Transit to Cow Head NL

Before I get into today’s post…let’s talk about Newfoundland a bit…what it’s like. Seems like a good idea to me as it’s a place not many folks visit. First up…a couple statistics. It’s about 42,000 square miles with a population of just under a half million. It’s about 320 miles by 310 miles and is mostly a square with a piece sticking up to the north from the northwest corner and another smaller chunk hanging off of the southeast corner. Most of the population lives either along the coastline or along the Trans Canada Highway as it bisects the island east to west. There are two major cities…Channel Port aux Basques on the southwest tip and St. John’s on the southeast tip. It’s got over 7,000 islands and about 15,500 miles of coastline.

So what’s it like?

Basically…Newfoundland resulted when Ireland and Alaska had a baby. Topographically…it’s a lot of rock with bits of dirt in between…a lot of the “dirt” is actually what would be called muskeg up in Alaska or peat over in Island. Lots of water…thousands upon thousands of lakes, ponds, streams, brooks, rivers, wetlands. Lots of hills and low mountains…not real tall as the highest elevation is only about 2,700 feet but what hills there are result in a lot of short, steep grades on the roads…which meander around the valleys and ridges with a lot of curves…no real freeways as we would have down in the USA. In fact…the mountains in the southwest part of the island…known as the Table Mountains…are actually part of the Appalachian Mountains…way back when all the land on the earth was gathered into the super-continent Pangea the Appalachian Mountains existed but not the Rockies…they’re much younger. When the land separated into the continents we have today…part of the Appalachians went with what eventually became Newfoundland.

People…they’re among the most friendly folks we’ve ever been around…even friendlier than most of the rest of Canuckistan…well, friendly except for the border guards. Can’t really say anything bad about them.

Infrastructure wise…well…that’s the part that the Alaskan parentage provided…the standard of living here is a lot rougher than it is in most places down in the USA. It’s not lower…don’t want to give you the wrong impression…but it’s just a lot more rough and ready than say the I-95 corridor in the eastern USA. Stores…groceries, gas stations, hardware and the like are all fewer and farther between than most Americans are used to…and the selection in stores is also less than what we would be used to. Nothing wrong with that…but it’s definitely something you notice as you travel around.

Road-wise…well…there it’s almost exactly like Alaska. There are two seasons up here…winter and road construction…but mostly the road construction folks do a good job and even with lane blockages and flagmen they tend to get you going as quickly as possible. They’ve also just accepted a lower standard of smoothness for roads…with the weather up here and snowplows busting up the pavement every winter…they just patch the potholes and don’t do complete repaving jobs nearly as much as we’re used to down in the USA. They also have a lot of gravel and unpaved roads…just like Alaska…the main roads are paved but a good percentage of the secondary roads are gravel…well maintained gravel so it’s not usually too bad to drive down them…but gravel nonetheless.

Weather-wise…I dunno what to tellya…I don’t think they have summer up here. As I type this missive up here in Cow Head which is about halfway up the west coast of the island…it’s 50 degrees coming down from a high today of 52 and headed for a low tonight of low 40s…with 20-25 knots of wind blowing. Granted…we’re only about 30 feet from the coast of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence…but it’s cold and windy…and it’s been that way ever since we arrived…and it also rains a lot.

Ok, enough of that…let’s get to the meat of today’s post…

We got saddled up and on the road this morning about 1000 for our 213 mile transit from Doyles up to Cow Head…which is located in the northern portion of Gros Morne National Park…we’ll be visiting that the next 4 days so I’ll leave descriptions and photos from the park until a later post.

For only a 200 mile day…it was pretty brutal…it was in the high 40s when we started getting ready to leave and drizzling. Rained most of the first 100 miles and some wind as we passed over small passes and through valleys…nothing dangerous but the combination of rain, lowered traction, wind, and curvy roads…not to mention the roadside ditches and cliffs…meant that Neil had to pay closer attention to things than would be normal on a US freeway. After lunch…the weather got better but then we were driving through Gros Morne National Park…with lots of lookie-loos on the road and even worse curves and hills.

We did get stopped briefly at one construction zone where there was a single lane open for traffic for about 3/4 of a mile or so…ended up sitting there waiting on our turn for 10-15 minutes. While we were sitting there stopped on the two lane road…Neil looks to his left and lo and behold this is what he found.

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Yup…a little black bear…probably 150 or 200 pounds…sitting right next to the edge of the road eating flowers and completely ignoring the line of cars stopped 12 feet away. He actually stood up on his…or maybe hers…dunno which…hind legs and watched the proceedings but Neil couldn’t get the camera off of the passenger seat quick enough to get that shot. Quite a good series of shots for something we just basically lucked into and shot photos out the opened window on Big Red…the li’l guy (or gal)…couldn’t have cared less about the cars. Cars actually make pretty good blinds for taking wildlife photos because the animals don’t realize there are people inside the vehicles.

Interesting things found on the net.

Bet it’s fun to sing the Happy Birthday song to this lady.


Haters will decry this one as Fake News.


Meanwhile…in Ireland.


I just can’t see her finishing though.


How Hells Angels in Canuckistan terrorize their victims. 



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Transit to Newfoundland and Dolyes NL Area

After our time in Little Bras d’Or was ended…we were up early for the 4 mile transit to the ferry to Newfoundland…just so ya’ll won’t pronounce it wrong it’s pronounced Nu-fun-land up in these parts…basically we turned left out of Arm of Gold campground for 300 yards and then right on NS-105 which is also the TCH (Trans Canada Highway) which dumps you right into the ferry terminal. We had already gotten our reservations for the 90 mile 6.5 hours trip on the Blue Puttees ferry…we arrived at the terminal by about 0830 and got quickly checked in…we were the 3rd RV to check in for the daily sailing which leaves at 1145. We went into the terminal building and killed some time before boarding started at 0920…we were on the ferry by 0945…Connie parked Little Red in the outside lane and Big Red and the rig were in the center lane…they put RVs in the center for better weight distribution.

