Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Almost an island

We are at the Wal-Mart in Presque Isle, Maine (map), the first one we've passed since leaving Burlington, Vermont, and the northernmost U.S. Wal-Mart east of the Mississippi. There is something comforting about being in our "home park," and, besides, we needed supplies. We had a nice dinner at the Chinese buffet next door.

Yesterday Odyssey visited the "northeast corner" of the country, which is either Madawaska or Van Buren, Maine, depending on whom you ask (Madawaska is further north; Van Buren is further east). We passed through both, so we were there either way, having traveled all the way north on ME-11 to the St. Johns river in Fort Kent, where we picked up US-1 at its "northern terminus" -- but 1 actually goes north and east from there.

In Van Buren we continued along the St. Johns on US-1A while 1 turned south a bit west of the border. 1A is the easternmost route in the U.S., traveling south just west of the Canadian border -- mostly we don't think of the U.S. as having a shared eastern border, but it does and this is it.

We've now been to all "four corners" of the US, the other three being Key West, Florida (although I would argue that Key Largo is more "the corner," since the keys curl quite a ways westward), San Diego/San Ysidro, California, and either Blaine or Neah Bay, Washington, again depending on whom you ask (Blaine is further north, Neah Bay further west). And, technically, Odyssey herself has been to neither of these last two, but she was most of the way to both (Bellingham and 101 on the Olympic Peninsula), just as we also had to park just shy of the marker on Key West, but she's carried us to all of them.

From here we are heading "down east." We will continue south now on US-1, which will rejoin 1A (from which we diverted to come to Presque Isle) at the eastern border just a bit south of here, and carry us all the way to the coast at the Bay of Fundy. From there we will work our way down the coast to Massachusetts.

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