Miscellaneous

So, we have been busy without much posting so here is a quick rundown.

First, we spent a nice beach weekend (our first of the summer) at Old Orchard Beach, ME.  Beautiful sandy beach and the water was warm, but full of seaweed.  Judy and Deena visited on Judy’s birthday and we enjoyed the fellowship and a wonderful Lobster lunch!!!

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Had to take one last lighthouse tour in Maine before heading south.  Portsmouth Harbor Light in the foreground and Whaleback light in the harbor.  Portsmouth is in New Hampshire and Whaleback is in Maine, the state line goes down the middle of the harbor.  Very cool sculpture with Whaleback framed.

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Went by Nubble Lighthouse which I hear is one of the most beautiful in the state, but it was dressed for repairs.

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Headed down to Connecticut visiting many historic port towns including Mystic.  We think that the old ship here maybe the Mayflower II, because we later learned it is in Mystic for refurbishing.

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The New London Harbor light in New London, CT.

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Found a really cool castle in CT, The Gillette Castle State Park.  The museum was closed for the season so did not get to tour, but was build between 1914 and 1919 by William Gillette an American actor whose most famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.  It was built to look like a medieval castle on the southern end of the Seven Sisters a range of hills along the Connecticut river.  In 1943 the state purchased the property for $5,000 and opened the 134-acre estate to the public.  Really cool castle with magnificent views of the river below.

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We moved on over to Massachusetts, Carver, MA.  Near by Plymouth where the pilgrims first settled in 1620.   Many of the attractions – including the Mayflower – were under construction/maintenance/rehabilitation for the 400-year anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock.

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Newport, Rhode Island home to “The Breakers” and many other famous mansions was a nice day trip.  They have a cliff walk along the shore behind some of the mansions, I really thought this would make for magnificent views of the homes, and did provide some distant views, but up close were just fences and hedges.  I was disappointed, but in hindsight, I wouldn’t want a bunch of people walking thru my backyard either.

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Final stop Hyannis and Hyannis Port, MA home of the JFK Kennedy’s and their compound.  Of course we didn’t get a really good view of the compound either, but did enjoy driving around many large homes and cute small towns.

Next stop Bluebird rally on the cape – Cape Cod that is.  Peace and love from the Cranberry bogs of Carver, MA.

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Acadia National Park, ME

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Acadia NP is mostly located on Mount Desert Island (MDI) just off the central Maine coast.  The landscape of MDI and surrounding area is the result of among other things the glaciers of recent ice ages.  These glaciers scraped soil off of granite mountains leaving barren rock with little soil to support forests.  They also cut narrow valleys leaving numerous lakes and ocean harbors.

In the 19th century the remoteness and beauty of MDI attracted the wealthy elite.  Among these were Vanderbilts, Astors, Carnegies and Rockefellers.  The area became known as Millionaire Row and the town of Bar Harbor grew with numerous hotels and other amenities attracting more visitors.

The wealthy visitors began pushing for a national park to prevent further development that would ultimately destroy the beauty of their playground.  John Rockefeller, Jr. donated about 11,000 acres and the national park was created in 1919 becoming the first NP in the east.  The park is currently about 50,000 acres and well preserved.

The main attractions of the park are the loop road and Cadillac Mountain.

The loop road is mostly one way and passes numerous rock outcroppings.  The most popular section from Sand Beach to Otters Cliffs has a trail where you can explore the rocks and enjoy the views.

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Along this trail the rock changes drastically.  From the red/pink softly rounded Cadillac granite to sharp black angled rock, to cobblestone filled beaches.

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I have to say the cobble stone beach was beautiful, could look at the rocks all day.

 

Cadillac Mountain is pretty much barren but offers wonderful views of the surrounding forests, islands and ocean/bays.  At a little over 1,500 ft it is the highest peak on the eastern seaboard and at certain times of the year is the first place on the east coast to see the sun each morning.

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Also, Jordan Lake and the “Bubbles” are beautiful.

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We spent part of our honeymoon in 1989 on MDI and visited Acadia and Cadillac Mountain.  Below are pictures way back then and now, the landscape has not changed, but we have!!!

Almost twenty-nine years and counting, we would do it all over again if given the chance!!! Peace and Love!!!

Love Joy Pond, ME

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Our good friend Mike was visiting his brother Ed at his home on Love Joy Pond near Augusta, ME.  We spent a beautiful afternoon at the lake with these guys.

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Nellie had the best time of all.  So nice to be where a leash was not necessary, she loved exploring!!

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And even took a dip in the lake!!!  Thank you, Mike for letting us crash your vacation.

I also have to say I love the name of the pond – Love Joy – Peace and Love

Peggy’s Cove, NS

One of the prettiest places we went was Peggy’s Cove.  It was also one of the most crowded places we visited in Canada.  The drive down from Halifax was thru very small villages along the bay thru a densely wooded landscape when all of a sudden the tree growth seemed to become stunted with dwarf trees and lots of glacial erratic boulders (boulders moved in place by glaciers during various ice ages).