We sailed about 15 or 20 minutes early and had a nice transit on a beautiful day over to Channel-Port aux Basques on the southwestern tip of Newfoundland. We found seats, napped, ate some fish and chips in the restaurant, took another nap…and we were there. Neil pulled off first…and you exit the ferry terminal directly onto the highway…no place to park…so he went up the road a couple of miles and pulled over to the side near an Irving truck stop…very similar to a Flying J or Pilot in our neck of the woods. Connie showed up about 10 minutes later…her row was the last to disembark…and we finished the rest of our grueling 24 mile transit to Doyles NL and quickly…well not quite so quickly as there were 4 or 5 rigs that pulled off the ferry after Neil but passed us while he was waiting on Connie and Little Red…but we got a nice site 38. It’s a full hookup back in but the way the CG roads are built we basically only had to back straight up to get into the site. Neil hooked up utilities and we had dinner…then rested until bedtime as we were tired…dinner wasn’t until like 2100 or so.

Thursday we basically rested and Connie planned our time here in the Codroy Valley…it’s not like there’s a whole bunch to see and we’ve been going pretty steadily since we crossed the border so a couple of easier days seemed in order. She did find 2 scenic drives for us to go on…including 3 lighthouses and a waterfall…so it wasn’t all bad. After that was done we did a quick hike around the inspirational trail…as the campground named it…about a 2 kilometer figure 8 hike along the shore of the Grand Codroy River.

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After awhile…we figured out why they called it the Inspirational Trail.

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Although we liked this one the best.


Friday we headed off on a scenic drive that basically goes north and west from Doyles…which is situated on the western side of Newfoundland. The island basically looks like an upside down capital Y…we landed at Channel-Port aux Basques on the southwestern tip and Doyles is just a bit up the coast from there. We’ll visit Cow Head about halfway up the coast and then Quirpon where the Viking settlements were at the far northern end before coming back down past Cow Head and then heading eastward across the center of the island to Eastport on the east side and then St. John’s on the far southeast tip…we’ll then retrace our path across the middle back to Doyles to board the ferry back to Nova Scotia in about 3 weeks.

Ok…let’s take a look at our Fun Stuff© and the associated photos.

As we left the harbor we got a shot of the Low Point Light…we saw this from the ground side the other day but it’s at the mouth of the exit from Sydney harbor into the Atlantic…although the ferry actually goes straight across the narrowest part so whether we were in the Atlantic or the Gulf of Saint Lawrence depends on your point of view I guess.

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Shortly after we passed the light…we passed the inbound ferry from Newfoundland…the ferry runs twice a day and this one left last evening from Argentia over by Saint John’s for the 16 hour transit back to Sydney…Neil noted that we exchanged the proper International Rules of the Road single whistle blast for a port to port passing of the other ferry…glad to see they follow the rules.

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On our day trip up to the north of Doyles…we did get a few shots.

Cape Anguille Lighthouse…the westernmost point of Newfoundland and the location of the island end of the underwater cable that finally connected it to the rest of Canuckistan back in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

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Another one of those foghorns…the sign basically says “this is a loud sumbich…”

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The main bridge across the. Grand Codroy River in the area…one lane. Didn’t see a weight limit but it would have been wide enough for the rig and we did see a truck cross it…although he probably only weighed 15 or 20 thousand pounds instead of our 34 thousand…not sure we would want to take the rig across it…no sir, not sure at all.

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Saturday was scheduled to be a beautiful day…so we headed out for our second drive which would just happen to include a stop at the pub for dinner on the way home. 

First stop was the Cape Ray lighthouse.

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Followed by a succession of small coastal towns…here’s a sample shot but they all looked pretty similar…small and quaint with houses that ranged from dilapidated shacks to pretty nice looking homes…each town with it’s own harbor of fishing boats.

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Next up was a stop at Barachois Falls…which included a 1.25 mile round trip hike…it was all on gravel path or boardwalks so it was a nice walk albeit uphill on the way back. The falls is about 125 feet tall total and was really pretty nice…although Connie didn’t hike the last 50 yards as it was mucky and scrambling over rocks.

Here’s a shot Connie got…

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And here’s Neil’s HDR, Luminarized version…actually a couple of different versions…his was taken about 50 yards past where Connie’s was as he got to the edge of the stream and then used the tripod and spent 10 minutes processing it as opposed to the 10 seconds it took to process hers. From a strictly what did it look like with your eyes standpoint…hers is probably closer…but from a which one is more likely to have you say “yeah” standpoint maybe one of his is better…let me know what you think in the comments and/or if I should put in both the straight out of the camera shot as well as the processed ones when he does things like this.

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Next stop was the town of Rose Blanche…which strangely enough is the last town accessible by road as you head east across the southern coast of Newfoundland…all the rest are only reachable by ferry until you get almost 300 miles east to the Argentia area. There are both people and car ferries that transit along the coast.

Looking due east…the town of La Petites is about 5 miles across there but you can’t really see it because of the haze. There are only about 20 permanent residents in the town now…but it has overnight accommodations and there’s a car ferry that leaves Rose Blanche about 1600 in the afternoon and returns the next morning about 1000 if you should want to go there and visit…although with only 20 residents they get about 90% of their income from tourists and there’s probably 1 place in town total where you can eat and get a beer.

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Also at Rose Blanche is the Rose Blanche Lighthouse…which amazingly enough is different from the standard white with a red top design scheme of every other lighthouse we’ve seen here so far. It’s constructed of granite and is no longer in operation but is operated as a tourist attraction only.

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With that our day was done…we headed the 45 kilometers back to Channel-Port aux Basques for dinner at the 1 Ton Pub and Grill…Connie had clam strips and Neil had a bacon cheeseburger…her clams were good but his burger was typically overdone as all burgers up here in Canuckistan are…they’ve got some sort of health rule that prevents them from actually making them edible and requires burning them almost beyond recognition. He’s not going to have any more burgers up here he thinks. The fries on the other hand were the best we’ve had in a restaurant in quite awhile.

As we finished our beers and dinner…Neil noticed the ferry coming in so we hurried up and left before it moored and disembarked…every night at Grand Codroy Campground about 1915 there’s a line of RVs that got off the ferry trying to check in…that would be fine as we’re already checked in but they clog the entrance road and we didn’t feel like sitting in the backup until they all got checked in so we could get to the campsite.

We had our third mini NHOG Rally though…we had gotten an email the other day from Joe and Vick Garafola…we met them at the NHOG Rally in Chattanooga in 2016 when Connie had her eye issue and couldn’t see…they were in the area so we told them to stop by. They were on the ferry and after checking they came over…Neil lit a nice campfire…and we chatted for an hour or two until we were all tired and headed off to bed.

