Chapter 4 | Nor By Nor East
Stop #1: Ashaway RV Resort, Ashaway, RI
We are taking our first Airstream caravan; after talking to a number of seasoned Airstream owners they all rave about AS Caravans so we signed up for one. We are on a caravan called, Nor by Nor East. A caravan is a group of “Air Streamers” who meet and travel together on an organized tour to various destinations. The leader of the caravan is trained and knows what he/she is doing. Our leaders Rich and Dottie Walbridge have lead this tour many times they are experienced and they make all of the arrangements. This is great because they make all the reservations and map out our stops arrange tours in various stops etc. We thought traveling up the northeast coast to Rhode Island, Mass, Maine, Nova Scotia, Prince Edwards Island, and Halifax sounded like a wonderful trip. We signed up last September and were on a waiting list; we did not think that we would get in the caravan but in April a space opened up and we were asked if we wanted to go. Of course we jumped at the chance saying “yes” immediately! We got the Airstream ready……new license plates the AS plate is “CEE MORE” and Eddie’s truck plate is “DOO MORE”
The adventure began in Zion’s Crossroads on 6/29/15 with 6,239 miles on DOO MORE’s odometer. DOO MOORE is Ed’s truck, we arrived in Bradford, RI, on 7/1/where our caravan is scheduled to rendezvous on 7/8/15. We arrived early on purpose because we did not want to be on the road in 4th of July holiday traffic. Our friends, Dick and Pat Mahoney live in Tiverton, RI and we wanted to visit with them before starting the caravan. Arriving early also gave us time to explore the area and get organized. Bradford is a tiny New England village with a few stores; it is quaint and we enjoyed relaxing, exercising, planning and getting ready for the caravan. The campground was picked because it is close to Mystic Seaport, Conn., and Newport, RI, both of which are places we are visiting on the caravan-tour.
We drove to Newport because Eddie wanted to visit the Touro Synagogue, it is the oldest synagogue in the Unites States dedicated in 1763. Rhode Island was the last colony to sign the Declaration Of Independence. What we did not know was that the delegates from Rhode Island would not sign the U. S. Constitution because it did not grant religious freedom to all citizens. Like today, negotiations took place and the Constitution was amended. The first amendment to the U. S. Constitution is The Bill Of Rights, and it is the Bill of Rights that grants Americans religious freedom. Once the Bill of Rights was added Rhode Island signed. In 1790 George Washington visited Newport to thank Rhode Island for signing the Constitution and wrote a beautiful letter to the Touro Synagogue pledging that …”our new nation would give to bigotry no sanction and to persecution no assistance…to see the letter click here” http://www.tourosynagogue.org/history-learning/tsf-intro-menu/slom-scholarship/86-washington-letter . Today the synagogue is still active with 100+/- members, it is designated a National Historic Site. All of us owe the people of Rhode Island a debt of gratitude for holding out on signing the constitution until religious freedom was incorporated.
Our friend Bob Kahn went to college in Rhode Island, and has family in Newport. Bob worked in Newport as a young man; he gave us great ideas of things to do, places to go, and sights to see. We did them all.
We drove along the coastline of Newport on a road known as Ocean Drive, where some of the nations wealthiest families had their extravagant summer homes during the “Gilded Age” (1865-1914). The Vanderbilt, Astor, and Morgan families among others all spent their summers in Newport. A home known as The Breakers, built by the Vanderbilt family, has 70+ rooms. President Eisenhower also summered in Newport in a more modest property owned by the Army. “Hammersmith Farm” owned by Hugh Auchincloss, Jackie Kennedy’s stepfather is in Newport, it is where she spent her summers as a child and where she and John Kennedy were married. Each mansion seems bigger than the next as the wealthy tried to out do one another. The family that created Worcestershire Sauce built a home that has 25+ chimneys all built to look like Worcestershire bottles. The drive is magnificent with mansions overlooking the water dotted with white sails from the numerous sailboats bobbing in the ocean as the background.
These old homes are magnificent in their own right but the new show of wealth is the huge yachts anchored in Newport Harbor. Not one or two but ten to twenty huge yachts were tied up at the docks when we visited. On a boat tour, our guide told us that many of the yachts costs two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per linear foot. There were several yachts in the harbor that day over fifty feet long. We saw one of Bono’s bands boat that we were told cost over $50 million. Maybe we are in the new “Gilded Age”. Many of the yachts were registered in the Cayman Islands, Miami, England.
Newport has a full time population of 25,000+ but in the summer it explodes with tourism, the number one industry for the town. The Preservation Society of Newport County has purchased many of the grandest homes, which are now opened to the public. We were impressed with the what the Preservation Society has done to keep these properties from falling into ruin.
