June 3, ’07 Malone, NY

Hello from Upstate New York!

Waay, waaaaay upstate. We are camped on the Salmon River near Westville Center. In case you have never heard of it, (and I’m betting you haven’t) it is on Hwy 37 about 25 miles south of the St. Laurence River and about 50 miles west of Lake Champlain. The nearest city is Malone.

It’s good to be back in the States. One thing about Canada — it’s really is a different country. We noticed it right away in the distances and speed limits in kilometers instead of miles. And the temperature in Celsius. The peoples’ accent is noticable, but no more than the difference of Southerners and Yankees. The money is kind of cool. They have a ‘loonie’, which is a $1 coin with a loon on it. It is a brassy looking metal, like our ‘gold’ $1. The $2 coin is two metals — a silver donut with a brassy center. Their bills are much more colorful than ours. Richard says it reminds him of the military scrip they used in Viet Nam.

We left Sault Ste. Marie Thursday and traveled until Saturday. As usual, it was drizzling when we left. The weather was intermittent showers and sunshine. Most of the rain came at night, so we didn’t have to drive in it all the time. Seems like everywhere we go it rains and the people say, “we really needed that rain.” But three days of driving is enough. Being a full time RVer doesn’t mean being a full time driver. So we are taking a break here for a week. I actually did quite a bit of driving and am starting to feel almost competent. I have mostly driven on the highway and am not very comfortable yet on streets. I am always conscious of the fact that I am driving a house. Richard is very good a tight manuvers. He turned the whole rig around in cafe parking lot that I wouldn’t have thought possible with the motorhome alone, let alone with the Jeep trailing behind!

We had thought of diving all the way through Canada to Maine, but the gas prices up there are too high. Of course, you have to convert the price — they sell it in $/liter. We were paying around $1.10. One of the cashiers had a calculator and the conversion factor and it crunched out to be $4.20 a gallon. I didn’t even bother to ask if that was Canadian dollars or American. 😦 After we crossed the border into New York, we paid $3.23 a gallon. When you are only getting 6.5 miles a gallon, that makes a HUGE difference.

Speaking of crossing the border, getting back into the states took us about 2 minutes. We showed the border guard our passports and he stepped into the RV, glanced around, asked if we had any tobacco, alcohol or over $10,000, and sent us on our way. Unlike getting into Canada there was no cross examination, no rummaging through all our stuff, no inspection of the Jeep, no K-9 officer sniffing everything down.

Well, I gotta go do laundry. Some things never change.

mj