July 22

More Family Ties

I found more family ties.

Paul Holland Knowlton

There is a town in Quebec that was named after a distant cousin. The Lac Brome area is made up of seven villages and one is Knowlton. The Honorable Paul Holland Knowlton came to Canada from Vermont.  My fifth great grandfather, Decon Ezekiel, had a brother, Luke, that married a Sarah Holland. I don’t have all the information at hand but Paul Holland Knowlton is related.

Welcome

My fourth great grandfather Ezekiel had ten children. The youngest five move to Canada. My third great grandfather, Asaph, lived north of the town of Knowlton in So. Stukely (Stukely Sud). They lived long enough in So. Stukely to have a few children then moved to Iowa.

P.H. Knowlton House
Big Timber

The Brome County museum in Knowlton, Qc is very extensive. Paul Holland Knowlton’s home was moved from what is now the golf course and was restored to the original log home. The timber size is impressive for a log home. The town had a children’s home where orphans and street kids from England were sent and families took them in. Some were adopted by their host families. Many had rough lives in the homes and others ran away. The children were often put on farms so the kids had to do farm work. The museum had a half dozen or more biographies of the children. Some of the boys went into the military in WWI. Which brings me to the military room of the museum. The prize exhibit is the Fokker DVII biplane from WWI. It is one of less than a handful of Fokkers with the original fabric covering. For more information http://www.bromemuseum.com

My Own Pub Has Good Fish and Chips
Another Bar

I spent a couple of nights near Peterborough, On. I’ve wanted to go to the Canadian Canoe Museum since I found the museum book in the Durango, Co Library. It is an impressive collection. They cover the kayaks of the arctic to the dugout canoes of the Pacific Northwest. Of course, the birchbark canoes from the interior to the east coast, and also the elm bark canoe. There was also a replica of a Hudson’s Bay outpost. Any one need “Hudson’s Bay Blended Scotch”?

I’ve moved on to the west side of Toronto. This post is late is because my computer was infected with mallware. I received a notice that my Adobe flash player was out of date, I pressed update and all of a sudden I got about three programs added to my computer. One was a windows search page, I work on a Mac. Such a pain this last week. I found an Apple store southwest of Toronto. I went down the day I got to camp and found the store packed. I managed to get an appointment an hour and 20 minutes later. I walked the mall. I went back in only to find it was going to be about another 45 minutes. Nothing to do but wait. I  waited longer than it took to fix my computer. Either way I’m back to normal.

By the way, in Canada, the mall is far from dying out. The parking lot was full and there were lots folks walking with bags.

Looks like an nice “Auberge”

I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame yesterday in Toronto. It was a longer drive in than expected. Once there I saw the jersey’s of some of my favorite players, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita from the Chicago Blackhawks and Sidney Crosby’s from the Pittsburg Penguins. To top it off, the Stanley Cup was on display. The folks in line for picutes were putting their hands on the cup, and if you’ve ever seen the last few games and the cup, there is a minder of the cup and he wears white gloves. I learned there are three Stanley Cups. The one in the hall is a copy.

Going into the city also reminded me why I don’t visit cities often. They are very loud and congested with people and traffic.

Our History

I’m also going to head back to the states. I’ve started to get a bit claustrophobic living in RV parks. I need a good state park or forest campground with lots of trees in between!

Thanks for coming along on my Canadian adventure.

Rob

July 14

A Second Foreign Country

All of a sudden I’m surrounded by french speakers. I say, “Hello” and they say, “Bon jour.”

No signs have english just french, and I guess what is meant.

This is the point my sister is yelling, “You should learn french,” but how often would I use it out in the woods of Oregon?

So, as you might have guessed, I’m in Québec, Canada. All of it is a culture shock. I find the grocery stores have huge selections of fromage (cheese) from all over the world.

I stayed three days near the town of Montmagny on the southside of the St Lawrence Seaway. On Tuesday I took a drive south towards Québec City. I wanted to take some photos but the cloud cover was horrible. In the evening I checked the weather and we were under a “squall watch,” a first for me. The radar had a line of storms heading south. It was all for nothing. A few showers and a couple of claps of thunder, no big deal. I was hoping for a good old fashion “gully washer.”

