Bob and I relish cruises on the open seas as they provide a way to disconnect from our ordinarily busy lives. In the past, that meant leaving Gulliver and Tagalong behind, parked somewhere safe to give us peace of mind.
All that changed when we were looking for the easiest and best way to get around Lake Champlain to relocate from Burlington, Vermont, to Michigan.
As we learned in Virginia and Maine, it pays to have insiders who know the area well. That also proved true in Vermont. While discussing our route options with Jim and Kelly, friends who live in the Burlington area, they suggested we take a ferry across the lake.
A Fresh Idea
When you drive a big rig that spans 57 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.25 feet tall, the thought of driving it onto a ferry typically doesn’t cross your mind. We had never considered such a thing, thinking our rig way too big to put on a boat. But Jim and Kelly told us semi-trucks cross the lake that way all the time.
We looked further into the possibility, and Bob even called the ferry service. Sure enough, they could take us and would measure our combined vehicle length when we arrived to determine the cost. It looked like we’d be out $80 to $90 to take this route, but it would save us significant time, fuel, and wear and tear on our vehicles from the bumpy roads down and around the lake. We were sold.
Window of Opportunity
On our scheduled day of departure from the campground, rain threatened our journey. We avoid driving in rain whenever possible because doing so forces water into the trailer around the slideouts. Checking and rechecking the weather, we decided leaving by 8 a.m. would give us the best window for the least amount of rain. So, we busied ourselves with getting the trailer ready and hooking up to Gulliver.
After hitting the road at about 7:40, we drove a half hour to the ferry station, encountering a few drizzles on the way but no major downpour. Elation flashed across our faces as we pulled into the station and saw a FedEx truck in front of us. If the truck could cross on a ferry, we knew we could as well.
We checked in and got measured and were charged only $55.65 — a bargain as far as we were concerned. Told to pull into lane five, to the left of the FedEx truck, we obeyed, expecting to have to wait 15 minutes for the next ferry.
A dock worker waved at the FedEx truck to board, followed by a line of cars. We thought the outfit could only take one big, heavy vehicle per ferry load. But then the worker waved us on and ushered us to park directly behind the FedEx truck.
Just like that, Tagalong was on a cruise, experiencing beautiful views and refreshing breezes as the rain held off and the skies grew brighter. Although the journey was short-lived, taking only about 15 minutes, it was unique and rewarding. And now we know ferries are not out of the question for our travels.
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This is the travel blog of full-time RVers Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong.