Hello, Canada!

Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Though this wasn't to be our final destination in Maine, it certainly felt like the culmination of all travel in Maine. If you find Van Buren on the map, you'll see that you can hardly go any more north in Maine, and you certainly cannot go any more east without winding up in Canada. We took a moment to reflect on the fact that our Camfel journey started in Los Angeles, California, and here we were in Van Buren, Maine--quite possibly the furthest we could possibly be from L.A. without leaving the country. In fact, LA is closer to Fairbanks, Alaska, than it is to Van Buren, Maine. Need I explain more?

You'd think that being so far north up in Maine, we'd see a moose. We were not so fortunate. Locals told us that it wasn't quite the right season. In the spring, moose come out to the more well-lit trees in the open and along road to feed on the new buds. In the summer, they can be seen cooling off in the lakes. In November, though, all the moose book it for the deep woods where the dense trees keep them warmer. Can't say I blame them...

We had four agendas in Maine:
1) see a moose
2) see Canada
3) see a lighthouse
4) eat a lobster

Number one, like I said, failed.

But number two certainly happened today. We stayed in the Aroostook Hospitality Inn (the non-French locals pronounce it "ah-roo-stick"--the name of the county that contains a good chunk of northern Maine). When we arrived, it was dark (of course, it got dark at about 3:00 in the afternoon there...), and the hotel along with the town as a whole was pleasantly lit with Christmas lights. We expected there to be snow (I don't know why--we were practically in Canada I guess), but the weather was actually quite pleasant. We asked the notably friendly innkeeper what he though was the best place to eat in town. "Robin's" was the answer. We had passed it driving in, so Kelsey and I knew right where to go. Tell ya what, it was good. I had a fantastic ham dinner, and Kelsey enjoyed a fancy chicken dinner. On our walk back to the hotel, we looked to our right and saw the border crossing. We waved to Canada, and called it a night. Oh, but we didn't make any calls. We were so close to Canadian cell towers, that if we had used our phones, the charges would have been through the roof. Easy enough.

The next morning, we woke up to a wonderful breakfast spread out in the lobby. We had a lot of time before our single afternoon show at the school two blocks down the road. So we played cribbage over a bowl of oatmeal and watched Canada through our window. Can't say I've done that before.

And that pretty much sums up our experience in the extreme north. The school was friendly. The weather was unseasonably warm (record warmth in Maine this week, in fact). And no moose. Stay tuned for lighthouse and lobster.
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