Migrating south (leaving Nova Scotia)

Trip Start Oct 24, 2012
Trip End Dec 17, 2013

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Sunday, November 18, 2012

This last summer has been one of the best in NS for the past few years, you certainly pulled out all the stops for us and very nice it was too. Thanks! It has been long, hot and wonderful, but all good things must come to an end as they say. Mornings and evenings have begun to cool and with light frosts nipping at our heels it was time to move on. After a week of preparations which included washing and polishing Bree (a job we had left until the very last minute) we set off on Wed 24 th Oct and headed for the US border. We had  great run, Bree (and Malc) very happy to be on the road again -Malc does love his armchair driving and as much as Bree might have loved it by the lake, he was made to 'run'.

It was dark by the time we reached the border and despite going through the wrong lane because we followed truck directions as we are larger than  car and therefore ending up in the x ray booth, all was OK, once the paperwork had been checked and Bree had been searched. So 'Hello USA' we're back for  little while.

After overnighting in Wal Mart, we headed south for North Conway, where our good friends Doug& Trish used to live... their old house is up for sale so if you are looking to relocate send us  message and we'll forward the details. It's  great house in  beautiful setting  and in NH  no tax!! It was lovely to see the familiar landscape of NH, the trees were resplendent in their fall colours (though not as spectacular as 'our own' of course).

We parked up in their driveway and then continued on to their new location just south of Boston - didn't want to take Bree through Boston, did that once before, on our very first trip south back in 2006. We were naive first time travellers, all went smoothly but this time we have decided to take a more inland route to avoid all the east coast traffic. So after a somewhat quiet journey down from the border  despite being on the I-95 we headed towards the 'big city. Traffic kept moving fairy rapidly but 4  lanes wide and solid, it was easier in the car though, even if we did feel a bit small. As we kept up with it, signs overhead warned of severe weather and to plan ahead - little did we know what was to come. We had been without tv, but had got an email from another American friend telling us about the impending storm. However we had little idea of how huge it was, once back in touch with the news we watched along with the whole of the NE as Sandy developed . But even then we had no idea of how bad it was going to be, we, along with many others, went down to the coast in Plymouth MA to see what was happening. At first it seemed much like  a winter's day at home on the south coast, heavy grey skies, strong winds and white horses on the waves. But even in the short while we were out of the car the conditions were worsening. It was actually a bit scary as we knew that it was only going to get even worse.

We were VERY fortunate in that apart from the winds and being without power for about 2 hours there was little effect where we were with D&T. So shocked to see what was happening just to the south however. Although there were many warnings and a lot of precautions were taken, it has still had a devastating effect to the coast of NJ and to much of lower Manhattan. Good to see the stories about everyone pulling together and helping each other, outweigh the sad tales of looting and people barricading themselves in their homes at night.

After spending a few days with Doug &Trish  (grateful once more for your hospitality – it is thanks to you that we were ever able to have this adventure of ours in the first place) we returned to Bree and made ready to come further south. In fact on the morning we left there were signs of snow, albeit a few of those tiny little polystyrene like balls that make for such good skiing and forecasts of the 'nor'easter’ that was threatening an already wounded NE coast. As many of you have come to know, we are avid weather watchers and usually try to do our best to escape the storms.

Again we were fortunate and had a really good run, though we did set off rather later than we would have liked. We had scheduled on getting two new tyres for Bree early in the morning, but this had taken longer than expected, so given that it was approximately a 500 mile run (we usually average 55 – 60 mph) it was dark and we were tired when we got to Hazleton in Pennsylvania which was our stop for the night. (Courtesy of Walmart- thank you). I am still in awe of the way Malc just gets behind the wheel and gets on with it. This was one of the longest stints we’ve done (it had taken 10 hrs on the road) and to know he had another almost as long the following day, must have made for an exhausted sleep. I know many people take this sort of road trip in their stride, but we never forget how special it is for us.

We woke to a frosty morning and after checking in with family via skype we were on our way again. It does feel good to be on the road, I suppose it has almost become the norm for us; it’s easy to understand why so many Americans choose to be ‘full timers’. But this will be our last trip for a while – Bree is up for sale, our needs have changed and somewhat sadly we must part with him. However, he’s not gone yet and so we continue...

We continued south to Virginia - it’s still cool that we drove through 6 states in a day - and then stayed overnight in Lexington (Wal mart again!) and then made the ‘shorter’, still 350 miles hop to our friend just south of Charlotte,  in SC. We arrived to 71 F this is why we came south! We did have a first on the way though.Whilst stuck in traffic on the I-81 because an accident had closed the road, we caught the tailback from the detour and were almost stationary for about 40 mins – so I made lunch!!!! Yes, we had a sandwich as we crawled along. In all the miles we have covered I have never made lunch "on the move" before, it felt OK but we usually pull off the road into a rest area and take a proper break. We did do this later in the day, just to get the legs moving again and to give Malc a rest.

So here we are, the temperatures have dipped to the 50’s but are due to rise again next week. Everything and everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving – thought we had done that already in NS and very nice it was too, thanks Fiona & Mike.

Well the temperatures have chilled a bit this week, but no need to bundle up yet. Today we took a drive to Crowders Mt State Park, which is actually in NC, we were surprised how busy it was. We chose a short hike the Pinnacle trail as the park closes at 6 and it was late afternoon when we got there. The trail was gravel most of the way, except where it gave way to steep flights of steps. My how out of condition we have got in just a few weeks – whilst in NS we were busy building, gardening and generally keeping trim. It only took a few minutes along the trail (which was quite steep, in our defence it is classified as strenuous) before we were huffing and puffing. However we stuck at it to be rewarded with the most amazing views... and I hesitate to mention the guy who jogged past us on the way up, then proceeded to do the last stretch – all steep steps – 4 times up and down ‘ just an evening out’. It’s hard not to hate people like that, don’t you think?
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Bear on

You need to migrate loads & loads south as its summer down this side of the equator. The problems is the Darien Gap, where you have to put the vehicle in a container & ship it though.......
Have fun, The Bear

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