Still in Ontario

June 5 & 6, 2022

Thunder Bay is not the rural outpost that we had pictured in our minds. It is a huge port city near the west end of Lake Superior. Surprise! There’s a pretty bridge before you reach town in Nipigon.

We stayed at a campground near Kakabeka Falls, west of Thunder Bay where Lucee started barking like crazy – as she had not done for many months. Ha – there was a rabbit. That explains everything!

Monday morning was rainy, so we went into Thunder Bay for breakfast at Tina’s Breakfast & Lunch. We tried to find a waterfront view, but it was all commercial! So off we went west on Canada highway 11 west, into the Central Time Zone, and saw two more young moose near the highway. Sorry, no photos!

The more interesting sign said that from here all streams run North to the Arctic. Wow, really?

Many long straight roads through the provinces.
Big beaver dam

We continued west through Fort Francis, across the border from International Falls in Minnesota. Many homes and buildings were surrounded with sand bags and there were crews stuffing sandbags. The flooding was terrible. We were later told by a fellow camper that the spring rains were very heavy and came before the ground thawed, so much flooding ensued.

For our last night in Ontario we stayed at beautiful Caliper Lake Provincial Park. Beautiful, but buggy – huge, slow mosquitos, millions of them! We tried our netting, but it caught more squites than not.

Will we ever reach Manitoba?

June 4 and 5, 2022

We have heard a constant refrain, that it takes a long time to drive east to west through Ontario. We agree. We started by leaving Manitoulin Resort and heading to Espanola, Ontario.

View of Georgian Bay from Sheguiandah on Manitoulin Island.
The distances on the Island are long also.
Here’s the narrow bridge again (ignore the dirty windshield).
The Domtar Mill in Espanola runs on hydropower.
On the road from Espanola to Sault Ste. Marie.
The geese hissed to keep us away from the chicks.

We drove north from Sault Ste. Marie to and through Lake Superior Provincial Park, with its spectacular vistas. We spent the night at Rabbit Blanket Lake Campground in the north part of the park.

Rabbit Blanket Lake
Mining operations near White River.

We headed north to Wawa and west towards Marathon and saw first Canadian moose in Obatanga Provincial Park and the second a little later at Moose Creek. Sorry, no photos! After waiting for a train at a crossing in Marathon we stopped for lunch at Pebble Beach on the north shore of Lake Superior.

Quaint Marathon

Our last stop of the day was at Aquasabon Gorge and Falls, where a tremendous volume of water was falling, apparently a part of a hydro power system.

On to Thunder Bay.


June 2 and 3, 2022

There are many more sightings of these signs than of the beasts!

Southern Ontario is lush farmland.

With a distinctly Scottish influence.

We drove through Ottawa in the rain.

And made a quick pass through Arnprior to say hello to the family cottage road, Marshall’s Bay Lane. Fancy that, a sign!

We continued west on Route 60 through Madawaska (are we back in Maine, we keep saying, when familiar names come up) and on to Algonquin Provincial Park where we stayed at Canisbay Lake Campground.

Friday, June 3 was a long day, from Algonquin Park west on Route 60 along beautiful lakes. There are an amazing number of power lines through Canada, everywhere we have been.

We made a short stop in Parry Sound on the shore of Georgian Bay – who knew there is a Bobby Orr Hall of Fame? Bennett probably knew!

Continuing north to Sudbury, many of the highways across Canada have artwork on the bridges and overpasses. Sudbury is a mining town. We drove on to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, a beautiful area. The sole road access is by a single lane swing bridge that opens every hour.

We stayed at Manitoulin Resort on Lake Manitou, the largest lake within an island in a lake in the world. A beautiful area with lots more to explore. Manitoulin Island is in Lake Huron, with Georgian Bay on its east side.

Let’s go West! 2022

June 1, 2022, Cumberland Foreside, Maine

Doug, Judy, and Lucee the dog set out for the west from home on June 1, 2022. Ready or not, off we go. Readers and followers, please be patient as I get the blog stream set after a year away! Our plan is to meet our good camping buddies Cheryl and Dee in Alberta, then head to Alaska! We traveled up Route 26 in Maine and just past Grafton Notch in Maine we saw a young moose! A surprise in the middle of the day.

