2010 Vacation Day 2 - Trees as far as the eye can see...

Up early, grabbed a shower and a bite to eat, and pulled out around 9:00. Probably have about a 5 hour drive into St John. Drove Hwy 2 to Newport, hopped the 95 into Bangor, then caught the number 9, the Airline Road as it is called. We speculated why it may be called the Airline Rd, as it cuts straight across the eastern part of Maine, as the crow flies, as well as an airplane flies. Just our theory... We have driven this road many many years ago, and I remember it being pretty primitive. Extremely scenic, but primitive. Well, it has changed.
It is still a basic two lane Hwy, but they have added a bunch of passing lanes and flattened some of the tops of long climbs. It is an excellent road. One is able to make good time, while still enjoying a nice scenic drive. There is very little along this road, always wise to start with a full tank, which we did. Given the healthy appetite of the SF while towing, we are keeping it topped right up. The wilderness in this part of Maine is truly that. You really feel the vastness of trees...when you crest a hill, the treetops seem to go on forever... classically dotted with little lakes and streams.

One really gets the sense that Maine is a man's state. Lumbering, hunting, fishing... it all happens here. Everything you observe says outdoors. Lots of pickup trucks towing little fishing boats, odd motorized canoes, or ATV's...all of which directly serve the purpose of getting into the wild. To get to that hunt camp or into the stream teaming with speckled. The other thing I have noticed is that pickup trucks here are actually used as pickup trucks. I've seen many that look well worn and beat up, all from serving their intended purpose. In this state very few are shiny and pristine, your pickup truck is actually a tool... not something used as a pickup tool.

By travelling off the freeways, it is really not the destination that is important, it is what you see and experience along the way. There is something interesting around every turn. Many times I want to pull over and take a picture of something unique or quirky, but are unable...but at least I have seen it. It has registered in my mind and it has probably caused me to smile and wonder what the thought was behind it. My feeling is that there are few of those moments on those bland, monotonous freeways.

Through Customs no problem, then headed to Saint John. Before long, you can feel and smell the sea. The closer the Hwy gets, the cooler it becomes. Air that was once overly warm, is now cool and refreshing. Pulled into a Visitor Centre just outside St. John. As soon as we got out of the car we could taste the sea in the air...amazing. Picked up some maps then made our way to our campground. We are staying at Rockwood Park, a large park right in the middle of the city. The park is run by the horticulture society and has a couple of lakes and many hiking trails. The campground part offers a big open area suitable for large RV's, as well as a wooded area for tents and small trailers...like us. We were able to drive around a bit and select from a number of empty sites. Picked a real nice one, lots of shade with good privacy on three sides. 2W hookups here, so coffee in the morning is assured!
Contacted Dale's aunt and uncle, Catherine & Don and her cousin Heather, and we are going over for dinner. Heather's son David came out to the campground to meet us, and we followed him back to the house. Hwy 1 goes right through the city, but it can be a little confusing, in that not every exit has a matching 'on' ramp. Had a great visit and excellent salmon dinner, and I tried pickled herring and sardines for the 1st time, both good, but preferred the pickled herring.

Interesting the sounds of the city when the traffic dies down, when the background noise of tires on pavement becomes the minority. The campsite overlooks the harbour, so late at night, the sounds of the activities there becomes more noticeable. Not in a bad way mind you. Trains slowly rumbling by, the engine sounds, muted horns... all very soothing, easily lulling you to sleep.

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