Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bay of Fundy

Camped at Five Islands Campground in Nova Scotia last  night right on the rim of the Ocean. Beautiful spot where we watched folks dig for crabs during the low tides. When we arrived the tide was on it's way out, so we were able to see it at its lowest point. In the bottom right photo the tide was out past the islands in the distance.

We never did see the tide at its highest as it was around midnight when that happened. Listened to the waves lap on the seawall outside our abode most of the nite. They were so loud. It sounded like they were coming right up to our RV. As you can see in the next photo, our RV was parked about 30 ft from the edge of the cliff and you can see where the water has eroded the cliff bank. I just knew we would be swept away by morning!

One of the islands in our view (island on right with a hole on the side) was bought by a wealthy man from California and he built a 2 million dollar house on it to draw artists and eccentrics to the island, but no one is coming so he now has it on the market for 5 million.  If we had stayed around for a few days I would have inflated our kayak and paddled out to it to explore. But no, we trudged on the next port of call at Hopewell Rocks.

Stay tuned for Hopewell in the next adventure . . .

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cape Breton Bound

We stayed another night at Wal-Mart in Amherst, Nova Scotia sitting amid about four other RV's on the way to Cape Breton. A long drive down a coastal road thru Pictou and onto Cape Breton the following day. 
However, we spent last night in Adventures East Campground outside of Baddeck, NS on Cape Breton. It was a small campground where we were able to do the laundry and met a lady from Quebec who gave us some tips on where to go on the island, but of course we didn't follow them. I wish we had followed the tip about just going to the Cheticamp area of Cape Breton instead of traveling the whole route. Again this was a rough route in our little RV and very long. I managed to get off a few good pics, but I'm not sure the drive and wear and tear was worth it. Guy was not feeling well on the trip around the Cape. He had a loose tooth that was killing him. 

We did finally find a place this morning to have a wonderful breakfast of blueberry pancakes at a roadside restaurant, Lobster Galley Restaurant & St. Ann's Motel, at the very beginning of the Cabot Trail which was on the counterclockwise route. The restaurant sits right on the St Ann's Harbour as you leave Hwy 105, and this is where I spotted my first ever bald eagle in flight. He flew within 30 feet of where we sat overlooking the harbour. Amazing! The above photos are of the beginning trip around the Cabot Trail. Photos below are various sights including a beautiful church, mountain peaks, valleys and ocean. Unbelievably beautiful place! You can see different atmospheres in the pictures depending on the time of day they were taken. Early morning light created a hazy, moody glow and the afternoon brought blue skies with patches of fluffy clouds. We even experienced a bit of rain. All this in one day on the Cabot Trail.

Tonight we will spend the evening in a Wal-Mart at Port Hawksbury where Guy did pull his tooth. He's going to have to break down and have some mouth work done when we get back home. He's put it off long enough. And Whoopee, I have wifi here at Wal-Mart again. Nova Scotia is really good about putting CAP stations across the area to allow tourists to get wifi and the Wal-Marts are great places for hooking on. It is actually called Nova Scotia Community Access Program, or NSCAP for short.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

On Prince Edward Island . . . 

Or PEI, is quiet a different place than I am used to. We boondocked the first night at a Walmart in Charlottetown just after we crossed over the long bridge. It was late to try securing a spot at a campground. There were probably 10 other RV's parked beside us - a very popular Wal-Mart. Even at that, it was rather quiet, so we managed a good night's sleep.

The first full day was spent roaming around the Eastern section - thru the countryside mostly and visiting lighthouses. One of the lighthouses was on the eastern most point of PEI. I spotted a sign that had End of World on one side and Beginning of World on the other side. There was also a museum here as well as a place to pick up souvenirs.

