Deep Woods Expedition: Maine

Saturday, September 20, 2003 - Road Trip to Templeton, Massachusetts

Meeting at Germantown Wal*Mart

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9/20/03 5:00 AM - Muster

I got up at 4:00 AM and showered, had some coffee, and organized the last few things that needed to be loaded.  Very soon, I was on my way to meet JJ at the Germantown Wal*Mart.  Carl had not yet called and was not expected to be waiting with JJ.  When I got on the road, JJ called me on his cell phone.  After several attempts to get a good connection, he told me he was running late but was on the way.  That was good news.  I was looking forward to having JJ along and was happy to know he would soon arrive at the meeting place.

Meeting at Germantown Wal*MartMeeting at Germantown Wal*MartMeeting at Germantown Wal*MartMeeting at Germantown Wal*Mart

At about 6:00 AM, JJ rolled in to the parking lot and we took a minute to say our good mornings and discuss the plan for the road trip to Massachusetts.  We would go to Route 70, head east, then take Route 695 to Route 95 North, and travel up to New York where we would take my favorite bypass around the Bronx and connect with Route 84.  Then all the way to Hartford, Connecticut where we'd head north on Route 91, and jump off in Amherst for the back road trek to my parents in Templeton.

With that plan we hit the road.  We soon fell into a routine that lasted the rest of the trip.  I would run a few thousand yards ahead of JJ and call out the next turn on the CB, then watch for him once I had made it.  It worked well and we made excellent time all the way up.

Around 12:19 PM, I got a voice mail message from Carl:  "My power came on and I am on the road!"  Yes!  Carl would be a few hours behind us, but indicated plans to stay at his brother's house as originally planned, and meet us in Hampton on Sunday - on schedule!  I had been very disappointed at the prospect that Carl would not be making the trip so this news made my day.  We got progress reports from Carl a couple times so we knew he was making good headway and should make his brother's in time for a decent, if not long night's sleep.


JJ on the RoadJJ on the RoadDelaware Memorial Bridge
Pit StopPit StopPit StopPit Stop

New York City in the Fog

JJ on the Road

We stopped for gas a time or two, and also for rest breaks.  At one stop, in Connecticut, a fellow walked up to us and engaged us in a conversation about the Jeeps and his own explorations in Colorado.  He was very enthusiastic and interested in our plans for the trip to Maine.

Pit Stop 2Pit Stop 2JJ and Paul's Jeeps in Connecticut rest stopConnecticut Rest Area

Pretty soon we got through Connecticut and crossed the border into Massachusetts.  We hopped off Route 91 at exit 19 and threaded our way through Amherst, with a stop for gas in "The Valley".  Then we took the back roads through Pelham and onto Route 202, which took us all the way to Route 2 near Athol.  JJ indulged me in a brief side trip to Gardner for a quick car wash, as I had not had a chance to do it before we left.

JJ on Route 202
JJ on Route 202JJ on Route 202

We pulled into my parents house, right on schedule.  Mom had dinner ready for us and we sat around talking about different things.

JJ at the Provencher'sMomSet for Dinner

I helped Leo decide what to bring and got his gear squared away in the Jeep so we could just get up, eat breakfast, and leave in the morning. 

After supper, I left Leo and JJ to get acquainted and I went online to establish a north route that would bypass our original plans to go to Carl's father's house.  Clif, Carl's Dad,  had to cancel his plans to join us at the last minute and I decided to cut off the miles after consulting with Carl about going there anyway.  He concurred that we should go as directly to Greenville as possible. 

I found a reasonably major secondary road that took us almost due north to Guilford where we could rejoin our planned way up Route 15 to Greenville.  I got some GPS coordinates, loaded them into the GPS, and modified the route plan so we could stay on track.  Once I was done with that, I headed back downstairs. 

Finally it was time to hit the sack in preparation for another long day on the road. 

Tomorrow:  Maine!



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