I’ve mentioned before that all the parks I’ve been in, have seasonal sites. I’ve been thinking about it and I’m looking differently at it. This is just like their place in the woods or the resort they go to year after year.

Many of us in the states like to travel around and see new places, but some have cabins on the lake, or others have the timeshare in Key West. Canadians go to the campground to their RV.

The campground lots at Montmagny were well manicured. Lots of lawn ornaments, fireplaces or pits, and flowers. Many also have a room built onto the side of their RV and lots have porches or patios. They visit with other folks or have dinner out. This campground even had a petanque league.

So, at first I thought it strange to park an RV nearly permanently, but there is also something nice about weekends and summers at the campground.

I came across a funny town name just as I came into Quebec from New Brunswick. Saint Louis du Ha! Ha!, Qc. I kid you not. It’s the only town on the planet with two exclamation points in its title!! According to Atlas Obscure the double ha-ha is a french word meaning unexpected obstacle or path ending. The obstacle is a lake for St. Louis du Ha! Ha!

So next time your at an obstacle you can call out “We’re at a ha-ha.”

Yesterday I drove a long day, for me, down to Waterloo, Qc. I’m just west of the area called Sud Stukley where my twice great-grandfather moved from Massachusetts. My great-grandfather was born there. Then the whole family moved to Iowa.

Again I’m without photos today. Nothing these days jumps out to me. Next week, I promise.

Lastly, a shout out to my brother on his birthday, and another to my sister for her birthday just two days ago.

Thanks for following.

Rob

July 7

Sunrise Trail to New Brunswick

The area on the Northside of Nova Scotia, where it links with New Brunswick, is called the Sunrise Trail. This area also looks north to Prince Edward Island (PEI). The towns have fantastic names. Pugwash, Tatamagouche, Tidnish, Antigonish, and where I stayed Pictou. Just saying those names is fun.

Pictou is famous for the harbor where ships carrying Scottish families seeking a new life dropped them in the new land. A ship by the name of The Hector was the first ship that carried the Scots and brought them to Pictou.

Back in 1992, I learned of The Hector and I found that the historians were building a new Hector ship by the same methods used back when the original was built. It was completed some years ago and is moored in the bay. There is a museum on the Hector Quay that describes the voyage for those Scots and what they found in their new home.

Pictou is also the place to catch the ferry to PEI. It was once the only way to get to PEI until they built the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and PEI.

I’m sure many of my female readers or parents know of PEI from the Anne of Green Gables books. I went up to PEI my last trip here and searched out the area where the stories were set. Why would a guy head up there? I have a niece that was completely obsessed with Anne. She even looked a bit like her. (Yes, I was happily subjected to the show) I came to photograph the area and I even picked up a straw hat for my niece. From those photographs, I made her a poster combining them in a frame.

I didn’t go up this trip, but if you ever head that way the PEI National Park has a spectacular seashore and is the place to camp. Miles of beaches line the North shore. Sea breezes and gentle waves will settle into your bones and your memories of a hectic life will fade away.

It rained most days I was in Pictou and the one it didn’t I went up to Outer Caribou Island without my camera. From there I could see the ferry and a slim PEI to the North.

Canada Day was subdued with the rain, except for the folks in the campground that lit a few fireworks. They were a bit loud for Geordie and he hid under the table. Thankfully they only lasted about ten minutes. I heard a few other dogs bark, annoyed by the loud noise in the campground.

I’ve now nearly traveled the length of New Brunswick. I’m in the far Northwest corner for the next few days. I’m camped just south of Edmundston. I’m nearly a stones-throw from the US border and almost into Quebec. I arrived just in time for the first round of showers over the next three days, lucky me!

Prior, I camped near Fredericton. It’s a change not to have the sea within sight. Up here it’s just trees and more trees.

I don’t have any photos this post. My computer keeps telling me its “full!” I bought a new hard drive to back-up my photos so I should be able to upload photos next week. You didn’t want to see the boring endless forest anyway!

Thanks for flying around Canada with me.

