EPIC US ROAD TRIP 2017

DAYS 2 & 26-33 - NORTHERN COLONIES / NEW ENGLAND & CANADA - VERMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE, QUEBEC & NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA), MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS & RHODE ISLAND

 

Image || Leaf Peeping. Fall foliage, Acadia National Park, Maine.

dMb US State Digest

Connecticut (CT) | Vermont (VT) | New Hampshire (NH) | Maine (ME) | Massachusetts (MA) | Rhode Island (RI)

Epic US Road Trip 2017 – New England / Northern Colonies & Canada

New England. Rugged rural wilderness. Slow exploratory drives. Tidy, sleepy antique towns with cosy boutiques & cafes. French, de Champlain-era influence & history. Country fairs. Wineries. Pumpkins. Crisp air. Lobster & chowder. Blueberry pie. Lighthouses along wave-lashed coastline. Farmsteads & barns. Creaking covered wooden bridges.

New England — the birthplace of America — is filled with rich history, cultural attractions, fascinating cities, scenic villages, and outdoor adventures at every turn. Discover white sand beaches, and lighthouses, brilliant fall foliage, expansive lakes, panoramic mountain views, and dockside restaurants with delicious seafood chowder, lobster, and blueberry pie.

DiscoverNewEngland.org

Regional stereotypes abound, but it’s the brilliant and unrivalled fall/autumn foliage show that makes this region of 6 northeastern US States – Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Connecticut – the bucket list destination par excellence that it is this time of year.

On the Kancamagus Highway of White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.
Autumn/fall covers the New England region in colour. It slowly comes alive with vibrant autumn hues of auburn & scarlet, the seasonal reduction in chlorophyll, green pigments found in leaves, ensuring the region’s millions of maple, hickory & dogwood trees yield spectacularly to tones of vivid autumnal purple, gold, orange and yellow.

Falltastic – Peeping Peepers
The natural fall foliage phenomenon occurs every year throughout a large swath of the Appalachian Mountains, right from Canada in the north through to northern Georgia in the south. We sampled the early fall delights of the All-American Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on Day 27 of last year’s Epic US Road Trip 2016, not to mention the autumnal delights of Upstate New York’s wild Adirondacks in getting here to New England proper, but nothing quite compares to the fantastic foliage display one is treated to on a late September to early November foray into rural New England. And it – an autumn foray into rural New England – is quite the attraction. It’s estimated that some 8 million people descend on the region every year with each New England state tourism website doing its utmost to provide some kind of ‘Fall Foliage Tracker’ to highlight the best of the spectacle for visitors, a.k.a. leaf peepers, ‘leaf peeping’ an established and informal term for the activity of travelling to view & photograph the foliage. Don’t mind if we do.

New England – Introduction

We started our New England adventure, the central purpose of the wider road trip, by driving the 100 miles (160 kilometre) between T. F. Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, to New Haven, Connecticut. We left the region the following day, Day 2, for three-plus weeks of road-trippin’ the Middle & Southern Colonies of the Eastern Seaboard, the Deep South, & the Great Lakes region. We returned to New England’s rural Vermont on Day 26. This is a chronological look at what we saw and where we saw it.

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Days 1 & 2


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 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

There will obviously be plenty more dashboard time ahead, but today at least we eased ourselves into Epic US Road Trip 2017. We landed in Rhode Island, the country’s smallest state, and will be back here at the end, but about all we did today was pick up the hire car and head southwest towards the state line with Connecticut, a 34-mile (55 kilometre) drive via Interstate 95 from T. F. Green Airport and 65 miles shy of New Haven, our overnight location for Day 1.

dMb US State Digest

AN ORIGINAL THIRTEEN || One of the original Thirteen Colonies. Founded as a colony in 1636. Became a crown colony in 1662.

connecticut_glossy_square_icon_256Connecticut

State Nicknames – The Constitution State; The Nutmeg State; The Provisions State; The Land of Steady Habits. State MottoQui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains). Admitted To The Union – January 9, 1788 (5th state). Population – 3.6 million Connecticuters (29th most populous state). Area – 5,570 sq miles (3rd smallest state – only quaint Delaware & time Rhode Island are smaller). Capital – Hartford. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 2/0. Famous For – Being home to America’s insurance business (the country’s first insurance company opened in Hartford in 1810 & today finance and insurance is Connecticut’s largest industry); drafting what is considered North America’s – and maybe the world’s – first constitution, the so-called Fundamental Orders as adopted by the then three-year-old Connecticut Colony in 1639; building the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, in 1954, the first submarine to complete a submerged transit of the North Pole (1958); being home to the WWF, the World Wrestling Federation (headquartered in Stamford); the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. State Highlights – Nautical Mystic & time-honoured towns bordering the Connecticut River. Connecticut Titbits – New England’s southernmost state is named after the river that slices clean through its centre from north to south, the name being derived from the native Mohegan word quinnehtukqut, meaning ‘place of the long river’; Connecticut has a rich maritime history even though it technically doesn’t have any oceanfront – its coastline sits on Long Island Sound, an estuary; the state’s per capita personal income is one of the country’s highest and it has the third-largest number of millionaires per capita in the US; George H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the US, grew up in Greenwich & his son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the US, was born in New Haven; Connecticut clams to be home to the world’s first hamburger (1895), Polaroid camera (1934), helicopter (1939) and color television (1948); the world’s first automobile law – a speed limit of 12 mph – was passed by the state in 1901, 7 years before the introduction of Ford’s Model T; Connecticut became, in 1937, the first state to issue permanent license plates for cars; bottoms up – Connecticut (along with neighboring Rhode Island) never ratified the 18th Amendment, a.k.a. Prohibition.

Connecticut. State #1. On the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

The first state line picture of this road trip. Plenty more to come, plenty more opportunities to get a better picture. At the Connecticut/New York State & the entrance to the Merritt Parkway, Greenwich, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

Day 2 || September 28, 2017

Route || New Haven, Connecticut to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 312 (502)
Posted From || Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Today’s Highlight || Yale University, New Haven

Day 2. The first full day. We took a look around New Haven this morning, a glorious but windy morning in America’s oldest planned city (it was laid out in orderly blocks way back in 1638).

New Haven

Connecticut (CT) || The city is home to the Ivy League Yale University, the reason we chose to overnight here last night on our first night of the wider road trip. Little did we know then that Yale is pretty much the only show in town; it’s New Haven’s largest employer, taxpayer and catalyst for economic development and while touring the Gothic-heavy campus 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.

Cross Campus, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. September 28 2017.

YALE UNIVERSITY – STERLING MEMORIAL LIBRARY || Cross Campus, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28. 2017.
I’m not too sure which is more important for getting accepted into Yale, money or brains. Either way, I suspect you need copious amounts of both. Founded in Saybrook, Connecticut in 1701 as the Collegiate School, relocated to New Haven in 1716, and renamed Yale College in 1718, this is the 2nd oldest Ivy Leaguer after Harvard (founded 1636). The Alma mater of 5 US presidents, including 4 of the last 6, the campus is, as one might expect, a rather picturesque riot of thick Gothic buildings. One of over 260 buildings gracing the vast campus complex, the library building seen here, the Sterling Memorial Library, more resembles a cathedral than a library (externally at least, where it displays some impressive relief work above the front entrance doors). Completed in 1930 and today serving as Yale’s primary library, it houses some 4 million volumes, most of which are stored in the building’s seven-storey tower, a.k.a. the Stacks, the library’s dominant feature.

You join those who have come here as students, scholars, and visitors for over 300 years. We hope you will make your own discoveries here and gain a sense of the many contributions Yale graduates and faculty have made to this country and the world.

– A ‘Welcome to Yale’ posting in the Visitor Center of Yale University, New Haven.

Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

Ivy League
With connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions and social elitism, the Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from 8 private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States – Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) , Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) & Columbia University (New York City, New York).

Hewitt Quad, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

In a region that is home to Yale University and the birthplace of the hamburger, Greater New Haven imparts tales that have evolved into the cornerstone of American history with inventions such as the cotton gin, Frisbee (the sport seemingly invented by Yale students) and the lollipop. The perfect home base to experience the arts, great shopping and dining and picture-postcard beach towns.

CTVisit.com commenting on the New Haven region

Ye olde books behind protective glass in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

Walking through Old Campus, the oldest part of the Yale University campus, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

Branford, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. September 28, 2017.

In getting from New Haven to the state of New York (before continuing on through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania), we drove the Merritt Parkway, the first National Scenic Byway of the wider road tip. Suffice it to say, it won’t be the last.

The entrance to the Merritt Parkway on the New York/Connecticut state line. September 28 2017.

The entrance to the Merritt Parkway on the New York/Connecticut state line. September 28 2017.

National Scenic Byway #1 – Merritt ParkwayUS Scenic Byways Logo
Set in natural surroundings, Merritt Parkway’s significant design brilliantly integrates the craft of the engineer and the artist. The bridges along the route are excellent examples of Art Deco, or Art Moderne, styles of the 1920s and 1930s. Magnificent foliage abounds in both spring and fall.

NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAYS & ALL-AMERICAN ROADS

US Scenic Byways Logo
While each state can and does designate its own Scenic Byways, a National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the US Department of Transportation for one or more of six ‘intrinsic qualities’, they being archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic. The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation’s scenic but often less-travelled roads and to promote tourism and economic development. The National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The most scenic byways are designated All-American Roads. These roads must meet two out of the six intrinsic qualities. An All-American designation means these roads have features that do not exist elsewhere in the US and are unique and important enough to be tourist destinations unto themselves.

As of November 2010 there are 120 National Scenic Byways and 31 All-American Roads located in 46 states (all except Hawaii, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Texas).

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 26

 

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont.

 

“A lot of Burlington life seem to revolve around its central Church Street Marketplace, an award-winning redbrick-heavy pedestrian mall running for 4 blocks. A leafy & strollable precinct of shops, cafes, bars & restaurants which opened in September 1981, the so-called ‘gem in the crown of the Queen City of Burlington’ was inspired by the transformation of the main shopping district in the Danish capital of Copenhagen from traffic-snarled eyesore to attractive pedestrian mall.”

New England – The Return

After 25 days & 5,229 miles – half of which was spent driving as far into the Deep South and away from New England as we could go, the other half saw us New England bound – 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 Champlain in the Adirondacks of rural Upstate New York, itself perched 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.

Being enticed on the edge of New England itself. Fall foliage as seen from New York State Route 9N/Lake Shore Drive, Adirondacks, Upstate New York on Day 26. October 22, 2017.

We first saw the leaves fall in Tennessee on Day 18 and have been treated to some nice fall foliage in parts of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Upstate New York almost every day since. 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. Welcome to a week+ of slow, exploratory drives through rugged, rural, big-countryside New England, a week+ of Leaf Peeping autumnal purple, gold, orange & yellow.

Buildings of Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont. October 22, 2017.

Day 26 || October 22, 2017

Route || Lake George, Upstate New York to Montpelier, Vermont.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 143 (230)
Today’s New England Highlight || Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont

A day of two halves, the wild Adirondacks of Upstate New York in the morning & a ferry crossing into New England proper in the afternoon. We only drove a little over 50 miles of Vermont roads today, our introduction to New England. But 50 miles was still sufficient to get us from the shores of Lake Champlain, Vermont’s western boundary with New York State, to Burlington, its largest city, & from there to the outskirts of its capital Montpelier, itself over half way towards the state’s eastern boundary with New Hampshire. Yep, it’s a small place, Vermont. Pretty too. Oh, and quiet & dark. Noticeably quiet and inexplicably dark.

Approaching Vermont & New England. Crossing Lake Champlain, and the New York-Vermont state line, en route from Essex, New York to Charlotte, Vermont. October 22, 2017.

dMb US State Digest

vermont_glossy_square_icon_256Vermont

State Nickname – The Green Mountain State. State Mottos – Freedom and Unity and Stella quarta decima fulgeat (May the 14th star shine bright). Admitted To The Union – March 4, 1791 (14th state). Population – 625,000 Vermonters (2nd only to Wyoming as the country’s least populous state). Area – 9,600 sq miles (6th smallest state). Capital – Montpelier. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 1/0. Famous For – Being the first state in the Union to outlaw slavery; forests (80% of the state is forested); maple syrup (the state is the leading producer of maple syrup in the US); cheese, specifically Vermont’s signature sharp cheddar; dairy farms; quarries (both the country’s first marble quarry & the world’s largest ‘deep hole’ dimension stone granite quarry are in Vermont, the largest slate producer in the US); ice-cream (Ben & Jerry’s was founded in the state in 1978 and is still headquartered here); boutique wineries, small-batch distilleries & craft breweries (Vermont has the most microbreweries per capita in the US); 19th century covered wooden bridges (over 100 in the state alone); hiking; fishing; winter sports; for having the smallest & least populous state capital in the US (Montpelier); being the birthplace of Mormon leader Bringham Young. State Highlights – The great outdoors & rural fall drives. Vermont Titbits – The origin of the name ‘Vermont’ is uncertain, but likely comes from the French Les Verts Monts, meaning “the Green Mountains”; it’s the least-populous state in New England & the region’s only landlocked state; Vermont was ranked the safest state in the Union in 2016; along with California, Hawaii and Texas, the state is one of only four US states that were previously sovereign states given that the original 13 states were formerly colonies; progressive Vermont state became the first state to recognise unions for same-sex couples through legislative action with the introduction of civil unions in 2000; squat Vermont – it is the only state that does not have any buildings taller than 124 feet (38 metres).

