EPIC US ROAD TRIP 2017

33 Days, 23 Sates & 7,124 Miles. Being Epic All Over Again


“… the US probably warrants more than one epic once-in-a-lifetime road trip experience. So, and a year-plus after our 9,500+ mile US Road Trip 2016, we’re hitting the US road once again. Welcome to Epic US Road Trip part II, the 2017 edition…”


Image || The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana. Day 17.

Epic US Road Trip 2017 Introduction

With almost 10 million km² of terra firma crisscrossed by some 6.5 million kilometres of road, the world’s longest & biggest road network, the US probably warrants more than one epic once-in-a-lifetime road trip experience. So, and a year-plus after our 9,500+ mile US Road Trip 2016, we hit the US road once again. Welcome to Epic US Road Trip part II, the 2017 edition, 33 days of US road-trippin’ centered on the original Thirteen Colonies (Northern, Middle & Southern Colonies). This one was all about history; music; (more of) the Deep South; rural drives and leaf peeping the vibrant hues of a New England fall/autumn. Oh, and we also found time to – whoops! – cheat somewhat by venturing north of the border into Canada. Thirty-three days, 7,100-plus miles, 23 US states & 2 Canadian provinces. Yes, it was epic (we know of no other way) all over again.

Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

Is an epic US road trip still an epic US road trip if it involves Canada? Whoops. Spilling across the border. Day 30 in a very wet Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada.

Forget all of your preconceptions. Take a look at America the way it really, truly is today; a land of limitless road trips, astonishing natural beauty and diverse multiethnic cities from coast to coast. Pay your respects to the heritage of Native American tribes, then explore the kitschy side of stateside life at oddball roadside attractions. Taste the American dream – sweet as apple pie, strong as homemade moonshine – for yourself.

Lonely Planet USA, 6th edition

Epic US Road Trip 2017 In Numbers

Days

Miles Driven

US States

Canadian Provinces

National Park Visited

National Scenic Byways Driven

All-American Roads Driven

Day 1


September 27 || Boeing 737 MAX 8. Norwegian flight D81823 from Dublin to Warwick, Rhode Island.


“Making waves right now in the transatlantic sky, it was Norwegian who were tasked with the responsibility of getting us across the Atlantic to the road trip starting line… I’m well impressed.”

Day 1 || September 27 2017

Route || T. F. Green Airport, Warwick, Rhode Island to New Haven, Connecticut.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 110 (177)
Posted From || New Haven, Connecticut
Today’s Highlight || Hitting the road

Making waves right now in the transatlantic sky, it was Norwegian who were tasked with the responsibility of getting us across the Atlantic to the road trip starting line. And they did a rather good job of it too. I’m well impressed.

Boeing 737 MAX 8. Norwegian flight D81823 from Dublin, Ireland to Warwick, Rhode Island, USA. September 27, 2017.

NORWEGIAN || Boeing 737 MAX 8. On board Norwegian flight D81823 from Dublin, Ireland to Warwick, Rhode Island, USA. September 27, 2017. || It’s 15 years now since Norwegian’s first domestic flights in 2002. I’ve flown with them before, from Oslo to Reykjavik, Iceland in 2013, around about the time they won the first of their 5 consecutive best low-cost airline in Europe awards (they are also on a three-year run of being voted the world’s best low-cost long-haul airline). Going from strength to strength, seen here is one of their new, greener, quieter, US$100 million Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, this one so brand spanking new that the Wi-Fi antenna hadn’t even been installed meaning we had no access to the airline’s innovative and industry-leading free Wi-Fi for the duration of the 6 hour 40 minute flight. Taking the keys to the first their new toys in July of this year saw Norwegian became the first European airline to fly the single-aisle, 189-seater MAX 8, 110 of which they have on order and which they will use to service future low-cost long-haul routes, the first of which was their transatlantic service that began in May 2013. This service has been aggressively expanded of late to usher in what is being called a new era of low-cost transatlantic travel, one that is seeing Norwegian not only eat into the market share of the jaded offerings of established transatlantic carriers like Aer Lingus, but also the pilot numbers of complacent Ryanair. In hoping to open the skies to everyone, Norwegian are hedging their bets on people not minding a long-haul flight on single-aisle aircraft to minor airports (Norwegian themselves use the word ‘smaller’) in return for low fares, the cheapest transatlantic flights ever seen. There were certainly no objections here.
Keep up the good work, Norwegian.

