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June 17

Bellingham, MA

Today we awoke to driving blinding soaking rain with lightning and thunder. After breakfast with the folks and warm hugs goodbye, Michael hooked up in the rain with umbrella-holding assistance from Aunt Dots. Hooking up came off without a hitch, <g> and we were on the way to Massachusetts before 10am. 

Driving was tough in the rain, and we got lost a couple of times in places where the roads were not well marked, and one place (Woonsocket) where the road we wanted was mismarked on the map. Finally we made it to Bellingham, MA to the Circle CG Campground and Michael scurried to the office in the driving rain and secured our site. (We ended up getting 7 inches of rain in the one day at Bellingham MA!)

Hooking up in the pouring rain was another adventure. Michael wore the dry rider and we got leveled and hooked up. 

Once we had that done, we loaded the dirty laundry into the car and headed to the laundromat in the campground. It was well-furnished and very clean. I did the laundry as Michael cleaned the rig.  (See TIPS for more on our traveling routine.)

rain at noon ... Bellingham MA

Dave welcomed us to the state by making this!

Janee and Dave, my artist/Photoshop bud we visited.


No sooner had we gotten the clean clothes put away, but the phone rang! It was my friend Dave whom we had come to visit. He presented us each with a gift. Michael got a little sailboat and i got a T-shirt that Dave had made me! Click the picture to the left to see my shirt and its creator with me. :)

We went together to a fantastic Italian restaurant, Bertucci's in Holliston, MA. Michael got shrimp scampi, Dave got rigatoni with plum tomato sauce (except that it was actually fettucine) and I got a dish called Chicken Domani, yummy chicken medallions with spinach and rotini pasta in a wine broth. Everything was wonderful. 

After dinner it had stopped raining and we went off in search of the elusive ice cream. Scoops was our first choice since it was the original lure that Dave used to get us to come here. <g> But they were closed! 8pm on Sunday night and they were closed! So was the the Newport Creamery, another ice cream place down the road! .. So we went to Baskin Robbins and satisfied our passion for ice cream there. A drive around the Irish cemetery and a look at the tower there, and we returned to the campground. We said our so-longs till tomorrow and ... here i am! :)


June 18

Bellingham, MA

This morning we awakened to bright beautiful SUNSHINE! Oh, what a difference a day makes! We did our morning routine including uploading yesterday's site update at the campground office. We were ready at 11am when Dave arrived to take us off on our tour of some of the sites around this area.

Dave drove so that we could both enjoy the scenery on the way up, and since we went via the circuitous route (r-OW-t) 126, the sights were abundant. Our first stop was the site of "the shot heard 'round the world" where the Revolutionary War started in Concord Massachusetts. 

We posed for photos in front of the Concord Monument. Dave read Ralph Waldo Emerson's Concord Hymn as we stood on the site where Emerson himself had spoken the words of dedication in 1837. 

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world..."

We felt as if we were living the beginning of this momentous war when Dave read William Wadsworth Longfellow's poem:

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

We were all really moved by this quiet pastoral scene, unsullied by the years, preserving for us the sense of calm that was ended only temporarily by the shots of the Revolution. 

The photos at the right came from this park.


Janee and Michael on the bridge over the Concord River Janee and the redcoat Dave and the Red Coat uniform
Michael and Janee strike a pose next to the American patriot uniform Michael and Janee at the "Shot heard 'round the world" statue at the site of the beginning of the Revolutionary War at Concord MA Janee and Michael pose before one of the monuments at Concord
Dave at the "Shot heard 'round the world" monument Concord river as seen from the bridge Janee climbing a beech tree at Concord
I love Janee Janee on the Minuteman Memorial Janee loves to smell the flowers along the way!!
Even a little duck can make big ripples in his pond! white bush flower white peony



Dave showing his state seal Janee shows her state seal of Indiana Janee and Michael in front of hte glass Masonic mosaic
Janee gets a close-up look at the Masonic glass mosaic. I just thought this was too weird to not take a picture of. Dave took this one and called it "flower among flowers". I was photographing a flower.
light yellow flower another view of the same light yellow flower. Which do you like better? meadow
Janee at the site of the annual start of the Boston Marathon at Hopkinton, MA blue flower in the meadow gold meadow flower
Masonic images sparkle on this huge glass mosaic at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, MA


Next on the agenda was the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our Natural Heritage in Lexington, MA. Here we saw all manner of relics of Scottish Rite / Masonic and other lodge heraldry including the beautiful glass mosaic we posed before in the photos you see at the left. 

