Back in ‘Murica

I just wanted to put up a quick post to let ya’ll know our status…as we haven’t done anything on the Fun Stuff© list since our return.

Saturday morning we bid adieu to Dalhousie and later in the day to our northern neighbors…but before that we headed out Friday afternoon to Saltwater’s Lounge…located right near the marina and another RV park in Dalhousie…this was the local pub we tried to visit earlier in the week but could not find. Connie was drinking Rickard’s Red Ale out of a bottle but Neil went with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and ginger ale instead…she had a trio of them and well Neil might have had mebbe just one more than she did…but in any event we achieved our goal which was to spend all of our foreign money before we left…after the tip we had precisely no more cash. That worked fine until the next morning when we got the $10 deposit on the gate card at Inch Arran RV Park back…so we ended up with $10 remaining as we didn’t spend any on the way.

We were up and started getting ready for departure at 0800 and pulled out a bit after 0900 for our 209 mile trip to cross the border and stop in Houlton ME about 2 miles into the US…we could have made it all the way to our first real destination in Maine at Medway…but when we called to extend our reservation there and arrive early they could let us in a week early on Sunday but not on Saturday…so we made the decision to stop at Houlton. Turned out to probably be wise because although we could have made it…after we spent an hour and a bit getting across the border…more on that in a minute…it would have been a bit later getting to Medway than we would have liked although still acceptable. 

We got to the border and there were two lanes open for entry…one for RVs and trailers although it had some cars in it…and one for cars. The car only one moved a little faster but not significantly. We slowly bumbled our way forward and eventually Neil who was in front with the rig got to the station. He gave the agent his passport and went through the litany of questions…do you have any produce or meat…yes, told him what we had and he didn’t care about that…do you have beer or wine…yes, told him we had 7 bottles of wine we were bringing back…he wanted to know if we had a receipt…of course not although Neil did offer to show him the Visa charge on his iPhone banking app. He said we would have to go inside and pay the duty as only 1 bottle each is authorized…methinks they don’t know their own rules as what we had read the day before said 1 gallon per person if you had been out of the US more than 30 days…but whatever.

He pulled ahead and off to the side and carried our 7 bottles of wine inside…the agent inside, a more seasoned one in his 50s probably asked him why he was inside…Neil told him the guy outside told him to take our wine inside. The agent said…it’s personal use, right…Neil answered in the affirmative so the agent started counting bottles and looking at the alcohol percentage and calculated that we would owe a massive import duty of $1.21 US for the 7 bottles. He then went over to start filling out the paperwork…and his fellow agent told him “you can always use your discretion ya know”…at that point Neil’s agent said “you know what…my discretion says that they will have to pay me more to fill out the paperwork than the country will make in duty…so you’re free to go.”…at which point we left and headed the last 2 miles to our exit at Houlton and another 2 miles north to My Brother’s Place Campground.

On checking in…we asked about the name…and it turns out that the founder of the park some 50something years back was a Shriner and their philosophy is that we’re all brothers…so he named the park that way. We quickly pulled into site 17 a nice grass pull through and had a real easy setup. De-aired our hitch, front jacks down to take the weight off of the truck, hooked up power and we were done…although we did have to pull out a 50 amp extension cord to reach as we had parked far enough back that our dish would have satellite visibility.

We lazed around an hour or so and then went to the local Irish Pub…which was an Irish Pub in name only. No Guinness, no Harp or any other standard Irish brew, only Jameson and Bushmills Irish whiskey behind the bar…and no Irish food at all. Neil had a bacon burger which was adequate but not much better than that…Connie had clam strips that she said were decent. The only really good part of the meal was Neil’s fries which they called Farm Fries…they were thick cut with seasoning on them and a honey-mustard-something else he didn’t recognize sauce to dip them in.

Next morning…since we had gone to Mass before heading out to the pub the night before…and since we only had 60something miles left…we took our time and didn’t even start getting ready to leave until 1000…pulling out about 1030 and heading south and west on I-95.

We exited the freeway at Medway and 2 miles later pulled into Katahdin Shadows Campground…a nice little gem of a mostly wooded campground. We quickly got registered and into our pull through site 78…which was supposed to have satellite visibility but we quickly determined that was a no-go. The owner’s mother…who lives in a park model right next to site 78…asked us if we were looking for satellite visibility as Neil had his phone out and his satellite finding app running…he said yes and she said…you can’t see any. However, there’s a dish over on the roof of the office and a drop outside our park model…we had them put in a couple extra drops for nearby RVs to use…so he pulled out our cable TV coax cable, connected to the drop, ran the cable in through our galley slide seal and barrel connected it to our Genie DirectTV receiver. Works fine…but it does give you occasional alerts about not being able to see the satellite (seeing as hot it’s turned off and lowered) and that the satellite it could see is the wrong kind (again not surprising as it’s a fixed dish)…we don’t watch much live TV anyway and the recordings don’t have the alert. 

We did watch the tale end of the US Open golf championship before having some seared Ahi tuna, rice, and wasabi for dinner.

Monday we did nothing…went out and made a grocery run then Neil grilled a steak and some onions, mushrooms, and leftover fries from Sunday at the pseudo Irish Pub for dinner…along with a chicken breast that we’ll make a chicken Caesar salad out of on Tuesday. Connie’s got a pedicure appointment today and it’s drizzling on and off…then a hair and nails appointment on Thursday but we’ll be able to do some Fun Stuff© Thursday morning and potentially over the weekend and next Monday and Tuesday. We’re also expecting a bunch of Amazon deliveries as US Amazon Prime don’t work north of the border…as well as a delivery from our mail service with our absentee ballots for this month’s primary.

Exciting…huh?

Since I didn’t have any new photos for ya…here are a couple of almost repeats that we really liked from the northern portion of our summer.

