After a couple of very pleasant days in Old orchard beach campsite, wondering what to do next (taking a stroll down to the beach and having a lovely meal at Jimmy the Greeks restaurant, which was nearly the same as every other burger/pizza restart, but with a bit of feta cheese)(where they had an amazing selection of beers and the friendliest waitress in the world)
and thinking there were an awful lot of trees on the campsite.
At one stage I went for a wander around the place and realised that there were about 1000 actual camping places. As we went for a walk out of the campsite, I got chatting to Scott, the very attractive, young safety guy. He was lovely to talk to but I had to bite my tongue when he asked if there was anything at all he could do to make me have a better time. Luckily Tim had turned up by that time and asked him to stop it raining so there was no embarrassing exclamation of ‘oooh young man, young man!’ from me.
On the way down to the beach we saw this beautiful truck
and the driver seemed to be chuffed to bits to that I took his photo
and I was intrigued that this cute little covered bridge was an actual (non specified) war memorial for 1944.
We headed north on Monday, aiming to get to Canada, but also wanting to take a final look at Maine before we left.
We wondered why there were huge great lumber trucks heading both north and south along the road
surely, both the USA and Canada have enough wood
After about 150 miles we found the bar/brewery/very basic campsite in Forks, on the main route 201 from Maine into Canada.
The actual camping ground was beautiful, with views over trees and the river Kennebec. Unfortunately, the local insects honed in on us straightaway. You think they come out in the evening? Nah, they are around all day! Meh! I was worried after the first evening, so the next day, I showered with the fancy schmancy jell that is meant to drive the blighters off, I slathered myself with the famous Avon’s Skin So Soft that is meant to keep the SAS bug free and I sprayed myself with the Boots mosquito repellent that we had brought with us. That made me feel pretty confident about sitting around outside. Do NOT bother bringing anything from the UK, the blighters took no notice of it at all. At the last count I had well over 20 bites, ten of which were right through my tee shirt.
Our first evening at the campsite started fairly calmly but after cooking our meal the skies opened and we had to sit through a pretty scary thunderstorm
The lightning was almost directly overhead at one stage and I could not help thinking that a) we were right amongst the trees and that b) our tent had a metal pole. It was very comforting to be able to hide out in the big metal box that is called Camel; if you don’t know what a faraday cage is, check out the lighting episode from Topgear on Youtube.
Over the course of the day we wandered around the campsite,
wondering what poison ivy looked like (we found out later, and the best advice was stay away from anything with green leaves as if you touch the damn stuff you can transfer it to anything else you touch and then back on to you for hours)(in case you are really interested, the leaves seem to be about 5cm across, have usually 3 individual leaves (or more unusually 4)sprouting out from the centre and each leaf has a notch in it, kind of like ivy)(shocking, that, eh?))
Finally we went for a drink at the pub, where we actually enjoyed the on-site brews (it looks like they know how to make ale in Maine)
I met this bloke who was walking the Appalachian trail and he said he had walked over 1000 miles, I felt rather sad about this chap
and we met a group of really lively and fun people who were there to have a shot at white water rafting. It turned out that they were the group of people that were camped just down from us and we agreed to go and have a drink with them later. After a delicious meal in the pub, we ambled back to the campground and joined in with a whole lot of fun. The two women, Cary and Jen, were a hoot. They are both nurses and seriously wanted to have a good time. Their husbands, Jeremiah and Steve looked like they were used to coping with their woman having a blast, but they really welcomed us in.
We had a right old giggle with them, but I was also really interested to hear what they felt about things; Steve had no wish to own a gun, but he felt it was REALLY important that every American could own a gun, despite all the horrible things that had happened with guns over the years. They all really hated Obama and thought he had achieved nothing in his two terms. They especially hated Obama Care, which they thought gave things like $200 phones to unemployed people. All I can say is that I thought that they were lovely people and we had such a great time just hanging around with them and drinking their beer. (Nice people that give you beer, what’s not to like?)
On Wednesday, resisting the temptation to play join the dots on our mozzie bites, we decided to move on to Canada. Route 201 is an old trade route between the two countries and (in the USA) hardly any population.
They had flashing lights for the moose
I didn’t want to stay here
and we finally caught sight of the Canadian border
We got to the Canadian border very easily and (despite a confused look and a question about why the heck we would bring your own car to Canada) we were through with minimal fuss. The countryside changed almost instantly.
There were many more open spaces, the towns were of a much larger size, there were sawmills and other industrial buildings and there was an awful lot more to see all round. I guess, it is like the UK; populations tend to gravitate south.
We wanted to get to Quebec as our first stop, but we had hardly any campground information of the area. We kind of bottled and followed the first camp site sign to here, just south of the St Lawrence river in Levis. We did like the view of the bridges into Quebec, however
Our set up here has caused a minor stir and we have had a pretty constant stream of visitors asking about the tent/car/flags/awning. We have been given the address of the campground owner in Orlando, in case we want to pop in and see her when we get there in the winter. A really nice bloke with an invalid buggy has offered to store Camel for us when we fly back to the UK. A lovely couple called Elizabeth and Angelo offered to give us a lift into Quebec city and gave us a guided tour of their very interesting luxury rig, that sits on the back of their truck (like a caravan with no wheels).
They have travelled a lot over the years and used to camp, but Angelo now has MS and he is restricted physically.
That has not stopped them booking to catch a boat to explore Nova Scotia and beyond. The people here a friendly and helpful, even more so that in the USA, and that is saying a lot.