We toured a summerhouse known as The Breakers, Italian Renaissance style palazzo built in 1893 by Cornelius Vanderbilt at a staggering cost of 12 million dollars.The Breakers It was an example of how the very wealthy loaded their homes with magnificent artwork, gold, and marble The Breakers even has one room with platinum walls. No expense was spared on materials and cost didn’t seem to be an issue. The house is 125,000+ sq.ft and the main hall has fifty-foot ceilings (that is not a typo).
After touring The Breakers we went to lunch at a wonderful restaurant on the docks where Bob Kahn worked in his youth; the Clarke Cooke house. Bob worked there in his 20’s and told us about the restaurant. It is one of the great restaurants in Newport and Roberta loved the “real” clam chowder. The waitress told us that Newport liked to be known for its clam chowder which is not as creamy or thick as traditional New England chowder and this bowl was a treat.
To walk off lunch we strolled along the Cliff Walk, (suggested by Herman Wheeler and Bob Kahn) a three+ mile-walking path along the Atlantic, which wanders along the rear of many of the famous grand old homes. The walk follows a steep cliff that drops off to a rocky shoreline; it is breath takingly beautiful. The walk is a National Recreation Trail in a National Historic District.
After spending time in Newport we visited friends from Arizona, Dick and Pat Mahoney who live in Triverton, RI. Pat and Dick were excited about showing us around RI but as luck would have it she was scheduled for a knee replacement the day that we arrived. We did get a chance to visit Pat briefly two days after her surgery. Dick took us to lunch at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the river. Their home is lovely with magnificent water views along with Pat’s artistic touches and decorating.
The Caravan Begins 7/8/15-7/12/2015
- The caravan officially began on Wednesday, July 8th but Airstream Trailers had been arriving daily beginning on about July 5th. We met several groups all of whom we liked it is an interesting and nice group of people. Everyone was excited about the upcoming trip and meeting one another! Some of the group came from as far away as California, Washington State, Nevada, and Arizona; they had already driven several thousand miles to just to get to the rendezvous point. On the 8th the last AS drove into Ashaway and all twenty-five AS were in place. The first night we had a meeting where we met the tour leaders and had our pictures taken and we were given drivers notebooks with short bios on each participant along with contact information and a schedule of what we were going to be doing. The first thing we noticed was that the next night there was a “GAM” scheduled and we were one of the hosts. Hmmm, we were hosts and we didn’t even know what a GAM was until someone told us that it stands for “Get Acquainted Meeting”. Of the twenty-five Airstreams, we are one of only two couples who have not been on a caravan before. The group is diverse with people from all over the country (16 different state), including two couples from Canada, Washington State and CA, SC, TN, KA, VA, MO. Many couples knew each other from previous caravans. The first people whom we met introduced themselves as “The Sisters”. Roberta thought that they were nuns…..she was way off on that one! The two ladies are actually sisters, one from Wisconsin and the other from Washington State. They enjoy traveling together and have gone on several previous caravans together. They had a good laugh over being mistaken for nuns and took us under their wing giving us advice and help. After the first GAM we learned that the group is very helpful and friendly. A couple from SC asked us to travel with them the next day to Mystic Connecticut.
Mystic Connecticut: 7/9
Our first excursion was to Mystic CT, and we were asked to join Parniece and Toppy Dawson from Charleston, South Carolina. Toppy is a good guy to know because he knows how to fix anything and he and Parniece have lots of experience with Airstreams. We have little experience with Airstreams but we can brake almost anything without much effort so having a friend that can correct our blunders and not charge $125/hour is a “real find”.
Our first stop was the Mystic Museum, at Mystic seaport. Whaling was a huge industry in the mid 1800’s much like the oil industry today. The industrial revolution was beginning and a lot of the machinery ran on whale oil. Whaling vessels would leave their home port hunting for whales and it was not uncommon for them to be gone for three years. The whale blubber was processed into oil on board the ships and brought back to port in barrels to be shipped around the world. We learned a lot of things about life in the 19th century that we did not know. Mystic Museum is the largest maritime museum in the world known for its collection of sailing ships. The village has more than 60 historical buildings where you can see how people lived in a seaport town in the 19th century. The Historic buildings from various locations were brought here to the former Greenman Brothers’ shipyard and positioned to resemble a living town. You really get a sense of what it was like to walk through 19th-century Mystic. It is the largest maritime museum in the world notable for its collection of sailing ships, and for the re-creation of an entire 19th-century seafaring village.
After spending the morning at the Mystic Museum, it was time for the group to go have our first seafood! We went to a local lobster pound – where we sat under a tent by the water and feasted on steamed clams, mussels and lobster. Some of our group didn’t know how to eat clams or lobster so we gave a lot of lessons and Roberta got extra clams from several people who didn’t like eating the clams and mussels!