‘Berg in Newfoundland.

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Black bear eating dandelions next to the road in Newfoundland…we were stopped for a construction flag person and Neil spotted it.

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One of the few visually distinctive lighthouses in the entire country.

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Puffin.

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Tower at Signal Hill in Saint John’s Newfoundland.

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Moose warning sign on Cape Breton Island…damn liars.

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Sunrise at Dalhousie NB.

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Interesting things found on the net.

Yeah…about right.

ArguingWithWomen

Yeah…

GunShows

Thank goodness for Mississippi.

Literacy

We have a problem.

IHaveAProblem

Think I’ll pass on this one.

UmmmCakeGoodCake

Nice pun.

Blasfemurs

Cyas.

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Last Post from Canuckistan

Well…with today’s post our sojourn up here north of the border is coming to an end…

Lest ya be thinkin’ we haven’t had a good time these past two+ months based on my description of the country as a wasteland…it’s really not, well not completely anyway…I mighta been engaging in the slightest amount of hyperbole…we have enjoyed our time here. However…it’s not the US (dun!)…and even the locals who’ve lived on both sides of the border agree with us that once you get outside the big city the standard of living and the ability to find things is lacking compared to south of the border. I guess if we lived up here permanently we would get used to it…but the lack of what we in the US consider basic service choices is pretty stark. We have found nice things to see…and there have been pubs and restaurants that rivaled any we’ve been in anywhere ‘round the world…but the overall number of choices in any particular service…bar, gas station, grocery store, what have you…is much lower and the percentage of the available choices that are less than adequate is much higher than we’re used to. Western Canada out in Alberta, BC, and the Yukon seemed much more US like in both availability and choices…although overall the people up here have been extremely friendly, outgoing, and easy to engage in conversation.

Couple of interesting things we ran across. 

First up…ya know how the left is always harping about how the “rich aren’t paying their fair share” and how there is too much “income inequality” in the US. Turns out…there was a post on the Wall Street Journal…ya know, that bastion of fake news and yellow journalism…that sort of debunks this theory. A large part of this is based on numbers by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…which ranks the US as least equitable in income among the seven largest developed countries. It does this based on a formula known as the Gini Coefficient…which is 1 if income is universally equal and 0 if one person has 100% of the income. However…they do not consider government distributions in the calculation of this Gini coefficient. Under their numbers…the US has a Gini coefficient of 0.39 or last among it’s peer group. What it doesn’t take into account is Medicare and Medicaid…which distribute $760 Billion a year to the bottom 40% of American households or the 93 other federal redistribution programs which distribute $520 Billion a year to low income households. When these are included as income to poor households in the Gini coefficient…the US rises to 0.32 which puts it right in the middle of it’s peer group. The US also has the most progressive income tax in it’s peer group…the top 10% of earners have 33% of all income but pay 45% of all the income tax…their share of income-related taxes is 1.35 times as large as their share of income. The same group in France pays 1.1 times and the Germans 1.07 times their share of total earnings. What this means is that the bottom 90% of German households pay 77% more income tax than their American counterparts and the French bottom 90% pay nearly double what their American counterparts pay. Even in Sweden…the supposed liberal progressive utopia…top earners pay 5.9% of GDP in taxes while their American counterparts pay 22%. Relative to the share of income they earn…American high earners for all high income brackets is greater than their counterparts in any other country rated by the OECD. In order to make America more like Europe…which is what progressives want…the liberals will need to redefine the American middle class as “rich” and double their taxes. This would make our middle class shoulder an equivalent share of the burden as their European counterparts…which sorta runs contrary to the line the liberals peddle about how grossly unfair US income is distributed and how the rich aren’t paying their fair share.

Now the numbers in that study…while true and correct…the article was put out by conservatives…but come on…facts is facts. While I would not be surprised if some of the particular examples were carefully chosen to highlight the author’s (Phil Gram and John Early) positions…I also know that the “rich aren’t paying their fair share” is a lie…don’t forget that during an election a few years back Mr. Romney stated…and his facts were 100% correct…that 47% of American households paid no net federal income tax…and he was severely scorched by the liberal outrage over that…despite his statement being absolutely correct that little tidbit was lost in the liberal and media condemnation of the statement.

Second up…well, I can’t remember what the other one was right now…we all got CRS ‘round these parts ya know…Can’t Remember S***. It will come back to me though and I’ll write it down this time…it was another interesting story but I just can’t ‘member it right now…I had it when I wrote that Couple of interesting things sentence but it’s a goner now.

Last night…we headed off to the local pub Saltwater’s Lounge…but we couldna find it based on our having looked at the map earlier and we weren’t smart enough to write down either the address or the GPS coordinates…we’ve been forced in many instances up here to use GPS coordinates as the accuracy of street addresses in the map data in both our Garmin dedicated RV GPS and Little Red’s built in GPS has left much to be desired. Both GPSs have tried to direct us on roads that were non-existent…both have tried to take us really screwy ways that make no sense, particularly the RV GPS…and both have had street addresses in the wrong place. No matter though…we learned the first week here to always take coordinates as well as street addresses…but last night in the absence of either we were just looking because we knew where it was on the google map. After failing there…well, actually before failing there…we tried to go to Silly Billy’s Tavern at the local Days Inn…but at 1700 in the afternoon when we looked in the lights were dim, there was no bartender, there were no barstools at the bar, and there were no customers…so we decided that was a lousy place to go. Consequently…we changed our plans and drove over to Campbelton to eat at 1026 again.

We had a beer each and split a couple of appetizers…wild mushroom dip served with deep fried pita sections and then an order of the bacon wrapped scallops. We considered a pizza or the salmon plate but after the pita with the dip didn’t want anything more with bread involved. Then we had a couple of 3 Mousse dessert plates…they were tasty but a lot denser than most mousse we’ve had in the past…on further review we shoulda had the maple cheesecake instead. Oh well.