A game changer.

– Travel industry expert Henry H Harteveldt commenting on use of the 737 MAX 8 by Norwegian as part of its aggressive expansion of long-haul offerings using smaller single-aisle aircraft.

Day 2


September 28 || Overlooking New Haven Green, New Haven, Connecticut.


“… the only show in town… one can’t but help get the feeling, and even accounting for New Haven’s formation over 6 decades before Yale’s, that if not for the university then there would be little reason for the city of New Haven to exist at all.”
Day 3


September 29 || Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania.


“Some 80 years after ridding themselves of the Brits and the Americans found the need to fight among themselves with one of the most decisive and pivotal battles of the 1861-1865 American Civil War, not to mention the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil, taking place at Gettysburg.”
Go!
Day 4


September 30 || Farming in Amish Country, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


“I doubt one ever forgets their first sighting of the Amish and their simple, rural & Bible-centered existence. Our gawking (it’s unavoidable for first-timers) started when we passed an Amish buggy on the 8-mile road from Lancaster to Bird-in-Hand…”
Go!
Day 5


October 1 || The White House as seen from Lafayette Square, Washington D.C.


“I didn’t have one presentable picture from two previous visits to what is arguably the most influential city on earth – in 1998 & 2003 – and so was determined, over the course of an evening and a morning in the city on this third visit, to put that right. Washington played ball – it and its iconic neoclassical monuments looked great bathed in the soft light towards the end of day 5 and just as good in the bright sunshine on the morning of day 6. Who would have thought that a hub of bureaucracy and policy could ever look as good.”
Go!
Image of the Day


|| Day 15 || October 11 || The State Capitol Buildings in Tallahassee, Florida.


“While Tallahassee is short on attractions, it does, and unlike the other 49 state capitals, boast 2 capitol buildings.”

Day 15 || October 11 2017

Route || Maccleeny, Florida to Mobile, Alabama.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 397 (639)
Posted From || Mobile, Alabama
Today’s Highlight || The Florida/Alabama state line

T’was the busiest day of the lot on the road today. We returned to Alabama – we’re in Mobile, as deep in the Deep South as we’ve been, and we got here from Macclenny via a stop in the Florida capital of Tallahassee.

As seen from the 22nd-floor observation deck of the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October 11, 2017.

As seen from the 22nd-floor observation deck of the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October 11, 2017.

There wasn’t/isn’t a whole lot to see in Tallahassee, a planned city full of suits, bureaucracy and heat. The city’s geographical location meant today it was a convenient break in the 395-mile drive west from Macclenny.

A road junction as seen from the 22nd-floor observation deck of the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October 11, 2017.

A road junction as seen from the 22nd-floor observation deck of the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October 11, 2017.

The New State Capitol as seen from the steps of the Old State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October, 11 2017.

FLORIDA STATE CAPITOL – NEW & OLD – The New State Capitol as seen from the steps of the Old State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. October, 11 2017. || While Tallahassee is short on attractions, it does, and unlike the other 49 state capitals, boast 2 capitol buildings. The old one, a.k.a. the Historic Capital, was built in 1845. It was spared from the wrecking ball when the new 22-storey capitol, a much more boxier affair, was built in the 1970s. Both now live happily side by side, the old capital a museum to all things Florida and the new one the somewhat sterile administrative centre for the Sunshine State.

On the Florida/Alabama state line, Interstate 10. October 11, 2017.

