Thursday 21 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 29

The last day of any journey for me is always the most difficult - there are so many wonderful memories and it hurts to face the fact that it is over. Today was just the drive from North Bay to home; about 4 hours but we stopped off for a couple of hours to visit a high school friend in Huntsville. That helped my transition because I have endearing memories of the good times I spent on the site where his house now sits.

The total distance for the trip was 7372.6 kilometres - I hate to think what that cost in gas! That said, it was worth every penny and every kilometre and I'd like nothing better than to do it all again. Thank you Gavin, Adrienne, Will and Evie and Adam, Rosemary, Logan, Ryder, Emmett and Violet for making this vacation one of the best and most memorable ever and thank you all for following along. I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 28

 Today, unfortunately took us out of Quebec and back to Ontario to be greeted by that horrible slogan "Open For Business". Only Doug Ford could support this. "Yours To Discover" was timeless, this one is just dumb. The trip was pretty uneventful; relaxing to a point...

but the last few hours brought rain, truly torrential at times, the kind that your windshield wipers on maximum cannot clear.

We have landed in North Bay for our last night on the road - yes I took Karen to North Bay to celebrate her 70th birthday 😅 It's an improvement. I remember several years ago taking her to the dump on her birthday. What a romantic!

Sadly, tomorrow is our last day...

Maritimes Trip - Day 27

It was another one of those roller coaster days, both on the road (beautiful hills and curves) and just weird things happening. We woke up to find all the power in our room was out. All of it meant it was probably the whole house - which it was, in fact it was the whole town of Tadoussac. We were going to leave anyway, this just hastened our departure. That turned out to be a good thing. Even so, there was still time for a final farewell. I'd like to return in the fall sometime.

The very best part of our day took us through the gorgeous Saguenay region. I can't totally make up my mind but it certainly is a strong contender for my love of Quebec's Charlevoix region.

As we left Saguenay things started to look vaguely familiar. I know it's a neighbouring province but isn't this on the wrong side of the Quebec/Ontario border?

That's when things started to turn. I didn't like the place we had selected so, a whole other fiasco aside, we left and continued our drive. It was 5PM. There is precious little to choose from in these parts but we knew we would eventually find something. In the oh so travelling Whitehead way the first town of Senneterre was full. Just as well because dodgy would be too kind to describe the hotels/motels there. It was 9PM when we found a place in Val d'Or after being told at 4 places they were full as well. As is often the case, it was unexpectedly wonderful - that's oft times how we find the nicest places.

Monday 18 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 26

Despite the language barrier and occasional appearance of French arrogance Quebec is a beautiful province, Tomorrow may change my mind as we travel through the Saguenay but at the moment Charlevoix, without question, is my favourite part of the province.

We arrived in Saint Simeon around 10am - not exactly the way it was supposed to work out but here we are a day late.

...Even picked up a hitchhiker along the way.

This is a common summer sight to be sure, Perfect part of the country and we've seen it all along this trip, This is on the short ferry ride to Tadoussac...this one's for you Murray.

Tadoussac is gorgeous but it is oppressively hot at 33 degrees and high humidity, HOWEVER, this is the view from our balcony at the B&B.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 25

Today started well and ended really well but in between - boy, what a frustrating mess. As we left our hotel in Florenceville I was impressed to see the commitment New Brunswick has made to our environment by using wind power.

We were going to take the ferry from Riviere du Loup to Saint Simeon because we were headed for Tadoussac for two nights. We got there two hours early as there are no reservations so were in the first of 8 or 10 lines about 10 cars back. This was going to be a full ship. About half an hour before sailing our line started to move so we filed out like sheep. We left the parking area and headed out toward the highway. My first instinct was "Hey, there's no boat here." I thought maybe the ship could not dock here, after all it was low tide, so we had to meet it somewhere else. After about ten minutes on the highway I thought WTF we're not going to any boat. Two hours later we were in Quebec City.

It took us three hours to get out and headed back north on the other side of the river. The problem was both our GPS's took us to highways whose access was closed and barricaded. It was 8 o'clock by the time we found a place in Baie Saint Paul in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. That means we will only have one day in Tadoussac. We called them and tried to get a second day added to our current booking. They were good enough to not charge us for cancelling today as we were well past the cancellation cutoff but were full for the day after our booking.

                                   The Charlevoix region is gorgeous - no, there are no moose.

We're nearing the end so I hope there are no more days like today.

Saturday 16 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 24

The drive to the Confederation Bridge from the east end of the island was under 2 hours so we had time to enjoy the last of PEI for us...them old tater fields back home.

Crossing the bridge to New Brunswick was quite a bit different than it was the day we crossed to PEI. The traffic going to NB was backed up for about 10 kilometres onto the island that day. We didn't have to wait at all. 

I have always said that most people have driven through New Brunswick at one time or another but few have stopped overnight to enjoy the province, This is our third time on this trip alone. It was a little freaky following a Subaru the same model and colour as mine. Kind of felt like I was following myself. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

The world's longest covered bridge is in Hartland, NB and it really is cool driving over it. Yes it is very long.

