Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 56 - St. John, New Brunswick

It is finished…………………………….day 56

As Jim and Mercedes so succinctly said on their blog yesterday, “where did all that time go?”

Were you wondering the same thing?  Our wonderful trip is over.  This morning everyone came for a delicious staff prepared breakfast, ate, chatted, said their goodbyes, and left the campground in St. John while Mo/Mo-Reen looked on.

We saw a lot of beautiful vistas, learned a lot of history, enjoyed meeting the people  and listening to the music from this area.  A truly great trip.

What goes around, comes around.  The staff finished the trip back at the Pumpkin Patch – exactly where we started.   Are we ready to go again? 

We enjoyed traveling with old friends, making new ones and being able to share this incredible journey with all of you.  With all that we saw and did, it’s all of our guests that made this trip so very special.

Thank you for choosing Adventure Caravans.  We look forward to seeing you in the future.                      

Travel safe and be well.

                       Barry & Terry,         Spence & Madi,            Mo/Mo-Reen 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 55 - St. John, New Brunswick

(Tempus Fugit)

Today is the last official full day of our caravan.  Where has all that time gone?

Here we are in St John (Irvingville), New Brunswick and we are boarding a bus for a city tour.  What a treat.  The bus’s air conditioning consisted  of slot windows, and the forward motion of the bus to create air circulation.  

Thank goodness it was a beautiful sunny day, with an occasional cloud, as the temperature just nudging the good side of 20c.  The bus was a wee bit ruder than we have grown to appreciate, but was certainly adequate for the task.  In fact, this city tour was one of the best we have had on the entire caravan.  The driver/guide evidently had great pride in his city and environs, was knowledgeable, compliant to our needs, and as someone noted, should have been a radio broadcaster.

Rockwood Park (also our campground) was the beginning of our tour.  The park is huge by urban standards (2200 acres).  There are various areas and activities available for all, that run the gamut from swimming to nature trails.  Interspersed in the well treed park, are various monuments.  One that struck us particularly was a stone sculpture of a maple leaf comprised of stone from each province and territory in Canada

St. John is not a big city, but it certainly has a history and vibrancy that is second to none. There are various squares and parks throughout the city.  One in particular stands out, and that would be King’s Square.  It is in the heart of the city, has a bandstand, huge towering trees, and a large number of statues commemorating past contributors to the city’s rich past.  The park’s pathways are laid out in the pattern of the Union Jack, a note to a strong part of the city’s history.

Also in the core of the city, is the City Market, which houses Canada’s longest running indoor market.  Everything from soup to nuts is available there, and a few things besides.

The Trinity Anglican Church occupies a prominent ‘high ground’ quite near the harbour.

It also has a prominent place in the history of navigation into the city harbour. Seafaring captains used the codfish on the church’s spire and three red lights, further down the hill, as range lights, to safely work their way into the harbour.

Any visit to St. John must include a stop at the reversing falls, where tide, geography, and the St. John River conspire to build tumultuous rapids, during each tide cycle. It was amazing to see the volume of water, crashing through a narrow gap.

Near the end of our tour, we visited a Martello tour, build by the British in the early 1800’s.  It was built to defend the city from American invasion.  Near it the British also constructed a false graveyard (on the perceived weak side), because it would prevent invading troops from crossing ‘sacred’ grounds.

To wrap up the day, and our great caravan experience, we had a farewell dinner.  Everyone had a chance to speak, and give their comments about our shared adventures.  There were some pearls about our adventures. Many pictures of friends, new and old were taken.

Submitted by:  Jim and Mercedes Wilson
Adventure #19

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 54 - Travel day to St. John, New Brunswick

August 15, 2013 – Day 54 of our Gaspe and Atlantic Provinces trip. 

The sun is making a bright appearance. Temperature this morning was 71°.

Yesterday was a very exciting day with the tide.  It will be hard to make today a big trip.

We are leaving Ponderosa Pines at 9:35 traveling Hwy 114.  Terrible road – but you can see they are making a lot of repairs.

Sure was nice to see some pretty farming land after getting on TCH 1 as well as livestock. 

We had a safe trip – hope everyone did as well.

Submitted by:  Lloyd and Hazel Walker
Adventure #18


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 53 - Travel day to Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick

We made an early start today on our short 125 mile trip to Hopewell Cape.  Much to everyone's surprise, Judy and Van Douglass were first out.  They had a perfect record before today of leaving last out, only minutes before our Tailgunner was scheduled to leave.  Multiple shouts came over our radio of, "take a picture" for the Blog.  Unfortunately, though we were only two rigs behind them, Magnus (my Irish Wolfhound) has steadfastly refused to learn how to operate the camera, so we have no documentation of this phenomenon.  We unanimously decided they should be given the "most improved departure time" award along with a gold star.

We arrived at Hopewell Cape prior to noon to witness low tide.  

We met our guide Megan, a local college student, at the Whale's tail at 1:00.  

Hopewell Cape on the Bay of Fundy experiences the highest tides in the world, varying from 39 feet to 46 feet, dependent on the lunar cycle.  We were to see a 41 foot tide today.  These amazing tides are the result of the size, shape and depth of the Bay of Fundy.  High and low tides alternate every 6 hours and 13 minutes.  

We walked the beach at low tide and returned 5 hours later to view high tide from the platform above the beach.  It was hard to believe we had walked a beach, now under 41 feet of water.  The landmarks we had stood next to, Lover's Arch, Bear Rock and Tyrannosaurus, had only their tops visible and the beach was gone!  

These interesting sandstone rock formations have been formed by tide erosion, tree root penetration, freezing and thawing and minor earth tremors.  The rocks are eroding at a rate of up to 2 feet per year.

From there we headed back toward the gate and watched the congregated Sandpipers take flight by the thousands, in unison to a rhythm only they knew. 

Hopewell Cape is host to around 75 percent of the Northern Hemisphere's Semipalmated Sandpiper population from early to mid August.  The birds arrive with impeccable timing to feast on mud shrimp. These tiny crustaceans travel to the surface only once yearly to mate; for the rest of the year they remain burrowed deep in the mud.  During the two weeks the Sandpipers are here they double their weight, preparing for their long flight to Northern Brazil and Venezuela.  They will fly nonstop for three days and four nights to reach their winter home in South America. 

All in all, it was one of the most interesting ecological days we spent, in a totally unique habitat.

Submitted by:  Jodie Smith and Magnus
Adventure #17

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 52 - Travel day to Truro, Nova Scotia

What a beautiful morning in Louisbourg.   The troops are lined up in the RV park to leave.

A stop at Shell Service station for diesel rendered this sign welcoming us - kind of neat, huh?

We stopped at an overview park at Irish Cove.

Our travels took us through St. Peters where the streets had these beautiful hanging baskets along the streets.

Next to the last travel day and Mo was passed on th Janet and Ken, Janice and Bill for the wonderful chicken dinner they bought for us.  I think I have forgotten how to cook.  May have to learn again after the caravan.

And tonight dinner at Frank and Gino's.  Once again, doing what we all do best!

Thanks Adventure - great meal - great friends.

Submitted by:  Dianne and Bob Osborne
Adventure #16