Sunday, June 17, 2018

2018 - East Coast Trip

We left Indiana on 5-31/18 headed to Westerly, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Camden, ME.  The trip took us through ten (10) states over ten (10) days.  Along the way lots of rain and a couple of missteps which I will touch on later.

We traveled through eastern Indiana into Ohio, following I-70 through Columbus and onto I-76 through Akron and Youngstown before crossing into Pennsylvania. We decided to stop for the night at Shenango River Lake Campground in Hermitage, PA.  This is an Army Corp of Engineers campground.  Prior to our arrival they had a severe storm that knocked out their computers.  The night was free.  

We left early Friday morning heading for Westerly, RI to visit Susan’s cousin.  Susan’s father and his brother named both girls the exact same name.  Susan’s cousin, Susan is a few years older than my Susan. 
We passed through lush green pine forests, Allegheny National Forest and several state forests along I-80.  We passed through the Allegheny Mountains, covered with pine trees.  Way better than flat Indiana and Ohio.  We crossed into New Jersey and took the Tappan Zee Bridge from New Jersey
into New York.

As I approached their house, I turned into the wrong driveway.  The street is the main street in town.  After 11 hours of driving, I should have gotten out to access the situation and waited for Susan’s cousin to walk down to help us back out.  If I had gotten out I would have seen a driveway straight back.  I tried to back out the way I pulled in, but the trailer wouldn’t cooperate.  I pulled back in and when there was a break in traffic I tried again.  I went too far and the trailer jack knifed into the rear fender on the driver’s side denting in the whole fender.  This was a self-inflicted wound.  I’m not looking forward to getting an estimate for repairs. Gene helped me back up and directing me to pull through the neighbors driveway and into theirs.

Their home was built in 1875-1877.  The home was built on farm land owned by the Perry Family.  Arthur Perry built the home.  He married his bride across the street and the Quaker Meeting House and there carried her across the street to their new home.  Arthur Perry was the President of the Washington Trust.  The family owned many homes in the surrounding neighborhood, and several have been placed on the National Historic Register. The Copper Birch tree in the back is estimated to be over 250 years old.  A famous Perry Family member, Oliver Hazard Perry, Commodore USN had a farm in the are.  He joined the navy at the age of 13.  He was commander of the USS Revenge which ran aground off the Rhode Island coast.  There was a court martial which he was fully exonerated.  In 2011 the ship was found and when matching naval charts the reef was not shown on the map.  In 2017 the U. S. Navy pulled all of the canons from the sea.  Commodore Perry was the hero of the battle of Lake Erie.  We had a great visit with Susan's cousin and her husband.

 250 year old Copper Beech Tree

Susan’s cousin cooked a wonderful dinner and rhubarb pie desert.  On Saturday they gave us a tour of Westerly and next door neighbor Connecticut.  We drove past the gate of Taylor Swift’s summer home, or should I say castle.  At the price of $25,000,000.00, I just enjoyed the view.  We had lunch in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.  We treated them to dinner on the harbor.  In the morning we had breakfast and headed for Cape Cod.

Taylor Swift's summer home

Much like the National Preservation aquiring land to preserve, Susan's cousin and her husband Gene are part of a group that has set up a l;and trust to preserve land around Westerly, RI

 Mystic River and bridge, CT


We crossed 2 bridges onto the Cape and arrived at Scusset Beach State Reservation around 11:30am.  Check-in wasn’t until 1pm so we found a BBQ place for lunch and did some exploring.  We drove into Hyannis Port and some other small towns along Nantucket Sound before heading back to our campsite.  We had 24 hours of rain and wind gusts that were over 35 mph.  We decided to head back into Hyannis and visit the John F. Kennedy Museum.  It was beautiful.  The personal photographer captured the Kennedy’s in a way that made you feel you were right there.  Most of the negatives were stored in a vault at the World Trade Center and they were lost.  Thousands of negatives were created from photos and negatives that were not lost in the tower collapse.  We went to the glass museum in Sandwich, MA, and instead of taking the tour decided to use our money to make some purchase.  We had lunch at the Dan'l Webster restaurant.  We had some clam chowder and lobster rolls for our meal.  When we got back to our campsite it was pouring.  The heavy winds had pulled our shelter tent stakes out, with the exception of one or the tent would have been in the ship channel.  One of the stake eyelets was ripped off, otherwise we were lucky it was in one piece.

