Day 1 – Drive to Freeport, Maine
We dropped Monty off at the board kennel on Friday and head out for Maine! We debated which way we should go, so we settled on crossing at Houlton and taking the I-95 to Freeport and cross at the Calais/St. Stephen crossing on the way back.
I don’t know how long we waited to get across, maybe close to an hour. It was HOT out. I remember days like this with my old Chevy S10, waiting at a border crossing, watching my temperature gauge, terrified my truck was going to overheat before I made it. Luckily Jeff’s F150 is much more reliable 🙂
Friday night we made it to Freeport, Maine. We tried to use the handy coupons in the hotel coupon book from the tourist information centre, but didn’t have any luck finding a hotel who wanted to give us a discount. We ended up at the Super 8. The electric supply seemed a little flakey and the A/C kept kicking out. Oddly enough the lady at the front desk when we checked out the next day asked if there were any blown lights in our room. Hmmmmmm….
We went to L.L. Bean and had a fabulous dinner outside on the patio at the Jameson Tavern across the side street from L.L. Bean. Jeff had a humongous slab of meat – rare prime rib. I stuck with the chicken.
We didn’t buy much at L.L. Bean. I found a sale on a fleece jacket and bought a couple $17 pairs of padded wool-mix hiking socks that I love!
Saturday – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
On Saturday we headed across Maine into New Hampshire to go to Mount Washington. I was there as a kid for a summer vacation. I remembered that driving up wasn’t a great idea for your brakes, but they had cargo vans.
That was the plan until I heard there was a TRAIN! I love trains 🙂
And a train that goes UP A MOUNTAIN? Sure why not!
How does a train go up hill you ask? Well it is a cog railway! That means you have the normal train track, but in the middle there is a 3rd track that a cog on the train puts its teeth into.
It takes 1,000 gallons of water to get that steam engine up the mountain!
Our engine was a John Deere bio-diesel that only takes about 18 gallons of fuel if I remember correctly.
Here is our brakeman going up. He gave us a running commentary of the climb and the history of the train.
I carried a sweater to the top, thinking it would be windy and freezing, but it was still hot and humid at the top too.
It was incredible how many people hiked to the top instead of driving, taking the cargo vans, or taking the train. The Appalachian Trail goes across the peak too.
I’d say there was as many hikers at the top as people who sat down on their way up.
On the way down, the car isn’t even attached to the engine. It just bumps up and rests on it and the engine does the work. The seats were all switched around and we managed to score the front seat.
It was a little spooky at first going down, but once you realize the train car is just thin wood, and if something happened it would splinter into a bazillion pieces and so would we, so then there was no reason to be nervous anymore because I’m sure we wouldn’t feel a thing 🙂