Category Archives: 2014 Summer – Our Drive Across Canada

2014 Sep 30 – Day 103 – Port Huron, MI to Midland, MI

We are on the way home, mostly via Highway 2 in the US.  Tourist season is over and our route is one less travelled.  I suspect there will not be too many exciting things to write about over the next week or so.  But, we are quite good at finding things to see, especially waterfalls or cliffs or the like.

Today though was pretty much a drive through farm land and small towns from point A to point B.  Southern Ontario and this part of Michigan have acres and acres of sweet corn and silage corn, soya beans, tobacco and many wineries.  We passed a five acre pumpkin field and many farmyards and fruit stands with pumpkins for sale.  There are huge dairies around here too. And quite a few very large mansions, old and new.

IMG_1652 IMG_1655 IMG_1656Not far out of Port Huron we found an access to the beach and I, despite the cloudy sky, brisk wind, and frothing waves, stood in my fourth Great Lake – Huron.  One to more to go.

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IMG_1641We travelled along Route 25 north and then west around ‘the Thumb.’  If you look at a map of the state of Michigan it is comprised of two parts linked by “Mighty Mac,” the five mile long bridge between St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.  The Upper Peninnsula, referred to as U.P. is bordered by Lake Superior to the north and Lake Michigan to the south.  The larger, southern peninnsula (bordered by Lake Huron on the east and Lake Michigan on the west) is called “The Mitten” because it looks like one – a left handed one at that. (Although, John – pill that he is – says you could just be looking at the palm of a right-hand mitten.  I informed him that his opinion in this matter is irrelevant).  Port Huron sits across from Sarnia, Ontairo at the base of the thumb. The large cities of Detroit/Windsor sit further south about half-way to the state’s southern border ‘wrist’ about where the thumb joins the hand.

IMG_1646 IMG_1648 IMG_1650 IMG_1651Since yesterday was a long driving day, and the next two will be also, it worked out well that today was shorter.  We only drove 280 km and arrived at Midland, MI at 3:25 and that was after a lunch stop at a little local diner in Port Austin.  We’ll see what we see tomorrow.



Driving between corridors of corn.




2014 Sep 29 – Day 102 – Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON to Port Huron, MI

Today turned out to be a  longer day that we had anticipated.  We left Niagara-on-the-Lake at 10:15 this morning and walked into our hotel room in Port Huron, Michigan at 8:00 pm.  We didn’t even make any long stops and the roads were good; not a lot of traffic or twists and turns (Ontairo is pretty flat, especially down at the bottom).

IMG_1611We drove from Niagara-on-the-Lake  to Fort Erie, through Niagara Falls, via the Niagara Parkway; a 56 km scenic drive along the shore of the Niagara River.  Between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls are many of the attractions that visitors enjoy. One of which is the Whirlpool Aero-Car across the river.  It takes 5 minutes to go across and 5 minutes to go back.  The car is 250′ above the water at the ends and 150′ in the middle.  The Niagara River flows down a gorge, over rocks creating white water that has created a large circular pool that the water swirls around in before flowing out again at a right-angle to where it entered.

IMG_1586 IMG_1585 IMG_1589Once we got past Niagara Falls we drove through a residential area, but this was a VERY upscale corridor.  Mansion after mansion after mansion.  I have inserted some phots of some of the houses but many of the largest ones I didn’t photograph because I was too busy wondering why people need to have such a big, fancy house when the reality is that they probably live in only a small percentage of it.  My mind does not compute…

IMG_1592 IMG_1593 IMG_1594 IMG_1595 IMG_1596 IMG_1597 IMG_1599At Fort Erie we turned west along Highway 3 following the coastline of Lake Erie; although we were far enough inland we never saw it.  Not far from Fort Erie we stopped at Port Colburne the entrance point to the Welland Canal that moves ships between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  There were no ships going through the lock at the time but the lock at Port Colborne is one of the longest locks in the world.

