Thursday, June 30, 2016

Day 2- St. John, N.B.- June 30, 2016

This day we started out by going to the downtown area.  We parked around the King’s Park, a city block park that had some memorial statutes.  Across the street from the park was the City Market, a small market of produce and meats along with other items as tee shirts, placemats, toys and other such stuff.  We then walked about the area into a small shopping mall.  Actually the downtown had little going for it. 

St. John City Market

St John Ciry Market


We drove to The Martello Tower, a tower used for coastal defense during the War of 1812.  Unfortunately, reconstructive work is being done on the tower so we were unable to go inside but we could walk up to it and see the views of the city from that point.

Martello Rower

  We returned to the downtown to get lunch at an Italian restaurant before returning back to the motorhome.  We have been disappointed in this area.  The reversing rapids are a must see but after that there really wasn’t much that held our interest.  We are thankful for GPS for getting us around the confusing streets.  Initially, we thought about staying here for 4 nights but when we checked in at the campground Tom was told that we would not need that many days because there was not that much to do here.  We do have another day and we haven’t figured out just what we will do tomorrow.  The campground does not refund money if we wanted to leave so we will stay another day.

After a rainy night, the day was mostly cloudy until late afternoon when the skies cleared. This evening we did return to the reversing rapids about 2 hours before high tide and with sun shining instead of the rain like last night.  The black ducks that we saw last night were in abundance during this pre-high tide.  There were swirls in the water that apparently stir the food fish upward giving these ducks a hearty dinner.  We were told that these are cormorants.  These ducks swim along with the tide and then dive down often bringing up a fish that they quickly swallow before the sea gulls can steal it from them.  There must have been hundreds of these cormorants feeding.

Birds Feeding at High Tide

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

St. John, N.B. - June 29, 2016

Yesterday evening the fog moved in the St. Andrews’ area and was still there this morning.  We moved a little farther east today to St. John, a rather short 68 miles along a foggy coastline.  We are camped at Rockwood Park Campground owned by St. John Horticultural Association.

After setting up and eating lunch we drove to Fallsview Park within the town of St. John.  This park has a good viewing area of the reversing rapids, a natural phenomenon caused by the Bay of Fundy tides.  These tides are the highest tides in the world.  As the St. John River flowing through a narrow gorge to St. John Harbor meets up with a rising tide it creates a reversal of the rapids.  When we were at this viewing area the tides were at low tide so no reversal was in effect.  The flow of the St. John River was extremely strong.  We planned to come back during high tide.

The Reversing Rapids at St. John, NB at Low Tide

The Reversing Rapids at St. John, NB at Low Tide

We then drove to the downtown Market Square that has some shops, restaurants, a library and the New Brunswick Museum. 


Market Square in St. John, NB

We went into the Museum which was interesting.  We saw a movie playing and went in that room to watch this movie about the Bay of Fundy that was very interesting.  We then walked through the exhibits displaying the history of New Brunswick, art and natural history.  A nice museum.

Before returning to the campground we returned to the reversing rapids but the tide was not at high tide yet.  We have since learned that high tide should occur at 7:55pm.

About 7:30pm we drove again to the Fallsview Park in pouring rain to see the effect of high tide on the rapids of the St. John River .  It was absolutely amazing that the current was now flowing swiftly in the opposite direction from earlier today due to the high 25 foot tide.

The Reversing Rapids at St. John, NB at High Tide

The Reversing Rapids at St. John, NB at Low Tide

Earlier today when we were at the rapids we observed ducks in the water coasting along with the flow of water and then flying up  and landing farther upstream to repeat the coasting and relocating,  like a game.  This evening with the current going in a different direction these same type ducks were doing the same thing but now coasting the opposite direction.  In spite of wearing raincoats this evening we returned to the campground with wet clothes which we soon changed to dry clothes.  And the rain has continued pouring even harder.  Temperature at 9pm is 60 degrees, temperature today was in the low 70’s.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jardin Kingsbrae and Minister’s Island- June 28, 2016

We woke up this morning to the sound of rain but after a couple showers early today the rain stopped but the cloudiness hung in there.  It wasn’t until late afternoon that the sun appeared and added some warmth to the 60 some degree windy air.  I neglected to say yesterday that New Brunswick is in Atlantic time zone- 1 hour ahead of Eastern time.