There was also a nice display of photos and artifacts called "Return to Route 66", a display of "Made in Massachusetts" items, and "Flash! The Associated Press Covers the World" with a collection of memorable photos from the past 150 years.

A lovely flower meadow tempted my camera and i got these flower pics.

The last photo is me at the starting line of the Boston Marathon. <g> .. as if i'd run a marathon in those sandals.


We went to the Market Basket and picked up some supplies and then headed back to our campground where Michael fired up the grill for our picnic. Here is Dave and Michael enjoying some cheerful banter and this delicious dinner. (Details and more pictures of us and of the food.)

At the end of the day, both Michael and I were happily remembering all that we had done and seen, thanks to our wonderful friend and tour guide, Dave. 

We parted with a "so long, see you" and a feeling that we certainly will meet again. Have I mentioned that Dave is a friend that I met online from the newsgroups and my Art Challenge? :)


Dave and Michael enjoying our picnic Janee rarely eats a hotdog in a bun. Janee's braid


MIchael and Janee in our RV Dave and Janee pose for a photo in the RV


June 19

Freeport, ME

 Today we awoke early after a great night's sleep at Bellingham and got our rig ready again for the road. This included filling with propane and hooking up the car. Then we said goodbye to this beautiful campground and headed north on I-95 toward Maine. 

Aside from the fact that the driving was difficult with lots of erratic drivers (My, am I being polite!), the journey was uneventful.

We arrived in Kittery at about 11am. Kittery is one of several Maine towns along the coast that has garnered fame from hosting a huge assortment of outlet stores. The main street of town is just one outlet mall after another, so close together, the one can walk from one to the next for the whole length of the town! 

After a quick run into Harry and David's outlet store to pick up some Moose Munch (see photo at right) <g>, we walked across the bridge to Bob's Clam Hut for a delicious and bountiful treat of clams and clam chowder. (See photos)

Janee chooses her Moose Munch at Harry & David's outlet store in Kittery ME.

Michael takes his place in line at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery Maine  

Michael trying on a shirt at the Tommy Hilfiger outlet store in Kittery ME


    Janee and Penny back at the campsite at Freeport Maine

After lunch, we did a little more shopping in Kittery (see above) and then headed up the road to Freeport ME where we secured our campsite (left). It was only 4pm by then and so we unhooked the car and headed into town. Our stop at LLBean proved fruitful as Michael found the duck shoes that he wanted and I found the rainwear that i wanted. (Pictures to follow.)
June 20

Bangor, ME

We began this day early, uploading the site to the 'net at our camp in Freeport. Then we drove the RV mit car to town, stopping for gas along the way (see photos, right). I found the bleeding heart growing right beside the gas station building!


Michael filling the rig with gas, Freeport ME

stampmap in the post office, Freeport ME

After we parked in the big lot on Bow Street, we walked to the bank to get some Canadian Money and then to the Post Office to mail some bill payments. (Another of those necessary evils!)


Bleeding hearts I photographed at the gas station in Freeport ME
We decided that you all might want to have a glimpse of the remarkable place that is the LLBean store here in Freeport and so we went in and got a couple of pics before heading back to get lunch. 


Janee looks at a little jacket at L.L. Bean. I liked it but didn't get it.


We were all set to have our usual picnic in the RV when I spotted Ralph's Lazy Lobster along the road and Michael thought that a lobster roll sounded good. (See right photo and also the yummy-licious one on the food page HERE.)