Bridges to Cape Cod

Ship leaving the intercoastal channel

On Tuesday we got a break in the weather and drove up the coat through the National Seashore.  The National Seashore became a reality during the presidency of JFK.  The sand dunes were beautiful.  The views were amazing from the viewing tower at the Provincetown Visitor Center.  We walked the beach and watched several grey seals play in the surf.

 Nauset Beach Light Station

 Cape Cod Light

Lobster Rolls

On Wednesday we left for Camden, ME  The drive was fine until we got near Boston, and the rush hour was a complete mess.  We lost 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Once we got past Boston the drive was beautiful. We arrived in Camden around 12:30pm.  We got our campsite which was completely isolated from other sites.  It was great.  On 2 evenings we got to use our propane fire pit.  On Thursday we drove north along US 1 to Fort Knox.  We visited the fort and the observation tower at the top of the new bridge tower.  The views were amazing.  We stopped for lunch at the Lobster Pound  in Lincolnville, just north of Camden.  We had eaten there in 2008 when we were traveling from Bar Harbor to Boothbay.    We both had Lobster Rolls and I had clam chowder.

Penobscot River

Penobscat Narrows Bridge

Fort Knox

Friday morning we waited for the clouds and fog to lift and drove up to Mount Batie for spectacular view of Penobscot Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  We were able to see through the haze and see Cadillac Mountain & Desert Island in Acadia National Park.  The viewing tower offered even better views.  After returning to our campsite we took Sara for a long walk and set-up the camper for her.  We walked into the town of Camden, approximately 2 miles each way from our campsite.  We stopped for lunch at the Sea Dog Brewing Company.  I had a bowl of clam chowder and a cheeseburger, and sampled several beers. We walked around Camden and headed back.  That 2 mile treck back was a back breaker with more uphill walking.


All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.

Over these things I could not see;
These were the things that bounded me;
And I could touch them with my hand,
Almost, I thought, from where I stand.
And all at once things seemed so small
My breath came short, and scarce at all.

But, sure, the sky is big, I said;
Miles and miles above my head;
So here upon my back I'll lie
And look my fill into the sky.
And so I looked, and, after all,
The sky was not so very tall.
The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,
And—sure enough!—I see the top!
The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I 'most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity
Came down and settled over me;
Forced back my scream into my chest,
Bent back my arm upon my breast,
And, pressing of the Undefined
The definition on my mind,
Held up before my eyes a glass
Through which my shrinking sight did pass
Until it seemed I must behold
Immensity made manifold;
Whispered to me a word whose sound
Deafened the air for worlds around,
And brought unmuffled to my ears
The gossiping of friendly spheres,
The creaking of the tented sky,
The ticking of Eternity.

I saw and heard, and knew at last
The How and Why of all things, past,
And present, and forevermore.
The Universe, cleft to the core,
Lay open to my probing sense
That, sick'ning, I would fain pluck thence
But could not,—nay! But needs must suck
At the great wound, and could not pluck
My lips away till I had drawn
All venom out.—Ah, fearful pawn!
For my omniscience paid I toll
In infinite remorse of soul.

All sin was of my sinning, all
Atoning mine, and mine the gall
Of all regret. Mine was the weight
Of every brooded wrong, the hate
That stood behind each envious thrust,
Mine every greed, mine every lust.

And all the while for every grief,
Each suffering, I craved relief
With individual desire,—
Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire
About a thousand people crawl;
Perished with each,—then mourned for all!

A man was starving in Capri;
He moved his eyes and looked at me;
I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,
And knew his hunger as my own.
I saw at sea a great fog bank
Between two ships that struck and sank;
A thousand screams the heavens smote;
And every scream tore through my throat.

No hurt I did not feel, no death
That was not mine; mine each last breath
That, crying, met an answering cry
From the compassion that was I.
All suffering mine, and mine its rod;
Mine, pity like the pity of God.

Ah, awful weight! Infinity
Pressed down upon the finite Me!
My anguished spirit, like a bird,
Beating against my lips I heard;
Yet lay the weight so close about
There was no room for it without.
And so beneath the weight lay I
And suffered death, but could not die.

