Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2008 October Trip Days 11-12=Race Weekend

Early up. Early out. We were on the road long before dawn and made good time in our trek back to Maryland. Most traffic was of the big 18-wheel truck type and we tried to stay in the right lane as they, very often, passed us upwards to 100 MPH. Crazy!!!!

By the time the sun came up, we were well on our way out of Nova Scotia’s mountains and back onto the coastal plains it shares with New Brunswick. Once crossing into New Brunswick our highway became NB Rt. 2. These roads are comparable to the U.S. Interstate system. High speed, divided, four lanes with limited access. Speed limit was 110KPH or about 68 MP. We set the speed control for 70 MPH and still was the slowest vehicle on the road. No matter. The scenery was beautiful.

Once past Moncton, the coastal plains turn to rolling hills then become more mountainous, but not like Nova Scotia’s Highlands. It was a sunny, very clear and crisp day. The traffic was very light and we enjoyed the drive.

At this point, I would like to make an analogy of this trip back home to a NASCAR race weekend. Usually on Saturday the racecars get out on the track and practice for the big race on Sunday. Not much traffic on the track and they can be more at ease than they would be on race day. On Sunday, they are in a pack of cars where every driver wants to go faster than the other driver, sometimes with disastrous results. I considered this trip like one of those weekends.

On Saturday we drove from Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, Canada to Brunswick, Maine, U.S.A in about 12 hours (650 miles). The part of the trip was practice day. Not much traffic and we could take our time making decisions with out panicking. Our passage through U.S. Customs was easy and the Border Agent said to us, “Welcome back home”. We stayed at the Brunswick Naval Air Station lodging for the night and were able to get an early start again the next morning. Felt good to sleep in a real bed.

The next portion of the trip, taking about 10 hours (520 miles), was race day. Interstate 95 from Brunswick, Maine to Baltimore, Maryland is a virtual racetrack I call “the Highway of Death”. The traffic, increasingly” got worse as did the drivers. Arrogance and aggression was the theme for, it seemed, everyone behind the wheel. We did make it home, however, without incident. Thank God.

We unpacked the minimal, meaning the cooler and some clothing, and went in, kicked back and took a deep sigh of relief. Home Sweet Home. It would take us two days to unpack and put things away, not to mention catching up on our rest. We were vegetables for those two days.

Looking back on the trip, we made a few observations:

1. We enjoyed ourselves immensely

2. We planned and packed just the right things for the colder weather we experienced.

3. We measured our time OK, but we could have taken more time to sightsee rather than going from point A to point B.

4. The people in Maine and Canada were awesome. Everyone was so very helpful and cordial in every way you could imagine.

5. The Canadians drive too fast and are generally not attentive when they do.

6. There are a lot of hard working people in those areas that eek out a comfortable living without all the necessities most of us rely on.

7. We should have taken more pictures and video.

8. We are not as young as we once were. Gr-r-r-r

9. We underestimated the cost of being in Canada even for the barest essentials.

10. We would do it again, the same way, different part of the country.

11. Finally, it is GREAT to be home. Where ever that may be.

No comments: