Canada, Part 2…Part 3 will come next year when we head to Alaska!
We had two great reasons to visit three more Provinces; 1) we were already visiting Lubec, Maine and the border is just an hour away and 2) our co-in-laws, Bob & Betty, were vacationing in Nova Scotia at the same time!
We left our rig in the campground and headed out at the crack of dawn in the Corolla, bound for Lubec, the easternmost point on the US mainland. The morning mist was heavy as we walked out to the West Quoddy Lighthouse. We could hear a clanging sea buoy in the distance but couldn’t see it. The important thing was that we got our picture in front the “easternmost point” sign. 🙂 We have plans to see the southernmost, northernmost, and westernmost points as our Road Trip of a Lifetime continues!
Lubec’s other claim to fame (in my humble opinion) is Monica’s Chocolates. First time visitors get a taste-testing and I defy anyone not to buy after sampling! These are gourmet chocolates, made on the premises, and presented in every imaginable mold from traditional bon bons and truffles to mini-lobsters and moose (add these to our list of moose “sightings”). So pretty, and decadently delicious! The shop is beautifully appointed, and also sells jewelry and alpaca apparel from Monica’s home country of Peru. The fact that they were open early on a Sunday morning was serendipitous for sure!
An hour later we were crossing the border into Saint Stephen, New Brunswick. Our tour of New Brunswick was mostly driving through the green and rolling countryside with more windmills, on our way to Truro, Nova Scotia. But we did stop for a picnic lunch at a park in Saint John overlooking the Reversing Falls. This is on the Bay of Fundy, widely known for its crazy extreme tidal action. Here, boats that are docked at high tide are literally sitting on the dry sea floor six hours later at low tide! In some spots, the high tide is 50+ feet, absolutely incredible.
We made Truro our home base for the next two days of adventuring. The first night we drove to Halifax for dinner with Bob and Betty and their family travel mates, Sarah and Christian. We highly recommend Salty’s on the Waterfront at Halifax Harbour! What a lovely evening we had dining outside on the water and swapping great travel stories. They inspired us to add a Segway tour to one of our future sightseeing stops. It sounds so fun and challenging; we’ll let you know where and when we do it!
Over the next two days, we explored the amazing coastlines of the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin. We walked on the sea floor at Burntcoat Head, toured the Walton Lighthouse, and made it back to Truro in time for the afternoon tidal bore, where the tide rushes in like a shallow tidal wave. It’s a daily spectacle that locals and tourists gather for and cheer when it arrives. The basin’s north coastline proved to be even more spectacular to us. We spent a whole day traveling the entire stretch of the Glooscap Trail, from Truro to Five Islands Provincial Park to Cape d’Or Lighthouse, with many stops in between for various lighthouses and sweeping views. We again walked on the sea floor at low tide and up on the cliffs at higher tide.
Cape d’Or was an unexpected and phenomenal visit! We drove about four miles off-road (again, so glad we weren’t in the RV) and when we reached the parking lot at the end we didn’t see a lighthouse, even from a lookout spot. There was an old building that maybe used to be a small lighthouse, but it was all locked up. I guess we looked perplexed because some other visitors told us we needed to walk down a driveway to get to the actual lighthouse. It’s a long, steep, gravel driveway but at the bottom you round a corner and omigosh, on the point of the highest imaginable cliff is the lighthouse with the blue expanse of the Bay of Fundy below it. Did I mention spectacular?! Set back from the cliff are two buildings which used to be the lightkeeper’s residence, now converted to a guest house and a restaurant. It is a completely isolated venue, yet completely functional and beautiful and the food was fabulous! I will never forget that stunning view. We stayed a long time, soaking it in, and then headed off to our destination for the night, Prince Edward Island, another province unto itself.
The Confederation Bridge onto PEI is eight miles lonnng! It’s not too high but it can get very windy. There are wind sensors all over it and traffic lights to control crossing, but we didn’t have to stop. Once on the island, we began to see the moose crossing signs again…we remain hopeful. 😉 Tom found a lovely Victorian bed and breakfast for us, the Prince County B & B in the town of Miscouche. The house and grounds are beautifully maintained and all of the nine guestrooms have private baths. We briefly settled into our room then set off for dinner in Summerside just a few minutes away. It’s an historic harbour town known for shipbuilding and fishing. We had another great lobster dinner outside at Deckhouse Pub & Eatery, positioned for a great sunset, but clouds rolled in just as it was setting. Oh well, we enjoyed the view! Back at the B & B, we enjoyed wine on the veranda and a quiet end to our very full day.
Breakfast was delightful—egg casserole, fresh fruit and potatoes, a PEI staple. We enjoyed chatting with other travelers around the dining table before we all went our separate directions. Our day was sadly limited because we had to drive back to Maine that night, so we planned a half-day driving tour around PEI’s central coastal region on the Green Gables Shore to include Cavendish, North Rustico Harbor, PEI National Park and historic Charlottetown, founded 1864. On our way north to Cavendish (the land of Anne of Green Gables), I spotted a lighthouse on the map which of course we had to go see. Little did we know this would turn out to be a heart-stopping and jaw-dropping visit! Our GPS showed a half-mile dirt road to the lighthouse which has not been a problem for our Corolla. As we started in, the road was relatively smooth, hard-packed red sandstone but it quickly turned deeply rutted and potholed. I was freaking out, but Tom was determined to press on, and there really wasn’t a turnaround option anyway. He ended up having to drive half up on the bank and half in the ruts to get us to the end. But that’s where the jaw-dropping vista came into view, the Cape Tryon Lighthouse sitting on a rugged red sandstone cliff over the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence, just past a field of lavender…mmm, can you smell it?! So much sensory delight! Tom climbed around the cliff taking pictures while I tried to quiet my pounding heart! We had no choice but to drive out the same road (if you can really call it a road), but at least we knew it could be done. We met a couple of hikers along the way. They had left their car at the beginning of the road and were watching us incredulously. They said to Tom, “Man, you’re brave!” Tom said, “Yeah, brave or stupid!” Please note: Tom said that, not me! 😉
We continued our driving tour, through rolling countryside and farmland and colorful fishing villages, then atop rugged red sandstone cliffs (on pavement!) and along sandy beaches. We ended up in Charlottetown for another great seafood lunch at the harbour where the cruise ships dock. After that it was time to make our way off the island and head “home”. So much we didn’t get to see…but so much we did!
The toll for the Confederation Bridge is only collected when you leave the island and whoa, it is pricey, $46 Canadian! We didn’t even ask how much the RV would have cost, yikes! It was windy on the bridge but not enough to stop the flow of traffic.
The sun was setting behind the mountains as we crossed back into Maine, so we pulled off the side of the road to capture it. The shot has turned out to be Tom’s best and favorite sunset so far; it’s on his phone wallpaper and now our website background. 🙂
As we again passed the moose crossing signs we saw…………….nope, no moose…but still looking…surely we will see one in Alaska, stay tuned!