The 2011 Trip
Part 2 The departure

Sunday November 28th, 2010, was a good day to be loaded and ready to roll. Joan and I were pretty well tired out from all the packing and moving. This goes to storage, this goes to the trailer and after awhile you wonder what went where. We were looking forward to going with hopes of being able to relax and enjoy the ride. We departed Mitch’s place in Sambro at 1228. We passed our old home, the apartment building on Tamarack Drive at 1300. Joan phoned her friend Mary a bit late and she did not see us go by.


Natasha hired a professional photographer, Karen Kyte, to take some family photographs as Christmas presents. Karen can be contacted at www.karenkyte.com. This is one of the photographs taken by Karen in October on Mitch's front lawn. That is Sambro Harbour and the Sambro government wharf in the background. Mitch, Natasha and Josie have a beautiful home that is just out of the photograph to the left. If one looks closely they can see the reflection of the little cove in front of their home as a reflection in the truck's door.

One accumulates any number of experiences when traveling with these units. At least it makes for a great conversation around a campfire. Joan and I accumulated a lot of good ones with our first rig the 1961 Chevrolet and the 1962 Shasta. A couple of them are worth recording here.

We camped anywhere and everywhere with that rig. Cow pastures and gravel pits were a favourite place. Joan woke me in the middle of the night one time to tell me it was thunder and lightening. We were safe enough with the trailer and truck both on rubber tires and nothing metal touching the ground. At least one should be safe in such a situation although anyone who can ascertain the reason lightening struck in a certain spot instead of something else nearby could forecast or predict most anything. All I wanted to do was sleep. I was a ship’s radio officer and we were taught at Radio College that some of the world’s lighthouses would transmit a radio signal at the same time they sounded their fog horn. Radio waves travel at the speed of light. The sound from a fog horn is at the speed of sound. If we simply counted the seconds from the time we first heard the radio signal until we first heard the fog horn and divided that figure by 5.5 it would give us the distance in miles that we were from that lighthouse. Lightening is the speed of light and thunder is the speed of sound therefore the same theory applies. I told Joan this while I went back to sleep. I felt this would entertain her. While she watched and listened to the storm she might as well keep track of the distance between the clouds causing the storm and us. Yeah right, one does stupid things at times and that was one of them. The next thing that happened was one horrendous flash and clap of thunder at the same time. I’m sure those clouds were sitting on the trailer roof. Luckily it did no damage.

One other time we awoke one morning to a continual Baa-ing. One had the feeling they had been counting sheep in order to go to sleep and had forgotten to turn their sheep off. A farmer nearby had a pasture full of sheep and they all not only broke free but took a real liking to our trailer. When we peeked out a window we were surrounded in a sea of white. There must have been a hundred of them at least. It was just getting daylight and they must have wanted their breakfast. We simply waited until someone came along and chased them home.

Another electrical storm we remember was the one outside Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. The skylight in the bedroom remained a bright light and simply pulsated brighter from the many lightening flashes. This was in the middle of the night and in the Equest trailer. One could not sleep. You would doze off and receive a large clap of thunder to the right. When one did it again the clap would be on the left. We could not sleep through it. The mosquitoes were unreal. There were so many one could hardly breathe. I simply stopped on our assigned campsite and plugged the electrical cord in. We dumped our tanks and took on fresh water the next morning while Joan tried to swish some of the mosquitoes from me. There was a lot of stagnant water around from many storms at the time and it smelled of rotting vegetation.

