Well, it took long enough to catch this page up. Lots went on but it was mainly because of puter problems. It was down for over 2 months. Then I had to reinstall all my stuff. But, I'm ahead of myself. I'll try to recall as much as I can, again--should have kept notes.

We left Ebenezer Park and headed north towards Shokan, NY to visit my cousin and his family plus leave our weapons with him while we head to Canada. Somewhere in Va. B & D's 5th wheel blew a tire. We pulled into the next rest area and changed the tire. It had done quite a bit of damage to the wheel well. In the rest area was a Bow String Arch truss bridge that was built in 1878 & had been moved to the rest area. It is the oldest metal bridge in Va. Also met a Viet vet that had a restored motorhome and took a tour of it. He did a nice job on it and lives in it fulltime. We were in the rest area quite awhile so we looked for an RV park nearby. Found one near Gettysburg and stayed a couple of days. Weather wasn't that great so we didn't do much touring. Went to the local American Legion.

Then we again headed to Shokan. Arrived in good shape and my cousin Bob had us both fixed up with 50amp service. We decided to stay thru Memorial Day as we didn't want the hassle of trying to find a campground over the first major camping holiday of the year. We had plenty of maintenance things to take care of and it was still chilly enough that heading to Canada was not so appealing.

Thru emails we found out that Rich & Diane Emond were camped not far from us. In fact they were visiting their son, Curt, and he lived 5 miles from my cousins place. Small world. We met them for supper at the Hurley Mountain Inn in West Hurley, NY. It was a nice place and had good food. It was at a halfway point between where we were both staying. Another great visit with the Emonds.  

Early in this travelog I talked about my birth family and that my Bmom was in Middletown, NY about 1 hour from my cousin. We called my B-cousin, Mary Merron, and made arrangements to meet her at the nursing home. We got there and Mary arrived shortly afterward. We went upstairs and my B-mom wasn't in her room. Went to the desk and asked about her. The staff all looked at each other and finally one of them spoke up and said she had passed away about 2 months ago. They had notified her son (my halfbrother) and he took care of everything. Except notifying the rest of her family. Not even her 3 surviving sisters. The family had told me that I probably wouldn't want to meet him and he never expressed a desire to meet me. Even so he is my halfbrother but after this incident I'm not sure I would like to meet him. I can't think of anything that would possess a person to do something like that.

2 of my B-aunts were going to meet us there also and I am sure glad they couldn't make it up there. And I am so glad that we were there when cousin Mary found out. Not a good time to be alone. Later that week 2 more cousins (Kitty & Peggy) came over from RI and met us (Kay & I, Mary Merron and David) at the cemetery, placed flowers and said a little prayer. It was a sad week but I am sure glad I had the opportunity to meet her, especially while she was able to know who I was.

We took a couple of day trips around the area. One was to Woodstock, NY. I'm sure everybody has heard of it except the concert was not held there. Originally is was supposed to be there but it was changed to another area. Woodstock is a very quaint artist town. Lots of old houses and it is interesting to tour.

My cousin bob & his wife Liz have a parrot, Tobey, and he is a doozy. He talks to you, eats your food and overall is a lot of fun. One day we were out on Bob's deck and the bird was there. Beezer was in Kay's lap and someone put the bird on the table. Beezer looked around, looked back at Kay and did a double take back at the bird. He hadn't seen the bird before and being a pup yet he was still learning the world. I swear the expression on his face when he looked back at the bird was: "What the hell is that!!!" I still laugh whenever I think about that. Maybe it was of those 'you had to be there' moments but I'm sure glad I was there.  

After Memorial Day weekend we headed to Montreal. The border crossing was very easy. They asked a couple of questions and we were on our way. Found a nice campground. Then I did a dumb thing with my puter. I’ll tell you about it so maybe you won’t do the same thing. It found a virus so I had it cleaned, then a screen came up asking if I wanted to delete the infected files. Not thinking clearly I hit yes and as soon as I hit it I knew I did wrong. And boy did I screw things up. Ended up having to send it to my bro-in-law (Mike) to have him work on it again. He was able to save a lot of my files, then had to restore back to original and reinstall the files. He didn’t have all my install CD’s but did a great job. He had to get online and update my programs. He is on cable internet so it wasn’t too bad. Would have been worse if I had to do it over a phone line. Between my feeble attempts at repairing it, shipping times, Mike trying to work it in while maintaining his own puter for work duties, my having to reinstall programs, it was over 2 months before I was up and going again. Boy, did I miss my puter. I have an old laptop that Mike fixed up for me to use for my GPS system. He also set it up to check my email as a backup system. It worked once for email and then wouldn’t do it anymore.

