Day 151 - Mainely Grotty

Trip Start May 19, 2008
1
153
176
Trip End Nov 08, 2008


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Where I stayed
Wal-Mart, Falmouth, Maine

Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, October 16, 2008

As we had anticipated, when the alarm went off before sunrise this morning, the weather wasn't good. And so the alarm was turned off, the idea of watching the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain was forgotten and we went back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Once we were up and about, we did our usual packing up routine, making sure that we topped up our water and emptied our porta-loo as we left the campsite. The drive out of Acadia was less than spectacular thanks to the weather and so we were really grateful that we had had such good weather yesterday.

We left Acadia by Highway 3; the only road connecting Mount Desert Island to the mainland and when we reached Ellsworth took Route 1 south towards Portland. By now the grey clouds had begun to empty themselves and it got grottier, grottier and grottier still. It was really quite dark despite it only being midday at this point.

The scenery probably would have been quite lovely if it hadn't been for the weather as we drove through some very quaint, very typical New England towns, with painted wooden houses and picket fences. And the road took us past what we think would have been lovely bays, but sadly we couldn't see anything of them for the sea mist. The roots of the Pilgrim Fathers were evident all around as we passed through the towns of Belfast, Camden, Newcastle, Woolwich and Bath and the county of Lincoln. All in just a few hours! We also passed through the town of Freeport, the original tax-free shoppers paradise, the weather was so grotty we just weren't interested in getting out of the van and getting soaked. A little further down the road, our stomachs got the better of us, and as it was too cold and horrible to mess about preparing food in the van, McDonalds called to us. Some things are worth getting your toes wet for! 

A few miles north of Falmouth, we came across a Welcome Centre, a sort of cross between a motorway services and a tourist information office. While Neil went inside to phone the DMV and chase our documents for exporting Chip, Mel used the free wi-fi to check our e-mail and try to find some camping options for us. Although there are plenty of State Parks along this stretch of coastline, none of them have campgrounds. Some of the ones further inland do, but as a lot of them had begun to close down for the season, we decided not to risk having a wasted journey. The phone call to the DMV was a waste of time and money as the phone ate all our change at an alarming rate and Neil got cut off before he got to know anything; and the internet search didn't give us anything very promising on the camping front, again as most places had now closed for the season, and so we asked directions to the nearest Wal-Mart.

It turned out to be not too far away and although it wasn't a supercentre, it was next to a cinema and there were a couple of restaurants around it, so we figured we would be ok parked up for the night. There was also another motorhome parked up, but bizarrely that disappeared after dinner. The only thing that seemed vaguely worrying was an elderly man in bright red trousers who was power-walking around the car park, but not in a "training for a race" kind of way, more of a "loon" kind of way. At one point he seemed to be heading straight towards our van, and then at the last moment, turned abruptly and went off in another direction. We were warned to "look out for the loons"!

For something to do and for a bit of a warm, we had a late night wander around Wal-Mart, checking out their Halloween stuff and their very nice collection of lumberjack shirts. If you want one, this is the place to come! Then it was back to our van to fill our hot water bottle and settle in for the night.

Miles travelled: 166

Total miles travelled: 14458

Days on road: 131

States visited: 29

National Parks visited: 20
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