Back in February 2019, we started to think about summer travels, as we continue our journey to visit all 50 states. Ralph had never been to the northeastern most part of the continent. We said, “what about Maine and Nova Scotia?” and our late summer trip was born. Let’s follow the Great Lakes to the St Lawrence to the ocean!
We started our trip overnight at Pennwood Airstream park in PA. No, they are not on Lake Erie, but we got to cross off Pennsylvania on our list of states we’ve visited! This is a beautiful Airstream park off the toll way and worthy of a stopover.
From there we headed up to Lake Erie and followed the shore line staying at Hamlin State Park and a few private parks on our way to the 1,000 Islands area before heading east through Vermont & New Hampshire into Maine and Canadian Maritimes.
Our plan had us continuing our waterway trip along the St Lawrence into Quebec, but we decided to head to the southernmost coast of Maine and begin our coastal “hopping”. This is where our trip truly became one to remember. The coast of Maine is full of small fishing communities and tons of fresh seafood. Our “Lobstah Coma” started in Maine and continued through our entire trip.
We explored little towns, harbors and restaurants all along the Maine shoreline that were more than “fried seafood”. Wild blueberries were in season and we found them everywhere – even in a margarita. Fresh road side farm stands brought us so many ears of corn and tomatoes at our dinner table. Every campground we stayed at was privately owned and afforded exceptional views of the coast and ocean. Our favorite stop was Moorings RV near Belfast ME. We could see ourselves spending an entire summer there. But, the highlight of our Maine experience was Acadia National Park. Between the scenic drives, the intense hikes and the bike ride on the carriage roads, we fell in love with Acadia. We made the trip over to the sister park, Schoodic, where an afternoon on the rocky shore would cap off a beautiful few days in the area. Next time, we’ll spend more time in Acadia.
We staged our travel to Canada in Eastport ME, which is pretty much the farthest east you can go in the US. Our campsite was right on the shore of the Bay of Fundy. We saw eagles on the shore at low tide and porpoises riding the tidal bores right from our campsite!
The little town of Lubec, ME is the easternmost point of the US, marked by a stately lighthouse. Crossing to New Brunswick took about 20 minutes as we were pulled over for a visual accounting of our alcohol, of all things. We lost two bottles of the cheapest I could pull out of the closet and went on our way.
Next stop, Nova Scotia and the full experience of the Bay of Fundy. Now, if you’ve never seen the Bay of Fundy, you’re in for a surprise. The tides are up to 40’ and walking on the ocean floor is something remarkable! We saw eagles feeding at low tide as well as harbor seals. We spent a few days on a sliver of land called Spencer’s Island which basically was a pile of rock with the ocean on both sides. Twice a day, the ocean tides create a large body of land but at high tide, the backend of our Classic was hanging over the water – our storage, bumper and bikes not accessible! The road to get to Spencer’s Island was a twisty hilly set of switchbacks! We were able to do some exploration of the shoreline and the fossil cliffs.
Next we went to the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia, intending on exploring the harbors and coves before heading up to Baddeck to experience Cape Breton. We spent two days at King Neptune Campground right on the shore on St Margaret’s bay just south of Halifax. We were able to explore famous Peggy’s Cove and the coves and harbors on the ride to Lunenberg. We even tried our hand at finding treasure on Oak Island!
That week we started to watch the weather forecast, as hurricane Dorian was making its way up the east coast. And as we got closer to the weekend, it became clear that Nova Scotia was in Dorian’s path. Friday before Dorian’s expected Saturday landfall (Saturday was our travel day to Baddeck, Cape Breton), we decided to head inland outside of what was the anticipated hurricane’s “cone”, because there was no way we were going to ride out Dorian broadside to the ocean with Halifax forecasted to be the direct hit and Cape Breton on the Northeast side of the wind bands.
Driving 4 hours, we called every campground from Moncton to Sussex, New Brunswick to take shelter. We found a KOA in Sussex to ride out the storm. It was fun to find out that we had landed right in the middle of their Hot Air Balloon Festival and we were able to see @30 balloons ride the sky Friday night. We spent the afternoon getting ready for the rains. Dorian was a monster sized storm and she headed farther west – heading straight for the coast of New Brunswick. We hunkered down. We survived 12 hours of beating winds and driving rains without power for 12 hours. We used our truck to block the worst of the winds and we had full tanks for ballast. We survived our first hurricane! Who would have thought.
To say it simply, Nova Scotia is a beautiful province and definitely worthy of an extended stay again in the future. Unfortunately, the trip to Baddeck and Cape Breton had to be cancelled, as there was considerable damage to the area and power was not expected to be restored for a few days. Instead we headed to Prince Edward Island. The Cornwall/Charlottetown KOA’s power was restored after 48 hours and we had a spot right on the shore! PEI is a beautiful province full of harbors, farmlands and hills. Oysters and mussels were harvested right off the campground shore at low tide. The title picture is of our spot on PEI. The west and northern coastal ride is worth every hour spent on the road. Not many are able to say they ate Malpeque oysters while sitting on the shore of Malpeque Bay! Leaving PEI was bittersweet because it signaled the beginning of the end of our adventure.
Rather than continue home through Quebec, away from the ocean, we headed back to southern NB, staying at a Kiwanis campground in St Andrews and re-entered the US at Calais ME. Our destinations were the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Lake Champlain Vermont.
We are ended our adventure by heading north to North Bay Ontario, entering Michigan at Sault Ste Marie. Our final leg, was spent relaxing on the shores of Lake Michigan in St Ignace within view of the Mighty Mac, a week at Magnus Park Petoskey right on Lake Michigan. The high Lake Michigan waters have exposed countless new sources for petoskey stones! While in Petoskey, we were able to reconnect with friends we had met in Florida and in Tennessee, along with one of Ralph’s high school friends.
You can tell from our trip that we love the ocean and our Great Lakes. Now we begin to plan Stella’s Great Alaskan Adventure 2020!