Montreal is pretty but I had a hard time touring the area. We were going to use the subway system to get around. We got there and realized that all info was in French. Uh-oh! We went below to the ticket area and as I was looking at the map with it’s info in French I started to get a panic attack. I think it was the feeling of being helpless. I knew I had to get out of there. I headed to the truck with Kay right behind me and B&D standing there looking very confused as to what was going on. It got better when we got outside but I knew I would not be able to use their subways. So Kay, B&D headed back to subway and I got in the truck & headed for the campground. We set up a time for me to pick them up. That was my Montreal tour. We figured then that maybe we should leave the Quebec part of out trip for some other time if ever. We did have to follow Highway 20 which is one of the Trans-Canada Highways (like our interstates) to get to New Brunswick. It was one of the roughest highways we have encountered. Not because of construction but lack of maintenance. We had to slow down to 20-30MPH quite a few times.

We followed this road to Mont Jolie and then took 132 to New Brunswick. As soon as we entered NB we could tell a major difference in the roads. So much better. By now Bob is starting to salivate. He has been thinking “LOBSTER” for over 3 months now and we were getting close to the ocean.

We stopped near Shediac, NB for a couple of nights. Got the name of a lobster place and headed out. Bob, being deaf, didn’t hear the directions but knew the name of the place. Along the way to the restaurant there is a branch of this place with the same name but doesn’t have a restaurant. We passed this place and Bob saw it and hit the panic button. There it is! His mouth was watering and we kept going. The look on his face---priceless. Being the close friends we are we didn’t tell him what was going on. :>) We finally got there and they got their lobster. I ordered a burger. I don’t care for lobster. The only flavor you get is from the butter you dip it in. I could just suck on a stick of butter and get the same taste. They enjoyed their lobster but were a little disappointed with the fact that it was served cold. Never heard of that before being the landlubbers we are.

Then we headed for Nova Scotia.

As you might remember from earlier pages, one of the reasons we wanted to go to NS was my B-mother was born there. I could learn a little more of my  B-family history. And we had an excellent guide available—my 1st cousin—Margie Dunn. We entered NS and stopped at the welcome center, took pics & picked up tourist info. Kay had made reservations at the Hyclass Campground in Havre Boucher, NS based on them being members of Passport America, a discount camping org. You never know what you will get into in those kind of long distance deals. We were very pleasantly surprised. A great place and the owners, Frank & Veronika, were super nice people. Frank is outgoing and always ready to help & loves to kid around. Veronika is a little more quiet and also a very nice person. Another reason we chose this campground was it’s proximity to my cousin Margie and also to Cape Breton where my B-mother was born.  

Besides my puter being down, we were in a ‘no service’ area for our cell phone. Luckily B&D’s cell phone worked here. Kay called to get our mail forwarded and couldn’t get an answer. After calling around different places she found out that our mailing forwarding service had closed it’s doors without any notice to anyone. Now what? Post Office would not forward our mail as it was the forwarding service’s responsibility. Finally we got ahold of someone that was sympathetic to our situation and would forward the mail until we could straighten the mess out. Kay called a “MailBoxes, Etc” in Champaign, Il (where my brother lives) and we could arrange for a box by phone and had to followup with a notarized application. There was a “MailBoxes, Etc” in Antigonish (auntie-ga-nish) so off we went. They were very helpful but didn’t know any Notaries so they looked one up in the phone book. He was right down the road so that’s where we went. His name is Ray E. O’Blenis. We went in, told receptionist what we wanted plus faxing the form and waited til his meeting was over. Went in and he looked at the form, had us sign it, he notarized it and we were done. Went to his receptionist, she faxed the form and she said it would be $40.00!!! WHAT!!!!! Our fault, we should have asked beforehand but our experiences before this was never over $5.00. She said that was his normal fee. (We did check around later and this was NOT the normal for the area). She wrote up the receipt for notary & fax, we paid and as we were leaving, the lawyer called out that it would be another $5.00 for the fax (1 sheet). In my opinion this was highly UNETHICAL. Not only the exorbitant fee but he never asked for any ID’s to verify who we were. That is the purpose of a notary—to verify the signatures are from the named person. So if you are ever in that area and need a lawyer, use your own judgment concerning this ^%*#@()@ person.

Fortunately this was the only negative thing we ran into in NS. The rest of the people were super and helpful.

We got together with Margie and she took us to Queensville and showed us the house where my b-mom was born and raised in. They raised 11 kids in the house. Also took us by the school she went to. They used to have to walk  thru the woods to get to school. This whole trip was fascinating to me. I mean, after all this is my heritage. She took us to the cemetery where my B-grandparents are buried. Also my Uncle Dan Hughie MacEachern who was a famous composer of the music for the area. Margie also set us up for a lobster feed. She went down to the docks, bought the lobster, cooked it (a steak for me) and we had a feast. Bob went absolutely crazy. As long as they were eating, the lobster kept coming. She also showed us how to put a lobster to sleep. You just rub the back of their shell and watch them relax. Then they threw them in the pot. I couldn’t watch that part. Somehow that bothers me. When they are done and on the table I’m OK but not watching them die.

