I am helping my cousin, Chuck, move to Maine. By "helping him move" I actually meant tagging along to visit states I’ve never been to while moving the occasional box. What had happened was more like pushing cars, the U-Haul, and the car attached to the U-Haul out of snow banks and up icy hills and of course moving the occasional box.
The trip out was quite an adventure. Chuck and his friend Jeremy were in the U-Haul that was towing Chuck’s car while Theresa and I were in Theresa’s car. Tree swung by and picked me up while the U-Haul continued on. But because the U-Haul was pulling a trailer they couldn’t get up to full highway speed so Tree and I left them in our dust as we were crossing the bridge into West Virginia. We actually called Chuck as we passed partially to rub it in but mostly to perform a scene from Charlie the Unicorn. Charlie, Charlie, Chhhaaaarrrrlllliiiieeee! We’re on a bridge Charlie!
We got as far as Lancaster Pennsylvania the first day and crashed at the house of Chuck’s friend Patrick. Even after dawdling a bit at a couple of rest stops (we had even met them for dinner somewhere in Pennsylvania) we managed to beat them to Patrick’s by about a half an hour. The next morning Patrick took us out to Neptune’s diner (maybe it was Neptune’s café) for breakfast. Chuck ordered, for the table, a serving (slice, piece???) of “scrapple” which is a local dish made up of leftover pork bits that are mixed with cornmeal and processed into a loaf. Patrick described it as a processed “meat product” (quotations added by me, though I’d like to add several question marks after “meat”). It was… interesting. Now I can check scrapple off of my list of bizarre foods I should try at least once. We then went to the Lancaster farmers market which is the longest running farmers market in the country. It is indoors and had wide variety of booths. Lots of fresh produce, various kinds of meat, bakeries, cheeses, handicrafts, and even a booth full of spices you could buy by the ounce or pound.
Patrick took a look at the route our GPSs were going to take us to Maine and made some helpful suggestions that allowed us to bypass New York City and Boston. Driving a U-Haul that is towing a car through New York City didn’t sound like a fun idea to anyone. Since I like to see the whole route I dug out the atlas to see just what we were going to be near. The route took us through Connecticut so with Tree’s permission I added in a detour to visit my Godmother whom I hadn’t seen in several years. Due to a very confusing exit setup in Mahwah (Mwahahahaha!), where we stopped to grab a quick lunch, I ended up getting on the wrong highway and had to drive on it for 15 miles before coming to an exit that I could turn around and drive back those 15 miles before we could continue on our trip. Because of this and the impending Weather of DOOM (I’ll get to that in a moment) we couldn’t stay and visit as long as I would have liked. It was nice to see everyone and catch up even if it was only for a little while.
Whenever I had checked in with my mother she warned us of an IMPENDING STORM to which I was a bit skeptical since we had seen nothing but sunny skies and clear weather the whole way out. Apparently Maine was going to be under two feet of snow by day’s end. Well we had perfect weather all through Connecticut and it started to snow as we entered Massachusetts but the roads stayed remarkably clear (maybe it was our proximity to Boston). Upon entering New Hampshire the road conditions worsened and the snow storm began blowing and drifting. By the time we hit Maine we were seeing signs warning us of blizzard like conditions and because of that the max speed on the highway was now 45mph. The blowing would reduce visibility down to almost nothing at least once every ten minutes. Fortunately, it was late enough that there weren’t many cars on the road so we followed the taillights in front of us and hoped they knew where they were going. I feel like a jerk because Tree ended up with that last leg of driving though I was very happy it wasn’t me.
Because of our detours in Connecticut, Chuck and Jeremy made it to the house about twenty minutes before we did. The house is pretty far back from the road into some woods with a slightly curving driveway that has a couple of inclines in it. It is quite picturesque, but not ideal for driving a U-Haul on. Chuck drove a U-Haul towing his car all the way from Indiana, through a genuine Noreaster, only to get it stuck in the driveway 50 feet from the house. I guess they had started to make it up that last hill and began sliding backward causing the trailer to jackknife and push his car into a ditch dangerously close to the little landscaping pond. Since it was near midnight they just decided to throw everything into park and deal with it in the morning.
The house is amazing. It would take me far too long to describe it well enough to do it justice so I’ll just leave it at “amazing”. Chuck will be living with a family of three though he will have a wing to himself (well, an addition but it’s a pretty big addition). The biggest downside to the new place is their hot water is heated by solar power. It would be an awesome setup if it hadn’t been overcast for the last few days and even if it wasn’t, Maine doesn’t get all that many hours of sunlight in the winter. So yeah, no hot water for us. I haven’t washed my hair since last year and aside from getting myself some lobster, that is pretty much all I want to do right now.
Maine is ridiculously beautiful and I don’t really want to go home to the Midwest.