New Paltz, NY to Crawford Notch, NH

November 18-19, 2008

November 18: the weather has been really cold and rainy the past few days. We have not managed to get a lot of climbing in recently. The forecast calls for well below freezing temperatures at night. Time to move on! We're planning to leave for NH this morning (ice climbing, anyone?). Lucie goes to Yoga in New Paltz one last time before we leave. In her absence, Eric gets the bus ready.

When she returns at 10:30am, everything is ready to go. We start up, get going, and… not! We're stuck in the mud! There was a lot of resistance to forward motion from the start, then the wheels start spinning… and we grind to a halt. The wheels are sinking pretty significantly in the grass and dirt, softened nicely by several days of rain. S$%#!, S$%#!, and S$%#!! We try slipping floor mats under the wheels… to no avail. Eric tries getting the snow chains on the ground as a help for traction… no difference! We get our old Mammut half ropes out to use as towing cables, hook those up to the Jeep, and pull as hard as we can… nah! Lucie goes to find Rada - our Polish farmer friend - from the field for help. We pull with his full size truck and the jeep at the same time… not even budging.

We are stuck for good. By now, the rear wheels have dug several inches down into the mud. Rada suggests asking for help from the farmer whose land we are staying on. We're not too keen on that. First, we've just dug big holes in his lawn, and second, his tractor does not look heavy enough to have much of a chance. We resolve ourselves to calling a tow truck. It ain't cheap ($400+tax), but at least they bring the right equipment, and - I must say - do an excellent job pulling us out very smoothly with electric winches. It's better than risking damaging the bus… So we are finally on our way, but way behind schedule. Clearly, we won't make it to NH today...

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Still in the Gunks, getting towed out in (click here for movie).
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What a relief. We're out of here!
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Driving through New Paltz...
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...and part of Massachussets.
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Downtown Northhampton.

We follow the interstate highways this time, trying to make it easier for the bus. We stop in Northampton, MA for the night. After a long cold night, we go to town for a quick visit and leave again mid-morning for New Hampshire.

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Nice building in Northhampton.
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Driving North to New Hampshire.
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Yeah, we made it back!
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Driving through Lisbon.
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Arriving at the Living Water Campground near Crawford Notch.

We arrive at the Living Water campground - where we're hoping to spend 6 weeks - around 2:30PM. It's quite a shock. The ground is covered with a good 3 inches of snow. Really looks like winter already! We put the chains on, just in case… and settle into a site. It doesn't take long after we plug in to realize that the advertised 30A electric is more like 5A!! We barely have 85V left when running a single electric heater (15A). It becomes pretty clear that night that we won't be able to stay here. Without enough power to run two heaters and our electrical tapes, our pipes will freeze (and so will we!).