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the eric update: day 338: go east young man! downeast.

the next stage of lightening the load is almost upon us as we enter into the last stages of preparing for a Grand Adventure where we trek to my ancestral homeland, which is about as far north and east on the coast of maine as you can get - in the most eastern part of the most eastern county in the united states.

we'll be starting the adventure from grand rapids, michigan in the wee hours ( 4 a.m.! ) of the morning on june 8th; after passing through port huron, michigan, we'll make a short jaunt through ontario, canada eventually resting in albany, new york before continuing on to machias, maine. i think we'll probably be following the google map fairly closely, although ad hoc modifications are always a possibility.

in a previous post. i alluded to the fact that we've crazily decided to put the 1965 galaxie 500 to work and i'll be driving separately from kris towing a small trailer with mauja in the backseat to keep me company ( it should now be obvious why i want a functional gas gauge and driver's window ) . kris will be driving in the air conditioned luxury of our new jetta tdi with odin.

more than a few people might think we're insane for attempting a thousand mile trip in two cars with an infant and a dog and an antique car, but hey - you only live once, right :-)

we've modified our driving route innumerable times and i'm hoping that we're not being too optimistic by thinking that we can make it to albany in a day single day. we're planning on it taking anywhere from 8-12 hours depending on how often we have to stop for baby breaks. i have no idea how odin will handle that much time in the car, but i guess i'll know the answer soon enough.

so wish us luck as we prepare to embark on our first family road trip. hopefully we won't find ourselves in need of a tow truck in the middle of nowhere :-)

of course, everyone wants to know why we are we heading to down east, maine. is it a vacation? are we moving there?

the shortest answer that irritates everyone and yet surprises not a single person who knows us well is that we have no plan. we're heading east to visit great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and nieces who haven't had the opportunity to see odin live and in technicolor.

we may stay for a little while. or we may stay for a long while. regardless, i'm sure we'll enjoy the beauty and isolation of being in a world apart.

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6/07/2005 11:32:00 PM 10 comments

10 Comments:

Wait. You're going to try to make it to Albany on the FIRST day? DUDE. That's pretty crazy. It's like 700 miles. I've done Boston MA to Chesapeake VA in a day (a little less than 600 miles), but I was way younger, it was just me, and I was DEAD at the end of the day.

There was no way I was getting up the second day and driving more. :P

So sayeth random person from the Internets. ;)

By Blogger Emy, at 12:35 AM  

We do Ann Arbor to DC all the time, with little babies, even. That's only 525 miles, though.

Then, the next day we drive a further 4 to 6 hours south, depending on which relatives we're going to see. You'll be stopping more than you expect -- be warned!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 AM  

emy: "Wait. You're going to try to make it to Albany on the FIRST day? DUDE. That's pretty crazy. It's like 700 miles."

ha! maybe it is crazy, but we've driven all the way across the country and can do 700 miles without breaking a sweat! we've even done the entire route from grand rapids to machias without stopping for the night! now that's crazy. but that was without an infant.

we're shooting for albany, but it's likely that we might not make it past rochester, new york.

anonymous: "you'll be stopping more than you expect -- be warned!"

maybe a lot more than we expect with the galaxie!

we've had a few people tell us to plan on stopping for an hour or so for every three or four hours of driving. we'll never make it to albany if we have to stop more than that.

and i have no idea how long it takes to make it through customs these days. i'm guessing the wait at the border hasn't gotten any shorter in the past couple of years.

By Blogger e3, at 7:27 AM  

with a kid and dog, conventional wisdom dictates planning on 8 hours a day in transit. any more than that and people will not be well enough to make the trip enjoyable.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 AM  

Machias Maine? Is Machias Seal Island off the coast of there? The one that Maine and Nova Scotia fight over? :-) My best friend's father used to be the light house keeper on that island. Whenever you ask him about it, he just mutters 'Damn Puffins'.

I wish you luck in your travels. Does Odin still nap twice a day? If so, it might be easier than you think if he's a good car sleeper...evenings could get interesting tho.

By Blogger pumpkinhead, at 8:45 AM  

Mapquest and Google both thought Amherst, MA -> Buffalo was 6 hous. It took us 8. The biggest problem we had was that Shoshanna had never spent that long "away" from other people before, and by the end of the trip she was very upset & was quite clingy for the next day or so.

Seriously. You'll be passing right through our neck of the woods. Give a holler, I'll buy lunch or brunch or something. We're about an hour and a half from Albany.

By Blogger Sarah, at 9:32 AM  

pumkinhead: " Machias Maine? Is Machias Seal Island off the coast of there? The one that Maine and Nova Scotia fight over? :-) ... Does Odin still nap twice a day? If so, it might be easier than you think if he's a good car sleeper...evenings could get interesting tho."

yes, indeed it is! and you can't have it :-)

he actually averages three naps a day and usually does pretty good in the car. on the Really Big Field Trip we drove 8 hours with no unplanned stops so who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.

sarah: "Seriously. You'll be passing right through our neck of the woods. Give a holler."

we'll probably have to pass on you offer this time, but thanks! i'm sure we'll be passing through again.

By Blogger e3, at 10:51 AM  

If you make it to Boston, please contact me. My co-worker and I are huge Odin fans!

By Anonymous leegross@alumni.uvm.edu, at 1:41 PM  

Long time no talk - you are still a crazy man, but the trip sounds do-able. That old car has done marathons much longer than that before and I speak from experience having done 1000+mile/day runs in that thing. Glad to see that the old car is still in good shape and I am sure that it will be an interesting adventure

Hey get in touch with me when you get settled it would be good to catch up.

By Anonymous abaritelle@yahoo.com, at 9:42 PM  

"If you make it to Boston, please contact me. My co-worker and I are huge Odin fans!

certainly we'll be visiting boston sooner or later and you might just regret being so hospitable :-)

"Long time no talk - you are still a crazy man, but the trip sounds do-able....Hey get in touch with me when you get settled it would be good to catch up."

aha! i was wondering if you peaked in on the website every now and again and had any idea what we were planning on doing with your old car :-) she's a champ - doesn't even flinch with the loaded trailer. i could probably daisy chain two or three trailers and still not have any problems.

and certainly it's been far too long since we last touched base. give me a little time to recoup from the move and i'll start sending you early drafts of the manifestos i'll be writing from the secluded cabin on a lake :-)

By Blogger e3, at 9:07 AM  

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[ rhetoric ]

"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

[ about ]

this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.



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