Our long awaited road trip began with a 40 minute drive to Providence, RI to choose our vehicle. It had to be big enough to sleep inside as we would be travelling deep into bear country and we didn’t fancy being on the menu. This took a little longer than expected because the first SUV (That’s Sports Utility Vehicle by the way) we chose was the smallest one they had and we thought it would be fine, however, after lying down in the back of it in the car park, we realised that it was at best “cosy” and at worst (which let’s face it, it is when you’re sleeping in the back of a car) it was cramped. So we drove straight back in and asked to upgrade to a bigger model, a lovely shiny black V6 KIA Sorrento AWD with just 2000 miles on the clock – Whooo, what a beaut!
Off to Walmart we whizzed to buy our camping gear, a double blow up mattress, heavy duty tarp, double burner gas stove and steel fold away barbeque – basically everything we needed for a comfortable camp. This took all day and we didn’t leave Walmart until 8pm and we then drove round till 11pm looking for somewhere to camp. This was tricky as we were in a populated area and what looked on the map like it would be a quiet state park near lakes was actually covered in prime real estate properties, none of whom would take kindly to finding us camping in their garden. In desperation we spent our first night on a kind of farmer’s ‘machinery junk field’ which was actually nicer than it sounds!
After a fine camp breakfast we headed north east through Boston Massachusetts up the Appalachians towards the White Mountains National Park in New Hampshire. It took a couple of days to reach as we were in no rush, the scenery was gorgeous and we stopped regularly whenever we saw something interesting – which surely is a prerequisite of any good road trip?
We found it a lot harder to find good camping spots than we thought we would. A lot of national park roads have blocks on them, presumably to stop people like us wild camping… However, we have managed to find good spots each night and have only stayed in one campsite so far.
We had a couple of days hiking in the White Mountains which were beautiful. God I have become so unfit, our first walk took us up a mountain that was over 4000 feet and I really felt knackered!
It was a lot colder at night in the mountains and we relied on the heat from our camp fire which also kept the vicious mozzies at bay. One night we were enjoying the fire by a river and we heard a colossal splash which I though must be a bear plunging into the river in pursuit of our pork ribs. Terror prevailed and I leapt into the car, Jamie was much braver and donned a head torch and went over to the river to investigate. The splashes kept coming and Jamie eventually reappeared, it turned out it wasn’t a bear at all but a 5 foot long beaver swimming around and crashing its huge tail onto the surface of the water.
For a change of scenery we headed east via beautiful Grafton Notch State Park, nipping into Lancaster, NH on the way. During the journey we started to notice, particularly in the ordering of ice cream, that portion control is a contentious issue here! A small ‘one scoop’ ice cream is actually a cone with literally 3 huge over filled scoops towering from the top, ridiculous, even for people as greedy as Jamie and I.
We are about to spend our third night in Acadia National Park, which is an island off the coast of Maine, and it is stunningly beautiful here. We went for a lovely walk with amazing views this morning and are now writing this from a cafe over yummy iced coffees, which we have become quite partial to, in the picture perfect town of Bar Harbor. Oh, and the lobster is excellent 😉