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Old 06-22-2020, 07:48 AM   #1
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Red face Lucy's Epic Journey

Once again, we are preparing Lucy for another great adventure. Our plan has been to depart the Florida Panhandle in mid July, make our way to the Canadian border in Montana, and travel as close to the border as possible all the way to Maine.

We have had this general trip plan since last fall with the mid July departure date. The Pandemic has thrown the camping and RV world into a tizzy, but it is starting to look like we can still meet our schedule. I realize that the Canadian Border is still closed to recreational travel. I have been reading that they are anticipating reopening the Border in late July. The Border being open is important to us as we planned several visits into Canada along the way including a visit to the Peace Garden.

Once we leave home, we figure it will take a month or more to get to the Border. We plan to make several lengthy stops along the route, in Lubbock, Cody, and Sheridan. Once in Maine, we will then decide the route back home.

I am seeking comments from the group on the feasibility of making this trip. All information will be appreciated.

Brian
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:03 AM   #2
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Sounds like an awesome trip.

My father drove pretty much the same route across the northern part of the US. He went east to west but started in PA thru OH into MI. He crossed Lake Michigan by ferry in Ludington and then picked up and followed US Rt 2 from there. He had an awesome trip. I've always wanted to do the same trip but it is still on the agenda!

Enjoy! And safe travels!
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
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It's impossible to know what will happen between now and the Fall, but at least you guys are flexible and could change plans mid trip if necessary. We are hoping to head to Maine for early September reservations in Acadia, but won't be leaving until early August.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:22 AM   #4
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From what I have seen, I think that RV travel in the US is very doable this summer, and I intend to take another road trip myself here pretty soon.

I intend to avoid particularly private campgrounds as much as possible, keep my propane and water topped off and be prepared to overnight in an out of the way spot most nights.

I would certainly avoid any of the states experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases.

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Old 06-22-2020, 06:14 PM   #5
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We don't travel the Interstates, and avoid large metropolitan areas. Hopefully, we can find campgrounds in small towns.

Brian
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:29 PM   #6
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Looking forward to your fine reportage and architectural photographs.

One concern to keep mind is the unpredictability of the virus situation, and what a particular state's reaction might be, if they feel the need to prohibit travel by non-residents. A recent Maine thread is debating a similar issue. Once you are in a particular state you had intended to drive through, it might be disappointing to be stuck IN that state, for an indeterminate time.

Hopefully it will all work out!
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:26 PM   #7
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Sounds like an interesting trip.

My recommendation is to not plan on the Canada/US border being reopened for non-essential travel, but it doesn't sound like you need to cross, as there are routes that will keep you within the US, apart from your plans to visit certain sites. The uncertainty will come from the fact that current COVID statistics are very different in the US and in Canada, and heading in different directions, and you would need both countries to agree to open the border, not just one. There is a strong push here to keep it closed for the foreseeable future.

There have been US tourists identified in the National Parks near Banff who have been charged since they crossed into Canada by claiming they were just in transit to Alaska. The authorities determined otherwise.

We have driven Hwy 2 from Wisconsin to Washington State, and also portions in the east around Maine, but not towing. We really like the route, lots of interesting towns.
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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Thank you for this information on the Border situation. I had planned on visiting a number of the Border Ports in North Dakota and Minnesota. Many years ago I worked for U.S. Customs and had visited many of these ports while working. Part of this trip was to revisit some of these places from my youth. If the Border is closed, I will need to reconsider my whole trip. We were not planning to make it up to the Border until late August. I was hoping that the Border would normalized by then.

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Old 06-23-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Thank you for this information on the Border situation. I had planned on visiting a number of the Border Ports in North Dakota and Minnesota. Many years ago I worked for U.S. Customs and had visited many of these ports while working. Part of this trip was to revisit some of these places from my youth. If the Border is closed, I will need to reconsider my whole trip. We were not planning to make it up to the Border until late August. I was hoping that the Border would normalized by then.



Brian

The borders will remain closed to nonessential travel until July 21. The restrictions were announced in mid-March and were extended in April and May

This is from todayís notice.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:14 PM   #10
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I've traveled from Florida to Wisconsin and back twice since April 2020 with my Airstream. Its been no different than in the past. I have not had any trouble at state borders. All campgrounds I visited were very welcoming. I did not see a single facemask at any campground. Its business as usual as far as I have experienced. I have no information on the Canadian border situation.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:18 PM   #11
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The Canada/US border may well be open to tourist travel by August, I just wouldn't plan on it. The closures have been extended each time, and there is a lot of pressure here to keep it closed through the summer tourist season if not longer.

I am in BC. We have had 169 COVID deaths. Immediately south of us is Washington State. WA has had 1276 deaths. We have similar climates, similar international airports and ports, similar large cities. WA has a larger population, 1.5 times BC, but has had 7.5 time the deaths. There is huge support here for restricting discretionary cross border travel.

