New York recedes into the haze as we head up I95 towards Connecticut to meet David and Elaine. We met them in Durango, Colorado, a couple of months ago, while they were riding their Harley Davidson and invited us to visit them when we passed through New York. They kindly wait for us, just off I95 and we follow them to their lovely house, after riding some twists and turns between New York and Connecticut. A huge lunch, with other family members follows, it is great to catch up again.
With Montreal as our final destination for shipping the motorbikes back to our starting point in England and 6 days to get there, we have decided that our route will be shaped by completing a visit to the remaining states in the USA we have not visited since we first came here in 1980. Namely Rhode Island, Maine, and for me, New Hampshire. This will take us in a loop through New England, but we must remember we need to be out of the USA by the 6th of September, 90 days after we arrived in Texas and the end of our visa, or we become illegals and may get on Donald Trumps’ radar. Amazing how Donald Trump has so dominated the airwaves here in the US, that he now starts to do the same in our blog. No more Trump references from me.
While summer is supposed to be winding down to be replaced by the Fall, we are subject to 90 degree fahrenheit, 32 degree celsius days. We are not complaining, the weather forecast for the remainder of our time in North America is dry sunny weather. These are lazy end of summer days as both our journey and the summer come to an end, we feel we are winding down. Such mixed thoughts, no more riding, great to see family and friends again in Europe, what will we do next, how will our followers survive without their regular fix? We mull these questions over in our minds as we ride, no answers yet, but it will all work itself out.
New England, the town names say it all; Norwich, Coventry, Bristol, Portsmouth we see signs for familiar towns we know, but jumbled up in a manner we do not recognise. I guess someone from here would say the same thing about town locations in the UK.
First stop on our loop is Mystic, a small seaport in the State of Connecticut and home to Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea. This museum was founded in 1929 as has developed over time into America’s largest nautical museum which recreates the era from the 19th century of wooden sailing ships. The village has a number of operational workshops and other cleverly constructed historic buildings housing various museums. The inclusion of a working dockyard for the repair of wooden ships which one is allowed to wander in freely adds to the interest.
We spent time on the Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving wooden whaling ship in the world that has been fully restored, watching a reenactment of how they launched the small boats that undertook whale hunting. The recreations of working life add another dimension to this museum. Well worth the time we spent here.
West Yarmouth on Cape Cod is as far east as we will travel in the USA. To stand at the edge of the Atlantic ocean staring east towards Europe is a great feeling knowing how much we have covered to get here. We try to test the waters temperature and keep our feet dry, but alas we have as much luck as King Canute did all those centuries ago.
Lobsters and Lighthouses, we are in Maine, all 50 States in the bag, only taken 35 years to get to every one. Along the seashore at York Beach to Nubble Lighthouse and Fox’s Lobster House restaurant which has been serving lobsters boiled the “old fashioned way” in their lobster pound since opening in 1966. Had to try and they were great!
Coffee and Concord, state capital of New Hampshire, we meet locals Mike and Joe. Over the past few weeks, we have often spent more time chatting to locals than we have riding. Here, we first meet Joe, the electrician helping his sister-in-law Buffy. On our return from coffee, we Meet Mike the journalist near our bikes. Joe comes out and jokes about us still being here, we introduce the 2 locals to each other and chat some more, about politics. It was lovely to look back in our mirrors as we left and still see them chatting to each other. We have made connections, and it is great to connect other people. On to New London in Vermont for lunch, then Montpelier state capital of Vermont. Each town linked by the rolling forests. So many shades and hues of green, punctuated by yellow signs warning of bears, moose, deer and turtles crossing. Turtles crossing? Yes as you approach lake Champlain, its turtles. I hope I could at least avoid those, not sure about the larger animals, but luckily our guardian angels have kept them out of our way on this journey.
Our UK number plates attract the interest of Tom, who invites us to join him and his wife Elaine for dinner. We spend our last night in the USA being taken out, a great way to end this portion of the trip and again shows kindness of strangers we have seen all throughout our journey. It confirms our belief that the world is mostly filled with good people.
Over the border to Canada, our 34th country on the trip, and the quickest border crossing on our entire journey, we are almost finished. Riding through Quebec towards Montreal, we are almost done.