Thursday, August 20: The expected rains never fell while we were at Mt. Blue SP Campground, although it stayed hot and humid. Awakened to very close air and overcast skies, but no rain.
Wanted to get an early start on a long day (our last for a while in America), so we skipped breakfast and were headed out by 8A.
Nothing remarkable to note about the early drive, but when we were outside of Bangor, off the I-95, we found a sweet cafe called Vittles where we got a big breakfast at about 10A. While we were there, we also got fuel, and switched drivers.
All along our drive through Maine (and also some of VT and NH) we were seeing “Moose Crossing” signs and alerts for traffic. And we wanted to see a moose somewhere not too close to the road or the Roomba. But alas, we didn’t see much wildlife at all — not even much in the way of flattened fauna on the roadways. But I did capture this photo of a couple of moose on a building.
We had no trouble at the border crossing at Calais, Maine. Contrary to our worries, the border officer didn’t ask about any foodstuffs we might have along with us at all. Just firearms, alcohol (we’d finished all the wine and beer we’d had over dinner at Mt. Blue), manufactured goods, packages we might leave in Canada or picked up from strangers in the US, and a bit about our vacation.
Our first stop at St. Stephen in New Brunswick (the Canada entry city from Calais) was Atlantic Superstore, an enormous grocery place halfway between a Big Lots and a WalMart Superstore. The primary reason for our stop there was to find a place to buy a KooDo phone chip for our unlocked iPhone, plus a prepaid call and data plan.
The very friendly folks there didn’t have any chips for Apple products, but they steered us in the correct direction for both a Bell telephone place and our equivalent of an ABC store, where we could find wine and beer.
The Bell folks were not helpful at all, and our friends at the Atlantic store had said there was a KooDo mall kiosk in St. John, the next city along the route we would be taking tomorrow to Blomidon State Park in Nova Scotia. So we decided to wait a day to get navigation and phone calling.
The liquor store had a very good selection of wine but a dismal micro beer choice. Lots and lots of the “big name” American beers, in cases and pallets. And a moderate choice of imports (Stella Artois, Heineken, Fosters), and of course, Molson’s — but nearly nothing from American or Canadian micro breweries.
I got what I could (Goose Island IPA) and we carried on to New River Beach Provincial (State) Park, along Rt. 1 near the Passamaquoddy Bay, off the Bay of Fundy.
Lots of water along the way, and we really loved our campsite (#12) and the amenities (electric only, but great bathhouses and really delicious water). The entire place was surrounded by fragrant fir trees and mosses on the ground, heritage rose bushes and sea-side grasses. Even though there were lots of people there, we felt nicely private.
We hiked down to the beach, across a small road from the camping area, even though the fog had rolled in and socked in the entire view. Got the Bay of Fundy tide times, and I wet my feet in the Canadian waters.
Sitting back at camp we were scolded by a wee fiesty red squirrel, eating pine cones on his “picnic bench” about Roomba roof level in a nearby tree.