Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

North Cape Coast, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Wednesday, July 18th found us on the western leg of the North Cape Coastal Drive. From Cavendish we headed westward through beautiful farm country to Malpeque. This country could survive easily without food imports as they grown potatoes, corn, raise beef and dairy cattle and have the sea for food. Almost everyone has what looked like 6-8 cords of wood cut and ready for winter. On to Summerside to find the bag pipe college for my uncle. Missed the morning blowing? of the pipes but enjoyed walking around this small town. It is the closest to a tourist town we found and were glad to pull out.

Staying on the smallest roads we could find, we headed for the first lighthouse of the day at Cap Egmont. Met a couple in their F-250 without 5th wheel and chatted for a long time. They live about an hour from us in Maine and we traded good places to go. Are all RVers friendly? Found a local seafood wholesaler in Abram Village and talked them into selling us two pounds of scallops and cans of lobster pate. House sitter will be very happy with the bounty.

Found a dirt road that led off of the secondary road and found out that red dirt roads in PEI stick to your white vehicle very well. Lots of the roads were in pitted condition; this dirt one was smooth. Ended up in Alaska, PEI at a fish pier.

Next lighthouse was at Cedar Dunes Provincial Park on the west point of the island. Only meal we ate out was here with a lunch of seafood stew and broiled sole. Very good. The RV camping area in this park had big sites, was shaded by spruce and was also right on the beach.

Lot further drive than we had figured up from the west point up to the North Cape but interesting ocean and farm views along the way. PEI is experimenting with wind power and had many of the huge wind turbines along the sea coast. Finally arrived at the North Cape to see maybe 20 wind turbines of various shapes and blade configurations. University is testing which works the best. I had no idea that a windmill was so big. Decided to cut down Route 2 through the center of the point headed back to Cavendish. Of course we had a lot of road construction but I did spot a woolen mill. The MacAusland Woolen Mill still spins yarn for woven blankets and for knitters. Behaved myself and only bought one sweaters worth of yarn.

Tomorrow we head west towards Frederickton to probably go to Kings Landing, a recreated village of early life in Canada. No camping reservations as usual but we'll find somewhere to park the TC and then head home the next day. Fun trip so far, exhausting with all the walking and sight seeing but worth the diesel and the time. Again today we felt as though we had stepped back into a much gentler, agrarian culture with friendly people and beautiful land. We'd come again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Canada Eh?

Canada Eh? We're off again travelling the roads in the Northeast USA and into Canada. In four days we have only seen one other TC on the road but tonight there are three older Coachman TCs here in the campground. Unfortunately my French is "don't speak it" and their English is about the same. We did communicate with hand gestures mostly thumbs down at the big As and Cs. Nice wine sharing though.

Sunday - First camp night was at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada where we once again visited Kingsbrae Gardens.
http://www.kingsbraegarden.com/. The gardens alone were worth the trip. The RV park is within walking distance of the gardens and is basically a sand pit but inexpensive and right on the water. http://www.kiwanisoceanfrontcamping.com/. Wore a couple of layers off our shoes that day.

Monday - On to St. John, New Brunswick. This small city packs a vast amount of things to do in a small area. First was a visit to the "Reversing Falls".
http://new-brunswick.net/Saint_John/reversingfalls/reversing.html. The ocean tide and the river draining meet and form a waterfall which reverses and creates whirlpools. Again a few more layers off the shoes with walking down the stairways to the river. We watched two kayakers tackle the falls, not very successfully but we didn't watch a drowning at least.

Next on to the New Brunswick Museum as they were hosting an exhibit of early shipbuilding, railroading, and logging. Even though the TC is only 26 feet long, it intimidates most parking lot attendants so we were having problems parking. One man finally told us to go park for free at Harbor Station, the city arena for hockey and concerts. There is an amazing fully enclosed, tiled walkway that goes from the arena uphill over roads, through buildings and up to the older market part of town. http://new-brunswick.net/new-brunswick/maps/sjcenter.jpg. The museum was excellent (free!), fresh fruit at the old market even better. Thankfully the return to the TC was downhill.

From Saint John, we drove on to visit a quilting friend in Sussex and then down small roads to the Fundy Provincial Park. Big wooded sites, hiking trails right out of the campground but these old feet were put up on the picnic table that night. It is amazing how clean the air is in a spruce forest with that sharp pine tang.

Tuesday - up early to hike down to Pointe Wolfe and see the tides. Pea soup fog so we only made it half way down. No sense in keeping going, could barely see each other. On we traveled through the Fundy Coastal Trail headed for Hopewell Rocks and the 40+ foot tide change. Fog lifted as we drove treating us to scenes of farms, forests, beautiful valleys filled with crops and livestock. The one short cut we tried to take (well it WAS on the Delorme Map) quickly became a turn around. Not fun feeling a 6-1/2 ton vehicle sliding sideways on loose gravel. Four wheel drive got us turned around partially in a cow pasture and back to the main Fundy Coastal Trail.

Dead low tide was at 9:09AM and we got to Hopewell Rocks about 9:30. LONG walk down,down,down to the beach, going through pine forests, wooded walkways and finally a long corkscrew set of iron stairs. Those stairs ended on the "beach" which was comprised of rocky outcrops, deep red mud and gigantic "flower pots" of stone left over from rock eroded away by the ocean. You could literally see the tide coming back in. Lots of deliriously happy children covered in muddy ooze dancing around their equally unhappy parents. Climbed back up - slowly.

On through Moncton, Shediac and then a cut over off of Route 15 to PR955 - a mistake even though the views were good out to sea. If anything were ever going to fall apart on the TC, that road would have rattled it loose. Over the Confederation Bridge to PEI - Price Edward Island and a leisurely drive through small roads to Cavendish. We'll camp out of here for two days, tomorrow probably driving the north loop out to the top of PEI and also trying to find the best seafood place on the island. Have to take my house sitter a couple of pounds of fresh scallops. More when we get Internet access again

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Boothbay Harbor, Maine is a working fishing/lobstering town even though it is better known as a summer tourist destination. We met up with 20+ truck campers for a weekend gathering in the rain at Shorehills Campground http://www.shorehills.com/. We're fortunate in being able to use all of Big Pine Point at the bottom of a fairly steep hill right along the Cross River. Many of our fellow campers had kayaks and paddled from the campground out to the ocean. Each evening we gathered by a roaring fire and told tales of our RV travels.

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens http://www.mainegardens.org/ are now open. We toured along on a docent's tour and got to explore just a bit of the 250 acres set within a tide water forest. The gardens contain many theme gardens but also sculpture and incredible stone work in the walkways and walls. If you are ever in the area, the gardens are a must see.

Fun to see so many truck campers together, get into many new rigs and see how everyone else sets up their camper. Many shared how they installed their CB radio set ups. We all heard the weather radios sounding off as a big, fast moving thunderstorm rolled through.