A Travellerspoint blog

Days 4, 5, 6 Newark, DE and on to the Delaware Shore

Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City, empty campgrounds, no internet, St. Paddy's Day.

overcast 56 °F

Vowing to stay off toll roads we left Newark, Delaware (did you know there is a Newark in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, within about 150 miles of each other...must be very confusing) and followed scenic highway 9 along the Delaware shoreline to Rehoboth Beach, the beginning of a 30 mile long stretch of sand bar that runs as far south as Ocean City. The area is susceptible to flooding when storms come in off the Atlantic, as one did just two months ago. High tides, driven by massive winds swept water over the sandbar to flood the town. Most of the houses here are built on stilts so the water does little damage, at least to houses. Cars, well, you can always buy a new car!

The Delaware Seashore is the summer home for people from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, etc. and the roads are chock-a-block from May 24 though mid September. The beach is spectacular. Rehoboth Beach is a beautiful little town, with lots of summer traffic and a lovely boardwalk along the beach. At the other end of the strip, Ocean City Maryland is the polar opposite...it is a huge tourist mecca, with miles and miles of hotels and about every imaginable tourist trap you an imagine. Here is a picture of a mini-golf course, with a dinosaur theme. It was just one on many on the strip.
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The tourist season here does not even start until April 1 and we were worried about finding a campground that was open. All of the commercial RV parks are closed and the State Parks did not seem to be open. Half way between Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City is a bridge.

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Directly below this bridge is a 350 site State Park campground. As we drove by we decided to see if there was anyway we could stay there and loo and behold, it was open with limited service. Just one washroom with showers open. As you can see from this picture it was extremely crowded...NOT!

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We've pretty well had the run of the place. No lineups for showers. No noisy kids. Our plan for this stop was to do some exploring, a bit of hiking and just to see what the shore is like in the off season. We've taken a couple of drives and spent a bit of time in both of the main towns. Today, Saturday, there was a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ocean City so we decided to take it in, and at the same time get the blog up to date at the library. It is chilly and windy and sitting inside the library is much preferable to sitting in the boler for the afternoon. We are getting caught up on e-mails and this blog entry.

The parade was pretty good. Afterwards we caught lunch at the local Knights of Columbus hall, where we ate corned beef sandwiches and had a beer.

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Tonight will be our last night here on the beach. Tomorrow we will head a bit farther south, just about 50 miles. There is a Maryland State Campground open at Pocomoke and it has enough services to get us through a couple of days. We plan to visit Assateague National Seashore, where wild horses frolic on sand dunes.

There will be no blog entires for the next few days but we will catch up once we get to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where we will be staying in a full-service RV park for three nights.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 11:23 Comments (2)

No Internet interruption

We will be updating the blog once we get a bit farther south where campgrounds are open. We are at a Delaware State Park near Rehoboth DE. The washroom is open, all other services are closed.

All is well and we plan on going to the St. Patrick's Day parade in Ocean City, Maryland tomorrow. We will head into Virginia on Sunday and hope to update the blog once we find a campground there.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 08:09 Comments (1)

Day 3 - Hartford CN to Newark, New Hampshire

Jersey City, sorting out what works and what doesn't, and the transit of the George Washington Bridge

sunny 80 °F

Right up front today. We spent $37.00 on Gas, and $45.05 on tolls...wow, I'm speechless.

We left Hartford with a bit of a dark cloud over our heads. We knew something wasn't quite right with our Pontiac Torrent, and it was most likely wheel bearings on the front driver's side. We drove three hours through thick traffic into and through New York City. We spent 45 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic leading up to the George Washington Bridge. The whole slow process made a bit more difficult by the realization that we weren't going to get much farther before we had to deal with our car problem. The last 10-15 miles it was getting really bad, and we actually thought it might be both front wheel bearings by the time we got through New York.

We saw this interesting bumper guard on a Smartcar while in the traffic jam:

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We got out of New York and into New Jersey and did a quick search on our GPS for a Chevrolet dealership and ended up in Jersey City. This place looks a bit like a war zone, but the people were really nice and friendly.

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The service department of the Chev dealership was magnificent. From diagnosing our problem (both front wheel bearings needed replacement) to getting us out the door and back on the road took just three hours. We are so pleased to have this problem behind us.

