American Locations 32 – Quoddy Head

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

After 4 days on Campobello Island, we were ready to return to the US. Before leaving, we stopped to see the lighthouse on the southwestern end of the island.

And the views from there.

Then we drove across the International Bridge into Lubec.

We drove southwest through Lubec on 189, then turned south to follow the coast on South Lubec Road. This led us out onto the peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, West Quoddy Head, and to Quoddy Head State Park. We parked at the lighthouse.

From there we gazed out to sea. This was supposed to be another good location to spot whales, but we had no luck.

Although we saw no whales, we saw plenty of birds.

After returning to relax at the lighthouse…

We gave up on spotting whales and hiked around the rocks.

But I couldn’t convince my wife to scale the granite heights.

I thought it would have been the perfect place to spot whales from, but she declined.

So we got back into our motor home and continued.

Next Location – Penobscot

American Locations 31 – Campobello Island 3

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

The main attraction to Campobello Island is the Roosevelt summer home. Although Franklin Roosevelt spent little time here late in his life, Eleanor Roosevelt spent much of her time here while her husband was President. We spent an afternoon touring the house.

And the grounds. The gardens were impressive.

Including their roses.

The views outside were good, too, if foggy. Gazing from the back porch across the bay to the US.

This is from just above their dock.

Views of Lubec from the grounds.

Interior photos were allowed. In most museums they aren’t, but with this being operated by the US government it was.

There is a story behind this bullhorn.

The Roosevelts had a large family, and frequently there were cousins visiting, too. So Eleanor used this bullhorn to call all the children to meals. It was said she could be plainly heard across the bay in Lubec.

We had an afternoon tea, much like guests would have been served at the time Eleanor Roosevelt was here.

There were a few other buildings besides the main residence.

We got to see their interiors, too.

I especially liked this room.

And the view from this large oval window.

There was even a shed with some old tools of the era.

As you can guess, it was a full day touring this place.

Next Location – Quoddy Head

American Locations 30 – Campobello Island 2

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

The first thing we did after getting settled into our camp site was go see the whales. We had heard they were passing the north-eastern end of the island, so we drove to the very tip.

There is a little island at the very tip, to which you can walk at low tide. See the stairs? They mostly disappear at high tide.

At low tide you can cross over to the isle on dry rock.

The view from down there.

There is a lighthouse on the isle.

And a lot of birds.

There were plenty of boats out in the bay between US and Canada. Such as this fishing boat and tour boat.

There were also several kayaks in the middle of the bay. With a heavy fog bank rolling in. It became a race. The kayakers were trying to stay ahead of the fog, which was threatening to engulf them. They would have been totally lost, with several large boats moving around in the water unable to see them. That would have been scary. But they made it back to land before the fog had them.

We saw several dozen right whales. They surfaced so fast and unpredictably I couldn’t get any photos of them. We were lucky a whale scientist was there to view them, also. She pointed out the best places to look for them to surface. It seems birds follow them around, so when you spied a flock hovering just above the water there was a good chance of a whale coming up there.

We went there several times, so we got to see the tide coming in, too. The tide rushes in like waves and the land bridge to the isle the lighthouse is on is completely submerged.

The flow between the lighthouse isle and the bigger island was very turbulent.

As you can see by the water line on the rocks, this is still nowhere near high tide.

Of course, I had to pose at such a picturesque locale.

We made 2 trips to this end of the island while we were camping there. It was a beautiful place, and we saw plenty of whales.

Next Location – Campobello Island 3

American Locations 29 – Campobello Island

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

You can see the town of Lubec, across the bay from our campground just north of Eastport, with the naked eye (after the fog has lifted).

But to get there it is a 38 mile drive all the way around the bay. We drove north off Moose Island on 190 onto Carlow Island, then on north into Pleasant Point, on the southern tip of a peninsula. Coming off the peninsula, we turned south on Hwy. 1. We made this drive at low tide, and saw some impressive mud flats.

Hwy. 1 turned west around the northern reaches of Sipp Bay, then turned south around the headwaters of Denny’s River. We continued south along Whiting Bay all the way to the town of Whiting, where we turned east onto 189. This we took onto Lubec Neck, and on into the town of Lubec.

Lubec is situated on the tip of the Neck across from Campobello Island, which is part of Canada. We crossed the short International Bridge.

We showed our passports to a Canadian border guard, who asked only a single question – what was our business in Canada? We told him tourism, and he sent us on with a ‘have a nice day’. Getting back into the country was a different matter. The American border official asked a bunch of questions and searched our motor home.

We drove straight to Herring Cove Provincial Park and secured a camp site.

This was a beautiful park. Much of it could be accessed by unpaved roads which were in mint condition, wide and smooth.

One place we drove to was the waterfront on Herring Cove.

This beach faced the Atlantic Ocean and not the Bay of Fundy, so it was not subject to the enormous tides.

But much of the park could only be reached by hiking.

The forest was beautiful.

And the trails were well-maintained.