IMG_1603I needed to get to the coast of Lake Erie to stand in the water so we diverted southward off Highway 3.  My map showed a Canada National Historic Site called Southwold Earthworks so when we saw the sign we stopped and checked it out.  The wide, fenced path lead about 1/2 mile through a farmer’s cornfield to the site.  This is where a village was built by the Neutral Amerindian group about 1500 .  The village was surrounded by a double pallisade.  All of the wooden posts have, of course, rotted away many years ago but the earthworks remain – the only example of the type in the world.  Two archaeological digs have revealed thousands of clay artifacts.  It is estimated about 800 people lived here for about 20 years.  There was really nothing to see but a double row of bumps in a grassy area, but it is good that the place has been preserved.  The Neutral Indians were wiped out by the Iroquois in the 1600’s so this is pretty much the only proof of their existence.

IMG_1608 IMG_1610 IMG_1609 IMG_1619 IMG_1615 IMG_1616 IMG_1617We drove to a Provincial Park thinking we would be able to access the lake there but the water looked to be quite a distance down from the trees and the edge was all fenced.  We passed a couple of ladies out for a walk and asked them if they knew where I could go stand in the lake. They gave us directions to a place just down the road.  Then they asked where we were from and where we were going.  When we told them Port Huron they said we should take the little ferry across the river at Sambo rather than drive all the way up to Sarnia and cross at their busy terminal.  This we did.  We were the only car on the little ferry (which would hold about 10 cars) with 17 people.  Lots of people walk on and go across to buy beer at the duty free and buy dinner.  We saw at least 5 people carrying pizza boxes.  The US Customs Officer said people go back and forth all the time.  It cost $7 for our car and $2 as a foot passanger.  The ferry takes 15 minutes.  From there it was about 30 minutes to Port Huron for our stop for the night.

IMG_1624 IMG_1625 IMG_1629 IMG_1630IMG_1631 IMG_1633Trip inventory to date:  Forgotten at home – 1 pair of running shoes.  Broken and thown out – 1 pair of black sandals.  Missing and lost at unknown location – 1 pair of black flats.  Broken this morning when I picked them up off the bedside table – glasses; left arm sheared off and unable to be re-attached.  Hopefully that will be the end of the lost and more lost.  And hopefully also that my glasses will stay on my nose with only one arm to hold them until I get home and get new ones.

2014 Sep 28 – Day 101 – Niagara Falls, ON to Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

OK everybody we did stuff today.  We drove all the way from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake; a distance of 45 kilometers (which includes driving into parking lots and out again).

We were again blessed with a lovely sunny, warm, top-down day. Our first stop was unplanned but too tempting to pass up – The Niagara Botanical Garden and School of Horticulture.  I know it is late in the season and most of the flower displays will be done, but you know me and gardens….just had to go check it out.

IMG_1437 IMG_1440 IMG_1442 IMG_1446 IMG_1449 IMG_1452 IMG_1458 IMG_1460 IMG_1462 IMG_1463 IMG_1464 IMG_1465 IMG_1466 IMG_1469A couple of kilometers up the road is the Floral Clock, a 40′ wide working clock owned, designed each year, planted and maintained by Ontario Hydro at their big generating station on the Niagara River.  Between 15,000 and 20,000 close plantings are used every year to make the design.  The clock rings the Westminster (Big Ben) tones every quarter hour.  This year the design commemorates the 200th anniversary of the end of the War of 1812; in 1814.  Don’t ask me why it is called a war of a single year when it lasted for two.  Ask the historians.

IMG_1470 IMG_1474Another kilometer up the road is Queenston Heights Battleground and the Brock Monument.  Queenston Heights is the site of the last major battle of the War of 1812 (on October 13, 1812) when 600 American troops crossed the river from Fort Niagara and attacked the British at Queenston.  The British were seriously outnumbered and outgunned and the Americans took possession of Queenston Heights.  Reinforcements arrived from Fort George and the Americans were driven back to the edge of the 300′ gorge where some jumped to their death rather than be taken prisoner and 958 surrendered (I don’t understand this math either, but I will assume that additonal American troops arrived after the first 600 attacked).  This was a major battle between Canada and the US and ended the offensive of the Americans.

General Brock was wounded in the initial battle and died.  In 1856 his body was removed from it’s resting place in Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and placed in a vault under the monument.  It took three years to build (1853-1856), is 56 meters (184′) tall and constructed entirely of cut stone. There are 235 steps round and round inside the tower and you can climb to the top.  Which, of course, we did.  There is only room for about three people on the platform at the top and heavy grills on all the windows but the view of the Niagara escarpment and surrounding countryside was pretty great.

IMG_1483 IMG_1489 IMG_1492 IMG_1493 IMG_1503 IMG_1504 IMG_1518Just outside the town proper of Niagara-on-the-Lake we stopped at the homestead of Laura Secord, but did not go on a tour of the house. (There is a monument to her at the Queenston Heights Battle site). We drove by the Mackenzie Printery where rebel editor William Lyon Mackenzie printed his broadsheets and papers.  And on the next street we located the marker commemorating the death of General Brock’s horse “Alfred” who was left behind when Brock led the foot charge in which he was fatally wounded.  “Alfred” was later ridden into the battle by Colonel MacDonell.  MacDonnell was killed and “Alfred” was mortally wounded.

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IMG_1527 IMG_1528 IMG_1531 IMG_1533The next, and final stop of the short drive today, was Fort George.  The Fort was built between 1796 and 1799 by the British as a counterpoint to the American Fort Niagara across the river.  Repeated artillery duels between Fort George and Fort Niagara in the fall of 1812 damaged the defenses on both sides of the river and in May 1813 a massive bombardment by American artillery pounded the fort into a smoking ruin leaving the powder magazine as the only building to survive.  Two days later the Americans invaded forcing the outnumbered British to withdraw.  The Amerians re-fortified the site and for the next seven months Fort George and the town of Niagara were enemy occupied territory.

IMG_1541In December the Americans abandoned Fort George and retreated to Fort Niagara but before they left they burned the thriving town of Niagara to the ground, driving the inhabitants out into a fierce winter storm  The British re-occupied the fort, attacked and captured Fort Niagara and took firm control of the Niagara frontier.

Parks Canada built a replica of the fort on the original site and staff in period costume tell the story of the soldier’s lives at the fort.

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A junior officers shared quarters.  This bed folds up into a box for transport.IMG_1554 IMG_1557The Officers Mess

IMG_1559 IMG_1560Firing a “Brown Bess” musket

IMG_1561 IMG_1562 IMG_1563 Senior Officers Quarters although they would have actually lived in a residence in the town and not in the fort.IMG_1564 IMG_1566 IMG_1571

The powder magazine. The only original building. Built in 1796.IMG_1575



Fort Niagara on the American side of the Niagara River.



Then it was a very slow drive through the heavily congested streets of the popular tourist town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. We managed to find a parking place near the Queen Victoria Park so I could walk to the edge of  Lake Ontario and stand in the water.  You may remember that way back on July 2 I stood in the water of Lake Superior, so this is my second Great Lake.  I hope to stand in the other three over the next few days.

IMG_1576We are comfortably ensconsed in our King Jacuzzi Suite at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport.  Every hotel in town or anywhere near town was $180-$350 plus per night.  We have our King Jacuzzi Suite for $149.  I won’t be using the tub though.  I find they take too long to fill and consider it a waste of time and water.  But that’s just me….no romance in my soul.

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2014 Sep 27 – DAY 100 – Niagara Falls, ON

Niagara Falls is a tourist town plain and simple.  It has been so ever since the railroad brought the first load of tourists in 1840.  Over 13 million people visit the Canadian side of the falls every year.  There are elements of Las Vegas here; neon lights and casinos, plus lots of tacky-tourist attractions.

If you have children there are a zillion things to do: arcades, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Guiness Records Museum, Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks, Imax theatre, Marineland. mini-golf, midways, an indoor waterpark, go-karts, etc. etc. etc.

