Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Oh, Canada!

 7/3 - 7/9/2022 - Calais, ME to St. Andrews, NB, 22 miles, stayed at Oceanfront Camping for 6 nights, c $58/night

7/9 - 7/12/2022 - St. Andrews, NB to Moncton, NB, 154 miles, stayed at Stonehurst Golf Course and Trailer Park for 3 nights, c$172.50

7/12 - 7/7/14/2022 - Moncton, NB to Glenholme, NS, 100 miles, stayed at Elm River RV Park,for 2 nights, c$60/night

7/14 - 7/18/2022 - Glenholme, NS to Hammond Plains, NS, 68 miles, stayed at Woodhaven RV Park of Halifax, for 4 nights, c$60/night

7/18 - 7/22/2022 - Hammond Plains,NS to Amherst, NS, 120 miles, stayed at Loch Lomond RV Park for 4 nights, c$50/night

7/22 - 7/28/2022 - Amherst, NS to Kensington, PEI, 76 miles, stayed at Twin Shores Camping Area for six nights, $610.10

7/28 - 7/31/2022 - Kensington, PEI to Amherst, NS, 76 miles, stayed at Loch Lomond RV Park for 3 nights, c$50/night

7/31 - 8/3/2022 - Amherst, NS to Hopewell Cape, NB, 66 miles, stayed at Ponderosa Pines Family Campground for 3 nights, c $170

Our First Month

One month down, and one month to go. Seems like we’ve been here forever, yet time has flown, and we’re halfway through our trip through Canada. Of course, it would take many months to see all of it, but we have focused on the Maritimes and the drive along the St. Lawrence River to Port Huron, since we were already on the US east coast.  The people are lovely, the scenery is breathtaking, the weather is cool(er), and I’ve had my fill of seafood, even 🦞!

 I’m sitting now, overlooking the Bay of Fundy, which has the biggest tide change in the world, from high to low tide, up to 53 feet, twice a day.  

We started in St. Andrews, a wonderful summer seaside town on Passamaquoddy Bay, just minutes across the border from Calais, Maine. We stayed for a week, exploring the waterfront and walkable little town, with its white-steepled churches and cemeteries, lighthouse, gardens and changing tides.  The only thing that stays open year-round is a school for special needs students.  Like many places, this used to be a playground for the rich.  After completing the Canadian Pacific Railroad, Sir William Van Horne built his summer home here on Minister’s island, which is only accessible when the tide is out.  Even FDR’s summer home, Campobello, is on a island in the bay, accessible only by boat. It’s funny to me that an American President had a home in Canada. Our RV Park was right on the water, so we could watch the tides go in and out every day.  






Next we moved to Moncton, which has several parks with observation areas to see the tide coming in.  It’s called a tidal bore, and looks like a small tidal wave, the water comes rolling in SO fast.  The soil is reddish brown, and the tide is always churning it, so it looks like chocolate milk.  Brave souls will ride the wave in rafts or kayaks to get the full effect.  We also drove to Shediac, the self proclaimed “Lobster Capitol of the World”

Near Halifax, we visited two beautiful places.  First, Peggy’s Cove, which only has about 40 permanent residents.  The tiny town is picturesque and known for its lighthouse on the rocks, which is used EVERYWHERE as the symbol of Nova Scotia.  It used to be a post office that visitors could go into, but now is closed, and stands majestically against the sea with tourists climbing all over the rocks.  On the way, we stopped at the Memorial for SwissAir flt. 111 that went down off the coast in 1998.


The next day, we drove to Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, founded in 1753, and is today the best preserved example of a planned British Colonial settlement in North America. It was founded on fishing and canning and is still Canada’s largest secondary fish-processing plant. The Bluenose II, a replica of the original fishing schooner and racer, is based there, and visitors can sail in the harbor on it.  The streets are narrow and hilly.  The houses are colorful Victorians with black and white churches, and the day we were there, artists were creating art at various locations around town, drawing inspiration from their surroundings, en plain air, and selling them at the boardwalk.  Lovely!





Our next big stop was in PEI, where LM Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, was born and raised.  We travelled around the island to several of her historic sites, and marveled at how rural this island still is.  They are known for their potatoes, and since Vodka is made from potatoes, they have a distillery.  Charlottetown is their biggest city, but we stayed across the island near Cavendish, and enjoyed the red-sand beaches and cliffs, lighthouses, gorgeous sunsets, and a traditional lobster dinner at New Glasgow Lobster Suppers.  I had a one-pound lobster with all-you-can-eat mussels and seafood chowder.  Bill had ham.  





Yesterday was New Brunswick Day, a provincial holiday, in which all the parks have FREE admission.  So we visited the Hopewell Rocks both at high tide, around 2:00 pm, and low tide at 6:30 pm.  At low tide, visitors can walk on the sea floor around and through the sea caves and carvings.  They have fun names like Elephant Rock, ET, and the Flower Pots.  But you have to watch out for the rising tide! There’s no warning , and you don’t want to get stuck out there.  




