Monday, September 9, 2013

Back in the USA!! (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) July 10-13, 2013)

July 10th we backed the 5th wheel into Dave and Ardie's driveway at their home in Dover-Foxcroft, ME.  Their home site includes about 8 acres with several hundred feet on the riverfront. Very nice! Backing down their long, steep driveway to a site alongside their beautiful log cabin was a bit challenging but it all went well.

Now that's a driveway!!

A tight squeeze!

That's close!!!!
We met Dave and Ardie at our first volunteer job in NC in 2010 and have been friends since.  They have visited us at our home in AZ and we did our 3 day jeep tour on the White Rim Trail at Canyonlands National Park with them.  So nice to stay in touch . 

We spent our first evening chilling and catching up a bit.  The next day we were off to what appears to be a largely uninhabited portion of Maine.  Our destination was Baxter State Park which is the home of the northernmost point of the Appalachian Trail.  We spent the whole day rambling around this area, hiking several small trails and driving dirt roads.

The dirt roads serve as major thoroughfares.  You compete for road space with the logging trucks and pray your suspension can take the beating.  Dave has a Subaru SUV.  He doesn't baby it.  We finished the evening with a nice meal out, then headed home to the dogs.  They were thrilled and oh so relieved!

July 12th we loaded up again and drove to Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary.  This is a spectacular 1600 acre refuge owned by the National Audubon Society.  It's a beautiful location with lakes, forests, mountains and a waterfall.

We did a great hike that, at the end, was a little too threatening for Debbie so she didn't finish.  Dave waited with Debbie and Ardie and I went on to the top. We have no pictures of the fabulous view from the top  because I failed to take the camera, so believe me....spectacular! 

We spent the13th  and 14th of  July driving to the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge in Oceanville, NJ (about 10 miles from Atlantic City).  We'll be here until Sept. 15th serving as volunteers.  We work 3 days on, 4 days off.  Debbie's in the Visitor's Center and I work maintenance 2 days and the Visitor Center one day.  We'll share more soon.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia (June 28 - July 9, 2013)

June 28th we moved to Glen Margret, Nova Scotia which is just up the road from scenic Peggy's Cove and a little west of Halifax. We're staying for 11 days at the Wayside Campground.

The original owner is still in place and it's a pleasant place across the road from a pretty inlet with memorable sunsets.

That evening we drove to the cute little town of Peggy's Cove.  Enroute we stopped at a very nice memorial site for Swissair Flight 111 which crashed about 5 miles off shore in 1998.

In Peggy's Cove there's a nice Visitors Center and we spent some time there.  We didn't go out to the light house because the weather was......brace yourself......TERRIBLE.  We'll try again another day. The weather has become the primary variable of our time in Nova Scotia.  With little let up it's been cold and rainy.  I apologize for the now well defined WHINING!!!!

June 30th we drove into Halifax to see the  Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.

This is a huge military themed production that includes enormous choir groups, individual singers, marching bands, bagpipes, dancers, bicycle and motorcycle acrobats and endless military pageantry.  We have no pictures because cameras were not permitted and Debbie's cell phone just doesn't take great pictures, but please believe me, it was extremely well done!  Please recall we spent 30 years in SC.  A marching band and bagpipe group from the Citadel performed.  It was nice to see a bit of our former home.  They also  did a memorial production for Sandy Hook.  The tears flowed heavy.  Made us feel good about our northern comrades.  Speaking of which, Canadian folks have been endlessly friendly and helpful.  But our less then wonderful weather continues so we're spending Canada Day (July 1) at the camper.

July 2nd  the weather continues to be lousy (stop complaining Duane) so we drive to Halifax to visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Somewhere we read you could do it in a couple of hours.  False. We are not big museum people but we could have spent 2 hours then another 2 hours.  Lots of varied exhibits, including one on the sinking of The Titantic. We went late in the afternoon because that evening there was to be live entertainment.  The afternoon passed quickly and the entertainment arrived.  She was a talented singer, maybe not quite our taste and the crowd was minute.  Too bad for her.  We watched from a second floor balcony and eventually slipped out.

Hunger cried out so we scooped up some fish and chips at a kiosk, The Battered Fish, on the wharf walk.  Way good and the first food bargain of our Canadian experience.  $10.99 for 3 sizable pieces and a pile of fries!  We are gourmet diners!!

July 3rd.  Clear weather.  Yea!  The four of us pile into the truck and get on the Coastal Heritage Trail.  This route wanders along the southern coast of Nova Scotia carrying you through all the picturesque towns tucked into the shoreline.

We spent the day driving, taking pictures, enjoying the views and reading historical placards. The boys just cruised. By evening we were in the wildly colorful harbor communities of Mahone Bay

and  Lunenburg. 

Both these are very worthwhile destinations.  Endless maritime architecture, harbor activity and lots of charm.

We spent our Fourth of July doing our return trip to Peggy's Cove.  We actually made two trips. Trip one was early afternoon and we spent our time wandering the little town, taking pictures, walking the rocks and enjoying the rugged coast. 


That evening we returned to capture the sunset and take more pictures.  Mission accomplished.

July 5th we went back along the southern coast to Chester, Nova Scotia.

Chester is a pretty, high dollar, yachting town with a $5 ferry that carries you to Big Tancook Island.  The "attraction" element of this outing is a bit murky.  The ferryboat is a bit industrial but for $5 it's a great opportunity to be out on the water.

The island is a simple, remote lobstering community. Probably not one of the most scenic places we've been, but nice enough.

We took our bikes so we could ride the island.

There might be 2-3 miles of gravel, hilly roads and the weather was now unseasonably hot.

For me the pedaling was fine but I'm thinking Debbie didn't really enjoy the biking.  Plus she had to pee in the woods :)  And there was an attraction that we really didn't grasp.  This like almost never happens, but Debbie failed to research "sea glass" which we knew was somehow associated with the island.  We just didn't know exactly what sea glass was.  But we now know, sea glass is glass trash that over the years has been thrown into the ocean and washed ashore.  The result is you can find along the shore tiny bits of glass that have been tumbled smooth.  Prize finds include deep blue pieces that were Noxema or Milk of Magnesia bottles, green, brown and clear that were beer bottles and the most rare, bright red which were vehicle  tail lights. Typically, the pieces are very small and a popular usage is making earrings and pendants with the glass. So we looked around on the beach and since we didn't know exactly what it was that we where suppose to be looking for, we didn't find anything!

We met a charming old couple on the ferry who, on the return trip filled us in on sea glass and gave us a small handful they had collected.  I think Debbie's going to give it to Rena.  After we returned to Chester we attempted to pedal a rail to trail route but the trail was not in as good of shape as most are. plus it was now very hot, so we abandoned that plan pretty quickly.  A side note of minuscule interest. I met a woman at the Chester Visitor Center who has a winter home 15 minutes from our home in Green Valley, AZ.  Small world.

Now much to your relieve I'm going to combine July 6th and 7th because both days were nearly identical.  We went to a great farmers market in Halifax and spent about 4 hours each day walking the wharf area and enjoying a free jazz festival.

The event we attended was in an enormous tent adjacent to the wharf walk in downtown Halifax.  The festival was going to run for 8 days with free afternoon concerts each day.  In the evening there were numerous performers at venues throughout Halifax.  These required tickets.  We expect to be up this way again in a couple of years and could easily schedule out trip to capture this event again.

On the 7th we  also took time to visit the Halifax Public Gardens.  It as very nice.

July 8th we cleaned the camper inside and out and also washed the truck.  That's a full day of scrubbing!

July 9th we packed up and headed back to the states.  Goodbye Canada.  What a wonderful place to visit!!