Michael buys his lobster roll from Ralph's Lazy Lobster, Freeport ME

Our GPS showed an outline of the next  interesting events, if it indeed posted our locations. Here is what happened:

I was driving on I-95 north from Freeport for about an hour when I became too tired to want to continue driving. We pulled into a rest stop to trade drivers. As Michael took over driving, as always, he asked me how it had been handling and what speed i'd been going. 


I told him that the brakes seemed a little squishy, but that they had been that way for a few days. (He had not driven since before NY.) Since we are towing the car, things feel a bit different than they ever did before.

When he started driving, he found that the "squishiness" of the brakes was unacceptable so he pulled us into a K-Mart lot and we went in to get some brake fluid and he checked it. It was ok, so we continued on up the road with me driving again. I was joking that he would do anything to get out of driving. <g>


We were going along seemingly ok when a noise began in the living room. (This happens from time to time; things shift about.) 

I asked Michael to fix it and, "While you are back there, get the camera and take a pic of me driving with a view through the windshield." (See resulting photo at right.) :) 



Janee driving just south of Bangor ME

He discovered that the noise was one of our light bulbs in our homemade lamps that had worked loose. After he took the pic of me driving, he came back up front and we saw a sign for a rest stop. We decided that M would drive from there. ...

my computer set up as i do this update. In the foreground you see one of our homemade lights like the one that was rattling.

Ch-KUNKKKK!!!! The RV shuddered, pulling to the right. My teeth clenched together, my gaze matching my grip as i steered us to a stop safely off the side of the highway. Only then did i dare to ask Michael, "What in the hell was THAT?" The smell of panic and burning rubber filled the RV as he went out the back door. I followed. 


Our tire had exploded! The tread on the right rear outside tire had completely exploded, sending itself ripping with its steel belting into the cabinetry of the RV, ripping a gaping hole in the bottom, before depositing itself in the road behind us.
Michael instructed me to shut off the engine and turn on the flashers. I went back in and turned off the engine, but then realized that i'd somehow already turned on the flashers. I wandered back outside into the artificially bright sun which seemed to be making a funny singing sound. Michael told me to go back in. I did.. but then came back out. He later told me that i was white as a sheet and that he feared that i would faint.


The tire even damaged the inside of the motorhome when the sheetmetal surrounding the wheelwell was forced inward.

I came back out drinking some water and then insisted that we set up our reflection triangles which were in the wrong side of the RV so M had to dodge traffic to get them. I set them up.. very nice triangles.


Notice our "gator" and our orange triangles as Michael surveys the damage. This is when we were still awaiting help.

Michael winces as he views the damage. damage to our hose compartment Anyway.. scary stuff. It was some time before we discovered that our jack didn't work and that we would need help getting it fixed. Our cell phone didn't work from our remote location, so calls to AAA went uncaptured into the ether. Pretty soon a tow truck appeared and the man (not the brightest light on the tree) ascertained that he didn't have the tools to fix it so he called someone else. That guy didn't have the tools either.


along the roadside.. a view of the beautiful day that was going on around us as we waited for help with our tire. 

A third call produced Al from a tow place, and after a few false starts with his air-hose attachments, he was able to jack up the motorhome, and, using some of Michael's tools and his, he replaced the tire with our new spare. He was meticulous in making sure that all was done right and that everything was put together properly. Then he told us that a tire shop where he was heading would be able to sell us a new tire and mount it on our rim if we followed him into Bangor. We did this and got our new tire for $120.


Michael looks for the right tools for the repair.

We decided that we really wanted to see what was up with the brakes, to make sure that they were ok. We had had a complete several hundred dollar brake adjustment job before we left Indiana, but things just didn't seem right. 

The people at the tire place suggested a Ford repair facility. Michael was watching the guy at the truck place as he opened up the brake thing today and a piece that is supposed to be used in adjusting the brakes just FELL OUT. It had been jiggling around LOOSE in there with the brake shoes and drums and stuff. This was not related to the tire trauma in any way. Lice AND fleas.

They are fixing this now, 10 pm on Wed, 6/20. We will spend the night here.

our "camp" for the night

June 21

Sussex, New Brunswick

Last night at the repair facility was amazingly quiet. Of course there was all the drilling and air jacks and other noise till midnight when they closed down, but it was silent as a tomb till 6am when they all came back to work! We were on the road by 7.