IMG_1288 IMG_1289 IMG_1320There are historical points of interest nearby:  Laura Secord’s house, Old Fort Erie, the Mackenzie Printery and the McFarland House.

There are gardens: Botanical Gardens, the Floral Showcase, the Floral Clock made of 20,000 blooms, plus nearby nature trails.

Boat rides to the base of the falls run from both the American side and the Canadian side.  An Incline Railway will take you down the steep cliff-side to the street and boardwalk that runs along the riverside – but 140′ above it – and there are viewing towers on both sides.  This natural wonder has been self-supporting – meaning no tax dollars needed – since 1885.


The Canadian boats give you a red rain poncho, the American’s use blue

IMG_1272 IMG_1296(We learned that the fireworks display we enjoyed last night is the longest running fireworks in Canada.  They go off every Friday and Sunday nights and on all holidays.)

It would be quite easy to spend a week here doing this and that. We came to see the falls and that is all we did.  I know how to prioritize! But don’t get too down on us for not seeing all there is to see.  We go about 20 km up the road tomorrow to Niagara-on-the-Lake and will be stopping at some of the historical places and perhaps the Floral Clock on the way.  Today though was all about the Falls.

And….we saw them from the street level, from an underground tunnel behind the water, from the observation deck of the Skylon Tower, and lit up by powerful lights at night.  It was a grand day!  The weather was absolutely perfect too; sunny and warm right into the evening.


The American Falls – Bridal Veil is the one on the far right by itself.IMG_1293 IMG_1306IMG_1270IMG_1302The Canadian Horseshoe Falls

We walked the boardwalk from the view of the American Falls to the rim of the Canadian Falls.  At this end you get wet from the constant spray.


IMG_1310 IMG_1311 IMG_1314The Journey Under the Falls takes you by elevator to the base of the Horseshoe Falls.  There are three tunnels with openings to the falls.  One leads to two viewing platforms; the lowest being 26 ft above the river and the other two tunnels are openings behind the cascade taking you almost 1/2 way round the horseshoe, accompanied by very loud thundering water!

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IMG_1343 IMG_1344 IMG_1350 IMG_1357 IMG_1351 IMG_1352The Skylon Tower is 160 meters tall (575 feet).  There are two observation levels – one above the other, one inside and the other outside behind large-link fencing.  There is a rotating restaurant at the top so you can see the town and both sets of falls while you dine.

IMG_1366 IMG_1386   IMG_1367 IMG_1387IMG_1395 IMG_1370 IMG_1372 IMG_1371 IMG_1381After we had dinner – great Italian food – we walked down the hill to wait for the lights to come on. We had to wait almost 45 minutes but eventually both the US and the Canadian falls were bathed in light.  The colors would change periodically so we watched for over half an hour before going back to our room for the night.

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IMG_1415IMG_1414  IMG_1424 IMG_1425 IMG_1430 IMG_1433 IMG_1435As I said, it was a grand day.






2014 Sep 26 – Day 99 – Saratoga Springs, NY to Niagara Falls, ON

Today was a boring travel day.  Because we had a lot of distance to travel we picked up the I-90 cross-New York freeway just west of Saratoga Springs and drove virtually straight through to Niagara Falls – on the Canadian side (544 km).  We left our hotel at 10 am and arrived at our Niagara hotel at 6 pm.  We only made three brief pit stops.

I don’t like freeways really.  Too many cars, on too many lanes, driving too fast.  The road was not nearly as crowded as many we have been on (especially LA – nasty, nasty) except for near the bigger centers like Utica and Syracuse, but I still kept my head down most of the day and read my book.  Every once in awhile John would point out something of interest and I would look up, maybe take a photo and then read some more – good thing I was enjoying my book.  Another thing I don’t like about freeways is that their objective is to move as many cars as fast as possible on as straight a route as can be achieved; thus, rarely is there nice scenery like the side roads – plus New York is pretty flat.


We traveled beside the Erie Canal much of the day and did get some breaks in the roadside trees to see the water a few times.  But other than that it was freeway and trees.

