New Orleans, LA: Feb 12 – 16, 2017

We left Guntersville, AL mid-morning on Feb. 12th and drove 410 miles to New Orleans. It was a long day on the road in the RV but it was a beautiful day and since it was Sunday, there was not much traffic on the road.

We arrived at Pontchartrain Landing RV Resort & Marina shortly before sunset. We chose this resort due to its location on the outskirts of New Orleans, as we were planning on heading out in the morning to visit a couple of Plantations. The resort was very nice and quiet, except for when planes were departing from the nearby municipal airport.

Below are a couple of pictures from the resort. It is a Marina as well as a campground. The views across the water are nothing to write home about, as they are of industrialized businesses. Overall though, it is nice to be on the water.

In the morning we drove over to the Whitney Plantation. Our plan was to park the RV there, take a tour and then move down the road to another plantation. However, after we parked at the Whitney we discovered that we had a radiator coolant leak. We couldn’t find where it was originating from but the fluid level was quite low. We took the plantation tour and then addressed the leak.

The Whitney Plantation pays homage to slaves who lived in the South. They do a great job of gathering historic truths and presenting them to the visitors.

The plantation house itself is pretty basic. The owners had homes in New Orleans where they socialized.

The slave quarters were very basic, as expected. It is hard to comprehend the life they had to live.

The statues of children in the chapel make a strong impact.

Below is a structure which was used throughout the south to hold the slaves which were available for sale. They were crammed into the cells. Very sad.

Zoom into the pictures below to read stories which the Whitney has accumulated. They are very touching.

I found it interesting that the kitchen was located outside of the master’s house. It made sense, as it was done due to the risk of fire. However, I’m sure it made it difficult for the food to be transported between the building below and the main house.

The monument below was created to show the tragedy of sick and/or dead slaves being thrown off the transport ships and/or those who simply jumped to their death. The hands in the monument break through the water’s surface. Very tragic history.

After the tour we added 2 gallons of coolant to the radiator tank and then drove the RV down the road to a repair shop. Neither the mechanic nor us could see a leak at that time so we continued onward to the French Quarter, where we had reservations at the French Quarter RV Resort.

The resort is located just a couple blocks from the French Quarter. We loved the convenience of having the RV so close to the area we were touring. It allowed us to walk back during the day for a rest, lunch, nap, etc. They have a pool, hot tub and work out room but we were too busy to enjoy any of them.

A block away from the resort is the visitor’s center. It is a pretty neat building, with a train and music theme throughout.

One highlight of our stay for me was a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. It was a hands-on course with a menu of Gumbo, Shrimp & Grits, Bananas Foster Crepes and Pralines. It was a lot of fun, especially since it included an open bar.

One evening we visited Preservation Hall for some great Jazz music.

We enjoyed beignets at Cafe du Monde on a few occasions.

After eating beignets we had to take a city tour to walk off the calories.

We enjoyed the unique architecture throughout the city. The town is preparing for Mardi Gras.

We enjoyed music in the streets, along with artisans and a few unique bums.

After 4 days in New Orleans we headed off to Houston. On the way there we stopped at the Houmas House Plantation for a tour and lunch. We really enjoyed a tour of the house and grounds.

We ended the day just outside Houston. Details on that visit coming shortly……..


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On the road again – Feb 6, 2017

After storing the RV for the last 3 months we are excited about beginning another journey. We’ve got a lot planned for the next few months. We’ll be visiting place in AL, LA, TX, NM and AZ. We’ll also take the opportunity to spend some time with friends and family members that we don’t often get to see.

We left Atlanta last Monday (February 6th). Our first stop was at the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay, AL for annual service and a few warranty repairs. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Service Campground was only half full. By Friday afternoon our service work was complete and we were free to begin the fun part of our Winter/Spring 2017 trip.

We headed up to Guntersville, AL to visit with some great friends. It was my first time to Guntersville. It is an absolutely beautiful area with no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty dreary and we only had 1 day to explore. We took a scenic drive up to Lake Guntersville State Park with our friends. It is a sprawling park located on the Tennessee River. If you are ever in the area I’d suggest checking it out.

Here is a group shot of us on the Lodge’s upper back patio.

We were able to Camp right on our friend’s street. Very convenient!


We are now off to New Orleans, LA. Stay tuned………

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Acadia National Park: Sep. 27 – Oct. 07, 2016

We drove to Bar Harbor from St. John, New Brunswick. Fortunately, getting through US Customs was uneventful. The agent did come into the coach for a look. We believe he was confirming that we truly did not have any pets in the RV. We made sure that we had eaten, or threw away, all of our fresh fruit, veggies, meats and poultry before we ventured across the border. Therefore, we were not worried about having the refrigerator inspected. After getting the OK from the Customs agent we re-entered the United States. It was a great feeling. We had been in Canada for 6 weeks.

There were two things we missed very much while being in Canada. One was our cellular network. Not having access to it (without a costly plan) meant that we did not have phone or internet readily available. The second thing we missed were grocery and specialty stores like Krogers, Whole Foods, Publix, etc. The grocery stores in the specific areas we visited just didn’t meet my expectations for food selection, cost and/or quality.

On the way to Bar Harbor we stopped for a late breakfast at Sylvia’s Cafe in Ellsworth, ME. It was a quaint place with great food. After lunch and grocery shopping we headed over to Mount Desert Island for our 10 day stay in Bar Harbor.

We arrived at Smuggler’s Den Campground early in the afternoon. We parked the RV and then headed over to the Acadia National Park. Sunset was due to arrive soon so we were limited on what we would be able to accomplish. Therefore, we decided to simply go to South Beach and explore the Great Head trail. It was essentially an uphill trail of boulders. Once we got to the top of the hill we found an expansive view of the beach and ocean. It was beautiful.

The temperature ranged in the upper 60s or low 70s nearly every day, with sunshine. There was only one or two days where it was rainy and chilly. We were quite fortunate, considering that it was October. We took advantage of the great weather by hiking and biking the carriage trails.

