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

American Locations 22 – Acadia National Park 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.

My wife’s son and his family joined us in our campground at Acadia National Park. They pitched tents several sites away. The first thing we did was head for the top of Cadillac Mountain to catch the sunrise. Unfortunately, the trams don’t run that time of morning, so we drove up in two cars. We weren’t alone.

It was a good sunrise.

After, we were ready to head back to the camp for breakfast.

Later that morning we hiked the Precipice Trail. This is looking up from the parking lot at what we would be climbing.

Unlike the Beehive Trail, this one started out hard.

And got harder.

Like Beehive, this trail offered great vistas.

Although it seemed like we had climbed for hours.

We still had a ways to go.

In some places there were railings.

In some places there were bridges.

In some places there was hardly a trail, you just had to scramble up over rocks.

We were getting close to the top.

What a view we had on the way up. The road at the bottom left was our starting point.

Almost there.

Just before reaching the top, there were several sets of steel rungs fastened into the rock face we had to scale.

More good views near the top.

I zoomed in on a cruise ship.

We crashed after reaching the top.

We wandered around a while on top.

We had a good view looking down on Bar Harbor.

Then it was time to start back down.

And down.

And down.

I was lagging behind by this point. Getting tired.

I caught up with them by the time we reached the trees.

We crashed at our camp site for several hours, then were recharged and ready to take off on the trams once again. Our first destination was Sand Beach. Note how many are on the beach and how many are actually in the water. The water was frigid.

I could play on beaches a lot of places, but there aren’t many places with rocks like these to climb around on. A lot of people agreed with me.

Some were just for looking at. Too dangerous to climb on.

Next it was back to Thunder Hole, to see if any thundering was going on.

Nope, not today, either.

Still, there were the rocks.

And poses to strike.

That evening we went to Bar Harbor for dinner. Here is the park where all the trams converged.

We walked down to the waterfront and saw some more interesting ships.

See the whale watch ship? We tried to book a cruise on it, but were told a storm was moving in and the water would be too rough for any more excursions during the time we would be here.

There is a path along the waterfront.

Note the trail marker on the rock. Must have been put there at low tide. Water is way too cold to swim out there to place it.

It was an easy stroll, compared to what we had hiked that morning.

After, we walked back into town and found a restaurant with some more good seafood. Then it was back to the campground, exhausted once again.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 4

American Locations 21 – Acadia National Park 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 next day we caught the tram out to Thunder Hole.

Only it wasn’t very thunderous that day.

Still, we walked all around on the rocks.

Like everyone else.

We got back on the tram and went a little further, getting off at Otter Rocks.

Didn’t see any otters, but did some more rock walking.

This guy looked comfortable.

The next place we got off the tram was at Jordan Pond.

They served meals. We weren’t really hungry, but we would have been interested in a snack and drink. But it was way too busy. So instead of standing in line we walked around the lake.

Like a lot of other people.

And more people. The park is crowded, but it’s also huge. Plenty of space to spread out.

One thing that’s good about other people is you can swap cameras. Much better than selfies.

The last stop of the day was Seal Harbor.

Another picturesque place.

This wasn’t just a tourist stop. A lot of work went on here. See all the lobster traps stacked up?

Especially at the place we were headed.

To eat a good lobster dinner.

After we stuffed ourselves, we rode back to the campground. Enough for one day.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 3

American Locations 20 – Acadia National Park, Maine

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 next morning we hopped on I-295 and headed north. It led to I-95, which led to Bangor. From there we got back on Hwy. 1A and headed southeast. At Ellsworth we turned onto 3, and drove south onto Mt. Desert Island. We followed 3 to Bar Harbor Campground, where we had reserved a site. Once we were settled in my wife’s daughter and her 2 sons joined us. They had reserved a nearby cabin.

One of the great things about Acadia National Park is its tram system. The park is huge, 47,000 acres, yet the trams will take you anywhere in the park. For free. There are 10 different routes. All routes run to a central location in Bar Harbor, and from there you can switch trams to any section of the park you wish to see. And there was a tram stop right outside Bar Harbor Campground. So once our motor home was set up we never had to drive it anywhere. We could ignore the traffic, sit back and relax, and enjoy the passing scenery. Since I’m the one always driving the motor home, this was a treat for me.

Our first destination was to the top of Cadilac Mountain, the highest point in the park.

Which gave us a good view down into Bar Harbor.

And of the Porcupine Islands spread out in the harbor.

In the following photo notice the cruise ship. There was one docked here during our entire stay.

In the following picture you can see the natural land bridge out to one of the islands in the harbor. The island it connects to is accessible at low tide. You just have to be sure and get back to the mainland in time or you’ll get your shoes, or more, wet.

There are great views from up there in different directions back over the park, also.

Of course, we had to engage in some rock climbing while up there.

Next we went back into Bar Harbor to walk around. Tram central is in a small park in the middle of town, several blocks up from the waterfront, which was where we headed on foot.

I like the ghost moose on top of the building in the next photo.

There was a waterfront park.

With a gazebo.

And a fountain.

This ship in the harbor looked interesting.

There were a lot of interesting ships.

But we needed to do some hiking. So my wife caught a tram back to the campground, while I & her daughter & her 2 sons caught a different tram that took us to the Beehive Mountain trailhead. It was a gentle hike starting out.

But we gained elevation quickly.

The trail soon became more fun.

The views kept getting better and better.

We stopped for rests.

The trail was crowded, so frequently we had to stop and wait for traffic to clear. Which wasn’t a problem, as it gave us opportunities to look around.

I like this mansion I could see off in the distance.

It’s always good to finally reach the top. 2 smiling, 1 gasping for air.

A chance to look around.

A better shot of the mansion.

A lighthouse on one of the rocks in the harbor.

Worn out, we caught the tram back into town, then switched to the tram that would take us back to the campground. A good start to the week.

Next Location – Acadia National Park 2