The end of the road…..literally!

LOCATION: Petite Lameque on the Acadian Peninsula in NE New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: Camping Lameque. Great. See previous description

WEATHER: Another beautiful day. Sunny. High 75

We started today with the wild blueberries we picked yesterday – blueberries on oatmeal for me and blueberry pancakes for others. What a treat!

Today, we drove to the end of the road. “Road ends in water” is certainly true. We drove across our island of Lameque out to Miscou Island. The lighthouse is the end of the road, as far north as you can go on the Acadian Peninsula. We could see the Gaspé Peninsula (Quebec) across the water.

After exploring the lighthouse and beach, and going on a boardwalk tour of a peat bog, we stopped at this super cute beach restaurant. It was just like Key West, only about 30 degrees cooler!

It is called “Resto La Terrazze a’ Steve”. The custom is to write your name on any wood surface in the restaurant. Tony borrowed a marker and went to work….

He wrote for us “Reids on the Road 2018”

And “Taj Me Haul” (the name of Tony and Jenny’s Rpod trailer) for them

We ate outside and watched the fishermen go by.

We shared a lobster “with secret sauce” and two pieces of sushi, and enjoyed the experience. We chatted with Steve, who seems like quite a character. There are only about 500 people living on this island, all involved in the fishing industry. Lobster and crab traps are in everyone’s yard.

Back at the campground, we relaxed and planned some of our next few days. I’m worried about not having camping reservations over Labor Day. I can’t find anything online with vacancies. George thinks we should “wing it”.

DINNER: My turn tonight. I fixed spaghetti with a tomato/veg/meat sauce. Side was cucumbers and tomatoes, along with some of the basil I have been babying along. Very Italian!

After dinner, we drove to a beach area to watch the fiery ball of sun set over the water. Magnificent!

Blueberry Nirvana!

LOCATION: Petit-Lameque on the Acadian Peninsula in NE New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: Camping Lameque

WEATHER: Sunny and nice. High 75

We started the day with a hike at an eco-park. The boardwalk was nice, with signs pointing out different types of fish and birds in the brackish water.

Then, the trail took us into the woods. Normally, it would have been quite interesting, but the everyday high winds suddenly stopped and the mosquitos came out to take advantage of our uncovered skin. We practically ran on the trail, just glancing at the information signs about trees and flowers.

We are on a string of islands, the biggest being Lameque and Miscou.

(This says: Two Islands; A Thousand Treasures)

On our way home, we stopped at a field with millions, not thousands, of wild blueberries. We quickly picked our fill.

We relaxed in the afternoon, with books and wifi.

DINNER: Tony’s turn tonight. He made a great Caesar salad and lightly fried some local cod. Then, George dug out our pie iron and made a blueberry “pie” for dessert.

Checking out Acadian Festival

LOCATION: Petite Lameque on the Acadian Peninsula, in NE New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: Camping Lameque. Great – see previous description

WEATHER: Beautiful. Sunny. High 75

This area is all about fishing. As we drove into town, we passed these boats waiting for their season to start.

We drove to Caraquet, one of the main towns on the peninsula, where most of the Acadian Festival was taking place. First we checked out the farmers’ market..

Then, we walked around the festival area. The brochure about the festival is in French, but we found a festival worker who explained some of the upcoming events. Unfortunately, the Acadian music doesn’t start until 10:00 PM, and that is too late for us to be driving back to the campground.

Many of the houses are decorated with Acadian flags and other decorations – like this house.

Even some of the boats are decorated.

These fishermen were repairing their nets on the dock.

We had lunch in the harbor. Tony, in his quest for excellent poutine, tried the clam poutine. George had the clam pie and I had shrimp. All excellent.

We drove through little towns looking for a brewery listed in our guidebook. Finally we found one, and it was well worth it. The cute pourer shifted between English (to us, the only English customers), then back to French for everyone else.

DINNER: Our turn tonight. George grilled hamburgers over the fire. Side were onions and potatoes sauteed.

North to the Acadian Peninsula

LOCATION: Lameque, New Brunswick in NE corner of province

CAMPGROUND: Camping Lameque. Commercial park. Lots of seasonal RVs. Right on water. RVs are a bit lined up, but not too crowded. Nice, level, gravel site with full hook-ups. Wifi at office. Beautiful bathrooms with shower “nooks” for hanging clothes. Swimming pool. Beach. Picnic table and fire ring. $38 Canadian ($28 US)/night. 5 stars out of 5.

WEATHER: Perfect. Sunny. Highs in low 70s

As we packed up to leave Kouchibiguac National Park, we found a wild blueberry bush right on our campsite! This, after searching in ditches along the highway. Our drive today was about 3 hours, north to the Acadian Peninsula.

Along the way, we stopped at a really nice microbrewery. George filled up our growlers for the first time on this trip, as it was the first time the price was right for him.