There are 45 miles of carriage trails throughout the park, thanks to John D. Rockefeller Jr. He wanted to travel the park on motor-free byways via horse and carriage so he constructed these rustic roads. They provide sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape. Today these trails are strictly used for horses, carriages, hiking or bicycling. We absolutely loved our time spent on these trails, surrounded by nature.

There are 17 stone-faced bridges throughout the trail system. Each one is unique and rustic looking and are perfect for including in photographs.

Sunset at the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse shouldn’t be missed while on a visit to Bar Harbor. We arrived about an hour and a half before sunset. There was already one photographer set up down on the rocks. I joined him and within minutes many more arrived. Soon the rocks were full of photographers waiting for the sun to dip down behind the vast ocean, lighting up the sky and lighthouse just right.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

I had read that sunrise at Little Long Pond could be picturesque so we headed over there early one morning. It was quite cold when we arrived on site at 5:30am. It was also extremely dark. Having never been there before I struggled to search out the best location for the shot. Shortly thereafter we were blessed with a beautiful sunrise.


Fall colors were exploding around us more and more every day. I’d always wanted to spend Fall in Maine and was so excited to have timed our visit to align with the colorful foliage. The best way to see the colors was to be amongst the trees so we did a lot of bike riding along the carriage trails. One day we took the trail around Eagle Lake and stopped at the Jordon Pond House for Popovers. These popovers have been served at the Jordon Pond House since the 1890s. They were quite yummy!



Views from the Carriage Trails:

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From the Jordan Pond House you can view the Jordan Pond, and the Bubbles in the background. Like most of the East Coast this summer, the area has been in a severe drought. All of the lake levels were quite low.


At this time of the year, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the place to be if you want to be one of the first people in the US to see the sun rise. It is also a nice place to spend sunset. We did both, and the mountain was packed with people on both occasions.

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise over Bar Harbor:



Cadillac Mountain at Sunset:

Aside from Cadillac Mountain, where it seemed everybody was, the park was pretty quiet. It was a great time to visit. It often seemed like we were the only people out on the trails. It was very peaceful. Our favorite trail was Gorham Mountain. The views were spectacular!

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One day we decided to bike the 5.5 mile loop trail up Day Mountain. The 2 mile ride up hill was pretty exhausting, but well worth it.

In the following picture you can see Beehive Mountain. If you zoom in you will see people on the side of the cliff. There is a trail which you can take on the face of the mountain. I chose not to.


Beal’s Lobster Pound was just a few miles down the road from our campground and it was highly recommended by a friend so we decided to try it. We picked out some good sized lobsters and picked out a picnic table along the water. The freshly cooked lobster was fantastic! It was so good that we returned two more times.

Schoodic Point is a part of Acadia National Park. However, it is about an hour to an hour and a half away from the main part of the park. Schoodic Point is only 4 miles from Mount Desert Island, as the crow flies across the water. It is about 45 miles via the coastal roads. The Schoodic Point area of the park has a one-way road around the peninsula, which made for a very nice bike ride. Although it was a long drive getting there, it was nice to experience.

Another highlight of the trip was photographing sunrise at Otter Cliff. There is something about getting to a photo shoot site in the dark, finding the perfect spot to set up the tripod and camera, and then being blessed with beautiful colors of baby pinks and blues in the sky. It is so rewarding, exciting and peaceful, all at once.



Bar Harbor itself is a very nice town to visit. They have great shops and restaurants. One morning I was up for sunrise pictures and ventured downtown to find it very quiet and colorful.

On the way back from Bar Harbor I found the reflections on Echo Lake to be spectacular.

Just driving along the Park Loop Road offers beautiful scenery.

Outside of the park you will come across many fishing villages. It was off season for lobsters so we found many traps on the shore.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia. It was the highlight of our first major roadtrip with the RV. We can’t wait to return.








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Fortress of Louisburg in Nova Scotia: Sep. 23-25, 2016

After enjoying Cape Breton Highlands National Park for a week we headed over to North Sydney, Cape Breton. We left Cheticamp early in the morning and stopped by the Alexander Bell Museum in Baddock. It is an interesting museum and we enjoyed learning more about the man behind the phone invention and his family.

It was a very dreary, cold and wet day so we didn’t spend much time touring Baddock. Instead, after visiting the museum we continued onto the KOA North Sydney campground. It was still early in the day after checking-in at the campground so we decided to head over to the Miners’ Museum in Glace Bay. We figured a tour underground would be perfect for a cold and rainy day. The facility has a large museum providing lots of mining history, a mining village, garden and an underground mine. The tour of the underground mine is given by a retired miner. We found his stories to be absolutely fascinating. If you ever get a chance to visit this Museum we would highly recommend it.


I didn’t take my camera into the mine, but Charlie captured a few shots with his cell phone.

The next day was absolutely beautiful. It was sunny and warm, a perfect day to visit the Fortress of Louisbourg. This is another National Historic Site in Canada which we thoroughly enjoyed. Below is a good description of the Fortress from Wikipedia.


The Fortress of Louisbourg is a National Historic Site of Canada and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th-century French fortress at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Its two sieges, especially that of 1758, were turning points in the Anglo-French struggle for what today is Canada.

The original settlement was made in 1713, and initially called Havre à l’Anglois. Subsequently, the fishing port grew to become a major commercial port and a strongly defended fortress. The fortifications eventually surrounded the town. The walls were constructed mainly between 1720 and 1740. By the mid-1740s Louisbourg was one of the most extensive (and expensive) European fortifications constructed in North America. It was supported by two smaller garrisons on Île Royale located at present-day St. Peter’s and Englishtown. The Fortress of Louisbourg suffered key weaknesses, since it was erected on low-lying ground commanded by nearby hills and its design was directed mainly toward sea-based assaults, leaving the land-facing defences relatively weak. A third weakness was that it was a long way from France or Quebec, from which reinforcements might be sent. It was captured by British colonists in 1745, and was a major bargaining chip in the negotiations leading to the 1748 treaty ending the War of the Austrian Succession. It was returned to the French in exchange for border towns in what is today Belgium. It was captured again in 1758 by British forces in the Seven Years’ War, after which its fortifications were systematically destroyed by British engineers. The British continued to have a garrison at Louisbourg until 1768.

