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Running the furnace since I got home; I may turn it off tomorrow or Thursday, but at this point an empty oil tank is my goal. Haven't touched the storm windows since May 18. Gathered a few facts regarding the solar temperature sensor, but nothing ordered yet.

Last Thursday, M and I loaded up the Insight and left for Prince Edward Island. Straight through it's claimed to be 8.5 hours for 550 miles, but practically it's 11 hours. We planned two days each way, but it spat rain all the first day, We stopped at the Penobscot and the Downeast Scenic in Ellsworth, but nothing was going on. We had dinner in Saint Stephen, then on to a motel in West Saint John. Friday we had driving rain all day. A brief late morning stop in Moncton to be delighted to see surfers riding the tidal bore, then a short detour for lunch in Amherst, NS. Visibility as we crossed the Confederation Bridge was about 500 m, so nothing at all to see for 8 miles and a CDN$ 23 toll.

The day of the convention & train show was gray, windy and showery. No driving, just attended clinics, browsed the train show and went to the banquet. It featured a slightly scant turkey dinner and a funny presentation on the why and how of PEI railways. Sunday the convention ended with a morning of layout tours, for which the weather was wonderful - scattered clouds, gentle breezes, etc. We drove North into 'Anne of Green Gables' territory, then as far East as Charlottetown visiting, then got some nice photos approaching and on the bridge. NB 955 was a nice shoreside alternative to the highways inland, then we detoured to Dorchester to shoot the westbound Ocean. Lunch in Sussex, dinner and motel in Saint Stephen.

PEI has a lot of lovely red, rock-free soil. Mostly potatoes, but I saw grain and hay fields. Some areas were mostly dairy, don't know if it's the soil, the hills or availability of necessary infrastructure. Alas, the more level parts are going to be under water in a hundred years.

Monday began with an understaffed border crossing to Calais, then the hills and getting fouled up in a Memorial Day parade in Bangor. Northern Maine Jct. is still sad, nothing moving. Then driving I-95 in off-and-on rain and heavy traffic till we bailed at Kennebunk and took back roads the rest of the way. Found an unmaintained dirt road in Berwick, but didn't quite get stuck. In Exeter M caught the Downeaster home.

Maine Rt. 9 has quite a few steep grades - one 12%, a number of others 7% and 8%. Canada's Autoroute 2 also has a lot of up and down, both North and South of Saint John. Note to self: see if ME 6 is enough better to justify the extra distance. Rt. 1 along the coast is much longer unless the Campobello ferries are running.

Insight insights: It was not happy for the latter half of the first day - MPG went down from 70s to low 60s as we arrived at Saint John the first evening. It got a lot worse going North in heavy rain the second day - down to about 54 MPG at Summerside, with me needing 2nd to climb some hills on 2. Saturday no driving, Sunday dawned sunny so I went out early planning to do some tinkering with the Shop Manual in hand. Looking around under the hood, I noticed the clips holding the bottom half of the air box lid were loose. Only a moment to fasten, guess the Honda Barn mechanic missed it in his hurry to close the car up. But it had a profound effect - I guess the computer has sensors upstream of it, which didn't work right if air was leaking in behind them. Mileage got better on the trip home, but not really till the Penobscot, after the worst of the up/down. It reached 71.4 MPG before we got tangled in Monday's awful backup from the Hampton tolls.

Most of the spring flowers are passe here - only the rhubarb, grapes and pawpaws are still open. Fruit set is OK on everything except the Summercrisp and Nova pears. They're very sparse, probably because their flowering was triggered by the two hot days in the 2nd week of April. The Reliance peach flowered at the same time, but held its petals longer and apparently got more effective attention from the bees.

Track work at Seashore on the 19th. John, Charlie and I on the hand tools, Chuck in the Pettibone: 11 ties replaced, but not yet halfway to Meserve's Crossing.
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