The day started with us going to the Jardin Kingsbrae a 27 acre garden with a large variety of trees, shrubs and plants along with ponds, a stream, a variety of birds and a 1/3 scale windmill.  There were even some alpacas, goats, chickens, ducks rabbits and peacocks to see.  A self guided tour allowed us to walk about at our own pace. 

Kingsbrae Gardem

Potted Plants




Ministers Island was our next touring spot.  This island is accessible 5 hours a day during low tide as you need to travel over the sand bar that connects the island to the mainland. Today it was 11am to 4pm- of course, this time changes with the tide schedule daily.  The island was bought many years ago by a minister who built a house there that he and his family lived in hence the name for the island.  Later, it was owned by the Van Horne family.  It is now a provincial and historic site.  For a donation we were allowed to walk about the island on trails.  We selected the shorter 2 mile trail that had some hill climbs with nice views of the surroundings.  Upon entering the island we were given a tag that had to be returned when we left to insure everyone was off the island before the tide covered the sand bar.  With high tide the sand bar is under at least 14 feet of water.  As the tide rises the water over the bar is very swift.

The Road to Ministers Island with the tide still in.

The Road to Ministers Island at High Tide.

The Road to Ministers Island at Low Tide

The Road to Ministers Island at Low Tide.  You can now drive over to the island.

The Barn, The Creamery and The House


Before returning to the campground we stopped in St. Andrews for a late lunch at the Gables restaurant and then to the grocery store for a few food supplies.  Tom made a run to Tim Hourton’s, Canada”s Dunkin Donuts, for coffee.  Tomorrow we move on to new territory.

Monday, June 27, 2016

St. Andrews, N.B., Canada- June 27, 2016

This morning we left Bar Harbor, Maine about 9am and continued our northern travels to St. Andrews, New Brunswick in Canada.  We did make a stop in Ellsworth, Maine, about 15 miles from Bar Harbor, at a WalMart to pick up a few items.  We traveled on state roads that were in need of some work in Maine.  We were driving through Maine Land Management forested hills.  Just about noon we were passing through the border crossing into Canada at Calais without any difficulty.  As we drove through Canada to our destination of St. Andrews we were in coastal areas and had better roads for traveling.

At 12:35pm and 133 miles we arrived at the Kiwanis Oceanfront Campground in St. Andrews.  We did not have reservations but had no problem getting a site.  A no frills campground with full hook-ups (30 amps, no 50’s)  but right along the ocean on the outer perimeter of the town.

Oceanfront Campground at St. Andrews, NB

Before setting up we drove to the downtown area for lunch at the Harbour Front Restaurant.  Both of us had fish and chips that were very good as we sat on an outside patio viewing the harbor. Returning to the motorhome we finished setting up and then relaxed for a while.  In the evening we walked along the ocean road into town.  There was quite a noticeable change in the tide levels as it had been at lower tide when we came to the campground and now in the evening it was near high tide.  There is a 20 foot difference in the tides here.  In the downtown we walked out on what looked to be a fishing pier but in fact was a docking area for dinghy's to the boats moored off shore.

"The Beach" at High Tide in St. Andrews, NB

The Beach with the Tide in.

The Beach at Low Tide

The Beach with the Tide out.

It has been breezy and sunny today.  No need to use air conditioning with temperatures in the 70’s.  Air coming across that cold water is real cool. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Schoodic Point- June 26, 2016

Today, Sunday, we drove about 40 miles to Schoodic Point which is another area of Acadia National Park.  This Point was turned over to the National Park service by the Navy a few years ago.    Winter Harbor is the town closest to the point.  The tide was at low tide when we arrived which was quite apparent with the mud flats extending football field lengths at various places. 

The tide is out

At the point large boulders extend out to the ocean water.  Since it was low tide the waves were not crashing into the rocks and spraying up very much. 


Leah at Schoodic Point

Since high tide was to be about 4pm we had lunch in the town of Winter Harbor which took about 2 hours due to the slow service at the restaurant.  After lunch we returned to the point about 2pm as the tide was coming in.  The rise in the water level had covered much of the mud flats and there was more crashing of the waves on the rocks.

