Gregory T Smith


Traveller, Photographer, & Website Designer           Greg
         
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After a good snow season I contemplated another trip East to see Roger, Kitty, & Tilly in Myrtle Beach and then head north to New England and across the boarder to Canada and Nova Scotia. This trip would include travelling up to Reno from Monument where the van was stored to see the manufacturer of Chillipepper water pumps, then down to Los Angeles to see the converter and exporter of my 5th Wheeler to Australia and then across to John Akers in Phoenix to see about my green card. On my way to Myrtle Beach I was going to call into Zanetti Trailer Repair Ltd in Weatherford Texas to get the axles on my 5th wheeler changed to a higher weight rating. This trip would take 3 months to do and when a Vail friend and fellow bus driver Cindy Van Hoose said she would join me for the New England and Nova Scotia section of the trip, I decided the trip was on.

Leaving Vail a week after the close of the extended season I stayed at Colorado Heights Monument for a couple of weeks removing my van from storage and preparing it for this trip. I rented a storage shed at a nearby storage center leaving my ski bag, clothes case and some other items not needed on this trip. My friend came down at the end of the first week with her bike and a couple of other items that will be needed on her part of the trip. I headed up I25 to I80 which took me over to Reno. The occasional snow storm followed me all the way and my first week at Monument it snowed heavily with up to 8 inches on the ground. Even when I got down to California I went up the Sierras one day and it snowed up there. When I got to Los Angeles I went to the factory of Aussie Spec US Caravans and it was boarded up with the roof was caved in. Eventually found the owner of the business in a factory next door and he told me they had a fire a week ago loosing many cars and RV's. My 5th wheeler could have been in this fire if I stuck to my original plan of flying home the 1st of May. After some discussion he said he could do the conversion and export in a couple of months time, when I return from my trip. Continued on to John Akers in Phoenix and while on the road I contacted him and he said my green card had arrived in the mail. Good news as I would need this to get back into America after entering Canada on my trip.

Next step was getting a higher rated axle fitted to my van at the place where my hydraulic disc brakes were fitted in Weatherford Texas. After a number of phone calls they were ordered and delivery was expected Tuesday after Memorial weekend. I headed to the nearest Coast to Coast park at Whitney just over an hour away from Zanetti Trailer Repair to hold up over the holiday weekend. This has put me behind in my plans of staying at Myrtle Beach and will have to review my schedule to make sure I will be in New York in time to pick up my friend Cindy Van Hoose from Vail on the 16th June. I did make this and we headed up to Arcadia National Park.

The stay in Arcadia National Park was extended by a couple of days as we were having a great time hiking and riding the many trials there. The first night we stayed there we had a great fresh lobster dinner in the park. We also toured the island a little visiting the township of Bar Harbour and a natural attraction, the Blow Hole and also had a carriage ride along some of the islands tracks. From here we headed up to Prince Edward Island in Canada via St Andrews by the Sea. Again we did allot of bike riding here along some of the most beautiful coastal tracks. To get onto the island you travel across a 8 mile bridge but to get off the island there was a $60 toll both on the bridge or car ferry which was not advertised openly and no doubt caught many tourists like us. After leaving the island by car ferry we headed to Baddeck in New Brunswick and visited Alexander Bell Museum. Cindy and I found this an interesting inside into his history in this beautifully laid out grounds and museum on his original holiday home site. We did a 2 day tour from here around the Cabot Trail staying at Burtons Motel, Bay Saint Lawrence overnight and did a whale watching boat tour in the morning. It was a rough day with a good swell running which made it hard to spot whales but we did come across a small pod of whales on our return to harbour.

Time was starting to run out as I had to have Cindy back to Montreal where we decided to part as she had booked her return flight out of New York and it was easier for her to catch a train from Montreal to New York rather than me driving down there with the van. It meant we could spend more time in Canada seeing Quebec as well. Unfortunately the weather changed the last few days while in Quebec and this dampened the latter part of our tour as well as our friendship deteriorated also for some unknown reason to me . Quebec was still very French with most road signs in French and few people spoke English. It made it allot harder to get around and even checking into the RV parks in some cases.

I dropped Cindy off in Montreal which did not go as planed, then headed out of Canada and headed east again across highway I80. Called into Howe again but missed my friends there by a couple of days. On the trip across I was hit with a couple of bad storms and also tried to catch up with Joyce Rankin from Vail but after a couple of text messages and some confusion we missed each other. Called into Vail dropping off Cindy's bike to her and did catch up with Gordon and Sandy, and also Mike Rose at Vail Transit. This latter part was the most depressing journey I had across America in all my travels.