Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Atlantic Journey

Once again, this trip has told us that a journey is not a journey at all, but rather it is a series of short trips.  We have always felt that our destination is more than a place—but adds to our way of seeing things. 

You see, tourists know what they are looking for long before they know what is really there. 

Their experience is known, planned and packaged before they arrive.  They see only what they came to see.

  A traveler, on the other hand, seeks the truth of a place, which adds to his understanding of the whole. 

               He is willing to let go of his expectations and lose himself. 

                                  That is when he is able to see what is really there. 

                                      From the Hancock Shaker Village--

--to the people in small communities,we have found them all to be friendly and helpful.

                                We have made many new friends that we will see again--

--and here there’s a certain sense of serenity and safety absent in many parts of the U.S. 

This is the most RV friendly place we’ve been to.  Water,  propane, and beautiful night spots are easy to find.

Often, people invited us to stay in their yards or at their parks and were eager to share their knowledge with us. 

The scenery sometimes reminds us of Michigan, Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

The barrens of Labrador and Newfoundland sometimes reminded us of the tundra we experienced on the North Slope of the arctic on the way to Prudehoe Bay.

                          There are endless picturesque, coastal fishing villages--

                                 -- and many historical sites to explore. 

  In Newfoundland the scenery is spectacular, with endless verdant mountains--

                                                          --fertile valleys--

                                           -- and rugged landscapes. 

This is a archaeologists paradise, with many sites being actively explored today and open to the public. 

Dorset and Paelaeo-Eskimo, Beothuk, Viking, French, English and other sites are numerous here. 

                        The geology of Gros Morne National Park is stunning. 

      Some of the largest and best bird nesting sites in the world are found here. 

At the southwest tip of the Avalon Peninsula, washed on three sides by the restless Atlantic, lies Cape St. Mary’s--

                   --one of the most spectacular seabird colonies in North America.

 Here one is amazed by the immense, whirling clamor of 70,000 seabirds.

Thousands of icebergs float past these shores every summer- 

                                  --and whales are a common sight.

   Our Canadian National Park Pass, careful planning, and economical camping once again kept our costs down. 
Just as on other trips, the greatest things we see and do are often low cost or free.

Our Escapees Days End Travel Logs helped us find many free camp sites and we were easily able to find many more of our own.  These were almost always scenic, ocean sites and much nicer than high priced commercial campgrounds full of RV’s.  We saw few commercial RV caravans, probably because we spend most of our time away from tourist areas.  Our favorite provinces so far are Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. 

  The seafood and foot-stomping Celtic music and dance is hard to forget. 

The National Park Pass and Newfoundland Provincial Pass were great deals, saving us a lot of money. 

Canada has many excellent National Parks and historic sites and we were able to explore them all with these passes. 

The camper is a joy to travel in and is the perfect vehicle for us.  We feel free to explore wherever we want to go. 

We experienced lots of rain and fog on this trip and were sometimes bothered by mosquitoes and black flies.  The roads in Nova Scotia are the worst we have ever encountered in all of our travels but the other roads were fine.  We saw surprising little wildlife on this trip, but did see a lot of shore birds.

We were pleasantly pleased with the lack of roadside billboards and advertising, no roadside trash, low speed limits, and lack of crime.

We continue to use our GPS all the time and find all kinds of places we would not otherwise know about.

   Especially impressive is that almost all houses and yards are exceptionally well cared for.

Most homes are fairly modest and have new roofing with new paint and siding.  There is no litter or trash in the yards.  This is true of all the Maritime Provinces.

These are outdoor-type people and ATV’s, snowmachines and camping trailers are common here.  Over-sized homes and large motorhomes are rare to find.

                                     Hiking and walking trails are everywhere. 

Boats, ATV’s, snowmachines, lobster traps, gardens  and other valuable items are often left unattended at the side of the road with little theft or crime.

 With hurricane Irene in our path--

--we changed direction and headed North to Quebec and the town of St. Georges--

-- to visit friends Dennis and Helene who we met several years ago on a small beach in Mexico.
                          They are remodeling their home and landscaping their yard.

           We will leave this French-speaking province tomorrow and  find our way to another truck   camper rally in Pennsylvania a week from now. 

From there we will head to Illinois for a visit with our kids and then return to Texas where this trip began.  This winter will be spent in the desert Southwest with friends.  What lies ahead in our path?  Who knows for sure, but the Southwest National Parks loom in the distance, a longer visit with our kids would be nice,  and we even have visions of  the Aurora Borealis and Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  See you there!               

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