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Author Topic: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!  (Read 30264 times)

SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #150 on: July 14, 2016, 05:43:27 PM »
Thanks Brad, I appreciate your kind comments! We are attempting to pass along the world of sight seeing this great country of ours. Careful planning and having a realistic budget are key. It sounds like you are going about it the right way. You won't regret it!
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Tom and Margi

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #151 on: July 14, 2016, 07:50:18 PM »
Time to compliment Diane again, Sarge.  She does a great job with the blog and I look forward to both the travelogue and the pictures she posts.  Thanks, Diane!

SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #152 on: July 14, 2016, 08:01:13 PM »
Thank you Margi! You just made her day!
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #153 on: July 15, 2016, 10:25:07 PM »
Yes I will second that. Thanks, Diane! It sounds like you had a great time in bean town.
We made it to Bismarck today.
Bill
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Sr Fox

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #154 on: July 16, 2016, 06:20:46 AM »
We to appreciate your posts and Dianne's blog Sarge.  It was great running into you guys in Maine. It was a nice surprise to be parked just a few spots apart.  While we were there we got news from our daughter that she is to be married this weekend so we did an about face and are headed back to GA.  I guess Canada and PEI will have to wait till next year.  We are about 200 miles from GA right now and be there tonight if all goes well for the wedding on Sunday. Been trying to keep up the photo blog at least on my Facebook page.
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #155 on: July 17, 2016, 07:54:38 PM »
Shore Hills Campground
553 Wiscasset Road
Boothbay, Maine 04537
Our first stop in Maine was in Boothbay. We drove up from  Foxboro, MA and the trip was just under 200 miles.  In that stretch  we were on 3 different toll roads and spent a total of $19 on tolls. Not near as bad as say driving through Chicago and paying their toll fees.  While Maine is working to improve their roads, some of them were pretty rough due to the winters that they get this far north. We never had to slow down due to road conditions though. (That is usually my barometer of how bad the road conditions are). 

Shore Hills Campground had about 150 sites, all of which are dirt/gravel. Most of the roads are the same so if it rains, some parts can get pretty muddy.  I think that we were in a newer loop, as the sites were a little bigger, and some had wood deck patios next to the parking pads.  They have about 20 pull through sites in the loop that are advertised as “No rig too big”, and they are about 100' long. We had a back in site with patio and fire pit. There is also a picnic table on the deck. Not all sites are full hook up though, some closer to the water are W&E only.  We paid $53 a night for our site, and even though we stayed for a week, there was no break on the daily fee. One notable issue though, they do not accept any electronic payments. Cash or check only. Even when Diane was making the reservation months in advance, she had to mail them a $53 check.  The utilities at the sites worked well and were placed  conveniently.

The restroom facilities though older were clean. However they are NOT handicapped accessible. Raised entry's at the doors and narrow doors would be difficult to navigate. Their showers are also pay showers, like .50 for three minutes.  They offered WiFi, but our Verizon air card worked OK, but the antenna mast helped quite a bit.  They did have a nice big dog yard for off leash dogs, but Heidi doesn’t like dog yards too much. They smell too much like dogs.....

There is a lake at the campground, but the older wooded sites are on quite an incline. I know how steep it really is, as I ran the hill half a dozen times during our stay! It seemed to make sense at first until about half way up the hill my thought changed to “what was I thinking?'. 

On the RV side of things, a few issues popped up that I needed to deal with. The seal in the toilet that keeps the water in the top part and the yucky stuff down failed. Not badly yet, so I have a new seal  and  waste ball in route from Thetford. And the patio awing is acting up again, not wanting to retract every time. So I am still trouble shooting that, and so far my emails with Carefree have not been productive. 

The nice part about this campground is that  we were only a few miles from Boothbay proper and we made several trips in to various shops, stores, and restaurants. On the recommendation of several friends, I tried Lobster Rolls. But after 3 different sea food places each made a little differently, they never just impressed me all that much.  And if you are going to eat them, you should really like them because they are not cheap, running anywhere from $16 to $24 each.  We also took a boat tour out to “Egg Island” where Maine is trying to reintroduce Puffins, to the north Atlantic.  Diane's blog goes into more detail about these unique sea birds. The tour was $35 a person, and was about 2 !/2 hours long.  And we also visited a Botanical Garden in Boothbay to see some of the native plants and trees growing in Maine. A cool way to spend an afternoon.  The entry to the Botanical Garden was $16 per person.

From here we head further north into Maine. 
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #156 on: July 18, 2016, 06:17:48 AM »
Marty,

Do you have the EZpass? Going south to DC you will be on numerous Tollroads. Some are cheaper with the EZpass, but also its just easier - especially in the places where they have rolling tolls. BTY EZpass and the Illinois Ipass are interchangable. We have had the Ipass for many years since we go to Chicago every couple of years.

Just to forewarn you the tolls in Maryland are high. The I-95 section was $24 and the the Francis Scott Key Bridge was $48 for our 5  axles rig (Motorhome and jeep). Maine tolls, Mass tolls, Del and NJ are all reasonable. Florida Tolls aren't too bad, but EZpass doesn't work. I got the Florida Sun Pass.

ken
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #157 on: July 18, 2016, 07:02:12 AM »
Hey, thanks Ken. We don't have any of the toll passes as yet. So far Diane has navigated us around some of them by putting us on secondary roads. At those rates I may have to revisit the idea. Thanks for the heads up.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #158 on: July 18, 2016, 07:15:51 AM »
You can avoid the Francis Scott key bridge toll by taking the 695 western route (a little longer). All other Interstates thru or around Baltimore have toll bridges/tunnels.
Were in Belfast, headed to Bar Harbor Thursday.
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #159 on: July 18, 2016, 07:18:49 AM »
Good info, we don't mind driving a little farther to avoid the toll. She is checking her map as we speak planning the attack!
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jagnweiner

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #160 on: July 18, 2016, 03:48:39 PM »
We used EZpass on our trip out to Maine, etc. last month and it was SO much more convenient just to zip through the EZpass lanes than wait in line to pay cash to the attendants.  Ours was actually the Illinois Ipass, but it was accepted on all the EZpass toll roads.  Not sure how much we saved, because the discount in most states is not nearly as significant for RVs towing cars as it is for just a passenger car, but the convenience was totally worth it.
-Scott
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #161 on: July 18, 2016, 07:37:12 PM »
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #162 on: July 18, 2016, 07:48:13 PM »
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.

I have both the car and Motorhome registered to my I-pass Illinois version of EZpass  (compatible with all EZpass toll roads). I always go through the EZpass lanes, including rolling toll lanes. They always manage to charge me for 5 axles when towing. I use it for just the car and get charged for 2 axles. I know in the past the NY thruway required a different EZpass for towing, but I used mine in NY many times with no issues.

ken


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WILDEBILL308

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #163 on: July 18, 2016, 10:17:58 PM »
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.
When my car is being towed behind the motorhome it is charged as a trailer and it is less than when driven. They instructed me to remove the transponder from the windshield in the car when it is being towed. They gave me a special shielded bag to store it in.
The easiest way is to go to one of the walk in EZ Pass offices.
I recommend getting one because it saves money and how much you need to have (cash) on hand. When I was going North the George Washington was $76.00 Cash only if you didn't have a pass.
Bill

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jagnweiner

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #164 on: July 19, 2016, 07:51:09 AM »
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.

Hmm, not sure about that.  We successfully used the EZ Pass lanes in IL, IN, OH, NY, ME, NH NJ and PA on our trip a few weeks ago.  The first couple times we entered a new state I went through the attendant lane at the first toll plaza just to make sure it worked in the new state, but as soon as I pulled up the light turned green and the attendant waved me through.  After that, I just went straight to the EZpass lane and got the green "approved" light.  I believe the cameras determine how many axles you have and bill accordingly.
-Scott
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #165 on: July 19, 2016, 08:01:52 AM »
We have been through a few in other states (I can't remember which) where posted signs said "Vehicles with trailers must use cash lanes".  I have been through too many states and highways to remember where that applied though.
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #166 on: July 25, 2016, 09:15:49 PM »
Smuggler's Den Campground
20 Main Street
Southwest Harbor, Maine 04679
From Boothbay we drove 160 miles north to Southwest Harbor. This is the furthest north we will be going in the country on this adventure.  Southwest Harbor is on Dessert Island, and is right next to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is on the opposite side of Dessert Island from Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is the touristy side of the island, and Southwest Harbor is the “quiet” side.  We picked Smuggler's Den as Diane's research was the best park in the area.  The sites are decent size, but the interior roads are a bit narrow.  One issue here was that the hookups were all way in the back of the site, so extra sewer hose is a good idea here. 

We had a premium site that was a paved back in with patio.  The trees were a little thick, but we managed to get satellite by using my cell phone app to locate the Direct TV satellites. I find that I am using this app nearly every stop here in the northeast.  Due to the location of the satellites, I parked towards the front of the site, even further from the hookups.  The restrooms were clean, but not handicapped accessible. High thresholds and small doors would make it impossible.

We paid $67 a night which is a bit pricey, but this is one of those places where location is key. This park is in close proximity to Acadia National Park, and we went into the park several days in different directions.  Our National Park Pass saved a good bit of money.  I think we paid $80 for the annual pass, and if you are traveling and visiting several of the parks is is well worth it.  This area is amazingly scenic and we did a lot of driving and hiking to take in the fabulous vistas. Exploring Bar Harbor was also a lot of fun, we sampled some of the local eateries. And while a lot of the country was sweltering, we were enjoying cool 75 degree days with light breezes.  This won't last when we head south!