Sunday…well Sunday it rained…all day…so we went to Mass and gave Vicki a ride as Joe isn’t Catholic but she is…afterwards we did laundry and Neil dumped and flushed our tanks in preparation for tomorrow’s transit to Cow Head NL.

No Interesting things from the net today…slow internet and hard to upload.


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Sydney NS Area

After our 327 mile trip here we were beat I tellya…pretty much beat. About half of the trip was on a nice 4 lane freeway…then we got onto NS-105…which forms the eastern port of the Trans Canada Highway…it’s composed of a series of different roads as it goes from Newfoundland to the west coast and the construction type and quality is variable depending on where you are…the named road was constructed largely of already existing roads. Anyway…105 was pretty rough…and we discovered on arrival that the window shade over our living room window had fallen off the mounts on the ceiling…further investigation revealed that the wall anchors had pulled out. Not surprising…it’s happened before…but there are no metal structural members in the ceiling, just fiberglas and insulation with a thin sheet metal backing board. The solution is just to put in new screw wall anchors…luckily we had a few but they’re on our list to buy more……then hang the shade back on the brackets. This requires…naturally…that you remove the window valence but it’s still a less than an hour job which we got done today after our driving tour of Lake Bras d’Or was done.

Sunday we headed off to Mass at the church about 400 yards away from the campground…the pub is the same distance in the opposite direction on Church Road…so we’ve got pretty much everything we need fairly close…and then were headed down the east side of Lake Bras d’Or…our plan was to stop for lunch at Rita’s Tea House and then continue on down the shoreline another 20 mile or so before heading back. At the northern end of the lake we crossed westward onto the peninsula that has our Arm of Gold Campground in Little Bras d’Or, head around the southern end of that peninsula and then make our way back to the campground.

Some photos from our trip.

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Rita’s Teahouse where we had lunch…we actually had High Tea even though it was only around noontime. It was the home of a Canadian country western singer named Rita MacNeil…after her death in 2013 her estate turned it into a teahouse and museum of her career. We had your typical High Tea menu…egg salad, cucumber, and tuna sandwiches with no crust, some assorted pastries…lemon squares, red velvet fudge, coconut macaroons and oatmeal biscuits (cookies we would call them) that were pretty good…and tea of course.

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Sitting at our table…an usie…this was before lunch got there.

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A shot of the rig parked in our site…looking out ahead of us about 400 yards is the church we went to.

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After our trip we headed home and did a little spot touch on the driver side quarter panel on Little Red…some jerk down in Maine scraped it up a bit. We put some touch up paint on it to keep it from rusting until we get back to Fort Myers…then we’ll get it fixed when we’re not moving.

Found some interesting facts on the population of Canuckistan today. The country has a total population of about 36 million folks…and it’s even more skewed in distribution than the US is…sure, NY, PA, OH and CA are heavily populated with lesser numbers of people in the west and Alaska…but they’ve much more population density variance up here.

99% of the population lives below the line in the image below…1% lives above it. That’s a total of about 360,000 people total living above the line…and even below the line a lot of the land is very lightly populated.


50% o the population lives in the red areas below.


I saw another image yesterday that was the above map divided into colors each comprising 20% of the total population…but then I went to find it again to post here and couldn’t find it…basically 3 of the 5 20% blocks were on the east coast in the area from Toronto to Quebec, another one was centered around Calgary and the last comprised the remaining 80-90% of the land area. The one below showing population density was the closest one I could find to showing this…note the large dark gray area which is pretty close to the last 20% block on the image I couldn’t find again.

Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have a total population of 118,000…and the three red cities of Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit have 50,000 of that 118.000. Even the more populated provinces like BC, Alberta, and Quebec have most of their population concentrated in the southern or coastal sections.

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What this tells you is that vast, vast majority of the country is basically empty of people…the lightest yellow area in the image above is a density of 0.4 people per square kilometer and the gray area is less than that. Having been in the upper portions of Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon on our Alaska trip back in 2015…I can tell you that if you see a half dozen cars per hour total on the major (well, the only ones actually) highways that’s almost classified as rush hour. There are about 3.9 million square miles in the country and probably 3 million of them are basically empty.

Later on…I found the one I was referring to before…the colors below represent 25% or about 9 million of the population of Canuckistan. It really bears out…again…the ones above.




So we had 2 full days here for Fun Stuff© in the Sydney area of Cape Breton Island…the first was taken up with a visit to Low Point Lighthouse and some errands…we needed to buy more jeans as we’ll not be in shorts the rest of our time in Canuckistan. We found Levi’s 505s for 35 bucks US…score. The second day was devoted to a trip over to Louisbourg to visit the restored city and fort there. We were originally going to do a rum tasting as well…but Connie woke up with an upset tummy so we punted on the rum tasting.

Here are a few shots of the Low Point Light as well as the barriers that were previously constructed to help prevent erosion of the bluff near the light…you can see how well it’s worked…and also a working lobstah boat right off shore.

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After our Fun Stuff©it was 5 o’clock in Tel Aviv as one of our RVing friends would say…so we headed over to the Blue Mist Tavern for dinner…turned out their kitchen was closed today so we just had a couple of brews and met some local Bras d’Or good ole boys…then went next door and brought home a pizza from Janes Pizza for dinner…it turned out to be a hit as it was the best pizza we’ve had in quite a long time.

Tuesday…we scheduled a trip down to the Louisbourg historic site…it’s run by the Park Service up here and is a reconstruction of an old French settlement here on Cape Breton Island that was first settled in 1720 and occupied until the French lost New France to the UK in 1758. We took about a mile hike around the town and got a few shots…

The King’s Bastion…which housed the 600 soldiers manning the fort, their unmarried officers, and the governor and his family.

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Married officer’s house.

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Looking down the Quay…the widest street in the town, The harbor is immediately to the left and in addition to shops this wide street was used for social functions.

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One of the shops along the Quay.

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The Frederic Gate from the harbor to the Quay…located in the center.

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Cannon along the Quay…there are others behind this fortified wall in the Demi-bastion…a fort basically…that look out over and protect the harbor.

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The Dauphin Gate out to the land side of town…at the west end of the Quay.

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Cliff Swallow…there were dozens of these nesting up under the eaves of the buildings in town.

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Some of the local residents.

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Ye Old Royal Sword Maker…although since this is a French town I guess Ye Old is not really appropriate.

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The Ice House where they stored ice for their wine and beer. The sign says this is an upside down cone shaped building…sure looks right side up to me.

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Guardhouse where the soldiers stood duty…right outside the King’s Bastion.