The fortress and town were partially reconstructed in the 1960s and 1970s, using some of the original stonework, which provided jobs for unemployed coal miners. The head stonemason for this project was Ron Bovaird. The site is operated by Parks Canada as a living history museum.

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Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia – Sep. 16-23, 2016

We arrived at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park campground, in Cheticamp, mid-late afternoon. I was like a kid in a candy store. As soon as we parked the RV I was ready to tour the Cabot Trail. Charlie was tired from driving all day, but he was a sport and hopped in the Jeep’s passenger seat. I happily jumped into the driver’s seat and headed out onto the famous Cabot Trail. The road is mountainous and curvy, meaning it is fun to drive on! The views are breathtakingly beautiful.


Below is a map of Cape Breton. The yellow road is Cabot Trail, a 185 mile loop road.



We found a dead whale not far from the road. It must have washed up recently. The stench was horrible, but Charlie wanted a picture of it. Now every time I see the picture I’m reminded of the smell. Yuck!!


On our first full day in the park the sky was bright blue and the temperature was in the upper 60s so we decided to head up to Meat Cove. This is a rural fishing village on the most northern tip of the island. It was a beautiful drive.

There isn’t much of anything in Meat Cove, except oddly enough, a campground on the edge of a cliff. The owners of the campground have had the land in their family for 8 generations. We were told that at times they have RVs up to 45 ft long make it all the way to Meat Cove. We considered that crazy since the last 5 miles to get there is on a narrow gravel road which skirts the cliff’s edge and has very sharp turns, not to mention that Cabot Trail itself is a challenging drive for a long RV. While chatting with the CG owner I noted how precariously close to the cliff’s edge the camp sites were and asked if they had ever had anybody fall off. She noted that they did in fact have one person who got too drunk and fell to his death. Yikes!

The CG owner mentioned that there was a trail that we could hike which would lead us to the top of the mountain seen in the background of the picture below.

We hiked up the mountain in the background

Here are a few pictures of the trail.

The views from the mountain top were phenomenal. To the West of the mountain ridge is the Gulf of St. Lawrence. To the East of the ridge is the North Atlantic Ocean.

In the following picture, if you look closely at the small peninsula in front of the camper, and in front of the Canada flag, you will see a picnic table. That area is a tent site.


Meat Cove Campground

Meat Cove Campground

Zoomed in picture of the small tent site on the cliff

Zoomed in picture of the small tent site on the cliff

Charlie and I walked out onto the peninsula to check it out. The path to the peninsula is very narrow, just wide enough for one person. Once on the peninsula, there is enough room for one tent and picnic table, and not much else. You wouldn’t want to sleep here if you have any history or risk of sleep walking!!!

On the way to Meat Cove we stumbled upon Cabot Landing Provincial Park so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be a beautiful beach park. Here are a couple pictures from that area.

On the way back from Meat Cove we decided to do the Skyline Trail for sunset. This is a 5.7-mile loop hike, which takes you to a gorgeous location for sunset. By the time sunset arrived the winds had picked up and it was freezing on top of the mountain. It was quite an experience though and we were glad we had done it. We headed back down the trail fairly quickly after the sun set since we had over 2 miles to hike back to the car in the dark. We had flashlights, and had to use them near the end of our hike as it was pitch black out.

I was very happy that we had a great first day and was able to experience the Cabot Trail, as the next two days were miserable. We had a lot of rain and fog, which kept us homebound.

On our fourth day in the park we ventured over to the other side of the Park, to Ingonish. That turned out to be a mistake since it was covered in fog. Now, we should have figured this out when we stopped at an overlook on the way there and took the picture below. The side of the island we were on was perfectly clear while the opposite side was covered with clouds! We kept hoping the sky would clear up, but it didn’t. The day wasn’t completely wasted though, as we stopped and took a nice hike along the McIntosh Brook trail to a Waterfall.

We also spotted an Immature Eagle up in a tree and caught him flying away. We learned that Immature, or Juvenile Eagles have dark heads, while adult eagles have white ones. The heads do not turn white until about their 4th year.



On our fifth day we headed back to the other side of the Island. Although the morning was cloudy it was accurately predicted that the day would turn sunny. We left early and headed to Neils Harbour, an hour and half drive away. I had seen some colorful fishing boats that I wanted to get a picture of the day prior. I felt that the composition conveyed a lot about Nova Scotia.

We then continued onward to Ingonish, stopping along the way to take in the scenery.

We also stopped and took a 3-mile hike around Warren Lake. It was quite boring, but at least we got some exercise in after being cooped up in the RV for a couple days.

After a long day of sightseeing we headed back to Cheticamp, another hour and a half drive.

On our last day we decided to stay close to our campground, as we were quite tired of all the driving. Skyline trail was nearby so we decided to hike that trail again. The sights are spectacular.

The trail itself is very pretty too. I imagine in the Spring and Summer it would be very colorful with flowers everywhere.

We enjoyed our visit to Cape Breton National Highlands Park. We were a little early for Fall colors, but the park is beautiful none the less. If we had a smaller RV we would have enjoyed driving it across the Cabot Trail and up to Meat Cove. This would have made our days a little easier, as much of it was spent on the road. The Cabot Trail is 185 miles round trip so if you base yourself at one end like we did then you get stuck with a lot of driving time.


Next stop: Acadia National Park

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Lunenburg, Nova Scotia: Sep. 11-16, 2016

This has been one of our favorite places to visit on our trip. Lunenburg is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its status of having “the best preserved North American example of an eighteenth century British colonial town plan.” The city was founded in 1753. It is located on a beautiful harbor with many sailboats anchored throughout.

Unlike the Bay of Fundy, which has dramatic water level changes due to the tides, the tidal change in Lunenburg is only about 6 feet. Therefore, boats can remain in the harbor at all times, making for a beautiful picture.

Just up the street from city center, within walking distance, is a city owned campground. It is a very small CG, with very small sites. But you can’t beat the location. We stayed there for 5 nights.