Long had I lain thus, craving death,
When quietly the earth beneath
Gave way, and inch by inch, so great
At last had grown the crushing weight,
Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more,—there is no weight
Can follow here, however great.
From off my breast I felt it roll,
And as it went my tortured soul
Burst forth and fled in such a gust
That all about me swirled the dust.

Deep in the earth I rested now;
Cool is its hand upon the brow
And soft its breast beneath the head
Of one who is so gladly dead.
And all at once, and over all
The pitying rain began to fall;
I lay and heard each pattering hoof
Upon my lowly, thatched roof,
And seemed to love the sound far more
Than ever I had done before.
For rain it hath a friendly sound
To one who's six feet underground;
And scarce the friendly voice or face:
A grave is such a quiet place.

The rain, I said, is kind to come
And speak to me in my new home.
I would I were alive again
To kiss the fingers of the rain,
To drink into my eyes the shine
Of every slanting silver line,
To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze
From drenched and dripping apple-trees.
For soon the shower will be done,
And then the broad face of the sun
Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth
Until the world with answering mirth
Shakes joyously, and each round drop
Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.

How can I bear it; buried here,
While overhead the sky grows clear
And blue again after the storm?
O, multi-colored, multiform,
Beloved beauty over me,
That I shall never, never see
Again! Spring-silver, autumn-gold,
That I shall never more behold!
Sleeping your myriad magics through,
Close-sepulchred away from you!
O God, I cried, give me new birth,
And put me back upon the earth!
Upset each cloud's gigantic gourd
And let the heavy rain, down-poured
In one big torrent, set me free,
Washing my grave away from me!

I ceased; and through the breathless hush
That answered me, the far-off rush
Of herald wings came whispering
Like music down the vibrant string
Of my ascending prayer, and—crash!
Before the wild wind's whistling lash
The startled storm-clouds reared on high
And plunged in terror down the sky,
And the big rain in one black wave
Fell from the sky and struck my grave.

I know not how such things can be;
I only know there came to me
A fragrance such as never clings
To aught save happy living things;
A sound as of some joyous elf
Singing sweet songs to please himself,
And, through and over everything,
A sense of glad awakening.
The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,
Whispering to me I could hear;
I felt the rain's cool finger-tips
Brushed tenderly across my lips,
Laid gently on my sealed sight,
And all at once the heavy night
Fell from my eyes and I could see,—
A drenched and dripping apple-tree,
A last long line of silver rain,
A sky grown clear and blue again.
And as I looked a quickening gust
Of wind blew up to me and thrust
Into my face a miracle
Of orchard-breath, and with the smell,—
I know not how such things can be!—
I breathed my soul back into me.

Ah! Up then from the ground sprang I
And hailed the earth with such a cry
As is not heard save from a man
Who has been dead, and lives again.
About the trees my arms I wound;

Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky,
Till at my throat a strangling sob
Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb
Sent instant tears into my eyes;
O God, I cried, no dark disguise
Can e'er hereafter hide from me
Thy radiant identity!

Thou canst not move across the grass
But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,
Nor speak, however silently,
But my hushed voice will answer Thee.
I know the path that tells Thy way
Through the cool eve of every day;
God, I can push the grass apart
And lay my finger on Thy heart!

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

Source: Renascence and Other Poems (1917)

 Camden Library

 Camden Harbor

We decided to have a light dinner and pack up for an early start home.  We left around 6:30 am and stopped for coffee in Camden.  We drove about 12 hours into central Pennsylvania and stopped at Bald Eagle State Park for the night. 

 The campground was very nice, but very pricy for out of state.  We paid $40.50 for one night.  We got up early on Sunday and hit the road for home.  We arrived back in Carmel, IN  around 3:30pm.  It was a great trip.  As a postscript to our trip I got my first estimate for the damaged fender.  They have to replace the entire fender and that will cost $3,000.00+/-.  Guess I will be contacting our insurance company for the first on me.  I have probably driven 500,000 miles without an accident.  Bummer but at least it was without injury or involving anyone else.


  1. John thanks for the ride along.I grew up on the east coast,eastern Pa to be exact.
    Only one time into NE went to Mystic Sea Port village.
    Your travels were very enjoyable to page through.So much history.

  2. Very much enjoying your blog here, we are very exited to pick up our Granby in November!!

  3. Thanks for sharing, we are ordering our Hawk very soon and ready for similar fun trips that we will share. Curious on what brand of trailer you are towing?