While stealth camping near Mount Katahdin we decided not to try and wake up early to climb the mountain. We had not had cell service for several hours and were unable to check in with my wife and the girls before we went to sleep. The next morning we packed up camp and decided to head for the coast of Maine where we figured we would have an extra day. We drove for a couple of hours, checking frequently for cell service because we figured the girls would be worried about us. Then, as we crested a hill we had to stop because there several turkeys in the road, in the early morning mist.
While we were waiting for them to get out of the road the cell phone rang; we had about one bar of service. My wife said her brother had been in a helicopter crash. (He was a flight paramedic.) She didn't know any details, but she would call us back when she did. We were about an hour from the coast and still did not have reliable cell service. Basswood and I decided to continue on to the coast, where we figured cell reception would be better.
"West Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of the contiguous United States. West Quoddy Head overlooks Quoddy Narrows, a strait between Canada and the United States." Wikipedia West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
Did I mention that Basswood doesn't like to wear shoes?
We were at the coast for only a short while when we got the call that my brother-in-law was in serious condition and we needed to head home and get my wife and the girls and drive to Texas. We headed home immediately, stopping once to sleep for a couple of hours when I got so tired I started seeing things coming up out of the road. Our trip to New England really was a road trip. If you allow 12 hours a day for driving for the days we were gone, we averaged over 50 miles an hour; and I do not speed.
(My brother-in-law Johan van der Colff did die about 18 days later from the injuries he received when the medical helicopter he was working in crashed.)