The trailer before this Equest was a 1990 Cavalier by Cobra. We liked that very much. It was simply your 29 foot basic 5th wheel travel trailer. We often felt the layout was the basic layout when these 5th wheels were first produced. The first 5th wheel we had seen was on the Alaska Highway about 1964. We had the Cavalier 14 years and had it across North America twice. We had it in downtown Seattle, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Jasper, and through the Northern and Eastern United States. We went to Gerties at Dawson City and made sure the Can Can girls were wearing underwear then went over the Top of the World Highway from Dawson City to Tok, Alaska. We had many memorable trips with that trailer. The Fryeburg, Maine, trip with the Good Sam Club in 1994 was another most memorable experience. Sissy Lynn, Loretta Lynn’s daughter was at Fryeburg with her Busted Cowboy band and a good time was had by all. There were many memorable events at that Fryeburg rally. Another was when we formed up and entered the fair grounds. There is room for 4,000 trailers at that site although there were about half that number at this rally. Just before we entered the fairgrounds our Nova Scotia convoy stopped and placed flags on our rigs. In other words we all entered flying Nova Scotia flags. As we drew close to the fairgrounds this parade entering the fairgrounds slowed and stopped. As we stopped this good looking gal stepped up to our truck and said “There is suppose to be a Joan and Spud Roscoe with this Nova Scotia group do you know them?” Both Joan and I nearly fell out of the truck we had no idea who she was. Come to find out Joan was nursing a close relative of hers in the nursing home she was working at. This girl was with the New Hampshire Good Sam group.

We liked the layout of the Cavalier so well we had this Equest built along the same line around my amateur radio station as stated. Our insurance agent Heffler Inkpen insists on calling it a converted horse trailer. Horse trailer me butt. Heffler Inkpen should realize there are plenty of insurance agents around. This trailer was built by Specialty Steel who also builds horse trailers. This trailer is so well built they can call it whatever they want. Barring a serious accident it will outlast any other RV trailer on the market by a long shot. A serious accident would only prove how well it was built.

While reminiscing on our experience with these trailers I will mention the two hurricanes we survived in the Cavalier. The first was outside Canso at the Eastern tip of Nova Scotia. At that campsite we left the truck connected to the trailer. This may or may not have helped smooth out the storm as we felt it. The direction of the truck and trailer may have helped as well. The second hurricane was outside Church Point on the Western end of Nova Scotia. We had unhooked the truck and used it for transportation around the local area and did not have it connected to the trailer. The trailer was blocked up and connected to the campsite we were assigned. This storm proved a bit stronger than the one outside Canso. One could not sleep. Every few minutes it felt like some giant beast grabbed the edge of the bed and gave it a violent shake. Joan's nursing buddies claim Joan tells it like it is and her description of this storm describes it best. She got up in the middle of the night when the storm was strongest. A few minutes later she said “There. I'm dressed. At least I have my drawers on if this trailer goes over on its side.”

So, on leaving Sambro on November 28th, 2010, one could not help but wonder what experience waited for us on this trip. Mitch, Natasha and Josie stood at the back of their garage and watched us pull out. A beautiful sunny fall day and the thermometer in the truck read 36F. We went up the back road as we call it through Williamswood and Harrietsfield making it a bit easier to get on the correct road in the city. We left Sambro at 1228 and went past our old home, the apartment building on Tamarack Drive at 1300. We actually went down Tamarack to Osborne so we could mail Robert a post card.

The traffic was quite heavy as usual coming up highway 102. We had to take a short detour off the 102 at the Elmsdale exit because they were removing an old overpass. We carried on to the Elm River Park campground at Glenholme, Nova Scotia. Bernice and Winston run one of the best campgrounds we have camped in. We had phoned Winston to make arrangements to stay at the campground. He had told me that they keep a few sites open all year.


We arrived at Elm River at 2:15 PM or 1415 in naval terminology. The campground is 141 kilometres from Sambro. We simply connected to electricity and dumped tanks and took on water before leaving. The main water system was shut down with one faucet up by one of the buildings in service only.

After dumping the tanks and taking on water Monday morning, November 29th, we went in and visited with Neil and Bernice at their home and office combination. Winston was not home so we missed him. We had a great visit and learned of the trailer facilities at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston, Maine. Bernice and Winston are leaving for South Texas with their Equest 5th wheel trailer on December 29th. We departed Elm River at 1012 and went over to Equest. We stopped just before Equest and had a chat with Glenn at On Star. They had mailed us a card and wanted a chat with us to make certain we had the card and the information on the card was accurate. We then went on to the Equest office and had a chat with Fran. John, her husband and the one in charge who built our Equest was not around. We arrived at Equest at 1029 and departed at 1040.