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Then arriving in Peggy’s Cove the entire area was large naked rocks.  What an interesting landscape with a lighthouse perched on the top.

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The day we were there, there were high winds and large splashing waves.  Could have watched the splashes and waves all day!!!

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The rocks and waves can also be dangerous and people can be dumb.  The news had just been running reports of visitors having just been washed off the rocks, and there were warning signs around.  But just common sense should tell you not to behave as these guys were.  They were venturing closer and closer trying to get splashed.  Makes you wonder some times.

The small harbor town was pretty as well.

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Another perfect blue-sky day!!!  Peace and Love

Truro Tidal Bore

Another phenomenon that occurs in the Bay of Fundy is a tidal bore.  The definition of a “tidal bore” is = a large wave caused by the funneling of a flood tide as it enters a long, narrow, shallow inlet.   Or per Wikipedia – “A phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay’s current.”

This we really wanted to see.  Truro has a tidal bore twice a day and we gathered with many others to experience this.  This is what we saw, notice the little ripple on the middle of the shore, look hard.

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Needless to say we were underwhelmed.  But it is a real thing I have seen video of people surfing and they have outfitters that offer rafting or tubing on the bores, just not the day we went…

This picture also shows a ripple, but not a wave.

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Peace and Love

Cape Breton Island – Cabot Trail

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Cape Breton Island is a very large island in north eastern Nova Scotia.  I keep thinking of NS as running north and south, but it actually runs more east to west, check out the map, but Cape Breton does point a little north so I consider it northern NS.

The main reason for our visit was to explore the Cabot Trail, a world-famous drive on Cape Breton.  We just really didn’t realize the length of the trail.  It is 298 kilometers or about 200 miles long.  Being in the bus, we had a home camp at the southern end of the trail, but if ever doing it again, I would recommend taking a couple of days with overnight stays along the trail.  Driving it all in one day really limited our want/ability to explore more of the hiking trails and side roads.

In my opinion the northern section thru Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the prettiest part of the trail, but other sections have their charm as well.  Day one we ventured out for the trail going clockwise and about 3+ hours in when we were reaching the National Park and the highlands, fog and rain swept in limiting our views to a few feet.  But at that point there was no choice but to continue on.  There is not a short cut back, you either backtrack or continue the loop!!!

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Fortunately, or not, we were having a little car trouble so we extended our stay and waited the rain out for the next day or so while getting the car repaired.  This is not a very populated area and getting parts was the main hold up.  But it also allowed us the opportunity to try the trail again on a better day.  This time we went counter clockwise just to mix it up a little.

Wonderful rocky coasts,

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Beautiful highland mountains,

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Views of where we had been and where we were going.

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And a lighthouse and fishing village just for fun.

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We did enjoy one walk at a bog, and it was full of picture plants like we have in NC.  Although in NC I have never seen them bloom!!!  These blooming picture plants were all over quite amazing really.

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Bras d’or Lake is a large salt/fresh water lake on Cape Brenton Island.  It has very large habitable islands or peninsulas in it, which are considered islands in a lake on an island.

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Prince Edward Island

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P.E.I. is the smallest of Canada’s Provinces.  It is an island north of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Bay of St. Lawrence.  The bay where the St. Lawrence River and all of the great lakes empty into the Atlantic Ocean.

Until 1997 the island was only accessible via a ferry or private boat (I guess), but in May of 1997 the Confederation Bridge opened.  It is 8 miles long – longer than the 7 Mile Bridge in the FL Keys.

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You can get to the Island via the bridge or ferry for free, but leaving you must pay a toll.  The bridge toll for us (wanderlodge and towed) was $71.00.  I believe the ferry was around $150, we tried to make reservations for the ferry (thinking it would be interesting having the bus on a ferry) but it was full.  It would have saved about 1.5 hours of driving so with fuel savings, costs would have been about the same.

PEI is best known for its red sandy beaches and red coastal cliffs.  The beaches are popular due to the warmth of the water, warmest north of Virginia Beach is what I heard.   Not sure if this is due to the St. Lawrence river flow or the Gulfstream or a combination of both???

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Interesting that most of the island is farm land.  Farms reaching all the way to the coast in every direction.  They even farm the waters with aquaculture.  Many honor system farm stands on the road sides – green and white beans and potatoes while we were there.

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The seafood is also not to be missed.  We had oysters and mussels and truly enjoyed seeing all the little fishing villages although they were far between.

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My favorite of course were the lighthouses.  Still short, but beautiful in their own right.  We saw the East Point Lighthouse

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The Northpoint Lightstation

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And the West Point Lighthouse.

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PEI is also home to Anne of Green Gables and her adventures, but not having read the book this meant little to us.  But you can tour some notable places from the book, Green Gables was closed for renovation so not luck there.

Thought that this church was quite pretty, not sure if I have ever seen a yellow church???

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And some of the power poles looked like trees that had just been stripped of their limbs.

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Peace and Love – Oh yea forgot to mention the wonderful Blue Skies that continue to follow us!!!