Travel Days to Maine – Sunday to Wednesday – June 16-19, 2013

Sunday, June 16th             
Travel day: Falls Lake, Durham, NC to Endless Caverns, New Market, VA
Distance: 250 miles
  0 - Travel to Endless Caverns, Map 250 miles

Early this morning, we parted ways with Julie, Steve and the grandkids.  It has been a wonderful weekend at Falls Lake.  Hope to see them again in September at the beach:o))

Today was a longer than normal travel day for us, about 250 miles. Since most of the travel was NOT on interstate, it wasn’t too bad.  Actually, Rt. 29 through North Carolina and Virginia is a wonderful 4-lane divided highway with very little traffic and wonderful scenery!!
0 - Travel to Endless Caverns, New Market VA  Rt 29 0b - Travel to Endless Caverns, New Market VA  Rt 29
Our stop for the evening was Endless Caverns Campground.  The campground is an easy drive just off I-81 south of New Market, VA.  It is a nice campground in a beautiful area and honors Passport America.  They also offer tours of the Caverns for $15 per person if you camp there.
Entrance to the Campground
Nicely spaced, terraced FHU campsites 
Jun 16 - Endless Caverns, New Market, VA - Site E-55Jun 16 - Endless Caverns, New Market, VA - Our Patio area
Monday, June 17th        
Travel day:
        Endless Caverns, New Market, VA to Moyers Grove CG, Wapwallopen, PA
Distance: 250 miles
Our travels today were from B to C on the map.  
 0 - Travel to Moyers Grove CG, Wapwallopen, PA  250 miles 
We left very early (6:30am) because we hoped to get to the campground as early as possible.  There is a Bike Trail not too far from the campground we would like to ride.  The sun was barely up when we drove through New Market to get back on I-81 North to Pennsylvania.
2 - leaving Endless Cavern very early  2 - New market VA
It was a pretty and an easy drive through Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.3 - I81 through Virginia
We got the 'Creepy Crawlies' when be got to Carlisle, PA ;o(4 - I81 at Carlisle PA
The traffic never let up until we got past Harrisburg, PA;o(((5 - I81 at Harrisburg, PA
Then it was clear sailing the rest of the drive… 6 - I81 north of Harrisburg, PA
One of our biggest concerns about traveling in the northeast are the back roads.  We were both raised in this area and know all too well how narrow and winding the roads can be.  I tried very hard to find campgrounds close to the interstate for one night stops. 
Well, I messed this one up…
Baby got her first Squiggles Test and passed with flying colors!! 
Bill is still recovering;o))

7 - Road to Campground, Narrow Bridge 
This is the only photo of the 7 mile drive to the campground. 
It was a two handed, eye on the road drive for me and the Tahoe!
Bill did a great job maneuvering Baby up, down and around!!!
We were on site 33, 30amp FHU in a so-so campground.
1 - Site 33 Moyers Grove CG 1b - Site 33 Moyers Grove CG front yard view
We just got hooked up and ate a quick lunch
so we had time to checkout a bike trail near here.
About 15 miles from the campground, off I-80 in White Haven, PA,
is the northern trailhead of the Lehigh Gorge State Park Bike Trail
00- Lehigh Gorge State Park Bike Trail  1 - Lehigh Gorge State Park Sign 
The entire trail is about 36 miles long.  The Gorge portion is 25 miles from White Haven to Jim Thorpe, PA.  They have shuttle services from Jim Thorpe that will take you to White Haven and then you just have an easy downhill ride back to Jim Thorpe.  It is about a 2% downhill grade. 
Since it was too late in the day to get a shuttle, we had to peddle both down and then back up the grade. We decided to only go as far as Buttermilk Falls, a round-trip of 17.5 miles.  If we ever get back here, we will take the shuttle and ride as far as possible on the trail.
On your right, as you head downhill toward Jim Thorpe, is the huge rock wall – The Gorge!!
All along the way are small waterfalls:o))
4 - Rock Gorge Walls on right 4b - Rock Gorge Walls Waterfalls
On your left, down a steep bank, is the Lehigh River.
You can hear the water rush over the rapids!!5 - Lehigh River on left
We took time at one of the short trails to hike down and get a closer look.5b - Trail to Lehigh River on left 5c - Close up view of Lehigh River on left
We took our time, stopping often to admire the views.
We finally reached Buttermilk Falls about 4pm.6 - Buttermilk Falls - Bill and Nancy
Yep, the trip was all smiles to this point;o))
Of course, we had to get back and that was 8 1/2 miles uphill;o(((7 - Heading back uphill
Since we have spent the last two days just sitting and driving, the exercise was great!!!
However, if we ever come back…
we will get shuttled to the top and ride the entire trail one-way… DOWN:o))

