Made a beeline for the van and headed out. Saw a pullout for a picnic area and having passed it doubled back to take a look as I saw a glimpse of water through the bushes. Pulled in, parked, got out and thought, “hmmm, this sucks.” Then I jumped up on top of a picnic table and captured one of the reasons I could care less no one else wants to come along.
People look at it and say, “Wow! That’s pretty!” But they could not be bothered with the work required to get it.
There were others but this was the first taken.
From there I cruised into Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.
I can not imagine how much property is worth here. Beautiful mansions everywhere. Most on oceanfront/harbor/waterfront lots. Beauty is everywhere but Maine laws honor private property on ocean fronts so it is hard to get access to water and views. Thousands of miles but few have direct access.
The park is not cheap to get into but the pass is good for 7 days. Kind of a pain in the ass getting around since the way the land was deeded to the feds last century also guaranteed private ownership access. So the NPS built roads that bridge over the private roads. Which means that once you enter the park and want to get to the campground, you better pay close attention or you’ll find yourself taking a 20 mile detour especially since many of the park roads are one-way.
Finally located the campground and they told me it was reservation only. I could try at noon. Since it was 9AM I was not going to piss around in the hopes of getting a spot so I hightailed back to town and just got a hotel. Again, not cheap!! $115. The Cromwell Harbor Motel. But I don’t have to worry about where I will be sleeping. Quite nice and looked recently re-fitted. Carpets were clean and that’s a biggee for me.
This place gets packed in a hurry as people get up late and get on the road. By 1030 the town was choked with traffic.
Whereas early in the morning everyone is nice AND POLITE by afternoon they turned into aggressive animals cutting others off, making turns when they shouldn’t, etc.
And what really gets me is how many people were just walking around gawking at store fronts which sold t-shirts and nick-knacks, or ice cream. Or food.
Put them in the park and they sit in their cars taking pictures. Sure, many were also hiking or kayaking but the great majority were “shopping.” I don’t get it.
The weather was beginning to get grim after 4 PM but I headed to the top of Cadillac Mtn to check out the view. Even if it were sunny the day was so humid and hazy the views would not have been great. But they were OK. I had my mind set on getting back up here at 4:30 AM to be one of the few people to see the earliest the sun ever rises in the US but before I went to bed the skies opened up and it poured after I’d gotten back to the hotel.
Wednesday, 26 June
My mind must have been focused on getting to the top of the mountain because at 3:30 I woke up. Looked out the window but saw no stars. Got back in bed only to repeat the process at 4:30. Now it was light enough to confirm it: cloudy. By 5:15 I was on the road and left Mt. Cadillac for another day.
Amazing how much traffic there was at that hour. The town itself is pretty clean and I saw why by being out so early: not only do they have street sweepers, they have water trucks hosing down all the sidewalks and blowing the trash and dirt into the streets for the sweeper. Gets rids of trash and washes all the muck from dropped food, etc. from the sidewalks.
I’ll bet the residents here pay some awfully high taxes.
Rather than get right on the highway I detoured into the harbor area of town. It was raining and a bit foggy. Took a chance I’d get a picture or two.
This is one of several:
I’d done a bit of reading about the area from a guy that sells photographic newsletters. He mentioned all sorts of places to go and things to do but one of two things must have taken place for him to write what he did: he actually experienced them (which would have necessitated a TREMENDOUS amount of luck (and time) given weather patterns here or he embellished his journalistic entries based on what people had told him “could” happen if conditions were right.
Not sure which but weather is a fickle maid here and one’s timing has to be VERY good. Or patience long and pockets deep to wait out bad weather.
And bring insect repellant. The place is rife with biting midges and gnats and black flies as well as mosquitoes.