We arrived early afternoon on Sep. 11th, parked the RV, and then took a stroll through the city and along the harbor. The buildings and homes are covered in bright paint, giving a very cheery and welcoming feel.


Near the harbor they have an impressive memorial to fishermen lost at sea.

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They also have other impressive memorials throughout the city recognizing those lost in various wars.



Fishing and boating are integral parts of Nova Scotia, as depicted in this artwork, attached to a street post in Lunenburg.


Parked in the harbor is the Bluenose II schooner. This is a ship adored by many. The original Bluenose was built in Lunenburg, back in 1921, as a fishing and racing schooner. It won its first Fishermen’s Trophy in October 1921 and held onto it for 17 years. The schooner symbolized Nova Scotia’s prominence in the fishing and shipbuilding industries. It met its demise in Haiti in 1946 when it struck a reef. In 1963 the Bluenose II was built. Many of the same people who had worked on the original vessel assisted with the Bluenose II build. Their goal was to replicate the Bluenose as closely as possible. In 1971 the Bluenose II was gifted to the Government of Nova Scotia. Although we did not take a sail on the schooner we were able to get on-board and walk around it.

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The location of the Lunenburg Campground is great for day trips. Everywhere you look there is beauty along the coastline, interior lakes surrounded by lush trees, quaint fishing villages, beaches, lighthouses and great people.

During one of our days we drove South to the Kejimkujik Seaside National Park. It was about an hour and a half drive, but it was worth it. As we started walking down the trail we were reminded of a hike we had taken in Inverness, CA. For the first 15 minutes on the trail we couldn’t see much past the high vegetation, but we could hear the water in the distance. Finally, we were able to see the ocean that awaited us.

Once we arrived at the ocean we felt like we were in Hawaii and the Caribbean at the same time. The water was crystal clear, then vibrant blue, then shades of emerald green. The rocks became large boulders as we continued our walk. The sand was white and soft, similar to the Gulf side of Florida.

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We enjoyed lunch while sitting on the National Park Red Chairs, looking out over the Ocean.

After a full day at Keji we decided to take a break from sightseeing the next day and went golfing. It was the first time in months we had swung the clubs. Neither of us played very well. However, we loved just being out on the course. It was a beautiful day in Nova Scotia!

We were blessed again with another nice day and decided to take a drive along the coast. We traveled along Rt 332 to Riverport where we hopped on a ferry for a short ride over to LaHave. We had lunch at the bakery there. The interior design was very old fashion. We loved it.

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We found that you can purchase seaweed throughout Nova Scotia. They sold it here as well. Charlie was willing to try it. I was not. He didn’t care for it too much.


After lunch we continued along the coast on Rt 331, to a lighthouse and then we crossed over to Bush and LaHave Islands. The islands were fairly desolate, with the exception of a small number of houses and fishing boats. The views, and ambience, were spectacular though.

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On our last day in the Lunenburg area we were contemplating what to do. I wanted to visit the nearby village of Blue Rocks for some photography opportunities and then I wanted to stroll through the Mahone Bay shops. Charlie wanted a little more adventure and suggested that we visit Big Tancook Island later in the afternoon, after shopping in Mahone Bay. It seemed like a great plan for our day.

We began with Blue Rocks. There is not much in the village of Blue Rocks, with the exception of great scenery, which of course we loved.

Next, it was onto Mahone Bay. Mahone Bay is a vibrant small town with a beautiful harbor. Across the harbor is a view of three prominent churches that have existed for nearly a century. A picture of the three churches together is iconic for Nova Scotia, and Mahone Bay in particular.

After Mahone Bay we drove onward to Chester to catch the ferry to Big Tancook. It also stops by Little Tancook, which is really little! The ferry ride to Big Tancook is about an hour long. The Island is 6 miles off the shore of Chester. Only about 120 people live on the island full time. There is one elementary school. We learned that there are currently 4 students attending. Once you reach sixth grade you need to take the 6am ferry each day over to Chester and then catch the bus to school. You then return on the 4:30pm ferry. That’s a long day for the kids. You can click on the link below for a map of the island.

The ferry transports everything one needs to live on the island. The ferry is not designed to transport vehicles so visitors walk or bike ride around the island. Residents of the island typically have a vehicle on the island and then another on the main land. In the pictures below you can see everything from groceries, to fuel, to building materials being delivered.

Charlie looked up the ferry schedule and determined that the 4:30pm departure out of Chester would work for us. This would get us on the island around 5:30pm. He advised that our return ferry options were 6:30pm or 9:30pm. He suggested we take the 6:30pm return ferry, as it would give us sunset on the water and allow us to walk around the main portion of the island for an hour. That seemed like a good plan.

It was a beautiful day for a ferry ride. Shortly after we departed we began chatting with a wonderful group of folks on the upper deck. We learned about life on the island and how Norm and Dave had visited the area one day not long ago, fell in love with it, bought a place, and moved to Big Tancook. I was excited about exploring the island. However, once we were on our way to the island we discovered that Charlie had misread the ferry schedule. The later ferries only depart on Friday and Saturday, and this day was Thursday. We had to return on the same ferry we were currently on.

Our newly acquired friends offered to find us a place to crash for the night if we chose to stay on the island. We would have jumped at the offer for such a great adventure had we not been leaving very early the next morning to Cape Breton. So, all I was able to get were pictures from the deck of the ferry, LOL.

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On the way back I kept laughing and thinking about how we would have looked, standing on the dock waiting for the 6:30 pm ferry only to find out that there wasn’t one. We would have been knocking on David and Norm’s front door, as there are no hotels, motels or B&Bs on the island. In the end, $12 for the two of us to have a two hour boat ride across Mahone Bay on a beautiful evening wasn’t too bad.

Once we returned to the RV we were blessed with an absolutely beautiful moonrise. The skies were pink and blue and the moon was large and bright. It was the evening before the Harvest Moon. It was a great way to end our visit to Lunenburg.


The following morning we made the long trek up to Cape Breton for another adventure.