Rob

June 30

Top of the Island and Back

Bay of St Lawrence harbor

I took a drive last Saturday to the end of the road. If you’ve ever thought of heading to Cape Breton you’ve probably heard of Meat Cove, yes, that’s the name. There is a campground at the end of the road, but it’s only for tents and maybe vans, as it’s a bit tight for anything else, though they do have cabins. Oh, did I mention the cliff? Your at the edge of the world and down is the sea. There is a nice arial video at their website. http://meatcovecampground.ca

Meat Cove, the end of the world

You have to want to go to Meat Cove, because it’s way up there and some of the way is on dirt roads. Many do it as a day drive like I did. Its sort of one those “notch on the belt” drives. I’ve got to say its beautiful up there.

Don’t stumble out of your tent without a flashlight

If you come this way to Dingwall, you’ll be at the top of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. There are many hiking trails to take. I thought in the past there was backpacking, but I didn’t find anything on the website. This is a very thickly treed area and finding a camp might be tough.

Meat Cove Campground

If you lean to the pampered vacation, there is Keltic Lodge http://kelticlodge.ca outside of Ingonish. They have a golf course, spa amenities, lodge, cabins, and restaurants. This is on par with the great lodges of the US National Parks.

The town of Dingwall is on Aspy Bay. John Cabot  was sent by Henry the VII to look for a western route to Asia. He landed in Aspy Bay after landing on Newfoundland.

Another history lesson about Aspy Bay is, this is where the TransAtlantic telegraph cable made landfall onto the mainland of North America.

I made my way to the western side of the island. Many seaside campgrounds are on this side. I stayed at Sunset Campground in Port Hood and there is a public beach just across the road. If I didn’t know better this could be California…without the crowds!

As I’ve wandered around Cape Breton, I’ve seen real estate signs. I looked a couple up just for the fun of it. Near Port Hood there were two parcels next to each other. One was about nine acres the other twelve. Both are C$19,000 which comes in under $15k US. I really seriously thought about buying one. Then that little voice in my ear told me about the drive it would take to get back here, and the fact that family lives in California. Still, it’s an interesting idea to own property in such a beautiful location.

Top of the island looks mighty nice

More reality hit me when I went to the Co-op food store in Port Hood. They are really the only place to get food staples on Cape Breton. I was out of peanut butter and found only the smooth style and they contained hydrogenated oils. I’m thinking again about the land. If I can’t get healthy peanut butter I’ll pass on living here.

I left the island on Wednesday and found a camp in Pictou (pick-toe). I was lucky to find any campsite, as tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of Canada. There are flags all over the country and at every store, flags, t-shirts, bags, and hats emblazoned with “Canada 150.”

While I celebrate Canada Day, I wish you all a happy 4th in the states, eh?

Rob

June 23

Summer on the Island

Over the last weekend, I spent three nights near Truro. It rained one of those days. One day I wandered Truro and found Dalhousie University.

I can’t say much about this town. It is just a town. I did find a dog park on Sunday and took the Geordie over and he had a blast with the other dogs. I attempted to keep him out of the pond, but alas he’s a water dog.

On Monday I headed northeast and found myself on the island. Cape Breton to be more accurate. I found I went through one of the sides of the Bermuda Triangle. The weather changed to a sweltering 75% humidity and 85º! What the heck? It’s supposed to be cool up this far north. Well, I guess I’ll work on my Cape Breton tan!

Spooked this Ruffed Grouse

I found a campsite at Glenview Campground in Whycocomagh. This was an “ok” place  to stay, for doing a couple of day trips.

I did find a “must-go-to” shop in Whycocomagh. If you’re coming this way, stop at the “Farmer’s Daughter.” You’ll be able to pick up on a whole lot of dinner items. I found tubs of soups and I picked up a fish chowder. They also had shepherds pie, and lasagnes in the frozen foods case. Most would serve three to four. There were fresh baked breads and pies. Cookies! Oh the cookies! Great place to fill the freezer, for suppers to come as you venture further into Cape Breton.

On Tuesday I went to Baddeck and my all-time-favorite museum. (I was here in 1992) The Alexander Graham Bell Museum is one of those museums where you learn things, even as an adult. Pa Bell was more than the inventor of the telephone.  After the telephone was created all sorts of items came out of his mind. Bell bought property across the bay from Baddeck, because it reminded him of Scotland. It is still owned by the family. He came up here to invent in peace. He was part of a team that made the Silver Dart the first airplane to fly in Canada. He designed ailerons for that plane. He took what he knew from flight and saw a use of those wings for boats to fly on water with a hydrofoil design and often tested them in the bay. He set a world speed record with hydrofoil boat, HD-4.