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IMG_1210We checked in to our hotel and walked a couple of blocks down the street to the Embassy Hotel and The Keg on the 9th floor to have dinner.

IMG_1211 IMG_1212 IMG_1213 IMG_1215The windows in The Keg show a lovely view of the falls.  With the cooler temperature as the sun went down there was a lot of mist but pretty cool nonetheless.  Tomorrow we will take the incline rail tram down to the falls level and walk around and we also plan to ride the exterior car to the top of the Skylon Tower – 99 stories.

IMG_1216 IMG_1219 IMG_1222 IMG_1223 IMG_1225 IMG_1227At 10 pm we were about to get ready for bed and the fireworks started.  I don’t know if they have the show every night or just once a week but we had a great view from our 6th floor balcony.  We will see if they do it again tomorrow night.

IMG_1243 IMG_1250 IMG_1260 IMG_1262Bucket List: Niagara Falls – check!

2014 Sep 25 – Day 98 – Franconia, NH to Saratoga Springs, NY

We woke this morning to fog.  It lifted after awhile and we continued through the colourful forests of New Hampshire and across the border to Vermont.

IMG_1117 IMG_1118 IMG_1120 IMG_1122We came across many more of the long, extended houses plus so many, of what to us, are typical New England brick buildings.  A New England town is clearly recognizable from all the photos we have seen over the years.

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IMG_1126 IMG_1127 IMG_1128 IMG_1130 IMG_1143And, due to the age of so many of the buildings around here, we also saw quite a few abandoned, derelict ones; houses, sheds, barns.  I find them quite stately though, even in their neglect.

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IMG_1135 IMG_1152 In Vermont we turned south since we must get below the slash of  Lake Ontario to go west to Niagara Falls.  It didn’t take long either before we noticed that a lot of the lovely rich reds and oranges of the trees in New Hampshire were disappearing in favor of yellows and golden green.  The leaves are just not as far along in their seasonal change as those just a bit further north.

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We drove over half way down Vermont on a westerly slant and just before the New York border we drove through New Haven and got a lovely taste of color again.


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Not far into New York we stopped at a light and an Amish horse and carriage went through the intersection.

I know the Amish do not like to have their photo taken so I waited until the driver was no longer visible before I took this shot.

For the majority of our drive south in New York we paralleled the Champlain Canal.  We passed signs for at least 9 locks.  The Champlain Canal extends 60 miles from Lake Champlain near the Quebec border to the Hudson River in New York City.  The canal was constructed simultaneously with the Erie Canal and was used by commercial traffic from 1823 to 1970.  Today it is primarily used by recreational boaters.  Not far past the end of the canal I saw some beautiful reflections in the quiet water before a low waterfall.

IMG_1180 IMG_1181 IMG_1182Our destination; Saratoga Springs.  I was quite excited to be going to one of the most famous horse racing towns in the USA.  My mother and I watched the Triple Crown of horse races every spring (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes) and I have loved horses my whole life.  I knew the racing season would be over but I was hoping to see the traIMG_1186ck.  We drove by the grounds and found the place to be completely fenced (for security and protection of the horses, I am sure) with guards at the gates.  It is a huge complex with white grandstands covered with a red roof. and a perfectly groomed track.  Still, I was stoked to see it – even without the horses.

Saratoga Springs, like Bar Harbor, is a major tourist destination.  The mineral springs here have been visited by people for over 200 years.  The area is quite affluent. There are lots of hotels, restaurants and spas.  We went into town for dinner and the streets were lined with cars and the sidewalks bustling with people.  It must be an absolute crush during race season.  I don’t like crowds much anymore but I would love to be here on a race day in June!





2014 Sep 23 & 24 – Days 96 & 97 – Bar Harbor, Me to Franconia, NH

It is amazing what happens when we take a down day!  We spent all day yesterday doing nothing in our hotel room.  We were in a very popular tourist place and we didn’t explore at all.  But….we don’t feel bad.  The day was planned for a do-nothing day so we followed the plan!

