Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 1 - Go West Old Man

The entry on Brett's calendar this morning said "Go West Old Man".  It made me smile.
Here we are at just before 7am getting a very good start to our day.  I did declare that 7am would be the start time and was pleasantly surprised to get moving at 6:58am.  This is probably a record for us.  Usually the minute we are set to leave, somebody has to go to the bathroom or dust something or brew a pot of tea.  But other than carrying out a couple dozen more bags (well, maybe 3 more bags but honestly why do I need to pack the whole house when we go away?) we just got up, fixed a cup of coffee and hit the road.  Seattle is a long, long way away but we'll take it 300 miles at a time and see what happens.
 The first thing that really, really needed to happen is another cup of coffee.  Kennebunk rest area is such a friendly sight when you've been noticing for an hour that you've only had one cup of coffee.  This stop also invigorated and prepared us for our second traditional stop on any trip (the NH Liquor Store).  We should have enough alcohol to make it to Juneau and back if we should choose to do so.  I wonder if the truck would run on Limoncello?  It would certainly smell better and I KNOW it would be cheaper.  $4.25 for a gallon of diesel?  Really!?  Of course, if we had to go to the Limoncello pump we'd miss out on all the diesel driving big rig characters who are plying I90. 
 Speaking of characters.  No first, let's speak of the service plazas on the Mass Pike.  I've got this great book called Exit Now and as the navigator I'm expected to be able to tell the driver where the next fuel stop is or where we might pull over to fix some lunch.  The book lets me know what exit has what.  It has rarely failed me.  But what it doesn't do is warn you that even if you follow the arrow marked "trucks/trailers" there won't be one darned place where you can actually stop your truck/trailer and get out.  Two service plazas later, we finally get to actually stop by going into the "cars" portion and pulling off the side of the road.  This did however allow us to open the main slide and actually have room to prepare and eat our own lunch.  Then our driver needed a nap and, not being one to look a gift nap in the mouth, our college student decided to take one as well.  So I was left with my knitting, sitting in a recliner, watching the world go by on I90.  If I had a penny for everytime I've said that...

So, back to that character.  A young woman in a small sedan just looks out of place at the truck diesel pumps.  Lowell mentioned that he was going to ask her if she knew she was pumping diesel.  No chance to do that as she moved over to the regular gas pumps but AFTER she pumped some amount of the diesel.  I'm told that a diesel engine will run really hot for a short time if you put gas in it but we're not sure what happens to a gas engine if you add diesel.  We did not happen to notice any fireballs along the rest of the route so maybe she did all right.

We decided not to do a mad rush on this trip and settled on about 300 miles a day with a campground at the end of each day.  I'll sleep in a WalMart parking lot if I have to but it's much nicer to be able to fix dinner and take a shower.

We found the Herkimer Diamond Mine KOA in Herkimer NY.

According to Wikipedia, this area is a favorite collecting area for rockhounds because of its vast deposits of large quartz crystals known as "Herkimer diamonds." Although the minerals are not true diamonds and not generally used as gemstones, they have become popular as small trinkets. The minerals formed in Cambrian age limestone and dolostone, probably from ground water action after the original formation of the rock in an ancient sea.

There are about 10 other people at the campground tonight; it is very quiet and a lovely spot.
 We got site #59 which is right next to the West Canada Creek.  There was a big rainstorm last night so the ground is still a bit damp (is an ankle deep puddle damp?).  But with trees and the pretty stream behind us, it is a very nice spot to spend the night. 

 This is the view from our rear window.  Per Wikipedia:  The West Canada Creek got its name from being the western boundary of Sir William Johnson's Royal Land Grant, and because the Iriquois word for village is "Kanata" or Canada. Following the Revolutionary war, Arthur Noble II purchased some 80,000 acres (320 km2) in the present town of Ohio, and called it "Nobleboro", a vast wilderness empire for that time in history. He also founded Nobleboro, Maine on land he inherited from his father. The timber, fish, and game of the area have been exploited for centuries.
Per Sandy:  Even though he looks like a crusty old curmudgeon and I seldom manage to snap a picture with him smiling, he is having a great day. 


  1. LOL Love it Sandy!

    The car will run on diesel ( a little rough, and might need a bottle of "conditioner")...and you are right, a diesel engine will get too hot running on gasoline. I had a diesel Mercedes that an attendant filled with gasoline. I refused to move it and insisted they have it drained. The owner of the gas station was not happy with me.

    Safe journey!


  2. Well new friends I'm off in the other direction (that would be Newfoundland) so I'll be sending you positive westward thoughts! Let me know if you make it to Vancouver-AS you might imagine, I have friends the blog! Deborah

  3. Sandy, I just saw that you have a blog, I'll be reading and keeping up with you in your travels, what a great trip. Have a wonderful time and keep safe.

    1. Linda, I am so glad that you are reading. I'm sure that you've had many fun times in your High Country.