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Can you believe it?? It's actually happening. The TRIP has BEGUN!!
As expected, Kait and I each awoke early without need of the alarm clock. We fixed breakfast (a FIRST) and then got ready to go. I think anyone watching us would have wondered WHAT we were doing. It started normal enough (I guess). Kait went outside to unhook and I prepped the inside. Then the double checks...by each of us...at least 3 times.
Are the drawers and cupboards latched? Check.
Is the back door secure? Check.
All slides completely in? Check.
All hoses and connections unhooked and put away? Check.
All vents lowered? Check.
Drawers and Cupboards? Check. Back Door? Check.
Slides? Check. Hoses? Check. Vents? Check.
Drawers? Cupboards? Doors? Slides? Hoses? Vents? DRAWE...
When Kait ran into me as she left the RV and I was headed back in for a fourth time, we figured ... we had checked enough.
Hooked up the truck. Triple checked all connections. Everyone in and buckled and...STOP. We just stopped. Sat there. Stared out the windshield. And realized where we were, what we were doing (more FIRSTS). And then....well, have you seen Love Actually and there is that scene where Carl finally goes home with Sarah and she excuses herself and does this excited shaking thing like she can't control herself...Here. We did that. Then deep breath, smile and Kait started the truck and put it in gear.
It was 8:37 am.
For the first few miles, we were silent. Kait was concentrating on driving and I didn't want to disturb her. She had chosen a slightly longer route because the roads are wider with more of a shoulder. Slowly we each relaxed. I began to enjoy the scenery. The truck is higher than the cars I am used to and I enjoyed the extended view. Tall evergreens, farmhouses, villages flew past as we headed east. The road lulled me into a bit of a trance despite the excitement. Then suddenly we were crossing the Bellamy where it joins the Piscataqua and there was Portsmouth. I ducked when, as we changed from the 16 to the 95, we passed under the 16. Being higher had that effect. I am sure I will get used to it later.
There it was. That green bridge over the Piscataqua would take us over the state border into Maine. I could feel my pulse pick up. A glance at Kait showed a similar excitement even as she continued to concentrate on her driving. I prepped that text message and as we crossed the Piscataqua, I hit send.
"IT HAS TRULY BEGUN!!!!"
What did you think when you got it? We both wanted to do that shaking thing again. We didn't but we did squeal. And laughed.
After that, we actually settled back for the rest of the day's travel. We chatted about the drive, the rig, what y'all were doing back home. We laughed to realize you were probably just getting out of bed.
Kait informed me happily that there was a Starbucks just a short distance across the border. Finding a place to park was a challenge with the rig, but Kait wanted that coffee. So a spot was found; we hustled across the parking lot and soon we were back on the road, Kait with her Venti Blonde Roast and me with a Trente Black Iced tea.
A VERY short distance down the road, we pulled off again, this time into the rest area and to the Maine Information Center. I stocked up on brochures (not that I needed anymore) and we hit the road again.
Outside Kennebunk, we exited the freeway and headed farther from the coast and onto smaller, quieter roads. This wasn’t the shortest route to our first stop, but Kait had suggested the bridge crossing into Maine. The symbolic ritual of beginning the trip.
We will never know if the other route had wider roads. This was just two lanes. Homes set back from the road, surrounded by trees and fields and ... sigh. So relaxing, at least for me. The speed limit was a leisurely 35 mph, so Kait was doing okay. But still I prayed not to encounter a bicyclist . A couple places, Kait used the entrance to a side street as a pull off to let people pass. They weren't obeying the speed limit, but no need to quibble. Encountering a truck coming the other way, Kait told me, "You can try to make yourself as small as you want. Won't change the size of the rig."
The SUV by the white clapboard colonial seem anachronistic. Should it be a horse and buggy? My mind wanders and soon I am no longer in the truck, but riding behind a different kind of horsepower, seeing no power lines, and just the wagon path before me.
Some of the homes are closer to the road and I wonder where was the road when the house was built. Was there a road when the house was built? A rare ranch style or mobile home shows where land was sold or given for a new generation and jars me back to the current era. A signal light, Dunkin Donuts and gas stations on opposite corners complete the return trip. A glance at the clock. It has only been 15 minutes since we left Kennebunk.
Much of the trip was much of the same. Two lanes, clapboard houses and churches. And Trees, beautiful Trees. We picked up the Paquawket Trail Scenic byway just north of Watchic Lake. This byway is truly a scenic byway, not having stops of historic or other interest. But, as a start to the journey, it was good. The farther we got from the coast., the less traffic we encountered. Thank goodness for GPS. Without it, we would have missed turns and Kait did not want to try and turn Geri around. I would say one of the issues was the lack of turnouts. Intersections became fewer and fewer. Kait wasn't going super fast although she tried to keep the speed limit.
The climb was very gradual and not very much. It topped out a little over 800' in Hiram. When we reach the end of the Scenic Byway, we headed east into Cumberland County, Maine. and found our campground on the edge of Long Lake. This afternoon was spent strolling and relaxing. Tomorrow we are the move again with some sightseeing en route.