There's another, much shorter covered bridge in Florenceville where we stopped for the night. Our GPS and Google Maps both indicated we should cross this bridge to get to the Inn we had booked. All well and good but the bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for 2 years now. The alternate route was very convoluted and annoying but we made it.

Friday 15 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 23

Not a fabulous weather day today but we had a great time. Our cabin "resort" is located in Murray Harbour so we though we'd better see it before we leave tomorrow. It definitely qualifies as the Maritimes.

There's a small lighthouse at Cape Bear nearby - that's not such a big deal. It's claim to fame was a Marconi station accompanying the lighthouse in the past, one of the very first to respond to distress signals from the Titanic.

A little bit of local wildlife always makes a good visit great.

Even though it's the middle of the summer, this end of the island is not too busy.

Finally, here's a Subaru ad for you, "Good To The Very End!"

Thursday 14 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 22

The east end of the island is a little rougher than the rest but I am still very surprised that a lot of PEI is very pastoral - open fields and lots of trees and forests. Things have changed in almost 40 years. 

Our "home" is in the woods but very homey.

As if the cabin didn't take us back in time enough, the immediate community is Mennonite and it hurts just watching how hard this man works.

Random things catch my eye as we drive around. This was a bit of an optical illusion. I swore the church was in the middle of the highway.

The Point Prim lighthouse on the south shore is one of two lighthouses in Canada (the other one is in BC) that is cylindrical in shape. It was a little busy but well worth a visit on this gorgeous day. We noticed on the drive to and from the lighthouse that you can see Nova Scotia from the PEI shore - not quite close enough to show up in a photo.

One more day on PEI then we start our journey home.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - Day 21

It was a very sad departure from Clinton, PEI. We have been with the kids for 9 days in 3 different provinces and it has been wonderful, especially after more than 2 years thanks to covid. 

One last family shot...

It's been a resurrection of the good times on the Holiday Road for us and the boys...almost 20 years after that came to an end...

And being with all our grandchildren at once is something we have dearly missed over the last (nearly) 3 years.

Today was another one of those days where we try to see as much of PEI as we can in the short time we're here...turning a 60 kilometre journey into 400 kilometres just because we can along the Points East Coastal Drive.

East Point has a lighthouse plus it is the farthest east one can drive in PEI - nothing more required to convince me.

The canola fields a couple of days ago were beautiful but today we were treated to something we never see at home...the lavender fields at South Lake.

We are now in a cabin in the woods in Murray Harbour for 3 nights. It's quite nice but hot as the gates of Hell and mosquitoes reminiscent of Kouchibouguac. I'm sure the ones we transported from there will get along with their buddies here.

Stay tuned...we've still got 8 days to go.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Maritimes Trip - catch up on Day 19

Relocating to a room with the router in it made all the difference in the world to the here's a few photos I was unable to post yesterday.

The North Cape Coastal Drive is a mixture of woodlands and small towns, some so small they don't even have a name, one is designated simply Lot 16. There are also a couple of lighthouses - all of interest to my photographic eye.

West Point

North Cape

North Cape is doing their part to help our environment...using wind power to its full advantage.

The digital telephoto on my point and shoot Nikon is not good enough from this far away (about 60 metres+) so even on a tripod it's fuzzy. The eagle sat in the grass for hours, so long I thought it might be injured. Perhaps he/she was just resting for the evening hunting regime.

Maritimes Trip - Day 20

 Sunrises are always a wonderful thing and this morning was no different - even had company.

We managed to track down the original Lady Slipper Drive which is now totally absorbed by the North Cape Coastal Drive. As we drove an old bomber flew overhead, perhaps a training exercise. I got out of the car, took several photos then drove away. No sooner had this happened than he circled around and flew over, a little lower this time. Immediately he made a third pass, even lower this time. Just checking us out.

It's a very pastoral setting - pastoral as in pastures. That being said there are far too many churches. There's one in every village, often in areas where the population in the community is far less than the seating capacity of the church. Still looks beautiful though.

This is our last day here but more importantly, and very sadly, our last day with the kids. All families head their separate ways in the morning. It has been a fabulous vacation with everyone. It allowed Karen and I valuable time to spend with all the grandchildren together, to get to know Adrienne and Rosemary better and to relive some precious moments with Gavin and Adam on the Holiday Road...and what an incredible place to finish, the Sky Family Lodge. It's an airbnb and we have the entire place to ourselves.

Maritimes Trip - Day 19

Our day started early at 6:30AM for a Holiday Inn Express breakfast but a surprise visit made the food secondary.

It wasn't nearly as pretty a drive as yesterday but then we turned a 35 kilometre trip into 350 as we ventured up to North Cape. Lighthouses were the name of the game today at both West Point (no, not that West Point) and North Cape. PEI is an amazing province. Go visit if you have not been there. You will not regret it.

The airbnb we are staying at is in Clinton. We're here for two nights to finish things off. What a place. An Inn of sorts, there are 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms with a veranda that surrounds the place looking out to fields reminiscent of a high class golf course. It was quite a treat for us watching bald eagles soar overhead as we ate dinner.

The internet here is basically inoperable - slow does not do it justice. It took 6 hours to upload the photo above. I'll catch you up on Wednesday when we move to a place with HOPEFULLY better wifi.