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Nova Scotia – Annapolis Valley #2 – Sep. 6-11, 2016

We spent our second week in the Annapolis Valley Region of Nova Scotia about mid-way down the Bay of Fundy, at The Cove Campground in Annapolis Royal. This campground was suggested to us by a Nova Scotian we met on PEI. We were originally planning to stay at another CG nearby (Dunromin). We were given a large spot in the front row, overlooking the Bay of Fundy. Since it was past Labor Day Weekend we essentially had the place to ourselves.

Annapolis Royal, NS

Annapolis Royal, NS

In front of our RV was a large grass lot and then below that was a rocky coastline which we ventured out on during low tides.

Right across the street from the campground is Nautical Seafoods Cafe & Market, so we ate well! In addition to live lobsters, they sell 1-lb bags of frozen lobster meat for $30, which is only about $23 US. A great deal. We purchased a 1-lb bag and made fantastic lobster rolls with bacon, tomatoes, celery and bacon mayo. OMG! We made 4 large sandwiches with the meat and then went back to the store to buy three more bags before leaving the area.

On our last evening at The Cove, and on the Bay of Fundy, we purchased steamed lobsters and seafood chowder from Nautical. We then had a wonderful dinner sitting outside the RV, watching the sunset.

There are a couple of Canada Historic Sites near the Campground. The first one we visited was Fort Anne. It is Canada’s oldest National Historic Site. The Fort is no longer there but we were able to walk the earthen walls and look out onto the beautiful Annapolis River. We also explored the 1797 Officers’ Quarters Museum. We learned a bit more about Nova Scotia’s history. We also found the Red Chairs. We just love how Canada has 2 red chairs at each of their National Parks and/or Historic Sites.


The other historic site we visited was Port Royal. The story behind this site is quite interesting. The Habitation at Port-Royal was established by France in 1605. It was their first settlement in North America and it served as the capital of Acadia until it was destroyed by the British just 8 years later, in 1613. In 1925 the original location of the settlement was classified as a National Heritage Site and in 1939 a group began to reconstruct the original habitat. What stands today is an outstanding replication of what the habitat must have looked like back then. They did an unbelievable job with the structure and furniture.

We also took a tour of the Annapolis Royal Tidal Generating Power Plant. It is the only one of its kind in North America. You are given a hard hat, safety glasses and taken down 8 stories to see the generator. I felt like I was back at work at GE.

On our next to last day in Annapolis Royal we had absolutely beautiful weather. We decided to take advantage of it and drove down to Brier Island. It is about an hour and a half Southwest of Annapolis Royal. You take 2 ferries to get to the island.

While on Brier Island we went on our second Whale Watching Trip. This one was much better than our previous one, as we were able to see humpback whales right next to our Zodiac. You could almost touch them. The weather was perfect for such an adventure; sunny, warm and smooth waters.

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Charlie caught a good video which, if interested, you can view on YouTube:

After whale watching we toured the island via driving and hiking. It is a very small fishing island with one small diner, general store and a one pump gas station. I’ve got to believe that everybody on the island has somebody in the family that fishes, as there isn’t anything else to do in this remote location. The island’s coastline was interesting. Rocks were not round, but more square. There are pretty prairies leading up to the rocks with hiking trails throughout them. Whales and seals were within viewing distance from the shore. All in all, we had a great day on the island.

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We have seen an adaptation of the next picture quite frequently throughout Nova Scotia. We are consistently amazed at how much wood people stack up for the winter months. It must be their primary way of heating their home. Generally, the wood is organized in long and high rows beside the homes. At times, the height of the wood seems to align with the roof line of the house. If you look closely at the picture you will see 3-4 large piles for this home.

Fire Wood

During our stay we also visited Digby. It was a hazy/foggy day when we visited so we didn’t see much. I was able to get a few pictures of the fishing boats along the dock and pulling into port though.

One other day trip we did was over to Kejimkjukik National Park for a little hiking. We only hiked a couple short trails, as we arrived late. The trails were uneventful. We had planned to return to do longer hikes, but never made it back. Here are a few interesting pictures from the hike. As you can see, the trees are just starting to turn. Very few of them though.

A few final pictures from The Cove Campground. Sunset was very nice one evening and I was able to play with my 100mm Macro lens.

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Our next stop is Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It will be our first stay on the Eastern side of the Province.

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Nova Scotia – Annapolis Valley #1 – Sep. 1-6, 2016

Sep. 1: We arrived at our first Nova Scotia campground, Highbury Gardens in Wolfville, late afternoon. The campground is pretty small, especially when you compare it to where we stayed at on PEI. It is also fairly wooded so there will be no TV for the next 5 days. I’m quite happy, while Charlie is trying to cope.

We were originally going to spend the Labor Day Weekend over at King Neptune campground, near Peggy’s Cove. However, in speaking with some Nova Scotians while on PEI we learned that we probably wouldn’t care for that CG so we made a last minute change and went to Highbury. We were lucky to get in as it was packed for the holiday. We were given a nice site (#22) near the back of the campground. Our backyard was private and quiet. It was very nice.

Once we got the RV parked and hooked up we headed over to a nearby winery. I found a brochure for Gaspereau Vineyards in the campground office. Attached to the brochure was a coupon for 2 glasses of wine and a cheese platter. That sounded like a great deal, and it was just 10 minutes away. We tried their Gina’s Red Blend. It was pretty good. Their Tawny Port was also good so we purchased a bottle of that. Once we got back to the campground we put together a bonfire and cooked up some filet mignons for dinner. We then had a peaceful night outside playing card games. It was our first ‘Camping’ experience, LOL. I don’t recall having previously just chilled with card games by the campfire. We’ve had so much wind and rain on our trip.

Sep. 2: We awoke to gray skies and chilly weather. Apparently they’ve had a drought in Nova Scotia this summer, with blue skies every day. I think the gray skies are following us!

We grabbed our jackets and headed out to tour the area. Our first stop was at the Grand-Pre National Historic Site. We learned a great deal about the Acadians. In short, they were French settlers from the western part of central France who settled in this area between 1682 and 1755. In 1755 the local British authorities began forcibly deporting the Acadians, due to their French heritage and unwillingness to take allegiance with the British Military. The deportation went on for 7 years. Families were separated and many deaths occurred while they were in transit. It was quite tragic. Unfortunately, the story sounds a bit like what still happens today in some parts of the world.