Friday morning Neil went out early to get some photos of the lighthouse at sunrise…then after breakfast and coffee we headed out for our final Fun Stuff© trip up here…a visit to the Battle of Restigouche Historic Site and a waterfall to the west of Campbelton over on the Quebec side of the river.

The battle marked the end of the French colonial presence in North America…most of this area of the continent was known as New France back then…but there was actually not much of a battle. It was supposedly a naval battle…but (a) it was in the river and not the ocean where your typical naval battle would take place and (b) there wasn’t much of a battle anyway as the French…instead of shooting at the British ships, did the prototypical French thing of scuttling their vessels and surrendering. They would have lost anyway…and the local Acadian population…at least those that hadn’t been deported yet…ran guerrilla type attacks against the British for another year or so past the 1760 battle before it all petered out at the end of the French and Indian War. 

The French flagship was dug up from where it had been buried in the muck some decades back and portions of it adorn the museum…we didn’t get any photos inside the museum but Connie did get a couple of the area where the ship was scuttled and eventually dug up.

Next up…we headed for the waterfall but discovered two issues…so we turned around. First up…it started to rain a bit and nobody really felt like hiking in the drizzle…second Neil wasn’t feeling too well, some sort of stomach upset…so we turned around, went to the grocery store to pick up a few things we’re out of and came home.

We stopped and filled Little Red with gas on the way in and after lunch Neil ran up and got enough diesel in Big Red to comfortably get us to Medway over the weekend…diesel is about  75 cents US more expensive per gallon up here so he didn’t fill up.

We’ll rest and recuperate the rest of today and then head south…well, actually west and then south…in the morning.

On to the photos.

Great Blue Heron down by the water…just standing there waiting for breakfast to swim by.

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Looking out toward where the sun would eventually come up.

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Almost there…the sun is still below the promontory on the horizon but is lighting up the clouds very nicely.

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Zip…the crack of dawn.

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Neil can’t decide whether the one above or one of these last 3 is the best shot of the day…he waited until the light rotated ‘round so you can see the lantern in the light.

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After he came in and we started with breakfast…he ran out to behind the rig to get this one…after the sun cleared the first line of clouds it provided a beautiful reflection across Chaleur Bay off of the Gulf of St. Lawrence…the bay then narrows at it’s western end and becomes the Restigouche River.

On further review…he likes this last one with the reflection best. 

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At the battle historic site…looking out from the back balcony of the museum toward where the “battle” took place. This is on the north side of the Restigouche looking south…so the sea is about 15 miles out of frame to the left. The French vessels were on the right center here and the British ships on the far left. The French were outnumbered by 6 to 5 in ships and outgunned by about 40%…so naturally scuttling and surrendering rather than carrying out the orders of your king and engaging the enemy was the correct thing to do…not. Particularly as the loss of this “battle” led directly to the failure of the French to recapture Quebec City…and hence to the end of the French in North America. That’s some mighty fine fightin’ there Louis…

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Interesting things found on the net.

Missed opportunity here.

MissedOpportunity

Ya know…there’s a story behind every warning sign.

StoryBehindEveryWarningSign

I really hope I’m not…

HopeImNotRelated

Strangely suspicious circumstances.

SuspiciousCircumstances

There is hope yet.

ThereIsHopeAtLast

Hope I’m not related to this guy either.

ThisDumbGuy

Cyas.

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Stuff ‘Round Dalhousie NB

So…this is the penultimate…(that means next to last) post from Canuckistan.

What’s that you say…we’re supposed to be across this side of the border for awhile longer?

Yup…that was the original plan…but lemme do some ‘splainin’ to ya.

Tis true…we were supposed to be up here until Aug 19…but on our trip today we got to talking. After our bust at the first waterfall of the day…we were headed over to our second waterfall…and Connie sez…I’m ready to go home…this country is just a wasteland. Neil agreed with her…and said…ya’ know…if we’re not having fun anymore here then it is time to go home. They talked about it a bit…nobody asked me or Kara…our ‘pinions don’t matter…but since they’re RVers and plans are by definition done in Jello…they can always just change them.

So what they talked about was that being in Canuckistan is getting old…we been here 2 months now…nothing really major but a whole buncha li’l things. Now there are plenty of nice towns and cities up here…that are pretty much the same as places down in the USA…but once you get out in da boonies a bit…it gets bad a lot quicker than it does in the USA boonies.  For example…grocery stores are pretty much a wasteland…very few of the things we normally buy are available up here in the same form…and while you can find coffee, bread, and pretty much whatever you need…’cept for grits, they just don’t exist up here, nope, never heard of em…the selection and variety just ain’t what we are used to. Second…there’s the pub scene. Just about every pub in ‘Murica has food…but about 3/4 of those up here are drinking establishments only…and that just ain’t our style. I’m not sayin’ they don’t exist…but good ones are few and far between. The good ones are…well…outstanding…but the number of those is pretty slim. Then let’s add in the beer selection at the store…first off it’s god awful expensive…a 12 pack of Rickard’s Red…which is basically the equivalent of Yuengling…is about $25CN or $20US…down in the US we pay about $17 for a 24 pack. Wine’s the same…and let’s just forget about ordering a cocktail in the pub…even the rockgut stuff is $7 to $8 US a drink and they pour in milliliters up here so’s you’re only getting a half of a drink for your money…it takes ordering a double to approximate a US style cocktail and that’s $14 to $16…crazy I tellya.