Replica of HD-4 hydrofoil boat.

Bell made a metal detector. It was something he’d learned from the electricity from his telephone. He tested it by finding the bullets still in Civil War Vets, but when he used it on President Garfield after he was shot, he failed.

Bell was one of the founders of the National Geographic Society.

Sculpture of the Silver Dart, the first plane to fly in Canada

One thing I’ll note. I was extremely impressed with the museum back in 1992, this time, not so much. I think they’ve shrunk the exhibits down. Still, no matter what the museum left out, this was a brilliant man.

Cape Breton is also home to The Gaelic College near St Ann’s. The college started with the premise of saving of Celtic culture. Some of the courses you can take are in music, gaelic language, dance, and the arts, such as weaving.

Classes are for kids, adults, and families. For more information https://gaeliccollege.edu/study-with-us/

Since this is “New Scotland”, you’ll also notice that some of the signs are in gaelic.

If you know some Celtic music, you may have heard of fiddler Natalie McMaster. She is a Cape Breton born and bred and comes from musical family. She has taught fiddle classes at Gaelic College in the past.

I left Whycocomagh and now I’m near the end of the island. I’m near the town of Dingwall in a great campground. Hideaway Campground and Oyster Market is near the end of Shore Road. The views are spectacular. As in their name, they sell oysters in the campground along with lobsters. You can eat in or take them back to camp. I had lobster last night for dinner.

Besides campsites there are cabins and this lighthouse to stay in at Hideaway.
With this view, I wouldn’t mind a stay in the lighthouse too.
Down on the beach.

Driving further down Shore Road get’s choked off but you can find parking on the grass sides. Walk a little further down the road finds you at a picturesque beach. No hoards of people down there. I took Geordie down last evening and we had the place to ourselves. The water dog knew what we came for, no directions needed.

Crazy, happy dog prints

Long post so I’ll sign off.

Rob

 

June 16

No Beatles but Hank Snow

Last Friday, I rolled into Hunt’s Point in the rain.

Saturday, I woke to brilliant sunshine, and after coffee and a bowl of cereal, I was on the road. I went down to the town of Shelburne. In the past history, the town filled during the Revolution with England’s Loyalists from the colonies.

Harbourside Shelburne

Further back in time, an English Captain sailed with his family to the new world escaping the religious tyrany. He died on the  voyage and the ship stopped in Nova Scotia. He was buried in Shelburne County. That Captain and his family were the first of my family in this new land. The rough estimated date of death are 1632-34. The rest of the family continued the voyage to Ipswich, Massachusetts, and so the branches of the family stems from there.

No one has yet found the grave marker that a surveyor found and noted. Yet still we look, but it may be a mystery for years to come. Just one faded, weather worn headstone.

As we headed back, I took Geordie for a walk in the Kejimkujik National Park seaside adjunct. The trail lead to the sea and had a nice beach at the end and I let him swim.

Water Dog

The main park is inland and has lakes, campgrounds, and plenty of trees. It’s also a dark sky preserve, so the night skies must be spectacular. More info here.

On Monday, I went up to Lunenburg and Mahone Bay and a little beyond.

Lunenburg is a Unesco heritage site for the preserved example of a British colonial grid streets. I found many beautiful old homes and shops being refurbished all in bright colors.

Fisheries Museum Lunenburg

Lunenburg is also a well know film set for many TV shows and movies.

Run Stranger Run

Dolores Claiborne

Simon Birch

Jesse Stone TV movie series

Haven TV series

Lunenburg I found is a lot like a mini San Francisco, with it’s hills down to the docks. On the other side is a back bay.

Further east, is Mahone Bay. The harbor side skyline is well known for the three churches seen from the bay. I found this a more tourist friendly town. The main street has nice shops and restaurants. I found two unique shops here. A potter that creates custom plates, and a pewter shop with everything from Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and tankards.

Mahone Bay Skyline

While these towns are photogenic, I wandered further onto the backroads and found an amazing discovery. I found little bays in the in the rocky shore and it seemed an idyllic place. I’ve found it on the map as Stonehurst East. The bays could easily be swum across. There are great little houses on either side. Docks and boathouses with lobster traps ready for sea wait in the cove.