Grand Pré was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 for its beauty and Acadian heritage. The area is very pretty. The Canada Parks has designated a very nice lookout point where you can sit and enjoy the views of Grand Pré.

We are staying in the middle of Annapolis Valley, on the Bay of Fundy. This area is known for drastic changes in water levels between low and high tides. The highest rise at high tide has been noted as being 47.5 ft. At this time of the year the delta between low and high tide is around 30ft. We were told that a good place to see the tidal range was at Halls Harbour so we took an afternoon drive over there to see it at low tide. We then went back a couple days later during high tide. It is weird to see the boats resting on the earth at low tide. At high tide they are right back up where they belong.


While enjoying the tidal view, we had dinner at Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound.

Nova Scotia_Halls Harbour-12

We also visited Baxters Harbour. It turned out not to be a harbor at all. However, there were some nice views from the road and with the low tide we could see some pretty interesting rock formations, along with another boat sitting on the ocean floor.

Sep.3: The next day we awoke to beautiful blue skies and temps in the 60s. We drove an hour, over to Halifax. Our first stop was to the Citadel. They have a spectacular museum inside which covers  war history very well. It was the best I have seen. We learned that on the morning of December 6, 1917 there was an explosion on the Halifax harbor. The SS Mont Blanc, a French cargo ship laden with high explosives, collided with the Norwegian vessel SS Imo. The explosion was so severe it killed 1,600 people instantly and injured another 9,000. All structures within a 2,600 ft radius were obliterated. It was the largest explosion recorded prior to the Atomic Bomb.

In front of the Citadel is this clock tower from 1803. Now, that’s a long time to be keeping time!

We had lunch down on the wharf and then visited the library. Yes, the library. I wanted to see it, as it was built to reflect books stacked upon each other. They also offer free wi-fi, which is important when you can rarely find a good connection. The inside of the library is just as spectacular as the outside. I’d spend lots of time at this library if it was near me. It is like a Barnes and Nobles on steroids.

Nova Scotia_Halifax Library

We then took a drive over to Peggy’s Cove. It was about an hours drive and on the way we passed many beautiful lakes set back in thick woods. Peggy’s Cove is infamous for its landscape and lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1915 and is believed to be Canada’s most photographed lighthouse. The landscape is comprised of granite rocks. Houses are perched along these rocks. It is quite a sight to see.

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I think only a few people live in Peggy’s Cove. Quite a contrast to the thousands and thousands of people that visit it. There are a few art shops along the narrow road that takes you to the lighthouse. One in particular was quite interesting. A resident artist sculpted a work of art in the granite wall beside his home. The artist, deGarthe, began in 1977 at the age of 70. Expand the picture below for more details.

Nova Scotia_Peggys Cove area-11

Nova Scotia_Peggys Cove area-10

Nova Scotia_Peggys Cove

The lighthouse was surrounded by hundreds of people when we were there. We took in the sights, climbed on some of the rocks and then got back on the road with hopes of finding colorful and quite fishing villages. Just as we left Peggy’s Cove we came upon a memorial for those who perished on SwissAir Flight 111 back in September, 1998.

Nova Scotia_Swiss Air 111

From this vantage point I was able to get a good shot of Peggy’s Cove and Lighthouse. As you can see, there isn’t much there except a lot of granite rocks, but it is a very popular tourist destination.

Nova Scotia_Peggys Cove

We arrived back at the campground in time for a bonfire and a game of Sequence.

Sep. 4: Another beautiful day! We decided to visit the local wineries. There are six within 10 miles of our campground. Our absolute favorite was Luckett Vineyards. The views were spectacular. The wine was great and I got to call the USA from the British Style Phone Booth in the middle of the vineyard. I guess having a working phone in the middle of the vineyard sets you apart from the competition. LOL. Everything at this winery was spectacular. I loved the selection of cheeses, olives, and meats that you could buy to go along with your wine.

The other vineyards were very nice as well. We had fun strolling through the vineyards and taking in the views. Here are pictures from some other wineries.

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And pictures of the fabulous grapes.

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And if you are interested in how they harvest the grapes for ice wine. A picture is worth a thousand words. Burrrrr!

Nova Scotia Wineries

Sep. 5: And yet, another beautiful day with temps in the low-mid 70s. We decided to take advantage of the nice weather and take a 6 mile hike in Blomidon Park. The Jodrey trail is a wooded trail that skirts the sea cliff. Elevation increases 600 ft. The sights were beautiful.

This is what the hiking range looks like from ground level.

The mountain peak in the background is where we hiked.

The mountain peak in the background is where we hiked.

On our drive to the park we passed a few trees that have leaves changing color. There weren’t too many, but enough to get me excited at the prospect of landscapes covered in deep red and orange colors! This particular tree has already changed completely.

Nova Scotia Blomidon Park

The hike was the end to our stay in the upper part of Annapolis Valley. Our next stop is at the lower end of the Valley, in Annapolis Royal.


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Prince Edward Island, Canada: Aug. 25 – Sep. 1, 2016

We left Quebec for PEI August 24th. We decided to take the long route and go through St. John, New Brunswick (NB) to see the Reversing Falls and then to take a driving tour through the Fundy National Park. The Reversing Falls is a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. At low tide the river empties into the bay causing a series of rapids and whirlpools. As tides rise they slow the river current for a brief period called slack tide. We arrived at high tide and there wasn’t much to see. We went to downtown St. John and found it very industrialized. There wasn’t much of anything to see or do. We stayed in a Walmart parking lot, along with about 10 other RVs. Not real exciting.

Fortunately, prior to heading down to the Fundy National Park with the RV and Jeep in tow, we looked at some reviews and found that the Park roads had declined so badly over the years that you almost needed an off-road vehicle to drive on them. It would not have been a good scenario to try it with a 40 ft RV so we headed straight for PEI, frustrated that we had taken the time to visit St. John.

