Once back in the good ol' USA, we held up in Bangor for a couple of days for a re-supply. We didn't spend much time doing touristy stuff except for a short leaf peeping excursion. We are told that here in Maine the fall colors are at their peak. We did see some really good fall foliage, but if we were a week later I think the would have been better. Beautiful just the same.
As we weren't hiking, it was hard to find good photo opportunities from the road with all the wires and power poles.
From Maine we headed south making a stop in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. New Hampshire doesn't have much of a coastline, just 18 miles long, so beachfront camping is scarce. But for a price you can stay on the beach at Hampton Beach State Park. Our main reason for stopping in New Hampshire was to pay a visit to friends Toby and Laura who after retiring in California made the move to Manchester. They tell us they love it, and Laura can't wait for winter and the cold. I guess you can understand it knowing that they lived in Victorville, CA for years. They have a beautiful condo right on the Merrimack River which runs through the center of the city.
Both Toby and Laura like to keep up on the latest in computers and phone gadgetry. When Toby found out that I was still using a flip phone and not texting, he took pity on me and gave me his old 3rd generation iPhone, in an attempt to bring me into the 21st century. But, shhhh, don't tell the kids.
Toby and Laura took us on the short drive to Concord (everywhere is a short drive in N.H.) the state capitol. After lunch we took a stroll through the capitol building, which by the way is the oldest state capitol building in the U.S. Upon entering the building you first notice that you don't pass through any metal detectors and no one checks your I.D.
In New Hampshire you must buy your liquor from the State Liquor Store, so the state gets the best locations. While you're there you may as well buy a lottery ticket. This sign is no joke, by the way, as we saw one on the interstate between Manchester and Concord.
Upon leaving New Hampshire, it was time to head home. We put some miles on the first day, driving to Central Pennsylvania and finding a beautiful camp in Bald Eagle State Park. We didn't seen any eagles as they only show up during certain times of the year.
BARN IN PENNSYLVANIA
We continued our hurried pace across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois before stopping in Iowa for a visit to the Amana Colonies. Yes they do make Amana appliances there, but the attraction is the several communities that were settled by German immigrants. Calling themselves the Ebenezer Society or the Community of True Inspiration, they first settled in New York state near Buffalo in what is now the Town of West Seneca. However, in order to live out their beliefs in more isolated surroundings they moved west to the rich soil of east-central Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1855. They lived a communal life until the mid 1930s. Today much of the communities income is a result of the tourist which flock to the area.
This is a typical house in the Amana Colonies, built with the native sandstone.
Next we crossed into Nebraska making a stop at one of our favorite campsites at Walnut Creek Park in Papillion, just outside of Omaha. We spent 4 nights at Walnut Creek, allowing me to get some much needed bike riding in. We then made the final push home, with 2 overnights in Colorado and our final overnight in Mesquite Nevada.
So we made it. No problems, the truck ran great and the 5th wheel behaved itself. We drove a total of 13,208 miles, used 941 gallons of diesel and averaged 14 MPG. We did all of this and still managed to stay within our budget. Now that's a surprise. The only downside, if there was one, was that the rain seemed to find us, but that happens just about every time we travel.
The next big adventure will be my 500 mile trek across Northern Spain in the Spring. Be sure to follow along on my other blog, www.walkingmycamino.blogspot.com
Now for some final photos:
Fishing is big in the Midwest. If the bait shop is closed you buy from vending machines.
CAMP AT WALNUT CREEK
BIKE RIDE SUNRISE
CROSSING THE ROCKIES
ROCKY MOUNTIAN COLOR