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The rear of the King’s Bastion and courtyard…this was taken from the parapet of the fort that looks out over the land between the town and the remainder of Cape Breton Island off of the peninsula the town is on,

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The Atlantic Ocean was pretty rough today…so Neil got some shots of the breakers.

This first one is a rock just outside the harbor…probably 20 feet tall spray from the waves.

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We left Louisbourg and drove around to the Louisbourg Light which is across the harbor from the town. This light was constructed in 1734 and is the oldest lighthouse in Canuckistan…it’s still operational today lighting the way home for wayward mariners.

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With that we headed home…Neil made stir fry for dinner…it was really tasty. We used the last of the chicken breasts that our friend Jeff gave us when he left Seminole in April…this pile of chicken chunks came from a single boneless breast…it was the largest chicken breast any of us had ever seen by a factor of 2…huge. We’ve seen turkey breasts that weren’t this large. We used it specifically so there would be leftovers for tomorrow night after the ferry trip…we’ll be getting to the campground pretty late so need something quick.

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Interesting things from the net this week.

Now you know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say.


I don’t play around.


More truth.



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Fundy National Park and Transit to Bras d’Or NS

We headed off about 0900 this morning after coffee and breakfast…our destination for the day was Fundy National Park which is about 37 kilometers or about 22 miles south. We started with 3 destinations in mind but then added a couple of others.

In addition…we expect to see Roy and Ann Brody again this afternoon…they’ll be here through Sunday or Monday whereas we’re leaving Saturday morning…they’re headed down into Nova Scotia to Yarmouth at the far end while we head further northeast to Sydney to catch the ferry over to Newfoundland next week.

First up was a visit to the very southern end of the park…well, it’s not actually the southern end but it’s as far as you can go on a paved road…to see the Wolfe Creek covered bridge. This is a new covered bridge built in 1992 in the same style and construction techniques (mostly) that old 1700s and 1800s covered bridges used…the key difference being that rather than being limited to about 3.2 meters vertical clearance and 4 tons weight capacity as the 45 Bridge I’ll talk about in a bit…it’s got a vertical clearance of 4.5 meters and is rated for 23 tons…the primary reasons for these increased dimensions being that the Wolfe Point RV Campground is on the far side of the river and they needed a bridge that could handle RV traffic.

On the way to Wolfe Point…we passed by a sign to Herring Cove…so after visiting the bridge we stopped by there. Neil hiked down the 150 odd stair steps to the beach while Connie stayed up top…our original plan was to maybe eat lunch there but the bugs were fierce. They’re not biting bugs…at least not so we noticed…but they buzz ‘round your face and are really, really annoying…so we headed off for an overlook just inside the park east entrance up on top of a ridge overlooking the Bay of Fundy and ate there instead.

Before eating…we stopped by Dickson Falls…located on Dickson Brook naturally. We had a pretty nice little loop hike of almost a mile…with a very nice waterfall and a couple of minor falls downstream from Dickson Falls proper. 

After eating…we headed north for Ponderosa Pines…but took a planned short side trip to the 45 Bridge. Seems like the Canucks have the same really logical naming system that the Mainers do. There’s this covered bridge that we headed off to see…it’s named the 45 Bridge. Why? Naturally it’s because it passes over the 45 River…and you take 45 Road to get there. Now why it’s named 45 I have no idea and a quick google didn’t reveal anything useful…but that’s it’s name and the bridge and road name obviously flow from there.

After the 45 Bridge…we headed home for dinner with another day of Fun Stuff© in the books…so on the the pictures.

First up…I gotta show you the lengths that we’ll go to to get great images for you…our devoted and loyal readers…to see and enjoy. Here are a couple of shots we took along the aforementioned 45 Road on the way to the bridge.

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How far will we go…all the way to the Black Hole I tellya.

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We had to drive about 5.7 kilometers down that gravel road to get to the bridge…and the photo shows one of the good parts…although it was relatively smooth for a gravel road that piece is about a 20 percent grade. We were up and down…dodging ‘round the potholes…picking our way across washed out drainage culverts…but Little Red handled it like a champ and we made our way out and back in.

Looking southward toward the Bay just downstream of the Wolfe Creek Bridge.

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And looking the other way here’s a view of part of the bridge.

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As we departed the area we looked back and got this shot…the two above were taken from the right hand side of the bridge just on the other side of the concrete pier.

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Herring Cove beach.

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And a shot Connie got from up on the bluff.

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Closeups of some of the flowers on the trees there.

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Next stop was the hike at Dickson Falls…the first few of these are not the main falls but the minor drops downstream from the main fall…

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And finally…Dickson Falls itself…it’s about 30 or 40 feet for the top drop and then another 12 or 14 for the cascade lower portion…all of the minor drops above are within a couple of hundred yards downstream from the main fall but there’s enough separation so that they’re not considered part of Dickson.

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An usie of the adults on the boardwalk near the main drop of the fall.

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This was about the only wildlife we saw today…some sort of slug thing about 2 inches long.

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Final destination of the day was 45 Bridge.

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A shot of the interior support structure of the bridge. Ever wonder why covered bridges are…well, covered? It’s not for any structural purpose but rather to protect the deck and structural members of the bridge from rain, ice, and snow…any of that will cause premature deterioration of the bridge structure and shorten it’s useful life. To prevent this…they were designed with side walls and shingled roofs to keep the rain off of them.

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There was a nice little waterfall directly under the bridge…we could hear it but finding it to take a photo was mostly impossible…we did get a few shots of small portions but the only way to see any significant portion was to hang out the window on the side of the bridge and look straight down…don’t worry…Neil was holding on with one hand and Connie had ahold of his belt as well while he got these.

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Then it was off to lunch at the overlook…the park has a couple of Adirondack chairs up on top…they were occupied with other lunchers and it was sprinkling a bit so we ate in the car but once they left we got a couple of shots of us lounging in them.

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And a couple of shots looking southwards toward the Bay.

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With that our day was done and we headed for the barn…and looking at the weather forecast we switched our activities for Thursday and Friday…deciding to do the nails/haircut/grocery run on Thursday during the rain and go down to the Mary’s Point, the Cape Enrage Lighthouse and a bonus Anderson Hollow Lighthouse on Friday followed by dinner with Roy and Ann.