There is the moose!
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

We had no trouble crossing the border from Canaan, Vermont to Hereford, Quebec with the ArriveCAN account showing our vaccination status. The Border Patrol looked at our passports, but didn’t want to see Lucee’s vaccine certificate.

We drove west past Montreal and spent our first night at a Harvest Host location, Ferme Lafleur in Saint-Telesphiore, Quebec, a cattle farm near the Ontario border.

Ferme Lafleur

As we left the next morning, Doug and Glen, the owner farmer, agreed on the state of the world. Glen is an experienced RV traveler and asked how much we planned ahead; we said very little. His advice was, “Good things happen when you don’t over plan.”

More Acadia National Park and Camden Hills State Park

August 28 – 30, 2020

Maine pandemic message

We spent a day visiting portions of the Park outside the Loop Road, beginning in Bar Harbor, where we walked along the Shore Path.

Infinity pool overflow
Egg Rock – a protected haven for nesting seabirds.

Our next stop was Schooner Head Overlook on the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island.

View east to Schoodic
Schooner Head – location of the former home Chatwold of Joseph Pulitzer, now apparently owned by an international tax law attorney.
Unusual boat storage technique
One design fleet in Seal Harbor at the southern end of Mount Desert Island.

We spent the afternoon at Thuya Garden and the Asticou Terraces in Northeast Harbor with its beautiful structures and vistas.

View out Northeast Harbor

We headed back up the east side of Somes Sound for dinner at Abel’s Lobster Pound located in the middle of Abel’s Boatyard. We were right on the harbor and enjoyed beautiful views from our private table.

Sylvie is quite comfortable parked alongside an inflatable. The last picture is looking back across Somes Sound to our campground.

Back at the campground our crowded site was evident, but the sunset light was nice under the rising moon.

Our last day at Mount Desert the sunrise was spectacular, foretelling the rain that would show up later in the day.

We went on one last hike nearby on the Fire Road in Somesville, where parking was still crowded.

We headed back to the west, met Doug’s brother Clay for lunch at Young’s Lobster Pound in Belfast, and headed on to Camden Hills State Park. It is a beautiful park and the campsites are very private. The next morning we climbed Mount Battie from the west, or back side for a change.

A great day to fly a kite
Camden Harbor
Rockport Harbor
Rockland Harbor and Owl’s Head
Vinalhaven and Isle Au Haut
Schooner approaching a reef ominously named The Graves
Camden Harbor in the background
Rockland Harbor
Looking back at Mt Cadillac and Acadia
Blue Hill in the distance

We walked back down the hill to Sylvie and headed for home.

Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island

August 26 – 27, 2020

Our campground was on the west side of Somes Sound, the fjord that splits Mount Desert Island. Our campsite “with water and mountain views” was not the greatest, but we didn’t spend too much time there. As I told someone upon our arrival, “We have a peek a boo view of Somes Sound and the mountains. Surrounded by babies and dogs from Massachusetts.” All very friendly.

We spent a day driving the Acadia Loop Road. We hoped to hike at the Bubbles or elsewhere, but there was a large amount of traffic, and parking was scarce in the most popular places. Unfortunately, the explorer buses did not run in 2020. Our first stop was the summit of Mount Cadillac with its spectacular views.

Looking East to Schoodic Peninsula
Looking northeast
South towards Otter Cove
Looking southwest
Looking northeast to the mainland
Looking north, and yes, Katahdin is out there somewhere.

The loop road runs clockwise around the eastern part of Acadia National Park. We headed south and stopped at Otter Point for lunch. We walked along the rocks along Otter Cliff.

Looking east towards Schoodic Point
Great Head on the eastern side of Mt Desert Island
Winter Harbor Light on Mark Island
The causeway crossing Otter Cove that we had seen from Mount Cadillac

Fortunately Anne had told us about a little known area of the national park, the former location of George Dorr’s House on Compass Harbor. He is known as the father of Acadia National Park, being instrumental in its creation and serving as the superintendent of the Park from its formation to his death. It is a lovely coastal walk.