Tuesday, June 18th
Travel day:
      Moyers Grove CG, Wapallopen, PA to Wilderness Lake CG, Willington, CT
Distance: 250 miles
Our travels today were from C to D on the map.0 - Travel to Wilderness Lake CG, Willington, CT  250 miles
We carefully made our way back the 7 miles of winding roads
to continue our travel on I-81 north. 
 2 - Back across one lane bridge  3 - Northern I-81 in PA
We got caught in rush-hour around Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.
Wish people would SLOW down!!!
04a - motorcycle accident I-81 PA04b - motorcycle accident I-81 PA
Amazing how they cut the highways through the mountains!!06 - Road Cut through the mountains
Shortly outside of Scranton, we picked up I-84 and before long entered New York.08 - Entering New York on I-84
Driving was easy until we crossed the Hudson River and entered Connecticut.09 - Crossing Hudson River Bridge (5-1.5)  10 - Entering Conn
Heavy traffic, crazy drivers and BAD roads made this the worst travel so far.11 - Conn Congestion
We had to drive through the Capitol, Hartford.
I didn’t realize when I snapped this picture,
that I had the captured the capitol dome in picture.12- I-84 through Hartford
I went to the internet to see the rest of the building…  GORGEOUS!!!13 - Conn Capitol Building
We could see the storm clouds building as we continued toward Willington, Connecticut.14 - I-84 north of Hartford to Exit 71
We arrived at Wilderness Lake CG and got set-up just before the rains started!15 - Site 20, Wilderness Lake CG, Willington, CT  16 - View from Dinette, Wilderness Lake CG, Willington, CT
It rained ALL night, but was clear and cool in the morning!!
Glad this was just a one night stop.  We are finding the campgrounds in the northeast to be expensive, difficult to get to and drive through.  The sites are small and not very level. 
I guess we are spoiled with the beautiful Florida and South Carolina State Parks we have stayed at!!  This site is a 30amp electric and water site which cost $25.00 with the Passport America discount.  I can’t imagine paying $50 for this site?!?!

