We’re camped near Bangor, a town we had never visited before and now that we are here, there’s no reason why we would. It looks like a nice place to live - in the non-winter at least, but it’s not a tourist place. There are many campgrounds around here as well as ours. After three nights we’re not sure why people would stay here for any length of time. Some folks drove an hour to Acadia National Park and the scenic sea coast, but we plan to stay there a few days at the end of the trip. The weather has been spectacular and we hope that lasts once we leave for Quebec.
However, the time here has not been wasted. We’ve met both formally and informally with the trip leaders and our fellow participants. The trip we are on is fairly long - 58 days and some folks are leaving in the middle and others we haven’t met yet are joining in their places. One couple is joining us in Quebec. We’ve never been on a tour with so much coming and going. It shouldn’t matter much to us, but is a huge challenge for the trip leaders. They did a thorough job this morning explaining how things will work once we are underway and they will have to keep repeating themselves. Usually these groups are mostly couples, but for the first half we will be traveling with a grandma and her two eleven year old grandsons. It will be interesting to see how much they enjoy spending time with lots of oldsters. We are sad to admit that we are no longer the youngest folks on our tour, which has been the case in previous ones. The leaders surveyed us to see who was married the longest and we almost won the prize. The tail gunner, whose job it is to leave last and assist anyone who has mechanical issues along the way, spent two hours inspecting every rig. We have never had such a thorough going over before a trip begins and passed with flying colors as should be the case in a new-ish motor home. He pasted large yellow stickers on the motor home and Jeep so he can spot us from far away and distinguish us from other RV's on the road.
The trip routine is quite familiar. The leaders post a white message board in the window of their coach with the day’s events. Every day before driving day we get together to review the route, including interesting places to stop. At times we will deviate from what the GPS suggests to take advantage of interesting sights or places to shop or get things done as recommended on the trip log. Some days we will take tours together on a bus, but much of the time it will feel more like an un-tour.
A stuffed lobster was awarded to someone who had done something helpful. Once people start having computer/camera problems, that lobster will belong to Ken permanently. Some folks are flustered by the fact that we cannot use our cell phones in Canada as we do at home without buying a special phone plan or making special arrangements. Ken already spent some time helping someone make plans for this cruel surprise. Our trip leaders confessed that they got a $1200 bill from Verizon the first time they went to Canada and were misinformed/mislead/confused.
Last night we had dinner with a couple who lives in the area and is seriously considering buying an RV and touring the country for a year or more. They listen to our podcast and tracked us down. We enjoyed answering their questions and hearing about this plans. Wonder if we will encounter any podcast listeners in Canada?