Schoodic Point

On the point the air temperature had dropped  about 10 degrees (to 66 degrees) from our earlier stop  until this afternoon stop which we assume was due to the higher tide and cold from the water.  Inland the temperature was much warmer.   The tides have about a 10 foot difference between high and low.  This was a very beautiful area and much less congested than the Bar Harbor Acadia Park .

Tomorrow we will be leaving this area and moving farther north into Canada.  We have had the best weather while in this area.  Clear skies, bright sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70’s to low 80’s during the day and dropping to the low 50’s at night.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Acadia National Park, June 24 & 25, 2016

Friday, the 24th, we started the day’s activities by going to the Visitor Center of Acadia National Park. 

Acadia National Park - Bar Harbor, Maine


We watched a short film about the park and then a ranger spoke to the group about getting around the park.  Leaving the Visitor Center we started out driving around the loop road within the park.  We made several stops.

Frenchmen's BayFrenchmen's Bay Overlook

Sieur de Monts (a natural spring with a domed covering) is an area that once lawn parties were held.


Spring Cover


  Wild Gardens of Acadia were flower beds of the various native plants are grown.  The parking areas near Sand Beach were full or nearly full causing us to park too far to go to the beach but we were able to see it from a distance.  With water temperature of 51 degrees we had no desire to test out the water.  Thunder Hole, an area that when the tide is incoming often makes a sound like thunder, was not thundering when we were there even with the incoming tide.

Thumder Hole


The drive was just beautiful as it was a bright sunny day with gorgeous blue skies.  We interrupted our loop travels to search for some lunch.  We had been recommended a place called “Chart Room” where we ate scallop dinners- it was okay but nothing to get excited about. After lunch we retreated back to the motorhome until later in the evening when we drove up Cadillac Mountain.  Cadillac Mountain is the area that the sun first shines on in the U.S. at certain times of the year.  The parking lot was filling up as people were wanting to see the sunset from that point.  We were a little disappointed that with such a pretty day there was still a haze.

Today, Saturday, we returned this morning to Cadillac Mountain thinking the haze may be less for picture taking.  Unfortunately, there was still some haziness but we did walk up and around the mountain top.  The views from up there are just spectacular.  There are numerous islands in the Atlantic waters that surround this area. 

Bar Harbor from atop Cadillac Mountain

Leah climbing to the top of Cadalliac Mountain

Islands Viewed from the top of Cadalliac Mountain

Coming down from the mountain we next stopped at the Jordan Pond House.  This area has a restaurant that specializes in serving pop-overs and tea.  There was quite a waiting line in place waiting to get served. 

The outdoor dining area at Jordan Pond

We passed on eating here.  We did go into the gift shop which was one of the nicer shops in Acadia.  This travel on the loop road this morning completed the loop for us.  We then drove to the downtown area of Bar Harbor.  Getting there about 11:30am we were able to get a parking spot with a 2 hour limit.

Bar Harbor, Maine

We went to the shops to look but didn’t buy anything.  For lunch we ate at Stewman’s Lobster Pound on an open deck over looking the  harbor area.

The Sign says is all

Stewman's Lobster Pound

The Happy Lobster Roll Eaters!!!

The Lobaster Cooking Pots

Lobster Traps and Trap Markers

Catch of the Day

This lunch of lobster roll, cole slaw and fries (regular for Tom and sweet potato for me) was really good.  Leaving downtown Bar Harbor we drove to the town of Ellsworth about 20 miles away.  We stopped at a store called Reny’s that is supposed to be unique to Maine but we didn’t see anything to get excited about.  But I did spy a beauty shop that had a sign about loving walk-ins and I was in need of a haircut so I was able to get that accomplished without much of a wait.  L.L.Bean had an outlet in this town that we also checked out but didn’t find anything to buy.  But we did find some Frosties to buy at a Wendy’s before returning to the motorhome.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

To Bar Harbor, Maine- June 23, 2016

We left a cool (52 degrees) Freeport at 8:20am and about 4 hours later, the 144 miles completed, we were in Bar Harbor, Maine.  We traveled on US 1 instead of interstate routes.  This route took us through towns, frequently along the coast, at a slower speed.  We did make a stop for diesel fuel, ($2.299/ gallon) a pleasing price.  We are noticing that often in this area the diesel fuel is less than gasoline.