But, oh my goodness did that one day make a huge difference in the color on the trees.  Our 384 km drive today was a scenic delight!  Every turn in the road revealed more beauty.  We drove across the middle of Maine and about 1/2 across the thin top of New Hampshire.  We did no ‘tourist’ stops and only a couple of photo stops.

IMG_1038 IMG_1039 IMG_1043 IMG_1045 IMG_1046We drove across a bridge and as I looked out my window I saw a fellow in a bright blue canoe fishing on smooth water reflecting the trees.  I asked John to turn around and we drove into the Lake George Regional Park West, near  Canaan, Maine.

IMG_1048 IMG_1049 IMG_1052 IMG_1056 IMG_1062 IMG_1064We also pulled over at the Rumford Falls.  Rumford, Maine was the birthplace of former Secretary of State, Edmund S. Munske and there was a memorial to him at the park.  We didn’t see the high falls – 176′ drop; they must be higher in the hills – but we saw the lower falls which were right down town.  It was a very pretty spot.

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We passed many lovely old homes today; with several stories and gingerbread trim on the facia.  The ‘new’ houses were the ones that went on and on and on.  It was like over the generations they had added on and then added on again and then connected to shed, and then connected to the barn.  It was hard to get photos of them as most of them were built at a right angle to the road surrounded by trees, so by the time I could see that it was really long we were past it.  I managed to get a couple of shots of two of them though.

IMG_1082 IMG_1084So… to sum up.  We drove from the east coast of Maine to the northern center of New Hampshire and I took lots of photos of the lovely trees.  I suspect tomorrow may be similar.

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This is the Old Stone Stack.  It was built in 1805 and is not too far out of Franconia, NH on Highway 3

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2014 Sep 22 – Day 95 – St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB to Bar Harbor, Me

Jay and his wife provided another lovely breakfast for us before we checked out and headed down the road.

CAM00760We did some border hopping this morning.  St. Andrews is only about 25 km from St. Stephen which is across a short bridge from Calais, Maine.  We crossed the border into the US, drove about an hour down Maine Route 1 and across another bridge onto Campobello Island, which, although it is accessible via bridge from Maine is actually part of New Brunswick; which means we went through Canadian customs.

(There are three large islands; Deer Island, Campobello Island and Grand Manan Island that stretch down the NE coast of Maine.  All of them are part of New Brunsiick.  There is a ferry in the summer from Back Bay, NB to Deer Island and from there to Campobello – it takes about 45 minutes – Grand Manan Island is reached by 1.5 hour ferry from the NB town of Black Harbour.)

IMG_1008 IMG_1012We went to Campobello to see the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Cottage.  FDR’s father bought 4 acres on the island in 1883 and built a cottage.  FDR spent all his summers there as he grew up, and after he married his distant cousin Eleanor they built their own summer ‘cottage’ which had 6 family bedrooms (they had five children), 6 guest rooms and 6 servants rooms, plus 12 bathrooms and all the standard public rooms.  They spent every summer there until 1939 when FDR’s political commitments no longer allowed such extended vacations.  I should have such a cottage for my summer vacation.

IMG_0954 IMG_0956 IMG_0959 IMG_0961 IMG_0966 IMG_0970 IMG_0975 IMG_0978 IMG_0998 IMG_0999Campobello is the world’s only International Park.  The property is in New Brunswick but the Visitor’s Center and the buildings and grounds are staffed and maintained by the USA.  We watched  a 15 minute video before touring the house.  There  were helpful staff stationed outside several of the rooms who would tell you about the family.



The neighbours – Hubbard CottageIMG_0992 IMG_0993 IMG_0996

It was closed but I snapped a couple of pics through the window.IMG_0995I was quite surprised at the number and variety of flowers they still had blooming on the grounds.

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After about an hour we drove back across the bridge and went through US customs AGAIN.  Then we drove south to Bar Harbor.