Our next stop was a Shell service station at Moncton, New Brunswick. We took on one hundred and eleven dollars worth of diesel fuel. The girl handling the cash said that it kind of ruins the fun with a 5th wheel holiday. I reckon she had that right.

We arrived Moncton at 1218 and was back on the road at 1230 and our next stop was the United States border at Holten, Maine. We had our usual three page list we had Canada Customs stamp to make it easier for everyone on our return to Canada. At least I then know what I had when I entered the country. We then entered United States Border Patrol. The border patrol agent reminded me of the little Quebec Pepsi Canada Customs had on duty at the Oregon British Columbia border in 2003. We are sure he did more damage to tourist good will than anyone we can think of. This U.S. Border Patrol Agent gave us a very hard time simply because we did not own property in Canada. For awhile we felt we would not be allowed to enter the country and to be truthful about it we were beginning to wonder if we really wanted to continue on. They spend millions on tourist advertising and then one has to contend with things like that. At least it was better than what one has to go through to board an aircraft these days. This border patrol agent gave us a strict order to be sure and leave within six months and let us carry on. I became very home sick before we reached Bangor, Maine, to the point I was tempted to turn around and go back. At least it felt like homesickness. The only time I had a similar feeling was when I missed Joan and the boys when at sea when the boys were young. The excitement we had for this trip certainly decreased.

We carried on and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground in various sections of the trip. Some sections of dark green spruce trees were very pretty with all the snow. The temperature ranged anywhere from two or three degrees below freezing to three or four degrees above. It was a beautiful clear sunny day with our sunglasses on all the way. There was a lot of fencing along the roads to prevent deer and moose from crossing the road. One wonders if the number killed or injured really warrants the expense involved in the fencing.

We stopped for more fuel at Symra, Maine, that involved a seven minute stop. We were now one hour behind Nova Scotia in the Eastern Time Zone. On the road again, the United States Interstate Highway 95. We have been given to understand the United States Army is in charge of the interstate highways. Apparently they own them and can close them at anytime for their own use. At least we have been lead to believe they are designed to move so many troops within the shortest time frame. They are a great highway so it makes sense to me.

We finally arrived at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Maine, at 1830 Eastern Time. It is true and for ten dollars we were parked out behind the Inn connected to electricity and this also gave us access to their swimming pool and indoor showers. An excellent set-up for this type of travel this time of year. Joan and I went to the dining room and had an excellent supper called a dinner. In other words it is breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Because of the snow on the roads salt had been spread. We were hoping to stay clear of that but both the truck and trailer need a good washing. When we came out from dinner I dropped the landing gear on the trailer to take weight off the truck. It was then Joan informed me we were out of propane. We managed to use one thirty pound bottle in three days so I had to switch tanks and place the second thirty pound bottle in service. We now need to visit a propane outlet. It takes a lot for the furnace to keep the trailer bearable and to heat water in these temperatures.

The run for Monday, November 29th was 841 kilometres. That is way too much but with this weather we want heat as soon as possible. The total run from Sambro to Lewiston was 982 kilometres.

We still do not have Internet connection so will have to continue on as is.

We departed Lewiston at 0830 and pulled in for fuel shortly after leaving. We tried to find some propane but could not locate the outlet so kept going. We pulled into a rest area with a bunch of trucks but no room for us so continued on to the next and pulled in at 1208. We had a lunch and pulled out at 1250. We pulled into Mystic, Connecticut, for fuel at a Shell station where we had to insert a credit card and received no receipt. The kid at the counter was no help with either propane or a wash rack to clean the truck and trailer. We kept going along the 95 and pulled in where our directory, Next Exit said there was propane. It sure was not advertised very well. We came to a fruit stand and pulled in because it was easy to turn around and go back. The lady at the stand pointed out Ron's Guns down the road and on our way out. There we managed to fill both 30 pound bottles.