FLORIDA – STATE #12 On the Florida/Alabama state line, Interstate 10. October 11, 2017 || Just as we expected, the state line signs have been a lot tougher to tick off this trip; the eastern seaboard is a different, much busier beast. That said, we’ve yet to be thwarted (we’re resilient). Today we got the Florida state sign, albeit when leaving the state on the Florida/Alabama state line. It took a bit of work but it was worth it – between this and last year, we’ve seen 40+ state line signs and Florida is the most impressive of them all.

I saw this quote in the lobby of the Florida State Capitol today and thought it apt.

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

– Ernest Hemingway

Late in the day. Interstate 10 on the Florida/Alabama state line. October 11, 2017.

Late in the day. Interstate 10 on the Florida/Alabama state line. October 11, 2017.

We’re now in Mobile. I’ve always wanted to come here, for no other reason other than one of my very favourite YouTube videos emanates from here. Leprechauns in the Deep South? Generally no, but tonight yes.

New Orleans is a 2-hour drive from here. The city is the only reason we’re this far south – this wasn’t on the original itinerary. That said, we’ll be there tomorrow. We’re super pumped for that.

Image of the Day


|| Day 16 || October 12 || Shitfaced on Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.


“A city where seemingly anything goes, New Orleans is also party central, the party firmly centred on the French Quarter’s infamous Bourbon Street, a neon-lit party zone that actively embraces getting shitfaced 24/7. Revelers, meandering from here to there with a beer or colourful cocktail in hand, come here to have a good time, and it seems a lot of them do just that.”

Day 16 || October 12 2017

Route || Mobile to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 167 (269)
Posted From || New Orleans, Louisiana
Today’s Highlight || The French Quarter, New Orleans
On the Mississippi/Louisiana State Line. October 12, 2017.

LOUISIANA – STATE #14 On the Mississippi/Louisiana State Line. October 12, 2017.

New Orleans. The largest city in Louisiana located the mouth of the mighty Mississippi river, the home of jazz & Mardi Gras. The city’s historic French Quarter, where we hung out, is a nice place to wander, awash as it is with charm, churches and foliage-draped & colourful wooden architecture – beautifully preserved wrought iron facades abound.

Rue Demaine, French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

Rue Demaine, French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

But it’s also rather grungy and is overflowing with weirdos and destitute types, a mix of non-conformists and folk obviously down on their luck.

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

Down on his luck. French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

Bourbon Street
This is a city where seemingly anything goes, party central with the party firmly centred on the French Quarter’s infamous Bourbon Street, a neon-lit party zone that actively embraces getting shitfaced 24/7. Revelers, meandering from here to there with a beer or colourful cocktail in hand, come here to have a good time, and it seems a lot of them do just that.

Burbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

A few more from rambles up and down Bourbon Street, an unavoidable consequence of a visit to New Orleans.

We came here because, and when three hours north of the city on last year’s, 2016 epic US road trip, we said we would swing by ‘some day’. That some day just happened to be today, epic US road trip (2017) day 16.

French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

Getting ready for Halloween in the French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana. October 12, 2017.

I’ve a ton of picture from our time in the city today; the French Quarter, and once you avoid Bourbon Street, is rather photogenic. Way more to come from here but for now here’s a sampling, a few more captures from today in New Orleans.

Image of the Day


|| Day 17 || October 13 || The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana.


“… measuring an impressive 23.8 miles (38.5 kilometres in proper distance units), it was for decades the longest bridge over water in the world. The spoilsport Chinese (who else?) have recently built many more many times longer, so the good folk at the Guinness World Records have since shifted the goal posts as it were, changing the wording/fabricating criteria to ensure this is still, as I type, the longest ‘continuous’ bridge over water on earth. Neat, and a great drive.”

Day 17 || October 13 2017

Route || New Orleans, Louisania to Fort Payne, Alabama.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 480 (753)
Posted From || Fort Payne, Alabama
Today’s Highlight || The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

T’was the busiest day of the lot so far on the road today. Four hundred eighty miles of US Interstate we covered today, Day 17, just over the halfway point of the wider road trip. Needless to say, it was a day of covering ground, but there were a few interesting stops en route. There always are.

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana. October 13, 2017.

LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN CAUSEWAY || The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana. October 13, 2017. || Just outside of New Orleans is Lake Pontchartrain and its awesome causeway. Opened in the mid-50s as a single bridge (another parallel bridge/causeway was added in the late 60’s, the present north bound carriageway we drove today) and measuring an impressive 23.8 miles (38.5 kilometres in proper units of length), it was for decades the longest bridge over water in the world. The spoilsport Chinese (who else?) have recently built many more many times longer, so the good folk at the Guinness World Records have since shifted the goal posts as it were, changing the wording/fabricating criteria to ensure this is still, as I type, the longest ‘continuous’ bridge over water on earth. Neat, and a great drive.

Meridian, Mississippi. October 13, 2017.

Meridian, Mississippi. October 13, 2017.

We stopped off in Meridian, Mississippi, 200 miles north of New Orleans. Why? It’s the birthplace of one Jimmie Rodgers. Who? Jimmie Rodgers, a.k.a ‘The Man Who Started It All’, all being country music.

The Jimmie Rodgers Museum, Meridian, Mississippi. October 13, 2017.

The Jimmie Rodgers Museum in Meridian, Mississippi. October 13, 2017.

We’re in a place called Fort Payne, northern Alabama (we crossed from Louisiana through Mississippi and into Alabama today, crossing the Deep South as we headed north). It’s cooler here, a good few degrees cooler than the southern Gulf Coast. Dad likes that (he didn’t like the hot & steamy South). We’re 130 miles shy of Sparta, Tennessee location for the one-day bluegrass festival we’ll enjoy on Day 18. Yep, more bluegrass, one-day, bitesised bluegrass, and the reason for the epic dash north.

Image of the Day


|| Day 22 || October 18 || On the Tennessee/Virginia State Line.


“Shunning US Interstates, and in a successful bid to join the cartographical hometown dots of many an old-time Country Music or Bluegrass heavy hitter, we went deep off the beaten track for a total of 307 green & windy miles through northern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and southern Kentucky. Three states, 300+ miles and many a small-town USA highlight, none of which you’ll find in any guidebook.”

Day 22 || October 18 2017

Route || Knoxville, Tennessee to London, Kentucky.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 307 (494)
Posted From || London, Kentucky
Today’s Highlight || Rural, small-town USA

We went rural today, road trip day 22. Shunning US Interstates, and in a successful bid to join the cartographical hometown dots of many an old-time Country Music or Bluegrass heavy hitter, we went deep off the beaten track for a total of 307 green & windy miles through northern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and southern Kentucky. Three states, 300+ miles and many a small-town USA highlight, none of which you’ll find in any guidebook. I guarantee that.

Americana. Sneedville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

Small-town Americana. We ventured into the neighbouring shop to use the toilet. While here we attempted to buy a few coffees, but were given them for free. Why, I’ve no idea. The Irish charm charming charming rural USA maybe. Sneedville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

Tennessee – Maynardville & Sneedville

Maynardville, a.k.a. The Cradle of County Music – Hometown to Roy Acuff.

Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

If last year’s trip thought me anything it is that the Yanks, especially those in the sticks, love Halloween. And they prepare for it well in advance; we’ve been looking at pumpkins since landing in the country 22 days ago now. Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

Mid-morning break. Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

A mid-morning ‘Be Back Soon’ (if at all) in Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

For Sale. Immaculate 1989 Cadillac Coupe deVille. US 32 outside Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

I loved this. As always in rural USA, today we saw plenty of abandoned, rusting & has-seen-better-days transport options by the side of the road. However, this, an immaculate 1989 Cadillac Coupe deVille with 74,000 kilometres (miles) on the clock, has obviously seen some TLC of late and is now for sale by the side of US 32 outside Maynardville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

Sneedville – Hometown to Jimmy Martin, a.k.a. the King of Bluegrass.

Americana. Sneedville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

Americana. Sneedville, Tennessee. October 18, 2017.

On the Tennessee/Virginia State Line, US 33, Hancock County. October 18, 2017.

On the Tennessee/Virginia State Line, US 33, Hancock County. October 18, 2017.

