Friday 17th November
Well the 17th has always been a special day in the Thornley family household, today was no exception, today on the 17th our adventure truly began. With overnight rain in North Conway totalling over 2” and the Swift and Saco rivers on flood alert it seemed that we might really be RV Sailing! However the sun was just breaking through as, loaded up we drove past Trish’s office to see the entire staff at the window waving us off. We were sad to leave our friends, Trish & Doug especially as they have done so much in helping to make our dream come true. We look forward to meeting up with them somewhere along the road to enjoy their company again, this time with them in their RV.
We were both nervous but the journey went well, towing for real now Malc coped with me and the traffic admirably. The journey to Paradise PA is just over 500 miles so sensibly we decided to split it into two, rather than be too ambitious on our first day. The first leg was 200 miles and all was well until we tried to find our overnight stop. It was to be a “Crackerbarrel” Restaurant where RV’s can stop overnight in the car park for free. (I know cheap skates! But if we’re to travel as much as we hope we have to cut costs some of the time) Anyway we made the mistake of taking exit 3b instead of 3a and that was our down fall. To cut a long and cross story short we ended up pulling into a kind of layby, unhitching toad (name given to towed vehicle) going to find the CB and then returning to collect the bus. By now exhausted we had a beer and a snack and went to bed early!
Saturday 18th November
Determined to make an early start we breakfasted, scraped the frost from the car and were on the road for 7.20am. We knew it was going to be a long drive with some tricky towns to negotiate so we thought it best to try to beat some of the traffic.
Malc has done a superb job today he has coped with 6 lanes of traffic (sometimes with “exit only” lanes on the left and right) with cars joining the highway either cutting in front of us or coming in so slow he had to brake. (Don’t forget we’re 50’ long and very heavy) At one point a car cut across us very fast from the left hand lane and cut straight over to the hard shoulder, followed very rapidly by a police car that was chasing him! Not to mention the one that shot away from the toll booth across our bow! Not all the hazards were high speed though, coming across Amish country this afternoon he had to watch out for horses and fragile carts.
And then there’s me again. We had done really well, no wrong turns, navigated through very busy cities and then about 50 miles from our destination I missed an exit which meant we had to go through a city called Lancaster. For some reason Mary wasn’t re calculating our route (I think Malc had scared her speechless by this point…and it wasn’t with praise!) However I did get us back on route without too much of a detour, but feel disappointed that I cocked up in the first place after such a good run.
There were some high points too, great views; crossing the Hudson bridge upstream from New York, pulling into our first site, having a hot shower and sitting down to our first proper meal at the camp site.
Malc says we should do something scary everyday… do all the scary things that have happened today accumulate so we can have a few scare free days? I hope so.