We had an end site, #122 which is also right across from the pool. Sometimes a site near the pool is noisy, but we never had a problem even though the pool was popular all day long.  The campground offers good strong WiFi, which was important as the Verizon air card struggled during the day. We used the park WiFi during the days and at night like after 7 PM I could switch back to our WiFi for more sensitive issues like banking.  Even with the antenna mast extended, response from the distant cell tower was slow. Without it, most of the time the web sites would time out before a connection could be made.

One unusual feature here was that the area's municipal bus line ran into the park to pick up and drop off passengers.  If you were a bus rider it was convenient, but seeing the bus go by our site several times a day was a bit odd. I got used to it after a few days, but being from CA I think we “entertained” some of the bus riders as we worked out, or had cocktail hour with Heidi relaxing on the patio. 

I did get the parts from Thetford for the seal replacement on the toilet. It took about an hour but all is back to normal in the throne room.  The patio awning is still intermittent, but I am still trading emails with Carefree. 

From here we head south to our last stop in Maine. 



« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:18:23 PM by SargeW »
Marty--
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viceprice

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #167 on: July 26, 2016, 05:47:17 AM »
It sounds all too familiar (and special)!  It sounds and looks like you are enjoying Maine. We are returning to Maine tomorrow after making our way to South Dakota to visit George, Thomas, Theodore and Abraham and though we have seen some beautiful parts of the country, we are happy to call Maine home. Have a great time with the rest of your visit in Maine and safe travels.

PS. I have had a New York EZ pass for years. After I inquired, they sent me a special one to use in our pickup when towing the camper. We used it for every toll booth including in Illinois - never had to stop!
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #168 on: July 26, 2016, 07:12:43 AM »
Yep, Rushmore is one of our favorites too. Seeing pics of it just don't do it justice.  We are still investigating the EZ pass to see if it will be worth investing in.  Maine has been great. We love the coastline up here with it's rocky shores and surf.
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WILDEBILL308

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #169 on: July 26, 2016, 09:59:31 PM »
When I was there last summer I was talking to a ranger at Cadillac Mountain. Did you know if you are on Cadillac Mountain when the sun comes up you can be the first one in the US to see it? I looked at the times schedule posted and where I was camped and how long it took to get there. Well I decided to be the first person in the US to see lunch!
Glad you are having a good time.
Bill
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #170 on: July 27, 2016, 07:23:35 AM »
Too funny Bill! Yeah, the ranger told us that info too.  I decided that I could wait until the sun got a little higher in the sky to avoid the crush of folks rushing up the mountain. 
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jagnweiner

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #171 on: July 27, 2016, 07:40:27 AM »
When I was there last summer I was talking to a ranger at Cadillac Mountain. Did you know if you are on Cadillac Mountain when the sun comes up you can be the first one in the US to see it? I looked at the times schedule posted and where I was camped and how long it took to get there. Well I decided to be the first person in the US to see lunch!
Glad you are having a good time.
Bill

Ditto.  When I did the math and realized I'd have to be up by 0300 to make it to Cadillac to see the sunrise, I decided I was on vacation and could see the same sun any time of the day.
-Scott
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Jeff

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #172 on: July 27, 2016, 10:56:32 AM »
We did make it up there one year and the sight is really something as daylight reaches all the islands.

SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #173 on: July 27, 2016, 01:01:14 PM »
What time of day did you have to get there?
Marty--
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jagnweiner

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #174 on: July 27, 2016, 01:40:43 PM »
What time of day did you have to get there?

Boy, I think when we were there in late June (longest days of the year) sunrise on Cadillac Mtn was around 0420. It was posted on the whiteboard in the visitor's center.  Since we were staying on the Schoodic Penninsula, an hour's drive away, it was a no-go.
-Scott
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Jeff

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #175 on: August 01, 2016, 10:39:39 PM »
Smarty I beleive we left Hadley's Point around 4:00AM. ::)

SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #176 on: August 02, 2016, 07:15:51 AM »
I haven't done 0400 mornings since I retired!  Used to be by 0400 I was already leaving for the train...
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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #177 on: August 02, 2016, 09:24:39 AM »
Thanks Diane, very much enjoying your blog.
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SargeW

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #178 on: August 02, 2016, 09:20:09 PM »
And another installment of Diane's blog just posted!
Marty--
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jagnweiner

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Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
« Reply #179 on: August 03, 2016, 08:03:48 AM »
Another nice entry.  My wife's only disappointment in our stay in Down East Maine is that she didn't hear any Maine natives say "ayuh."  (Just my daughter and me, as we started saying it incessantly, to my wife's great annoyance)
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

 

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