Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Trip - Heading for New Brunswick

We left Niagara Falls a few days ago and have been without the internet until tonight.

Before we left I looked up the rules for motorhome driving in Canada and discovered that our towing setup is not legal there. All wheels on the ground are supposed to have brakes, but our tow dolly doesn't have its own brakes, so we've had to plan our route so the motorhome stays in the US. Fortunately, the World's Longest Covered Bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick, is close enough to the border with Maine that we'll be able to camp in Houlton, Maine, and go to Hartland in the car as a day-trip.

But that meant trying to map out a route to Houlton, which is generally Northeast of Niagara Falls, when all the Interstate routes want to go North-South or to the Southeast. So we're making a scenic beeline for New Brunswick, although "scenic" takes its toll on the number of miles we can cover in a day.

We drove along the north coast of New York, where the War of 1812 played a prominent role, since Canada (the British at the time) is just across the water--either Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence River.

Our road took us into Rochester, NY, where we must have missed a turn, because we stopped seeing signs for our State Route number. Instead we were driving in a run-down urban area where we had no room to pull over and figure out how to get where we wanted to be. All we could do was go when the lights were green, turn sometimes and try to find a sign pointing to a numbered road we could find on the map. From the run-down area, we ended up driving into the downtown business district with narrow lanes and one-way streets and cops all over the place. Finally we spotted a sign directing us to Interstate 490, which my mom found on the map at the south end of town. We had wanted to stay on the north end of town, but we took the I-490, just to get out of downtown, and I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders once we were on the interstate.

We found our way back to the coastal route and managed to stay on it after that.

Yesterday, we stopped in Clayton, NY, a quaint town near the Thousand Islands, where they invented Thousand Island salad dressing (a dubious achievement, in my opinion). We found a place to park the motorhome (fed all three parking meters) and wandered around town. These are a couple of the Thousand Islands.

We're starting to find more and more of autumn, seen here at last night's campground.

But there are so many beautiful views and charming homes along our route, that we don't have the time (or turnout space) to stop and photograph them all. In response to the lack of photo opportunities, I've developed a Point-and-Shoot method. It leaves out the unspoken but crucial middle step of "Compose." I just hold up the little camera, point it in the general direction, and take a picture. Most of them come out lousy, like this...

... or this...

... but some of them come out tolerably well.

We're in Vermont tonight, and tomorrow should be a three-state day (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine). We may stop briefly for a couple sights in New Hampshire, but most of our sightseeing will start when we drive across the covered bridge in New Brunswick two or three days from now.

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