It rained all day Thursday…hard…it was a bit of a challenge driving up to Moncton for our errands as the road markings here in our northern neighbor are poor at best and pretty much impossible to see when it’s raining…but we got them all done and brought home a tandoori roasted chicken from Walmart for dinner along with a couple of baked potatoes that Neil cooked for us.

Friday we headed off to Mary’s Point…we passed on the bird sanctuary and walk on the ocean floor thing and stopped by for a quick look at the Anderson Hollow Lighthouse…which has been moved several times and now sits on a dam at some sort of abandoned tourist attraction.

Anderson Hollow Light

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Cape Enrage Lighthouse. As you can see…it’s almost identical in design to Anderson Hollow…and to almost all of the lighthouses we’ve seen along the coast up here. Seems the Canucks have more of a bent towards uniformity as compared to lighthouses in the US…we deliberately build them with different designs and paint schemes to ensure that even if you see the light in the daytime you can easily identify it. Back in sailing ship days with less than GPS accuracy for their navigation…being able to visually identify a light during the day was a big deal because (a) it told you where you really were and (b) by knowing that you could avoid the shoal waters that lights frequently are placed to help shipping avoid. Seems like a different idea up here…as a former mariner the US philosophy makes more sense. Cape Enrage lighthouse is still operated by the Coast Guard…although it’s unmanned now. The property is owned (except for the light) by a couple who have built a gift shop, restaurant, and charge an admission fee to get into the grounds to see the light and the fossil beach just at the bottom of the bluff past the light.

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Close up of the light section…it doesn’t have a Fresnel lens like most lights do so it’s not visible as far…based on it’s height it should be visible at about twice it’s actual visibility distance.

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The foghorn at the light…a nearby sign says it might go off anytime if it’s foggy…and if it does it will damage your hearing…must be mighty darned loud. The couple that runs the place and their 20 odd summer workers that run a zip line on the property must have a real hard time trying to sleep if the weather is bad.

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Another couple of shots of the light that Connie took.

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Looking back from the light towards the dorm for the summer help…if she had been any farther back she would have fallen over the railing and down the bluff.

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We came home and then headed back out with Roy and Ann to the restaurant at the local dude ranch…horses and all. Dinner was good but not great…but it was only 8 miles away instead of 30 so that covers a lot of sins I guess…Connie had salmon and it was great…Neil had shrimp carbonara that was decent.

After we got back Neil went out and got another couple of sunset shots.

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Saturday we were up early for our 330ish mile transit to the Sydney NS area…where we quickly got setup in an un-numbered site at Arm of Gold Campground just about 5 miles from the ferry landing in North Sydney where we’ll be embarking Wednesday morning for our transit to Newfoundland. There were about 1 or 15 Airstream travel trailers lined up in a row here when we pulled in…but they were all gone the next morning so they were obviously an Airstream only caravan…our guess is that they got on the ferry this mooning.

Interesting things found on the net.

The real Bermuda Triangle.


Hipsters at lunch.


I really wonder why that is.



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Transit to Hopewell Cape NB and Hopewell Rocks

Monday we had a 170 mile travel day from St John to Hopewell Cape…since it was a relatively short day we took our time and got underway from Rockwood Park a bit after 1000 after saying our “until next times” to Roy and Ann Brody…and it turns out they’re also heading to Hopewell Cape a couple days after us and even staying at the same campground…so we’ll see them again later on in the week.

We hopped onto NB-2…a nice 4 lane freeway…for the first 140 miles then onto NB-114 at Moncton for the last 30 miles of the transit down to the Hopewell Cape area…and pulled into the Ponderosa Pines RV Park…quickly getting checked in and assigned a site. When we got back there we noticed that the utilities were on the wrong side…and they were so far forward that we didn’t have enough hoses or extension cords to reach…so the owner who was back finishing up construction on some new sites shifted us a few sites up where we had the utilities in the right place. Still have a pretty nice view of the lake on the property…turns out the site we were originally in is normally a class A RV site and they pull in forwards rather than back in…that puts their windshield toward the water and the utilities in the right position. No worries though…there aren’t that many rigs parked here. We were originally going to go into one of the new pull through sites (probably 100 feet long)…they were supposed to be done last week but the plumbing inspector hasn’t been out yet to certify the connections for use.

We were actually pretty tired even though it was a short travel day…and it was down into the 50s by dinner time with a low 40s forecast for overnight…so Neil just made some potato, corn, bacon, venison sausage, and cheese tortellini soup for dinner…it was quite yummy and really hit the spot on a cool evening.

Tuesday we were up early for our first scheduled activity…a visit to the Hopewell Rocks located just about 3 miles from the campground. This is a series of rock formations in the Bay of Fundy that have skinny bottoms and fatter tops with trees growing on them…they’re very similar in shape and how they were eroded to the hoodoo’s that the wind and freezing rain sculpts out in the west except the erosion is done by wave action. They’re also…because they’re in the Bay of Fundy, known for it’s world highest tidal range…alternately 50 yards off shore or high and dry depending on the tide. Your $10 entry fee gets you access on two consecutive days so you can visit at both low and high tide if you prefer…which we clearly wanted to do while we were here. 

After parking and paying the entry fee there’s about a 1 kilometer walk down to the rocks…they’re called Flower Pot Rocks here…with about 200 feet of vertical descent…so over our two round trips down there we got in a hair over 3 miles of hiking.

Before heading out…Neil went out at 0540 to take some photos of the sun coming up over the marsh south of the campground…the original owner back 53 years ago bought a huge chunk of property, built some dikes in the marsh to create lakes and stocked them with fish and built himself a pretty darned nice campground.

Looking eastward from the dike just south of the rig.

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Back to the north…the rig is just out of frame to the left behind those trees.

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Looking south from the dike…this is at low tide and the bay is about 500 years away.

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Second shot taken from the same spot 6 hours later at high tide.

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Southwest along the edge of the bay.

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They even have Great Blue Herons up here.

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Closer view of the gully you can barely see in the image 2 shots back.

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After hiking down to the rocks at Hopewell Rock…this is a shot of them at high tide. We visited at about 1100 and then again at 1500 to see both tides…I’ve deliberately put some of the slides out of the order in which they were taken to illustrate the tidal range.

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And the same rocks at low tide…the small opening you can see at the bottom of the center rock in the above has become a hole large enough to drive the rig through if you could get it down to the beach. Neil looked it up on the tide tables this afternoon and the high tide was 40.7 feet and the low was 4.3…representing a 36 foot difference in just 6 hours. Further up towards the north end of the Bay of Fundy the tidal range is as much as 53 feet.