One day the 4 of us and 2 dogs loaded up and drove the Cabot Trail. It is described as a “must see” place. It was beautiful but it was an 8 hour day and with 4 people & 2 dogs in an extended cab pickup it was not the best touring conditions. A little too crowded. Margie took Kay & I for a drive around Cape George. Another beautiful drive. I was as impressed with it as I was Cabot Trail. Maybe more so. She said the locals call it “The Little Cabot Trail”. As we rounded a corner in the road there was a black bear in the middle of the road. We pulled over at the first opportunity and took some pics. We were kind of far away but didn’t think it would be a smart idea to walk towards him for a pic.

Another evening the 4 of us went to a local restaurant to eat. While there the waiter asked if we were there for the Harley get together. We said we didn’t know anything about it. It was about a mile down the road and people came from all over for the event. Needless to say---off we went. Nice party, we enjoyed ourselves.

Margie’s daughter Jackie is a fiddle & piano player. She and Wendy were playing at a hall in Mabou. Actually they both play piano and fiddle and trade off during the evening. So Kay, Donna & myself went to Mabou.  We ended up way out in the boondocks at some hall. Only a couple of cars there and I wondered if anybody even knew where this place was. Went in and about the time they got set up the place was filling up fast. The tables were lined around the sidewalls. Not like here in the states where there is a little dance floor and the tables are packed in. When the music started, almost everybody got up to dance. You saw young people dancing with older people and everybody was enjoying themselves and mingling. There was a bus that pulled up and it was full of some traveling dancers from somewhere else and they knew this event was going on and scheduled it for their trip. We got to see different varieties of the highland dances and Margie would point out all of Dan Hughie’s songs which was most of them. It was an incredible evening that I’ll always remember. What really impressed me was the unity between the young and old. That is something we are lacking here in the states.

B & D did some fishing at the campground and caught enough for a couple of feeds. When the tide went out you could find oysters, mussels & clams along the shore although we didn’t get any of them. Other campers did and as far as we know they are still alive. :>)

One evening, Frank & Veronika put on a chili feed for the campers. He said that during the prime months (July & August) they have one every weekend and usually have a bagpiper strolling around during the cookout. If any of you are going to NS I highly recommend the Hyclass Campground. Hopefully we can make it back there sometime in the fall to see the colors. (UPDATE: Frank & Veronika are no longer affiliated with Hyclass Campground)

Down the road from the campground was a garage that had some old cars in it. We caught the owner there one day and got to view them. The most impressive was an old Mercury pickup truck. I had never seen one before and he said they were only made in Canada.

We had other visits with Margie and other tourist things but too soon we had to leave.

We moved on to Bangor, Me. While there we heard a scraping noise on the truck. Turned out the emergency brake cable broke and parts were flopping around inside. Another trip to a garage.

Then we headed to the Boston area to visit with Larry Gwin who was in Ia Drang Valley with me. He lives in S. Hamilton, Ma. Because we were nearing the 4th of July weekend it was getting hard to find campground openings. After numerous calls, Kay found one in the Gloucester area. We emailed Larry and he said he was on vacation that week and was spending it at his fiance’s family beachhouse in that area and there was a campground on the way to the house. Turned out that was the one we were at. It was about a mile from where he was staying. What a coincidence. We had a couple of great visits with Larry & Nancy. One day Larry & I went alone, he took me to a quarry that was right on the ocean. Beautiful views! Then on into Rockport, a quaint village. Another beautiful place. B & D, Kay & I went into Gloucester one evening and there happened to be a festival going on. The whole area was packed. They had a parade where they carried a statue of a saint (can’t remember which one) thru the streets. We walked along the shoreline and on a platform out in the bay they were having a greased pole contest. It looked like a telephone pole on it’s side, extended out over the water. Contestants tried to walk it to the end. Never did see anybody make it.

We didn’t get to stay there long as the campground was booked for the 4th.  So we moved on to Webster, Ma. We wanted to be near Newport, RI and that was the closest we could get. (About 1 hr away) Everything else was booked. One evening we went up to Worcester for dinner with John Cahill & Angela Corey. John is another Ia Drang vet. I don’t remember where we ate but the food was good, beer was cold and good company—great combination. On Sunday, July 7th, Kay & I went to Webster to visit my B-Aunt Kaye and her family. They had a cookout and a lot of the family was there. It was good to see them all again. We were sitting outside and the sky was really overcast. At least that’s what I initially thought. Turned out it was the smoke from fires up in Canada. I took a pic at 6PM that evening to give you an idea.