We originally planned to get as far as Dover Delaware, but the repair delay took that off the table. So we drove into Delaware and found the Baymont Motel, just off the expressway and a good deal at $69 for the night. Supper at TGIFridays and here we are settled in for the night and looking for campgrounds for tomorrow. We plan to camp for 3 nights on the Delmarva Peninsula, get the boler set up and do a bit of hiking and beach walking. The weather was great today, with a high of 83 degrees.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 17:43 Tagged car city jersey repairs Comments (2)

Day 2 - Searsport to Hartford CT

LL Bean shopping enroute

sunny 60 °F

We had to do a bit of banking in Searsport, hence the overnight stay on Day 1. We had breakfast early at a small diner in Belfast ME. The highlight of our stop there was a set of twins. Brothers in their 60's dressed identically in khacki pants, jackets and ball caps came in while we were there. I have never seen twins so identical...the waitress called them Pete and re-Pete. They were very chatty and were obviously regulars.

We got our banking done and headed off for Freeport ME, the home of LL Bean. A lovely slow paced drive along US highway 1. LL Bean was my goal since I've lost weight over the winter and my reward was some new pants and shorts. I've dropped my waist size from 38 to 35 inches. On top of the new pants and shorts I am now the proud owner of a new "manpurse"...actually just a cross body travel bag to hold my wallet, camera, etc. while we travel around the US.

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Then we got on to the business of getting on down the road towards our destination for the day...Hartford, CT. We gassed up and did a 3 hour drive through New Hampshire, Massachusetts and half of Connecticut. We stopped for the night at the Comfort Inn, right beside the I-84 expressway.

We paid $13.70 in tolls for using the highways. We've decided to keep a running total of tolls paid on our journey as this is something that is not familiar in Canada. In Canada, the gasoline is expensive and the roads are free while in the US the gas is cheap and the roads, not so much :)

Lucky for us, the traffic was OK and we were able to hold our pace to around 65 miles per hour, a speed at which the boler and the Torrent do very well Much faster than that and it becomes uncomfortable to hold the higher pace for long periods of time. Tomorrow, we get past all the big cities and begin to get into the area where we can actually mosey along back roads and get to camping. In total, we are about 900 miles from home in just two days. We are looking forward to the slower pace to come.

The Comfort Inn is a step up from last night's Gull Motel and, surprise, the price is the same $79.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 16:16 Comments (0)

Day 1 - Aylesford to Searsport, Maine

Long drive, and WTF Snow!

all seasons in one day 32 °F

We traveled 510 miles in just over 9 hours of driving on this first day. It seems to me that a full first day sets the trip in motion.

We left Aylesford at 8:45, and for the first 90 minutes we drove in the opposite direction to where we wanted to go. You see, we live in the Annapolis Valley, on the west side of Nova Scotia and in order to get into New Brunswick we have to drive almost to Halifax to pick up the Trans Canada highway, which will take us to the New Brunswick/Maine border. There is a ferry from Digby to Saint John, but the cost is somewhat prohibitive, at just about $300 for us, the car and the boler. The drive around takes about 5 1/2 hours, but the cost of gas was only $48. The other investment is just our time and it is free in these days of retirement.

As we passed Saint John NB, 5+ hours into the trip we ran into unexpected snow, which got progressively thicker as we reached the border with Maine. We only briefly considered stopping early, but decided to press on for our planned stop in Searsport, about 175 miles from the border crossing. The heavy snow and a closed road due to an accident added a bit more to the drive and we arrived at the Gull Motel in Belfast Maine at 5:45pm. A long but satisfying day.

We were pretty beat by the time we got out of the car and had a quick supper at a Chinese restaurant across the street from the motel. Our rate for the night is $79 + tax, and the room is about what you would expect for that price, but it is clean and comfortable.

Tomorrow we begin to navigate the I-95 corridor through the northeast. We plan to stop at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine for some clothes shopping. If you are ever in the North East, this is the place to shop for outdoor supplies, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, closing only on Christmas Day.

Our drive is much shorter tomorrow, with just about 275 miles in the plan...we will stop for the night near Hartford, Connecticut

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 15:56 Comments (1)

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