Many entrancing remote sights.

I hiked at every opportunity while there.

But there were other things to see on the island besides this park.

Next Location – Campobello Island 2

American Locations 28 – Eastport 2

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

            After leaving Seaview Campground, we drove into Eastport. It being a small town, we parked the motor home and walked around. The first thing to catch my eye was this attractive statue.

There were other statues.

This drawing in a storefront window also caught my eye.

Of course, we had to sample the local seafood for lunch. It couldn’t get any fresher than this place. They scooped it out of the water, cooked it, and served it, all within 24 hours.

Well-fed, we strolled around the waterfront. As you can see, it was low tide.

And the main street.

Later that afternoon we drove north out of Eastport.

Next Location – Campobello Island

American Locations 27 – Eastport

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

Finished hiking at Shackford State Park, we drove across Moose Island to the east shore, where we found a private campground (Seaview Campground) on the waterfront. It was beautiful.

There was a small island accessible only at low tide. This was part of the Bay of Fundy, which has those incredible tides that shoot up and down fifteen feet, for a full thirty-foot range, so you have to keep a close eye on them.

Across the bay was Canada.

Which was hard to see at times because of the fog.

This is looking back to the town of Eastport, on the American side.

At the campground there was a metal pier you could walk onto.

Which gave a good perspective of the campground. You can see our motor home peeking out above the black pickup pulling a large trailer, which is parked behind a red car. Our awning is out.

Both days we were there Canada was shrouded in fog.

A lot of birds (Canadian geese?) were in the water close to Canada.

Low tide at the campground.

See the end of the pier? It reaches the water at high tide.

What Canada looks like once the fog has lifted.

Another foggy morning.

Some people have to work in this. That is a shrimp boat going out.

While eating dinner in the campground’s restaurant I noticed a painting on the wall of a small boat caught in a whirlpool. I commented on it to our waitress, and she informed me there was an actual whirlpool in the Bay of Fundy. Intrigued, I Googled it and found this online article. The photo was downloaded from the Internet, as I have never actually seen the whirlpool (and hope I never do from this close vantage).

OLD SOW WHIRLPOOL

One of the most dramatic demonstrations of the power of the tides is found in the Western Passage of the Passamaquoddy Bay towards the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. “Old Sow” is the largest whirlpool in the western hemisphere, the second largest in the world – second only to the Maelstrom Whirlpool of Norway.

Old Sow Whirlpool can be seen from the shores just off the southwestern tip of Deer Island, New Brunswick, toward Eastport, Maine, on the incoming tide; however, on the outgoing tide it occurs (and is generally less pronounced) to the south of Deer Island, near Indian Island, NB.

This powerful whirlpool is formed when the rising tide passes both sides of Indian Island, takes a sharp right turn around the southern tip of Deer Island to flood the Western Passage. A current of over 6 knots (11 km/hr or 6.9 mi/hr) has been experienced off Deer Island Point. In addition to the waters pressing through the narrow straight, the waters are forced along the peaks and valleys of the ocean floor – a trench as deep as 122 meters (400 feet), followed by a reduction in water depth to 36 meters (119 feet) and again followed by a depth of over 107 meters (350 feet). The current of inflowing tributaries within the Passamaquoddy Bay add to the already busy waters.

Old Sow gets its name, not from the sound, but (although the origin of the name is unknown) most likely from the word “sough” (pronounced “suff”). The meaning of sough is: a type of drain or a sucking sound. It is plausible that, long ago, people referred in writing to the whirlpool as a sough, and those not familiar with the word, but familiar with “plough,” mispronounced it as “sow” rather than “suff,” and the name stuck.

Old Sow is reported to be most active about 3 hours before high tide. This activity continues for about two hours and takes the form of a collection of small gyres, troughs, spouts and holes and on the rare occasion will form one large funnel. This area, which has been reported to be as wide as 76 meters (250 feet) in diameter, can best be described as turbulent water. However, during spring tides (high water tide caused by a full or new moon) combined with high winds or a tidal surge will increase Old Sow’s activity causing more intense funnels and formations.

After 2 days here, we packed up and drove into the town of Eastport.

Next Location – Eastport 2

American Locations 26 – Shackford Head State Park

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

After returning from our morning hike to see what the bay looked like at low tide, we drove out of the park onto Hwy. 1 and headed north, then east. The route looped us around Denny’s Bay, then East Bay, then Cobstock Bay, which were all inlets off the Bay of Fundy. Yet another beautiful drive. We skirted the waterfront most of the drive. At Perry we turned south onto 190. At Pleasant Point we crossed over onto Moose Island. At the southern end of the island we entered Shackford Head State Park.

We walked down to see the waterfront.

Then set off on a hike through the woods.

Which passed through some wetlands, where there was a boardwalk.

The trail led to several vistas out over the bay.

See the circular constructs out in the water? Here’s a close-up.

We were told those were salmon farms. See the bridge in the distance in the next photo?

Here’s a close-up.

