October Road Trip

We’ve been slacking off. We’ve become a little too familiar with several different routes to the west coast of the USA, so we haven’t made a trip lately. We think we might try something radically different this fall. A trip to the east coast of the USA. From our home in Kenora, there is a significant obstacle; the Great Lakes. At the languorous pace at which I like to drive – something like four to six hours a day – it takes most of a week just to get to Toronto.

However, I am interested in attending Can-Con this fall. That’s a big science fiction convention in Ottawa. For more about that aspect of the trip, you might want to keep an eye on Timothy Gwyn Writes. I keep separate blogs, so my foodie friends don’t have to read about my writer’s angst, and my writing friends don’t have to wade through my wine-snobbery. Anyway, if we fly to Ottawa, a whole range of possibilities open up. Several ranges, actually: the Adirondacks, the White Mountains, and the Green Mountains, for starters. Regular readers will recall that Caroline is on a mission to make me drive up one side and down the other of every mountain in North America.

Initial trip planning quickly revealed that an early October trip into those mountain areas might be well-timed for seeing some spectacular fall colours. Also, an American pilot friend who enjoys his stop-overs in Kenora spoke highly of Bar Harbor, Maine as one of his other favourite places to visit. So we are roughing out a route that would offer a string of four-hour drives through spectacular autumn scenery. So far, it looks like this:

Ottawa to Bar Harbor Trip

If you click on the map, you will see a larger, more legible version.

Some points of interest include Acadia National Park, Maine; Lake Placid, New York; and Kingston, Ontario, where Caroline has family history to look into for her genealogy studies. Her Loyalist ancestors fled Vermont, and their home, appropriated by Patriots, became the Governor’s mansion, so we might go looking for that. She tells me that Vermont’s State Seal still bears a depiction of the view from one of the mansion’s windows. Somewhere in there we should be able to find a maritime museum (Bath, Maine looks promising), and while we won’t be in New York’s most famous wine area, the Finger Lakes, we might find a few wines to taste, too.

We would be renting a car, or more probably an SUV, in Ottawa, so our trusty CRV won’t be making the trip. Dingbat, our less trusty Garmin GPS,  will be coming along for the ride if I have my way, because I can pre-program him with stuff before we go. Besides, even if the rental comes with a GPS, it might be small, or it might be another brand. I get along okay with Tom-Toms, but I am not as adept with all their features.

Other goals: some hiking – I like a morning walk every day. Trees are good company. My hiking staff (staves actually, I have two) would be oversize baggage, but if I take my hockey tape and a rubber cane tip, I can pick up a rake handle at any hardware store. This would allow for a quick and dirty copy of my light staff. No, despite the name, it does not resemble a light sabre. My heavy staff is six feet (and five pounds) of steel pipe that starts to give my arms a work-out after the first hour. It’s nice to have when you hike where wolves and bears are common (and I do, regularly) but it takes up a lot of room in a car. Also, I can picture what would happen if I leaned something like that on the wall of a bed-and-breakfast room full of antique china knick-knacks.


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