Saturday, September 22, 2012

Finally, Maine!

Saturday - September 8th - - It was shortly after noon when I left Lancaster. Today and tomorrow, the Interstates would be my friend. I hoped. In the afternoon and evening I ran into some nasty weather in Pennsylvania and New York with lots of rain and strong winds but it eventually tapered off as I drove into the night.

Sunday - September 9th - - It was a long day of driving starting at 6:30 am and lasting until 4:30 pm when I finally arrived at Camden Hills State Park, about 15 miles south of Belfast, Maine. It was one of those rare state parks that has wifi available and, even rarer, it happened to be very good wifi at that! Van Dora had been making some rather odd sounds after leaving Pennsylvania and the ABS light had come on too, but there was little that could be done since it was Sunday. I just kept on traveling, hoping that it wasn't anything serious. There was a Dodge dealer in Belfast so that would be my first stop Monday morning...

Monday - September 10th - - The day dawned bright and clear. A good omen, perhaps? Before heading into Belfast, I drove to a viewpoint in the park that overlooks the bay.


Penobscot Bay and the town of Camden.


A zoomed-in view of the town of Camden.

Upon arriving at the Dodge dealer in Belfast, I explained what was happening with Van Dora. They said it might be an hour or two before they could look at it, which was to be expected since I arrived unannounced on a Monday morning. They had a nice waiting room with wifi so before handing the keys over to them, I grabbed the laptop to catch up on email and to write a few blog posts (which did not get completed at that time). I also contacted my friend Joann to let her know what was going on.

About 90 minutes later, I had the bad news. Van Dora needed new tie rods and a wheel bearing! Apparently, heat from the bearing had damaged the ABS Sensor, so that had to be replaced too. Some other major repairs had been done before leaving Indiana (shocks, struts, tires, etc.) so I was disappointed that this problem had not been discovered at that time. According to the maintenance manager at the Dodge dealer it was something the other repair shop should have noticed. No point dwelling on that though. The parts wouldn't be in until the next morning and the repairs might not be completed until late the next afternoon.

I called my friend Joann (on the dealer's phone since my cell had no coverage!) and she was about half way to Acadia. She turned around and came back for me. We decided to continue on to Acadia (about 90 minutes away) since fees would have to be paid for the campground reservations there anyway and it sounded like there was a good chance that the van wouldn't be ready until Wednesday anyway.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at Seawall campground in Acadia National Park. We got settled in at our campsite and enjoyed a pleasant evening together. Joann has a little Casita trailer with enough room for two to sleep, more or less comfortably. I'm used to sleeping in a narrow space in the van but my bed that night was several inches narrower and the six foot length was a little tight. However, I was very thankful that I had a place to spend the night - Thank you, Joann!

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