Block Island: 7/12/15
We had a free day and many of our group went back to Newport, but we decided to take a ferry to Block Island, a place that we read about on TripAdvisor.com. We took the ferry from Narragansett over to the island arriving on the island we felt as if we had entered another world. Slower, simple homes with front porches and neighbors talking to and helping one another vs. the hustle and bustle of crowed Newport, Block Island is quaint island with a small town and little commercial activity, and beautiful homes overlooking the water. Block Island reminded us of what Nantucket would have been like before it was “discovered”. The population in the winter is less than a 1000 people and there is very little winter activity. The highlight of our trip to Block Island was a walk down to a beach known as Mohegan Bluffs.
We are on the ferry leaving Narragansett on our way to Block Island to visit the Mohegan Bluffs. It has been unusually hot and it is a weekend so as you can see from the picture the beaches are packed. Not our idea of a fun place to be when they are this crowded.
Block Island is absolutely pristine; no tackiness allowed. So far it has escaped the fast food joints, T-Shirt shops etc. It is dotted with quaint old fashioned beach cottages like this one. We took a cab from the harbor to Mohegan Bluffs and hiked down one hundred and fifty steps to the beach. There is a steep staircase from the top of the cliff down to a beautiful beach. We’re not sure why but people erect cairns on one section of the beach, they add an artistic and interesting dimension to a beautiful secluded beach. When the tide comes in the cairns are probably demolished but they are fun to view while they last. They are called the Mohegan Bluffs because the battle of the Niantic and the Mohegan took place here in the 16th century. The battle was over supremacy of the island, and the intruding Mohegans were forced over the cliffs to their death by the native Niantic.
The Southeast Lighthouse is a short walk down the road from the Mohegan Cliffs so we hiked to it to take pictures and to buy a bottle of water. We asked someone there how far it was back to town and were told that it was only about a mile; it was actually about two miles but we’re glad that we walked. The scenery was spectacular with ocean views, beautiful flowers and sea oats, and picturesque beach cottages along the way.
Stop # 2: Sandy Pond Camp Ground, Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Plantation, is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, that shows the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by English colonists, some of whom later became known as Pilgrims. Here is what one visitor said about the museum “We felt like we were back in the settlement time. The actors played their roles so well. They were cooking and eating and feeding the animals. It was a fully functioning village.” We wish every school child could visit because it makes history come to life and history is made fun! The settlers here were among the first people who immigrated to America to avoid religious persecution and to seek religious separation from the Church of England.
In the 1627 English Village section of the museum, interpreters have been trained to speak, act and dress appropriately for the period. They act as if they are living in the village so if you ask a question it is answered as if you were asking it in the sixteen hundreds. At Plimoth Plantation they are called historical interpreters, and they interact with their “strange visitors” – for example if you were to ask an interpreter where Walmart was the answer would probably be something like “I don’t know what Walmart is what you are you talking about”. They answer questions in the first person, answering questions, discussing their lives and viewpoints and participating in tasks such as cooking, planting, blacksmithing and animal husbandry as if they are in the that time period. The 1627 English Village depicts day-to-day life as well as featuring some key historical events such as funerals and special celebrations.
Plymouth Rock is the traditional site of the landing of William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620. It is an important symbol in American history however, there are no references to the Pilgrims’ landing on a rock at Plymouth.
The first written reference to the rock’s existence was in 1715, when it is described in the town boundary records as “a great rock.” The first written reference to Pilgrims landing on a rock is found 121 years after they landed it makes for a great story but there is no proof that the pilgrims actually landed on “The Rock”. It has traditionally been memorialized on the shore of Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Many people believe that the Pilgrims actually landed first at Provincetown but due to the lack for fresh water they moved to Plymouth.
We spent a day in Provincetown; on the way Eddie wanted to stop by Nickerson State Park in Brewster. We camped at for Nickerson Park twice each time for two weeks about thirty-five years ago. The first time was when Ted was six years old. Eddie said that he bet that he could find our campsite, and guess what he did! It brought back wonderful memories of fun times camping with Teddy as he was growing up; we took a picture of the camp site and emailed it to him.
Provincetown is at the tip of Cape Cod it is a fun, eclectic, artistic town with quaint homes with beautiful gardens and views of the water. It is known as “P” Town and it is also known as a place where LGBT communities have felt comfortable and vacationed for years. The year round population is 3,000+/- but that number swells to over 60,000 in the summer. We were there during the week and the town was packed. We took a trolley tour which was a great way to see the town since driving Doo More would have been impossible with the narrow streets snd crowds of people who walk down the middle of the streets. Provincetown reminded us of New Orleans at Mardi Gras it is high energy, streets crowded with pedestrians, generally a festive atmosphere.