The drive from St. John to PEI was exceptionally windy, the worst we had been in, and the roads were quite bumpy. They seem to repair potholes with patches upon patches, leading to very uneven surfaces. After much bouncing around we were happy to get to the PEI Bridge.

The bridge joining New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island is an amazing sight to see. It is 8 miles long. I always compare bridges to the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan. This one put the Mackinaw Bridge to shame.

We stayed at Twin Shores Campground while on PEI. The locals jokingly refer to it as the 3rd largest city on the island and believe that the astronauts can see the campfires from space, and for good reason. There are 850 sites at this Campground. I can’t imagine what it is like at the height of the season. We arrived to find it pretty quiet. There was hardly anybody there.

The campground is phenomenal. I can see families coming here and never leaving the grounds. It is exceptionally clean and occupies a very large peninsula surrounded by water. You can walk the gorgeous red sand beaches for hours, stroll along sand dunes, hit balls at the driving range, swim, bike, play shuffleboard, basketball, tennis, etc. The private beaches accessed via the campground are simply amazing.

PEI Twin Shores CG-126

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There are also beautiful fields and sand dunes throughout the grounds.

You can have some fun posing on the dunes too, like I chose to do.

PEI Twin Shores CG

After getting settled we headed out to dinner. Our intent was to head over to New Glasgow for their famous New Glasgow Lobster Supper. However, on the way there we spotted a restaurant on a bay of water. It was late and we were quite hungry so we decided to stop there. It was still windy, but we chose to sit out on the back porch anyway. It had a nice view.

PEI is known for a number of foods including mussels, lobster, oysters and potatoes. I didn’t know about the potatoes until we arrived and saw the Cavendish farms. We decided to get some mussels and potato skins to celebrate our arrival on the island. While chatting with our waitress we learned that she was heading to Michigan the following week, which is where I am from. Turns out, she and her husband just sold one of their cows for $212,000 and they were going to travel to various shows to visit it. After laughing a bit we asked what made a cow so special that it would sell for that kind of price. Was it the quality of meat that was expected, or the milk? She said no. She said it had nice legs and a good udder. LOL. I guess it was similar to this cow that we saw at the Creamery in Charlottetown.

PEI Cow-10

We came back to a spectacular sunset, seen from the comfort of our RV Backyard. The sunsets offered deep colors of pink, orange and red. Absolutely spectacular! It was still pretty windy so getting pictures was a little challenging. I had the camera on a tripod and had to put pressure on the tripod to hold it still.

We were blessed with another sunset the night before we left PEI. The colors were unbelievable.

PEI -Twin Shores CG -1

It remained windy all night, with rain falling off and on. We awoke to dry, but gray skies. We decided to do a tour of Charlottetown and take a drive along the Southern Central Coastline. In Charlottetown we stopped by Cows Creamery in hopes of getting a tour of how they make ice cream. The tour ended up being comprised of videos. It was quite uneventful, but informative. We then stopped by the Province House for a tour, only to find that it was shut down due to renovations. Frustrating. The weather was turning nice so we headed over to Victoria Park. It is a small park on the waterfront of Charlottetown. We got our bikes out and took a ride. We ended up at the Lieutenant Governor’s house. The gardens were lovely so we strolled through them and then joined a tour to see the interior of the house.

Now, I LOVE Prince William and Duchess Kate and therefore, was absolutely thrilled to find out that they had visited this house back in 2011, on their honeymoon tour. I so wanted to jump on the bed they had slept in. LOL. Speaking of that bed, the mattresses are very high off the ground. The tour guide showed us that a secret panel can be removed from one of the bedframe poles and then you can adjust the firmness of the mattress. This is where, supposedly, the phrase ‘sleep tight’ came from.

The guest room where Will and Kate slept

The guest room where Will and Kate slept

In this next picture you can read what was purchased for the new house and the cost of the items. They were very detailed and kept good records back in the day.

After Charlottetown, we toured the coastline over to Victoria. We stopped along the way to see some lighthouses and visit some of the National Historic Sites. Canada does something neat in each of their parks and at their Historic Sites. They put out two red chairs. It is a nice touch. You’ll see them throughout some of my pictures.

Victoria is a quaint village on the water with historic homes, small shops spread throughout the neighborhood, a lighthouse, and popular restaurants on the wharf.

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It was getting late so we headed back to the RV for dinner. We picked up some PEI New Potatoes and Firewood from various vendor locations on the side of the road. People just put out what they want to sell and a cash box for you to deposit your money in.


The Island is absolutely beautiful and pristine. There are farms everywhere. They appear to be growing lots of corn, wheat and potatoes. Every farm, yard, house, etc is well kept and very clean. Lawns are immaculate. There are fields with colorful wild flowers everywhere you look. The combination of green grass, colorful wildflowers, tan wheat fields, red barns, colorful boats, and blue water is spectacular. It is simply a beautiful place. We also appreciated that there were few mosquitos and that the air was surprisingly dry.

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In addition to great food, PEI is also known for L.M. Montgomery’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ book. Neither Charlie nor I were familiar with the story or author but we decided to take a tour of the historic site. We enjoyed the tour as they do a good job of depicting life in the late 1800s. One of the beds in the house was made of rope and straw. The tour guide noted that whoever slept in that bed had to tighten the ropes each night and check the straw for bugs, hence the phrase “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” At the end of the tour we visited the museum store and purchased the book. If you are familiar with the story see if you can figure out which character belongs to each bedroom in the pictures.

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After our tour we decided to check out the Cavendish National Park. The weather was not optimal for outdoor activities, as it was still very windy and gray, with rain threatening to drop at anytime. Regardless, we enjoyed our visit. There is a long bike path along the water, beautiful beaches and red rocks. The beach is very similar to the one at the campground.

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The next day it was finally nice so we headed off to a couple more National Parks. We found the Brackley-Dalvay Park to be pretty, but not spectacular like Cavendish. After driving through that park we drove along the coast, over to Greenwich National Park. We went through many one-stop-sign villages, which were all very clean and quaint. It seems that nearly everybody owns a lot of property, as you rarely find homes close together. Everything is spacious and beautiful.