The farther north we traveled today, the less English we saw on signs. Many of the houses have ornate Acadian flag displays, for the Acadian Festival now going on.

When we pulled in to the RV park, we spotted another Airstream. We introduced each other (speaking French/English) and toured each other’s trailer.

We can see the water, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from our site. Often windy here, it is a popular place for kite-surfing.

DINNER: Tony’s turn tonight. He bought an assortment of local seafood and we had a big appetizer “buffet”. We started with smoked salmon dip. Then, interesting whelks….

A bit chewy. Interesting. Followed by pickled herring and snow crab claws. Wow, what a treat!

Rain? Then, do laundry!

LOCATION: Kouchibiguac National Park in eastern New Brunswick

WEATHER: Rain, rain

CAMPGROUND: South Kouchibiguac in national park

A national park employee told us that we were almost guaranteed to see a moose, if we got up at dawn and drove to a particular area. So, we set our alarms for 4:30 AM, and took off It was pitch black, so we had to crawl along, afraid that we would run over some animal if we went too fast.

We saw 2 beautiful skunks, scurrying along in the ditch. About 5:15 AM, there was suddenly a lot of traffic. At first we couldn’t figure out why, then we remembered that today is the first day of lobster season, starting at 6:00 AM. These were the crew, rushing to board boats, in the general direction we were going.

To get off the highway, we turned into one of the park’s hiking trail parking lots. There, right in front of us, was a big black bear! He was scrounging through the garbage can. When we saw our lights, he blended into the woods.

On towards moose territory. By this time, it is dawn, prime time to see them as they move from bogs to the woods. Absolutely nothing! Nada! Zip! This is the closest we came to a moose….

So, we headed home, frustrated, but still happy we saw the skunks and bear.

When we returned, the downpour started. The unending rain meant that we had to ditch our plans for hikes. So, we decided to drive to town, do laundry, get some good wifi, do a little shopping, and have lunch.

We found a cute, local place for lunch. George and I shared a flatbread seafood pizza. Tony wanted to return to “regular” poutine after having experimented with the Acadian kind.

Everyone else seemed to have the same idea about doing laundry on a rainy day. The laundromat in town was packed. I managed to do 2 washing loads, but then had to wait and wait for dryers. Two of the five were broken. There were 2 other people ahead of me, so I decided it would take way too long. We headed back to the campground, and George dropped me off at the campground’s laundry. It too, was packed. Finally, I was able to dry our clothes, finishing up at 6:00 PM — the ordeal had taken me most of the day!

DINNER: Oysters on the half shell to start. Then, hot dogs with chili. Salad. A good, last meal for Kouchibiguac. Tomorrow we head to the Acadian Peninsula.

Hikes and hikes

LOCATION: Kouchiboguac National Park in Eastern New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: South Kouchiboguac, within the park

WEATHER: Sunny. Pleasant. Highs mid 80s.

We visited the park’s Visitors’ Center. These red chairs are part of each national park in Canada.

From there, we took a nice one-mile hike on one of the many trails in the park. This one was called The Pines and there were lots of beautiful, old White Pines in it.

After lunch and a siesta, we hiked to the beach, about 2 miles on a nice bike path. Along the way, across the inlet, we saw the lobster boats getting ready to take off tomorrow. Lobster season in Canada rotates every 2 months. Tomorrow is the first day of the next 2-month “season” in this part of New Brunswick. The boats are loaded down with empty lobster traps. At 6:00 AM tomorrow, the siren will go off and the lobstermen will rush to the best places to drop their traps.

Once we got to the beach area, we had another .5 mile hike on the boardwalk over the lagoons and dunes. The beach was pretty crowded and the water had a lot of seaweed in it. That did not deter Jenny and me from getting in.

DINNER: Tony’s turn tonight…..He grilled pork chops, and sautéed some onions and mushrooms. Side was rice. Here is Chef Tony at work….

Acadian road trip

LOCATION: Kouchiboguac National Park in eastern New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: South Kouchiboguac, in the park

WEATHER: Sunny and pleasant in AM; downpour in PM

Today we drove up and down the coast. Our park is on the Gulf of St Lawrence. On a clear day, you could see Prince Edward Island from here.

We stopped at a bay where there is a long, long sand dune. We walked along the boardwalk, enjoying cool breezes from the Northumberland Strait.

Then, back to the mainland strolling on the beach. There were a few people in the water, but it was still quite cold.