Prince Edward National Park provided some beautiful scenery. Dalvay-by-the-Sea Resort is a beautiful victorian resort where Prince William and Kate spent time at in 2011. I took a picture of Guy standing by a cardboard cutout of the couple that was prominently displayed on the porch. The Cavendish area was amazing with a beautiful beach, sand dunes, bike trails and of course the Anne of Green Gables Museum.

Last night we stayed at Twin Shores Campground at Darnley Basin It's  right on the ocean and very large for a campground, nearly 500 sites to choose from. We had a perfect site overlooking the basin. The campground is divided up with half on one side of the road and a wonderful view of the basin below with hiking along the waterfront. The other half is across the road in a grove of trees. This section is for those who want to be near the swimming beach. Even tho' it is large, you can easily get around. There are shuttles that go from one end of the campground to the other and run every few minutes. You could enjoy bingo and movies at the rec center as well as tennis, swimming and many other activities. It was nice getting a good clean bath after boondocking the last two nights. 

Traversing the North Cape Coastal Drive of PEI . . .

Of course you can't see one side without exploring the other end of PEI. West Point Lighthouse area has numerous large windmills. The Wind Energy Institute of Canada is a wind energy research station. I took some photos of one windmill that was dissembled and laying on the ground. I think the blades are called whale blades and they are humongous. The engine is large enough to walk around in. 

Some Thoughts . . .

After spending two days on PEI, I can sum this place up in a few words. Potatoes, crows, wheat, Star of David on every house, no police, roads with potholes so big they shake your RV apart, road numbers change at every intersection and no idea of what road you are on till you have already made the turn, no restaurants, used car lots and garages everywhere. The local people are super nice but they can't give directions, so you can imagine we spent some time being lost. And you better be up to date on your metric system, because there is no such thing as gallons or miles. The money looks like something my grandchildren would be playing with - plastic and colorful. It is just a completely different lifestyle than we are accustomed to back home, but it is good to see other places so you can appreciate where you come from. I took tons of photos and it was really hard to select just a few for this blog.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More pictures of main sightings as we traveled toward Canada. A beautiful state to drive through.

Border Crossing . . .

Dropped off our weapons in Calais, ME at a little gun shop for our crossing of the border. Down East Pawn & Gun Shop, great place to store anything with no questions asked. Crossing the border was a breeze. We were told that southerners would be searched thoroughly, but we got through without a hitch. They even let us bring some beer and wine across. We stopped on the road earlier to take our confederate tag off the front of the RV to try to blend in better, but I'm sure the NC tag was a dead give-a-way. Maybe I shouldn't speak too early, as we have to go home eventually.

If you need a welcome center for information, just look for the question mark signs. They are everywhere. We met our first Canadian at a welcome center near Saint John. He spotted our NC license plate and struck up a conversation about the Smokies. He and some of his buddies rode their motorcycles down to the Smokey Mtns back in June and traveled the Dragon's Tail, a winding mountain road that draws thousands of motorcyclists each year. So nice to talk with him.

Gadgets are important when traveling . . .

Back in NH we had to pick up a new Garmin, but we found out that it was not pre-loaded with Canada as the girl behind the counter assured us. Also, our phones don't work up here. So back to Wal-Mart we go while stopping over in Sussex. Exchanging Garmin's was not easy since we had purchased it in the US, but after begging a while we were able to get that out of the way. While Guy dealed with that, I was busy picking up an el cheapo phone that we could use here. We went with Virgin as a carrier since they are also available at home. Their carriers and satelites are totally different here. The ladies at this Wal-Mart worked really well with us - some super nice folks.

I remember a time when a GPS and cell phones were unheard of but it is really hard in today's world to live without these two once you get accustomed to using them. Especially the GPS. It is a real strain trying to depend on maps totally with our modern road system. Heading to Moncton, NB tomorrow and then over to Prince Edward Island.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Acadia National Park, Maine

Traveling Thru Arcadia . . .

