Sunday, August 29, 2010

*END* of PEI trip- drove home from Campobello

We left Campobello in the fog Thursday morning, after a very enjoyable stay there, crossing the bridge into the US. Since we were in the area (ha ha) we had to head to Freeport ME for a browse at the main LL Bean store. It's become so large they've had to split into 3 buildings now. Fun to browse anyway, and we could have spent a lot there.

On Friday morning we headed over to I90 and just drove. We went off the highway for an overnight stay at a campground we have enjoyed before (Adirondack Gateway), and then back to I90 Saturday for the last push home. Along the way a transport truck ran off the road, through a guardrail, and landed upside down on a road that crosses under I90. Don't know if anyone was hurt, but it tied up traffic for quite a while. It took us almost an hour to get through the stop-and-go traffic past the accident site.

At Niagara we somewhat accidentally crossed at the Rainbow Bridge instead of Queenston, and that actually worked well. Kind of a small-town feel there, and a $3 token from the Duty-free store got us and the trailer over the bridge, instead of the $10 it would have cost elsewhere. No real customs hassles at either crossing this trip.

We got to Curt and Jo-Anne's about 4pm to pick up Heidi and have a short visit, then home about 6:30.

What a great trip this was! We did a number of things differently than previous trips, and except for Mt Carleton park the changes all enhanced the trip for us. Can't hardly wait to go again!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Campobello Island

Yesterday we took the (free) govt ferry from the NB mainland at L'etete to Deer Island, then the (not free) ferry from Deer Island to Campobello. Another gorgeous day in paradise!





We got set up at Herring Cove prov park (lots of vacancies) by noon, then went out and toured a bit. We stopped at Roosevelt's Campobello "cottage" for a free tour. What an amazing place!






After a bit more road touring, we stopped at a whale watching place, and they had a small boat leaving in about 1/2 hr. So we went out on it, just the two of us and the captain. It was a great 2 hr tour, from 5-7 pm on a beautiful blue late afternoon. Of course we have lots more pictures than shown here. The boat was 26 ft long, and felt pretty small out there in the large rolling swells that were coming in.







Today we had a slow start, then went out for a driving tour of the Island. At the north end is East Quoddy Light aka Head Harbour Light lighthouse, we were just off there last night in the boat. Saw some more whale spouts and rolls from there today, very nice place to stop. After a tough morning touring, we stopped at one of the two (!) island restaurants for lunch. Cath had a small bowl of fantastic lobster stew, really a chowder with just lobster, cream and butter. Then fresh blueberry pie for the main course. Gord had a bowl of (also fantastic) seafood chowder, similar to the lobster except a mix of various things, and a fishburger. All was reallly yummy!

It's starting to cloud over today, supposed to start raining overnight. We'll be heading out tomorrow morning, across the border into Maine. Hopefully we'll get through the rain quickly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fundy Trail Parkway (FTP) day

This morning was somewhat overcast and cool when we started along the Fundy Trail Parkway tour. It cleared up nicely and went up to about 22C. The wind was cool, but nice for our bit of hiking.

Last time we drove the FTP road, it ended at the Big Salmon River. There was a footpath over the river, and we had taken a challenging hike that way, several hours long. Today though, we could drive across the river, and we didn't feel up to a challenging hike. The new bridge over the river must have been quite a project, as there is a huge rock cut on the other side with still a steep incline on the road up from the bridge. No wonder the bridge was a real obstacle to extending the road.







Eventually, the vision is a scenic coastal road that winds its way right to Fundy Park. There's already a lot of construction going on past the current end of the road. What a drive that will be!

We'll be heading out tomorrow, aiming to get camped at Herring Cove prov park on Campobello Island.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

PEI to St Martins NB

What a great week! Almost no rain during the days. The 4 of us (Cathie, Gord, Nan, Pat) visited Meagan's at their cottage yesterday afternoon. 

We left PEI this morning, early but reluctantly. Another gorgeous day. We were heading to St Martins, but instead of taking the main roads, we headed along the Fundy coast from Moncton towards Alma, then out through Fundy Park to Hwy 1 via #114. The road to Alma was good, and heading north in the park. Once out of the park though, the road out to the highway was rough! Paved but very lumpy. After a short while on #1, we exited on #111 towards St Martins. Again very rough in places. A pretty drive in places, but we were glad to get to St Martins.

After some trouble unhitching, we got set up on the waterfront at Century Farm c.g. in St Martins, where we've camped a couple of times before. Hard to tell from the picture, but the water is about 50 yards from the trailer.




Today we'll just be relaxing and enjoying the day. Tomorrow we'll visit the Fundy Trail park, where you can drive, hike or cycle right along overlooking Fundy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Still in PEI

Thursday we had the traditional lobster feast, homecooked at Nancy's. They just taste different out here. I suppose not unlike how a hotdog burned over an open fire tastes great when camping (but the lobster really is much better!).



Friday we just all did our things. Pat and Nancy were at work, the rest of us just bummed around. Cath and I went to the Playhouse theater in Victoria last evening to see Rod Beattie perform "Letters from Wingfield Farm". We've see most of his episodes before, but this is the first time we've seen one live. It's a very cozy theater in Victoria, just right for a performance like this. In Victoria on our way to the play, a fellow was walking at the side of the road towards the theater, and half-jokingly we said "there's Rod!". And it was. No limos here.

It's another beautiful sunny day today, after some rain overnight. Very obliging of the weather gods. We're heading out to Meagan's cottage for a bbq supper tonight, with Nan and Pat.