Why does the Bay have such a large tidal range when it’s connected to the Atlantic Ocean which has a much lower range? The simple explanation…just because. The longer explanation is that there are two factors at play. First is that the natural tidal resonance of the Bay based on it’s shape and contours is exactly in sync with the tidal range in the Atlantic…so like waves amplifying when they’re in resonance synchronization they increase in size. The second reason is that because the opening of the bay faces to the southwest and the islands arranged around the mouth causes a large vortex eddy outside the mouth of the bay and the eddy sucks the water level in the bay below the level in the Atlantic at low tide and conversely forces water into the bay at high tide so the bay has higher high tides and lower low tides than the ocean outside the bay.  

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An area known as the Great Cove just north of the rocks.

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And the same shot a few hours later.

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Diamond Rock up near the visitor center…high tide.

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And low tide.

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More shots from walking around on the sea bed around the base of the rocks.

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I left the person in this shot underneath the rock for a sense of scale…he’s actually standing just at the far end of the hole through the rock.

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Crack on the outside face of one of the rocks…it will probably fall down in another quarter million years or so.

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Neil went out and got a couple of shots at sunset ‘round the campground dikes.

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Looking back towards the rig…we’e parked just to the right of the one you can see there.

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Interesting things found on the net.

Alexa…remind me to feed the baby.


Go go gadget go.


Choose wisely. 



Posted in RV, Travel | 3 Comments

St. John NB

That’s Saint John New Brunswick of course…as distinguished from the other Saint John over on Newfoundland…which is actually Saint John’s so I guess it’s already distinguished from this one…we’ll be there in some weeks.

Turns out that we missed mentioning the easternmost town in the USA…the other day on our drive we passed through Lubec Maine which is that easternmost town. We wouldn’t have passed through there except the roads weren’t marked very well and we missed the turn we actually wanted…but since we went through it I figgered I should mention it.

Friday we got up early and headed off on our 106 mile trip over to St. John…we headed back up US-1 to Calais ME then crossed the border…and once again the border guards in eastern Canuckistan proved to be pretty much jerks. We were a bit over the permissible allowance of alcohol to bring in…but where as the ones out in Saskatchewan and points west of there didn’t ask about alcohol at all but about cash, some food items, and particularly guns…the ones here on the Maine border told us 3 times how it was illegal to bring guns into the country…and wanted to know if we had guns back in the states…Connie said yes but they were in storage and Neil said I don’t have any with me. Then then wanted to know how much alcohol we had…and were very unhappy that I hadn’t counted our cans and bottles of beer beforehand…who knew? Is there anybody that knows exactly how many cans of beer they have on hand? Then they asked about pepper spray…which is again illegal in the country…Neil told them we had bear spray and they didn’t care about it at all…despite the fact that it’s the same chemical as pepper spray only in a stronger formulation. Again…who knew…simply by making it stronger and calling it bear spray instead of pepper spray they’re quite happy to have us bring it in. 

So $120 CN or so later in excise taxes we were in…we could have just abandoned the excess at the border…but there was no way we were going to finance Happy Hour for those jerks…and besides the cost of beer and wine is way more up here…so it was cheaper to pay the duty than to buy new.

Anyways…we pressed on and arrived in Saint John NB…it’s right on the Bay of Fundy and quickly got backed into site 99 at Rockwood Park Campground…it’s a city park right off the freeway.

A couple of last shots of Eastport ME before I move on…we don’t take all that many photos of the beautiful campgrounds we’re in as we…mostly…go there because (a) it’s in the area where we want to do Fun Stuff© and (b) campgrounds are where the utility hookups are. Seaview Campground in Eastport on the other hand…most definitely has the It Factor and if we ever come up to Maine again we’ll plan on spending a couple of weeks there. Not much to do…but in the middle of the summer when it’s a bit warmer sitting in the recliner watching the tide go by ain’t a bad way to spend time.

Neil processed one of our shots to look more like it actually looked via his eyeballs at almost sunset…this is our favorite It Factor campground shot in the past 7 years.

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Here’s a shot of the little dock at the campground…shown here just to illustrate the tidal range here in Quoddy Bay you can see above between the campground and Canuckistan on the other side. This shot was taken at just about high tide…at low tide the entire dock was sitting on the bottom at about a 30 degree angle and the waterline was 30 or 40 feet past the end of the dock. The rocks you can see at the far right past the red building were dry at low tide.

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And then there’s what Rockwood Park Campground looks like…when we drove into the camping area from the check in building…we said to each other “Looks like an Alaska campground”…because that’s exactly what it looks like. We’ve lowered our standards appropriately for the remainder of our time north of the border…they mostly just don’t have what we would call beautiful campgrounds.

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We lazed around Friday afternoon after our arrival…Neil had to use 5 sewer hoses to get to the dump connection which is behind the end of the rig…obviously the campground was not designed by anybody that knows anything about RVing…but that’s been typical of our experience in both this country and Alaska…hence our seeing it as an Alaska campground…the only difference being that the sites are much bigger than out there and the rigs aren’t jammed so closely together than you have to position yourself so your slides go into the openings where your neighbor’s slides aren’t. In the photo above, there is enough room in our site for both Big Red and Little Red as well as a picnic table to the side of the parking pad before getting to the edge of the next site. We headed off for dinner to a local pub…we ate lunch late so just had a couple of beers and an appetizer that we split before heading home.

Saturday…we had two Fun Stuff© destinations on the schedule…Reversing Falls and the Cape Spencer Lighthouse…along with a haircut for Neil and lunch out. We planned on visiting the Reversing Falls twice…at the end of both the inward and outwards flow to see it reverse.

First off…Reversing Falls is really a gross overstatement. There’s no waterfall at all…and not even any rapids to speak of as the water level never gets low enough for that. What you have instead is a tidal river…the skinny spot with a couple of islands in it that surround the “Falls” is only about 2 or 3 miles of river length from the Bay of Fundy…which has the largest tidal range in the world with some portions seeing 45-50 feet between the water level at low and high tides. So the river flows downstream…as most rivers do…during the later portions of the ebb tide and the early portions of the flood tide…but when the level in the bay gets higher than the level in the river the flow in the river reverses and it flows upstream. The “prime” times to observe are at the two changes between inflow and outflow…so we dutifully arrived at the Falls 1bout 15 minutes before the end of the inward flow. Sure enough…the water was flowing upstream and then over the course of about 10 minutes it went from 2-3 knots upstream to 4-5 downstream flow with a bunch of swirls and eddies around the ends of the island. You could clearly see the border between the darker brown ocean water that had flowed over the sandbars and downstream silty areas and the cleaner river water coming from upstream.