On Tuesday the temperatures rocketed, like in the states, to a high of 87º. Not wanting to submit Geordie to hot rides playing tourist, we went to the beach. I was very surprised to find an amazing beach just down the road. In fact there are two. I went to Carter Beach near Port Moulton and nearer to the campsite is Summerville Provincial Beach Park. I wasn’t the only one with the idea of basking in the sun. Geordie got a lot of swim time with me throwing sticks out into the water. He was a happy, tired pup when we got back.

Surprisingly nice beaches in Nova Scotia

Wednesday I took a short trip, with the cooler temps to Liverpool. Yes, the river in town is the Mersey River. I don’t think the Beatles have been here. It is near the little town of Brooklyn where a young man was born and grew into a country music legend. Hank Snow was soon a Grand Ole Opry regular. There is a small museum in Liverpool with lots of memorabilia and two of his Cadillacs.

I leave Fisherman’s Cove RV Park today. This is a nice little park. Nice hosts and a good spot in-between the towns I visited.

I’m off to Truro today for a couple of nights then heading to Cape Breton a few days later.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll leave you with Canadian Hank Snow singing one of his famous songs.

June 9

Spring in the Atlantic Maritimes

Lupine

Back in Digby, I took a walk with Geordie out of the campground. I found Lupines everywhere along the path. Purple was the most dominate color, but various pinks and white Lupines showed up as well.

I wanted to take the drive to Digby Necks but it’s an all-day trek. The day I had planned turned out to be foggy. It’s a long peninsula jutting out into the Bay of Fundy and the Bay of Maine. The drive is nearly two hours one way. There is a ferry to the first island, Long Island. Drive a bit further and another ferry takes you to Brier Island.

I ate a few scallops while I was here. Oh, they were good. I also found a fish monger and bought some and some haddock bits. I think some stir-fries are in the future, along with a soup or two.

Digby isn’t the typical tourist town. There are about six seafood restaurants, and a couple of tourist shops, but for the most part it’s a normal town. There is a boat works that right on Water Street, a bank, the tourist information building, but none of the t-shirt, candy, or kitsch of other tourist towns.

I drove up to the town of Annapolis Royal. It was a colonial capital before the founding of Halifax. There is a walking tour showing the houses, post office, and bank many dating back to the 1700 and 1800’s.

I took a trip to the ferry dock where you can hop on in Digby and cross to St. Johns, New Brunswick. It eliminates the drive up and over like I did, but it’ll cost you. On the web page, Campers, motorhomes, and vehicles with tow cost $9.00 a foot. It takes just over two hours to make the crossing. You can also catch a ferry in Portland, Maine. A vehicle towed like mine cost from $338- 450 depending on season. In just five and a half hours you can be in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. All kinds of amenities are on board, restaurant, coffee shop, kennel, movie theater, and gift shop. See their website https://www.ferries.ca for more information.

The Fundy Rose

Its also possible to take a ferry to Newfoundland from Sidney, up on Cape Breton.

Digby Bay in fog

I also took a drive over to Point Prim Lighthouse. It sits at the head of the Digby Gut, the opening to the harbor. One of the first lighthouse keepers there developed the foghorn. No Leghorn needed! The last keeper left in 1987, when they automated the lighthouse.

Seen: On a signboard at a community hall “Hawaiian Dance Party.” I wonder how that got to Nova Scotia. Do you imagine its hula dancing?

I stayed three nights near Yarmouth, NS and did little touring. I was feeling a bit stuff and so I stuck around camp.

Digby scallop fleet
Old Digby Lighthouse

Today I woke to rain. I debated whether to leave. I had reservations at a campground near Liverpool, NS and went back and forth and ended up just packing up and hitting the road. Blasts of rain and wind hit me from all sides. The roads had more than a few puddles and I could feel the slip. I finally made it to Fisherman’s Cove CG in Hunt’s Point south of Liverpool. I’ll be here for a week to tour both north and south of camp. Today though, is and indoor day to dry off!

Thanks for reading.

Rob

June 2

Foreign Country

I left Calais, Me. on Saturday last, and crossed the border. It took a little while as the agents did a sweep of my trailer. One thing I forgot, when the gate agent asked, was the small pepper spray I had to ward dogs away from Geordie. I’d always forgotten it when we went for walks and I forgot it in the questioning. The other officers found it and didn’t think I was trying to hide it, but they confiscated it. After that, I was on my way.