The drive today was pleasantly uneventful. We did stop at a Walmart and got some supplies to enable Michael to fix the underneath storage compartment where it had ripped apart. Another stop at a home-improvement store netted us a "scrap" piece of plywood that was perfect for this project. I also bought a hook that i wanted for my dresses.

The flora have changed significantly over the last few days, from maple, oak, and pine to primarily birch, spruce and pine. Lupine of blue, pink, and white wave lazy hellos as we pass them.

Maine roadway as i drove


We arrived here in Sussex New Brunswick early this afternoon and had time to do some of the work that we bought ourselves at the home improvement store. I showed you the "before" photos of the outside compartment that had gotten hurt in our tire terror. Here are the after photos. Michael lined the inside with new plywood, screwed it in.. then lined it with a rubber liner. 

We took the car into town after we did the upload of the above (I just added the paragraph about the flora, too.) We drove to the Sussex Mall and found a grocery where we bought some supplies to tide us through the weekend, including refills of our 4 one-gallon water jugs. (A gallon is slightly LESS than 4 liters. ;)) 

After our shopping, we bought some beer at the liquor store and then grabbed a late supper at the Dairy Queen. We carried our "cool treats" back to our car and watched people pull on the door of the liquor store, since it had closed at 9pm.  <g>

our site at Sussex NB   first he lined it with new plywood and screwed it in

rubber lined

June 22

Nova Scotia

Woke up early to a very cool morning at Pine Cone Camp in Sussex, got ready and hooked up, and headed down the road. Along the way, we crossed over into Nova Scotia and got these photos at the Welcome Center.

I drove the entire way, about 5 hours. I kept thinking that we were almost there. A kilometer is just 1000 meters, i thought.. that's not far! Well.. you get enough of them piled up and they are just as far as a bunch of miles. I was plenty tired by the time we got here.

 see Janee run! Penny and Janee pose in front of the Nova Scotia sign at the Welcome Station.   

tiny buttercup   frog in the bog  

our campsite from across the bog   Our Halifax base station at Upper Sackville, Nova Scotia

After we got settled into our site, I took the pics at the left. Then we went to the office to upload, get our email, and put in a call our friend Ken who lives in Halifax. :)

Ken called us back on our cellphone later and we made arrangements to call later in the weekend. He is working on the boat and thinks that he will have it ship-shape for us by Monday! 

Michael checked on the Halifax repeaters and announced himself on one. He got into a conversation with a guy in Halifax who told us that he had just been on a trip to the States. He told us that he had been to Dayton and asked us if we had camped at the KOA there. We said yes, that we were the ones with the loud party. He said that he was camped just a few feet away from us!

Michael then worked on the big radio, getting it all set up for Field Day and made some "practice" contacts. He worked a station in St. Louis, one in Belgium, one in Russia, and another in central Pennsylvania. These were on 20M.

While he did this, i lost a bunch of money doing vegas style scoring solitaire. 

At 1:45 GMT, we listened as well as we could to the W1AW Field Day message and tried to get it all copied. 

June 23

Nova Scotia


Amateur Radio Field Day!  
Before Field Day started at 3pm, we had a leisurely breakfast and then I did laundry and uploaded the site while Michael cleaned the RV. We were happy to receive several nice emails from our friends who are following us around. Thanks! :)

We started off our Field Day 2001 with visitors! Glenn and Rae from near here in Halifax came to visit us. We got just one picture of them, but it wasn't even very good, so we will need to visit with them again for sure! 


Into the ether

It waited till Field Day was all over before it started to pour rain.

Barry from the campground came over too and had a look about. Barry and his partner Donna are really renovating this into a nice campground. They have done a lot of work in remodeling of buildings and replacing utilities, etc, as well as laying out new sites and putting down new gravel. We are confident that this is going to be a really beautiful campground. Well, it is nothing to sneeze at right now! 

See our Field Day pictures under Hobbies on the Road.  :P


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