So we’re tired of bad roads, bad (mostly) food although there have been a few exceptions like the 1026 Bar and Grill over in Campbelton last night which was really outstanding, less than fully satisfactory campgrounds…and most importantly the lack of a smartphone. AT&T plans provide calling and text for us up here…but data is pretty much nonexistent…and you don’t realize how important data is until you’re out on the road and need to look up an address or find a restaurant or whatever and just can’t do it. If you didn’t do it before you left the rig…then it’s not happening.

They talked about what’s left…basically the Gaspe peninsula up in French speaking Quebec…and neither of them was really all that enamored of any of the stuff they were going to do…so they said the heck with it…let’s see if we can change things ‘round a bit. When we got back from today’s drive…which included another bust at Pokesaw Rock that I’ll talk ‘bout in a bit…we called our first destination in Maine to see if we could check in early. We asked for this Saturday…Aug 11…which is when we’re due to leave Dalhousie, the got a cancellation just yesterday for the week on our site so we’re in…except we can’t get there until Sunday…so we made a reservation at…I kid you not…My Brother’s Place Campground in Houlton Maine right across the border. Houlton is about 200 miles from Dalhousie and Medway where we’ll be at Katahdin Shadows Campground right near Katahdin Mountain which is the northern end of the Appalachian Trail for 11 days is only another 60ish miles on Sunday…we’ll go to Mass in Houlton then hit the road for a noonish arrival in Medway.

With that reservation early arrival in place…we checked to see if we could stay in Dalhousie another night…we didn’t think we would be able to but the worst they can do is say no…which they did. So we made the reservation at Houlton, called and cancelled our week in Gaspe and overnight in Roumiski…and all is ready now. We’ll be back in the USA Saturday evening then continue the remainder of the late summer/fall as previously planned.

Last evening…we headed out to Campbelton for dinner…our first stop was at Taps…which according to the Yelp reviews had both food and beers. On arrival…no food…so we ordered a beer and told the bartender we would be heading out for some food after that. About the time we were done…the 3rd or 4th Canuck to come up to the bar and order to carry out to the patio…they each asked us where we were from and we gave them the standard story about being full timer RVers staying in Fort Myers for six months and doing the other six months on the road…and sure enough two more beers that we really didn’t want at that point as we were hungry showed up on his tab…it’s not sociable to refuse free beers…so we wandered out on the patio and talked to him and a couple of his buddies for most of an hour. On the way out…we stopped by the bar and sent him a beer on our tab…then we headed over to the 1026 Bar and Grill which is located in the Days Inn hotel…but it was actually outstanding. We ordered another pint each of Alexander Keith’s Red Amber Ale…which was what we were drinking at Taps. Connie ordered mussels…but they were out so she ordered the smoked salmon plate, and once she had a bite was glad the mussels were out. There was smoked salmon, pickled onions, dill cream cheese, and the largest capers you’ve ever seen along with some toasted bread to spread it all on. Neil tried a bit of her smoked salmon…and actually liked it…he would order smoked salmon again although he doesn’t care for grilled salmon at all. He had some bacon wrapped scallops which were also delicious. After that…they were still a bit hungry so they ordered one order of onion rings…which came with honey as a dip. While neither of them had ever even considered honey on onion rings…it was there so they tried it…and it was really, really good. The sweet goes with the hot and salty of the onion rings and is the perfect sauce for them.

Wednesday morning we were up early and after coffee and waffles…frozen as real ones are too hard for breakfast…we headed out about 0900 for a 4 stop trip of about 1250 miles or so…most south of Dalhousie along the coast. 

First stop was the Jaquet River Gorge overlook…this is actually pronounced Jack just like the name in American English…and while it wasn’t your classical gorge it was pretty scenic.

This is the…Visitor Center I guess you would call it although we were the only ones there…we stood outside the chain across the driveway for awhile trying to decide if it was actually where we were suppose to be or a private residence…finally decided it was OK since there were a dozen or so picnic tables scattered ‘round.

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Some shots of the gorge looking from the deck on the back side of the building above.

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Connie got a wider angle shot…her camera doesn’t have a very long lens not because Neil won’t buy her one but because she doesn’t want the extra weight of a longer one. Unfortunately…there were some flagpoles in the shot that the parks people rudely put right in front of the scenery…so Neil had to remove them. No…not with an ax but with a piece of software he has named SnapHeal…or Magic People Remover© as he calls it. You can’t tell it…but there used to be three flagpoles and associated flags right in the middle portion of this shot. I dunno how it works…it’s just magic. Seriously…if you take pictures…and need to remove flags, people, picnic tables, unsightly dumpsters or anything like that from them…spend the $50 it takes for this program…but you’ll need a Mac to use it as they don’t write for Windows at Skylum.com. It’s frickin’ magic I tellya.

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Next up…we headed to Tetagouche Falls which turned out to be our first bust of the day…it looked like a really good waterfall but at the top where the viewpoint was the trees and shrubs had grown up so much ya just could see almost nuttin. There was supposed to be a path to the bottom…which would have made a good photo from what we could see…but it was farther than Neil wanted to hike down on his own as Connie’s hip told her she wasn’t going down and back up. This is the best shot we could get…believe it or not this is about a 45 or 50 foot drop but this shot is looking almost straight down on top of it. Bummer.

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With that done; we headed off for Pabineau Falls…which turned out to be pretty nice.

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While Neil crawled around on the rocks and got the shots above…Connie stayed at the top again and took a whole bunch of artsy-fartsy shots…some with the leaves in focus and the waterfall blurred out a bit…and some the other way around. This was our favorite one in the bunch…so Neil did a little post processing on it and we decided it really pops…just about our fave shot of the day.

