Shakedown Cruise to Eastport, Maine

We left last Tuesday morning on our first real trip with our new motorhome.  I had hooked up Susan’s car the night before we left so all we had to do when we woke up was to shower and get dressed.  I had been worried about getting out of the driveway because the motor home with Susan’s car is about 60 feet long, but we cleared the trees and end of the driveway just fine.

We got to 495 and merged with traffic heading north without any problems.   There are a couple of small things I’ll have to re-learn in order to drive the motorhome effectively.   In particular we are much higher up (we look truckers in the eye) and that shifts where you need keep the lane markers in your vision.  I wasn’t actually outside the lane markers but I found that I tend to be too far to the right.

We stopped at the first rest area to check on the trailer and Susan’s car and found that one of the tie-downs had come loose.  I am not sure why this happened as the locking pin on the ratchet was still in place, but I re-tightened it and we went on our way.  We stopped at the first rest area in New Hampshire so I could check the tie-downs again, and this time the other one was loose.  Again the locking pin was in place so I am really not sure why it came loose.   We checked again at the first service center in Maine, but this time both tie-downs were still tight and they were still that way when we got to Bangor.  I will have to keep my eye on this but I remain somewhat baffled as there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the ratchets, tie-down mechanisms and the locking pins.

Mister Meowto has adjusted to the travel much more quickly than we expected and to our relief wasn’t any louder and didn’t complain any more than he usually does. He found a quiet and safe spot behind one of the couches and disappeared for most of the trip.

We filled up with diesel at the service center (80+ gallons!) and then filled the propane tank (23+ gallons!) when we got to Pleasant Hill campground near Bangor. We’ve stayed there a number of times before, usually on our way in and out of New Brunswick.  We find it a nice campground and even though it tends to be on the flight path of planes coming in and out of Bangor airport on the other side of the hill, it still tends to be more quiet than not.  The campground has new owners and they went out of their way to help us with the propane refill and to find the right campsite (did I mention just how long we are? 60 feet!).  We ended up staying an additional day because the next morning started off with rain and I didn’t feel like driving in it.

We drove from Bangor to Eastport, first to Calais via route 9 and then down the coast on route 1.  There wasn’t much in the way of traffic on route 9, not that there ever is.  There isn’t much but a handful of villages between Bangor and Calais, but we’ve taken the route many times on our way to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

 

We’re staying at the Seaview campground which is about a mile out from Eastport. Eastport is the northernmost city on the coast of Maine and is just inside the Bay of Fundy on the Pasamaquoddy bay. (Eastport is also the eastern-most city in the continental United States, although Lubec, about 25 miles away as the road goes, has the honor of being the eastern-most town).  100 years ago Eastport was a bustling fishing seaport but the fisheries have long since collapsed and the population is only about 1/4 what it was then.  In the last decade or so a number of artists have moved in and the city is undergoing a minor revival, but it is still on the economically depressed side of things.

 Our campsite is about a 100 feet from Pasamaquoddy bay and we can see Deer Island, New Brunswick about a half mile away on the other side.  The tides are about 15 feet here, which is far from the most we’ve seen on the Bay of Fundy but respectable nonetheless.  I can’t say we done all that much since we got here.  Part of the reason for that is that we’ve had about 50/50 rain and sunshine, often within 15 minutes of each other.  Today started with fog, then rain, then sun, then intermittent rain showers, then sun and it’s been very windy all day.

This is the first time since we got the motorhome that we’ve had the two front two slides out and I had forgotten just how roomy it is in here with them open.  I doubt we’ll have any problem with claustrophobia.  I’ve also learned that I should get stuff out of the outside compartments before I open the slides, since once they are open I have to get on my knees to get anything out.

Although I tried to make sure I filled the motorhome with everything, and even had lists, there are a lot of little things I managed to overlook.  We left Mister Meowto’s harness and leash behind, so except for two partially successful escape attempts he has had to stay inside.   I thought about baking yesterday but found I had left yeast, baking soda and cinammon behind too.  I was able to make almond coffee crunch (without the instant coffee, yes, I left that behind too) today and found that it will take some practice to bake in our new oven as parts of the pan are almost burned.  I was able to do several loads of laundry yesterday, though, and both the washer and the dryer worked well although they are small and the loads have to be small too.

We hope to make a trip to Lubec which is a bit further down the coast and is the gateway to Campobello Island, which is in Canadian waters, so we’ll have to remember to take our passports if we want to visit.  Even further down the coast is the village of Cutler, which for obvious reasons we will have to visit, even if only to take a photo of Susan next the to ‘Welcome to Cutler’ sign.

This trip was all about finding out how well the motorhome worked, what problems we’d have, what supplies we needed, but it was also a lot about getting away and decompressing for a while.  There is no rush to get anything done, so we’ll get to Lubec etc. when we get there.  We still have another week, so I am not worried about meeting any kind of agenda.  Susan has a doctor’s appointment on Monday the 27th and we’ll be back by then.

 

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