Misc Liisa

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Archive for RV store

Day 11- On to Canada, eh

Well, after a week at the Somes Sound View Campground in Somesville on Mount Desert Island (on the “quiet side” of Acadia), we’ve decided we really like it here and it might be a place that would compete with Lake Placid for future camping weeks. And on this last morning we walked around looking at all the camps and tried to decide if there was a better spot than the one we had. There were a couple that were maybe worth trying, but we realized we had a pretty good site and would happily come back to this same spot with the circular camp and the trees in the middle. It’s a really nice laid back campground where people are more serious about camping than partying. We never got to a point where we loved the $1/5 minute showers, but we got over resenting them too much. And we kind of liked the fact that they expected you to boil your own water and wash dishes on your site and not be disgusting about disposing the graywater.

After breakfast we broke down the camp, packed everything in and took a last spot check. This was a harder breakdown than future ones will be since we had to take down the tripod and the hammock which we aren’t likely to use again in the next section since we’ll be packing out every morning. We waved goodbye to Acadia and Mount Desert Island and headed off toward Bangor to go half an hour out of our way and find an RV store where we might be able to buy a replacement stabilizing leg.

Ok, so what is a stabilizing leg you ask? It’s a metal thingee on the back corners of the camper that fold down and stretch out and hold the corners steady. Since the trailer has 2 wheels that we use for driving and 1 little front wheel, these extra two legs give it some stability. They can also help level things if you need them to. It’s nice to sleep in a trailer that is relatively level or otherwise you’ll roll into one another. They aren’t necessary, but they are nice. Most people call them stabilizing arms, not legs. But I think that’s just silly since they also say the same thing has “feet.” Clearly if it has feet and stands on them, it’s a leg. One of ours has a broken spring. Tom had tried to reattach the spring, but it’s not strong enough. So we need a new leg or a new spring.

I had found an RV shop on the internets that we were headed toward. We saw it coming up on the highway and pulled in. After a few minutes, we realized that it wasn’t the same place I had found on the internet, but another RV repair shop. Surprisingly, there are two side by side in this part of Maine. With a campground between them. The folks at that campground must break down a lot. They didn’t have a new stabilizing leg, but they found an old one among their parts and the nice folks there even sawed it down and cut off a little part of the metal so that it was identical to the one we had. They charged us $5 and we were on our way. We decided to stop at the other RV place and see if by chance they had one. Not only did we find a brand new one for $34, but we also found a handy fire claw thing that Tom thought might help me with my firebugishness and keep me from catching on fire. We bought both and figured having an extra leg would be helpful at some point.

We drove over 79 miles through that part of Maine up towards the Canada border without seeing a single town. Not one. We saw lots of deer and moose crossing signs, but no towns. It was a bit refreshing and we were glad to have plenty of gas.

By the time we got to the border, we were starving. But the border town of Calais, ME is pretty pitiful. It looks like a town that has hit some serious economic strife in recent years. So we decided to head across to Canada and look for lunch there.

After 5 minutes at Canadian Customs- “Why are you traveling here? You will not work? What is your license plate number? What is in that trailer?” we were off to Saint Stephen and to find lunch. The town on the other side in Canada is definitely in better financial shape, but we still didn’t find much for lunch. We ended up stopping at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, where Tenzin was elated to share my lunch. We don’t usually eat KFC at home, but oh, man, that dog loves their chicken.

We sat in the car in the parking lot plotting the next section of the drive and Tom was very worried about the next day when we would take the ferry to Nova Scotia. We had booked on the noon ferry (the only other is late at night) and the campground I had chosen was maybe an hour away. You were supposed to be there at 11am to board, so we’d have to leave by 10am. Tom wanted somewhere closer and we agreed to find another campground. He found a couple on Google on the iPad and off we went.

So let me just warn you that the combination of Google maps in Canada, Campgrounds and Canadian signage are not a good mix. That is, not unless you like to get lost and argue- a lot. Tom would find a camp on the Google map, we would see signs at the exit that appeared to indicate camping (a tent and a trailer- that’s camping, right?) and off we’d go. The next thing you’d know, we’d end up driving through a residential neighborhood and down an empty road and where the camp should be would be a gate protecting the woods. Not a road, not a sign, no traditional campground. And then I’d be stuck trying to get the trailer turned around and another half hour back to the main road.

After 3 of these attempts, I started to argue that he should have trusted my instincts that from the internet I had found there are only 2 real campgrounds in this area and both were an hour from the ferry. At this point we were well beyond the one we had booked, so let’s just get to the other one. He argued that “but these come up on the map” and “we have to be able to stay closer” as I just kept driving past the ferry and towards the other campground- the Century Farm Family Campground in St. Martins. Eventually we got there and amazingly, the sun hadn’t set yet. We got a site right on the beach with our tiny trailer at the end of a long row of huge rigs.

We quickly found that true to rumor, Canadians are way friendly, very curious and say “eh” quite a bit. Several came over to see the Shadow. “Nice rig, eh?” “You could take that anywhere!” “Oh, where you from? New York, eh?” The campground was really nice for a place with big fields to camp in and right on the beach on the Bay of Fundy where you could see the caves in the cliffs. There was another campground next door- well, there was a graveyard between the two. We wondered if that is where the retirees end up after traveling in their big rigs. The folks across from us were from Texas and we overheard them telling others that they sold their house 10 years ago and bought the ginormous bus they were driving and have traveled all over since.

We got pics of the sunset and a quick walk on the beach in before setting up a campfire and starting dinner. The plan was to cook some mac and cheese to go with our chicken sausages, but we found that on a windy shore, it’s silliness to try to boil water. The stove just can’t handle the wind and getting the pot hot. So we ended up just cooking the sausages in the fire and having some chips and salsa and guac with them.

We had unfortunately not positioned the camper in an ideal spot considering the light from the campground, the light of the sunrise and the wind coming off the Bay of Fundy.  It was a windy night with the light from someone’s camper in my window and then the sun rising into Tom’s window. It woke him early.

Pics from today are here- http://bit.ly/cxq8mt