On the Tennessee/Virginia State Line, US 33, Hancock County. October 18, 2017.

Show-off Halloween displays fronting whitewashed houses amid impeccable display lawns that contrast starkly with unkempt, detritus-plagued surrounds of tumbledown houses & sagging barns; flags (both the Star & Stripes & the Stars & Bars); mile after mile of rusting roadside farm machinery, cars, trucks & tractors; rolling fields, forests & roller-coaster-esque roads; You see them all in rural USA this time of year. They are all eye-catching, but it’s the abundant abode abandonment that’s most striking, most photogenic. On the Tennessee/Virginia State Line, US 33, Hancock County. October 18, 2017.

Virginia – Coeburn – Hometown to Jim & Jesse McReynolds.

Coeburn, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

Love. Coeburn, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

Coeburn, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

Coeburn, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

The Country Music Highway, US 23, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

We hit the Country Music Highway last year too in northeastern Kentucky. Today was the return, this time in southwestern Virginia. The Country Music Highway, US 23, Virginia. October 18, 2017.

On the Virginia/Kentucky State Line, US 23. October 18, 2017.

It’s good to be back in Kentucky. I loved it last time. On the Virginia/Kentucky State Line, US 23. October 18, 2017.

Kentucky – Jenkins & Hyden

Jenkins – Hometown to Kenny Baker, master fiddler.

Burdine, Kentucky. October 18, 2017.

Burdine, outside Jenkins, Kentucky. October 18, 2017.

Hyden – Hometown to The Osborne Brothers

Hyden, Kentucky. October 18, 2017.

Bob? Em, that would be Bobby. Tut tut. Hyden, Kentucky. October 18, 2017.

Image of the Day


|| Day 25 || October 21 || By the side of Interstate 86 in Upstate New York.


“… as brilliant as autumn foliage gets, an unrivalled natural display of spectacular and vibrant autumn hues that makes the 6 northeastern states we’re about to explore the bucket list destination par excellence that they are this time of year.”

After 5,229 miles and 25 days, we’re almost done. For the most part, we’re done with history; we’re done with music; we’re done with daily hours of Interstate driving; and we’re certainly done with the warmer temperatures of the south (I’ve long since dispensed with the flip-flops but an innate pig-headed stubbornness to persist with shorts will, I fear, last only another day or two at most). Today is day 26 (of 33). We’ve a week-plus left and we find ourselves perched on the edge of a lake, Lake George, in upstate New York, itself on the very edge of New England. New England. The geographical region of North America this trip was initially centred on. New England. In the fall/autumn. We saw the leaves first fall on day 18 and have been treated to some nice fall foliage in parts of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York almost every day since (this picture was captured from the side of Interstate 86 in Upstate New York yesterday, day 25). But this, New England in the fall, is as brilliant as autumn foliage gets, an unrivalled natural display of spectacular and vibrant autumn hues that makes the 6 northeastern states we’re about to explore the bucket list destination par excellence that they are this time of year. A week of slow, exploratory drive through rugged rural wilderness & sleepy towns awaits, a week of crisp air ‘Leaf Peeping’ autumnal purple, gold, orange and yellow.
IMG_8706-001

Image of the Day


|| Day 28 || October 24 || The iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.


“… North America’s oldest walled city and the cradle of French civilization in the New World. I can understand why North Americans (& the Chinese… oh the Chinese are everywhere) love its jumble of tight & atmospheric walled lanes, but for us it’s just like any other quaint European town that’s a short Ryanair flight from home (but of course it’s a million miles removed from anything you’ll find over the border in the US).”

We first saw a Tim Hortons in upstate New York on day 24 (we did, of course, pull over for a double-double & donut). We first saw French signposting on day 26 in Vermont (they – Vermonters – claim this is to keep the neighbours happy). So, I guess it was coming. Today, day 28, we cheated. Or did we? Umm. Is an epic US road trip still an epic US road trip if you leave the contiguous 48? Umm indeed. And now that we’re here we’re debating, over a Moosehead or two, whether to take the long way back to the US. Another night in Canada? Oh, may as well be hung a sheep as for a lamb.