The Dorr House built in 1878-80 and razed in 1951. George Dorr died in 1944 at age 90.
Compass Cove
Is there a face in there?

From Midcoast to MDI

August 25 – 29, 2020

We left New Harbor and Pemaquid for the trip north and east around Muscongus Bay, Penobscot Bay and Frenchman Bay to Mount Desert Island. Our first stop was the fishing town of Round Pond.

We headed north through Waldoboro and Union to Appleton, to visit our friend Caitlin on her farm and purchase delicious goat cheese and other treats.

We proceeded on to Northeast Harbor at Mount Desert Island. Our friends Anne and Robert hosted us graciously in their beautiful home. Anne is one of the most loyal followers of our blog and is also a wonderful cook. Her pandemic special is Pad Thai – delicious!

Post storm rainbow over the Cranberry Isles
Beautiful view from Anne and Robert’s deck to Bear Island Light and Isleford

We hiked the Beech Cliff Loop and Trail and the Valley Trail, both in the western portion of Acadia National Park. Below are views from Beech Mountain.

Southwest towards Southwest Harbor and Great Gott Island
South towards Greening Island and Western Way
The beach at the south end of Echo Lake
Northeast over Echo Lake

After our hike we had a nice outdoor lunch at a Bass Harbor restaurant.

Midcoast Maine

August 23 to 24, 2020

We started this trip in Boothbay, mooch-camping at our friend Chip’s lake house. There are interesting sculptures in beautiful scenery. It is great swimming, although it was a little daunting to have the Canadian geese sharing the lake.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse from a western point.

We left Boothbay and spent time touring the Pemaquid peninsula, beginning in Damariscotta.

These lovely ladies were visiting the midden, too.
We stopped for lunch at Christmas Cove in South Bristol.

The reconstruction of Fort William Henry is at Pemaquid Beach. Near the mouth of John’s River, it is the site of several forts beginning in 1630, until the reconstruction of the current structure in 1908 by the State of Maine. It is a beautiful site and views from the top of the fort are spectacular.

Fort William Henry 1692-1696

The history displays reminded me of a paper I wrote in college about Baron de Saint Castin, the Frenchman who married the daughter of the Wabanaki sachem, Marie Mathilde. They met at Castine and had a relationship that is romantically recalled in story and poetry. The Baron of St. Castine by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow appeared in The Atlantic in March 1872, and more recently For Jean Vincent D’abbadie, Baron St.-Castin was written by Canadian Alden Nowlan in 1967.

We spent the night at Sherwood Forest Campsite, a nice spot in New Harbor.

Peaks-Kenny State Park

August 8 to 9, 2020

We left Houlton early in the morning and were treated with a view of Mount Katahdin from the highway. We also saw two moose grazing in a marsh just off the highway! We drove west from the highway at Howland through Lagrange, Milo, and Dover-Foxcroft to Peaks-Kenny State Park on Sebec Lake. We arrived early enough to snag a non-reservable campsite.

After settling in we headed out on a hike through the park.

It is a rocky hike with lots of interesting trees and flora. There are a number of trees with roots grown over the top of boulders. The light coming through the trees was interesting.

Near the high point of the hike is a picnic table sculpture by artist Wade Kavanaugh.

And a rare sighting of the photo-taker.

After the hike we swam in Sebec Lake – beautiful! We will definitely return to Peaks-Kenny when we have an opportunity.

And the next morning we headed home to Cumberland and our pileated woodpecker.


August 6 and 7, 2020

We drove south through Westfield to Mars Hill, the site of a substantial wind farm, then through Bridgewater, Monticello, and Littleton.

Irrigation equipment
Saturn! A model of the entire solar system is built along Route 1 in Aroostook County.
Windmills on the hill tops.

Our campground, My Brother’s Place, was close to the Canadian border. Unfortunately, there were many empty spaces that would normally be occupied by Canadians. It was nice and spacious and surrounded by hiking paths.

Shelter over the picnic table.

The next day Doug played a round at the Houlton Golf Club, with its strong loon theme – even the tee markers are loons. Judy walked the first nine holes with him.

Sylvie at the golf course.
Rolling fields and farmland in the distance.