Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nineteen RVs Head for Canada

Travel Day 10 -- Century Farm Family Campground, St Martins, NB, CA (45.351482, -65.544069)

Rainy weather this morning and everyone is closing up to get on the road. We are traveling in groups of three leaving at fifteen minute intervals. Our group is made up of

Rig #08 -- Bob Hamilton & Mary Clapsaddle
** 2011 35ft Holiday Rambler Trip Class A Front End Diesel Motorhome with a 2005 Honda CR-V Toad

Rig #11 -- Bob & Michelle Hazlett
** 2011 31ft Keystone Cougar High Country Fifth Wheel pulled by a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

Rig #17 -- Jim Leibold & Linda Brown-Vidal
** 2003 25ft Airsteam Safari LS Travel Trailer pulled by a 2011 Ford 250 truck

Our route for today is planned to be 204 miles and estimated at 3:41.

Since we are all new to this there was some confusion but not much and our group rolled out at 0941 EDT. We didn't get but a few miles down the road to Ellsworth when we hit the first glitch in the instructions.

Insturctions said to "follow Rt 1 south through Ellsworth then follow ME 179" Didn't mention that Rt 1 turns left and it is Rt 1A that continues straight. We followed Rt 1 but not too far. Did a U turn to get back and pick up 1A. Of course the GPS was screaming "Recalculating" all the while. Some of us did not turn around and followed Rt 1 all the way to Bangor before they got themselves straightened out and worked their way back on course. They went quite a distance out of their way and missed the thrill of driving about 25 miles on Maine Rt 179. That road just about jarred our teeth out and had us wondering if this is what is in store for us for the next 54 days. "179" became the first road with a reputation.

It was 102 miles into the trip when we reached the border crossing at Calais, Maine on the US side / St Stephen, New Brunswick on the Canadian side (US Rt 1/CA Rt1).

Our crossing was smooth and uneventful but we did see other rigs from our group pulled aside for closer inspection. They had tales to tell when we got settled in this evening. Notice the signs in both English and French. That will be the norm for our entire trip.

With our first gas/lunch stop came the adventure of one Class A (diesel), one Fifth Wheel (Gas), and one Bumper Pull (Gas) all trying to negotiate our way into an unknown travel center and get to the appropriate pumps. We made it and had a decent sit down lunch. Back on the road we reached Century Farms Campground at 1511EDT (1611ADT). Actual distance was 204 miles and elapsed time was 5:30. That was pretty close considering the stop for lunch. We are now in the Atlantic Time Zone. Got to fix all the clocks and watches.

Upon arrival, the "Parking Committee"swung into action. Getting nineteen rigs into a muddy campground and setting up in the rain was real fun.

We finished off the day with a social hour / information meeting. Poor Larry Marola, the assistant wagon master and person responsible for the driving directions, got a lot of grief. Oh my! What lies ahead?

This evening I tried to set up the TV running on the antenna -- only two channels and not very good reception. We are very spoiled.

A few words on the Provincial Flags of Canada. They are of course counterparts to our state flags. My quick observation is that they are flown more frequently than our state flags. I will try to throw in a little bit of information on each flag when we enter the province. Here is the scoop on the flag of New Brunswick. Adopted by proclamation on February 24, 1965, the symbols on the flag were taken directly from the Armoral Bearings originally granted to New Brunswick in 1868 by Queen Victoria. The gold lion on a red background represents the Duchy of Brunswick, a possession of Britain's King George III who ruled in the year of New Brunswick's creation in 1784. The galley, with oars in the water, represents New Brunswick's early seafaring industrial history.

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