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We think these might be cranberry fields.IMG_1018 IMG_1019Bar Harbor is also located on an island; Mount Desert Island.  Mount Desert is home to one of America’s smaller national parks, Acadia, but it is one of the most frequently visited.  We expected it to be semi-quiet by mid-September.  Wrong.  The streets were wall to wall parked cars and moving cars end to end.  People walking everywhere.  I am very happy our motel for the next two nights is situated a mile or so out of town.  Tomorrow is a down day and I have no plans to go anywhere or see anything.  Plans change, as we know well, so I make no promises.  There may be a blog tomorrow, there may not.

2014 Sep 21 – Day 94 – St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB

I couldn’t have picked a nicer spot to end our time in the Maritimes.  St. Andrew’s is just across the river from Castine, Maine right in the lower southwest corner of New Brunswick.  It was founded by United Empire Loyalists in 1783 after the American Revolution.  The area has been a very popular resort town for many, many years.  Even now, in the shoulder season at the end of summer there are many visitors here – mostly from the eastern States.

We were treated to a beautifully plated breakfast at our 180-year-old Bed & Breakfast.  Jay’s wife prepares a different breakfast every morning of your stay.  He assured us this evening that tomorrow’s breakfast will be better than today.  We had yogurt with fresh blueberries, a cup of mixed fresh fruit and a banana section, two pieces of French toast, potato sections cooked in maple syrup and a ham, cheese and spinace omelet. It’s going to be hard to beat!

CAM00754 CAM00755After breakfast we wandered down to Water Street and took photos of many of the old buildings.

IMG_0708 IMG_0709 IMG_0717 IMG_0718 IMG_0720 IMG_0726 IMG_0725 IMG_0723 IMG_0722 IMG_0727 IMG_0728 IMG_0733 IMG_0740Then we made our way back to the Inn on Frederick via a residential street and enjoyed the many beautifully maintained homes.

IMG_0742 IMG_0746 IMG_0744 IMG_0763We walked over to the Greenock Presbyterian Church in time for the 11:15 am service.  The ministry here is a shared charge with St. Stephen’s 20 km up the road.  From May to October services are held at 9:30 in St. Stephen’s and 11:15 in St. Andrew’s; for the winter months the times are reversed.  Greenock Presbyterian Church is a national historic building.  It was built in 1824 by Captain Christopher Scott and has a hand-carved green oak tree on the steeple.  The Green Oak is the symbol of Scott’s birthplace, Greenock, Scotland.  The pulpit and minister’s platform were constructed entirely without nails.

IMG_0755 IMG_0756 IMG_0759 IMG_0762 IMG_0754 IMG_0766  The Baptist ChurchIMG_0769  The Catholic ChurchIMG_0770  The Anglican Church After church we drove to the edge of the town and enjoyed the afternoon walking around Kingsbrae Garden, voted Canada’s best garden in 2013.  It is a 27-acre garden that was donated, along with the estate home, by a local couple in 1996.  It took two years to plan and plant the gardens and they work on different areas and themes each year. (And by now you should all know what happens when I get into a garden! Photos, photos, photos.  I took 299 photos today.)


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A labyrinth made with thyme planted on the spiral mounds.  Pretty cool.IMG_0811  Love this fenceIMG_0814 IMG_0816 IMG_0818 IMG_0821 IMG_0824 IMG_0825 IMG_0830 IMG_0833 IMG_0835 IMG_0836 IMG_0838 IMG_0841 IMG_0842 IMG_0843 IMG_0848 IMG_0853 IMG_0854IMG_0857IMG_0863 IMG_0867 IMG_0868 IMG_0869 IMG_0874 IMG_0875 IMG_0877 IMG_0878 IMG_0879 IMG_0881IMG_0883  IMG_0884 IMG_0888 IMG_0892 IMG_0893 IMG_0895

IMG_0896 IMG_0927Kingsbrae hosts an annual sculpure contest and the winning entries – first and second place – plus some that received honorable mentions are displayed in a special Sculpture Garden.