We had a special tour of the Monument to the Forefathers narrated by Leo. Leo clearly loves giving the tours and makes the history of Plymouth and the first settlers come alive! He is animated and dresses in “period” dress. Leo gave us the history of the monument, which was built in 1889. The statue commemorates the Pilgrims of the Mayflower and it is thought to be the world’s largest solid granite monument, standing eighty-one feet tall it is the fourth-tallest statue in the United States. The statue incorporates the principals that the Pilgrims brought to our shores: Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty. An inscription on the monument’s face reads, “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.”
After touring the Monument To The Forefathers Leo took us to the Jenny House, and the Grist Mill. The mill is one of the oldest in America and still operates.
We also took a bus tour of Concord and Lexington and one point that struck us was that the Pilgrims came to America to practice freedom of religion, but when they got here their rules about religion were very strict. Church for three hours on Sunday morning and another three hours in the afternoon with fines if services were missed.
Stop # 3: Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield, MA
July 16, 2015
We visited the Minuet Man monument to view the battlefield where the Colonist fought the British army, and the “Shot Heard Round The World” took place. At Minute Man National Historical Park the opening battle of the Revolution was brought to life as we explored the battlefields and structures associated with April 19, 1775. To this day no one knows who fired the first shot in this battle but the fight became a rallying point for the Colonist. Up until this point the Colonist had not been highly organized or successful against the British army because they were not well trained and had issues fighting and firing on their own countrymen. Many Colonists wanted their independence however not all of them wanted independence. The colonist still thought of themselves as being British. Again the native Americans played a part in the revolutionary war. The British way of fighting a war (their rules of engagement) was to line up in a straight line and begin firing at the enemy; the colonist learned from the Native Americans that you could hide behind trees, barns, and fire. The British considered this cheating, maybe, but it was effective!
The Whale Watch
We were excited about taking a whale watching cruise and it turned out to be a very successful trip! We left from Gloucester and it was not long before spotted whales. We tried to get pictures but discovered that is difficult because they surface and then dive quickly. The cruise was fun and educational with the guides teaching us about whales and their habits, how they migrate,and how they identify the whales that come back every year. The first time we spotted a whale everyone was excited and when the whale dove and its’ tail broke through the surface we were in awe.
When Roberta was five her family vacationed in Rockport, Mass, it is where she learned how to swim. She returned with her dad when she was 18/19 and has great memories of the town so we went back for a visit. Rockport is charming with beautiful views and lots of tourist; we are glad we went.
We stayed in a a quaint and beautiful town, Topsfield, Mass; we’re beginning to think that all of the towns in New England are quaint and beautiful. We camped at the Topsfield Fair Grounds, because there aren’t any camp grounds close to Boston. We had the place to ourselves and the small town of Topsfield is a gem. Beautiful old homes, a wonderful town square, walking/jogging trail, and we even found a great pizza restaurant. Topsoil Pizza is the place to go, the owner is from Greece, and he graduated from MIT with a mechanical engineering degree…..only in America! His degree has to have helped him design and make terrific pizza and word quickly spread through our group and his business increased due to Airstreamers. Meeting people along the way who have interesting stories is as much fun as seeing interesting places.
Tops field was a good place to stay while visiting Boston; every morning a bus picked us up and took us into Bean town. The first day we saw the U.S.S Constitution which was being worked on so we couldn’t go on to the ship. The temperature was 92+ and humid so everyone was uncomfortable BUT we knew what the temp and humidity was in Virginia! We toured the U.S.S. Constitution Museum, it wasn’t really our thing so we began walking along the Freedom Trail heading to our next stop the Bunker Hill Monument. We arrived at the monument early and one of the docents told us about a close by tavern, Warren Tavern, where Paul Revere and his Masonic friends often met and planned our new country. Roberta was in heaven because not only was the bar historic; there was a TV at the bar and guess what was on……..yep the British were coming again; it was the end of the British Open. A nice way to end the modern day golf war!
One other fun fact was that Paul Revere was a hero in Henry Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revers’s Ride”; the problem is that Paul Revere was arrested by the British on his ride, was thrown in jail and ended up walking home. There were two other men, one a doctor who knew all the roads, and a man sneaking away from his girlfriends house, who actually alerted their neighbors to the British arrival.
One of the interesting things about Bunker Hill is how close it is to the Warren Tavern where Paul Revere, George Washington etc….all Masons met to drink a mug and talk about our new country. Bunker Hill was a major turning point in the Revolutionary War because the Colonist lost the battle there but the British Empire was sent a strong message. The British soldiers out numbered the Colonist, with both men and arms. The British lined up in straight rows and shot at the colonist; they expected the Colonist to do the same. The Colonist had limited troops, arms, and ammunition so they hide behind walls and trees which the British didn’t think was fair. The Colonist used these techniques that they learned from the Native Americans and they were successful. The Colonist suffered relatively few losses but the British lost almost 40% of their men. The British won the battle because the Colonist ran out of ammunition but the message was clear, the colonist were ready, willing, and able to fight. The British learned that the Colonist were not going to roll over and the Colonies learned they were up to the task of fighting for their freedom and more and more Colonist joined the fight.
