After just over a month in Atlantic Canada, it is time to move on, crossing back into the United States for a visit with friends in Plymouth MA. Having heard lots of stories of the spectacular Fall colours in the New England States, we are eager to compare with the sights we recently experienced in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Friday 3rd October 2014
Chignecto North Campground, NB to Maine
Temps – 11 to 20C
Weather – Initially overcast, but cleared on approaching the border
Wind – Light airs
Cloxs – ahead 1 hr (Z-4)
Distance today – 346 miles
Total Distance – 6,032 miles
Today will be a first for us, in that we don’t have any confirmed reservation, although we had reviewed Foggy Bottom Marina & Campground in Farmingdale, Maine. It is located just outside the capital city of Augusta.
Navigation shouldn’t be too challenging today, as the road at the campground entrance leads to Hwy # 1, which goes straight to the border at St Stephens. In Maine, we require a couple of roads until hitting I-95 around Bangor, then it is south to Augusta, and then find a campground in the immediate area.
Departure Fundy National Park
It’s fairly tight with big rigs, but taking it easy leaving the site and the corners resulted in no issues.
Detailed Voyage to Maine
On departing the campground we headed to Hwy # 1 via Hwy 114, which in the park is well maintained, but outside the park is suffering from extreme wear and tear in numerous places. The scenery is beautiful, going up and down the hills, with some of them being 10% grades, which made for an interesting drive. Wouldn’t want to do this section at the end of the day after driving many hundreds of miles. After about 45 mins to cover the 24 miles we finally reached Hwy # 1, which is an excellent divided highway.
Heading South, we retraced our route of yesterday’s sightseeing trip to Saint John and Judi managed to catch another quick glimpse of the Reversing Falls, as we drove through the city. Once clear of Saint John the GPS showed us driving on fields for the last 35 miles to the border, as the GPS maps have not been updated for the new road. The St Stephen/Calais border crossing looks new and this was one of our best experiences crossing any border, whether Canada/USA or any other country worldwide. Our positive experience commenced on approaching the border with great signage and a choice of 3 open booths, all of which were vacant – Wow, no delay. We picked the one signed for RV’s and were met by a really pleasant young lady. While she completed her responsibilities very thoroughly, she did so with a smile and also found the time to chat, even picking up Andy’s Scottish accent. After the formalities of listing the food stuffs we had aboard, she thanked us and asked if she could have a look inside. We didn’t have to drive over to a holding area and wait for another agent, as I opened the stairs and door and she came out her booth and had a quick look inside. On exit, she thanked me commenting, nice coach.
After the excellent border experience we head along Hwy # 1 looking for a truck stop, as suggested by the border agent. At the Hwy # 9 junction, we noticed an Irving gas station, but as we were turning at the junction I noted in the rear view mirrors that it was more than a gas station, that was the truck stop. Oh well, missed that opportunity for lunch, eventually stopping at the first layby. Back on the road after a quick lunch, walking the dogs and giving them water we continued along Hwy 9 to almost Bangor, where we joined the I-395, which turned into I-95.
We continued down I-95, departing onto Hwy 11 at Augusta, the capital city of the State of Maine. It turned into Hwy 201 and in the small town of Farmingdale we found the Foggy Bottom Marina & Campground. Fortunately they were closed, as it didn’t look to be the best of campgrounds. We search the GPS and find a KOA about 8 miles south on the same road. They are usually a safe bet.
The Augusta/Gardiner KOA is located just off a lake and is a long, fairly narrow campground that slopes down to the lake. We met a great owner at check-in who escorted us to the site. Even with the slope, the site was almost level. Excellent, since we are experiencing issues with the landing gear, and only here for 1 night we won’t even unhook. Dropped the landing gear to the ground, slides out, water and power hooked up and we were set up in about 10 mins.