Vermont. State #19. New England bound. On the ferry crossing Lake Champlain from Essex, New York to Charlotte, Vermont. October 22, 2017.

Regardless of the time of year that you choose to visit Vermont, the attractions and destinations that await are plentiful in all corners of the state. Truly a four-seasons state for tourism, weather is no factor in finding a good time in Vermont. If getting outdoors is what you have in mind, many of the ski resorts that dot the Green Mountain State are almost always offering some sort of outdoor activity. During the milder weather months, bodies of water and recreation trails beckon around the state. Should the arts, culture or historical sites be high on your lists of interests, Vermont’s museums, galleries, artisan shops and factories are always opening their doors to curious visitors. There are so many neat places to visit in Vermont, that it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin!

VermontVacation.com

Thumbs-up at the Vermont-New Hampshire state line off Interstate 93 over the Connecticut River, October 24, 2017.

Burlington

Vermont (VT) || Although it only has some 42,000+ souls, making it, get this, the least populous city to be the most populous city in any US state, lakeside Burlington is still Vermont’s largest urban centre. OK, so there isn’t a whole lot to see or do in or around the town, but the pretty & hip café culture college town has an unmistakable small-town vibe that may just be its biggest draw.

The spire of the 1816 Unitarian Universalist Church, the oldest remaining place of worship established by white settlers in Burlington, at the north end of Church Street as seen from Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont. October 22, 2017.

CHURCH STREET MARKETPLACE || Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont. October 22, 2017.
A lot of Burlington life seem to revolve around its central Church Street Marketplace, an award-winning redbrick-heavy pedestrian mall running for 4 blocks. A leafy & strollable precinct of shops, cafes, bars & restaurants which opened in September 1981, the so-called ‘gem in the crown of the Queen City of Burlington’ was inspired by the transformation of the main shopping district in the Danish capital of Copenhagen from traffic-snarled eyesore to attractive pedestrian mall.

Imagine yourself here at the beginning of the 19th century; you would probably have to pick up your skirt above the muddy ground to get up on a plank sidewalk, and protect your hat from obstacles encountered on your way. Pedestrians needed to keep their eyes open to avoid being hit by horses or carriages on this heavily used street, at the top of which one could see a church that was built in 1816. Because of this, the inhabitants originally designated the street “the brick church street”. Already noted in the street map of 1797, Church Street was one of the main routes on the north-south axis of the city of Burlington.

– reproduced from text on display on Church Street, Burlington

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont. October 22, 2017.

EVERYONE LOVES A PARADE || The ‘Everyone Loves a Parade‘ mural off Church Street Marketplace, Burlington, Vermont. October 22, 2017.
Thirty-eight metres (124 feet) long, 5 metres (16 feet) high and turning heads since 2012, the Everyone Loves a Parade mural off Church Street Marketplace is kind of unmissable. You could spend a long time analysing its contents, a chronological look at 400 years of Burlington & Vermont state history, from the 1609 arrival of Samuel de Champlain – explorer, settler, the Father of New France & Quebec City & the first European to map & document Lake Champlain – right up to the present day. A work by renowned Canadian muralist Pierre Hardy, known for his inventive and meticulously-detailed large-scale pieces, it employs the Trompe-l’oeil (French for ‘trick the eye’) art technique in which highly realistic imagery creates the illusion that the subjects depicted are three dimensional. As the mural itself states, ‘the people in this mural are builders, leaders, and stars who contributed to what Burlington and Vermont are today.’ Who knew Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the US (1923-1929), and John Deere, of tractor fame & inventor of the first steel plow, were Vermonters, or that British author Rudyard Kipling wrote and illustrated his 1894 literary classic The Jungle Book while living in Vermont? Well I didn’t, not until today that was.

Montpelier

Vermont (VT) || First settled in 1787, named after the French city of Montpellier & with a population of barely 8,000, it’s hard to believe this is a state capital, easily the smallest there is. The sort of place that would register as a small town just about anywhere not called Vermont, it’s an agreeable kind of place that’ll do little to offend; eyesores are kept to a minimum (Montpelier is proud to proclaim that it’s the only US state capital without a McDonald’s), but so too are the attractions.

Montpelier – First Impressions

‘This is bizarre’, I may have uttered. I can’t quite remember, but I remember being flummoxed.

We were pretty confident it was the state capital of Montpelier, a short 40-mile drive east of Burlington. We just couldn’t see a whole lot of it to verify. It seemed abandoned, was eerily quiet & dark. And it wasn’t even that late, or so I thought – approximately 8 p.m. It was almost like the last person who left for the evening turned off the lights as they were leaving. And this is a state capital, albeit the smallest one there is. There was nowhere obvious to lay our head, no neon advertising the presence of the kind of refuge welcomed by the likes of us after a day on the road, which immediately told me they don’t get many of ‘the likes of us’ around here. Hell, there were no services signs of any kind. Nothing.

“Well, this is a bit different. The locals, evidently undisturbed by tourists, must get around on instinct,” I thought, “but only during the daylight hours.”

We needed the help of a crude map sketched out on the small piece of paper by a gas station employee to find sanctuary for the night, the Comfort Inn & Suites at Maplewood, it actually in Berlin, a town about 5 miles south of Montpelier. Maybe the state capital will be a bit more open in the morning, Day 27. At the very least we’ll see where we’re going, and see what we missed of the city tonight, if anything.

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 27

 

Autumnal colours of the White Mountains, New Hampshire.

 

“Today is why we’re here. Today is what we came for. Lazy exploratory drives round these parts this time of year are going to expose you to stereotypical New England: endless countryside of blanketed rolling green; farms; swirling leaves on quiet side roads & kicking up the leaves at even quieter state lines; picture-perfect preserved covered bridges; antique villages; and of course forests of fantastic fall foliage.”

Day 27 || October 23, 2017

Route || Berlin, Vermont to Franconia, New Hampshire.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 213 (343)
Today’s Highlight || The fall foliage of the Kancamagus Highway of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest

Today is why we’re here. Today is what we came for. Lazy exploratory drives round these parts this time of year are going to expose you to stereotypical New England: endless countryside of blanketed rolling green; farms; swirling leaves on quiet side roads & kicking up the leaves at even quieter state lines; picture-perfect preserved covered bridges; antique villages; and of course forests of fantastic fall foliage. That’s just some of what we saw, and photographed, today, Epic US Road Trip 2017 Day 27.

Epic US Road Trip 2017. Day 27. On the fall roads of rural Vermont en route to the New Hampshire state line. October 23, 2017.

Montpelier – Take II
We kicked off Day 27 by getting a second, proper look at the Vermont state capital of Montpelier, something that didn’t take too long. Occupying less than 10 square miles, it’s a small place.

State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.

MAIN STREET || Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
You could, and definitely should, walk up one side of State Street & down the other. Take a left (or right) on Main Street. Do the same there (walk up one side, down the other). You’ll hit the ‘city limits’ on either town artery soon enough. And that’s Monteplier. From one end of the town, from one side to the other in well less than an hour. You’ll always be enclosed by verdant hills & en route you’ll saunter past many a period building, inviting cafe, artisan store, boutique & church. You might see a few souls, a few fellow tourists even, although not too many of either. No doubt good times are to be had here, but I suspect you’ll struggle to find a party (if that’s your want), or someone in a hurry. Montpelier’s not that kind of place, or at least it doesn’t come across as such. I don’t know why but my abiding memory of Montpelier’s Main Street, apart from the obvious (how small & quiet it is), is their parking meters – they only accept cards.

UNITARIAN CHURCH OF MONTPELIER || The Unitarian Church of Montpelier, Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
The Unitarian Church of Montpelier has been ‘a religious home for open-minded Vermonters since 1864’, ‘an inclusive congregation welcoming all people of all ages, classes, ethnicities, genders, physical abilities and sexual orientations.’ They certainly have a nice, welcoming home, one of the standout edifices, and easily the tallest, on Montpelier’s Main Street.

The gold leaf dome of the intimate & impressive State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.

STATE HOUSE || State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
Topping the (short) list of Montpelier’s must-sees, the town’s Italian Renaissance Revival-style State House is the third incarnation of Vermont’s Capitol Building – the structure standing today, built between 1857 & 1859, incorporates the portico of the second, 1830s State House, it destroyed by fire in January 1857. Like everything else in Montpelier, the building is small but intimate. It’s topped by a distinctive 17.4-metre-tall (57 feet) dome. Gilded in 24-carat gold leaf in 1907 (the dome was originally clad in copper and finished to imitate an Italian red tile roof), the whole shebang is topped by a 4.2-metre-tall (14 feet) statue of Agriculture.

LOBBY || The lobby of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
The checkered marble floor of the lobby of the Vermont State House is striking and houses a marble 1872 bust of Abraham Lincoln as donated to the state of Vermont in 1910 upon the death of its creator, American neoclassical sculptor Larkin Goldsmith Mead (the bust was a study piece in preparation for the large bronze statue Mead created for Lincoln’s tomb in Illinois).

Also on display in the State House lobby are various quotes from prominent past Vermont politicians, most of which highlight the liberty-loving virtues of the state and its inhabitants – as longtime defenders of human freedom, Vermont was the first US state to outlaw slavery.

The record of Vermont as a resolute champion of individual freedom, as a true interpreter of fundamental law, as a defender of religious faith, as an unselfish but independent and uncompromising Commonwealth of liberty-loving patriots, is not only unsurpassed, but unmatched by any other state in the Union.

– George Brinton McClellan Harvey, 1921. Proud Vermonter & former US Ambassador to Great Britain.

REPRESENTATIVES HALL || The Representatives’ Hall of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
The second floor Representatives’ Hall of the Vermont State House is home to the 150-member Vermont House of Representatives. Meticulously restored to its 1859 appearance by the private non-profit organisation Friends of the Vermont State House, it looks and feels every bit the museum exhibit it could very easily pass for. The dominant feature of the room, overlooked by an historic portrait of George Washington (which was rescued from the fire that destroyed the previous State House), is its central bronze & gilt chandelier. An original, it is one of America’s most important surviving gas fixtures.

GOVERNORS OFFICE || The Governor’s Office of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
Another State House room restored to its 1859 appearance using replicas of the original carpet, draperies, gasolier and some furniture, the Governor’s Office, housing portraits of various 19th-century governors, is used when the legislature is in session or for ceremonial occasions, although it would almost feel like a shame to do so given its immaculate presentation to self-guided tourists like me.

Barre

Vermont (VT) || Granite. That what Barre, less than 10 miles southeast of Montpelier, is all about. Along with Rutland further south, Barre is a traditional centre for marble and granite quarrying and carving.

At the junction of Washington & N Main Street in Barre, Vermont. October 23, 2017.

We tried to find Barre’s Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, and even though it’s a rather big ‘deep hole’ granite quarry, only the largest of it’s kind on earth, we still failed, Google Maps leading us on a merry dance into a dead-end Barre residential neighbourhod. But suffice it to say there was still plenty of granite on display. After all, seemingly this is the Granite Capital of The World.

BARRE – SOLDIERS & SAILORS MEMORIAL || The granite Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial in Vermont City Park, Barre, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
As one might expect of the so-called Granite Capital of The World, Barre displays more than a few granite statues and sculptures, most of which were carved by Scottish & Italian immigrants who began emigrating to Barre in the 1880s in the search for employment in Barre’s then burgeoning neophytic granite industry. Probably the town’s most recognized granite sculpture, located at the junction of Washington & N Main Streets on the edge of Vermont City Park and overlooked by the town’s impressive 1907 Aldrich Public Library, is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial, also known as “Youth Triumphant”. Carved from Barre granite by local artists Gino Enrico Tosi, Enrico Mori and John Delmonte, it depicts a noble young warrior supplicating for peace. A preset-day trademark of Barre, it was adopted as the city seal soon after its erection in 1924.

Obviously a state with a capital that’s home to barely 8,000 and whose largest settlement boasts a population of only 42,000+ highlights the fact that Vermont is rather rural. But it feels very rural indeed once you leave the metropolises of Montpelier & Burlington. The 27-mile (44 kilometre) drive south from Montpelier to the Moxley Covered Bridge via Barre was, well, rural. And quiet. It was exactly as one would expect.

#IPulledOverForThis. Passing through the village of Chelsea, just one of the many picturesque antique villages in Vermont’s rural Orange County. October 23, 2017.

Covered Bridges
Probably as prototypically New England as it gets, there are over 100 authentic covered bridges in the state of Vermont alone, giving it the highest number per square mile in the US. You could spent a few enjoyable days making a pilgrimage to dozens of them, and I’m sure people do just that – distances between the bridges are small and the roads connecting them a road-trippin’ adventure in their own right. We didn’t have days, opting instead to devote our historic covered bridge love to the Moxley Covered Bridge outside the village of Chelsea, a modest detour en route from Montpelier to the White Mountain National Forest in neighbouring New Hampshire.

MOXLEY COVERED BRIDGE || At the 1883 Moxley Covered Bridge on the first branch of the White River, Moxley Road, Orange County, Vermont. October 23, 2017.
Given the options available, we were very selective in our choice of Vermont covered bridge and, if I do say so myself, we chose well. Built by an Arthur Adams in 1883 & listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the Moxley Bridge survives to this day as Chelsea’s only 19th-century-era covered bridge. The one-lane, parallelogram-shaped, single span multiple truss structure is 17 metres (57 feet) long and 5.2 metres (17 feet) wide. We spent a bit of time taking a look around, undisturbed the whole time – the photogenic structure doesn’t seem to get much traffic meaning the creaking 134-year-old & counting bridge should be around for a few more years yet.

