June 19 2011

Still raining.  I may have to go online to find out how to build an ark. . .

June 9 2011

Wow - lobster is so common here that you can get it at McDonald's. They sell - you saw this coming - a "McLobster" sandwich. But the impressive thing is how they got the lobster on the sandwich to have absolutely no taste. Not everyone can do that....

June 8 , 2011

Today we drove along the coast towards Cape D’or. Along the way we stopped at a little bity town called Spencers Island. Can’t even find it on the map, but it has a pretty light-house from 1904.

And it’s an unusual one because visitors are allowed to climb up the very steep, narrow stairs to the tiny platform next to the lantern.

On to Cape D’or . . . This is a beautiful site, with a classic white and red lighthouse and a rocky coastline. Really rocky - if this was in the US there would be a big metal fence to keep people on a marked path. Here they just put up a sign warning about the “actively eroding cliff”, and if we want to climb down the rocks (and we did), it’s our own responsibility.

It’s easy to see why lighthouses were needed along this coastline. What is not as easy to understand is how people in these tiny towns make a living today. Tourism seems like a 3-month window, so what happens during the rest of the year? Don't know, but I will say that these are very friendly folks here. Everyone waves "hello" to you on the road. Of course, there aren't that many drivers, so it's easy to do!

One way to make a living is fishing, and there are a lot of boats here. However, in the Bay of Fundy (home of the 50-foot tides), this is what low tide looks like:

For lunch we stopped at the Wild Caraway restaurant in Advocate Harbor, which turned out to be a great decision. The chef uses local products such as fiddlehead ferns, seafood (scallops, mussels, lobsters), and something called dulse. Dulse is a dark red seaweed with a very salty taste. I tried some raw and didn’t like it, but at Wild Caraway they put chopped up Dulse in their rolls, and the saltiness worked fine there. Home-made tomato soup with mussels, followed by some really great scallops and fries. This restaurant gets five stars!

If you are in the area, stop at this restaurant. And stop at the Blueberry Ridge Country Crafts and visit with the owners - they are nice folks who make almost everything they sale.

And here’s something I've never seen in the USA - a sign for a Curling Club!

June 6, 2011

It remains cool and wet here. Not too much rain, but misty every day. However, every cloud has a silver lining, or in this case, a rainbow. For the first time in my life I saw a full rainbow and it was so big that I couldn't get it all in one picture.

First a gorgeous rainbow's end (and a double, at that!)

Followed by the almost-never-seen rainbow middle. . .

And ending with another beautiful rainbow's end!

June 1, 2011

Nearby is the tiny town of Economy, which is home to the trail to the Economy Waterfall. The trail is a fairly rough path through the forest. One area was packed with little 3-foot pine trees, growing so thick together that they look like pine bushes. Much of the forrest is filled with closely packed mature trees, slender because they grow too close together to get enough sun, but lush with springtime's new growth. All that green seems to give the air a light green tint and the air is so fresh. Several paths meander through the area so we really had to watch for signs to keep us headed for the falls. Signs were few, far between, and not that obvious.
But someone had found and arranged most of the pieces of a hiking trail map - very useful as long as you don't need that middle bit. . .
The waterfall was very pretty and certainly worth the walk. But we couldn’t stay long because the black flies and mosquitoes were everywhere, and very hungry.
The Bay of Fundy that we are parked at has a unique feature - it’s a productive clam bed. Professional clammers are licensed to work here, but amateurs like us are allowed to get a limited amount without a license. When the tide went out, we went clamming on the flat near the park. We walked across the bed of the bay, looking for the little holes that indicate a clam is under the mud, usually 4 -to - 6 inches underground. I could not believe how much fun this was! It feels like foraging for food - being self sufficient - roughing it. Of course, we go back to the temperature-controlled RV with running water, electricity, TV and Internet, so I may not qualify for the "Roughing it" merit badge yet.