Sunday, July 17, 2022

Where Have We Been? Part II

 5/9 to 5/17/2022 - Ronks, PA to Kutztown, PA, 52 miles, stayed 7 nights at Pine Hill RV Park, $372

5/17 to 5/20/2022 - Kutztown, PA to Mt. Pocono, PA, 64 miles, stayed 3 nights at Mt Pocono Campground, $200

5/20 to 5/23/2022 - Mt Pocono, PA to Catskill, NY, 138 miles, stayed 3 nights at Brookside Campground, $190

5/23 to 5/26/2022 - Catskill, NY to Lake George, NY, 97 miles, stayed 3 nights at Whippoorwill Motel and Campground, $310

5/26 to 6/3/2022 - Lake George, NY to Peru, NY, 95 miles, stayed 8 nights at Iroquois Campground and RV Park, $301

6/3 to 6/10/2022 - Peru, NY to South Hero, VT, 66 miles, stayed 7 nights at Apple Island Resort, $305.10

6/10 to 6/14/2022 - South Hero, VT to St. Johnsbury, VT, 93 miles, stayed 4 nights at Moose River Campground for $225

6/14 to 6/18/2022 - St. Johnsbury to North Hampton, NH, 151 miles, stayed 4 nights at Sea Coast Campground and RV Park, $165

6/18 to 6/21/2022 - North Hampton, NH to Freeport, ME, 53 miles, stayed 3 nights at Cedar Haven Family Campground, $237.40

6/21 to 6/29/2022 - Freeport, ME to Hermon, ME, 108 miles, stayed 7 nights at Pumpkin Patch RV Resort, $294

6/29/2022 to 7/3/2022 - Hermon, ME to Calais, ME, 105 miles, stayed 4 nights at Calais Motor Inn, $25/night 


Vermont has been on my bucket list forever.  It is SO green, in so many shades of green.  There are ferries to cross Lake Champlain, but we drove north and crossed a bridge, then came down the middle through some islands. We stayed at South Hero, VT, a short distance from Burlington and met some lovely people who took us out on their boat. It was the beginning of June, and still too cool for me to wear shorts.


We were lucky to explore Burlington during their Jazz Festival. There was live music everywhere, arts and craft vendors around the square, and a great pedestrian mall through the middle of town. We also took a day trip out to Stowe, VT.  This is the quintessential village you think of when you think of fall foliage. It was still lovely in June. We explored Smuggler’s Notch, where legend says traders stowed their goods in caves to  continue trading with Canada during an embargo against France and England during the Napoleonic Wars. We drove up to the Trapp Family Lodge, where the Von Trapps from Sound of Music fame immigrated and settled.  Their family cemetery is on site.  Their views of the Green Mountains looks like Austria, complete with highland cattle. We chose not to stop at Ben and Jerry’s factory since they don’t give tours anymore.  Instead, we had a creamy maple (huge vanilla soft serve cone with a hint of maple.) We even visited a sugar house and learned about the process of tapping trees and making syrup, and bought a pint of liquid gold.






After Vermont, we got back to the coast in North Hampton, New Hampshire ( a little nod to the village we lived in in England.). It’s a great beach town with a sand sculpture contest, a bandstand for live music, shops, and a old fashioned arcade, called Funarama. We met the best man from our wedding there almost exactly 34 years after our wedding day. He and his spouse introduced me to “fluffy clam chowder” with lumps of lobster in the soup. They also told us we must visit historic Portsmouth, NH.  Strawberry Banke is the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire settled by Europeans, and the earliest example remaining today (gorgeous colonial homes!).  Their church had notable members and visitors, and their port was lively - a great place to eat and people watch.





We made our way up the Maine coast, staying in Freeport, the home of LLBean. We found the oldest tombstone in the oldest cemetery dated 1776, and others marked as soldiers of the American Revolution and War of 1812. We finally rested in Hermon, ME for a week, reconnecting with friends from Idaho.  Penny and I went on a bog boardwalk, a mile-long raised walk through peat and moss, trees and pitcher plants - with LOTS of mosquitoes!  We enjoyed browsing antique shops which, I think, are just as good as museums for telling the local history of an area. For our anniversary, we explored Bar Harbor and the rocky coast of Acadia National park before stopping at a lobster pound for a lobster dinner!









Our last US stop was in Calais, ME.  We stayed in the parking lot of a Motor Inn with full hook-ups while we collected our documentation and prepared to cross the border.  We downloaded the app called ArriveCAN, scanned our passports and COVID vaccine cards and waited until within 72 hours of crossing. Since we are hauling our house with us, we had to be sure to follow all the regulations for bringing food into Canada - absolutely no eggs or chicken of any kind, no seeds, most fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, and dirt. So I boxed up my small treasures from the last three years - driftwood from the Mississippi River, seashells, small pretty stones from the Oregon coast, pine cones, moss, and my few succulents and air plants, and mailed them to Brendan in Michigan. Hopefully they’ll arrive safely and survive. 

Really, we probably overdid it a little. they say getting into Canada is not as hard as coming back to the US, so this was good practice. We cleaned out our fridge and got wonderful new produce when we crossed.  We crossed on a Sunday, so there was very little traffic, and we sailed through in about five minutes. Even so, the guard asked twice about firearms, because we have Texas plates. I even had to give away my pepper spray in Maine. And it could have just been luck of the draw that they didn’t inspect us closer.  There was one other motorhome ahead of us, already parked to the side. The owners were sitting under a tree while two agents were putting on gloves to begin inspection.  ugh!