Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: To the Maritimes and back: vacation report

Sunday, September 13, 2015

To the Maritimes and back: vacation report

Three weeks. 3,891 miles. Five provinces. Ten states.  Historic sites (man-made and nature-made).  Three ferries and a very long bridge.  Dozens of birds, no whales, a group of (Bowdoin) Polar Bears.   Forty-eight new acquaintances. Two memorable Road Scholar programs.  It all added up to a memorable vacation!

Here are the official descriptions of the two Road Scholar programs. Grand Manan: A Whale and Birding Paradise and Coastal Communities of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton
Of the 32 RS trips we'e taken, seven have been in Canada (previously: Vancouver, Newfoundland, the Magdalens (two back-to-back: see here), Quebec (here).

We wanted flexibility in pre- and post-Road Scholar travel. We could have flown and rented a car, but we'd have had to get to and from airports, and the car was parked most of the second week (the group toured by bus).  Though the physical drive was tiring (I did most of it), we were glad to have our own vehicle.

Wednesday, August 19:  We crossed the border at Port Huron/Sarnia.  Canada customs was a breeze.  First night: Tillsonburg, Ontario.  We stayed at a remodeled inn (originally a mill built in 1878). It had one of the town's three barn quilt blocks.

Thursday, August 20: We took the freeway around Toronto. At Kingston we turned south and drove along the St. Lawrence River.  We want to go back to explore more of the Thousand Islands country.   That night: Cornwall, Ontario.

Just over the border
Friday, August 21:  A day of ups and downs. I exited too soon at Sherbrooke and took the long way thought the city instead of the bypass. (In the rain.) Got on the right road but headed in the wrong direction. Had lunch in a pleasant cafe in the hamlet of Sawyerville. (In the rain.)

Turned the right way, got to the border. (No rain.) I took a picture of the Coburn Gore border crossing. The border patrol guy said to delete it, photos are forbidden. So I did. Then a long roughly diagonal trip through the woods to route 95 and north to Bangor. (In the rain.) Like so many people coming from Canada, we had to go to the Bangor Mall (The sole of one of Stevens' good sneakers pulled off. He got sole glue and a new pair (on sale) at Dick's Sporting Goods.)  

Saturday, August 22:  We headed east from Bangor to the coast and headed north on Route 1.  We had "chowdah for lunch at th' dinah" -- overhearing a table with local guys talkin' just like that.  When I first moved to Winthrop Harbor Stevens kept calling it Winter Harbor.  We drove through the real Winter Harbor and stopped so I could go inside the library. (The building was originally Channing Chapel, a Unitarian church.)  

 We crossed the border from Maine to New Brunswick at Calais about 4 p.m. Eastern/ 5 p.m. Atlantic. We spent the night in the little town of St. George.  

Boxes for blueberry pickers

Sunday, August 23:  We explored a few side roads on the way from St. George to Black's Harbour. Lots of wild blueberries!

We were the second in line for the 11:30 ferry from Black's Harbour to Grand Manan. In an hour we were on the island.

On to part two . . .


  1. Sounds like fun. We did our first ferry ride on our honeymoon 34 years ago. We learned a lot about modern ferries and their schedules!

  2. What a very special trip to share with your Husband Wonderful! Thanks for the super pictures of all the sights to see, too!

  3. wow...what a trip and what a perfect time of year....i can believe the blueberries....the soil is sandy and so they grow everywhere and i mean everywhere...the cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried is becoming more of a blueberry barren every year....the trip of a lifetime no doubt...


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