Vermont is justly famous for her covered bridges. No other state has built and still possesses so many of the old timbered crossings in so small an area.

– Allen, Richard Sanders (1983). Covered Bridges of the Northeast (2nd ed.)

Heading east, it was a 30-mile drive to the blink-&-you’ll-miss-it state line with neighbouring New Hampshire, Epic US Road Trip 2017 state number 20.

dMb US State Digest

AN ORIGINAL THIRTEEN || One of the original Thirteen Colonies. Province of New Hampshire established in 1629, chartered as a crown colony in 1679.

new_hampshire_glossy_square_icon_256New Hampshire

State Nicknames – The Granite State; The White Mountain State. State Motto – Live Free or Die. Admitted To The Union – June 21, 1788 (9th state). Population – 1.3 million New Hampshirites (10th least populous state). Area – 9,350 sq miles (5th smallest state). Capital – Concord. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 3/0. Famous For – Levying no general sales or income tax; the New Hampshire primary, the first primary of the US presidential election cycle; quaint towns; having an extreme state motto (Live Free or Die); mountains, including the highest peak in New England (Mount Washington, 1,916 metres/6,288 feet); summer and early autumn county fairs; winter sports; lazy lakeside vacation cottages; Old Man of the Mountain, a 12-metre-tall (40 foot) natural White Mountain face-like rock formation that resembled a jagged profile of a face and which collapsed in 2003 (but which still adorns state licence plates a state highway markers). State Highlights – The White Mountains. New Hampshire Titbits – The state was named in 1629 after the English county of Hampshire; it was the first of the British North American colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain’s authority and, in 1776, was the first to establish its own state constitution; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was born out of the July 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, a gathering of delegates from all 44 Allied nations at New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods, the aim of which being to regulate the international monetary & financial order following the end of World War II; New Hampshire was the first US state to have a legal lottery; famous New Hampshirites include The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, Alan Shepard, the first American in space (May 1961) and one of only 12 men, all Americans, to have walked on the moon, and Christa McAuliffe, the first private citizen selected to venture into space but who perished in the January 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster; the world’s largest video arcade, Funspot, is located in New Hampshire; in 1996 the state became the first to install green LED traffic lights (having also been the first state to install the red & yellow variety we all know and love); in 2007 New Hampshire became “the first state to recognize same-sex unions without a court order or the threat of one.”

New Hampshire. State #20. That extreme motto & Old Man of the Mountain on the New Hampshire licence plate as captured in Lincoln, White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

We might be biased, but we think you’ll agree. New Hampshire is the place to be if you’re looking for thrilling and memorable experiences that feel like they’re in your own backyard. (That is, if your backyard happens to be a 4,000-ft. peak.)

VisitHN.gov

Thumbs-up at the New Hampshire-Vermont state line off Interstate 93 over the Connecticut River, October 24, 2017.

Connecticut River & The Connecticut River BywayUS Scenic Byways Logo
Once over the state line and into New Hampshire – by crossing the Connecticut River, New England’s longest – we found ourselves driving a short portion of the 500-mile-long (800 kilometre) Connecticut River Byway, the sixth National Scenic Byway of the wider road trip. There’d be not one but two more to come on this particular day.

National Scenic Byway #6 – Connecticut River Byway

New England’s longest, most powerful river tells the story of clashing continental plates and glaciers, of Abenaki living on the land, and of colonial settlement among fields and forests. Experience traditions, vivid history, deeply rooted farming heritage, call of the railroads, natural beauty, and recreation along the Connecticut River Byway.

www.fhwa.dot.gov commenting on the Connecticut River Byway

CONNECTICUT RIVER BYWAY || Mile marker 116 of New Hampshire Route 10, a stretch of the Connecticut River Byway that runs for 500 miles through portions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont. Near Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

It was another 30-mile drive from the state line with Vermont to Lincoln.

Lincoln

New Hampshire (NH) || Situated in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, New England’s highest range, and something of a regional winter sports hub, during the warmer months the town of Lincoln, population 1,700, is the western gateway for the regional highlight that is the wilderness of White Mountain National Forest.

Lincoln, in the White Mountains and the western gateway to the White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

White Mountains – The Heart of New Hampshire
Part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, the White Mountains more or less define the state of New Hampshire. New England’s very own slimdowned Rockies & the region’s highest range with 48 peaks over 4,000 feet (1,219 metres), it’s a huge swath of lofty wilderness & mountain passes covering about a quarter of New Hampshire and that severs the rural northern third of the state, a.k.a. north country, from the rest of the Granite State. The most rugged mountains in New England are a magnet for the outdoorsy type with almost limitless opportunities for everything from skiing to kayaking to hiking, including on a portion of the famed Appalachian Trail. Scenic drives too, including not one but two National Scenic Byways, both of which we drove on this day. So yeah, this is unquestionably the heart of New Hampshire in more ways than one.

In whatever direction your White Mountains travels take you, you’ll enjoy beautiful scenery and discover fascinating historic sites, picturesque covered bridges, quaint towns and villages, and the friendly people this wonderful region is so well known for. Take your time, have fun and enjoy the ride!

White Mountains Travel Guide, 2017 Edition (VisitWhiteMountains.com)

Thumbs-up by the side of New Hampshire Route 112 at the entrance to White Mountains National Forest and the start of the Kancamagus Highway of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

White Mountain National Forest & The Kancamagus Highway
Just outside Lincoln is the western entrance to the 800,000 acres of underdevelopment that is the White Mountain’s White Mountain National Forest. This, and to quote Lonely Planet, is ‘as natural as it gets’. A powerful presence in the White Mountains and laced with biking trails, scenic lookouts and swimmable streams, people venture here to camp & hike. To just get outdoors. But for the less energetic, or for those with limited time, there’s the Kancanagus Highway. Cutting a jagged course from one side of the White Mountains to the other, this is one of New England’s preeminent drives offering awesome views of the White Mountains. Of course this time of year it also attracts leaf peepers; renowned throughout the region, The Kanc vies with the All-American Park Loop Road in Maine’s Acadia National Park for the title of New England’s best fall foliage viewing experience.

On the Kancamagus Highway of White Mountains National Forest, White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

National Scenic Byway #7 – Kancamagus HighwayUS Scenic Byways Logo
A little over 34 miles (55 kilometres) long & connecting Lincoln to Conway, the Kancamagus Highway – named after a Native Indian, Kancamagus meaning ‘The Fearless One’ – took 22 years to build and was completed in 1959. Stretching across the White Mountains and reaching a height of 2,855 feet (870 metres), the scenic road, devoid of any modern-day development (no gas stations, restaurants, hotels or other businesses have infiltrated this particular swath of New England wilderness), was the first road in the US northeast to attain National Scenic Byway status. Renowned for its recreational opportunities and aesthetic, cultural and historic values, the road is open year round, although traffic is heaviest during the leaf peeping fall months. And it’s not hard to see why.

Driving the Kancamagus Highway through White Mountains National Forest of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway passes through the heart of the White Mountains while traversing the flank of Mt. Kancamagus, filled with scenic areas and overlooks. Visit the Russell Colbath Historic Site, which offers colonial history, and explore the Forest Discovery Trail, which provides forest ecology experiences in a living classroom.

www.fhwa.dot.gov commenting on the Kancamagus Highway

OVERLOOKS & SCENIC VISTAS || At the Hancock Overlook of the Kancamagus Highway through White Mountain National Forest, White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.
Various overlooks along the course of the Kancamagus Highway provide ample opportunity for pulling over and enjoying the far-off views of the valleys & rolling peaks of the White Mountains. One of the first overlooks out of Lincoln, the Hancock Overlook provides picnic areas & a covered pavilion with interpretive panels, seen here. The overlook also provides access to the Hancock Notch trail, one of the forest’s hiking trails providing easy and popular access to 4,420 feet (1,347 metre) Mount Hancock, just one of the White Mountain’s 48 peaks that reach over 4,000 feet (1,219 metres).

Fall colours at the parking lot of the Sugar Hill Scenic Area of the Kancamagus Highway through White Mountains National Forest, White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

At the Kancamagus Pass, the highest point of the Kancamagus Highway through White Mountains National Forest of the White Mountains, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

We rolled into Conway, the eastern access town for the Kancanagus Highway & departure point for the Conway Scenic Railroad, old-fashioned train rides from the town’s 1874 Victorian Station, with only the 50-mile drive to our overnight location of Franconia ahead of us on this busy road-trippin’ day. That drive took us along a portion of the White Mountain’s White Mountain Trail, only the third National Scenic Byway we’d drive on this day and the eight and final of one of the wider road trip (but there’s still 1 All-American drive to come).

Fall colours of the White Mountains as seen from US Route 302/White Mountain Trail, New Hampshire. October 23, 2017.

National Scenic Byway #8 – White Mountain Trail (& Mount Washington)US Scenic Byways Logo
The 100-mile-long (160 kilometre) M-shaped White Mountain Trail between Conway & North Woodstock probably doesn’t get the traffic of the better-known Kancanagus Highway even though it travels through the heart of the White Mountains while crossing three major mountain passes in the process. But mountain pass vistas are not the only attractions around here. Some 11 miles out of Conway is the Glen Junction turnoff for the twisting 22-mile drive to the summit of New England’s highest peak, Mount Washington (6,288 feet/1,916 metres). Care not to drive? Fine, why not instead turn off the White Mountain Trail at Bretton Woods, 35 miles out of Conway, and catch the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit where there are said to be views of ‘up to 5 states, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean’ (so says www.TheCog.com). Built in 1869, it was the world’s very first mountain-climbing cog railway and is still trundling along to this day.

The White Mountain Trail offers New England’s most rugged mountain scenery as it travels easily through three historic “notches” or mountain passes. Views abound of villages and unspoiled National Forest. Stops include views of Mount Washington and the grand Mount Washington Hotel, mountain cascades, wildlife, and the Appalachian Trail.

www.fhwa.dot.gov commenting on the White Mountain Trail

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 28

 

The iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

 

“…the cradle of French civilization in the New World & no less than North America’s oldest walled city. In fact, it’s the only remaining walled city north of Mexico. So 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 of A).”

Day 28 || October 24, 2017

Route || Franconia, New Hampshire to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 253 (407)
Today’s Highlight || Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec)

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, and with the benefit of hindsight, I guess it was coming. Today, Epic US Road Trip 2017 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, as we did today in leaving the US for Canada? And now that we’re here, with the damage already done, 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.

Bienvenue. When an epic US road trip takes liberties. At Tim Hortons having just crossed over the border from Vermont, USA. Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.

New Hampshire has a backyard vibe you’ll be pressed to find anywhere else.

VisitNH.gov

We weren’t quite done with the backyard vibes of New Hampshire just yet. Before we cheated, before we crossed over the border into Canada and shortly after we hit the road for the 250-mile (403 kilometre) drive from Franconia to Quebec City (via a portion of northern Vermont), we stopped off in Littleton. And what a charming little New Hampshire town it proved to be.

Main Street, Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire. October 24, 2017.

Littleton

New Hampshire (NH) || Again it’s all about nature here, not surprising really given the town’s location nestled as it is between the northern White Mountains and the Connecticut River. As a result, charming Littleton, incorporated in 1784 and with a population of less than 6,000, has been named one of the best places to live in America. By whom I’m not too sure, not that that really matters.

God Bless America. Main Street, Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire. October 24, 2017.

LITTLETON || Main Street, Littleton, Grafton County, New Hampshire. October 24, 2017.
With a network of over 22 miles of hand-built trails in the hills surrounding the town, little Littleton prides itself on being a walkable community. The town’s Main Street, lined as it is with unique & inviting independently owned businesses, is eminently strollable too and probably the biggest attraction of ‘The Glad Town’, and a patriotic one at that; there are almost as many fluttering Stars & Stripes hanging from the lampposts lining Main Street as there are banners reminding people to ‘Be Glad!’ It’s a bit of a smile-inducing Americana overload, and a rather photogenic one at that.

We’d have only entertained infidelity for a good reason. For something special. Quebec City is a good reason, and something rather special. The capital of Canada’s francophone Quebec and the province’s second largest city after Montreal, I’d been itching to visit the city for a long time, if only to put things right. I lived a 5-hour drive from the city for over 2 years a decade-plus ago, but never visited. A 5-hour drive today did indeed put that right. Itch scratched. It was about time.

Proudly Made in Canada & for sale in Quarter Petite Champlain, Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.

Quebec City

Quebec (QC) || Founded way back in 1608, Quebec City is the cradle of French civilization in the New World & no less than North America’s oldest walled city. In fact, it’s the only remaining walled city north of Mexico. So 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 of A).

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

QUEBEC VIEUX/OLD QUEBEC || Photographing the Saint Lawrence River from the balcony of the Hotel Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.
Location, location, location. We’ve a balcony overlooking the famous Quebec City Terrasse Dufferin, an elevated boardwalk at the edge of Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond) & the tip of UNESCO-listed Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec) that overlooks the narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River from which the city derives its name (from the native Algonquin Indian word Kébec, meaning ‘where the river narrows’). We’re staying at the Hotel Terrasse Dufferin, a 187-year-old creaking (in a good way) Dame built in 1830 and that’s a mere stone’s throw from the uber-swish 5-star Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, a hulking Quebec City landmark that easily dominates the city skyline and is said to be the world’s most photographed hotel. We can see it from our balcony, something the Fairmont doesn’t seem to offer.

