About campbellkat

I'm always trying out new things and here's my newest space to do just that. DorDar made me do this, Just blame them if this turns out all wrong and goes sideways somehow. I plan on using this space to show my photo's and share my travel stories. I'll throw in random daily thoughts and observations that make me happy, entertain me or lighten up my day. We'll see how it goes.

Boston Brown

 

After crossing the border we spent a few days in Bar Harbor, Maine.  What a great seaside town to wander around in.  It’s small on size, but big on tourism.  Cruise ships, restaurants everywhere, tourist trinkets, tshirts, and streets busy with people, so much fun there.  Lobster pounds, BBQ pits and more lobster.  Very similar to eastern Canada which is only a couple of hours away.  The trees are shedding their colors and will soon shed their leaves.  Awesome scenery as we drive to our different campgrounds.

Next stop was Boston.  We stayed at The Minuteman Campground (which is the closest campground to Boston).  You can tell we are not “city folk” as we were kind of shocked when we found out “closest” still means 2 hrs away (give or take) by public transport.  Drive, park, catch the train and return in rush hour traffic which the locals say starts around 4PM but you couldn’t really tell by me.  Holy crap is it busy on the roads.  There’s a good reason I have never lived in a major urban area.  NO THANKS!

Boston is brown, brick brown, red brick, brown brick brown.  It is not a brass and glass city like Vancouver or Toronto.  Rough streets, exposed man hole covers, road construction, old trains, old subway tunnels that need to be cleaned up a tad.  It has the feel of a working man’s city.  Very serious vibe, maybe the fact that is was windy and rainy added to the mood.  We took the Old Towne Trolley Tour which is a great way to see the sights, have a beer at Cheers, go to Quincy Market, or the site of the Boston Tea Party, follow the Freedom Trail, eat chowder, eat cheesecake, just eat something.  Don’t let the color fool you, there’s lots to see and do in this city!

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Busy Boston intersection.

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Boston brick and ornate clock at Quincy Market.

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Boston lights.

Bye Bye Canada, see you in 180 days!

And just like that our piece of the Circle that included eastern Canada has ended.  We circled back to Moncton and then Saint John, New Brunswick and hung out in the sun for a few days before venturing across the border into Maine.

No exciting stories to share, just our usual run of the day stuff.  We caught up on laundry, washed the outside of the trailer and the truck and ate all our food in the fridge and freezer.  We will be all neat, tidy and empty when we cross the border :-).  While we were in Moncton we drove out to Hopewell Provincial Park and saw the famous Hopewell Rock formations.  We got there in the rain AND at high tide so any picture taking was out of the question.  The Bay of Fundy is interesting, lots of red cliffs, rock outcroppings and muddy red water.  We also drove back over to Shediac and fished off the pier for mackerel.  We bought a couple of lobster off a boat for 1/2 the price of what you can buy them for in the store.  We had dinner with friends that used to live in CRiver.  It was great to catch up with them and see what they’ve been doing since moving out here.

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The Coastline of Hopewell Provincial Park and the muddy water of the Bay of Fundy near Moncton, NB.

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The Bay of Fundy with the rip tide line and the coast of Maine off in the distance.

We then left Moncton and headed to Saint John NB in preparation for heading across the border.  We updated our health plan, worked on my photo’s and blog.  Sat in the sun lots.  We got our air conditioner looked at and temporarily fixed.  There are no quarantees that the gas won’t leak out again, but it’s working for now.  The weather has turned warm and we are heading for warmer climates so we are glad to have it working.  We are going to need it we think.

I drove around one day and discovered Lepreau Falls.  It is about 30KM out of Saint John towards the border with Maine.  The Falls are nice and there is a day use park there, it wasn’t busy at all and would be a great place for a picnic.  It’s very scenic.  The area below the falls was used by rum smugglers in the 1920’s and 1930’s as they prepared to run rum out to the Bay of Fundy and sell to ships off shore from the USA.

That’s where we will be heading next.  Bar Harbor, Boston, New York City – LOOK OUT – we’ll be there soon!

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Lepreau Falls in Lepreau National Park between Saint John, NB and the border in to Maine.

Halifax – Cool Harbour, Cole Harbour and Peggy’s Cove!

Every Canadian hockey fan knows that Sidney Crosby hails from Cole Harbour which is in the suburbs of Halifax.  It’s NOT Halifax as he pointed out when asked where he was “from”.  Halifax Harbour  is a mix of industry, business and tourism.  Cruise ships, tug boats, freighters, yachts, marinas, museums, restaurants, bars, shopping.  A boardwalk stretches between Pier 21 and Casino Nova Scotia.  It’s 4km (about 10 blocks) of people watching, water watching, beverage drinking and food eating fun!

