October 9, 2010

Viva Canada! Hello USA!

We’re baaack!
On September 28, Chuck & I crossed the Saint Croix River from New Brunswick into Maine at the Calais (Cal-is) point of entry.

We entered Canada July 19 at Sioux St. Marie, so were in the country one day short of 11 weeks. Eleven intense weeks! But not enough.
We now know Canada as a country of personable, friendly, welcoming people who seem to have plenty of time to chat with strangers about their towns and themselves. A fine example is our visit with Diane and Noel Lalone of Bear River, a town upriver from Digby that is built on stilts to accommodate the huge Bay of Fundy Tides.


A century ago, Bear River was a shipbuilding center. Today it’s an extremely laid-back arts, wine, and photo destination. One of the yellow buildings is Diane and Noel’s kitchen/shop, Myrtle & Rosie’s. Here we found conversation and delicious carry-out meals, as well as “treats and treasures.” Diane named the shop for her two grandmothers, who stand beside the door to welcome visitors. I’ll bet they’re capable of keeping out the riff-raff, too!
As we’re endlessly drawn to bodies of water, most of our trip was along the Canadian coastline in Gaspe, Cape Breton and south and west Nova Scotia. Here are fishermen offloading their catch in Rivière-au-Renard, on the Gaspe Peninsula.

Our route included dozens of small towns, harbors, scenic highways, museums and local historic places, special events and parklands. Also, some memorable music events! And lots of living cultural experiences and conversations with people we’d be delighted to have as forever friends and neighbors. We didn’t see many cities, but had a great day in Quebec’s Old City and two fine days on the Halifax waterfront.


We enjoyed twenty-five campgrounds in Ontario, Quebec (most of the time on the Gaspe Peninsula) New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, including much of Cape Breton.
That’s a lot of moving, with little down time after all the sight-seeing. We’ve enjoyed so much, and have so far told you just a wee bit! Our only excuse is a full schedule and increasing exhaustion, which is by now grinding us down some. Maps! Brochures! Routes! Campgrounds! Visitor Centers! Internet searches! Aaarg! We plan to slow down somewhat.

Fall is here. The season provides a lovely show! But somehow, when we planned to follow the colors south, I’d forgotten that it could get chilly! We’ve unpacked the jackets and bought an electric blanket. We stopped in Maine to see Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, the very fine Abbe Museum and three little harbors, then camped again near Kittery, in the south. Today we’re in Mystic, CT. Tomorrow we’re bound for tall buildings, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
We haven’t yet seen a U.S. recycling bin in the campgrounds! I know we’ll find them somewhere…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gigi, we sure have enjoyed reading about our country and particularly Nova Scotia through your eyes! It was wonderful to share some time with you and Chuck while you were here and we do hope you'll come back to see us again. Remember, Stanfest still awaits you!
Safe travels back to your familiar turf. We'll keep checking for your updates and we hope to see you somewhere on the road this winter. Cheers! Paula & Jerry