We are camped at Bar Harbor Campground.  They don’t take reservations or credit cards but will take checks if issued from a U.S. bank.  Tom had called yesterday to ask if there were empty campsites available and was assured there were.  Campsites are on an incline in the area we are in which made leveling a little difficult.  We were told we could move tomorrow to another area if we wanted but we have decided against doing that.

Once leveled up and able to put out the slides we ate lunch.  Tom had not finished hooking up the water and sewer before lunch as we started having rain showers.  So after eating we chilled out a bit.  The rain stopped and the sun came out and then Tom completed the hooking up of the water and sewer.  We then rode around the area going first into the busy town of Bar Harbor and then around coastal areas.  With the sun coming out it was fairly warm in the late afternoon although tonight it is cooling down to the 60’s.  We plan to be here for the next 4 nights.

Seal Beach Maine

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 2 in Freeport, Maine- June 22, 2016

Today, Wednesday, we returned to Freeport to do some shopping at the outlet stores.  This town has quite a few stores within the town itself not in a mall as most outlet stores are located.  We really had no big needs but we like to take time to look and if something appeals, to buy.

It was cool this morning but not down in the upper 40’s, as predicted, but in the lower 50’s.  Sun shined briefly and then the clouds rolled in keeping the temperature down to the low 70’s before raining in the early afternoon.  After a shower the temperatures were in the 60’s.  It is a beautiful sunny evening that feels like fall to us.  Haven’t turned on the heat in the motorhome yet but we are wearing sweatshirts.

Tomorrow we will be moving to the Bar Harbor area for several days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Freeport, Maine- June 21, 2016

We had been under the impression from last night’s weather forecast that we would be hearing thunder and rain in the early morning hours but we only saw non-threatening clouds when we got up.  We were up and underway by 7:40am continuing  traveling northward.  Our route continued on I-84 east on through Connecticut and into Massachusetts.  We then got on I-90 to I-495 that skirted around the Boston area.  I-495 ran into I-95 that goes north along the coast of New Hampshire up into Maine.  New Hampshire had signs at exits pointing out liquor stores and lottery sales which we thought was somewhat strange.  These were not signs advertising stores but just highway signs pointing out these stores.  A little before 12:30pm we arrived at Cedar Haven Campground in Freeport, Maine (242 miles). 

After getting settled into our campsite we drove into the town of Freeport.  Freeport is the home of L. L. Bean Company.  Before checking out the numerous stores we needed lunch.  We ate at Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern and, of course, we had lobster rolls that they are known for.  The rolls were loaded with lobster meat and served with slaw and chips. 

After eating we walked through several stores including the L. L. Bean store.  It was a beautiful afternoon- sunny, breezy with temperatures in the low 80’s.  After a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream store for an ice cream cone we drove south to Portland in search of a car wash.  There wasn’t any car washes in Freeport and our poor Jeep had lost it bright red coloring due to road dirt.

We will be here for another night so more shopping tomorrow.  The temperature is to be in the upper 40’s tonight.  A lot different than the heat that is occurring in the south at this time.

Mountain Travels- June 20. 2016

Before I tell about today’s travels I need to write about an occurrence from yesterday that I neglected to write about.  As we were traveling on I-66 in Virginia prior to getting to the turnoff to Front Royal we saw a black bear on the bank beside the road.  He looked as if he was eating something, possibly berries, and was not bothered by the traffic passing by.  Quite exciting to see a bear in that area of the country.

Now about today’s travels.  We continued traveling on I-81 through mountainous areas to the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton vicinities.  Then we left the northern I-81 route for an eastern route on I-84 that continued through the mountains of New York into Connecticut,a total of 278 miles.  Tonight we at Bear Creek campground in Bristol, Ct.  The campgrounds  in the area we traveled today are few so we had made reservations last night.  This campground is connected with some sort of Theme park.  Aside from seeing the entrance gates as we came into the camp area the park is out of our view.  This campground appears to be relatively new although we find it strange that the sites do not have sewer but have 50 amp electric.