Needless to say, this city is old, 409 years old and counting. That makes it only 171 years older than the USA and a mere 259 years older that its host – Canada as we know it today got its start as the Dominion of Canada on July 1st 1867, the word derived from the Iroquoian word Kanata meaning ‘settlement’ (this settlement, present-day Quebec City). It’s the city’s uniqueness coupled with its antiquity, all that well-preserved and/or restored ancientness, that draws the hordes.

Open top tour buses can’t penetrate the narrow confines of Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec) Basse-Ville (Lower Town) but you’ll see them navigating the streets of Haute-Ville (Upper Town) without too much issue. Place d’Armes, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.

Québec was founded by the French explorer Champlain in the early 17th century. It is the only North American city to have preserved its ramparts, together with the numerous bastions, gates and defensive works which still surround Old Québec. The Upper Town, built on the cliff, has remained the religious and administrative centre, with its churches, convents and other monuments like the Dauphine Redoubt, the Citadel and Château Frontenac. Together with the Lower Town and its ancient districts, it forms an urban ensemble which is one of the best examples of a fortified colonial city.

– UNESCO commenting on the Historic District of Old Québec

Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.

The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of America: its giddy heights; its citadel suspended as it were in the air; its picturesque steep streets and frowning gateways; and the splendid views which burst upon the eye at every turn: is at once unique and lasting.

– Charles Dickens, American Notes, 1842

Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec)
Settled on Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), a promontory of the Saint Laurence River, it is Quebec City’s fortified colonial core, Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), that gets all the attention, and rightly so. First fortified to protect against enemy attack with the construction of Fort Saint-Louis in 1620, Vieux-Québec survives today as a walled city of narrow streets & stone buildings, and an extraordinarily well-preserved, UNESCO-listed & eminently walkable one at that.

Funiculaire. Rue Sous-le-Fort, Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.

Strolling the streets of Old Québec is like journeying back in time… Whether you have a few hours or a few days, you’ll love the look and charm of Québec City’s lovely historic neighbourhoods.

www.quebecregion.com

We took a few strolls around Old Quebec’s Haute-Ville (Upper Town) & Basse-Ville (Lower Town) over the course of the afternoon & evening of road trip day 28 and the morning of road trip day 29. This is some of what charmed us.

CHATEAU FRONTENAC || Château Frontenac as seen from Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
Beauty is firmly in the eye of the beholder where the Château Frontenac is concerned, although, and whatever about its visual aesthetics, one cannot but be impressed by its sheer presence. Easily Quebec City’s most recognisable (& intrusive) landmark, it is a 5-wing hulking & confused-looking mass of red brick, pitched roofs, ornate gables, dormers, towers & turrets (its original designer, Bruce Price, was going for the ‘picturesque eclecticism’ effect said to be popular at the time) that dominates the city skyline, its prominence further exaggerated by its perch atop Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond) towering over the Dufferin Terrace & overlooking the Saint Laurence River. Built in 7 stages between 1892 and 1893, it was constructed for the Canadian Pacific Railway company (CPR) as one of a series of Château-style hotels designed to encourage (wealthy) people to ride the rails. The fortress-like design is said to evoke the romanticism of the 14th- & 15th-century château of the French Loire Valley while expressing the prevailing romantic view of Quebec as a French medieval city. Added to numerous times over the years (in the late 1900s, in the mid 1920s & again in the 1990s), the building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980 and today is operated as the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts 5-star Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Hotel. With 600+ rooms spread over 18 floors, it is said to be the most photographed hotel in the world, thanks in no small part to its prominence on the city skyline.

CENTRAL TOWER || A portion of the Château Frontenac’s central tower as seen from Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.
Unless you step way back, or have a wide angle lens, you’re not going to capture all of the Château Frontenac when admiring it from the Terrasse Dufferine. Seen here is the structure’s central tower. Not part of the original design or construction, it was added in 1924 as part of an expansion becoming easily Château Frontenac’s most dominant architectural feature in the process.

MALTESE CROSS STONE || The Maltese Cross Stone in the walls of Château Frontenac, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
It’s easy to miss it amid the mass of towering red brick, but discerning types might notice the 370-year-old stone emblazoned with a Maltese cross that’s embedded on the vault of the Château Frontenac’s carriage entrance hall. In 1647, Charles Huault du Montmagny, a Knight of the Order of Malta & first Governor & Lieutenant-General of New France, had this stone set into the Saint-Louis Châteaux (see below). In 1892, as work commenced on Châteaux Frontenac, the stone was mounted over a pedestrian gate. Its current location dates back to the mid-1920s when it was moved once again during construction of the Château Frontenac’s lofty central tower.

As seen from Hotel Terrasse Dufferin. Château Frontenac & Terrasse Dufferin overlooking the Saint Laurence River at the edge of Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.

Dufferin Terrace and its fairytale castle are two attractions that never cease to amaze visitors and locals alike, offering spellbinding views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.

www.quebecregion.com

Overlooking the Saint Laurence River from the Victoria gazebo of the Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.

TERRASSE DUFFERIN & SAINT-LOUIS FORTS & CHATEAU || On the wet planks of Terrasse Dufferin, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
Laid in 1879 under the direction of Lord Dufferin – author, traveller, linguist, professional diplomat and Governor General of Canada from 1872-1878 – Dufferin Terrace is a 671-metre-long wooden plank walkway interspaced with period gazebos and benches pilfered from Château Frontenac. The terrace was laid over the site of the Saint-Louis Forts and the Saint-Louis Châteaux. A major archaeological site today hidden by the terrace planks, the forts, dating to 1620, were the first fortification built in Quebec City while the Châteaux has vestiges linked with most of the governors of the French regime and the majority the British governors of the colonial period.

GOVERNORS WALKWAY, PLAINS OF ABRAHAM & CITADELLE DE QUEBEC || A portion of Quebec City as seen from the Plains of Abraham & Citadelle de Québec (the Citadelle of Quebec), Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
A leafy, 650-metre-long wooden walkway, the Governors’ Walkway, built in 1958 to commemorate Quebec’s 350th birthday, provides access from the Dufferin Terrace to the Plains of Abraham. Named after an Abraham Martin (1589-1664), who arrived here in about 1620 and pastured his livestock on the land, it’s still a large expanse of grazeable land to this day, an oasis of greenery in the heart of the city that’s especially popular with early morning joggers. Offering great views down over Quebec City, as seen here, the Plains is the location for the star-shaped Citadelle de Québec (Citadelle of Quebec), an intact fortress that forms the centrepiece of the almost 5-kilometre-long ramparts that surround the old city. Since the French regime, all governor generals, the ruling monarchy’s representative in Canada, have lived near the tip of Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond). Even today, the second official residence of the present Governor General, Julie Payette (only in the job since October 2 last), is located behind the protective walls of the Citadelle de Quebec (the Governor General’s primary residence is Rideau Hall in the Canadian capital of Ottawa).

PETIT-CHAMPLAIN || Rue du Petit Champlain, Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 24, 2017.
Located at the foot of Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond) in the atmospheric Basse-Ville (Lower Town), everyone seems to gravitate towards Petit-Champlain, or maybe it’s the tight confines that make it feel that way. Both one of Quebec City’s earliest residential areas and one of the oldest commercial streets in North America, it was once a small port side village with fur trading posts and elegant two- and three-storey French-influenced homes. An expansive modern-day urban restoration project has turned the Quartier Petit-Champlain into a touristy picture-perfect district of cobblestone streets lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, bistros & coopérative des artisans et commerçants (Cooperative artisans and traders), the perfect place to stock up on all those proudly-Made-in-Canada hoodies & toques.

All year-round, visitors are enchanted by the romantic European atmosphere of this quaint neighbourhood, site of the Québec’s first port, and can see here some of the colony’s first houses.

www.quebecregion.com

FUNICULAIRE || The Funiculaire as seen from Rue Sous-le-Fort, Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
Climbing at steep 45-degree angle and covering a distance of 64 metres (210 feet), the Quebec City Funicular first opened in 1879 as a wood-encased & steam-powered climb, albeit for only 6 months of the year – it went into year-round service when it was electrified in 1907. Undergoing a major revamp with modern technology following a fatal accident in 1996 (when a cable & emergency brake failure saw it crashing down into the lower station), it reopened in 1998 technically as an inclined elevator. Initially serving as a convenient alternative to the horse & buggy transportation of passengers and merchandise between the upper and lower towns, today it’s primarily a convenience for tourists, ferrying them from Terrasse Dufferin of the Upper Town to the tight, cobblestone delights of the Lower Town (which is also accessible from the Terrasse Dufferin via the Escalier Casse-Cou, the Breakneck Stairs, the city’s oldest flight of stairs).

PLACE ROYAL || Place-Royal, Basse-Ville (Lower Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
The cradle of French civilization in the New World, and it all started here in this picturesque little square, Place-Royale, of present-day Old Quebec’s Lower Town. Although a French explorer by the name of Jacques Cartier built a fort on the site in the 1530s, Quebec was officially founded here with the establishment of a trading post by Samuel de Champlain on 3 July 1608, the first permanent French settlement in North America on the site of a long-abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona (the name ‘Canada’ likely comes from the Iroquois word ‘kanata’ meaning ‘village’ or ‘settlement’, that settlement being Stadacona). Today Palace-Royale, also the location for the 1688 Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America and said to have been built on the exact spot where Champlain set up his Abitation 8 decades prior to the church’s arrival, is just like the rest of the district emanating from it – immaculately restored and busy with tourists.

I have not found any more practical or better site than the point at Quebec.

– Samuel de Champlain, French explorer, diplomat & founder of Quebec City in his travel journal having founded his settlement in July 1608.

SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN || Monument Samuel-De Champlain, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
There was bound to be a Champlain monument around here somewhere, somewhere being at the northern end of Terrasse Dufferin & pride of place in front of both Château Frontenac and the Funiculaire station to the Lower Town. Erected in 1898 to commemorate the city’s founder and ‘The Father of New France’, the plinth of the 16-metre-tall (53 feet) Monument Samuel-De Champlain informed me that Champlain also ‘Explored The West Indies from 1599 To 1601’, ‘Acadia (a term used by a 1524 French expedition to describe the Atlantic coast and an area that roughly corresponds to the present-day French-speaking parts of the Canadian Maritime Provinces & the US state of Maine) From 1604 To 1607’, ‘Discovered The Region Of The Great Lakes,’ ‘Led Several Expeditions Against The Iroquois From 1609 To 1615,’ was ‘Successively Lieutenant Governor And Governor Of New France’ & that he ultimately ‘Died At Quebec’ in 1635.

CATHEDRAL-BASILICA NOTRE-DAME DE QUEBEC || The interior of the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec, Haute-Ville (Upper Town), Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec), Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. October 25, 2017.
A parting shot from Quebec City, that of the interior of the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec. And yes, of course it’s old. Dating to 1647 and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec, it’s the parish church of the oldest North American parish north of Mexico and the first church in present-day USA or Canada to have been elevated to the rank of minor basilica, by Pope Pius IX in 1874.

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 29

 

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.”

Day 29 || October 25, 2017

Route || Quebec City to Woodstock, New Brusnwick, Canada.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 326 (525)
Today’s Highlight || Driving the 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 northeast, we were always going to search out (those who know me know I love visiting geographical extremities). However, getting there via New Brunswick, Canada, 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 Trip 2017 Day 29.

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

Plan B
We initially planned to retreat from Quebec City in a southerly direction towards the border with Maine, but decided instead to stay in Canada and go northeast towards New Brunswick. Doing so ensures you’re a bit off the beaten path; this is a sparsely populated part of the world with long stretches of nothing and with no attraction of note, a region to tolerate & travel though in order to get elsewhere. But when you’re road-trippin’, and when going off the beaten path takes you along the famed Trans-Canada Highway, well, then, that’s all the attraction one needs.

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 incentive 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 || At the New Brunswick-Quebec provincial border on the Trans-Canada Highway north of Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada. October 25, 2017.
Lost? Not quite, although we were never supposed to be here, but 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 2017 Day 30 (of 33).

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 30

 

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.”

Day 30 || October 26, 2017

Route || Woodstock, New Brusnwick, Canada to Bar Harbor, Maine.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 330 (531)
Today’s Highlight || West Quoddy Head, Maine, the easternmost point in the USA

What a miserable f***in’ day, climatically speaking. We saw a lot of water today, Epic US Road Trip 2017 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 can be picturesque portion of North America. It was a very, very wet day from one end of it to the next, both in Canada & the US, the incessant rain trying its damndest but ultimately failing to put a damper on a day that was for me rather momentous, the day when I clocked my 50th US state.

In her element. Nerida, the Eastport Mermaid, getting a good old drenching by the waterfront in a very wet Eastport, Maine, my 50th and final US state. October 26, 2017.

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; saw us reaching the easternmost point of the USA; 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.

Hartland

New Brunswick (NB) || Less than a thousand people call Hartland home. A tiny blip of a place in New Brunswick’s Carleton County that’s a short drive off the Trans-Canada Highway but is still in the certified middle of nowhere, there’d be absolutely no reason whatsoever to find yourself here if not for the fact that longest covered bridge in the world spans the town’s Saint John River. That’s quite the boast for such a nondescript town (sorry Hartland).

The Hartland Bridge, Hartland, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

We overnighted last night in Woodstock, 16 miles (25 kilometres) south down the Trans-Canada Highway. It was there I read up on the Hartland Bridge, only the longest of its kind – the covered kind – on earth. How could we not backtrack first thing this morning (in the rain) before continuing south down the Trans-Canada Highway towards Maine? Exactly. We couldn’t.