The next day we returned to Boston to tour downtown by trolly. We ended up not taking the trolly and walked along the Freedom Trail seeing interesting sites and places. Part of the way through our walk we join a walking tour and heard wonderful stories from a very knowledgeable tour guide which made our tour very special.
Trivia is important! Everyone is interested in Samuel Adams beer but not many people know that the picture on the beer bottle is not good ole Samuel Adams but Paul Revere. Poor ole Samuel Adams had a face that couldn’t sell a bottle of beer so they had to find another face to grace the beer bottle!
A special treat on our trip to Boston was a tour of the Kennedy Library. We visited the Kennedy library years ago with Ted but this was a new adventure and the library was wonderful. Seeing the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the beginning of the Vietnam War and Camelot brought back a lot of teenage memories. We have visited the Nixon, Bush I, Johnson & Clinton libraries all of which are great! If we are close to a presidential library or museum we go.
Stop # 4: Searsport Shores Ocean Camp Ground, Searsport, Maine
Who goes to Maine without stopping at LL Bean? After a brief stop and minus a few $’s we left LL Bean for Searsport. An interesting stop along the way was Cabella’s, not to shop but to ……….”dump”. Cabella’s is RV friendly allowing RV’s to camp over night in its parking lot and it even has dump stations. The Topsfield Fairgrounds had water and electric but no sewer hookups so our holding tanks were full and needed emptying. We arrived at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground in the early afternoon.
Our campsite had a panoramic view of the Penobscot Bay. Searsport Shores is a family owned campground and the owners put on a memorable lobster bake. We thought that we knew how to cook lobster, but after this experience we discovered that we have a lot to learn. A “real” lobster bake and a memorable experience! The lobster bake that the owners of Searsport Shores Ocean Campground put on has been featured on the “Cooking Channel” and we understand why. Wow, is all that we can say even if the site had not been good the lobster bake was worth staying at SSOC!
Stop # 5: Timberland Acres RV Park, Trenton, Maine
Timberland Acres Campground in Trenton Maine is just off Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. We camped at Blackwoods Campground in Arcadia National Park on Mount Desert Island twice previously so we know the area fairly well. Bar Harbor is beautiful but it’s packed with tourist during the summer months; we went for a beautiful walk along the Shore Path, a mile walk around the Bar Harbor shoreline and then headed to the quieter towns of Seal Harbor and North East Harbor on Mount Desert Island.
Stop # 6: Herring Cove Provincial Park, Welshpool, New Brunswick, Canada
We left Trenton, ME just off of Mount Dessert Island headed for Herring Cove Provincial Campround on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada.. Every state has beautiful places but we love the rocky Maine coast and wish that we could have stayed longer. We were assigned the task of “deparking”, so we were the last people to leave the campground. Dave and Jill Wilson, a couple from California and Roberta and I were the deparkers. Deparkers check each trailer in the caravan as it leaves the campground to make sure that it is “travel ready”; all antennas down, the trailer is hitched up properly, turn signals and brake lights function properly, steps stored, along with a list of other items to check. After the last trailer leaves the campground the deparkers can leave. We drove north on Route 1 (terrible road) for 94 miles and crossed the border in to Canada (where the roads immediately improved). Maine needs some highway funds yesterday! All of the Airstreams in the caravan monitor CB channel 14 so it’s easy to communicate and we all have drivers’ manuals with explicit directions to each campground.
We arrived on Campobello Island, in New Brunswick after a bumpity – bump ride along route 1 in Maine. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and ran out to see the Head Harbor Light House while it was still low tide. You walk down steep steps and across what is the ocean floor to the lighthouse of course you can only walk to the light house during low tide, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada. Campobello Island only has nine hundred full time residents; it is gorgeous, another VSP. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt spent time in the summers on Campbello Island before he became President. President Roosevelt’s parents owned a summer cottage on Campobello Island, and he spent his childhood summers on the island and it is where he was diagnosed with Polio. In his memory The Roosevelt Campobello International Park was dedicated. The park is on Canadian soil and symbolizes the close relationship between the United States and Canada. There are wild flowers and bluffs that over look the Bay of Fundy; when you look out of the truck window it looks as though you are looking at a post card scene. At the lighthouse there are signs pointing out the danger of getting stranded as the tide turns. The bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world and the water rises five feet an hour at the light house; so if you don’t walk back before the tide changes you spend eight hours at the lighthouse waiting until the next low tide.
A highlight of Campobello Island was: Tea With Eleanor! The Provincial Park has an afternoon tea that you can sign up to attend. The locals on Campobello Island loved Eleanor Roosevelt because she genuinely liked and had friends from all social stations. She was as comfortable with the local fisherman or their wives as she was with world leaders. Every afternoon at three o’clock she had tea and invited friends and neighbors. Female park rangers now host “tea with Eleanor” and talk about Eleanor Roosevelt and they serve tea and biscuits. The discussion was excellent and some of the stories about Eleanor Roosevelt brought tears to our eyes; she was a unique person!
Stop # 7: Camper’s City RV Resort, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
We left Campobello Island headed for Moncton, New Brunswick. It was an easy one hundred sixty mile drive; easy because the Canadian Highways are smooth without potholes and have beautiful scenery! We left the campground at 7:30 AM headed to Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy; once again we found ourselves at the mercy of the tides. You can only get down the steps and walk along the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks at low tide. Hopewell Rocks is a provincial park; it is spotless with friendly park rangers ready to explain everything. We walked down a set of steep steps and walked along the ocean floor. The rocks, ocean, and trees were magnificent as you can see from our pictures. We left Hopewell Rocks hurrying back to Moncton in order to get there in time to see the Tidal Boar. We had never heard of the Tidal Boar and did not know what it was; we do now. When the tide comes into the Bay of Fundy it pushes water up the Petitcodiac River which creates a wave. When the it gets to Moncton there are surfers who wait for the wave and then ride it as it moves along up the river. The tide can increase as much as 25 feet in an hour.We were on an observation deck on a curve in the river and watched the wave and surfers come up the river. After watching the tidal boar we went to the Moncton Farmers Market for a nice lunch.
August 2, 2015
Eddie went for a leisurely jog this morning at local park in Moncton. Then we drove to Shidac a cute fishing village known as the lobster capital of the world. Moncton and Shediac are both bilingual communities with everyone switching effortlessly back and forth from English to French. In Shidac a clerk at the grocery store began speaking to us in French when she figured out that we did not understand what she was saying she apologized and immediately began speaking flawless English. When we ask her how she could speak both languages so well she said “I have been doing it all of my life so it’s just natural to me.” The locals switch back and forth between French and English effortlessly. All signs are in both English and French; yesterday when we listened to the interpreter explain the tidal boar he gave his talk in English and French.
We had what could have been a catastrophe today in Shadiac. We bought a lobster dinner and when the credit went through it charged our card $2,922.22 quite an expensive dinner! The waitress caught the mistake but it was too late the charge on our credit card had already been gone through. She called the owner of the restaurant over and the charge was reversed along with her very sincere apology. Within half an hour we received a text message and a phone call from our credit card company asking about the charge. The mess was straightened out quickly and the lobster roll was delicious!
Lobster rolls are good eating but Eddie is also a good cook, fixing soups in our crock pot, hummus and smoothies in the Vitamix, and excellent blueberry pancakes too.
Stop # 8: Woodhaven RV Park, Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada
Yesterday we drove from Moncton to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In Halifax we drove to the waterfront Sunday afternoon where a festival was taking place. The atmosphere was festive with excellent street performers. Monday is a Nova Scotia holiday so Halifax is bustling this weekend. We explored downtown the downtown area walking along the water front and had a wonderful afternoon.
Early, Monday morning a comfortable tour bus picked us up for an all day whirlwind tour complete with an excellent guide. The first stop was Peggy’s Cove an exceptionally picturesque seaside village. Peggy’s Cove is an amalgamation of people who make their living working as fisherman, artist, or working in the tourism industry. Walking around Peggy’s Cove is like going back in time there is nothing new or modern it is an old fashioned fishing village on a cove that opens on to the Atlantic Ocean. We bought three paintings done by local artist that we love. After taking a walking tour of Peggy’s Cove we boarded the bus and drove in to Halifax to visit a cemetery where bodies from the Titantic were brought for burial after the ship sank in 1912. Leaving the cemetery we drove to the Halifax waterfront for lunch and then to the Maritime Museum where we learned more about the ship building industry in Halifax. Halifax is where Conard Lines started; and Mr. Conard was born here. After the museum we boarded the bus and toured The Public Gardens, the Public Gardens in Halifax and Canada; Butchart Gardens in BC are the two most beautiful gardens that we have ever seen; both are gorgeous and both are in Canada! Finally, before retuning to the campground we toured beautiful residential areas of the city. We were exhausted when we got back so we ordered a pizza and had it delivered to CEE MORE!
August 6, 2015
Today we leisurely drove along route 3 a road that hugs the coast stopping in three beautiful towns; Mahone, Chester, and Lunenburg. Words and pictures don’t describe the beauty of this area. We’re sure that the winters are far different from what we are experiencing in August but we feel like we are living in a movie set. All three of these towns are quaint and beautiful each in its own way. We had been told about Mahone and Lunenburg but no one had mentioned Chester. We visited Chester because our friend Sue McNeely has a home in Chester. If we had to pick a favorite of the three towns based on beauty it would be Chester. We parked in front of the yacht club (public bathroom right across the street) there were about fifteen kids sitting on the grass at sailing school (we think) preparing to go out in the harbor. Words do not adequately describe the beauty even our pictures won’t show the beauty that is in front of the camera lens.
