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Ballard Sailor

Canadia, here we come!

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We had heard about this place called Campobello Island. A somewhat land locked piece of Canada, similar to Point Roberts, Washington, that is easiest to get to via driving through Maine rather than taking a boat from Canada. We were told there was a light house at the end of the small Island that can be toured, but only at low tide when the sand spit isn’t awash with water. As low tide was at 10am the next morning we thought we were lined up perfectly to head out to Campobello after driving the remainder of the coast line of Maine with a stop at Schoodic Point for lunch.


It was hot out on the point as we enjoyed our sandwiches but we sat right out at the end of the rocks were the spray from the swell hitting the rocks drifted across us in the wind, cooling our skin with its’ salty moist residue. By nightfall we had made it through the small border crossing, over the bridge and found a great campsite right on the beach at the Herring Cove Provincial Park. A wonderfully nice and affordable park, if all the provincial parks are like this one I’m really going to enjoy the trip!


The morning dawned bright and dry as we struck camp and headed up island towards the lighthouse. We found it was $5 per person to visit the light, the money going to help with the restoration, and we paid our fare and headed down the steps, Jennifer, MacIntosh and myself. The first set of stairs were a normal set of steps and MacIntosh and no problem with them. You then walk across a rocky bar and up another set of stairs to the top of a small rock island. Continuing on to the other side of the island you find a very long set of stairs that are almost a ladder with narrow steps and a slant that has you hanging on as you climb down these steps. Now MacIntosh is very good at companion way ladders on boats so we decided to let him off his lead and let him have a go at them, but he’s not used to the slant, nor the length of these stairs. With that in mind I decided to walk down in front of him, turned around so I was facing up, to be able to help if he got in trouble. Well before I knew it he came bounding down, missed a step with his front feet and planted his snout into a grating while his hind end tried to flip over his head. With visions of Mac crashing down on the rocks below I grabbed what fur I could to arrest his fall as his ribs found a side bar to rest against, saved for the moment. I then turned around and held him by the scruff of his neck as he worked down the rest of the stairs - what I should have done from the beginning. No blood and nothing looked broken but his pride, so off we went across the next rock bar and up some normal stairs to the light and keeper’s house. A very cool location complete with helicopter pad, they hope to have the keeper’s house set up as a B&B in a year so people can spend the night way out on the end of this remote Island - how cool would that be?



The trip back across the beach and up the ladders was uneventful. Mac’s pride and maybe a few muscles were hurt from the fall, but nothing a few milkbones couldn’t fix. We really hadn’t developed a plan yet on where we were headed to for the night but we knew we had to get back across the border into Maine before heading North and across the border in Calais which leads us into mainland New Brunswick. As we drove a plan developed and we decided on aiming for the Fundy National Forest and one of its’ many campgrounds. We stopped at the first campground we came to and they had way too many empty campsites - we took forever to pick one! We’ve got to get better at this. We set up camp and drove off to explore the park. We took a dirt forest service road down the hill and explored the Point Wolfe area, its’ covered bridge, and boardwalk along the bluff over the bay. The place had an amazing history with an earthen damn, lumber mill and wharf that loaded log after log aboard coastal sailing schooners. Nothing remained of the mill besides part of the old damn and the covered bridge but with the pictures and descriptions on the signs you got a very good idea of what the place must have looked like 100 years ago, a busy, noisy lumber port. Very cool. We then drove down to Herring Cove and took a walk down to the beach before returning to our campground for dinner and our evening fire - I’m coming to enjoy these nightly fires in the woods.


Morning dawned beautiful and cool, we breakfasted and struck camp before heading up the hill to a hike we wanted to do out to the Broad River and up its’ banks past a few small falls before reaching the good sized Laverty Falls. The hike was both amazing and strenuous with deciduous forests, mossy creeks and boulder filled rivers followed by a cascading falls with a perfect little pool to cool off in at its’ base. After a 2 hour hike Jennifer and MacIntosh swam in the pool at the bottom of Laverty Falls before we hiked out of the ravine and returned to the campground for some showers before we hit the road.


Here is where a funny thing happened, Jennifer showered first while I caught up on some emails with the parks free wifi. When she was done and it was my turn I grabbed my bag and headed off to the bathrooms, ones I had not used before. Now since Canada is bilingual, both english and french, many of their signs are just pictures, no words. So the men’s and women’s bathroom signs are just pictures. You know the ones, the guy’s sign is a narrow person with his arms at his sides and the girls sign is more of a triangular person, wider with her skirt creating a triangle below the waist. Well up here in Canadia things are a bit different.... I walked by the first door because at a glance the picture showed me a person with a triangle below the waist - the skirt we all know denotes the women’s head. I then walked right into the other door and directly to the shower - no one was in the bathroom, but I didn’t look around too much. I showered in the stall and then came out to the sink in just my shorts, no shirt and had just merrily spread shaving cream all over my face when a person walked up to the door like they wanted to come in but had a very confused face while looking at a shirtless man standing at the sink shaving. The person was in the 12 to 13 year old range with short hair and I really couldn’t tell if it was a girl or a guy but when the person looked to the sign next to the door and then back at me with a quizzical look I said “I’m in the wrong head huh?” She, I now know it is a she, tells me “Yes, this is the women’s bathroom!” Ooops! So I gathered my things and moved over to the men’s head to finish shaving while I’m sure the girl headed back to her campsite to tell her mother about the creep in the bathroom shaving. No harm, no foul in this funny situation that no one was caught in a compromising position in and now I know that the french Canadian symbol for the guy’s head is a person with their arms out in a triangle that looks deceptively like a women’s skirt. Guess I’ll have to go to that old standby of looking for urinals before I believe I am in the correct bathroom. I’m sure I gave that girl a good story to tell her friends back at school about “What I did on my summer vacation.”

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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