After our fun week in the Finger Lakes, we needed to head east pretty quickly as our next reservation was about 500 miles away…and started in 3 days! So we knew we had a few long days of driving ahead of us. We decided to follow a state highway instead of the interstate as we always prefer the more scenic, less busy roads. Highway 20 ran pretty much right along our route, so we chose to head that way. It was a really beautiful drive through lots of farm land, but boy was it hilly! We chugged slowly up steep grades…and then employed air brakes on the way down. And we did this over and over and over. It was enjoyable for me, but not so much for Deas who was driving!
We were aiming for a state park that was just over the state line in Vermont. But half way through the drive, we discovered that the state park wasn’t even open for the season yet! At that point there really weren’t a whole lot of other options that interested us, but there was a Wal-Mart that allowed overnight parking in town of Bennington, VT, which was about 15 minutes west of the state park. However when we arrived at the Wal-Mart, we weren’t crazy about the set up. It’s a really small parking lot, and so they wanted us to park at the front of the lot, right next to entrance where cars were constantly driving in and out. But we had a driven a long time that day so we just decided to live with it.
We parked the RV and went into the little town of Bennington to do some exploring. We parked the car, and before we could both get both of our feet on the ground, someone approached and asked us for money. Not really the vibe we were expecting! We wandered around a little more, but we just weren’t loving the town. We headed back to the RV, and then we remembered that we had seen a private park near the state park when we were looking at the area on Allstays. We didn’t really feel like hanging out in the Wal-Mart parking lot, so we decided to just drive up there and take a look. The highway to the park takes you into the Green Mountain National Forest, so it was again really hilly, but also really pretty.
We found the private park, Greenwood Lodge, and drove down a gravel road towards the campground and office. When we got there we only saw one other RV, and I walked up to the office. I could tell from the signs that this was one of the campgrounds where the owners live on site, and the office was in the same building as their home. It was about 6:30 at night at this point so I wasn’t sure if they were still open, but the door was unlocked so I walked in. Motivated by the desire to not sleep at Wal-Mark, I kept opening doors and walking through the building yelling out “Hello…..”, until I finally I heard a woman’s voice say “Someone’s in here.” I was feeling a little guilty about disturbing them, but when the woman came out she was very nice. I explained that our RV was currently at Wal-Mart but that we were looking for an alternative for the night. She told me that they weren’t open for the season yet either! But she also said we were still welcome to stay there. So we raced back down the mountain, Deas hoppped into the RV (which we hadn’t even set up yet), and we moved the RV back to Greenwood. And we were sooo happy that we did. Instead of trying to sleep with cars driving past us all night, we enjoyed at quiet, peaceful night at this very pretty campground.
Next we were headed to New Hampshire. I have a college friend that lives there that I hadn’t seen since our freshman year after she transferred to another college. There was a state park close to where she lives so we planned to stay there. I didn’t do a lot of research on it – we’re almost always happy with state parks and they said they could accommodate RVs up to 35 feet. I called the office and they said they were mostly empty, so we could show up and pick our spot. Sounded good to us.
When we arrived at the entrance to Bear Brook State Park, we thought it was really pretty! But then we saw the sign that we still had a 7 mile drive to the campground. 7 miles isn’t very long, unless you’re driving down a very uneven, narrow, twisty road full of potholes. Which is what we were doing. We were bouncing and jiggling the whole time, and could here our pots and plates rattling away in the cabinets. Finally we reached the campground, we unhitched the car, and I went off in search of a campsite. The first road I went down had a few sites that looked big enough for us, including one right on a lake, but the tree branches were hanging so low I knew our RV would hit them. So I went down the other road – but 100 feet in, it turned to a dirt road in much worse condition than the paved road we had just driven. So we chose the lesser of two evils – the road with the low hanging branches.
In order to get down the road, I had to stand outside and pull a bunch of branches out of the way so Deas could pass in the RV. Deas had to pull the branches down so I could reach them because they were pretty high up. So he loaded me up with two armfulls of branches that I just barely had control over. As I was hanging on for dear life, the mosquitos attacked. Seriously they were swarming all over me! And I hate bugs! So in an effort to fend off the bugs, and also because I thought it would make Deas laugh, I started doing some sort of weird dance where I was jumping up and down and kicking my legs in the air, and swinging my head back and forth trying to chase the mosquitos away. I knew I looked ridiculous and I was laughing, but when I looked at Deas as he drove by, he had a slightly panicked look at on his face and drove by pretty damn fast. I asked him about it later and he said when he saw me, he thought I was losing my mind and that I was going to let go of the branches and that the branches would hit the RV. So for the record, when Deas saw me in a panic, he was more concerned about the RV getting scratched than whatever was terrorizing me. True love.
Anyway, after the mosquito/branch incident, we successfully navigated down the rest of the road towards the awesome campsite on the lake. We had to back in, and since the roads were narrow and there were lots of trees, Deas wanted to pull straight in to the empty campsite right across from ours, and then back into our site. Except the site wasn’t empty – some guy had parked his car there while he was sitting down on the lake. We still thought we could make it work though. However the sites weren’t directly across from each other, so there would still be some maneuvering required. As we started the process there were again many branches to watch out for, so I had to do my weird mosquito dance again. Long story short, we almost got our RV stuck between two trees as we were inching it back and forth. I really wish I had gotten a picture, but Deas was very stressed out and I thought asking him to sit tight for a minute while I got the camera might push him over the edge. We did eventually get the RV into the site, but Deas was very concerned that if the campground filled up, we might not be able to get out. So after an hour of effort, we pulled out of the site and went in search of another one. The guy sitting on the beach must have gotten quite a laugh out of watching us. So bottom line: don’t stay at this park in a big RV.
We eventually found another site that worked for us, and this time got in much easier. Whew. After the previous day’s long drive, and the ordeal of getting into this campground, we were beat. But I was very motivated by the desire to see my friend Alisa, so we mustered up some energy and met her, her husband, and two children for dinner that night. It’s always such a nice feeling when you haven’t seen someone in 25 years, and you can just pick right up where you left off. It was so great to see you, Alisa!
The next day we were finally going to make it to Maine! But we had one night to kill before our reservation started in Boothbay Harbor. We knew our friends Nancy & Betsy were working their way towards Maine also, but we weren’t sure exactly where they were. I texted them that morning and found out that they were planning to spend the night near Freeport, so it was an easy decision to join them for the night.
We all stayed at the Durham/Freeport KOA. Nancy & Betsy got there a couple of hours before we did and made arrangements for us to park right next to each other. They just got a brand new rig and we were excited to check it out! They also got a really cool window decal with their blog name put on their windshield. Chicks dig it.
We spent most of the winter close to Nancy & Betsy in Florida, but we hadn’t seen them since March so we were so excited to see them again! We spent the afternoon exploring all of the stores in Freeport, including the large LL Bean store, then had a fun dinner with them at a local brewery.
And I had one more fun college reunion! My friend Alli just happens to live a few minutes from the KOA campground. She was traveling home from a business trip the night before, but she was nice enough to drive over to the campground and hang out with us for awhile the next morning. Again, we hadn’t seen in other in years, but it was like we had just seen each other last week.
The next day we said goodbye Nancy & Betsy, but we will see them again in 10 days in Bar Harbor. We had a short drive over to Boothbay Harbor and the Shorehills Campground. When we made a reservation we requested a site that backed up to the water, and we were super happy to get into our site and enjoy the view. We spent 5 nights in Boothbay….more to come!