We left Chester and drove to Lunenburg to a farmers market that is held every Thursday and to see The Blue Nose II a yacht that was supposed to be in the harbor. The Blue Nose is a luxury sailing yacht that was built in Lunenburg in 1963; it is a replica of Blue Nose I that was built in 1921. Blue Nose I is a fishing and racing schooner that is celebrated as a provincial icon in Nova Scotia. As luck would have it the Blue Nose sailed earlier that morning so for the second time we did not get to see it. We missed seeing it the first time in Halifax. We drove back to the campground after a wonderful day.
Stop # 9: Louisbourg RV Park & Camping, Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
We had one of the longest driving days of the trip traveling 266 miles. On the way we stopped at the Walmart in Sydney to restock. The campground in Louisbourg was right on the water and next door to a snow crab factory. The good news was the camp was located on the water, next to a crab processing plant. The bad news was the place had a very strong crab odor; we got all of the fish smell but we also were able to knock on the packing house door and buy five pounds of fresh snow crabs for thirty Canadian dollars. ($22.50).
Since we were next door to a snow crab factory we had to try some. Roberta had never had the type of crabs here and neither had some of our friends so a crab feast was in order. A friend walked next door and bought the crabs, and we put them in boiling water for two minuets and then….the best crab meat Roberta has had. The meat was a cross between crab and lobster and they were wonderful!
Saturday morning we visited a reconstruction of The Fortress At Louisbourg. We were tired and really not in the mood to spend the day visiting another fort, but as has so often happened on the caravan The Fortress Of Louisbourg turned out to be a great experience. We had a fun day and the reconstructed fortress is very well done. The Fortress is a Canadian National Historic Site, it is one-quarter of the size of the original fortress. The fort had as many as 6,000 people living within its’ protection. Louisbourg was originally a fishing port and was needed to be protected because we learned that a lot more money was made in the fishing industry during the 1700’s than in the fur trade. Keeping the town safe was important because of the heavy ship traffic coming into the harbor taking salted cod back to Europe. By the mid-1740s Louisbourg was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications constructed in North America.
The Fortress and town were partially reconstructed in the 1960s and 1970s, using some of the original stonework. We were told that the reconstruction project was undertaken by the Canadian government to give local citizens jobs. Unemployment in the Louisbourg area was high due to the closure of the coal mines. The Fortress was reconstructed as a tourist attraction and to give people in the area jobs and teach them new skills. The Fortress reminded us of Williamsburg, although that really is not a good comparison. The people who work at The Louisbourg Fortress all dress in period clothing and take on the personalities of the original residents of the fortress. There are people baking, cooking, making lace, soldiers firing long rifles, wood workers, etc. Louisbourg switched back and forth between England and France so many times during the 1713 to 1760 period that we could not keep it straight. Reminded us of the six flags over Texas. The French built the original fortress.
Sunday morning we took a long hike with Ellen Foster, a friend from Toronto. We hiked the Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail that winds through the woods along the coast. Roberta was hesitant to go and planned to only hike part of the trail and then turn around, however after getting started and seeing the beauty she kept going and hiked the entire six miles (Yea Ro!). The sea was angry with white caps smashing against the rocks. We did not know it but there was a big storm brewing. That night it rained all night and the next morning we hitched up CEE MORE in the pouring rain; we were headed for Baddeck, NS.
Bras D’or Lakes Campground,Baddeck, Nova Scotia
Baddeck, Nova Scotia is a small pretty harbor town that is surrounded by Bras d’Or Lakes with channels to the Atlantic Ocean. It is next to the Cabot Trail and Cape Breton Highlands Canadian National Park and has the claim to Alexander G. Bell, who lived and worked here and loved the area. His decedents still own the compound (850 +/- acres) on Bras D’or Lake that he and his wife purchased.
Cabot Trail is one of the most famous drives in Canada and takes you around Cape Breton part of which is a national park. We spent most of the day driving around the trail and stopping at overlooks with spectacular vistas. The trail lead us to small villages which were working fishing villages. We have to remind ourselves that not every place in the world is this beautiful. We keep thinking that we have seen the most beautiful sight and then we drive around a bend in the road only to see a sight equally or more beautiful. We are beginning to take beauty for granted, how sad. We have been told this area is depressed economically but it certainly is not depressed from a natural beauty standpoint (at least in the summer).