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Our final stop…was at Pokesaw Rock…which is a large flat topped rock about 100 yards off shore and about 60 yards long, 30 wide, and 120 feet or so high. We got there…and the only place to park had a hand drawn sign that said “pay fee at shack”…which we weren’t about to do as it wasn’t much to look at. So we turned around and headed home…having our lunch we bought at the Irving convenience store on the way…a pack of 2 bite cocoanut macaroons, bag of potato chips, small bag of beef jerky, and a Coke original with sugar in it…yeah, it’s not all that healthy but it sure tasted good. After we got home and finished up all the reservation stuff I talked about above…we wandered up and had a scoop of maple walnut ice cream from the campground store…and that was our day.

We’ll have one more Fun Stuff© day here on Friday…tomorrow it’s laundry on the rainy day…then hit the road back to our side of the border.

Cyas.

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Transit to Dalhousie NB

Monday morning we were up and started getting ready to leave about 0800…we were done and out of the campground by 0915 for our 150 mile trip up NB-11 to Dalhousie NB…where our destination was Inch Arran RV Park right on the water in downtown Dalhousie.

It was a good travel day…and then it was a bad travel day.

The first 10 km or so out of the campground the road was pretty rough…so we just went 35 instead of the legal 50 mph speed…once on NB-11 it was smooth sailing all the way to Dalhousie…good weather, little traffic…and Connie was pretty happy about the way things were going.

On arrival at the campground though…things took a turn for the worse. We backed into our waterfront site 18, hooked up power…and it immediately tripped the breaker. After a half dozen or so tries including bypassing our Progressive Industries power management system…which checks both the pedestal and the rig for a whole series of faults…Neil plugged into the next site over 30 amp plug and it worked fine. So we left it plugged in there and asked the campground what they wanted to do about it. They decided it was a bad breaker, told us to stay plugged into site 19 over night as it was unused, and they would fix it in the morning…Monday was some sort of bank holiday here in Canuckistan. Unfortunately…they wasted an hour of our time before they figured that out. We tried to just change over and go into site 19 since it worked…but the curmudgeon in charge declined to do that as she would have to…her words…jumble the reservations and make 3 phone calls to let people know their site number had changed. Didn’t seem to be that hard to us…just put whoever was supposed to be in 19 in 18 after they fixed it…but I digress.

We headed out to the local pub for brews and dinner…and found out that it was permanently closed. We saw another pub…but it was also closed. We spotted a third…but it was closed as Monday was New Brunswick Day hereabouts. At that point we gave up, picked up a pizza and headed home to eat it and have a beer. Turns out we should probably have done something else as the pizza was barely adequate…but we wanted pizza so we gave it a go…had some leftovers we kept for lunch.

Tuesday morning…the electrician showed up and replaced the breaker…and we plugged back into site 18’s pedestal. Waited the 2 minutes and 15 seconds while our Progressive said everything was OK…then it tried to close the relay to put power to the rig and the breaker tripped again. The electrician checked site 19 that worked…and said that the only reason it worked was because site 19 didn’t have the GFCI connection to the breaker connected…and that the problem was clearly in the rig.

To further investigate…Neil opened all of our circuit breakers except the main incoming breaker and tried again…again the pedestal breaker on 18 tripped immediately…but it clearly ain’t the rig as nothing was connected with the breakers open. I guess there could theoretically be an issue with our cord reel or power cord…but if so then the fault should have been detected by our Progressive EMS.The real problem methinks is that the electrician didn’t want to have to fix it in a drizzle, he had already made $250 just to show up and replace the breaker and wasn’t looking to do any more work.

For those who are mystified by this electrical stuff…GCFII stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter…it’s the kind of outlet that is in bathrooms and kitchens. Turns out that under the Canuckistan electrical code all outside wiring less than 6 feet above the ground has to have them. What the GFCI does is look for any problem in the ground system…in and of itself a ground fault isn’t a problem but if there is any other ground on the circuit then you get arcs and sparks and potentially electrocute yourself…GFCI outlets are required in bathrooms and kitchens due to the proximity of the outlet to water…if there was a fault in the real ground system and the outlet was touched with a wet hand then the person’s body becomes the ground and…as we say in the bidness…bad things happen. We’ve never seen campground pedestals that have GFCI requirements down in the US…but since we were hooked up to 30 amp power at Richibucto with no faults in the rig it’s most likely not us but something in then campground wiring.  

So we hooked back up to 19…and told the campground to solve the problem. Don’t know what they’ll do…we again offered to move over to 19 since we had paid for a premium waterfront site…haven’t heard anything from them yet. Guess the folks supposed to park in 19 this afternoon will be pissed when they get here unless the campground solves the problem. We’ve verified as best we can that it’s not on the rig…power worked fine yesterday morning and while it’s possible we developed an electrical problem between 0900 and 1300…it’s not very likely.

Stay tuned for further developments…in the meantime let’s put in a couple of photos.

Two shots of the lighthouse right here in the campground from yesterday just before sunset…one was taken with Neil’s iPhone 6s+ and the other with his Nikon…those darned smartphone cameras are getting pretty darned good photo wise.

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Right offshore are a set of rocks…plenty of shore birds nesting on them.

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Ok…power update. About 1100 the guy with the duty in the office today came down and told us we could move over to site 19…gee, I thought that was too hard…but at least we got the ok to move to a site with power that works. The only drawback was that it was drizzling so we spent the next hour or so moving 1 site over and getting re-setup in the rain. After that we had our leftover pizza for lunch and have plans to try the pub thing again tonight…but we’ll take along the address for a backup or two over in Campbelton 10 miles or so west of here. According to this French Canadian lady who talked to Neil the Salt Waters Lounge we saw the sign for yesterday has food…assuming that she understood his question correctly.

Interesting things found on the net.

The Church of the Chicken.

ChickenHouse

JamPacked

So the bar is closed I guess.

BarNotOpen

Can’t say I did know.

HousesCantJump

Cyas.

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Richibucto Village NB

Well…I wish we could tell ya we dun did a whole passle more Fun Stuff© here at Richibucto Village…but Ida be lyin’ to ya if I did. We pretty much dindunuffin while we were here.

Thursday we stayed home and did nothing. Friday we got up early…like zero dark thirty what the heck am I doing up this time of the day early…so that we could head back up to Kouchibouguac National Park to the Bog Trail…which supposedly had some nice wildlife if you were there early in the morning.

Having had some issues with roads and street addresses up here…we mostly put GPS coordinates into the navigation system in the car…then it normally finds the right roads to get there. So heading up…we punched in the coordinates for the Bog Trail parking lot…and then promptly found out that Little Red’s nav system has roads in it that simply don’t exist in reality. We figured this out after we passed what we sort of thought was the right road…but continued another 6 or 8 km up the road before deciding that yes, that was in fact the right road and turning around.

Heading down the correct road now…we eventually gave up on the GPS since our review of the park map said that the parking lot was at the end of the road…so we just ignored all of the suggested turns and we got to the Bog Trail…where we headed a few hundred yards down the trail to the observation tower…where we could see precisely zip, nada, nothing, zilch, nyet…you guessed it…nuttin.

We grabbed a couple of photos from the tower for you though…it was cloudy and murky that morning…but not a single example of wildlife of any sort did we spot. Nope…not a one.

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We turned around after that and retraced our path to the campground…we had to pass on stopping by the fresh seafood place for something for dinner since they didn’t open until 1000…and we were back home taking a nap in the recliners by 0730…that was after a 40 minute transit each way and the walk out to the tower.

We sat out under the awning for the remainder of the day…had a nice chat with Marcel and his wife whose name escaped us…he’s in the Army up here and is retiring in 4 years with plans to become full timers. We talked for a couple of hours…their biggest concern was whether his pension and her salary…she can work on the road and is only mid 40s so can’t retire yet…would be enough to live on. They plan to winter down in the US somewhere and spend travel seasons up here in Canuckistan…on learning what their income would be we assured them they had more than enough cash flow to finance a really good RV lifestyle.

It’s been hot in the afternoons here…so in the interest of keeping the windows open and not running the A/C to cool us off Neil’s been cooking outside. We had pork medallions with wine, lemon, garlic and caper sauce served with roasted garlic parmesan mashed taters one night, steak another night, and halibut another night…we’ll end up the week with grilled chicken over Romaine lettuce with balsamic-honey dressing tonight.

Tomorrow we’re off on a 150 mile transit to Dalhousie NB where we’ll be in site 18 at Inch Arran City Campground…literally again right on the water about 4 sites down from the lighthouse. Connie’s got some stuff planned for there and we’ll probably do laundry as well.

Interesting things found on the net.

This past week Apple, Inc became the first company to reach market cap of $1 Trillion US…not that market cap really means much as it’s just the product of the number of shares outstanding and today’s stock price. However…Apple also had another record breaking profit this quarter…making once again a metric buttload of cash…and once again made about 90% of the entire smartphone industry profits. In light of this…Business Week pranked themselves by re-running a headline they originally posted back in 1996.

LOLAtThisHeadline

This seems like a pretty creepy greeting card.

CreepyEh

Really?Who wouldathunkit?

ThanksCaptainObvious

In other news…a major new announcement from NASA.

WaterOnMars

Old people complaint.

GrowingOldInColorado

From the mouths of babes…

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Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | Leave a comment

Transit to Richibucto Village NB

Tuesday we had a short travel day…only about 120 miles so we didn’t really get going on departure preparations until 0830…which saw us pulling out of Pine Hills RV shortly before 1000 for the trip. We had an easy time early…heading back down to the Confederation Bridge back to the mainland…where we paid a toll of $71 for the rig and  $47 for the car to get back across the 12 km long bridge. Once across we continued on NS-16, then NS-15 and NS-11 until we got off the exit to Richibucto with fine roads all that part. Once off the highway…it got a little dicier for the leg down NS-505…it was a bit bumpy as it had a lot of patches on the roadway but overall it wasn’t too bad and it was only the last 10 km or so before we turned onto the beach road Cap Lumiere for the last km or so until we arrived at Camping Cap Luminaire for a 5 night stay. Again…as we were in Cow Head NL…we’re right across from the beach although this time instead of overlooking the harbor the view is straight out into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. There’s a bluff about 40 or 50 feet high down to the beach and it’s a sandy beach for a change so hopefully we’ll be able to get out there one morning so Connie can catch a couple of rays.

The closest civilization is Richibucto Village…which has like 12 people in it I think…with the next closest being Richibucto itself…at least the latter is big enough for traffic lights, grocery stores, and a few more amenities that we might go take advantage of. Luckily…we knew ahead of time that we would be out on in the near boonies so we brought enough beer and groceries to make it.

We quickly got settled into site 37… a nice level grass pull through site…and after lunch went about our setup chores. Neil had found and corrected a slight problem with our water supply shortly before we left PEI…although we had good pressure and flow at the spigot the inside flow and pressure were lacking…they started off when you turned the faucet on at poor and got worse from there as the pressure in the system bled off…there was a flow restriction somewhere. We have a dual water filter setup outside…first is a sediment filter that gets changed on a 3 month basis and second is a charcoal filter that’s normally a 6 month change. He had changed the sediment filter shortly after we arrived at PEI…which improved the situation just slightly…and it was about due anyway…but hadn’t done the charcoal one as the sediment one while looking like it was time to be changed wasn’t really that bad. But with the continued lack of pressure and flow he started at the spigot and connected one thing at a time checking flow to see what might be up.

Regulator on spigot only…good. Added hose to filter…good. Connected filter and checked filter output…no good so he says to himself “there’s the problem.” Since he had already changed the sediment filter he temporarily removed the second filter and it’s canister and checked flow…good. So it was something with the second charcoal filter. It looked fine and there was nothing else in the canister or head to cause an issue so he replaced the charcoal filter, screwed the canister on and checked again…filter output good. He skipped the hose to the softener and softener and checked the final hose output where it connects to the rig…good so problem is solved. Hooked back up and voila…pressure and flow inside restored. He still needs to back flush and regenerate the conditioner as they’re due August 1…but will leave that until next week when we’re on city water instead of well water…well water is fine for doing the job but he feels better about the extra usage for the operation when we’re on city water instead of a more limited flow/capacity well system. From an engineering standpoint doing it on a large well system like a campground has would most likely be perfectly fine…but it just seems more courteous to wait to him.

We didn’t do anything the remainder of the travel day…took a nap and had leftover pasta casserole for dinner…although we did walk down and look at the beach.

Wednesday we drove into Richibucto and went to the visitor center then drove out to Kouchibouguac (pronounced coochee-boog-wack) National Park Visitor Center to check the lay of the land…Connie found a hike we’ll probably take later in the week and a soap making operation and beach boardwalk we’ll check out as well. We then sat outside under the awning in our recliners with a cold drink and our iPads most of the afternoon…it was quite pleasant in the shade with the breeze blowing…before heading inside for leftover grilled chicken, stuffing, freshly baked garlic knot rolls, and grilled green beans for dinner.

Wednesday…it rained in the morning as scheduled…so after coffee Neil made us a nice open faced bacon and fried egg sandwich for breakfast then chilled out…we had mostly planned this week as rest period anyway with another a whole lot of Fun Stuff© scheduled…we’ve been at it pretty steadily since we got into Newfoundland and a few days doin’ nuttin’ seemed like a great idea to us. Of course…we’re doing pretty much the same thing next week although she does have a few more things scheduled…but nothing really strenuous at all, sunrise at the lighthouse, sunset at the mountain…Happy Hour on the veranda at the beach bar…really hard stuff like that ya know.

Neil grabbed a few photos around the campground…used only his iPhone today.

A couple of views of our site 37…the first was taken with a new iPhone camera app he’s trying out named Obscura 2 and the second with the stock iPhone camera app…he needs to read the manual on Obscura and figger out ‘xactly how it works…as the sky in the second one is much more true to what it looks like this morning.

It had stopped raining by the time he went out there…but the clouds haven’t broken up and were still providing a pretty dramatic background. You can see in the last one out on the horizon how the overcast is. beginning to clear and turn into a blue sky day.

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A shot of the still operational Cap Luminaire Light…it’s right opposite the campground entrance and marks Cap (or Cape) Luminaire.

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The private beach owned by the campground and the tiny harbor here at Cap Luminaire.

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In the afternoon…we headed off for a couple of activities. First up was a visit to the Olivier Soapery…which makes hand made cold process soap. Basically you melt some fat…they use a combination of olive oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax which makes the resulting soap last longer…and melt it. Then they add a solution of sodium hydroxide mixed with dye and it undergoes a chemical reaction with the oil making soap. They also add essential oils or fragrance oil…the difference being whether they’re naturally produced or artificially produced in a chemical process…and then pour it into molds. We watched a demonstration of soap making and then Connie…naturally…bought some.

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Next up was the Richibucto River Winery…we had a nice tasting…and again naturally…Connie picked out 8 bottles to take with us…strangely enough Neil will naturally help drink it. They were only about $150 Canadian or a little over $110 US which for 8 bottles of wine including 3 bottles of the expensive fortified wine…it would be Port except it’s not made in Portugal so they can’t call it Port. 

After the winery…we headed home where Neil made a gourmet meal…it was warm so he cooked it outside on the camp stove…pork cutlets with lemon, garlic, wine, and caper sauce…mashed taters with roasted garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese, corn casserole with shallots, cheese, and green chiles, and the remainder of the bottle of Clos Du Bois Chardonnay wine that we opened to make the sauce on the pork. All was amazingly good…we ate outside as it was still warm. We’ve had the windows open but it was in the lower 80s this afternoon…so we turned the A/C units on for a couple of hours to suck out some of the residual afternoon heat.

More Fun Stuff© is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday…I will report on that later.

Interesting things found on the net this week.

Typical progressive/liberal idea here…let’s ban plastic straws because they’re single use and bad for the environment…then let’s individually wrap our bio-degradable paper straws in plastic that will get tossed into the same place the plastic straws that were banned used to get tossed. Yeah…that’ll help.

StarbucksStraws

Spoken by a person who knows the true value of alcohol.

TheValueOfWine

How does one get elected as a Senator without passing basic high school civics and understanding the definition of the word treason.

Treason Not

No Senator Dumb Ass from Oregon…but maybe being from Oregon is indicative of something…here’s the definition of treason…and it ain’t your sore loser BS.

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The truth about this whole collusion thing…is actually pretty simple…despite both the President’s continual tweeting about the “rigged special prosecutor” and the other side’s defending the righteousness of Mr. Mueller and his charge…all of that is primarily a bunch of political BEP (bovine end product as I’ve mentioned before).

First off…the sole idea behind any political campaign…especially these days…is to win the election…and it’s been proven far too often that mud slinging works. Sure…Trump did it…but so did Ms. Clinton…and while two wrongs definitely don’t make a right…handicapping yourself and handing the election to the other side is political suicide.

Second…and let’s look at this from the other countries point of view…I’m sure that from as the Russian government sees it they have a preference who wins our election…just like we have a preference who wins theirs. And while Russians don’t get to vote in our elections…as Americans don’t get to vote in theirs…in any political process it’s certainly not illegal for anybody to advocate for the candidate they prefer. While it is illegal under US campaign and election law to disguise funding sources for political action committees promoting a specific candidate as opposed to general committees promoting any particular agenda…those groups doing the latter are subject to the same limits, requirements, and scrutinies as the former groups are. All politicians have PACs that both support them directly and those that support particular agendas and hence have fewer legal requirements…and all politicians and their political professional operators understand the laws…and pretty much all of them bend the requirements and go right up to the line of legality…I’m not justifying that, just recognizing that politicians are first and foremost self serving scum.

Finally…and most important…not a damn bit of any of that actually fricking matters…the only thing that matters is votes cast on Election Day. It doesn’t matter if the Russians wanted Mr. Trump to win or if the any other country wanted Ms. Clinton to win. What matters is the number of votes…and unless Mr. Mueller and his supporters on the left have some proof that the Russian government actually interfered with and changed the vote totals…then all this talk about collusion is primarily a case of sore loser griping…just like it was primarily a case of sore loser griping when President Obama won election and reelection with all the BEP the other side said about him.

Sorry ‘bout the rathole…I started just to call out the idiocy of Senator Dumb Ass.

And finally…Neil really likes this one.

OkToDisagreeWithMe

Cyas.

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More PEI Fun Stuff©

We had originally planned a visit to another lighthouse Sunday morning after Mass…but Connie woke up feeling poorly and it was raining so we blew it off and just came home after Mass. Our other scheduled activity for Sunday was a visit to the Irish Pub downtown for an early dinner and then the show Anne and Gilbert in the evening.

First up was dinner at the Olde Dublin Pub and Claddagh Oyster House…they share the same building and menu although there’s a separate kitchen in the pub upstairs for patrons up there. We started with a dozen Malpeque oysters on the half shell…these are smaller than what you would normally get in either the Outer Banks or the Gulf of Mexico coast but are pretty sweet and tasty…and at $1CN each quite a bargain…along with that Neil had a Guinness and Connie a Harp Irish Ale. Next up…we split a lobstah stuffed mushroom appetizer…I can confirm that there was cheese, buddah, and cream involved in addition to mushrooms and lobstah…then we ordered first 6 to split and then another 3 for Neil ‘cuz he was still hungry bacon wrapped scallops…again these were smallish but they were very tasty and were actually scallops as opposed to the fake ones made out of shark that you typically get. The way you can tell that they’re real scallops is that they’re not uniform…the ones punched out from a shark steak are uniform on size and thickness whereas real ones are variable. Connie had another Harp but Neil switched to Redbreast Irish Whiskey straight up with a dash of water in it to bloom the flavor and cut the harshness.

Turns out there’s a lemon shortage in Canuckistan…we talked about it with Ashley the bartender and another couple of other couples dining at the bar…because you meet a much better class of bum sitting at the bar dontchaknow…they had heard that it was a either a result of the retaliatory tariffs that were placed on US goods after the recent import tariffs the government imposed…or that there was a freeze that limited the lemon crop in California. Based on the fact that limes and oranges are readily available…and since the freeze area they talked about was pretty far north in California up by San Francisco which isn’t where the citrus groves are…I would guess it’s either the tariff or something completely unrelated. Anyways…since there were no lemons we had to squeeze lime wedges on our oysters…and we’re sold on using limes instead of lemons…they actually are better than lemons on oysters.

Here’s a shot of Ashley the bartender…holding up one of the aforementioned oyster seasoning limes for us.

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Overall a really great meal…kinda on the pricey side but that’s because of the Irish whiskey…but the food was great, the company great, and we chatted with several other interesting folks at the bar. In fact…it was so good we went back Monday evening for more.

After that we walked ‘round the corner to The Guild which is a local playhouse…where we had prime seats 3 rows back right in the middle of the stage…for a production of Anne and Gilbert…which is sort of a sequel to Anne of Green Gables after she grew up. Gilbert was a boy in her class who teased her at first then later helped her manage the bullying children in the class after Anne was orphaned and adopted by the Cuthberts who owned a farm in PEI named Green Gables…later in life, at least according to the sequel…they fell in love and naturally lived happily ever after. It was romantic comedy with a cast of 22 that we counted…and was actually a lot more entertaining than we thought it would be.

Monday we headed off for our last day of PEI Fun Stuff© before heading out to Richibucto Village 120 miles up the coast from Charlottetown on Tuesday…after we pay the over $100 Canadian toll to get off of PEI.

Our first stop was at the Point Prim Lighthouse…which is the oldest lighthouse on PEI…it’s 61 feet high and was in service from 1841 to 1969, it had 13 keepers over the years with Angus Alexander Murchison being the longest serving at 35 years. It’s different from any other lighthouse in Canada save one…as it’s circular and constructed of brick…it’s counterpart with this construction is Fishgard Light in British Columbia.

Sorry ‘bout the number of lighthouse pictures you’ve had to see the past month…but the DLETC hasn’t found any waterfalls and since her hip has been hurting the hiking opportunities have been scarce lately.

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Point Prim is south and east of Charlottetown…after finishing up there we headed back through Charlottetown and then north to the campground…where we dropped off a few groceries we picked up on the way…then stopped and had ice cream for lunch…it was Mint Chocolate Chip Swirl for Neil and S’Mores for Connie…both were good, we decided that we could afford to have ice cream for lunch every once in awhile. Then we entered another section of PEI National Park up along the north coast of the island where we stopped by to see the Covehead Harbor Lighthouse right on the beach along with another couple of flowers. This light is still in operation and is smallish at only about 27 feet high…although it’s 20 feet or so above the beach so that increases it’s effective height.

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With that…our day was done and we headed back to the rig. Neil put the grill and flagpole away in preparation for our travel day tomorrow…then we had a shower and Connie washed her hair as it was time again for that…then headed out to dinner and an early night of it.

Interesting things found on the net.

MoreTruth

NotMyJobAnymore

Cyas.

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