It crosses the bay into Canada. To the right of the bridge is the city of Eastport, in the U.S.

I hiked to other vistas.

I hiked down to the water.

Yet I was chicken to get into the water. Too cold.

So I just hiked along the edge.

Then back up. See the boat?

I’m glad some people are working and keeping the country going.

Then it was back through the woods.

Back through the wetlands.

And back to the parking lot to continue the trip.

Next Location – Eastport

American Locations 25 – Cobstock Bay State Park

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

From Schoodic Peninsula we drove north on 186 to Hwy. 1, then turned north. At the Narraguagus River we turned off onto Hwy. 1A and continued north. We were soon back on Hwy. 1. This route kept us fairly close to the coast. At Whiting, at the head of Denny’s Bay, we turned north onto Rural Rte. 1. This took us along the waterfront to Cobstock Bay State Park.

The park is on a peninsula that juts out into Denny’s Bay. This bay is the westernmost reach of the Bay of Fundy. After setting up then relaxing after our scenic drive, we went on a hike.

Down to the bay.

We saw a pier.

So naturally we walked down to it.

And out on it.

There were boats anchored out in the bay.

We saw these birds feasting on a pile of fish. I don’t know where the fish came from.

Some kayakers were paddling around these 2 little islands.

You can tell by the watermark this was nearly high tide. Here are the same 2 islands at low tide.

Amazing, isn’t it. The Bay of Fundy has the most extreme tides in the world. This Internet article can describe it better than me:

Wedged between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy experiences tidal flows reaching up to 53 feet, or the height of a five-story building. Twice each day, over 175 billion tons of seawater surges in and out—more than the flow of the world’s freshwater rivers combined. And, according to my colleague Henry Huntington who is Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic science director, the volume of water going into and out of the bay is so large that it alters the region’s gravity, making Nova Scotia and New Brunswick lean slightly towards the bay at high tide, and relax away at low tide.

The Bay of Fundy’s tides act this way because of its special features: a conical shape and a coincidence of timing called ‘tidal resonance,’ where the water in the bay, which naturally sloshes back and forth like a bathtub, moves in sync with the ocean tides creating a resonance.

The next morning we hiked back down to the bay to see what it looked like at low tide. You can see how wet everything is right up to the trees. That land gets covered with water twice day.

Another island left high and dry at low tide.

This is something we found growing all over. At high tide it is covered in water, and at low tide it is exposed to the air.

After witnessing the extent of the tides here, it made me wary of setting up camp too close to the water. We could get washed away while we sleep.

Next Location – Shackford Head State Park

American Locations 24 – Acadia National Park: Schoodic Peninsula

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

Early in the morning we drove north on 3 off Desert Island onto the mainland. We turned onto Hwy. 1 and headed south. We then turned onto 186 and drove down Schoodic peninsula. We turned 186 into the park. This section of Acadia National Park is across the water from the main body of the park on Desert Island. Directly across from Schoodic Peninsula is Sand Beach.

I made a mistake early this morning. I saw the flashing sign saying no motor homes or pulled campers were allowed on the narrow winding road through this part of the park. But our motor home is only 23 feet long, and I’m so used to driving it anywhere I ignored the sign. A park ranger pulled me over before I made it an eighth of a mile. He made me park our motor home at the visitor center and catch a tram. At least he didn’t give me a fine, or kick us out of the park.

The first tram stop put us out on the southernmost point of the peninsula. Unfortunately, it was the foggiest day we’d had yet.

You could still see the ocean.

A little bit of it.

I think the birds were lost in the fog, too.

If you squint really good you can make out a boat in the next 2 photos.

So there was nothing to do except scramble around on the rocks.

This spot reminded me of Thunder Hole, but it was quiet, too.

We caught a tram back to the visitor center, climbed back into our motor home, and drove on north up the Maine coast.

Next Location – Cobstock Bay State Park

American Locations 23 – Acadia National Park 4

This trip goes from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the Boston area, then up the New England coast all the way into Canada, then back through the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York.

After my wife’s kids and their families left, we stayed several more days. The first place we hopped off the tram at was the Natural Garden at the Nature Center.

Then it was off on another hike. Bubble Rock. As you can tell, it was foggy.

After hiking to the top of Bubble Rock, my wife had had enough. She went back down and caught a tram to the campground, while I hiked on to Eagle Lake.

The lake had a bit of a sandy beach.

I hiked down to the lake.

I saw some kayakers.

I hiked around the lake.

And through the trees.

Up onto a carriage road.

These were originally private roads actually used by horse-drawn carriages. Back before this was a national park it was the private estate of John D. Rockefeller. He donated thousands of acres to help found the park. Now the gravel roads are used by hikers and cyclists.

It passes under the motor roads, accessing parts of the park you can reach no way else.

I got totally lost on these roads. I ended up at this mossy pond.

Lucky for me, it was next to a road, and a short walk down this road led me to a tram stop. I had a long winding relaxing ride back to the campground.

Next Location – Schoodic Peninsula