  The weather throughout the country appears to be extremely hot.  We received an email yesterday from a relative who lives in Tucson showing a temperature of 121 degrees outside.  The weather here in Bristol is in the low 80’s and low humidity which is real comfortable.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

We’ve Returned to the Road - June 14-19, 2016

Finally we are back to motorhome traveling.  Except for a Christmas holiday traveling north to be with family we have not done any trips since last summer when we moved to Florida.  We left our home on, Tuesday, June 14 heading north, of course, what other way could we go from Florida?  We stopped in Brunswick, Ga. (188 miles)and had the motorhome serviced at Speedco before going to Golden Isles RV Park for the night.

Continuing north on Wednesday (15th) we traveled through some rain as we made our way to Dillon, S.C. (282 miles).  We did have some slow traveling due to a semi trailer fire which was extinguished when we passed by but the trailer appeared to be completely ruined.

On Thursday(16th) we moved farther north on I-95 to Doswell, Virginia (291 miles) where we spent 3 nights so we could visit Todd, Beth and our grandchildren.  We wanted to be closer to our family but campgrounds closer did not have spaces available for the 3 days.  Since we were about 40 miles away we didn’t go to see the family on Thursday.  We did have weather issues as a severe storm with tornedo warnings were issued for the area.  Watching the progression of the storm system we saw that a tornedo could touch down in our area about 9;25pm.  We joined other campers on the porch of the bathrooms all hoping and praying that no tornedo materialize.  At one point we went into the men’s bathroom as the wind was blowing the rain into the porch area.  Luckily, we only had pouring rain and some wind and no tornedos.

Friday (17th) we spent much of the day visiting with Todd, Beth, Parker and Gabi.  Parker and Gabi are growing up so fast and are so much fun to be around.  These 2 little ones returned with us to the campground to spend the night sleeping in the motorhome.

Saturday(18th) we hurriedly got the little ones fed breakfast and then took them back to their home so we could the go to Mountain View School to watch our 16 year old granddaughter, Maddi, play field hockey.  There was a tournament so we saw Maddi’s team play 3 games.  We then returned back to Todd and Beth’s for the afternoon.  Todd cooked a dinner of Low Country Boil with crab legs, shrimp, clams, potatoes, and corn.  Unfortunately,  as Todd was carrying the big pot of the seafood boil into the house I (Leah) opened the door for him and their dogs came charging out with the biggest dog going between my legs knocking me down the steps where I fell on the patio hitting my head.  This did but a bit of a damper on an otherwise pleasant day.  I told Tom later that there were 2 EMS people there (Todd works as a paramedic and Tom has been an EMT) but I had to tell them to get me some ice for my head.  I later found I had a few more aches and pains but not as bad as it could have been.  After eating dinner together Tom and I said good bye and returned to the campground.

Sunday (19th) and Father’s Day we were once again back on the road headed north.  We are going to the Canadian Maritime area.  The most direct route up there is straight up I-95 but that route goes through Washington,D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.  So Tom found something on the internet that suggested going a little to the west catching I-81 to Jonestown, Pa. and the I-78 to I-87 to Newburgh, New York which is just above New York City.  So that is the route we are taking.  We stopped at a Hoss’ restaurant near Enola, Pa.  for dinner.  Then a little further we stopped in Jonestown, Pa (270 miles)at Jonestown KOA (the former Lickdale Campground we had camped at with the Traveling Americans).  Sadly, having KOA name has not improved this campground only increased the price of camping ($47.00 for 30 amp site for the night).  We are finding campgrounds are fewer as we travel north.  We were in need of milk so we went into the store here in the campground.  All the 1/2 gallons of skim milk were dated 6/19/16  so we checked the quarts and they were good for a week longer.  We picked up the milk and 2 bags of chips that were 2 for $5.00 according to the sign on the shelf.  When we checked out the young female clerk rang up $3.69 per bag of chips and $1.10 for the milk.  When we pointed out what was stated on the shelf for the chips she said those prices are usually marked on the  bags but she didn’t bother to go back and check she just rang up what we said.  Then we pointed out the skim milk was $1.00 according to the paper on the door not $1.10.  She said homogenized milk was $1.10 and we explained this was skim milk.  We finally ended with just paying $6.00 but I think the clerk felt we were trying to get away with something dishonest.