After a great night last night with friends, and friends of friends (Maria & Colin) and a sleep in a lovely house, we were up and after breakfast with Margaret, said our goodbye’s. A Land Rover connection which started with uncertainty, ended in triumph.
The new rear stabiliser bushes proved to provide immense improvement in the drivetrain snatch. It has been there since we bought the vehicle and I was thinking it could be axel splines or drivetrain play. Not so, it was the stabiliser rubber bushes and now it drives like new again.
John commented about my seemingly needless effort to procure a pre filter. For me it’s about harmony. I feel the gaping ugly scoop at the top of the snorkel tube was offensive. The pre filter will provide poise and purpose..:)
The drive from Saint John down to the US border was on a lovely road. Again we missed seeing ‘The Bore’ in Saint John, but given that the rise and fall at the viewing point is only a couple of meters, decided to head south for our destiny with the US Immigration. 100 or so k’s away.
I have to say US Customs handled our predicament with understanding and compassion. Thank you. We now have 90 days to enjoy the route we had chosen across the US, and it will give us time to visit my friend Bob’s son Logan, and his wife in Portland Oregon. To catch up with cousin Kelly and family also in Portland. What a relief not to have to leave the US by 23rd August!.
Our road of choice through Maine was Hway 1. No doubt the original main road north and south. Chosen because it follows the coast. This is a historic part of the US. The interaction between American forces and Britain in the War of Independence but also Spain too. More on that later. The coast is also very pretty.
At around lunchtime we decided to celebrate our good fortune with a Lobster roll in a diner. On pulling up outside, an elderly couple coming out of the diner commented on our rig. They have a son who has a similar ‘Land Rover problem’. He had a 1962 Series 11 and changed the motor for a turbocharged Mercedes 5 cylinder diesel. It occurred to me later, it was probably the same one we met on the road to Toktoyuktuk, and photographed. Now owned by an Alaskan. A small world.
A tank full of diesel was needed. Stopping at a Canadian owned fuel chain, ‘Irving’s’ we faced the same issues as in Michigan. You need a US post Code when using a credit card. We don’t have one, Post Code.. Ultimately it was overcome by pre-purchasing a set amount at the kiosk, using the same credit card! At least we now know how to overcome, what could become a serious problem later on.
By 5pm and keeping an eye out for camp sites, Jen caught sight of an old ‘Camping’ sign nailed to a tree in Milbridge Pulling down the dirt road we were met at the entrance by a chap in a ute saying, “sorry, we’re full”! I jumped out and went to his door and told him we only needed the smallest of spaces. His name was Dennis and understandably he was a great bloke. :). “OK” he said, “ pull into that little space beside the ablution block and I’ll catch up with you later”.
There was just enough space to get the Caranex up. What better spot than a couple of steps to the loo. The only problem was, it was the only loo and source of fresh water, on the whole site! We had pleasant intercourse with some users, but unpleasant with others, who thought we had no right to be there, and told us so. There is little left unsaid in America, where Canadians would smile or scowl, and say nothing. The women are the most vocal. One has to be careful they don’t pull a gun out of their corset and solve the problem..:).
True to his word Dennis came by and charged us $10 for the site, warning us of a few “strange” people using the camping site. We managed and after enjoying a great meal, hit the sack early.
Welcome to the US! Awesome to hear it went well at the boarder crossing. A little further South of where you are now we lived in a tiny little town called ‘Trenton’ (the last town before driving the causeway across to Mt Desert Island – which has a beautiful National Park – Acadia). Maine has some fantastic scenery. (I hope the Lobster has been good!)