I kept thinking as I drove off, Geordie was in a foreign country, his first.

Saint Martins, New Brunswick

I wondered about my Garmin GPS. I wasn’t sure it would work in Canada, but was pleased when I was able to command it to find the town I was headed to for a few nights. I’m always with maps but to have a navigation system gives a sense of comfort when navigating on the fly. Something else I discovered on the Garmin is the speed limit converts the kilometers per hour to MPH on the screen so I can keep a watch for the MPH of the road.

Low tide and local boat awaiting high tide to enter the small harbor

It was a wee bit cold in Saint Martins, N.B. when I got in. It was just 48º. I was camped right on the Fundy Bay at Century Farm Family Campground. I could see the famous caves to the north of camp when the tide water subsided. The caves can only be accessed in low tide.

High tide

St. Martins is a tiny little village with about five restaurants, two gas station, one harbor, one covered bridge, and a few B & B’s.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day and I could see to Nova Scotia. Geordie and I walked at low tide and later took the road north on the Fundy Trail Parkway. It’s a car tour with overlook stops, hiking trails, and a small interpretive center/gift shop at the Big Salmon River. That’s the spot where a logging mill company sat at the side of the river. Eventually the plan is to build the parkway road all the way to Fundy National Park to the North.

Small harbor
Caves at high tide
And at low tide

If you aren’t familiar with the Bay of Fundy, it has the worlds largest tides. Depending on the area, it can rise 11 feet to over 50 feet, twice a day. Some areas have arches that can be walked under in low tide. In high tide its possible to kayak through just the tops of the arches.

Fundy Trail Parkway shots

From St. Martins, I made a stop over in Amherst, Nova Scotia for the night then a couple of nights in Windsor. Windsor is the birthplace of hockey.

I also went over to a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grand Pré near Wolfville. It was here that the Acadians built a life for themselves in the late 1600’s by creating dykes to drain farmlands. It was also here that the English drove them out of Grand Pré called the Expulsion. Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem about the Expulsion in his work of “Evangeline: A tail of Acadie.” She was a fictional character but is a remembrance to the Acadians of that terrible time.

Covered bridge in St. Martin, NB

Rain is due for the next few days, unfortunately. I’m near Digby, NS which is well known for the Digby scallops. At the harbor is the world’s largest scallop fleet. The scallops are supposed to be the best there is and I hope over the weekend, despite the rain, to eat more than a few and hit a local fish market to take a few with me for future dinners.

Thanks for following,

Rob

May 26

Acadia National Park

I drove onto Mount Desert Island on Sunday and to the campground I’d seen on Campendium, but found it closed. I remembered seeing a KOA while looking for camps and used voice commands on the GPS to find it. It was closed as well. I found a worker who told me that the other KOA was open and she gave me directions.

Nice spot for a house
This house ‘ll do too!

I spent four nights at the KOA Oceanside and it was perfect. Right on the bay with full-on salty sea air. I have to admit its was a bit steeper in price than I’d planned, but I was here to see Acadia N.P. and I had little choice.

After setting up, I loaded Geordie into the truck and we headed to the national park visitors center to get a park pass. I drove the Park Loop Road (map) on the east side, and stopped for some hiking. One of the best things about this national park is that they allow dogs on the trails. Most national parks prohibit dogs on trails. Geordie and I wandered the trail along the ocean front. We were stopped and heard comments about his Rex Specs, as usual. One Japanese woman took photos of us.

Rounded Rocks

Monday we toured further into the park and took more hikes on one of the many trails they have. I discovered there are carriage ways for a bit of turn-of-the-century (1900) feel to the old way of visiting the park.

Monday night storms were predicted and came true overnight. Tuesday morning I woke to mist and fog. That was the day I drove up Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the east coast. At 1,530 feet is was a long drive up in the fog. At times, I could only see about 50 feet in front of me. Once at the top… it was still foggy. Go figure! I had hoped I’d find sunshine and all the fog below with great views for photos. After about 45 minutes and a wander through the gift shop, I headed back down to wander the west side on the island.

Old technology and new

There are many tiny villages on the island and some with little “downtowns” with restaurants, gas stations, and gift shops.