After that it was off to lunch at the Saint John Ale House where we had a brew and a couple of appetizers. The food was OK and Connie’s Barking Squirrel Amber Ale was excellent…but Neil’s Saint Ambroise Oatmeal Stout tasted like it was peed out on a dead raccoon by a drunk hobo.

Next stop was the Cape Spencer lighthouse for a quick stop and photo op…then back home to the rig for a nap. After that we headed back out to the Falls to see the end of the outgoing flow…again it was pretty anticlimactic…the water went from moving downstream to moving upstream over the course of 10 minutes or so. We did meet a local man who came out to fly his drone over the Falls and get some video…he wasn’t any more impressed than we were. Still though…it’s one of the few tourist attractions in town so we visited it…although it’s probably not worth coming to St. John just to see.

Sunday we went to Mass at the local cathedral…thought we were in Italy again as the entire inside was filled with scaffolding…they’re doing something to the roof/ceiling area but the center portion was open for seating. After Communion we were treated to a short string piece played by a group of children from the parish…we thought it was a Civil War tune at first but on research it turned out to be Ashokan Farewell which was composed in the early 1980s by American folk musician Jay Ungar…although not composed for it was made famous by Ken Burns mini-series The Civil War which aired in 1990. It’s a very Civil War sounding tune…by design of the composer.

Ok…on to some photos.

Looking first upstream (to the right of the viewing area), then downstream, then straight across between the islands. My apologies for the paper mill on the far side…how rude of them to position it right in the middle of where people want to take photos.

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You can see the swirling of the browner Bay water coming up along the near shoreline between the islands and the cleaner river water coming from right to left past the island and from left between the shore and the island as the flow reverses.

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A couple more shots of the disappearance of the browner section as the reversing continued on.

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Huge seagulls sitting nearby…we only saw them at the end of inflow viewing…later in the afternoon at the second visit there were no birds to be found. These are Great Black Winged Gulls.

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More Common Loons then we’ve ever seen before in one place…again they were gone by the afternoon visit.

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Another gull type airborne…this one is a California Gull…large but not the size of the Great Black Winged.

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The border between the browner downstream water and the cleaner upstream water as it passed us…simultaneously the cleaner water was pushing into the opening between this island and the one 20 yards to the left from it.

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More Great Black Winged Gulls.

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Ren-Ale-Sance…this is what a beer tap selection should look like.

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Cape Spencer Lighthouse…it’s sort of a bust as far as picturesque goes…and I had to crop out all of the bottom part as it was full of graffiti…cursed kids.

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Looking southwest from Cape Spencer…as you can see the lighthouse is pretty far up from the water…too bad it didn’t provide a better photo opportunity.

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A couple of shots of the eddies and swirling water as the tide shifted from outflow to inflow.

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We headed home after this…it was 1915 by the time we got home and after 2000 by the time dinner was fixed and eaten…Connie needed to wash her hair so that was it for the day.

Sunday we pretty much did laundry and not much else…although we did have a mini New Horizons rally while we were here. Friday on our arrival…we noticed another NH Summit nearby and figured we would stop by and visit…while Neil was up in the back of Big Red getting the water bin out this pickup stops next to him…and it’s Roy and Ann Brody…they were the rally masters for the NHOG Rally in Chattanooga 2 rallies back…we visited with them both Friday and Sunday evenings. Strange running into them…with only about 1200 or so total NHs ever built we’ve seen a grand total of 6 outside of the rallies we’ve attended (NHOG and RV-Dreams) and traveling with Bill and Linda Napier…who will also be up in the Maritimes this summer albeit not in the same place we are at the same…they’ll be in PEI a month before us and back southwards (I think) by the time we’re over to PEI.

Interesting stuff found on the net this week.

If you don’t want to read my castigation of arrogant assholes who have no understanding of basic high school civics, how laws work, how laws are changed if you don’t like how they work, and think that their political opinions outweigh all of the above…then go ahead and skip down a few paragraphs…because Ima gonna open a can o’ verbal whoop-ass on ‘em. 

No photo for this one…but you probably saw the story in the news last week about the illegal immigrant Equadorian citizen pizza driver who was arrested in NY…he’s got a US citizen wife and two kids…he was arrested for immigration (and probably numerous other) violations but the liberals are all up in arms because this “innocent father who has committed no crime” is up for deportation. Unfortunately…the liberals completely ignore the facts…like these…he agreed to voluntarily leave back in 2010 rather than be detained and deported and was given 3 months to leave. He failed to leave so a final deportation order was entered…which makes him by definition an illegal alien and criminal with an arrest warrant to be deported. Subsequently he married his wife and has children aged 2 and 3 by his wife…they are citizens as is his wife…he could have easily filled out the forms to receive a permanent green card but didn’t bother. He could easily have gotten a proper drivers license…but that would have resulted in him being found out and deported…so he doesn’t have a drivers license…no social security number…and since no license no insurance…but he was driving and delivering pizza illegally…not to mention he was working illegally…not to mention he tried to enter a US military installation without an ID…he only had a “city ID card” which means he didn’t get entered into the database and hence caught up on his illegal warrant. Not to mention that the pizza place he was working for hired him illegally since he can’t legitimately fill out the I-9 required for working in the US…and not to mention that if he was in an accident the pizza place would be liable.

But…no, he’s completely innocent of any crime according to the liberal press, the governor of NY, and a 2011 appointed federal judge who’s stayed his deportation until July 20 so that he can have a hearing about whether his deportation is legal and whether or not he’s committed any crimes.

And the governor of NY…says he was illegally detained despite the fact that he submitted an invalid ID for entry into a military facility and despite the fact that running his name through the active warrant check revealed his outstanding arrest warrant for immediate deportation.

And his local Senator…Kirsten Gillibrand…claims that this is “another example of inhumane immigration enforcement policies” and that “it’s shameful to separate him from his wife and children like this”.

Nope…nothing criminal or illegal to see here…not at all. Assholes need to review the facts and see how many crimes he’s actually guilty of…instead…what’s shameful is that he knowingly and willfully violated the law and now liberals want to claim it’s all not his fault…he’s guilty of nothing and it’s “inhumane” to arrest him.