While going through Acadia Ntl Park today, some confusion as the signs were not really clear, but after a bad start we finally got turned around right and saw some fantastic scenery. The view from Cadillac Mtn was incredible as were the rocky cliffs along the ocean. Although it was very crowded trying to drive the RV around the narrow road, we made it through in flying colors.

Timberland Acres Campground . . .

We are staying at Timberland Acres in Trenton tonight, just outside of Acadia National Park. This is a huge park. It is clean, though not fancy like some of the parks closer to the National Park, it was relatively cheap compared to the others nearby and we were very lucky to land a spot as all the parks were just about to capacity. And of course there was bingo at the rec center. My advice if you are heading this way during July or August, please make reservations ahead of time. We are flying by the seat of the pants on this trip by not making plans beforehand. So far we have been able to stay in a campground every other night and boondock in between. The weather is great, meaning we don't have to use A/C or heat so boondocking without solar power is easy to do. We have only used the generator a couple of times on this trip.

Exercising . . .

Got my exercise in at the campground this evening. Guy can only walk short spurts as his leg gives him a fit if he pushes it too far. He has a blocked artery in his right leg and keeps putting off surgery. For him the surgery would be very dangerous because he only has one kidney. So he tries to walk a little with me and then lets me go on ahead of him when he has had enough.

Tomorrow we make our last leg of the trip toward the Canadian border at Calais, ME.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

From Brattleboro, VT to Maine

Brattleboro, Vermont for the night . . .

Traveling through Albany NY to Brattleboro VT we settled down for the night at Hidden Acres Campground on Hwy 5. Nothing special about it other than a good place to stop for the night and get a much needed shower. Site was level and the folks were nice at the campground. Photos below are of the campground office, our site and a nice playground for kids. As you can see, it was an overcast day.

Rough roads in NY State . . .

But I have to say that NY's roads leave a lot to be desired. They were shaking Lexi apart. Whether on the interstate or back roads, you need to be prepared. We left the interstate to get a feel for the local countryside. Only when we got to Vermont did we find decent roads. I literally found screws in the floor after stopping for the night from the wooden molding surrounding the TV. 

GPS died . . .

Our Garmin had to be replaced at a Wal-Mart. The other one has died and this one is newer and larger. We will see how it does. If I could have found a Camping World I would have tried one of their new Magellan's. 

Eating Maine Lobster . . . 

We traveled up the Maine coast and spent most of the day trying to find a restaurant which was almost an impossibility. You would think Maine would be full of eateries. Not so easy to do with an RV to park. We did stop near Woolrich at a Taste of Maine Restaurant. I was dying to try lobster for the first time. I didn't know how to eat it so I chose a lobster seafood roll. If I had't been so hungry, I probably wouldn't have finished it. Lobster is not my cup of tea. Ugh! Some of the other items on the menu looked like they would have been more tasty. As they say, "to each his own", and I found out that my own is not lobster.

A Little Maine Architecture . . .

Wal-Mart tonight . . .

We are spending a few nights at Wally World in between campground nights to save a few bucks and tonight is at a lovely new Wal-Mart in Rockport/Camden, Maine area, right on Hwy 1 - very friendly staff and level parking lot. We will visit Acadia National Park tomorrow. Hoping to see the ocean finally. So far we've just seen some fishing villages and docks.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finally on the road . . . 

After a two month delay waiting for Camping World to replace or A/C unit and repair the generator we are on the road. We traveled up I-81 through the Shanandoah Valley to overnight at a Flying J truckstop in Winchester, VA. This has got to be the busiest truckstop we have ever boondocked at. All night long you could hear the trucks enter and leave. We wondered why we were practically the only RVer's here with the exception of one other rig and now I know why - it's too noisy to sleep. Of course it doesn't help that I indulged in one of their energy french vanilla coffees late in the day.

Harper's Ferry . . .

We made a stop at Harper's Ferry today and I was able to snap a few photos. It was early in the day and nothing was open but this is a beautiful place I would like to return to and explore. So much history and scenery to see.