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

HARTLAND BRIDGE || The Hartland Bridge, Hartland, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
Dating to 1901 and comprised of 7 small Howe Truss bridges joined together on 6 piers, this is, as the text states, the longest covered bridge in the world (although it wasn’t built as a covered bridge). Throughout its 116 years, it has suffered from fire damage, partial collapse, vehicular ‘incidents’ & even vandalism. Although a pedestrian walkway was added in 1945, the bridge has seen very few major structural changes over the years – it’s still the one-lane bridge it always was, a courtesy system in place seeing traffic waiting at one end for a clear run at the crossing.

Hartland Bridge, Hartland, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
Forget the Trans-Canada Highway. This alone is worth coming to this remote part of a remote Canadian province for. Maybe. Actually, probably best to just stop by if, you know, you happen to be in the area. We did.

Hartland Bridge, Hartland, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
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.

It was a 2-hour, 190-kilometre (118 mile) drive south via the Trans-Canada Highway and New Brunswick Route 3 to the Saint Stephen border crossing with the US state of Maine. There wasn’t a whole lot to see en route, the rain further limiting our stops.

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

ROUTE 3 || Attention. Moose & bears by Route 3 having finally left the Trans-Canada Highway. Lawrence Station, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

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

SAINT STEPHEN || At the Canada/US border crossing in Saint Stephen, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
Saint Stephen, the border town with the US and the southern terminus of New Brunswick Route 3, wasn’t looking its best on this particular wet & drab day and if not for this awesome Maple Leaf thumbs-up photo op just before crossing the border then we wouldn’t have stopped in the town at all. And yes, it was still raining.

OK Canada. We’ve had our differences, but I enjoyed you this time. You’re alright, I guess. We could be friends again, but let’s take it slow. New Brunswick slow. See you next time.

Maine. Frontier Maine. My 50th and final US state.

dMb US State Digest

maine_glossy_square_icon_256Maine

State Nicknames – The Pine Tree State; Vacationland. State Motto Dirigo (‘I lead’, ‘I guide’ or ‘I direct’). Admitted To The Union – March 15, 1820 (23rd state). Population – 1.3 million Mainers or Mainiacs (9th least populous state, New England’s least populous state and the least populous state east of the Mississippi). Area – 35,300 sq miles (12th smallest state, but still the largest state in New England (it’s larger than New England’s 5 other states combined) & the largest state east of the Mississippi). Capital – Augusta. National Parks – 1 (Acadia, New England’s only National Park). National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 3/1. Famous For – Being tucked-away-up-there remote; rugged wilderness & forests (83% of the state is forested, the most forest cover of any US state); its jagged, rocky coastline; seafood, especially lobster (some 90% of the nation’s lobster supply is caught off the coast of Maine); fishing villages; moose (the state mammal); Moxie, America’s first (1884) & Maine’s official soft drink; shipbuilding; blueberries (Maine produces some 99% of all blueberries produced in the US). State Highlights – Contiguous 48 extremities & Acadia National Park. Maine Titbits – The first of the region’s European settlers were the French in the early 1600s, they naming their New France colony (present-day eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island, & Maine) Acadia – it is believed the origin of the name ‘Maine’ came from these early settlers who named it after the former French province of the same name; it’s the only US state with a one-syllable name; formally part of Massachusetts, Maine became a sate in its own right in 1820; in 1851, Maine became the first state to ban the sale of alcohol, a movement that eventually took hold nationwide as Prohibition; being the easternmost state in the union accounts for why Maine is the only state in the US to border only one other state (New Hampshire to the west); in 2010, a study named Maine as the least religious state in the US; the state’s Jackson Laboratory is the world’s largest non-profit mammalian genetic research facility & the world’s largest supplier of genetically purebred mice; Maine also produces some 90% of the country’s toothpick supply.

Maine. State #21. Acadia National Park, Maine. October 27, 2017.

The majesty of our wild places is awe-inspiring and transformative. A visit to Maine could easily consist of simply basking in the freedom of Maine’s outdoors – wide-open spaces, taking deep breaths of salty ocean air, and marveling at the views from the tops of our mountains. Many of our visitors love to treat the great outdoors of Maine as a living, breathing art gallery, while others prefer to dive in and take a more hands-on approach.

VisitMaine.com

Thumbs-up at the Maine/New Hampshire State Line on Interstate 95/the Maine Turnpike, Southern Maine. October 28, 2017.

Downeast Maine
New England had been sparsely populated & rural up to this point. However, Maine, or at least the 30 mile stretch of US Route 1 we drove in getting from Saint Stephen south to Eastport, was to take sparsely populated and rural to another level. This is the start of so-called Downeast Maine, a 900-mile-plus (1,500 kilometre) stretch of rugged, jagged & oft-fogy coastline running from here to Mount Desert Island, the largest of Maine’s many thousand offshore islands and our destination for this day. This particular extreme eastern region of Downeast Maine is as far east in mainland US as you can get and the feeling of being as removed as you are never relents.

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

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

Coastal New England
We haven’t seen the Atlantic waters of the eastern US since turning our backs on it when in the sunny South way back on Day 14. And now that we’re back on the coast, some 1,500 miles north of where we last left it, it’s here to stay – we won’t be deviating too far from water as we head south through coastal New England. I just hope the conditions improve as we go – there was just a little too much water for my liking in Eastport, our first port of call in coastal New England & the frontier state of Maine.

Eastport

Maine (ME) || Occupying the southeastern tip of a small island, Moose Island, means Eastport is a veritable dead end – there’s only one way in (Maine State Route 190 from the north) and it’s the same as the way out. A town of less than 1,400 inhabitants, Eastport calls itself a city making this both the least-populous ‘city’ in Maine and, more boast-worthy, the easternmost city in the US of A, the latter the only reason we swung by.

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

EASTPORT || Aptly named Water Street in Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.
Interestingly, Eastport is the only US owned principality that has been under rule by a foreign government – it was held from 1814 to 1818 by British troops under King George following the conclusion of the War of 1812. Equally interesting is the fact that the town was once second only to New York City as the country’s largest trading port. Granted, that was a long, long time ago – in the 1830s – and Eastport isn’t as interesting, or busy, these days, but still. I know someone who grew up here. I can’t blame him for leaving. Admittedly I didn’t see Eastport at its best today, but the vacant 1880s red brick units lining picturesque Water Street tells me that not a lot happens around here even when the sun shines. 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.

Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.

ANGEL JUARBE JR MEMORIAL || The Angel Juarbe, Jr. Memorial Statue, Eastport, Maine. October 26, 2017.
Eastport was a washout, but I still braved the driving rain to capture a few pictures of a few statues overlooking the city’s small port – Nerida, The Eastport Mermaid (2015) & this, a statue erected in 2001 for Fox Television’s filming of its reality mini-series, Murder in Small Town X. The statue is now a tribute to Angel Juarbe Jr., a New York City fireman who won the $250,000 grand prize in the mini-series and soon after lost his life as one of the first responders to the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

It’s only some some 5 kilometres (3 miles) as the crow flies from Eastport to neighbouring Lubec, but the region’s rugged coastal topography means it’s a 1-hour, 40-mile drive in most instances. Like Eastport before it, Lubec is also a dead end but, & unlike Eastport, this is as far east as you can go in the continental US.

Lubec

Maine (ME) || Pipping neighbouring Eastport to the title of easternmost settlement in the continental US is reason enough, especially for extremity junkies, to find oneself in Lubec. It and nearby West Quoddy Head, the easternmost piece of land in the contiguous US, are the only reasons we were here.

Lubec, Maine. October 26, 2017.

LUBEC || The sign by the side of Maine State Route 189 at the entrance to the town says it all. Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the US. October 26, 2017.

Needless to say, the good folk at www.VisitLubecMaine.com promote the ‘easternmost town’ thing like no other US settlement can, but they also point out that Lubec offers ‘tranquility and solitude,’ ‘rugged, natural beauty’ & ‘affordability’, while making efforts to point out they do not offer ‘shopping malls,’ ‘fast food restaurants,’ ‘heavy traffic’ & ‘stop lights,’ among other urban blights. They somewhat surprisingly stop short of highlighting the Lubec attraction of enabling visitors to engage in a spot of international cross-border shenanigans (see below), although it’s no surprise that they also fail to mention the fact that you don’t need to enter the slow, sleepy settlement of some 1,400 itself to visit the region’s undoubted highlight, West Quoddy Head, the easternmost point of land in the continental US.

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

WEST QUODDY HEAD || || West Quoddy Head of Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine, the easternmost point of land in the contiguous US and the closest piece of US terra firma to the continent of Africa. October 26, 2017.

WEST QUODDY HEAD LIGHT || West Quoddy Head Light at West Quoddy Head of Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine. October 26, 2017.
There has been a lighthouse here since as early as 1808 guiding ships through the Quoddy Narrows separating this point of land, a small easterly-pointing peninsula a 6 mile drive from ‘downtown’ Lubec, from Canada’s Campobello Island. The distinctive & squat 15-metre-high (49 feet) candy-striped brick lighthouse in situ today, the easternmost building in the US, dates to 1858 and utilises an old-fashioned 3rd order Fresnel lens, the only one of its kind still in use along the coastline of Maine. One of the most famous lighthouses in the country, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1980, 8 years before it was automated in 1988 when the last of a string of keepers left. The former keeper’s house now serves as a museum and visitor’s center, closed when we came calling – the whole area was deserted, cold, wet & generally uninviting.

When we left Canada for Maine earlier in the day, I had no idea that we’d be back in the country less than 3 hours later. Access to it – Canada – might just be one of Lubec’s highlights.

Mulholland Point Lighthouse of Campobello Island across the Lubec Narrows from Lubec, Maine. Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.

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

CAMPOBELLO ISLAND || Lubec, Maine as seen from Narrows Road across Lubec Narrows on Campboello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
A bridge, the Roosevelt Memorial 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 a few pictures in, emm, Canada.

ROOSEVELT CAMPOBELLO INTERNATIONAL PARK || By the side of New Brunswick Route 774 near Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
Most of the less than 1,000 people who live on Campobello Island are employed in the fishing or tourism industries. Its remoteness is underscored by the fact that there is no road connection to the rest of Canada (only seasonal ferry connections) and that it was only connected to the US mainland in Lubec with the opening of the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge in 1962. It was this remoteness that started to attract in the late 1800s wealthy Canadians & Americans, among these the Roosevelt Family who made Campobello Island their summer home starting in 1883, 50 years before, in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt would become the 32nd President of the US. Today the island’s 11 km² Roosevelt Campobello International Park, created in 1964 and officially opened in 1966 by then US President Lyndon B. Johnson & Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, preserves the house and surrounding landscape of the Roosevalt Family retreat and is Campobello Island’s main draw. It’s the only park of its kind and, in a show of cross border neighbourly cooperation, is administered jointly by the Canadian & American governments and the park equally staffed by both Americans and Canadians.

Fog is nice if you know a place and are with someone you like. It is like a winter storm. It shuts you in and gives you a close and intimate feeling and adds to the joy of your fire.

– Eleanor Roosevalt, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, commenting on life on remote Campobello Island, a notoriously foggy location.

MULHOLLAND POINT LIGHTHOUSE || Mulholland Point Lighthouse overlooking Lubec Narrows on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. October 26, 2017.
Perched at the southern end of Campobello Island to guide vessels through Lubec Narrows, the small passage between the island (& Canada) and the US mainland at Lubec, Mulholland Point Lighthouse was completed in 1884. Decommissioned in 1963 (the navigational lights of the new Roosevelt Memorial Bridge made its light redundant) & officially part of the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park since 1984, today the 13.5-meter-high, white, octagonal wooden building, characterized by its red lantern, is nothing more than a nice photo op, even on miserably dank days like today.

Once back in the US, it was a 100-mile (160 kilometre) drive through southern Maine darkness to Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the coast of Maine. It was the start of the drive southwest towards the end – the airport in Rhode Island – and with only three days left the end, and for the first time on this evening, felt nigh.

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 31

 

Fall foliage off the Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine.

 

“We hit the road from Bar Harbor and after a few initial frustrations finding the Park Loop Road entrance, we were soon on course. And although we had probably missed the very best of the spectacle by a week (or maybe even two), the late October fall foliage, aided by the sun and the sheltered serenity of the All-American Park Loop Road, was an absolute delight.”

Day 31 || October 27, 2017

Route || Bar Harbor to Portland, Maine.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 244 (393)
Today’s Highlight || The All-American Park Loop Road of Acadia National Park

What a difference a day makes round these removed parts. There were very few clouds in the sky, and certainly no water falling from it, meaning today, Epic US Road Trip 2017 Day 31, we got to experience sea-to-summit frontier Maine at its falltastic best.

Falltastic. A portion of the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

Mount Desert Island & Acadia National Park
Samuel de Champlain – an historical regional presence first encountered on Day 26 in Burlington, Vermont & then again in Quebec City on Day 28 – mapped the coastline from Canada to Cape Cod and westward to the Great Lakes in his 1613 Map of New France, his 1604-1618 expeditions laying the groundwork for French colonisation of the New World. During those expeditions, in September 1604, he is said to have run aground on an island then know by the native Wabanaki Indians as Pemetic, meaning ‘range of mountains’ or ‘mountains seen at a distance’ (long before de Champlain ‘discovered’ Mount Desert Island, native cultures had made this beautiful island their home). de Champlain, seeing barren rocky summits, called the island ‘L’lle des Monts-deserts,’ the Island of Bare Mountains. Today 108 sq mi (280 km²) Mount Desert Island, connected to the mainland by a bridge, is the largest of the over 3,000 islands along Maine’s 3,478-mile-long (5,600 kilometre) jagged coastline, one that harbours a unique environment of tidepools, woodlands, lakes, ponds, granite mountains, beaches, offshore islands and surf-lashed coastline and most of which is protected as part of Acadia National Park, New England’s only national park. Suffice it to say, this makes Mount Desert Island Maine’s biggest crowd puller and, by extension, crowd pleaser.

