Monday, August 24, 2009

The Maine Thing Is, We're Here

Monday, August 24, 2009

I woke up at 6 a.m. and just after that, it started to rain. This was very depressing. I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I pulled out touristy materials covering St. Johnsbury, and made myself feel better by finding the names of three local motels. One even advertised “pet-friendly rooms.” My expectation for the day was that we would call around to some local mechanics (Joe’s GPS system had the names of several for us to try, including Roland), get towed to a repair place, and then Roxy and I would have to find some place to wait. With the rain and all, I was ready to find a motel room for the day—and hopefully, not for the next day too! (I should add that the rain had stopped by the time Joe got up, and although we drove through a few showers, we had no serious wetness.)

Joe got up at 7, and after getting dressed, tuned on the generator (to beef up the battery), and took Roxy for a walk. Then he sighed, sat down in the driver’s seat, and turned the key in the ignition. You can guess the rest. Mo’s engine turned right over instantly with a happy little purr, as if to say, “What, did you think I wasn’t going to start?”

So we ran the engine a little bit, then turned it on and off several times, while we had some breakfast. And we figured there was no point in going to a mechanic. As Joe said, we can’t even diagnose it when it’s NOT working—how can they diagnose it when nothing is wrong?? So we got back on the road and drove through New Hampshire (new state sticker) and into Maine (another new state sticker) and I am typing this blog at a campground in Bar Harbor, Maine. (The photos, the only ones I took in the past two days, are of the waterfall at Rumford, Maine, the home of Edmund Muskie. The waterfall is the largest falls east of Niagara, the sign told us.)

Isn't the metal Native American diorama at the edge of the lake cute?

I am not 100% sure we will stay here tomorrow, but we probably will. There is wifi, but not at our site—I will be taking this up to the office to upload these blogs. The pool and shower are also not really near us. OTOH, we are in a shaded spot, and this is pretty important for tomorrow. There is a free shuttle which runs around Mt. Desert Island (where Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are located) and there seems to be, if I understand the maps correctly, very few places which look like they have much room to park an RV. The shuttle will pick us up at our campground (it runs every 30 minutes) and will take us to Bar Harbor’s Village Green. There we can get a whale-watching tour boat, walk around the town, and eat at a lobster shack. The shuttle also stops at the visitor’s center for Acadia, where we can get another free shuttle which loops around the park and stops at various points of interest. My understanding from is that there is relatively little parking at these stops, especially for oversized vehicles. There are other shuttle routes from the Village Green to other parts of the Island, too.

So it seems to me that it would be good to keep this shady spot, rather than trying to find a new campground elsewhere with a more wifi-friendly site, and Roxy can stay here in the shade while we sight-see. And we won’t have to find parking spaces in Bar Harbor and Acadia, which can get very stressful. More stressful than it is to carry my laptop up to the campground office to upload this stuff! So as I said, I am thinking more and more that we will stay here, and if Mo refuses to start up when we are ready to leave (maybe Friday?), we will take the shuttle into town and find jobs for the rest of the tourist season.

We just had a wonderful dinner—[hint to those in the know: potatoes, onions and fresh Vermont cheddar!] and it is quite cool here tonight, which is great! And I found an ad for a scooter-rental place in Bar Harbor—so I think we will indulge and scoot ourselves around the island one of these days instead of only relying on the shuttle. I’m wondering about tomorrow’s weather before making definite plans, but meanwhile, thank goodness, things are pretty nice here and we are certainly happy to be here!

PS: Balancing the computer on my leg while sitting sideways on a bench outside the laundry is NOT very comfortable. Just in case you wondered.

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