Time for lunch! We found a cute Acadian restaurant along the bay. It seemed like mostly locals. Language is interesting here. In Quebec, French (only) is spoken. In almost every other Canadian province, English is dominant. Here in New Brunswick, everyone is bilingual, French and English, and particularly here in Acadia, they speak Acadian (Cajun) French. The restaurant menu had a section of Acadian items, so we chose them. George and I shared a clam pie. Quite good, with obviously homemade crust. Poutine is a popular Canadian dish. It is generally a bowl of French fries with cheese curds and gravy poured over it. It is jokingly called “heart attack” fare. Tony ordered the Acadian poutine, which turned out quite different. It was shredded potato, rolled into a ball, stuffed with some pork meat, then steamed. It was a bit strange.

We found a seafood shop to buy mussels raised at a huge mussel farm in the bay. Then back home through hail and a strong downpour.

DINNER: Steamed mussels, with a broth of sauteed onion, garlic and wine. Stopped up the good broth with ciabatta bread. Side was a salad with lettuce from a local farmers’ market. Yum!

Up the New Brunswick coast

LOCATION: Kouchibouguac National Park in eastern New Brunswick

CAMPGROUND: South Kouchibouguac Campground within the Park. Nice, long sites, some with shade. Full hook-ups (30-amp). Only so-so bathrooms. Wifi. $38/night. 3 stars.

WEATHER: Hot and sunny. High 90

We packed up at Fundy National Park and headed north. We had about a 3-hour trip to this next national park. We stopped at a seaside town proclaiming to have the best lobster in the world. We stopped in another small seaside town and had a picnic at the Visitors’ Center. Today is a holiday in New Brunswick, so things are pretty quiet – the grocery stores are even all closed.

On to Kouchibouguac. We got set up in the unbearable heat, and I quickly turned on my beloved air conditioner. We hunkered down for awhile, then set up the screen tent (as George had been bitten a few times by flies) and drove around a bit to explore the area.

We are traveling with our friends Tony and Jenny from Nova Scotia. We met them in Newfoundland 5 years ago. Since then, we have met 12 more times, camping together, and visiting each other’s homes. When we first met, they were camping in a tiny Boler and we were in our A-Liner. We have “graduated” to an Airstream and they have moved up to this Rpod. It is an Rpod 179. They pull it with a 6-cylinder Honda Pilot. They like it very much.

DINNER: Tony’s turn tonight. He very lightly fried some haddock. Sides were fresh green beans and new potatoes. Really good. We sat inside the screen tent and were cozy.

It started to rain, so we all went inside and read books. No TV or radio reception here, as we are pretty remote.

Pow-Wow

LOCATION: Fundy National Park

CAMPGROUND: Chignecto North campground, inside Fundy Nat’l Park

WEATHER: Hard rain overnight. Overcast in AM, then nice. High 70s

Today’s highlight was a Pow-Wow sponsored by the national park. Tribes from all over, primarily the local MI’KMAQs, came together to strengthen their friendships and to showcase their culture to non-Indians (called First Nations people in Canada). They wore beautiful, traditional costumes, including this little girl’s.

The MI’KMAQ performed several dances, all with special significance

The First Nation people are beautiful and are obviously proud of their culture.

We had a seafood lunch at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the harbor. George finally agreed that it was warm enough to sit outside.

Then, another 2-mile hike in the park, this trail categorized as “easy”. It wound through lots of bogs, where moose should have been lurking, but no luck in spotting any.

We stopped at the lobster pound again, this time to buy halibut at a very reasonable price for a future dinner. The “boys” (Tony and George) just HAD to play with the biggest lobsters….

DINNER: My turn to cook again. I made a chicken/tomato casserole with a parmesan crust. Served with rice and peas. George and Tony picked some fresh chanterelles and Tony sautéed them up. A special treat!

Bay of Fundy experiences

LOCATION: Fundy National Park

CAMPGROUND: Chignecto North Campground, within the national park

WEATHER: Like Camelot – rain during the night; beautiful during the day

As a breakfast treat, Chef Tony made some blueberry pancakes with the wild blueberries we had picked yesterday. Then we were off to the Visitors’ Center. We did some wifi work, then toured another part of the park. At one of the other campgrounds within the park, we spotted this antique Boler camper, like the one Tony and Jenny had when we first met. The owner had done a fabulous job painting the Boler to match his antique car.

Fundy has lots of hiking trails, and we selected a 2-mile “moderate” difficulty trail near the campground. We saw lots and lots of mushrooms, and later tried to identify them in Tony’s mushroom book. There are a lot of chanterelles near our campsite. We sautéed some the other night, and plan to do some more tomorrow. They like the rain and shade of the oak and pine trees.

Our treat today was a lobster dinner. We realized that our seafood pot is too small to fit 2 medium-sized lobsters, so we bought them already boiled at the lobster pound.

Back at the campground, we warmed them up in the pot (as they had shrunk while cooking at the pound).

We sat around the picnic table cracking the shells, sucking on legs, and enjoying the taste.

DINNER: Lobster with some drawn butter. Zucchini casserole as a side.