We got back on interstate 95 and kept going until we arrived at Hammonasset State Park. There was nothing to indicate they were closed. When we pulled up to their main gate a ranger came up and told us they were closed and only two campgrounds in the state were open. Both were way out of our way so we went along to another truck stop. It was full so we went along and pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot. By this time it was pouring rain and we did not block the trailer. We simply lifted the weight off the truck with the main electric hydraulic jack. Joan went into the Wal-Mart for a few things while I got ready and went to bed for a good rest. I was worn out. We arrived at 4:16 PM and I was asleep by 5 PM. This was another long day at 536 kilometres in very heavy traffic. The old motorized vehicle certainly owns us. One can even go to sleep listening to them pass by and if you want entertainment count the number of tires one hears with broken belts.

December 1st, 2010, and we awoke for the last time at 0415 or 4:15 AM (the choice is yours). Still pouring rain. The temperature in the trailer was not that bad. We both had showers that was more than we dared the day before it was so cold. We had breakfast and got on the road at 0617 or 6:17 AM. Again, the choice of recording the time is strictly up to you. It was raining but not a bad place to spend the night. The price was certainly right. We got on the road and started to roll down old 95 again. It was raining and rained all day. We had a wave of spray flying off both sides of the truck and trailer the whole way. We pulled onto the New Jersey Turnpike at 0945 and failed to get a ticket. One is suppose to get a ticket someplace before proceeding on the turnpike and we learned that at the other end of course. We stopped at Burlington, New Jersey for fuel at 1015. No wonder one has to press one for English down here. The guy in charge of the diesel pump may have known four English words but no more. You can purchase nothing but junk food at these fuel pump stores. No propane, milk, bread and that sort of thing. Those who do not push one for English must live on that stuff.

At 1036 we pulled into the Walt Whitman Service Area and found a parking spot among the large 18-wheelers in there. We curled up and had a great snooze. We had a couple of sandwiches and a coffee on getting up and were back on old 95 at 1202. We kept driving with thick traffic on both sides most of the time. The large trucks travel nearly twenty miles per hour above the posted limit but I do not feel like doing that. One tries to keep up at as best they can and not become a nuisance. It has reached the point where one wonders why they bother to waste the money in producing the speed limit signs in both Canada and the United States. Most of the travelling public pay little attention to them.

Rain. Did it ever rain. Several times it was like driving under a waterfall. It is lucky one did not waste the money on a wash job. We went more or less through the centre of New York City and across the George Washington bridge. We have been across that bridge several times. This trailer operates on 12 volts and propane like most of them so we had to by pass Baltimore as much as possible in order to avoid the tunnel under the harbour/river. It is illegal to use it with propane on board. Therefore we took the 695 highway around Baltimore another toll highway. When we finished for the day Joan totaled up the toll highways and we had spent $75.25 on tolls today alone.

We pulled into the Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland at 1433. This is just outside Washington, D.C. The girl who works in our dental office told us about this park because her mother works at it. We met her mother and had a visit on arrival. We were assigned site 324. This is an older campground and one has to back a 5th wheel on site. We had no problem backing on and it is large enough that we did not have to remove the truck. We purchased the site until Friday morning December 3rd, 2010. It is so dang cold we want to get to heat as soon as possible. The temperature is a degree above freezing while recording this at 2000. We will likely be more than ready to leave Friday morning although there are tour buses leaving this site with connection to other city buses for the downtown area. If it were warmer it would be nice to tour around the city but we have been here several times. The campground fee was $52.00 per night so it has reached the point that it is no longer as pleasant to travel this way as it once was. In other words one could travel with a vehicle and use motels or hotels for less money.

We had another long, stressful and tiring day. According to the old trucks odometer we travelled 503 kilometres today. This makes a total of 2,021 cold, wet, windy, kilometres since departing Sambro on November 28th. At least we have our first email contact here at Cherry Hill Park.

Click HERE to email Spud