Wednesday, June 19th
Travel day: Wilderness Lake CG, Willington, CT to Ocean View CG, Wells, ME
Distance: 150miles
Our travels today were from D to E on the map.0 - Travel to Ocean View CG, Wells, ME  150 miles
We only had 150 miles to go today, so we decided to wait until after rush-hour.  We have to travel on I-495 around Boston and certainly do not need to do that at RUSH HOUR;o( 
About 9am, we got on the road. 
Followed I-84 into Massachusetts where we picked up I-90, the first of several toll roads.
1 - I84 or I90 thru Conn and Mass(toll)
Next we navigated I-495 around Boston.  The most difficult part was getting on the highway.
The construction made for very narrow and dangerous on-ramps!!! 
Bill and Baby took it slow and easy:o))
2 - Toll Booth I-90 getting on I-495 2b- Construction getting on I-495
It was well after rush hour and traffic was still terrible.3 - I495 heavy traffic in Mass
I couldn’t find a Wal-Mart truck to follow;o((
However, I found something that worked just as well !!!4 - No Walmart Truck try a garbage truck
Yep, nobody tried to cut in front of me to get behind the Garbage Truck;o))
Finally, we finished the loop around Boston and continued on I-95 north.5 - I95 to New Hampshire
I-95 becomes a toll road in New Hampshire:-(
6 - Entering New Hampshire
Finally, after four days of travel, we reached MAINE:o))9a - Maine Welcome Center State Seal
Our first stop, the Visitor Center.9 - Maine Welcome Center
We’ve  got some reading to do;o))
 9f - Maine Welcome Center Brochures
All these beautiful Mountain Laurels were blooming outside the Visitor Center!!
9b - Maine Welcome Center Mountain Laurel9b2 - Maine Welcome Center Mountain Laurel9b3 - Maine Welcome Center Mountain Laurel
After the visitor center, you must pay the Maine I-95 toll. 
For Baby, it was $7.50 and the Tahoe was $3.00!!
Now for the kicker…we only went 11 more miles before we reached our exit!!!
That’s $10.50 to go 11 miles or about $1.00 per mile;o(((
While we really don’t like paying tolls, it sure cuts back the traffic;o))9c - Maine Tolls eliminate traffic
Our total tolls for the Tahoe and Baby today were $21.00!!
We will be staying at Ocean View Campground in Wells, Maine for 5 nights.10 - Ocean View Campground Sign
The campground is tight, the sites are small and I would not recommend it for any rig larger than 35ft.  At $42.00 a night,  it is expensive for 30amp service.  However, it is one of the least expensive in the area.
The campground entrance and roads.
10a - Ocean View Campground  Office  10c - Ocean View Campground  tight squeeze
Our site and our view… lots of seasonal campers here!!
 10d - Site X, Ocean View CG, Wells, ME 10e - Site X, Ocean View CG, Wells, ME - Our View
If you look carefully in the distance,
you can see the Ocean View for which the campground is name;o))10b - Ocean View Campground  Pool and Ocean View

While the campground is so-so, we didn’t come to spend time at the Campground.
We have several places to see and things to do during our stay here!!
The weather is spectacular and we can’t wait to experience Maine:o))


  1. You went right through our old neighborhood...highway 81 in Wilkes-Barre, PA :)
    We don't miss it!
    Have a great time in Maine, and give hugs to all our buddies!

  2. That was a LOT of driving! Glad you arrived in Maine with no incidents, and now you can slow down and enjoy! Have fun!

  3. I've been a lurker on your blog for awhile now and have enjoyed reading about your travels and good times. I just came out of the closet since we've met Rick & Gail here in VT. We should close on our house next week and will be joining the ranks of happy wanderers. We used to live in NY between the Hudson River and CT, I-84 in that area has been a nightmare for a long time and is notorious for it's crazy drivers. Enjoy your time in ME, safe travels.

    1. Welcome to the ranks of the Happy Wanderers:o)) Perhaps we will meet down the road. Safe Travels and Happy Trails...

    2. Thank you, we're loving the lifestyle. Hope we do have the chance to meet somewhere. Safe travels...

  4. You guys have a great strategy to get to Maine, makes total sense. Glad it went so well. You have so much to look forward to this summer!

  5. I share your concern about the roads in the northeast. We have spent way more miles than 7 on narrow windy ones towing Ruby. I'm having a heart attack, David is driving right along. We also had one of those $1 a mile deals on a PA Turnpike extension. $8 to drive 7 miles. Love the bike path. Put that one on our list. I'd recommend the fabulous ride, though very short, at Winhall COE in VT, but the roads to it would cause Bill to pass out. Not good for Baby. :-) Glad you've arrived safely. Anxious to see what you have scoped out in Wells. Isn't the Rachel Carson NWR or her home there? It's a place I wanted to go for some reason but couldn't make it work and now with my Senior memory I can't remember why or what. LOL

  6. You're almost home free. A couple more stops and you can park it for awhile :)

  7. Whoop whoop! Time is coming near! Enjoy your days!

  8. We have only driven the roads in the NE in a car, and that was a challenge. We have been putting off a trip to that area because of the roads and traffic. I like the way you bypassed the big cities. We wonder how it would be to drop down from Canada. Glad you made it safely!