BEP I say…just BEP. For those who don’t recognize that acronym it stands for Bovine End Product…which is a polite way of saying BS.

I am tired of politicians and judges selectively enforcing and also creating laws to suit their political agenda. Now I sympathize with the 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the US…let’s not sugar coat it by calling them undocumented because the fact is that they are here in violation of the law. All they want is to have a better life for their family for the most part…and for the most part they’re working (albeit not paying taxes) and stay out of trouble. I sympathize…I really do…but until the immigration laws get changed they are here illegally no matter what “immigration reform” proponents have to say. I’m not in support of trying to kick all 11 million of them out…if for no other reason than the government doesn’t have either the competence or the facilities to round them up and kick them out…and a lot of them are either children whose parents brought them here illegally or were born here and thus are US citizens…but until the law gets changed then the law is the law…and politicians, law enforcement, and judges should either enforce the law or be impeached and removed from office. Maybe I can get a judge to agree with me that I don’t have to pay taxes any more…I wonder how far that lead balloon would fly.

OK…enough ‘bout that…ya’ll that skipped can start reading again.

Ya know what these are…doncha…why they’re snow angles.


Scottish weather forecasting stone…very similar to the Alaskan one I posted some time back.


More truth.


Punk arrested during a haircut.


Ya sure ‘bout that?



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Eastport ME

Wednesday morning we started moving about 0830…it was misting, cold, and dreary…and finally got underway from Shore Hills CG for our 259 mile trip over to Eastport. It was a much longer day than we anticipated…we thought it was only on the order of 175 miles but that was the short distance way along the coast on itty bitty roads. The longer, partly freeway route that Big Red’s GPS took us on was a bit longer.

Fortunately…about halfway through the trip the rain dried up and it remained partly sunny to mostly cloudy off an on the rest of the drive and we eventually drove the last 25 miles on US-1 down onto the peninsula…well Moose Island actually…where Eastport and the Seaview Campground is located.

We quickly got puled into site S-11…a nice pull through site and as the photos below show the place is. aptly named. We are about 50 feet from the water and a mile or so from open water in the Bay of Fundy. Our reasons for stopping here are three…one more lobstah roll before we finish up our sampling and judge a winner, it’s just about 30 miles from Calais ME/Saint Stephen NB where we’ll cross the border into Canuckistan tomorrow which was too far to our first stop in Saint John NB from Boothbay to really do it in one day and include the border crossing and any associated delays with that. So we planned on a short day tomorrow…only 100 miles and the border crossing, and we wanted to see the tidal eddy located here…more about that below. We’ll spend the weekend in Saint John NB…there’s a reversing falls we want to see and we need to do laundry…before heading onward farther into the Maritimes.

A few shots Connie got while Neil was cooking dinner…she wandered ‘round the lower portion of the campground a bit.

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A shot of the rig parked in site S-11…taken from the wharf in the second shot above.

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Neil took a pano showing our site and the wharf…really a pretty nice spot…and we even have the view out of our curb side windows.

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Thursday’s Fun Stuff© was a drive down the Bold Coast…which turned out to be pretty much a bust as far as seeing the coast went. It was in and out of clouds and fog and every time we got near the coastline the fog picked up so there was basically zero visibility.  We did get a few photos along the way though.

The lighthouse at Quoddy Bay State Park…you can see how foggy it was…strangely enough when you got 2 miles inland from the shore it was clear and blue skies…very, very strange.

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Osprey nest…we almost caught the male bringing a stick to his mate who is roosting on the eggs. Trust me…she’s in there but it was windy and she wasn’t coming up for air…probably doing her best to keep the eggs warm as it was only in the 50s and the wind was 25+ knots.

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After our drive and fuel stops…we headed down to the Eastport Whirlpool…also known as The Old Sow. Eastport which is on Moose Island and nearby Canadian territory Deer Island basically sit in the mouth of the Bay of Fundy…that of the famous really large tidal range. When it gets close to high tide…there’s a whirlpool between the northeast coast of Moose Island and the south tip of Deer Island…we got some shots but it wasn’t nearly as dramatic as one might think. It was a circular-ish eddy with some strong currents, but probably not worth visiting unless you were here anyway…which we were. That’s Deer Island which is Canadian in the background. Supposedly…this is one of only 5 “significant” whirlpools worldwide…although I guess it all depends on how you define significant. According to wikipedia…sometimes depressions in the water surface up to 17 feet deep occur…we didn’t see any of those today and although it was worth seeing if you’re here…don’t make a special trip for it.

Overall though…Eastport is a pretty nice and laid back little town. It’s far enough from the beaten path that tourists take that even in season it’s probably not too crowded…I could see us spending a couple of weeks here eating lobster and drinking at the Happy Crab and several other local drinking establishments.

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Afterwards we headed home, filled up both Big and Little Red with fuel then headed off to the Quoddy Bay Lobster Market for dinner…we had a good+ lobstah roll…still working on my overall evaluation of all the ones we tried…then stopped by the Happy Crab where she enjoyed…although enjoyed is a word I would use advisedly based on her choice…a Stella Artois. Neil chose…wisely as the old gray knight would say…and had a couple of Goslings Rum, ginger ale and limes…pretty close to a perfect cocktail ya know.

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Seriously…Frontier National Bank? In Maine? Is there any actual frontier here?

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Sculpture honoring the fishermen of Eastport at the commercial fishing boat pier just north of the Happy Crab.

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OK…on to interesting things found on the net…just a couple of quickies today as there’s a bar in the campground named Fin’s that we clearly need to go and visit.

We had a nice visit up to Fins…it was uphill about 300 yards and 100 feet vertical but we persevered and had a nice chat with the young ladies running the joint. On the way back we…well, Connie actually had the idea but Neil took the photo…anyways we grabbed a shot of the rig set against the water and Canuckistan’s Deer Island to the northeast.

We really, really could spend a couple of weeks here…or even a month…but later in the summer so it’s a tad warmer. Might be on our plate one of these years…who knows? This place really has the “It” factor going for it…both the campground and the town.

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Funny how this works…ain’t it?


You know what this is…doncha?


Sure ya can’t figger it out?

Try harder.




Why…it’s World Peas of course.

Gotta be from Alaska…or maybe the Yukon.


Most interesting cat in the world…assuming such an abomination actually exists.



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