Photographing the St Lawrence River from the balcony of the Hotel Terrasse Dufferin, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.

QUEBEC CITY || Photographing the St Lawrence River from the balcony of the Hotel Terrasse Dufferin, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017. || We’ve a balcony overlooking the famous Quebec City Terrasse Dufferin, an elevated boardwalk at the tip of Old Quebec. Founded in 1608, this is North America’s oldest walled city and the cradle of French civilization in the New World. I can understand why North Americans (& the Chinese… oh the Chinese, who we haven’t seen anywhere over the past 27 days, are everywhere) love its jumble of tight & atmospheric walled lanes, but for us it’s just like any other quaint European town that’s a short Ryanair flight from home (but of course it’s a million miles removed from anything you’ll find over the border in the US). We’re staying at the Hotel Terrasse Dufferin, a 180-year-old creaking (in a good way) Dame, a stone’s throw from the uber-swish Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. We can see it from our balcony, something the Fairmont doesn’t seem to offer.

Image of the Day


|| Day 29 || October 25 || On Autoroute 85/the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec, Canada.


“Staying in Canada tacks on over 100 miles of dashboard time to the drive from Quebec City to eastern Maine, with the consolation that you get to drive a 560 kilometre (350 mile) stretch of Canada’s famed Trans-Canada Highway.”

We’re en route to the easternmost point of land in the continental United States. That’s a place called Quoddy Head State Park in Maine, somewhere, and while road-trippin’ the US east, we were always going to search out (those who know me know I love visiting geographical extremities). Getting there via Canada, however, was never part of the plan, the chance to do so by driving a section of the Trans-Canada Highway too good an opportunity to pass up. So that’s what we did today, Epic US (& now Canada) road tip Day 29.

Heading south on Autoroute 85/the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.

TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY || Heading south on Autoroute 85/the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017. || Staying in Canada in getting to eastern Maine tacks on over 100 miles of dashboard time to the drive from Quebec City, the consolation being that you get to drive a 560 kilometre (350 mile) stretch – from Quebec City to Longs Creek, New Brunswick – of Canada’s famed Trans-Canada Highway. Opened in the early 1960s and traversing all ten Canadian provinces, it runs from coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific & vice versa, for a whopping 7,821 kilometres (4,860 miles) making it one of the longest routes of its type in the world. There wasn’t a whole lot to see on the road today (the rain didn’t help), about the most photogenic part of the drive the distinctive white-on-green maple leaf Trans-Canada route markers we’d encounter every so often.

At the New Brunswick-Quebec provincial border on the Trans-Canada Highway north of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada. October 25, 2017.

New Brunswick. We aren’t supposed to be here, but we obviously are. We had to come to Canada to get wet (and to find me donning long pants, even though it’s still unseasonably mild/warm throughout the whole of North America right now). We’re hoping the rain goes away when we cross back over into the US tomorrow, Epic US/Canada road trip Day 30 (of 33). At the New Brunswick-Quebec provincial border on the Trans-Canada Highway north of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada. October 25, 2017.

Image of the Day


|| Day 30 || October 26 || Rain & the world’s longest covered bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada.


“… it was a very wet, the incessant rain trying its damndest but ultimately failing to put a damper on a day that was for me rather momentous, a day when I clocked my 50th US state.”

What a miserable f***in’ day, climatically speaking. We saw a lot of water today, road trip day 30. Not because we finally reached the New England Atlantic coastline, but rather because there seemed to be no let up in the dredging inflicted on this supposedly picturesque portion of the US northeast. Yes, it was a very, very wet day, the incessant rain trying its damndest but ultimately failing to put a damper on a day that was for me rather momentous, a day when I clocked my 50th US state.

The Easternmost point in the USA. West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Maine. October 26, 2017.