Getting familiar with Nova Scotia

The RV park has been having trouble with it’s routers so they had to be replaced. We’ve been without Internet for a few days during that process, so at this point I have a few random notes to catch the blog up to date.
Maine, at least the part of northern Maine that we drove through, is still wilderness. Fir trees everywhere and lots of streams. Oddly, the grassy areas between the road and tree line were all nicely mowed. There were a lot of “Watch for Moose” signs, but no moose.
When we crossed the border into Canada, they didn’t search the RV - YEAH!!! Last time we crossed going into Alaska they spent about an hour searching it. We don’t have anything to hide but it’s not a comfortable feeling, having strangers go through your house, opening every drawer, cabinet, storage units - everything.
The sunshine sure felt good - little did we know it was the last sunshine we would see for days. Canada, at least the part we drove through, was all wilderness, just like Maine. But with one interesting addition - there were miles and miles and miles of high fence on both sides of the roads. I have to assume, based on all the “Watch for Moose” signs, that those fences are to prevent collisions between moose and cars. They didn’t have to worry about us - we don’t ever see moose.
We stopped at a Canadian Tire in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and bought a few things, paying an extra 10% to use our US money. Here everything is printed in French as a second language (instead of Spanish, like most of the southern and western US). We spent our first night in Canada in their parking lot.
At Five Islands we settled in and spent a few days helping get the park ready to open. On our first full day off we drove around the area to see what’s here. Here’s an important piece of information: if you are ever in this area and you see the small Petra Canada gas station where road 2 joins highway 2, stop there. It has a small restaurant attached, and the restaurant is the draw. It’s not fancy but the food is sure good. The best part, though, is that a local lady cans fresh blueberry jam and brings jars to the restaurant for the customers! If your table doesn’t haver a mason jar of jam, ask the friendly waitress and she’ll fix you right up.
When we’re on the road we have mentally translate kilometers into miles - the sign that says 100 does not mean 100 miles per hour! It’s not hard, and it’s even easier to translate US dollars to Canadian dollars - just subtract 5 percent.
We drove through several small towns that look quite similar to little mid-west towns. The first thing you see when you come to a town is a tall, slender church steeple - often more than one. The houses are almost all two-story single-dwellings with wide yards. And no cookie-cutter houses here - each one has a unique look, with the trim, windows, porches, paint color, etc.
The town of Truro is the closest large town here although it’s not really big: there are about 12,500 people there. And a lot of it has the feel of an old town. We did not see any skyscrapers; I don’t think I saw any building over 3 stories, and those were old historic houses. There are a lot of those, with mansard roofs, arched windows and lots of details in the brickwork. 
The stores we went to had reasonably priced merchandise, except for milk which is over $6 a gallon. But the milk is, for all intent and purposes, organic, so it’s not a bad price for that. It may not be officially labeled organic but the government has a lot of controls in place to avoid hormones, etc.
Outside of town we stopped at the Masstown Market. We walked in and I immediately liked it. It’s spotlessly clean, the fruit and vegetables are fresh and varied, they have big loaves of freshly-baked bread - I liked everything about it. They have fresh fiddlehead ferns here, too, which is a local treat.
Outside the market they have built a faux-lighthouse with historical displays at the top and a fish market at the bottom.  Just outside of this building was a little boat (on land) where they served huge helpings of fresh fresh fish and chips - very good.
We are starting to find our way around. The Dominion Chair Company isn’t a chair company at all - it’s an all-purpose general store with cool antiques on the second level. At the Dutchman Cheese shop Randy bought Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese. That name pretty much sums up how I feel about Blue Cheese, but I sure liked their spreadable Gouda.
It’s been cold and overcast. It’s been overcast since we got here, but the cold is new…However, on the local news we’ve seen the terrible times in Joplin Missouri, so no complaints here! We are safe and sound, and expect to see the sunshine any day now.
We found a man who catches lobsters and sells them at $5 a pound. His name is Adrian and he’s only been fishing since he turned 30 - but that’s 54 years!
The Canadian Postal Service is considering going on strike this week. I hope they don’t - I have a few things to mail to the US and it will take 2 weeks if everyone is at work; who know how long a strike will delay things!
Here’s a nice little story about a picture that I didn’t take. We drove to the nearby Provincial Park which is a surrounded by thick woods and has a beautiful view of the bay. There was nobody else in the park so a few deer were checking it out. As we turned around a bend in the road we saw a deer standing by the play-yard equipment. As she stood there, we saw the flick of ears in the grass below her, right between her hooves. She casually took a couple of steps away and after a moment we saw a tiny, tiny fawn struggle to its feet and follow her. The baby was so new it couldn’t even stand all the way up. It couldn’t have been more than an hour or two old. We stayed exactly where we were and didn’t even roll the window down so we would not bother them. So I didn’t get to take that picture . . . But I will always remember it!