We made it to Mount Desert Island where we met our very best friends Jeff and Tracy for a final shake-down trip before we move full-time into Sandy. This is our fourth or fifth time on the Island with them. We first visited in 2004 when our families were young. We were four adults, five kids, and three dogs in three tents and a pop-up camper. This time, it was just us four, and a new dog.
Since we’ve outfitted Sandy to tow our car and carry bikes, we arrived at Seawall Campground in Southeast Harbor with our Fiat, and our two electric mountain bikes. Unfortunately, the trip proved too much for the universal hitch we had installed on the bus. The ebikes are quite heavy, and the hitch became bent, making it unsafe to continue to transport the bikes. We wouldn’t be able to get the bikes to the iconic Park Loop Road and the Carriage Trails to ride. But since we have the best friends in the world, Jeff and Tracy drove the 30 minutes to our site and loaded our bikes into their Tahoe, and we all were able to ride together! Acadia has some of the most stunning scenery, and I was thrilled we were able to experience it the way we had planned.
We arranged to have the hitch welded before our drive home.
Another day found us hiking a trail on the quiet side with views of Somes Sound. We had just reached Valley Peak when we came upon three women laughing and talking about a turtle named Cece. We joined the conversation as if we’d been a part of it right along. Cece was riding in the backpack of a nurse from Texas when she was spotted by two women, a pair of friends who themselves were together for the first time in months. It wasn’t clear initially that Cece was a stuffed toy, which, in retrospect, was why she was an instant conversation starter.
Before long, the four of us and the three of them – the seven of us – were talking about vans, buses, and the freedom of travel. What it’s like to be from a place, or from no place.
We snapped a picture and reluctantly went our separate ways. As fate would have it, Jeff and Tracy ran into the two friends, not one, but two more times during their stay on the island.
Back at the campground, Sandy made some new fans. Tatum and Chloe enjoyed trying out all the light switches in the bus and decorating our guest book. They and their parents Sean and Andi, all the way from Bend, OR invited us to park in their driveway when we make it out their way.
We set out on our trip home on Monday. As promised, Buddy from Saunders Automotive in Brewer, Maine, welded up our hitch to get us safely on our way home. At least that was the plan.
Little did we know, our towing troubles had just begun. That is for another post.