Wandering the other roads gave me chances to see the harbors with a few lobster boats moored.

Ready to go to sea
Heading out on a misty, foggy morning.

On the park map, there are four lighthouses around the island. Bass, Bear Island, Egg Rock, and Baker Island lighthouses. Bass Harbor Lighthouse is on the main island. I found that it is the scene on the National Park quarter series. Only one other one was available to photograph. Egg Rock is to the east on the way out of Bar Harbor.

Egg Rock Lighthouse
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

I did take a wander around Bar Harbor. I took Geordie on the path along the waterfront. Signs along the path and on the streets tell you the history of some houses, buildings, or streets. I learned that on the walk I passed the house built for John Jacob Astor’s grandson. Tall hedges screened the house from view.

Many shops along the main streets carry the t-shirts you need, or the ship in bottles for your mantle, and the many restaurants. There are a lot of big hotels on that side of the island too.

Bird in the mist on Cadillac Mountain

For general reference to visitors, most restaurants and campgrounds don’t open until a day or two before the Memorial Day Weekend. With that in mind, it’s a great time to visit with the lack of crowds to come this weekend.

This is a really nice park with lots of activities, including ferries to other islands and parts of the park.

Hope you enjoyed this round up of Acadia.

On Thursday I drove up to Calais, Me right on the border with New Brunswick. I’m camped for a couple nights while it rains all day today. Looks like a reading and sleeping day with the patter of rain.

Thanks for reading.

Rob

May 20

First Time Ever

I really enjoyed the three day stop over in Littleton, Ma. Just down the road was one of those lifetime goals I had to see. I finally made it to Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau lived for two years. It was back in high school when I read “Walden” and I wanted to see the area where it all took place for years.

I remembered reading, back in 1990, this area was under the gun for development, and with the help of musicians and locals saved it from disappearing. Don Henley of the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet, and Bonnie Raitt held concerts to raise money.

There is a very nice new visitor building and down the path a replica of the house Thoreau built. I happened to be there when an reenactor was there as Henry David. He was there for a school group. We talked about the building and the missing parts such as the closet/wardrobe.

Cabin replica with a statue of Henry David Thoreau. He was a bit taller than the statue at 5’7″

When I looked at it, I compared the size to the Nash. It’s obviously smaller, having no stove, sink, bathroom, or dinette. Thoreau’s house was probably the first “tiny house” at 150 square feet.

Across the street is Walden Pond and I took a walk around the lake. I was very surprised to find the water crystal clear. Locals fish the lake and many walkers take to the trails. I walked in reverence to this influential man. It’s a bigger lake than I assumed. I thought it would be about a five to ten acre pond, but it measures to 61 acres, and to me that’s lake size.

Walden Pond. I’d be fine living near this pond/lake!

Leaving Littleton on Thursday, I crossed the border into Maine for the first time ever. I haven’t really seen the ocean yet, but plan to next week. I’m just east of Brunswick, Me on a long arm of land. I can’t say I picked the prettiest campground, but it was handy. The bonus is they have tanks of lobster and will cook them up for your dinner. I’ve been tempted, but I’m using my will power and waiting for Nova Scotia lobster and scallops.

I did take a trip over to Freeport and to L.L. Bean since I was in the area. I exchanged a shirt I bought a month back. I again held my hand at bay from those little plastic bits in my wallet.

A high school friend of mine went to college in Waterville and I remember her telling stories of late celebratory nights ending up on a drive over to L.L. Bean to play around, since it is open 24 hours.

What do I think about Maine so far? My first day was in the 90’s and broke a record high. There sure are a lot of trees around here!

Tomorrow I’m off to the Bar Harbor area near Acadia National Park. I found a campground on Campendium that doesn’t take reservations and I’m hopeful it has a spot for me. They also don’t take credit cards. I figure being a Sunday and the week before Memorial Day weekend, I have a good chance of a site.

I called my bank and credit card companies this week to inform them of my trip to Canada. Next to set up my Verizon Jetpack and let them know as well.

One glitch for being in Canada next week is my vehicle registration. I received my renewal from Americas Mailbox while in Littleton, Ma and sent a money order the next day. I hope to learn it’s in my box next Tuesday and have it overnighted by Thursday. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading.

Rob