Greenwich Park was really neat to see. We took a nice bike ride along the water and then walked the boardwalk to the sand dunes. The dunes reminded me of being in Michigan. Apparently, there are only a few places where these types of dunes can be found, MI being one of them.

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After our visit to Greenwich we decided to take a bike ride along the water from St. Peter to Morell. This is along the Confederation Bike Trail, PEI’s Rails-to-Trails system. It was a beautiful ride. In Morell we rewarded ourselves with some French Fries. What can I say, Fries and Wine are our downfall. The 13.5 mile roundtrip bike ride helped us rationalize the splurge. However, the fries were so good that Charlie wanted to stop by the stand again on our way back in the car!! I nixed that idea.

The weather was nice enough in the evening to have a bonfire. As soon as we were done with the fire though, the rain returned.

The next day was rainy and dreary so we hung out at the RV and ventured out only to go grocery shopping in Summerside. We appreciated having a down-day to relax.

The following day was absolutely gorgeous. These types of days seem to be rare occurrences. It was warm, in the upper 60s, sunny and no wind. We took long walks along the beaches and enjoyed the beautiful views. We then took a ride over to French River to capture some pictures of the colorful buildings. On the way back to the campground we stopped by PEI Aqua Farms and purchased mussels at $1.00/lb and scallops. We had a great dinner!

PEI French River

We were once again blessed with beautiful weather on our last day. We chilled out and enjoyed it. In the evening we headed over to the Malpeque Community Hall for a Ceilidh show, pronounced kay-lee. A Ceilidh is a social event with Scottish and/or Irish folk music. It was enjoyable and the best part was that we won the 50/50 raffle! We walked away with an unexpected $96. It was a good way to end a fabulous week on Prince Edward Island.




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Quebec, QC Canada – Aug. 20-24, 2016

We left Montreal mid-morning and headed up to Quebec for what was supposed to be about a 3 hour drive. The highway from Montreal to Quebec was pretty rough so we had a bit of bouncing around in the RV. Fortunately, the Allegro Bus smoothed things out a bit with its independent suspension and dynamic air shocks.

There is one bridge crossing the St. Lawrence into Quebec City. We came upon an enormous amount of traffic a couple miles from the bridge that delayed us by an hour. It was very unexpected for a Saturday. Eventually we worked our way to our campground: Camping Transit in Levis, just across the river from Old Town Quebec. As soon as we parked the RV we jumped into the Jeep and headed to the Ferry with the intent of spending a nice Saturday night in the city. The ferry is only about 10 minutes from the campground, but again we ran into unforeseen traffic and the trip took over an hour. Eventually we were able to park the car and ferry over to the city, where we discovered that fireworks would be displayed over the river at 10pm. That explained all the traffic. We also learned that there would be no ferry service back to Levi until 11:30 pm. There were so many people in town you could barely move so we took a long walk out of the old town district, to where the locals go, and found a wonderful restaurant for dinner: Graffiti. As darkness came we strolled by the Parliament and captured some nice photos of the building architecture and the Tourny Fountain. We then went into old town, where the streets had finally thinned out of people, as they were all busy getting ready for the fireworks.

After a lot of walking and a wonderful dinner we worked our way over to the riverfront and watched the fireworks display.

We got back to the campground after midnight. It was a long, but beautiful day. We are finding sunny days like these to be rare! It was surprisingly warm too, in the mid to upper 80s.

Being Sunday, and tired of the big city crowds, we decided to take a scenic drive along the St. Lawrence River, up to Tadoussac. It is about a 4 hour drive, one way, so we left early. The views along Rt 138 and Rt 362 are spectacular. The river is extremely large, almost like a lake, and there are mountains all long the edge. We were happy that we were in the Jeep, and not the RV, as we came upon many very steep mountain grades, up to 15% on Rt 362, and 11% on Rt 138. The RV could handle these, but at a snail’s pace I’m sure.

We had no set plans for the day, except to sightsee, until we were about 45 minutes outside of Baie Sainte-Catherine when I suggested that we consider taking a whale watching trip. We found a brochure in the car that indicated a cruise was leaving in 45 minutes out of Bair Sainte-Catherine. We were then on a mission. We arrived 2 minutes before departure. Charlie ran in and got tickets while I parked and grabbed my cameras. We raced on board and as soon as we felt the cold air rush across the water we realized we had left our jackets in the car. It was nearly 80 degrees on shore, but frigid on the water. So we now have new fleece jackets which we purchased on-board the ship.

It was a beautiful day for a cruise on the river. The water was calm and the skies were blue. We saw a few whales, but they never seemed to put their heads out of the water and they weren’t the large type I had hoped to see. It was neat to see all the seals though. We also saw a couple of Beluga whales. One had a baby. They didn’t come out of the water very much, so I could not get any good pictures.

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After our cruise we took the Jeep on the ferry over to Tadoussac for a little more sightseeing and then headed back home. On the way back we stopped by Port-au-Persil for a couple of sunset pictures.

For the last 2 hours of our drive back the rain returned. It was a nerve-racking drive on dark mountain roads. We were happy to get back safely.

On Monday we decided to head back over to the city for some sightseeing, with the expectation that the crowds would be much smaller. We had a great day in the city and then went back to the Campground where we cooked up some Moules and Frites to celebrate the French. By evening the weather had changed. The winds picked up and the temps dropped down into the 60s. By nighttime, the rain was back. It rained all night long.

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We took it easy on Tuesday, getting things ready for our departure to the far Eastern shores of Canada. We loved Quebec, and the area north of the city. Everybody was very friendly, the sights were beautiful and the local cuisine was excellent.

The campground was nice, but we were rarely there. We did find their close proximity to the freeway annoying, as we could hear the traffic. Because of this we kept the windows closed. Well, that and the rain.

It would be wonderful to return to the area one day and camp along the river in St. Simeon where you can enjoy the river and explore the nearby mountain ranges. It is absolutely beautiful terrain. It is hard not being able to see and do everything. We’d be here forever if we did that! We are thoroughly enjoying the time we have though!!!

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