On Sunday we finally left Maine and headed to sunny Massachusetts. Seriously, I now know why "Maine" rhymes with rain. But then again, "plantain" also rhymes with "Maine", which I definitely can not explain. How curious, "explain" also rhymes with "Maine" . . . hmmmm.
It's hilarious how close together everything is in the Northeast. We left Portland, we were in New Hampshire in no time, then five seconds later we were in Massachusetts. Wowzer. While we were at Acadia, we got to talking with this dude who was working a construction project on the island and was staying next door to us. He was interested in our trip and asked if we had run into any problems like, for instance, car trouble. We smiled and said "No, thank heavens. We had a full checkup before taking off." This simple, cocky phrase may have jinxed us, for right when we got on the highway to to leave Portland, we started hearing some thumps and scrapes and the ABS light came on and stayed on. I called my brother (who works in the ABS department at General Motors), he had me crawling around under the car for a little bit, then we decided to take it to a shop sometime soon for two reasons 1) I didn't have my tools and 2) even if I had my tools, which consist of a socket set, a hammer and a saw, I'm not sure what I would have done with them. Unfortunately, finding an open mechanic on Sunday is impossible, so keep driving with thumps and scrapes we did.
Fortunately, we didn't go very far. Our destination was Salisbury Beach State Park in northeastern Massachusetts. Said to be the most popular beach in the state, it's situated on a spit of land with the ocean on one side and two rivers on the other two sides. When we arrived we were at first a bit shocked to see that a site was going to run us $20 for a night. Everything's a bit spendier out here, eh? But, it was the first beautiful night we'd seen in a while, plus there was a shower in the restrooms, so we whipped up some delicious mac and cheese, walked around on the beach, showered, then settled into the car for some reading and sleeping.
The next morning, we took another walk around by the ocean. Reminded me a bit of the Stephen King book "The Talisman": an empty Atlantic resort beach, though this one probably wouldn't be too empty in the next couple of months. We then headed to downtown Salisbury to see if someone could take a look at the car. No one had placed a camping ticket on our car (usually the way one is charged when arriving at a park after hours), so we briefly contemplated just driving away as our middle finger to the pricey park . . . but we're just too damned honest. We stopped at the office up front to pay for the parking spot and shower water.
The first two mechanics we went to in Salisbury were booked up, so, on the way to a diner we saw down the street, we happened to notice a gas station/mechanic and stopped in to check on availability. The mechanic, Paul, was a really cool guy (I inherently distrust mechanics and veterinarians - figures I'd meet a mechanic I like on the other side of the friggin country), and he said he could check the car out immediately. Several hours later, we had eaten an excellent diner breakfast, spent a couple of hours at the Salisbury library and had the front right hub bearing replaced (an experience I would recommend for everyone reading) prior to getting back on the road for Salem and Baaaahstin.