We survived a whole week in Canada- it sure went by fast! Our first stop was in St Phillippe, just south of Montreal. Struggling with the internet was an understatement; the wifi was very restrictive and did not meet our needs, forcing us wake up super early to bring the RV to good old Tim Horton's to ensure the news got out on time...talk about perseverance!
Outside of that, our event was very enjoyable! Thank you to Michael for bringing doughnuts and coffee to share; we had some very thought provoking conversations with truly brilliant minds, including a physicist that has done extensive research with infrared imaging, and John of wearebeings.com, who shared some of his work and diagrams that blew us away. Very extensive and consistently evolving over time, with plenty of information to ponder - definitely recommend!
Next stop was Gatineau, Quebec - thank you to Martin, our host and friend always. He helped facilitate such a great event! He also took us to explore Ottawa, and his wife Yannet fed us plenty of delicious food. We truly enjoyed our time in Gatineau... met some very wonderful people!
The next morning, we headed into Toronto to prepare for our event at the Daily Bread Food Bank. Kelee, the Production Manager, assisted in putting together a great space and gave us a tour of their operations, which was incredible. It is insanely well organized with 11,000 volunteers a year, processing 12 million pounds of food each year with over 160 programs to help those in need. Along with an amazing community garden, their systems for tracking are astounding, and they even have a catering kitchen with a program to help those looking to be in the field to transition with a very good placement rate. It was a wonderful event, with a great turnout of folks (got some Canadian trinkets to remember our journey!) and Kelee not only put together some great snacks to munch on during the event - he even provided wine at the end- how can you beat that?!
On the 18th & 19th, we spent our time at Uxbridge for their 3rd annual Ribfest - what an awesome time! We got to enjoy live music, eat some fantastic ribs, and Ben got to try poutine for the first time. The description of it was never enticing to him ("Cheese curds and gravy?"), but I encouraged him to try it... and it was all gone pretty quickly - success! Definitely not something we can eat all the time, but it was very tasty. There was great live music in the evenings, and Ben took the stage for a presentation on our Sun and took some photos with sponsors that had come to visit. Thank you to Steve, who took such great care of us during our time there. Hope to run into you again soon!
After spending a great evening with my family (they fed us copious amounts of food - it was the kind of full feeling where you breathe in and out but your stomach doesn't move), we quickly passed out and got a good nights rest before heading back to the US. It is now Sunday evening; the drive has been long (but pleasantly very easy at the border!), and we will always look back with great memories on our week in Canada. Currently in Warsaw, NY catching up on work and preparing for the week ahead - wishing everyone a safe one!
We made it to Southwick, MA to Sodom Mountain and stayed through the holiday weekend. It was nice to not have to drive around for a few days! We got caught in a torrential downpour (aka the shear of Arthur) while walking to laundry facilities- that was fun. The campground itself was clean and well maintained - definitely worth a stop if in the area. Thank you to those that came out - including Eric, who brought us a ton of fresh vegetables for the journey, Adrienne for wonderful little gifts for our the dogs, Tra and Alicia for coming back the following day to chat even more, and to Sodom Mountain Campground for accommodating our guests.
On the 5th, the weather was PERFECT to look at sunspots -we brought out the telescope and shared the views with those around, and many were amazed to see just how many spots were present. Once the sun went down, we moved on to look at the moon. We shared an amazing dinner with our neighbor campers Steve and Barbara (we loved connecting with them and their VERY highly intelligent Border Collie).
OFF TO VERMONT | The drive was incredibly scenic, with little traffic, and the dogs slept most of the way...the combination made for a pleasant drive. We spent the last couple of days tucked away in the Northeast Kingdom just outside of St. Johnsbury, where we stayed with our very hospitable and kind hosts, Denny and Jon (and their beautiful pitbull mix Maxine and feline Louie).
Denny is in the process of opening nekopenmarket.org, a not-for-profit credit exchange to help facilitate bartering, whether it be for goods or services. Check it out - she hopes to expand this to not be limited to just Vermont, and create a lesser dependence on the monetary system.
Thank you so much to Denny and Jon for their unbelievable hospitality and kindness. They fed us some delicious meals, took great care of us, and we shared wonderful conversations together and had an amazing time. So much love for you guys, and hope we meet again someday!
They let us leave on full stomachs (pancakes with Vermont syrup of course for breakfast, and burgers with Vermont white cheddar for lunch) - wonderful house with a lot of love!
We are currently at our next stop in Vermont, with an incredible view - almost 200 acres of farmland and PLENTY of running room for the dogs! Our hosts run an ambulance dispatch and a garage so they know vehicles, and are giving a check-up for the RV to make sure everything is in good working order before we get ready to cross the border! We got hit with some slight showers, but caught a rainbow afterwards - lovely, isn't it? We are just LOVING everything about Vermont!
Is it already July 1st?! Seems like time is flying by... after leaving Philadelphia, we arrived at Ringing Rocks Campground in Upper Black Eddy, PA. Tucked away in a quiet wooded area, it was the perfect place to spend some time to catch up on work and planning our next stops- thanks to Bob and Devon for such a pleasant experience.
Then, it was on to Lost River Caverns! It was a pretty hot day in Hellertown when we arrived, so we were more than happy to go 100 feet under and explore the natural limestone caverns (naturally nice and cool). Thank you Bev for taking us on the tour (and Jim for those delicious kiffles!), and sharing the wonderful history behind the story of the caverns. The entrance was opened in 1883 by quarry workers, and has been operating as a commercial show cave since 1930. It was used to host weddings, fraternity initiation ceremonies, even ballroom dancing! It was amazing to see how water over time naturally dissolved the limestone to create passageways and chambers. Lots of neat formations, along with florescent minerals. The gift shop is delightful - not to mention, filled with hundred of beautiful antique guns.
The event was originally scheduled for 3-6PM but we did not wrap up until 8:30PM. Conditions weren't right to check out sunspots, but many interesting and stimulating conversations where shared - loved that people were open to exchanging experiences. Got to meet some VERY wonderful sponsors, and the dogs enjoyed running around the picnic grove- at one point Achilles shot off to try to catch a deer (OK, so this happened a few times), but overall, a great time. Much appreciation to those that came!
Although it has only been a short time since we've been on the road, it has taken a bit of patience to adapt to living in this bumpy house on wheels. Blood pressure from the beginning of the journey to the end will vary dramatically, I'm sure! We're getting a system developed when we get to areas with the RV; Ben does a pretty impressive job of handling the rig, AND backing into tight campsites! Being at campgrounds opens your eyes to a whole new world - no idea that there were so many full time RVers around! The size of our space has been no big deal.. for me, smaller space= easier to clean! I'm sure the anxiety of navigating around new places will ease over time. Have received great tips from other full-timers, so if you have any to share, please send them our way! :)
We decided for fuel/lodging considerations to meet in the middle of Albany and Boston, and will be at Sodom Mountain Campgrounds in Southwick, MA through the July 4th weekend. We realize this could mean a bit of a drive for those in both places, and sure hope you can make it out to see us! Currently in New Jersey where the internet reception is temperamental, so this will be all for tonight!
Our blog covers the journey as we roll along - sharing stories of people we've met and engaged with, places we've seen, the discourse between a couple with two animals sharing <300 sq ft of moving living space, and more!