Man On A Mission Takes The Ferry

man on a mission 1It was a raining day in May when a very different looking truck pulled through the tolls at the Cape May ferry terminal.  The cab was 1947 restored antique truck, but the back was something different. Inside, Mark McBride, admitted he wasn’t from John Edwards & Sons as the cab label indicated, but rather a dedicated mechanic from Lexington, IL who restores and custom rebuilds old trucks for people around the country.

This truck, however, was special. It was his, and was in its third year of service raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Once a year, McBride sets out across the country and challenges supporters to donate a penny for every mile he covers. His first year, he covered 3,500 miles. In 2016, he put on 6,650 miles in fourteen days travelling from California to Vegas. This year, he’s doing the Northeast corridor from Bangor, Maine to Key West, FL with the goal of close to 8,700 miles, or a desired donation of $87 for the entire journey.  Next year, he has his sights set on Alaska, and he’s sure his truck can do it.

His truck states he’s a man on a mission, but he’s part of a larger Convoy for Kid’s truckMan on a mission 2 show held on Father’s Day in Mason City, Illinois to raise funds for the same St. Jude’s cause.  McBride’s cross country trek is his way of raising funds plus awareness on a broader playing field.  He tries to stay on older roads that match the age of his truck, but loves ferries so took the relatively modern Cape May-Lewes Ferry, circa 1964, to give both himself and the truck a bit of a break on the raining afternoon he cruised through Jersey.

The truck does additional service throughout the year hauling various payloads McBride books, but during his annual treks for St. Jude’s, his own custom built wooden camper goes on the back to house a small bed, kitchenette, and water stores inside. The entire camper dome comes off when the truck is in regular working mode.

To learn more about McBride’s mission, visit his Facebook site,  or write to Wrenchit2001@yahoo.com. Meanwhile look for him on the by-ways of I95 en route to Florida!

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Two Generations of Canadian RV’ers

canada-mapThere’s no doubt that each day after November 1, there’s an increasing chill in the air. We can measure it here at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry by the number of Canadian RV’ers increasingly making their way southbound. Perhaps because they have farther to travel, or more likely because it’s just colder at their home latitude, they are frequently some of our earliest snowbirds heading to warmer parts of the North American continent.

On one particular Monday in early November, two of the earliest RVs to show up for the 2:30 departure out of Cape May were different generations of first time Ferry travelers from Canada, each sporting very different types of recreational vehicles.

lorne-and-sue-green-and-charlieLorne and Sue Green along with their border collie Charlie live year round in their Class A RV.  Even when at home in Manitoba, they have forsaken mortgage payments for full-time living in their truly “mobile” home.  On this voyage, they left Canada on Sept. 28 to ride small roadways  while strategically working their way toward a family wedding in Florida in late November.

Each year, the Greens stay on the road for  182 days to enjoy various state parks throughout the United States.  For the remainder of the year, they run a mini-golf area in Manitoba.  They write an RV blog, a placecalledaway.blogspot.com and had visited Atlantic City just before coming down to  Cape May to cross the Delaware Bay on the Ferry.

Soon after they arrived, a much smaller graphic van came on campus with Simon Bertrand from Montreal in the driver’s seat. When asked to classify the vehicle,  Lorne smiled and noted that it certainly wasn’t a stealth RV, plain vans used by some RV’ers that aren’t clearly recognized at first sight as a mobile home with a resident inside.

graphic-van

Simon, found eating lunch from the Grab ‘N Go in the terminal, told us he was on a self-proclaimed sabbatical from his latest entrepreneurial venture selling Kombucha Tea. His 2001 van was updated with its fun design by a muralist friend, and now also sports solar panels on the roof for energy self-sufficiency. Lorne Green admitted he was simon-bertrandplanning a similar solar installation when he next stops in Arizona for RV refurbishments post-winter.  “It makes a big difference,” Lorne stated.

Unlike the Greens, Bertrand’s voyage is a perhaps once in a lifetime adventure, planned in three separate stages rather than one, long extended voyage. His idea is to be away for several months at a time, and fly home in between stages for holidays and other planned  return visits to Quebec.

Both Bertrand and the Greens spoke of their desire for laid back fun rides that let them see nature and enjoy different views though one team is retired and the other still active in a unique career.

Thanks to both for taking the time to not only ferry across the bay with us, but give us some insights into different types of RV travel. We wish them both a  warm, easy winter and hope to see them again perhaps next year!

Author: Rhona Bronson, Director of Marketing, DRBA