The sun was shining, the land was flatter, and the fall colors were at a standstill. We had high hopes of seeing the fall colors in New England before we headed south for the colder months, but it looked like it was not meant to be. The leaves change color more quickly when it’s been cool and since it’s been a warm fall, the leaf colors did not peak while we were in Massachusetts. With that said, we now have an excuse to come back to New England to see the fall colors and visit the states we didn’t have time to see!
When we started to plan this trip we didn’t think about campgrounds closing for the winter months. We had to bump up our original plans by two week so we had enough time to go out east and then south before it got cold. We have had a few days the last three weeks where it has been chilly in the morning, a low of 33 one morning! Our 5th wheel has a fireplace and heat, but RVs are really not equipped to handle the cooler weather. They are built well, but ours is definitely not insulated like a house. We can feel a difference in the temperature when we are sitting on the couch that’s on a slide vs. standing by the non-moving kitchen sink.
Since the campground where we stayed didn’t have Wi-Fi, we had to be creative on how to get our work done. We spent many hours at Panera, the library, Starbucks, and Walmart. We are grateful that we were by a large enough town to have access to these places. It’s interesting the little life pleasures you do not think about until you no longer have access to them.
Mid-week we drove back to Maine to check out the Portland Head Lighthouse. It was an hour drive from where we were staying and it is the lighthouse to see in Maine. The sun was setting on the clear, sunny day and we were able to capture the beauty of the lighthouse against the ocean shore. Now, I have a funny story for you regarding the town. Two explorers in 1845 settled in what is now Portland, Oregon. One gentleman was from Massachusetts and wanted to name the town Boston. The other was from Maine and wanted to name the town Portland. They flipped a coin and the best out of three won.
On Friday it was gray and gloomy and we thought it would be a good day to check out Salem, Massachusetts. We felt the mood of the town as Halloween is in a few weeks and it was drizzling. We didn’t know until we got there that it is a National Historic Site so I was able to get my National Park Passport book stamped before we walked around the town. There are many activities in this small town: self-guided tours, a witch museum, shopping, witch walks, and haunted ghost tours. We opted to go on our own tour of the town seeing the City Hall and the Witch Trials Memorial. We found the history of the town very interesting. It was a doctor in 1692 that said two girls who were having “fits” were possessed by the devil. Those girls were pressured to blame who cursed them and that was the start of the Witch Trials. In 1693 the governor put a stop to them as 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft and twenty people were executed.
On Saturday we wanted to check out another state that neither of us had been too, Rhode Island. Brad wanted to stop at Minute Man National Park in Concord on our way. This park marks the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. We drove around and then walked to the famous North Bridge where the “shot heard round the world” marked the beginning of the war. We were then on our way to Rhode Island. We walked around the campus of Brown University, saw the city of Providence, and explored Roger Williams National Memorial. Brad and I both appreciated the memorial as Roger Williams was the founder of Providence and he believed in religious freedom and all who came to the colony were free to worship without interference from the state.
Brad is the history buff, not me. He can rattle off all kinds of facts regarding this and that war while I hate to admit, I do not remember much from all those years of history classes in school. But when I’m in a town like Concord or Providence, I want to learn more about the town and the history is so appealing and enriching. New England has so much more history and character than the Midwest where I grew up.
We are driving Sunday and Monday this week since many campgrounds in the east are closing soon and this will give us a nice head start to get south. Tuesday we will be in Gettysburg, PA for a week as we explore Gettysburg National Military Park and D.C. Till then!