Day 154 - Up Periscope!

Trip Start May 19, 2008
1
156
176
Trip End Nov 08, 2008


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Where I stayed
Wal-Mart, Hanover, Massachusetts

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today we breakfasted at the Merry Moose again, but this time we had the waffles, which were delicious and just as big as the pancakes, even though we chose to omit the strawberries and whipped cream!!! We had to leave today as the site was closing for the winter. It won’t be long before the snow starts falling up here in Maine. The KOA ladies were telling us how the site was under 6 feet of snow when they arrived at the beginning of the season.

After a steady pack-up we left the campsite around 11.30 and continued south on Route 1. As we passed through one of the towns we spotted an Obama campaign office, and as Mel had been desperate to get a bumper sticker for the van we stopped off and she went in. They were about to ask her for a donation to the campaign in exchange for a sticker when they noticed her accent and asked where she was from. When she replied “from England”, they told her that they weren’t allowed to accept a donation from her and then gave her a really horrible sticker instead of the standard, recognisable one she wanted, as they said they didn’t have many of those ones left, even though she pointed out that it would get plenty of visibility over a good few miles in the coming weeks. You would have thought that they would have been delighted that she wanted to display one for them, but no.

Our next stop was to see the lighthouse at Nubble Point. Although it was very bright and sunny it was also incredibly windy and very, very cold. So after a 10 minute wander to take photographs and stretch our legs, we were glad to get back in the bus.

We took the coastal road for as long as possible, passing through the lovely resorts of York Beach and York Harbor, before crossing the State Line and re-entering New Hampshire and the town of Portsmouth. And it was there, quite aptly, that we came across the USS Albacore, an experimental submarine, which was operational from 1953 to 1972, and sits on dry land as a visitor attraction. As neither of us had ever been on a submarine and were quite curious and eager to do so, we decided to buy tickets and check it out.

There weren’t many other people “on board” and so we pretty much had the run of the place. It was excellent! Lots of gadgets and gismos to touch and mess around with! Great for an hour, but neither of us fancies the idea of being on one for months at a time, especially under water!!

After our fantastic submarine adventure we rejoined Route 1 and continued south. The price of fuel had dropped yet again, now down to $2.619 per gallon. Lovely jubbly! We were only in New Hampshire for around 20 miles, as the state is only about that wide at its coastal edge. And so into Massachusetts where it wasn’t long before we spotted fuel at $2.499!! At this rate we might just get as low as $2 per gallon!

The scenery was pretty much unchanged from that of Maine; autumn leaves in various shades, quaint small towns and pretty, painted wooden houses on tree-lined roads, all very clean and nicely looked after. Before leaving the KOA we had marked all the Walmarts along our route as far south as New Bedford, in the south of Massachusetts, just before the state line with Rhode Island. We pulled into one of these just north of Boston, but it was completely unsuitable for us to stay the night, and so knowing that we would now need to get through Boston before nightfall, we had a quick cuppa and a donut and got back on the road.

Just before joining the freeway to traverse downtown Boston, we passed through a gorgeous seaside area, with lovely beaches and a promenade. As we had become a little disorientated at this point, we’re not sure where it was exactly, but we think it could have been Revere. It would have been a lovely place to park up for the night, to see and hear the waves crashing onto the shore, but we knew that we would be moved on and so carried on towards the skyscrapers of Boston, which were looming ever closer.

As we crossed the toll bridge on Route 1, the sun was going down and the dusky sky provided a beautiful backdrop to the city. Well Mel thought it was beautiful. Neil just told her to take lots of photos and he would see it that way afterwards. He was concentrating far too hard on keeping us on the right road and not taking us on a tour of downtown Boston by night to be admiring the views, apparently! It actually proved to be quite straightforward, although we did have flashbacks to Madrid, Spain (where we did do a complete circuit of the city in Marge, our VW Beetle, after taking a wrong lane!) as we went through an underpass about a mile long that had lots of lanes and lots of exits. We were just glad that we did that particular leg of the journey on a Sunday evening and not a Monday one!

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Walmart in Hanover, and to our delight it seemed that it would be ok for us to stay there. We checked with the staff and they agreed and after three different positions in the car park, we finally settled in for the evening.

Miles travelled: 130

Total miles travelled: 14649

Days on road: 134

States visited: 30

National Parks visited: 20
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