Day -5: Airline travel can go so wrong. Parking the car at PDX, our carrier’s auto-texting system notified us our flight would be late. The buzz-buzz of similar texts arriving grew so familiar that, by the following morning, I no longer detected new ones. They were just part of the background.
Day -4: started off rocky with more flight delays, but smoothed out as soon as we landed in Portland, ME. Our checked bags were already there since they fit on the last flight the previous night (we couldn’t get on that plane). Then our car showed up promptly, with 3200 miles worth of bugs on front, and we peeled out for the ferry dock, 700+ miles away. We had two GPSs on the dash, one garden variety unit and one Special Commercial Vehicle Tracking and Dispatch System from Renee’s work. The two GPSs disagreed about whether we’d make the ferry at 23:45 that night. I was optimistic, ’til we were cresting some mountain pass in Nova Scotia and a wall of fog clamped visibility to nada. Can’t haul ashes if you can’t see. But the wall was thin, and as the night came on, the traffic was thin, too. 300km of wet, dark, unknown roads to cover on a deadline. How dreadful. 🙂
We made the ferry. Not our original boat, of course – the airline snafus had put us six hours late for that – but there was another, smaller ship queued for the late sailing. A possible problem lurked with the change-of-schedule. These are long runs, 7hrs on the short route and 14hrs on the long, and vessels are serious seagoing stuff. You don’t “just show up” at the dock, you must have a “booking”. And we didn’t. What we had was a missed prior ferry booking, and hope.
Top marks to Marine Atlantic. They bent the language of the contract and let us aboard. We chomped on nachos and fell to sleep in the cabin they granted us.
Day -3: Off the boat and rolling, a mere 921km driving miles to St. Johns, following the main road all along the top of the island. No problem except exhaustion, but we swapped drivers often and got to the city by 5:25 p.m.
Note that Newfoundland has its own time zone, one that’s offset a half-an-hour from those in the U.S. When it’s 8 a.m. in Portland, Oregon, it’s 11 a.m. in Portland, Maine, then noon in New Brunswick, and finally 12:30 p.m. in Newfoundland.
No moose sightings yet.