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Happy shoppers strolling thru the buildings along the Halifax Harbour – Sep 2017

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Reflection of the Halifax Harbour walkway in a window. I loved the old brick buildings along the boardwalk.

Parking was NOT fun.  One way streets.  Construction everywhere.  People everywhere.  Narrow Streets.  Finally after driving around for about 3 circles of the harbour I figured out how to enter a parking lot and gladly paid the daily fee of $16 for a few hours of harbour fun.

Speaking of parking:  We drove out to Peggy’s Cove (40KM from Halifax).  The most photographed lighthouse in the universe.  You know what that means?  It means there’s a kabillion people flocking to a small piece of rock to take a photo of themselves, their family, their friends, the lighthouse, the rocks, and the birds.  So when a kabillion people show up and there are only 300 parking spots there is a problem.  We couldn’t get within a mile of the place so settled for a drive around and left it at that.  Very scenic coastline and well worth taking the circle drive from Halifax.

We visited the Halifax Public Gardens.  Free entry and it’s close to The Citadel so you can see both places and only pay for one parking space.. haha.

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Cobequid Silver Thread Dahlia – Halifax Public Garden – Sep 2017

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Halifax Public Garden – Sep 2017

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Field of Daisies at Halifax Public Garden – Sep 2017

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Halifax Public Garden – Sep 2017

Stepping Back in Sydney, Nova Scotia!

After leaving Baddeck and the Cabot Trail we moved location to the Arm of Gold Campground just outside of Sydney, Nova Scotia.  The distance between Baddeck and Sydney is about 70KM.. haha… not a very long drive but we wanted to be near the city and check it out without driving back and forth to Baddeck.

We drove downtown, saw the giant fiddle at the Cruise Ship Terminal and watched people fish for mackerel off the pier there.  A fellow who fishes there all the time let a young oriental girl reel in the mackerel and then they left it on the pier while we watched a otter come up and whisk it away right in front of everyone.  The joy she exhibited while reeling in the fish, the amazement as a little critter scurried from behind the wall and grabbed the fresh catch and then ran off to feed his family was something that she and her friends will never forget.  What a simple gesture that meant so much.

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We drove out to Glace Bay and toured the Coal Mine and went on a tour beneath the sea in a coal tunnel.  It was dark, wet, and cramped.  I never want to go see that again.  I have such admiration for the men who made their living this way.  What a horrible job they had, with poor working conditions and low wages.

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We drove out to The Fortress of Louisbourg and wandered the grounds and the buildings.  It was free admission because of Canada’s 150th Birthday.  The Fort was founded by the French in 1713 and partial reconstruction began in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The project employed coal miners and they used some of the original stonework.  I love walking back in time and imagining how the people lived, worked and survived the elements 300 years ago.  They were tough, hardworking, resilient people.

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Firing the cannon at Fort Louisbourg.

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Making nails and other tools at Fort Louisbourg.

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a Seagull looking for treasures at Fort Louisbourg.

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Garden at Fort Louisbourg – where you can pick carrots, beans, and beets and eat them if you wish.

 

oooo… ahh.. you’re going to the Maritimes?  you’ve GOT to go on the Cabot Trail.

It rained, it was cloudy, it was windy and then it rained a bit more.  But we have decided not to let the rain get us down and really all you have to do to carry on with your activities is to wear a different coat.. right?

We leave Baddeck for a drive along the Cabot Trail.  We strike off down the highway and randomly choose an exit to begin our circle of the Cabot Trail.  We (of course) went too far and have no idea exactly where we are and none of the brochures mention that you will need to take a cable ferry (which we have somehow driven directly to).  We reverse direction, head back on the highway, drive for a wee bit and take another exit that will take us along the Cabot.

 

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We drive thru windy narrow roads which are lumpy bumpy and under road construction, it’s also windy and cloudy but hasn’t rained YET.  The road is nicely banked with sharp corners and would be awesome to navigate on a motorcycle.  We didn’t find the scenery that inspiring but continued our drive toward the beaches that were mentioned as well as the areas for watching whales.  Another hour of trees, grass, some water scenery and threatening clouds and that was it for us.  We turn around and head back to Baddeck and because we didn’t want to go back thru the road construction we turned down a different road and sure enough – We are on the opposite side of the Cable Ferry.  We’ve driven around and around and are right back where we started a couple of hours ago.

Would I recommend The Cabot Trail to other travelers if asked?  Yes I would.

Did I think The Cabot Trail was fabulous?  No I didn’t.