Islands in the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Maine as seen from the granite summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on Mount Desert Island (and the US Eastern Seaboard), Maine. October 27, 2017.

The island is high and notched in places so that from the sea it gives the appearance of a range of seven or eight mountains. The summits are all bare and rocky… I named it ‘L’lle des Monts-deserts.’

– Samuel de Champlain, 1604

Bar Harbor

Maine (ME) || The centre of things, a popular tourist destination on coastal ‘Down East’ Maine and Mount Desert Island’s largest settlement with 5,300-plus inhabitants, Bar Harbor (“Bah-Hah-Bah”) is not only a seashore community but also a ‘lifestyle, an aspiration, and a very special place’ according to AcadiaMagic.com, and they would know.

Main Street, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

We started this day, Epic US Road Trip 2017 Day 31, sufficiently dry following yesterday’s watery exploits. Having arrived last night under the cover of damp darkness, we woke this morning to crystal-blue skies over Bar Harbor. It was a nice start to the day.

BAR HARBOR || Main Street, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 17, 2017.
First settled by Europeans in the 1760s as Eden, by the Gilded Age of the late 1800s the town was attracting the rich & famous who yachted, played golf and hobnobbed at exclusive waterfront garden parties in lavish estates, inns & hotels (many of the earlier town structures succumbed to a massive fire in 1947). The town changed its name in 1918 to Bar Harbor (the name relates to a sandbar, exposed at low tide, that connects the town to the offshore Bar Island, a portion of which is seen here in the distance across Mount Desert Narrows), a name which would become synonymous with the super-wealthy elite – presidents played golf here & many powerful & influential types kept a presence on the island, including the Rockefeller family who would donate to the federal government about one-third of the land to the island’s present-day 198 km² Acadia National Park (to save it from snooping lumber interests). The town remains a summer destination to this day and still manages to project an air of exclusivity, although it can be a tad overrun especially during the May through October cruise season when some 250,000 people disembark from the town’s marina to explore the quaint downtown.

For all its undeniable charms, Bar Harbor has another ace up its sleeve – it’s the gateway to Maine’s Acadia National Park and the park’s All-American Park Loop Road.

Acadia National Park & Acadia All-American Road
Occupying most of Mount Desert Island and entrusted with the task of preserving rugged shorelines, lush green forests, crystal clear lakes, towering summits & offshore islands, Acadia National Park, named after the term first used by a 1524 French expedition to describe the Atlantic coast and an area that roughly corresponds to the present-day French-speaking parts of the Canadian Maritime Provinces & Maine, this is both the oldest national park in the US east of the Mississippi River & the only one in the 9 states that comprise the entire US northeast.

The town of Bar Harbor (left) and the water & islands of Frenchman Bay as seen from the granite summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

Everything is here to rejoice the soul… summer warmth… fresh salt tang from the sea… the reddest of sunsets, and unforgettable pictures from any height of granite rock.

– Freeman Tilden, The National Parks

Acadia National Park

Size: 49,050 acres/198 km². Founded: 1916 (as a National Monument, as a National Park in 1919). Annual Visitors: 2.8 million. The oldest national park east of the Mississippi is one of the first places in the country to see the sunrise (about 50 minutes before dawn in the D.C. area). Park visitors trek to Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, to greet the day. Early visionaries who sought to protect this carved granite, coastal landscape included John D. Rockefeller Jr. He is responsible for carriage roads and trails that meander for use by hikers, horseback riders and bicyclists.

The beauty of Maine is such that you can’t really see it clearly while you live there. But now that I’ve moved away, with each return it all becomes almost hallucinatory.

– Alexander Chee, novelist, in the New York Times

Acadia lies primarily on Mount Desert Island, which owes its name to explorer Samuel de Champlain, who called it “Isles des Monts Déserts” (island of barren mountains). Despite that early observation, the park’s glacially carved landscape is quite rich in nature and scenic panoramas, with many pine forests, ocean views and nine birding areas. Avian occupants include peregrine falcons and sharp-shinned hawks. Moviemakers have flocked here, as well. Scenes in “The Cider House Rules” and “Pet Sematary” (adapted by Maine native Stephen King from his own book) were filmed on park grounds. This is a shoreline park next door to the seaside resort town of Bar Harbor. Two beaches (one ocean with water temperatures for thick-skinned swimmers and one warmer, freshwater site) are available.

From The Washington Post – The Essential guide to all 59 U.S. national parks

Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

All-American Road #4 – Acadia All-American RoadUS Scenic Byways Logo
Car-free carriage roads crisscross the Mount Desert Island’s interior providing bike and foot access to a wide variety of lush forests and hundreds of freshwater lakes and streams. Acadia – a great great outdoors location. But for those with a little less energy (or time) there’s always the a 27-mile (44 kilometre) Park Loop Road, the attention-grabbing section of the island’s 40-mile (64 kilometre) Acadia All-American Road, the fourth & final All-American drive of the wider road trip. The mostly one-way road encounters all of Acadia’s highlights with a spur road granting access to the highest highlight of them all, the summit of the island’s Cadillac Mountain. Walk or drive, it doesn’t matter. ‘Explore Acadia your own way’ is the advice from the park itslef.

Roadside displays on the Park Loop Road of the Acadia All-American Road en route to the summit of Mount Desert Island’s Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine. October 27, 2017.

This National Scenic Byway winds through the Village of Bar Harbor past spectacular shorelines, granite capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and evergreen forests. Starting in Trenton, the byway is a great way to experience the beautiful coastline of Downeast Maine.

– Reproduced from text on display overlooking Agamont Park, Bar Harbor

We hit the road from Bar Harbor and after a few initial frustrations finding the Park Loop Road entrance, we were soon on course. And although we had probably missed the very best of the spectacle by a week (or maybe even two), the late October fall foliage, aided by the sun and the sheltered & shady serenity of the All-American Park Loop Road, was an absolute delight.

Driving a portion of the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

Ultimately we ended up at the top. Of course we did. Most people do.

CADILLAC MOUNTAIN VISTA || A panorama looking northwest over Frenchman Bay from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

Mount Desert Island’s Cadillac Mountain is named in honour of an Antoine de la Mothe-Cadillac, a self-proclaimed French noble who received a large land grant, including all of Mount Desert Island, from King Louis in 1688. Topping out at only 466 metres (1,530 feet) means its granite summit isn’t exactly an oxygen-deprived cloud piercer, but it’s still the highest mountain on the US Eastern Seaboard & the highest point within 25 miles (40 kilometres) of the entire coastline of the eastern US. It’s also the only one of Acadia’s 26 peaks accessible by road (via a meandering spur road, the 3.5-mile-long (5.6 kilometre) Cadillac Summit Road, of the Park Loop Road that was completed in 1931). The easy 0.5-mile (800 metre) paved Cadillac Summit Loop Trail, part of which is seen here, offers sweeping panoramic views in all directions with awesome views of offshore islands, rugged coastline, fertile forests and the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf of Maine, especially on clear days like today. A US northeast sunset location with few rivals, this is also the place to be for sunrise from the first week in October through the first week in March – Cadillac Mountain summit is the first place in the US to see sunshine, some 1 hour earlier than the capital Washington D.C. (as a result, the summit is the destination of popular pre-dawn hikes to catch the first light of the US day). The view seen here is that of the approximate 7 mile (11 kilometre) distance from the summit to the region’s Schoodic Peninsula across the islands dotted in Frenchman Bay, named for the fact that during the nearly 100-year Anglo-Franco struggle to possess North America the French would hide behind the islands dotting the bay to prey on English warships (although by the mid-1770s the French had lost the struggle, a lot of prominent regional place names today – including Acadia, Mount Desert Island & even Cadillac Mountain itself – commemorate the region’s French heritage). The islands seen here (L-R: – Bar, Sheep Porcupine, Burnt Porcupine, Long Porcupine & Bald Porcupine) are, like most of Maine’s 3000+ islands, capped by hard diabase rocks that prevented them from being totally eroded by glaciers. As seen in nearly every photo from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, 4 of these iconic islands are part of the National Park system (only Burnt Porcupine is privately owned) and paddling between them is the ultimate box-ticking adventure for Acadia kayakers.

When was the last time you noticed your moon shadow, a shooting star, or the Milky Way? Two-thirds of Americans cannot see these once-common night sights from their homes due to light pollution.

The above is reproduced from a display encountered on the Summit’s Loop Trail of Cadillac Mountain, one of the country’s best stargazing locations thanks to not only the region’s remoteness but also community efforts like Bar Harbor’s night-sky-friendly lighting ordinance which aims to protect the star-studded skies overhead by limiting light pollution. Reading that answered one question but posed another.

‘So that explains luminously-challenged Bar Harbor, but what’s the excuse for the rest of New England?’ I wondered.

JORDAN POND || Reflections on Jordan Pond off the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.
One of 22 lakes and ponds in Acadia National Park, Jordan Pond is small (187 acre/0.75 km²). Its 3.6-mile (5.8 kilometre) shoreline has a popular nature trail loop. The water is clear and a no-go zone for humans – the pond serves as the water supply for the Mount Desert Island town of Seal Harbor.

On a portion of the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

THUNDER HOLE & SAND BEACH || A portion of the wave-lashed southeastern coast of Mount Desert Island near Thunder Hole as seen off the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Maine. October 27, 2017.
The coastal-hugging portion of the Park Loop Road on southeastern Mount Desert Island is pure surf-pounded coastal Maine. This portion of the road passes the so-called Thunder Hole where the wild Atlantic waves crash into a deep narrow chasm with such forces as to create a thundering boom. In the distance, across Newport Cove and where the Park Loop Road emerges onto the coast, is Sand Beach, Acadia’s only sand beach and a popular swimming area during the warmer months – the water’s a bit too cold and wild this time of year.

Getting among the fall foliage and shadows off the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

A Carriage Road intersection with the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.

CARRIAGE ROAD & BRIDGES || A stone Rockefeller Carriage Bridge of the park’s Carriage Road spanning the All-American Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine. October 27, 2017.
As well as the Park Loop Road, Acadia offers over 45 miles (73 kilometres) of car-free interconnected Carriage Road, historic packed-gravel roads & granite stone bridges, 17 in total and almost all of which are still in use today. The vast network of trails, popular with hikers, cyclists and equestrian types, were engineered and financed between 1915 & 1933 by financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. (1874-1960), who also donated one-third of present-day Acadia National Park’s land.

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 32


Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


“Driving the busy Interstates to & through the region’s largest city, Boston, and on to the spectacle of sandy, marshy Cape Cod and its National Seashore ensures a shift from forested New England to a sandy one. It’s still New England, it’s just a different kind of New England.”

Day 32 || October 28, 2017

Route || Portland, Maine to Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 280 (450)
Today’s Highlight || Race Point Beach, Cape Cod

It was a different kind of New England today, Epic US Road Trip 2017 Day 32 & the penultimate day of the road trip. It was a busier, brighter & less auburn & scarlet-hued New England than the one we’ve been accustomed to over the last week. Driving busy Interstates to & through the region’s largest city, Boston, and on to the sandy spectacle of Cape Cod and its National Seashore ensured a shift from forested New England to a sandy one. It’s still New England, it’s just a different kind of New England.

Day 32. Sandy, wind-swept New England. Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.

Cape Cod Bound
It’s a 4-hour, 220-mile (355 kilometre) drive south from Portland, Maine to the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was the busiest drive we’ve had in New England to date, not surprising really given that this is New England’s most populated region. En route we drove across a few state lines, drove through Boston, New England’s largest city, and drove across the Piscataqua River Bridge.

BUSY MAINE || On Interstate 95 crossing the 6-lane Piscataqua River Bridge (built in 1972) and the Maine-New Hampshire state line. Kittery, southwestern Maine. October 28, 2017.
Six lanes, three in each direction. You won’t see this in the quieter reaches of rural New England. It’s a bit different down here at the southwestern tip of Maine at the Maine/New Hampshire state line and the end (start if you’re heading north) of Interstate 95, the only two-digit Interstate highway in the state of Maine which runs for 303 miles (488 kilometres) from here northeast to the border with New Brunswick, Canada.