EASTERNMOST POINT & 50TH STATE || West Quoddy Head, Maine. The Easternmost point in the USA. October 26, 2017. || OK, what follows is a bit of a boast, something I’m not very comfortable with, but here goes. In getting here, to West Quoddy Head in Maine, the easternmost point of the US mainland, I’ve now visited the geographical 4 corners of the contiguous 48 (& lots in between): the northwest (Seattle, Washington – March 2013); the southwest (San Diego, California – April 2013), & the southeast (Key West, Florida – July 2013). But, and more importantly, in crossing over into Maine from New Brunswick, Canada, I’ve now visited all 50 US states. That’s kind of neat. Boast over.

Apart from getting wet and reaching milestones, today saw us crossing a timezone; saw us leaving Canada (twice); saw us entering the US (also twice); saw us crossing the world’s longest covered bridge; and saw us, once again, wondering why there are no lights in New England – Vermont, New Hampshire and now Maine are spookily dark states then the sun goes down (rumour has it the states in question, even in Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ US of A, are too stretched to pay the lighting bill). Oh, and they are awfully boring places to be too. I understand it’s out of season right now, but gosh. There’s no doubt New England is drop-dead gorgeous this time of year (assuming the sun shines). Expect plenty of leaves. Just don’t expect a party. Yawn.

A few more pictures from today as captured (in the rain) in chronological order.

CANADA

Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

HARTLAND BRIDGE || Dating to 1901, this is, as the text states, the longest covered bridge in the world. Forget the Trans-Canada Highway. This alone is worth coming to this remote part of a remote Canadian state for. Maybe. Actually, probably best to just stop by if, you know, you happen to be in the area. We did. (No doubt resulting from a hangover from the old days, the bridge is still listed as being 1,282 imperial feet long, a tad over 390 metres.) Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

Route 3, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

MOOSE & BEARS || Attention. Moose & bears by Route 3, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

At the Canada/US border crossing in Saint Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

BYE BYE CANADA || OK Canada. I enjoyed you this time. You’re alright, I guess. We could be friends again. See you next time. At the Canada/US border crossing in Saint Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

USA

SiriusXM failure. US coastal Route 1, Maine. October 26, 2017.

SIRIUSXM FAILURE || Satellite radio failure. I’d like to blame the rain, but it was more than likely the remoteness. On US coastal Route 1 in (remote) eastern Maine. October 26, 2017.

Water Street, Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.

EASTPORT, MAINE || Aptly named Water Street in Eastport, Maine. I know someone who grew up here. I can’t blame him for leaving. There’s only one way out – it’s the same as the way in and there’s not a whole lot going on in between. It’s the easternmost something in the US – city, I think, even though it has less than 1,500 inhabitants. I would have liked to stick around a tad longer, but the driving rain – at its horrible worst today here in Eastport, whose streets resembled mini rivers – ensured that wasn’t going to happen, to say nothing of the place being a veritable ghost town. Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.

Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.

Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.

Lubec, Maine. October 26, 2017.

LUBEC || Not far from Eastport is Lubec, the easternmost town in the US. Lubec, Maine. October 26, 2017.

Lubec, Maine, USA, as seen from Narrows Road across Lubec Narrows on Campboello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

BORDER SHENANIGANS || Lubec, Maine as seen from Narrows Road across Lubec Narrows on Campboello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017. || A bridge from Lubec crosses over Lubec Narrows to Campboello Island, a 14-kilometre-long by 5-kilometre-wide island that’s part of Canada (New Brunswick, to be precise). The island goes nowhere; it’s a dead end, ‘Alcatraz’ according to the Canadian border official who granted us access back into Canada mere hours after departing the country further north in Saint Stephen. Somewhat bizarrely, we told the official we’d only be a few minutes (in Canada). True enough, and with nothing to see on the island (not now, out of season), we were back in Lubec, back in the US state of Maine, but not before capturing this picture of Lubec as seen from Campboello Island.

Image of the Day


|| Day 31 || October 27 || Fall foliage. Acadia National Park, Maine.

Image of the Day


|| Day 32 || October 28 || Race Point Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Image of the Day


|| Day 33 || October 29 || Providence, Rhode Island.

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