We left late, delayed by our roofers, and only made it to the border near Gananoque the first night. We crossed first thing in the morning and drove on smaller roads, through northern New York state and the Adirondacks, to Mount Placid. We stopped to take ironic photos with giant wooden lobsters, mysteriously far from the coast, and of pretty roadside look-outs. Mount Placid itself is pretty, if touristy, but I found the golf carts driving around town streets hilarious. The licence plates read "limited use vehicle", but they were golf carts. I regret being unable to catch the ridiculous-looking police golf cart, because it was too astonishing.
We took the ferry across Lake Champlain to Burlington, Vermont. We did not see Champ. We did like the old photos of the grand old days of Lake Champlain ferries, which included bridal and presidential suites.
We drove across Vermont, and through Montpellier. Knowing several people from Montpellier, France, I was more than a little surprised at the American pronunciation, and don't think I could bring myself to say that. It sounds wrong. But, it's really quite pretty. You could miss the Capitol building though, if you didn't know where it was. A polite local paused in his truck so I could snap a pic out the window of the car.
In New Hampshire we had to stop at Santa's Village. I commented, "Oh, another Santa's village. I know of one in Ontario and another in Norway..." RJH corrected me and said this was THE Santa's village. Apparently proximity to New Brunswick trumps all. The animatronic, talking Rudolf was creepy, but apparently, no one told the children this.
We continued across New Hampshire, stopping only for dinner. I was on animal-spotting duty. At dusk this became somewhat nerve-wracking. I've spent enough time driving around northern Ontario to have a healthy fear of moose. If you've never met a moose, they are much larger, crazier, more hard-headed, and less predictable than say, a horse (though, also tastier)*. RJH finds it hilarious that I say moose kill, as he points out that it isn't voluntary on their part. I, on the other hand, find their motivation for destroying cars (or lack thereof) largely irrelevant. Up ahead I saw a large bird on the road and thought it might be a raven, but as we approached, it seemed much too large. Peacock?! Why on earth would there be peacocks on the road in the middle of nowhere, I thought. Then, I got it. "Turkey! Lots of them," I said. "Yes," said RJH, "I noticed since we were practically on top of them." When I explained that I was paying attention but hadn't wanted to misidentify the birds, and in fairness, I had never previously seen wild turkey, he looked at me like I was crazy. "So you waited until you could identify the species? Why didn't you just say 'Bird'?" I didn't have a good answer for that one. So, I amused myself by pointing out all animals, real and fake. There are an extremely large number of fake moose lining roads in New England. They are even more popular than fake lobster.
We made it to Maine that evening and stopped at the first motel we found. The clerk seemed to want to dissuade us from staying there, practically apologizing for the price and warning that the phone did not work. But it was 11 pm and we really wanted to get off the road, and it was fine. RJH had been aiming for Bangor**, but after I accidentally said Bar Harbor (as my sense of the geography of Maine is vague, at best), we decided we should made a detour to the coast. He's from the part of the Maritimes which basically ignores the existence of the Atlantic. Everyone here always assumes a trip to New Brunswick involves seeing the ocean, but it isn't necessarily so. We made a conscious decision to make sure our trip did include the ocean.
*I don't actually know this. I would never eat horse.
**This seemed to be an excuse to sign 'King of the Road', or vice versa.