AUGUST 12-19, 2022
The CAT FERRY is an amazing craft, a large catamaran with powerful diesel engines and top speed of 44 knots. The crossing from Yarmouth, NS to Bar Harbor, ME, a distance of 123 nautical miles takes 3.5 hours. The loading and unloading process, because we’re in a small motorhome, puts us on last, thus last off. Instead of a two ended ferry like the larger Marine Atlantic ferries, we pull on at the end of some 200 vehicles, and unable to make a U-turn inside our deck, we have to back off and down the ramp to exit through U.S. customs.
|Length||106 meters or 349 feet|
|Installed Power||Four MTU-8000 diesel engines|
|Top Speed||43 knots or 51 miles per hour|
|Propulsion||Four Rolls Royce KaMeWa 125 MkII water jets|
This 3.5-hour cruise aboard this high-speed catamaran makes traveling easy between Yarmouth, NS and Bar Harbor, ME. And not only that, it cuts the driving time in half.
This international ferry departs departs Yarmouth at 9:30am ADT, arriving in Bar Harbor at noon EDT. Remember There’s a one-hour time difference as Nova Scotia is on Atlantic time while Bar Harbor is on Eastern time. And you have to clear US Customs in Maine.
We pass Acadia National Park on our way to Bucksport KOA where we camped for a week last summer visiting that area and some friends who live in Brooklin, home of E.B. White of The New Yorker and Charlotte’s Web author. He and his wife Katherine and son Joel, founder of Wooden Boat made Brooklin their home for many years.
Leaving Bucksport we compromise our back road driving and opt for some speed on the Mass Pike and end our day in Stockbridge, Mass where we find a great overnite spot called Olivia’s Overlook, now a county park with numerous hiking trails and many visitors. The parking lot is full and we squeeze into one remaining space and in the next few hours, most people leave and we, plus one other camper, have the place to ourselves for the night.
Early up and departure we motor on covering the miles and pull into an I-64 rest stop for the night with plenty of overnight parking, well lighted and secure. There seem to be early signs of Fall in the forests, leaves sensing the coming change and perhaps sooner at the higher altitudes. Chunks of PA, MD, WVA, KY and IN flow by and we cross the border into IL where we find a KOA in Grayville. Much like McDonalds, KOA’s are a chain of campgrounds with predictable menus and amenities, a formulaic approach to RV camping.
As we drive through heavy rain showers most of the next day, I notice a vibration that signals a problem beyond highway conditions. I suspect a tire issue and we find a Big O store in Springfield, MO, where we discover an inside, rear tire has blown out. That means a delay which is OK because we’re not on a schedule. They order a tire to be delivered the next morning and we cruise slowly about 7 miles to another KOA campground in Republic.
The next morning, we get a new rear tire, have the others balanced and torqued and by noon we’re back on the road, headed for OKC and an oft-visited RV park, Twin Fountains. Eager now to get home we leave early Thursday, 8/18, and make a day’s drive of 540 miles to Albuquerque. One stop, an unknown to most people driving on I-40 in the Texas panhandle is an Indian restaurant for lunch in Vega, Texas. They serve the many Indian, (Sikh) truck drivers traveling both east and west on long haul routes.
8/19 Last day on the summer tour. ABQ to TUBAC via Hatch, NM, home of Hatch chiles, both red and green, a staple of NM cuisine. We pick up 5 lbs at Chile Express and head on. Ran into some mean weather cells east of Tucson plus some blue sky, both signs of weather ahead. As you know, weather plays a big role on an extended road trip and we were blessed with mostly good weather, lots of sun and cool temps.
We arrived home around 2:30 Pacific Time. 3 time zones in 3 days, now time to catch up with ourselves and take the next several days to unwind. As we near the end of the ride, we’re a bit like the horse who has made the final turn and wants to gallop back to the barn.
Summary:. Two months on the road in SUGAR 8. Unparalled natural resources and beauty. Total of over 10,000 total miles on every kind of road you can imagine, many not in a state of good repair, at least not yet. Lots of continuing construction on the Interstate highways, both roads and bridges. One more reason for preferring back country roads, most in better condition than the heavily traveled ones. Loved our Canada experiences and planning to return for July 2023 to St. Pierre on Ile d’Orleans, an island in the St. Lawrence River near Quebec City. There will undoubtedly be some trips before then. If you’re a Travels subscriber, a post will automatically show up in your mailbox. Until next time “on the road again” Happy Trails to you and yours.