On our last day in Nova Scotia we took a sailboat cruise in Baddeck on Bras D’or Lake. The sailing trip will be remembered as one of the highlights of our trip. We saw majestic bald eagles up close; the crew threw fish into the air to lure the eagles in close. We sailed by Alexander G. Bell’s 850 acre compound which is still owned by his decendants. Alexander G. Bell and his wife visited Baddeck and fell in love with the area. They bought 850 acres in 1907 for $3,000 where today fifteen of the family members own summer homes. We learned that in addition to his inventing the telephone and many other inventions that Mr. Bell was the founder of National Geographic. The recent editor of National Geographic Magazine, Gilbert Grosvenor, is the great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell. He owns a home in the family compound on Bras D’or Lake and visits the Alexander G. Bell compound frequently.
Our last dinner in Baddeck was a delicious meal of lobster, claims, and a special vegan meal for Eddie at The Lobster Gallery! We have heard it said that a good restaurant has to have three equal components; good food, good service, and good atmosphere. The Lobster Gallery has all three! The owners were friendly, attentive and went out of their way to provide a memorable meal and fun filled evening. The chef even prepared a special vegan meal for Eddie along with a fabulous desert. Someone asked if the lobster was local since it is not legal to catch them in Baddeck right now. Jeanne explained that even though they aren’t in season in Baddeck at the moment that they were local lobster because the owners buy ten thousand pounds of lobster when they are in season and feed and keep them alive in holding tanks. Jeanne, one of the owners was fascinating to talk with and she went out of her way to make sure that we had both a good time and meal! The view from the dining room at sunset only enhanced the meal. The Lobster Gallery is open May through October and then Jeanne and her husband go to Florida for the winter.
Stop # 11: Cornwall/Charlottetown KOA, Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, Canada
We left Baddeck and Bras D’or Lake for our final stop; Cornwall/Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island (PEI). We had two choices of ways to get onto Prince Edward Island (PEI). We could take a ferry or we could drive across The Confederation Bridge. We decided to take the ferry on to PEI and to leave the island by The Confederation Bridge. The Confederation Bridge joins the eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The curved, 12.9 kilometer (8 mile) long bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water, it was finished and opened on May 31, 1997. We were told that it cost a billion dollars to build.
We will cherish the time that we spent on Nova Scotia, it is truly a very special place (VSP). We loved every place that we visited, the climate, the people, the scenery, all of it. We could have spent the entire two months exploring Nova Scotia. We would like to return and spend more time exploring the province.
Saturday morning a bus picked us up at 8:30 for an “over view” tour of Charlottetown. We spent time at the Founder’s Hall Museum, walked through Victoria Park and were driven through downtown Charlottetown.
Saturday night we had tickets to a play “Anne of Green Gables”. Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery who lived on PEI. It is considered a children’s novel (although we thoroughly enjoyed it). Anne of Green Gables recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister. Matthew and Marilla intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm on Prince Edward Island and were disappointed when Anne Shirley showed up. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts. Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages.
Sunday was a free day and it turned out to be one of our most memorable days on PEI. Eddie is good at finding out what we should see and do wherever we are. He talked to a couple people at the KOA Campground where we are staying to get ideas of places that we should go and things to see on PEI. We started on what turned out to be a one hundred and seventy mile all day adventure exploring PEI. One of the most memorable things that we did was to stop at a Provincial Park where we took a hike. The hike started through flowered fields, which led into a wooded area with a tree shaded path, the woods opened onto a long floating causeway finally terminating at a beautiful beach. Spectacular!
Our Nor By Nor’East Adventure was coming to an end with each Airstream preparing to head home. Each of our new friends thinking about their own memories and experiences of the trip. Hopefully we will see some of these friends again on future caravans. We were preparing for the trip back to Charlottesville but we will cherish the priceless memories of the Nor By Nor’East Caravan for the rest of lives. Air Streamers what a great group of people!!
This is what “Airstreaming” is really about; making new friends, meeting interesting people, creating memories, traveling to interesting places! We were gone for eight weeks, we met 48 new friends from sixteen different states and the province of Ontario. We drove six thousand miles seeing more beauty and learning more about the northeast and the history of the United States than could ever capture in this blog. We learned a lot about our country along the way. The purpose of the blog is to help us keep our memories alive. We do not want the lapse of time to dim our memories of the places that we visited and the experiences that we shared with the people whom we met on this Airstream adventure! As time passes and our memories fade we can read our blog and remember The Nor By Nor’East Caravan; the adventure of a life time!
Leaving The Confederation Bridge – Caravanning with Toppy & Parnice
When we started our trip Doo More had 6,239 miles on its’ engine, and when we finished it had 11,843!….what a work out. The memories will last a life time, we saw beautiful places, we traveled with wonderful people whom we hope to see again on other caravans. Wally Byam would be proud of what he started when he started taking Air Stream tours. It is a wonderful way of life, we are glad to be a part of such a nice group of people.