Tuesday, September 17, 2019
I95 in northern Maine is very pretty, but it gains traffic as you get closer to Portland. Then it gets very busy. 295 – terrible. 84 through Connecticut – terrible, with potholes and heavy, crazy traffic – a country gone mad! We thought this direction over to I81 would be better than I95, but I will never drive these roads again. The only good thing is that the entire system is being worked on, which it sorely needs.
We stayed at very nice Fahnestock State Park, which looks like it has a lot to offer – lakes and trails and a nice beach on the lake. Natural rock formations make for private alcoves for campsites. We had a whole loop to ourselves. Campgrounds are funny things. At then end of a long day of driving, all I wanted was a safe place to camp to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Although the campsites were marked well, they weren’t your typical back-in or pull-through sites. Having the whole loop to ourselves, I just pulled up the side beside a picnic table. Another camper pulled in behind us. The lady came out and Martha walked up to talk to her. They didn’t know how to park either. After setting up, Martha went over to see how they did in the next loop down, which they had all to themselves.
I was really too tired and emotionally spent from yesterday’s events to join in, listening from the top of a little hill. As they talked and laughed, I went down. They were a very nice couple from Ontario, just starting a trip touring the US northeast. Martha made some suggestions of places to visit and camp and said we had been in Newfoundland. The wife had been there, but the husband had not. He asked if I liked it. I told him how much I loved it and encouraged him to go. I should have given him a card for the blog, as it would give him more information.
Back at the trailer another camper pulled in. It was a car pulling a small teardrop camper. A middle-aged couple from NYC was on their first camping trip. They had just bought the camper, but couldn’t get it inspected in the city. Since the cost was only $7, $6 of which goes to the state, no one wants to do inspections. They had found a place nearby to do the inspection, and turned it into their first camping adventure. Of Oriental descent, the man asked if we had the whole family in that big Airstream. “Just the two of you?! So you have water and a a bathroom in there? We will go park closer to the restroom, because we don’t have water or a bathroom.” We told them if there was anything they needed, to come knock on the door.
The next morning Martha took a shower and saw the Oriental couple, asking how their first night was. Apparently it all went fine. Since we weren’t sure how to get back out of the campground, I drove up to the road. Seeing the wife walking down the road, I stopped, rolling down the window. Now look, we’re in the woods in a strange place. Women don’t like men in big pickup trucks stopping to talk to them, so this delicate, little lady was understandably hesitant. I quickly asked how their first night camping was. “Oh, I saw your wife earlier”, now recognizing the truck. “It went fine, and we slept well, thank you.” I continued to the main road. We had come in on a parkway where trailers are not allowed, so I wanted to make sure we had access to a state road. Driving back down, I saw the husband loading the car, so I stopped and asked how it went. “I had trouble unhooking the trailer. I almost come to get your help, but finally I figured it out. You have kitchen in your camper? And a big bed in the back goes crosswise?” “Yes, a kitchen and table, but two twin beds in back”, I said. “Ooooh, this is not good”, he said with concern. I laughed and told him he is much younger. He laughed and said, “Well not so much.”
After hooking up, we went over the hill to say goodbye to the Ontario couple. He came out sipping his coffee with the excited look of being on a new adventure on a beautiful day. We wished each other well and safe travels.