Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Shakedown cruise - Mystic, CT
Easter Sunday April 16, 2006 - Five hour, 235 mile drive to Mystic, CT., slower than we thought but driving a loaded F-350 is a bit different than a much smaller Escape. What a test trip to go around Boston on an older rutted highway with heavy traffic even on a Sunday. Learned a lot about seeing and not seeing vehicles behind and around the truck camper and how to safely change lanes. This unit does not have a backup camera and we'll have to do something about better side vision (added convex mirrors later to the main side mirrors). Seaport Campground in Mystic was just opening and pretty sparce for campers. Since we have yet to take the Lance off the Ford, we drove the whole unit into Mystic Seaport. Big parking lot with easy room for the truck camper. What a wonderful museum full of American history with acres and acres of exhibits. We found the rope factory especially interesting as it shows how the huge old ship ropes went from hemp to hawser. As a fiber person, quilter/spinner/knitter, it was stunning to see the work that went into the ropes. After a walk through the tiny town of Mystic with all the shops closed for Easter, time was spent sitting by the camper, relaxing, knitting and being happy to finally be on the road.
Up early, used the Lance shower for the first time - tight but worked perfectly with more than enough hot water and ventilation with the roof vent fan. Spent most of the day at Mystic Aquarium especially in the exhibits from the Robert Ballard Titanic and Mediterranean dives. We played kid and sat in the 3-D ride that takes you undersea through the sea monsters and wrecks with shaking seat and all sorts of sea creatures reaching out for you. Fun to be a kid again. Parking was very tight at the Aquarium. We could have missed an RV parking area and ended up taking two regular spaces end to end.
A short drive up to Foxwoods Casino was next, my first time in a Casino. Needless to say, I didn't win the millions but had a great time spending a grand total of $7 worth of nickles. Too much smoke and noise but quite a place. Parking is very RV friendly including a shuttle bus from the far parking to the casino doors.
Back to Mystic, parked in the Seaport parking area as even the 25' Lance wouldn't fit into Mystic town very easily. Walked up to Mystic Pizza and had an excellent pizza. Joe loved the movie and had always wanted a pizza there. Next day headed back north with the idea of stopping in Newport, RI to walk the path behind the mansions. Unfortunately, couldn't figure out an easy drive to get around the Jamestown Bridge area. The old part of the bridge was being blown up and the drive around looked pretty long. VERY windy drive back to Maine so even slower than the drive down. Truck handles best at about 60-62 miles per hour. Mileage on the 590 mile trip was an average of 11.5 mpg - not bad for a heavy load and winds. This was a successful shake down cruise, learned a lot and eager to go again soon.