Was it the road construction?  Or was it the lack of spectacular scenery?  Or was it because we wandered around a tad?  Or was it just the crappy weather?   You’ll have to go there yourself and form your own opinion me thinks!

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Lighthouse off the Baddeck Marina Pier on Cape Breton – Aug 2017

 

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Part of the windy road and scenery along the Cabot Trail (and the first burst of fall color that I’ve seen).

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Marsh grass. forested area and waterway along the Cabot Trail – Aug 2017.

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It’s a long way down to the beach (this picture doesn’t really show that), but you can spend some time practicing your throwing and see if you can hit the water. On the Cabot Trail – Aug 2017

 

PEI – Gables and Potatoes

 

First thing about going to PEI is the prospect of driving over the Confederation Bridge.  An engineering marvel – I couldn’t wait to see it and be able to feel like you are driving on top of the ocean.  It is fantastic.   12.9 KM (8 miles), the longest bridge over ice-covered waters in the world.  It was opened May 31, 1997.  You can get over the bridge for free but have to pay on the way out.  Cost us $65 with the truck and trailer.  Way cheaper than BC Ferries which cost us $300 when we left Vancouver Island.  (Granted the trip from Vancouver Island to the mainland is longer than 8 miles).

My first impression and what I will always remember about PEI are the colors of the fields.  Bright green grass and farmland, rolling hills, fireweed and buttercups providing more color and country roads criss-crossing the island thru small villages and towns – all with churches.  The maritime houses with tidy mowed yards that we’ve seen everywhere here on our travels.

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Colorful farm off in the distance on one of the rural roads between Charlottetown and Kinkora PEI – Aug 2017

 

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Abandoned house on a country road on PEI – Aug 2017

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One of the many cemetaries we’ve seen on our trip across Canada. This one is different because we found some surnames we recognized from Randy’s family.

You can see potato farms here and there and everyone knows how great the PEI potatoes are.  It’s a billion $ industry and a way of life since the 1700’s for the people who live here.  The colorful red dirt produces colorful potatoes as well: Russets, Whites, Reds, Yellow, and yes, Blue potatoes are all grown here.  You like Poutine?  Well it tastes better with these potatoes.. yum yum yum, my poor diet is so shot.. haha.  Then of course you have to add Lobster and Mussels to the list of diet crashers.  And just when you think it can’t get any worse someone tells you about “cow chips”.  What are they you ask?  Well they are just ripple potatoe chips dripped with chocolate.  No worries, you can try and resist, but it’s probably impossible.  Let me know how you make out!

I went on a bus tour of Cavendish Beach, Anne of Green Gables house, the village of Rustico and a preserve shop where I bought a jar of black current rhubarb jam and the diet busting “Cow Chips”.   We drove out to Basin Head Provincial Park and saw the “singing sands” beach for ourselves.  It doesn’t exactly sing, but it will squeak when you walk on it – cool spot with people jumping in to the river and then swimming thru a channel out to the beach.  Looked like fun and it was great listening to all the squeals from the kids as they played in the water.

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Anne of Green Gables property on PEI – Aug 2017

 

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Anne’s room at Anne of Green Gables house in PEI – Aug 2017

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Cavendish Beach dunes on PEI – Aug 2017

It was “welcome home” week when we were there so Charlottetown was packed.  We drove down to the Race Track / Casino / Fair and joined in the fun for the weekend.  It was hard to find parking but the atmosphere of fun and people just enjoying the Island was impressive.  It poured a ton on Saturday night and that slowed things down but people carried on.  The downtown restaurants were very busy.

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There are real crazy people inside this ride at the race track grounds in Charlottetown, PEI Aug 2017

Shediac, New Brunswick.  Just say the name Shediac and anyone who has been here will ask you:  ‘Did you go and see the big lobster there?’.

It’s pretty hard to miss – it’s HUGE, people are taking pictures of it, kids are climbing on it, it’s in the center of downtown beside the Tourist Information centre.  You can’t miss it.

  Lobster restaurants, lobster trucks, lobster stores, lobster shirts, lobster knick-knacks.  Yup, they sell everything “lobster” here.

We drove down to the pier and watched the lobster boats come in, we watched the yachts go out on a beautiful evening, people were out fishing for mackerel off the pier, or having a dinner in one of the pubs there.  Very exciting place and if you are in the area you should go to Shediac and hang out – it’s lots of fun and you won’t go home hungry!

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Shediac Yacht Club and Marina

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20 minute countdown until the Yacht club race begins.

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You go this way and I’ll go that way.

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Jockeying for position – 20 minutes until race time.