From the Piscataqua River Bridge & the Maine/New Hampshire state line there was a little less than 20 miles (32 kilometres) of Interstate 95 south through New Hampshire to the state line with Massachusetts, the penultimate state on the penultimate day.

dMb US State Digest

AN ORIGINAL THIRTEEN || One of the original Thirteen Colonies. Province of Massachusetts Bay, a crown colony chartered in October 1691.

massachusetts_glossy_square_icon_256(Commonwealth of) Massachusetts

State Nicknames – The Bay State; The Pilgrim State; The Puritan State; The Old Colony State; The Baked Bean State. State Motto Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem (‘By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty’). Admitted To The Union – February 6, 1788 (6th state). Population – 6.8 million Bay Staters/Massachusites/Massachusettsians (15th most populous state & New England’s most populous state). Area – 10,565 sq miles (7th smallest state). CapitalBoston (New England’s largest city). National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 1/0. Famous For – History; the Boston Tea Party; the Salem witch trials; the Red Sox; inventing basketball; chowder; being the birthplace of 5 US presidents; the Boston accent; the fist US state to legalise gay marriage (in 2004); learning & highly regarded academic institutions – Harvard University & MIT, both located in Cambridge, are regarded as among the top institutes worldwide for higher learning & academic research, and the state was ranked, by U.S. News & World Report, highest among all US states for standard of education. State Highlights – Boston’s Pioneering history Freedom Trail. Massachusetts Titbits – The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, the indigenous population which once inhabited the east side of the area; over 80% of Massachusetts’s population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia and industry; unsurprisingly, the largest ancestry group in Massachusetts are the Irish (22.5% of the population); in 1634, Boston Common became the first public park in the US & the city of Boston built the first subway system in the US in 1897; the birth control pill was invented at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts; the first public elementary school in America was established in 1639 in Dorchester, Massachusetts; the games of basketball & volleyball were created in Massachusetts (in the cities of Springfield & Holyoke respectively).

Massachusetts. State #22. Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 29, 2017.

At the New Hampshire-Massachusetts state line on Interstate 95. Salisbury, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.

Fall. By far the best season in Massachusetts, with stunning red, orange, and yellow foliage; bustling small farms; and fun festivals.

MassVacation.com

I’m sure MassVacation.com are right on the money. Fall may be the best season to experience Massachusetts, but we didn’t experience the fall side of the state, more the sandy side. That’s Cape Cod.

Busier roads. Still, to us, something of a New England anomaly. Cape Cod bound. South on Massachusetts Route 3 south of Boston, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.

Cape Cod & The Cape Cod National Seashore
A sandy peninsula occupying the southeastern corner of Massachusetts, Cape Cod was among the first places settled by the English in North America (settlements here date to the 1630s). An historic region with a distinct maritime character, the Cape became a summer haven for city dwellers beginning at the end of the 19th century and today is known for its celebrity-pulling resort islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Not only a playground for the well-healed, Cape Cod is, of course, renowned for its beaches – 550+ miles of pristine coastline make the Cape easily New England’s premier beach destination.

Race Point Beach, Provincestown, Outer Cape, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.

The Cape Cod National Seashore
One of the largest barrier islands in the world, the scorpion tail-shaped peninsula that is Cape Cod, severed from the mainland since 1914 by the 7-mile (11 kilometre) Cape Cod Canal, juts over 100 kilometres (65 miles) out into the Atlantic Ocean. While this shelters much of the mainland Massachusetts coastline across Cape Cod Bay from stormy North Atlantic surges, it also accounts for the 560 miles (900 kilometres) of sandy beach-infused coastline that makes the Cape the beach Eden that it is. A large swath (approximately 177 km²) of the peninsula’s northern reaches – comprising a 40-mile curve of the Atlantic-facing Outer Cape, from Eastham north to Provincetown – is preserved as the Cape Cod National Seashore. Administered today by the National Park Service, the land for the future Seashore, private town and state-owned land which had already been slated for housing subdivisions, was set aside for preservation in August 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the most famous former Cape Cod resident of them all. Something of a trendsetter, the Seashore’s creation marked the first time the federal government purchased land for a park, its establishment preserving a treasure-trove of unspoiled beaches, dunes, salt marshes, ponds and woods.

Among the dunes of Race Point Beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Provincetown, Outer Cape, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.

Race Point
While there’s obviously water all around and it’s never far away, I was somewhat surprised by how sheltered one is from watery vistas when driving on Cape Cod. Rarely do you see the ocean from the peninsula’s dissecting Route 6, even when driving the narrower (& remoter) Outer Cape. However, that all changes when you reach Race Point. Suffice it to say, there’s no escaping the ocean up here. It – Race Point – is the end and it – the water – is all around.

RACE POINT || Race Point Beach at Race Point, Provincetown, Outer Cape, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.
Race Point Beach is a 70-mile (112 kilometer) drive around the curve of Cape Cod from where it’s severed from the mainland (at the Cape Cod Canal). This is the end of the road, as far as you can go on the Cape Cod peninsula. Just one of some 60 public beaches on the Cape, it’s a wide sandy expanse curving around the peninsula’s Race Point that’s backed by extensive reed-heavy dunes, par for the course around here. Known for its rougher waters (it’s a tad exposed up here at the extreme tip of the peninsula), this stretch of Outer Cape coastline has become infamous for summertime great white shark sightings (come to think of it, 1975’s classic Jaws was set in a fictional Martha’s Vineyard town). Bustling during the warmer summer months, I didn’t see anyone braving the waters on this chilly late October afternoon despite the calm waters.

A road trip surprise. An historic route way out here.

HISTORIC US ROUTE 6 || It’s all West from here at the start/end of Historic U.S. Route 6, Provincetown, Outer Cape, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.
Free-spirited Provincetown, the sparsely populated Outer Cape’s largest settlement & a major gay & lesbian resort destination, is the start/end of Historic U.S. Route 6. Possessing a somewhat changeable disposition, the road has varied its routing a few times since since its formation in 1926. Once the longest route in the country (in the good ol’ days when it terminated in Long Beach, California), today it only runs for 3,205 miles (5,158 kilometres) from here to Bishop, California, or less than half the 7,100+ miles we’re covering over the course of this 33-day Epic US Road Trip 2017.

Route 6 runs uncertainly from nowhere to nowhere, scarcely to be followed from one end to the other, except by some devoted eccentric.

– George R. Stewart commenting on Historic U.S. Route 6 in U.S. 40: Cross Section of the United States of America, 1953

NAUSET LIGHT || Nauset Light, Eastham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October 28, 2017.
Lighthouses to aid navigation first appeared along the Cape Cod coastline in 1797 with the erection of Highland Light (or Cape Cod Light). Located on the Atlantic-facing coast about 10 miles south of Race Point, this is still the oldest and tallest of the many operational beacons on the Cape and its various islands. A further 16 miles south of Highland Light is Nauset Light. First erected in 1838 as three small & stumpy brick towers set 45 metres (148 feet) apart, the so-called ‘Three Sisters’, the present-day 15-metre-tall (49 feet) Nauset Light dates to 1923 (the original 1923 location is some 100 metres east of the present site, the former site deemed too susceptible to coastal erosion thus necessitating a late 1996 relocation). In the care of the National Park Service (most of the Cape’s lighthouses are operated by the US Coast Guard), Nauset Light is one of the most distinctive beacons on the Cape Cod coastline and probably the Cape’s most photographed. It was inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 and sits adjacent to a restored oil house which was used to store fuel in a bygone era. Today its beacon – alternating white and red every 10 seconds – is fully automated for use as a private navigation aid.

The winding staircases, the distant echo of your footsteps, waves hitting against the rock, distant ship hooting… that’s the dejavu you get when you visit the Cape Cod Lighthouses. It is as if you are part of the whole system that emits navigational lights to guide hundreds of ships to dock safely.

www.CapeCodLighthouses.info

EPIC US ROAD TRIP || Day 33


Thomas Street, College Hill, Providence, Rhode Island.


“For such a small state, there are 45 National Historic Landmarks in Rhode Island, 12 in Providence alone. The city also boasts two whole districts of historic preservation totalling 166 properties. It became apparent rather quickly that this little city requires a disproportionate amount of sightseeing time in order to do it justice. You have been warned.”

Day 33 || October 29, 2017

Route || Hyannis to T.F Green Airport, Rhode Island.
Miles (Kilometres) Driven || 123 (198)
Today’s Highlight || College Hill, Providence, Road Island

Today started in nautical, preppy Hyannis and ended in historic Providence, Rhode Island. And when all was said & done, well, all was said and done. Epic US Road Trip 2017 Day 33: the last day; the last state line crossing into the last state (number 23); the last few miles (of 7,124); the last shutter clicks; and the last history lesson.

The pillar of the Van Wickle Gates of Brown University displaying the Seal of The City of Providence, Rhode Island, one of America’s oldest & most historic cities and the last stop in the last state on the last day. October 29, 2017.

Before getting to the very end, we needed to discover a bit of Hayannis.

Hyannis

Massachusetts (MA) || There’s more to nautical & preppy Hyannis than its deep-rooted association with the Kennedy political dynasty. Of all Cape Cod’s 15 towns, this one, with a population of 14,000, is both its commercial centre and (watery) transportation hub providing convenient access to Nantucket Island & Martha’s Vineyard either via commercial or private services; as the Cape’s largest recreational boating port it shouldn’t be too hard to find passage either way. Aye Aye, captain!

It seems everything in Hyannis revolves around its association with the charismatic Irish-American Kennedy Family, the closest the US ever had to a royal family. I sort of suspected that would be the case and so it proved.

Kennedyville. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Main Street, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.

The Kennedys & Cape Cod
In 1928, the Kennedys, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy & her husband, wealthy businessman Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., purchased a secluded 6-acre waterfront property on Hyannis Harbor in Hyannis Port, less than 3 miles from Main Street Hyannis. The property and its three houses, referred to today as the Kennedy Compound, would go on to serve as a gateway for what become one of the country’s most famous and distinguished (not to mention cursed) political families – John F. Kennedy, the second of Joseph & Rose Kennedy’s 9 children & the most (in)famous Kennedy of them all, would spend his summers here, use the compound as a base for his successful 1960 US presidential campaign and later as a summer White House and presidential retreat prior to his assassination in November 1963. While the compound itself, an historical landmark officially known as the Joseph. P Kennedy House, isn’t open to the public, Hyannis has plenty of Kennedy-related sites and places of interest, most of which are covered as part of the Hyannis Kennedy Legacy Trail, a self-guided walking trail between 10 sites detailing stories and the history of the Kennedys on Cape Cod.

KENNEDY LEGACY TRAIL || Join the dots. Following the markers on the Kennedy Legacy Trail, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.

We didn’t walk the trail but still managed to visit a few of its locations. It’d be hard not to when taking a look around Hyannis.

JFK MEMORIAL || The bronze bust of the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.
The Hyannis John F. Kennedy Memorial was dedicated in July 1966, less than 3 years after his November 22, 1963 assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald during a presidential motorcade through Dallas, Texas, one of the most iconic and controversial moments in modern US history. The graceful memorial – with a central water feature, reflecting pool and terrace – is one of two memorials found in the town’s small Lewis Bay-fronting Veterans Memorial Park, the other being The Cape And Islands Korean War Memorial.

I believe it is important that this country sail and not lie still in the harbor.

A quote from JFK’s Radio and Television Report to the American People on the State of the National Economy on August 13, 1962 and as inscribed around the memorial’s reflecting pool.

VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK || The small beach of Veterans Memorial Park overlooking Lewis Bay, through which JFK often sailed during his time in Hyannis Port. Ocean Street, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.

Quaint. 431 Ocean Street, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.

A sleepy Sunday morning on Main Street, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.

JFK HYANNIS MUSEUM || Outside the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Main Street, Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. October, 29, 2017.
Yes of course there’s a JFK museum here, the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum located at 397 Main Street Hyannis in the town’s former Town Hall building. Currently exhibiting a centennial celebration of JFK entitled ‘JFK at 100, Life & Legacy’, the museum is ‘a multi-media exhibit designed to open a window on the days JFK spent on Cape Cod, featuring a range of photographs spanning the years 1934-1963’, so says a display outside the not-yet-open-on-this-day museum meaning I didn’t get to compare its exhibits with those of Boston‘s awesome John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum that I was fortunate enough to visit in 2013.

Visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Cape Cod, where we animate Kennedy the man and illuminate Kennedy the statesman.

www.JFKHyannisMuseum.org

It was a relatively short 75-mile (120 kilometre) drive from Hyannis to Providence, Rhode Island, the final state.

dMb US State Digest

AN ORIGINAL THIRTEEN || One of the original Thirteen Colonies & the last to become a state. Province of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations established in 1636. Became a crown colony in 1679.

rhode_island_glossy_square_icon_256Rhode Island

State Nicknames – The Ocean State; Little Rhody. State Motto – Hope. Admitted To The Union – February 6, 1788 (6th state). Population – 1 million Rhode Islanders (8th least populous state). Area – 1,214 sq miles (smallest state). Capital – Providence. National Parks – 0. National Scenic Byways/All-American Roads – 0/0. Famous For – Being tiny; sailing (Newport claims the title of Sailing Capital of The World, although so does Annapolis, Maryland); chickens (the Rhode Island Red, the official state bird, revolutionised the poultry industry); making silverware and fine jewelry. State Highlights – Providence & nautical Newport. Rhode Island Titbits – Despite its name, the origins of which are unclear, Rhode Island is very much connected to the US mainland; it was founded in 1636 as a religious-tolerant settlement by a Roger Williams, he naming his site Providence (“having a sense of God’s merciful providence unto me in my distress”) having been banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views; progressive Rhode Island was the first American colony to abolish slavery (1652) and the first to declare independence from Britain (1776); keeping with the religious-tolerance theme, Brown University, founded in Providence in 1764, was the first college in America to accept students regardless of religious affiliation; also, the first Baptist Church & synagogue in America were founded in the state (in Providence in 1638 & in Newport in 1763 respectively); it may be the smallest geographically, but the state’s official title of ‘State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations’ is the biggest mouthful of any US state; 1 million+ Rhode Islanders crammed into such a small area makes the state the 2nd most densely populated (after New Jersey); although only 37 miles (60 kilometres) wide by 48 miles (77 kilometres) long, tiny Rhode Island still boasts 384 miles (618 kilometres) of (mostly craggy) coastline; the state capital of Province is the only city in the US to have its entire downtown enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places; Rhode Island was the 2nd state to abolish the death penalty (after Michigan) & the 2nd to last to make prostitution illegal; the era know as The Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island with the development and construction in 1790 of Samuel Slater’s water-powered cotton mill in Pawtucket; it’s the state is the only state to still celebrate Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day); bottoms up – Rhode Island, together with neighbouring Connecticut, never ratified the 18th Amendment, a.k.a. Prohibition.

