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.

Making a Bee-Line to Arizona

First stop was Biloxi, Mississippi.  It is a beautiful small city that has been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and is still recovering.  I saw lots of damaged piers and empty lots along the sea shore and beach highway.  I found The Old Brick House and gravitated towards this MASSIVE oak tree in the back yard.  It was amazing.  Majestic.  Historic in it’s own way.  How old it must be.  Who used you for shade?  Who climbed on you?  What conversations took place under your limbs, leaves and branches?

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I parked down by the Visitors Centre, walked the beach, strolled thru Lighthouse Park and listened to the kids playing on the swings.  Watched the traffic on the Beach Highway negotiate around the Lighthouse that was there long before the road was built.

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Lighthouse in the middle of the beach highway in Biloxi.

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Statue of French Canadian Explorer Pierre d’Iberville outside the Visitors Centre in Biloxi.

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A storm damaged pier in Biloxi.

We visited Carlsbad Caverns more than 20 years ago and we were so impressed by it that we decided to stop in for another visit on this trip.  When we walked in I was impressed and in awe all over again.  It is amazing, beautiful, the size of the caverns, the different formations, your eyes travel around, up and over.  You have to go there, you just have to add it to your list of things to see if you are in that corner of New Mexico.  You won’t be disappointed.

Washington, DC – the 2 M’s

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The Memorials were impressive:  The FDR Memorial, The Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, The Vietnam Memorial Wall, The Korean War Memorial and on and on.

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Martin Luther King Jr’s Memorial in DC with a tourist in the frame to give the photo scale.

Our favorite was Franklin D Roosevelt’s.  It’s located next to the Jefferson Memorial and near Martin Luther King Jr’s memorial as well.  FDR’s memorial has no stairs and is wheelchair accessible as you would assume it should be.  It is a large open space with statues of him, his wife Eleanor and their dog, a Scottish terrior named Fala.

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The Soup Kitchen statue at the FDR Memorial in DC. Oct-2017.

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On the wall at FDR Memorial in Washington, DC.

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Want to drive in DC? Just pick a lane and go!

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Watching over the Capitol Building and the White House in DC.

New York City – Squares and Circles…

New York City is HUGE!  It’s MASSIVE! It’s just like you would imagine after seeing it on TV and reading about it.  I discovered quite quickly that it is impossible to capture New York City in a photograph or many photographs.  How can you capture what your eye can see, in a picture?

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A small piece of New York City as seen from the observation tower at the Empire State Building – Sep 2017.

It’s a city of Squares & Circles and much more:

Times Square and Union Square (which aren’t really square in shape), the Memorial Pools at the 911 Memorial (which are squares).  Madison Square Garden – is a round arena with a rectangle for a rink.  You get the idea of what I’m saying.  Columbus Circle, traffic circles, archways and angles of the World Trade Centre and Brookfield Place on Vesey Street.  I will include a few pictures that I took that show the complex shapes and overall feel of how BIG the City really is.  I would go back any time and see, walk, eat and be entertained.  What a great City!

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Brookfield Place shopping centre and commercial offices near the 911 Memorial in New York City.

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Reflections around Bookfield Place, with the World Trade Centre spire in the background. New York Sep-2017.

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A piece of the Memorial Wall at the 911 Memorial in New York City.

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A reflection of New York buildings in the water of the 911 Memorial in New York City.

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.

Baddeck – Cabot Trail

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

No pictures of Bass while fishing at Miramichi :-)

While driving around Miramichi we drove down to Gordon’s Wharf which was a few minutes from the Sunrise Campground where we stayed.  We saw a few guys fishing from shore and they were very open to sharing how they were fishing for bass and showed us the gear they were using as well.  The fellow said that he was there often and if we were to return the following evening he would likely be there.  We bought a few hooks and some mackerel for bait and drove down there the next night.  It was a blast – we hooked 4 fish but they all escaped being landed on the beach.  After upgrading our leaders we returned the following night to try our luck again.  This time we neglected to get more than a couple of nibbles, no fish on, no fish landed, no fish at all.  The other fellows at the beach didn’t have any luck at all either.  It was fun to chat with the locals, learn a bit about fishing and Miramichi.

I took a photo the first night of the sun setting on the beach at Gordon’s Wharf.

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Sunset over the beach at Miramichi.

We stayed at Sunrise Campground and this is a photo of the sunrise over Bartibog and Sheldrake Islands (I think that’s their names).

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Sunrise over the river and a couple of islands near Miramichi.

One common theme as we travel is ROAD CONSTRUCTION – every province has it, every province does it in the summer.  In Miramichi they were fixing their bridge, it is a major connector across the river and it created long lineups at certain times of the day.

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Road construction and bridge construction in Miramichi.

I drove up Church Street and found a Church.. haha.  I wish I would have had more time to spend time there and see more and maybe go inside and find out it’s history.  The name of the church is St. Michael’s Basillica Catholic Church.  Google says construction started in the early 1900’s and the first mass was held in the basement in 1909.

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The Church on Church Street in Miramichi.

We had a couple of thunderstorms while we were there and the wind was whipping across the river while we were fishing too.  I found this old tree opposite the golf course, you can tell it’s subject to a lot of wind by it’s crazy shape.

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Interesting windblown tree along the river in Miramichi.