 Tomorrow morning we'll be leaving, early if not bright, heading along the Fundy coast to St Martins for a couple of nights, then on to Herring Cove prov park on Campobello Island for a night or two. Then it will be into the US, and heading towards home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fun times in PEI

We've been camped in Nancy and Pat's driveway for a couple of nights now. Great weather still!

Yesterday (Wed) Nan, Cath and Meagan had a ladies day out, while Clare and Gord looked after the twins (oh, and poor Pat was at work!). The ladies went on a shopping expedition, then recovered with High Tea at Dalvey-by-the-Sea hotel.




Last evening we all went for a sail around Charlottetown harbour, courtesy of Pat's brother Kurt. It was a beautiful warm evening, with just enough wind to fill the sails.

The twins had fun steering the boat ( a 36 ft sailboat).






Tonight is the scheduled lobster dinner, a tradition when on PEI (any excuse will do, says Nancy).



Monday, August 16, 2010

(almost) 2 days on PEI

What a great couple of days these have been, Beautiful weather, some cloud and light sprinkles of rain this evening but otherwise just great.

Yesterday we stopped at a nearby seafood market, got 2 lbs of mussels for supper. Cathie just had to get some Malpeque oysters to try. She had two of them raw:




I waited for the cooked versions. Supper was the mussels, and the oysters cooked with some noodles.

Today was gorgeous, blue sky, up to 24C. We hit the beach with Meagan's family. They can walk to a large sand beach from their cottage, so we joined them there.



Zoe was pretty brave, as long as somebody was holding on. Quinn wasn't so easy in the water, but loves the sand.

This evening Gord and Clare went out on a boat for some "deep sea" fishing. I think the deepest we fished in was about 75 feet. The captain tried to get us into mackerel and cod. We caught lots of mackerel (I think everybody caught at least 10), but no cod.



The deckhand (captain's son) filleted all the mackerel, and we got quite a bit to bring home.



Tomorrow we will be moving to camp in Nancy's driveway. Meagan and co are coming in for afternoon tea (and mackerel!).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Camped at Cabot Beach Park PEI

Today we had a pretty short drive, from Kb park to PEI. Another blue-sky day, although warmer and more humid than the last few days. We've signed up here at Cabot Beach Provincial park for 2 nights, until we see what the plans are for the rest of the week.

We'll head over to Adamsway Cottages soon, to see if Meagan and family got there ok. Their cottage is only a 10 minute drive from our campsite.

Cabot Beach park is north of Kensington, near Malpeque. It's well out of the busy Cavendish area, feels well away from things. However, we got a hi-speed Internet connection with our Bell "stick", so will be able to post pictures later.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hi-speed today!

We took a trip to Miramichi today, about 45 km north of our site, and got a hi-speed connection again. 

We had another nice hike along the harbour trail today - took our morning coffee, found us a picnic table a couple of km along, and just watched the boat, birdlife and tourist activities. Another bluebird day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A day trip from Kb

After a slow start this morning, we took another nice bike ride along the shore trail from the campground. A beautiful day, up to 23C in the afternoon, blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

After lunch we decided to head to the Eco-Centre near Bouctouche, about 50km south of here. This was set up by the Irving oil company, with a boardwalk extending 2 km along a 12 km sand dune that stretches across Bouctouche Bay. It was still a beautiful day, and an amazing walk all along the boardwalk. Lots of people using the beach there, sunning and wading in the shallow water.





After our long walk we enjoyed a treat at a nearby takeout place - 2 "real" lobster rolls (grilled hot dog buns stuffed with lobster meat - no lobster salad here), 2 milkshakes, and a small order of poutine to split - the first time we've ever had it. A great way to cap a great day!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kouchibouguac (Kb) park

We stayed at Kb park in 2006 for a couple of nights, and have always wanted to come back. The sites are all good, and there are extensive hiking and cycling trails, some 60 km of cycling trails, and there's a connection to the Trans Canada trail that runs through the area. Unless you make reservations you won't get an electrical site, so come prepared to rough it if, like us, you don't usually reserve ahead. As long as you don't need an electrical hookup though, there are generally lots of sites available, as it's a large campground.



The little bit of bike trail we've been on runs right along the shoreline, connecting the campground to various beaches and hiking trails. The area is quite flat, so makes for easy cycling or walking. Very pleasant.



This morning we cycled along this section for 2 hrs, then drove over to visit a nearby fishing port where the boats were coming in with their catch of small lobster. The claws weren't banded either, so maybe cannery lobster?



It's cool here today, with isolated showers. Except for the showers, it's great weather for more active activities like hiking and biking, so we like it.

The main down side with the park is the cost of visiting our very own National parks. The sites aren't too bad, at $27.40 per night for unserviced, $5 more for electrical. However the day use fee is on top of that. Here that's another $7.50 per day, each! We purchased an annual family pass again instead, which gets us in to any National Park from now until the end of Aug 2011. One pleasant surprise is that the annual pass now covers entrance to National Historic Sites, which used to cost even more. That just changed in the last month or so, likely because attendance at Nat'l parks has been way down this year.

Cost griping aside, this is a great park and we recommend it highly as a multi-day destination park. The price seems more reasonable when you consider the setting and facilities provided here.






Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camped at Kouchibouguac Nat'l Park until Sunday morning

We cut short our stay at Mt Carleton. Nice park but the hiking there is too rough for us these days. Plus there were still Black Flies bugging us here!





We do have (slow) cell service here, but no hookups, so batteries are limited, and the Internet connection is slow. We likely won't be doing more updates until we're out somewhere and can get a faster connection, and use the car battery.

We moved to Kouchibouguac (Kb) National Park today and have booked through Saturday night, site 155. It's been a gorgeous day, with more in the forecast.