The US may open their border to tourists, but that doesn't mean that Canada will necessarily open theirs.
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Old 06-23-2020, 07:18 PM   #12
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Hi Brian, this time I'm going to stowaway below deck and you won't know I'm riding along. Your travel threads are the best.

Our very first RV trailer trip was around lake Superior, including the Canada north of course. Take a look at northern Minnesota including Grand Maras, Rainy Lake and the Boundary Waters Wilderness. All very beautiful in my view, especially the humming bird sized mosquitoes. You can have a contest to see how many mosquitoes you can slap with one swat, maybe you will beat 10.

Northern Wisconsin and Northern Michigan are also beautiful, same with Northern New York and then New England. The Maine coast is also splendid.

Should be a great trip, and cooler than Florida heat.

David
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
I've traveled from Florida to Wisconsin and back twice since April 2020 with my Airstream. Its been no different than in the past. I have not had any trouble at state borders. All campgrounds I visited were very welcoming. I did not see a single facemask at any campground. Its business as usual as far as I have experienced. I have no information on the Canadian border situation.
We are glad to hear that cross country Airstream travel is back to normal. We are really looking forward to this trip after the lockdown.

Brian
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:49 AM   #14
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Hi Brian and SuEllyn, isn't the world ready to get back to normal?! Glad you're getting ready to have another adventure. I'm in Davids camp; love to follow your travels. It's so hard to guess if the border situation will be back to usual, but plan A and plan B (and plan C) if necessary. If you can cross the border, we welcome you. We are cautiously optomistic about covid being slowed/stopped as summer progresses.
Happy trails, CC
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #15
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Hi Brian and SuEllyn, isn't the world ready to get back to normal?! Glad you're getting ready to have another adventure. I'm in Davids camp; love to follow your travels. It's so hard to guess if the border situation will be back to usual, but plan A and plan B (and plan C) if necessary. If you can cross the border, we welcome you. We are cautiously optomistic about covid being slowed/stopped as summer progresses.
Happy trails, CC
I do have a kind of Plan B. If the Border is still restricted, we will just drive up to the Ports on the U.S. side to see if the old buildings are still there and possibly visit with the U.S. Customs personnel there. The only real monkey wrench would be is the Peace Garden is closed as we had planned a visit there. I guess we will just have to see what the situation id when we get there

Brian
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:15 AM   #16
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Tiday it is looking even worse for cross country RV travel. I am beginning to wonder if we can even drive through some of the states.

Brian
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:21 AM   #17
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I have cancelled my ambitions of a summer/fall trip. The idea being to live to travel another year. Plus my house needs a lot of attention after 10 years of neglect from traveling a whole lot of the time. Plus the truck is getting a new transmission, putting a serious dent in our travel funds.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:14 AM   #18
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Brian, Iíve really enjoyed reading your wonderful trip posts.

Such a tough decision you are facing. The US currently has greater numbers of infected people than at any point of the pandemic. Cases are surging daily and the situation is changing rapidly from moment-to-moment. This makes planning any longer trip especially difficult, as you are well aware. I believe the Canadian border will remain closed to US citizens for pleasure travel until US cases go down which is unpredictable at this time.

I wonder in helping you decide regarding this trip...would it be helpful to specifically imagine the ways you might derive pleasure from this particular trip? For example, I have sensed that some of what you enjoy, as do I, is visiting small towns and their attractions and restaurants. One thing I have thought about is how will this be different in the current situation than in the past when we travelled? Just one item to imagine is masks or no masks...which makes you and those youíre interacting with feel more or less comfortable? Speaking with people from a distance of six feet, if this is important to you or them, changes interactions and oneís experience in some ways. These are but two examples of how travel and interacting with others is currently different and is something we each need to manage.

If the trip is more about seeing the scenery, that is a different experience and set of expectations. And as you know, pleasure derived or not can be all about oneís expectations!

I figure youíve thought of all of this but thought I would throw it out there anyway. Keep us posted and thank you again for including us along for your ride whatever you decide to do!

Chris
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:50 AM   #19
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Tiday it is looking even worse for cross country RV travel. I am beginning to wonder if we can even drive through some of the states.

Brian
. . . or turn around to where you came from, and be denied re-entry back into that once-open state?



Very hard to plan ahead, and not possible to have a dependable "exit plan" at any stage of the journey.

They are saying that the new outbreaks in Houston, etc., have the potential of spreading like wildfire.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:12 PM   #20
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As those who have followed our trips in the past know, our primary goal is to see and photograph the nooks and crannies of this great country. Our social interaction on these journeys is usually minimal. When travelling in Lucy we rarely eat in restaurants. On last year's 93 day trip to Alaska, we ate in restaurants 7 times. It would not be difficult for us to forgo restaurants entirely. We always use the bathroom and shower facilities in Lucy, so campground bath houses would not be an issue.

For the most part, we are as safe in Lucy as we are at home. We are actually safer in Lucy as this popular beach area that we live in slammed with visitors from far away places all summer long.

Our only real concern about this Airstream trip is possibly encountering some type of travel restriction in certain areas.

Brian
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