About Us

The Open Road Project exists to spread kindness and meet the needs of strangers. We travel in a 1979 GMC Vanguard named Lily. These are our stories.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The You Ehs of Eh.

Once we left Peticodiac it was time to embrace the last leg of our jouney. We knew that this part of the adventure would likely contain the most uncertainty, namely due to the always entertaining border crossing.

Our drive through the last bit of Canada was smooth and we had a nice McDonalds meal with a hitchhiker we picked up. We were very confused by our first interactions with this man, but quickly realized that he was deaf. It was cool conversing by writing back and forth, and showing each other maps on our iPhone to find out where he wanted to go. He was an interesting guy to say the least, and we left him some money for a hearing-eye dog. Yes, that is an actual thing, he had pledge papers and everything.

When we arrived at the border, there were no other patrons, so we knew they were going to have fun with us. Lily is a serious hippy-mobile and, especially with me on board, we're a bunch of hippies.  They asked us if we had any drugs on board more times than I can count, and even told us they were bringing in the dogs. I was excited to see them snoop around in there, but as it turns out, we called their bluff and no pups came sniffing. After we each had an airport style body search and a lot more questioning, we were happily on our way into the land of Dunkin Doughnuts and cheap petrol.

As we ventured into the unknown, we were surprised by some of the poverty we passed through in the northeastern states. You could tell that a lot of the towns we passed through had been abandoned ever since the factories left, and it was sort of eerie.

Despite the odd aura, Lily was happy to be drinking American gas and we were just as happy to be drinking classic nasty American coffee shop Joe.

After it started to rain, we picked up a really cool dude who doing a bike trip to various historic sites in the area.  I'm glad we stopped because although usually bikers are riding for a reason, this guy was really grateful we stopped. He also had some awesome stories. Just that morning he had been visiting hermits out in the wilderness. It was awesome for us to hear about how these hermits lived, and I totally forgot that such people actually existed. He told us about their life styles and attitudes and some of their stories. He also hadn't eaten since he shared some cornmeal, water and salt with one of the hermits that morning. The way he was describing this meal was even nastier than it sounds in writing, and we weren't surprised when he told us he couldn't keep it down. This gave us the chance to share a meal with him which was awesome. While we were in the grocery store, the folks must have felt pity on us since they tossed us a free BBQ chicken which was perfect for sharing!

Our coolest memory of our time with this humble, simple fellow was when he took us to he secret fishing spot deep in the woods. Since the alewives were spawning, there was a spot where the current would swirl the fish around and you could catch the little guys with your bare hands. Sadly, when we got there, the fish had left for the day, but we still had a sweet hike and saw some neat wildlife along the way.

We said farewell to our new friend and kept on towards our next destination, Boston Massachusetts. 

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