Rhode Island. State #23. On the streets of Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.

Rhode Island offers one of the nation’s largest concentrations of registered historic landmarks. Centuries of American history are preserved here, from 17th-century Colonial houses and churches to the opulent mansions of Newport. Scores of museums, from maritime to children’s museums, are scattered throughout the state. An exceptional appreciation of the performing arts is evident in the state’s many fine professional and community theater, dance and musical organizations.

– VisitRhodeIsland.com

The Massachusetts-Rhode Island state line on Interstate 195/the E Providence Expressway, East Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.

Providence was to be the last location of the wider road trip, and what a beautiful and historic send-off it turned out to be.

Providence

Rhode Island (RI) || Founded in 1636 – by a religious outcast named Roger Williams who was banished from Puritanical Boston for his “extreme views” concerning freedom of speech and religion & who would later be credited, by none other than Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, for establishing the first practical working model of democracy & as the originator of the concepts and principles reflected in The First Amendment – makes Providence one of the oldest cities in the US. Suffice it to say that means history, which inviting & artsy Providence, New England’s third largest city, has in abundance, to say nothing of its photogenic array of National Register of Historic Places-listed architecture.

Before getting to the undoubted delights of the city’s College Hill neighbourhood, we checked out the Rhode Island State House.

Inscription on the northern facade of the impressive marble Rhode Island State House as seen from Smith Street, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.

RHODE ISLAND STATE HOUSE || The northern facade of the Rhode Island State House as seen from Smith Street, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
The obvious centrepiece of the rather lofty and somewhat sterile northern Downtown & eastern Smith Hill administrative district of the city, the neoclassical Rhode Island State House is easily one of the country’s grandest Capitol buildings, once, that is, you look beyond the incongruous white marble & red brick paving leading to the building itself. It was constructed of white Georgian marble (some 9,300 cubic metres, or 15 million bricks of the stuff) over a 10-year period between 1895 and 1904 at the very height of Rhode Island’s Industrial prosperity. The second State House to be built in the City of Providence (& 7th overall in the state of Rhode Island), it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and underwent a massive renovation in the 1990s. It’s an impressive structure, one topped by a soaring marble dome (it was the first building with an all-marble dome to be built in the US), the fourth-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world, it topped by a 3.5-metre-tall (11 feet) gold-covered bronze statue of the Independent Man. Originally named ‘Hope’, the rather concise Rhode Island state moto (small state, small motto), the statue represents freedom and independence in reference to the independent spirit which led Roger Williams to settle and establish his colony back in the 1630s.

The College Hill neighbourhood as seen from Smith Street in northern Downtown, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.

Time Needed
For such a small state, there are 45 National Historic Landmarks in Rhode Island, 12 in Providence alone. The city also boasts two whole districts of historic preservation totalling 166 properties. It became apparent rather quickly that this little city requires a disproportionate amount of sightseeing time in order to do it justice. You have been warned.

College Hill, The College Hill Historic District & Brown University
Whilst most of Downtown Providence – the central economic, political and cultural district of the city – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (since 1984 as the Downtown Providence Historic District), so too is a large portion of the city’s College Hill neighbourhood of East Side Providence to the east of Downtown proper, College Hill Historic District (listed since 1970 and some of which overlaps with the Downtown Providence Historic District).

COLLEGE HILL HISTORIC DISTRICT || Thomas Street in the College Hill Historic District of Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
It was here in 1636, on the eastern banks of the Providence River, that Roger Williams laid out his original 120-acre settlement after being banished from Massachusetts. Almost 4 centuries on, today College Hill boasts one of the most well-preserved districts of historic homes & buildings in the US: among the array of photogenic edifices here one will find Roger Williams’ First Baptist Church in America (founded in 1638, present building dating to 1775); the Central Congregational Church (built 1893); the Old State House (built 1762); and the Greek Revival Providence Athenaeum, the fourth oldest library in America (built 1838). Designated the College Hill Historic District in 1970 and as one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association in 2011, College Hill survives today as an an historic, leafy, affluent, hip & artsy neighbourhood where among the historic edifices you’ll also find coffee shops, galleries, stores and restaurants. Needless to say it’s a nice district to amble around, if a little hilly in places, especially if history and architecture are your thing.

BENEFIT STREET || Benefit Street, College Hill, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
The College Hill district is transected by Benefit Street, the heart of College Hill. Built as a ‘benefit’ to the community and stretched perpendicularly crossing the original homestead strips, it’s a largely residential street but is also the location for the city’s 1762 Old State House, an historic building that served as a meeting place for Colonial and later state legislatures prior to the building of the present-day Rhode Island State House.

A centre of learning, hence its name, College Hill is also the location for, among other renowned institutions of learning, Brown University, the city’s redbrick Ivy Leaguer.

The 1901 ornamental wrought iron Van Wickle Gates, the College Hill main entrance to the campus of Brown University & symbol for the campus and its long history as the city’s preeminent educational institute (seemingly Brown tradition insists that students only use this main entrance twice during their time as a student). October 29, 2017.

Brown University
Rhode Island’s most distinguished institute of higher education and research was established as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1764 making it the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the US, one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution, and the third-youngest of the US east’s 8 elite Ivy Leaguers (only Dartmouth College & Cornell University are younger). Echoing the religious tolerance of the city’s founding charter, the college was the first in America to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation, it promising “no religious tests” and “full liberty of conscience” for all. The college changed its name to Brown in 1804, after the son of Nicholas Brown Sr. (1729-1791), a Providence merchant who co-founded the college. Today Brown is recognised internationally for the quality of its teaching and research and for its commitment to unique & exceptional undergraduate instruction.

UNIVERSITY HALL & MAIN GREEN || University Hall on the edge of Main Green on the campus of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
On a campus awash with historic buildings, Brown’s Georgian University Hall, built in 1770 & originally known as the College Edifice, was the first and is thus the oldest building on campus. Looking rather good for its 247 years, the building traces its origins right back to the founding of the city – it was constructed on a piece of land that had belonged to the original Brown family ancestor and co-founder of Providence, the Reverend Chad Brown (c. 1600–1650), one of the first ministers of the First Baptist Church in America. Designated a National Historic Landmark in July 1962 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in October 1966, the building has been used for many different purposes over the years and currently houses the office for the president of Brown along with other administrative offices. University Hall is just one of many beloved buildings surrounding Brown’s Main Green, from where this picture was captured. While quiet today, a Sunday, this is the heart of campus life, a grassy & leafy park that serves as a student hub for activities, concerts, exhibits etc.

Ivy League
With connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions and social elitism, the Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from 8 private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States – Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) , Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey), Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) & Columbia University (New York City, New York).

BRUNO THE BEAR || The Bronze Bruno, a statue of Bruno the Bear, the Brown University mascot, overlooking Main Green on the campus of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
By the turn of the 20th century Brown was searching for a mascot, for a symbol to represent its fledgling athletic teams. A burro (a small donkey), terrified by rowdy college football crowds, didn’t make the cut in 1902, two years before the 1904 introduction of a Brown Bear as a counterbalance to the Yale Bulldog and the Princeton Tiger. A live bear first appeared at a football game in the fall of 1905, something that was to become a Brown tradition up until sense prevailed in the 1960s when a growing sensitivity to the treatment of animals signalled the end of Brown’s long and colorful succession of live bears, all affectionately christened Bruno. Brown University campus, as one might expect, pays homage to their beloved mascot, displaying 5 different representations of Bruno. The most recognisable of the lot and the go-to Bruno for most campus-goers is the Main Green’s The Bronze Bruno. Setting the standard for campus bear statues since the 1920s, it’s a 7-foot-tall (2.1 metre) tall life-size replica of the Kodiak Brown Bear that was created in 1923 by animal sculptor Eli Harvey. Beneath the statue, on the front of the pedestal, the aspirational text reads: “Given By Alumni and Undergraduates/To Brown University/To Symbolize Those Qualities Of/Strength Courage Endurance/Which Go Far To Make Men Invincible/MCMXXVIII.”

And the Bear growls like thunder…

– A spirited line from the old Brown Cheering Song in reference to the Brown University mascot.

But wait, there’s more. It is said that the pedestal of Brown’s The Bronze Bruno statue contains a piece of slate that Roger Williams stepped on in 1636 when claiming the land on which he would found Providence. Noting this, the back of the pedestal displays: “This is a piece of the slate rock/on which Roger Williams Landed/when he came here in 1636/to holds forth his lively experiment of independence with strength & courage./May his spirit live in Brown men.”

JOHN CARTER BROWN LIBRARY || Outside the John Carter Brown Library, Main Green, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. October 29, 2017.
Main Green’s 1904 Beaux-Arts style John Carter Brown Library is an independently funded research library of history and the humanities founded in 1846 from the private collection of book collector John Carter Brown (1797–1874). Housing a collection of some of Christopher Columbus’s original documents and maps, the library’s rare book, manuscript and map collections encompass a variety of topics related to the history of European discovery, exploration, settlement and development of the New World until circa 1825.

The End – For Now
Quite coincidentally of course, but we ended our Epic US Road Trip 2017 on the last day doing exactly what we did to start its first full day – exploring the campus of a New England Ivy League university (Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, on Day 2, Brown University today, Day 33). In between there were some 7,100-plus miles of driving through over 20 states. It’s all done for now, but we’ll be back, this time on the West Coast to complete the trilogy, in late 2019. That’ll be epic too. Of course it will. It’ll be Epic, part III.

The End!

Epic US Road Trip 2017 Home

NEW ENGLAND / NORTHERN COLONIES || Connecticut

DAY 01 110 miles || T.F Green Airport, Rhode Island, to New Haven, Connecticut

MIDDLE COLONIES || Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland & Washington D.C.

DAY 02 312 miles || New Haven to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

DAY 03 098 miles || Gettysburg to Lancaster, Pennsylvania

DAY 04 149 miles || Lancaster to Atlantic City, New Jersey (via Amish Country & Philadelphia)

DAY 05 201 miles || Atlantic City to Washington D.C. (via Lewes, Delaware & Annapolis, Maryland)

SOUTHERN COLONIES || Virginia, The Carolinas (North Carolina & South Carolina) & Georgia

DAY 06 206 miles || Washington D.C. to Richmond, Virginia (via Monticello, Virginia)

DAY 07 240 miles || Richmond to Manteo, North Carolina (via Williamsburg & Jamestown, Virginia)

DAY 08 003 miles || Outer Banks – Manteo, North Carolina

DAY 09 003 miles || Outer Banks – Manteo, North Carolina

DAY 10 038 miles || Outer Banks – Manteo, North Carolina

DAY 11 032 miles || Outer Banks – Manteo, North Carolina

DAY 12 274 miles || Manteo to Wilmington, North Carolina

DAY 13 192 miles || Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina (via Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

DAY 14 285 miles || Charleston to Macclenny, Florida (via Savannah, Georgia)

THE SOUTH || Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi & Tennessee

DAY 15 397 miles || Macclenny to Mobile, Alabama (via Tallahassee, Florida)

DAY 16 167 miles || Mobile to New Orleans, Louisiana (via southern Mississippi)

DAY 17 480 miles || New Orleans to Fort Payne, Alabama (via Meridian, Mississippi)

DAY 18 142 miles || Fort Payne to Sparta, Tennessee

DAY 19 121 miles || Sparta to Nashville, Tennessee

DAY 20 070 miles || Nashville

DAY 21 198 miles || Nashville to Knoxville, Tennessee

KENTUCKY & THE GREAT LAKES || Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan & New York

DAY 22 307 miles || Knoxville to London, Kentucky (via Maynardville & Sneedville, Tennessee; Coeburn, Virginia; Jenkins & Hyden, Kentucky)

DAY 23 376 miles || London to Dayton, Ohio (via Sandy Hook & Olive Hill, Kentucky & Greenfield, Ohio)

DAY 24 393 miles || Dayton to Erie, Pennsylvania (via Michigan & Toledo & Cleveland, Ohio)

DAY 25 430 miles || Erie to Lake George, New York (via Cooperstown, New York)

NEW ENGLAND / NORTHERN COLONIES & CANADA || Vermont, New Hampshire, Quebec & New Brunswick (Canada), Maine, Massachusetts & Rhode Island

DAY 26 143 miles || Lake George to Montpelier, Vermont (via Ticonderoga, Crown Point & Westport, New York & Burlington, Vermont)

DAY 27 213 miles || Montpelier to Franconia, New Hampshire (via Barre & Chelsea, Vermont & Lincoln, New Hampshire)

DAY 28 253 miles || Franconia to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

DAY 29 326 miles || Quebec City to Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada

DAY 30 330 miles || Woodstock to Bar Harbor, Maine

DAY 31 244 miles || Bar Harbor to Portland, Maine

DAY 32 280 miles || Portland to Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

DAY 33 123 miles || Hyannis to T.F Green Airport, Rhode Island (via Providence, Rhode Island)

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