Still we were very lucky to pass down the East coast when we did.
While we were in Canada, we visited both Carleton County and York County, New Brunswick. Our cattle operation, Tay Ridge Angus, was located in York County where we lived from 1974 until 1984. We still have good friends in both counties and lots of memories rooted in our days on the farm working with Angus cattle.
We were planning to stay a few days longer in Canada, but I happened to notice that the unorganized thunderstorms in Carribean that I heard about before our trip were morphing into Hurricane Sandy. It didn't take very long reading the weather at a Tim Horton's Wifi hotspot to figure out that Sandy would not be a short or nice event.
Our decision to head back down the coast was a quick one. We were in Tay Creek, New Brunswick, Thursday morning, October 25. That morning we drove into Fredericton about twenty miles away and visited a few spots from our past. Then we headed towards the border at Houlton, Maine.
We made a quick stop in Woodstock, New Brunswick to change our Canadian money back to US currency and then ventured out on the road that becomes Interstate 95 when it crosses into the US. Our crossing into the US was a lot easier and quicker than our one with the Canadian folks the previous Sunday. Our entry into Canada that day took well over forty-five minutes. Our border interview with the US Customs folks on Thursday going back into the US lasted less than a minute.
That afternoon we made it down to Bangor, Maine. We were not surprised to find the Quality Inn where we stayed still full of Canadian shoppers. It seems to be a tradition for shoppers from New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia to visit Bangor and load up on goodies from American stores. I actually enjoyed watching the groups of ladies attempt to get all their purchases in their vehicles while still leaving room for passengers.
That night I might have tried for another lobster to top the ones I had on the way up, but I was still full from eating a large order of fried clams at the Acorn Restaurant on the Trans-Canada Highway at a PetroCanada Station near Kings Landing. Traveling and eating healthy are very hard to do when the temptations are as delicious as lobster and fried clams.
The next morning we got on the road early. After a short visit/lunch with my college friend, Sally, in Acton, Massachusetts, we drove to Southington, Connecticut, and checked into a nice Marriott Residence Inn.
That night like many others along the East coast, I tried to figure out what Hurricane Sandy was going to do the next day. I weighed the option of heading west to Interstate 81 and then South. After studying our options, I decided the best way for us to get home safely was to go straight South after crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge and using the Garden State Parkway to get around New York City.
We did exactly that the next day. I was not surprised to see people filling emergency gas cans the next morning as we put gas in the car. A few hours later after getting off the Garden State Parkway, we got on Interstate 95 and stayed there except for one gas stop where we detoured for three miles to drive by our old home in Columbia, Maryland.
Our Saturday drive got us as far as the southern end of Fredericksburg, Virginia. We stopped for the night with just wind and clouds. There was no rain falling. Sunday morning I expected we would awake to some rain and more wind, but we got on the road with just wind.
The final leg of drive was a little over five hours. We only saw some sprinkles of rain the last thirty miles. When we got home our driveway was still wet. The rain gauge had 2.5 inches of rain in it. We missed the worst of Sandy in North Carolina.
The timing on our trip worked out well. Our over 1,300 mile journey from New Brunswick to Carteret County, North Carolina managed to dodge any major problems. Getting to Virginia on Saturday allowed us to sneak by Hurricane Sandy before she headed North. If we had delayed just another day, our trip would have been much more difficult. If we had gone on that last night we would have run into Sandy while she was still building strength and lashing North Carolina with rain.
Our trip to Canada reminded us of how much we enjoyed living in Canada and how wonderful a place Canada remains. We found great hospitality with our friends and a place unlike any other on the East coast.
Standing on a hill with miles of forest around you is a very unique sensory experience. I can highly recommend it.
I will be writing more about the trip soon. The picture in this post was taken at the back of our old farm in Tay Creek, New Brunswick.