For my second big trip in Gertie, I decided to head north. I have good friends on Cape Cod (not to be confused with Massachusetts, at least as far as Cape dwellers are concerned) and Maine, so a two-week trip up the coast seemed like a good idea. It's an easy six-hour drive up to the Cape, where my old friend and former AOL coworker Gen Kazdin lives. From there I'd head up to Skowhegan in southern Maine and get reacquainted with Tom Ensminger, who was my best friend in elementary school, but whom I hadn't seen in thirty years.
And finally I'd head over to Eastport and spend a week with my friend Walt Emery, a kindred spirit who shares my love of planes, trains and cars, among other things. We'd head out in Gertie for a tour of Maine's transportation museums—"two old farts in a motorhome," we jokingly called the planned excursion.
My departure date was planned for September 14th, 2001. When the suicidal attacks happened on the 11th, I was as shaken as everybody else—especially since I live only 45 miles from the fallen World Trade Center towers. But I decided that getting away from the vicinity of New York City (and from the endless television footage of planes crashing over and over and over...) was a better idea than ever, so I went ahead with the trip.