IMG_0906 IMG_0908 IMG_0910 IMG_0911 IMG_0912 IMG_0913 IMG_0914 IMG_0915 IMG_0916 IMG_0919It was cloudy when we woke and wandered the town, raining when we came out of church, and sunny while we wandered the garden.  We had a nice relaxing day for our last day in New Brunswick.  Tomorrow we cross the border to the US and make our way over the next four days to Niagara Falls.



2014 Sep 20 – Day 93 – Fredericton, NB to St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, NB

Today was an exciting day.  I found proof of my theory that rocks blow out the asphalt in roads just like the mushrooms blow out the asphalt on my driveway!


Almost ready to pop.  You can see the rise in the road made by the rock. IMG_0670 IMG_0668Also, with every day that passes we see more and more colour in the forests.  Things are starting to get very pretty.  The yellows will probably be the last colour to appear but even gold with the frequent orange and red will look very nice.

IMG_0673 IMG_0674 IMG_0675 IMG_0676We left Fredericton and drove 112 km west and north to the little town of Hartland.  We did this for only one reason; well, two reasons.  The number one reason was to see the longest covered bridge in the world.  Number two reason was to enjoy some more New Brunswick scenery, which we did by following the St. John River via Highways 102 and 105 rather than Route 2, the freeway.  We were displeased to find the bridge closed to traffic as we wanted to cross it.  John said he wanted to drive across so he could sneak a kiss.

IMG_0647 IMG_0649Covered bridges were called ‘kissing bridges’ because they were enclosed and young couples out for a drive could sneak a kiss without any parents or nosy neighbours as witnesses.  The bridges were really covered to protect the wood decks from rain, snow and ice.

IMG_0651 IMG_0652After photographing the bridge we crossed the St. John River on a longer newer bridge and drove back down the other side of the river on the freeway.  We had planned to turn off at the small town of Canterbury and follow route 630 south to Andersonville but the road turned to gravel within a couple of km.  We were not going to go 40 km on a gravel road so we retraced our route and picked up the freeway again as far as Longscreek which is only about 30 km from Fredericton!  Then we took Highway 3 to Highway 1 to St. George.

At St. George the Masgaguadavic River flows through a very narrow gorge.  This gorge has been dammed for hydroelectric power and the water just roars through it.  At the other end of the gorge the bridge has a pedestrian walkway with an opening on each side that allows you to cross to the gorge side and stand on a little jutting platform to take photos.  Rather nice of them I thought! (Of course it was probably done in self defence to prevent an accident caused by inattentive people walking on the narrow bridge.)

IMG_0677 IMG_0680 IMG_0684 We took a little drive around St. George before heading out.  St. George is called The Granite Town for their red granite quarry.  Stone from this quarry was used on many projects, such as the Parliament Building in Ottawa and a cathedral in Boston.


It was an 18 km drive west along the coast from St. George to St. Andrew’s-by-the-Sea.  St. Andrew’s was settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1783 following the American Revolution.  Many of their houses were dismantled, barged across the river from Castine, Maine and reassembled.  More than 250 homes in the historic district are 100 to more than 200 years old.  Main Street is 8 -10 blocks long of beautiful buildings and the houses stretch back for 4 -5 more blocks.  Many of them have plaques telling when they were built and by whom.  Tomorrow we explore.

When we arrived in St. Andrew’s we chanced upon the West Point Blockhouse, one of the few remaining blockhouses in Canada.  It was damaged in a fire in 1993 but the citizens and Parks Canada (it is a National Historic Site) repaired it.  It  was built by the community to protect themselves from privateers during the War of 1812-14.

IMG_0700 IMG_0694 IMG_0695 IMG_0697 IMG_0701 IMG_0702John makes all our hotel reservations and I was wondering why he had booked us into a B & B when there were so many hotels available (St. Andrew’s has long been a holiday resort town).  When we located the Inn on Frederick and opened the door to our room I knew why.  Gorgeous place. It is huge with nine guest rooms.  The Inn is owned and run by a young Korean family who came to Canada 5 years ago and settled in St. Andrew’s after spending an hour having lunch here.  Jay would like to move west in about five years – for the fishing!

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