Road Report #20 – Maine and New Brunswick

Monday, May 28th I set off from my aunt’s cottage in Amenia, NY to Portland, ME.  Arrived late in the afternoon and immediately set out with Roo to explore downtown Portland, ME.  Found lobster rolls, beer and live music down on the water front.  My kind of town!  Liked this city.  Small, industrial, historic, happening water front.  Clearly a vibrant music and restaurant scene.  I would love to come back for a few days with some friends and just eat my way through that town.

After 2 days of kicking it around Portland with Roo, I set off for Bar Harbor, ME.  Along the way stopped to check out the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay.  WOW!  This place was incredible.  Beautiful landscaping and interesting plant material as well as neat art installations. Thought the kinetic wind sculpture titled Wind Orchid by George Sherwood was absolutely marvelous.

Spent 2 nights camping outside of Bar Harbor.  Had a great campsite with a beautiful view from which to enjoy the sunset.  Checked out two more gardens, the Ascitou and Thuya gardens. Ate more lobster. Super dog friendly place.  Roo was even able to come along on a nature boat tour.

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Sunset view from Bar Harbor Campground.
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Harbor seals relaxing in the sun.

Friday, June 1st I pushed off from Bar Harbor, ME and was glad of my timing.  That morning a cruise ship had anchored just off shore and was shuttling passengers into town and the traffic coming on to the island was already getting heavy.     I was headed to the Roosevelt Campobello International Park in New Brunswick, Canada but before I crossed the border, as I was passing through Machias, ME, I spied the Schnitzel Wagon and screeched to a halt to check out this little road side gem.  If I ever try my hand at a food truck I’m knocking off this concept.

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Early afternoon I crossed over the US/Canada border into the park and Roo and I spent that afternoon checking out the island.  Had a fantastic beach side campsite and Herring Provincial Park. Night and day difference to Bar Harbor, ME.  Sleepy sleepy island and hardly anyone around.

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Herring Cove on Campobello Island

Saturday, June 2nd,  I crossed back into the US and made my way north along the Maine Coast.  Stopped in Eastport, ME to poke around.  Cute historic town but oh so very quiet.

 Stopped at the St. Croix Island National Historic Park.   Had a great chat with the Park Ranger about the history of the area and life in northeast Maine.  Crossed back into Canada at Calais and made my way to New River Provincial State Park.  Nice beach but not a great camping experience.  My neighboring campers were not the most respectful and I had to have a confrontation with them at 11:30 pm when they started chopping wood.

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Lepreau Falls along the drive to Saint John.

Sunday, June 3rd, I drove on to Saint John, New Brunswick where I was to catch the ferry to Digby, Nova Scotia that afternoon.  I had just a little time to poke around Saint John but it seemed like a cool town.  Nice historic downtown, nice waterfront.  I stumbled upon a farmers market in a downtown park and it had a nice, laid back vibe and super good international food offerings.  Best falafel I’ve had in ages.  Checked out Reversing Falls where the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River collide, creating some fierce currents and whirlpools.  

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View of Saint John, New Brunswick from Reversing Falls

At 1pm Roo and I drove onto the ferry, bound for Nova Scotia.   Can’t wait!  Already met some folks who have given me travel tips and offered me places to stay.  I think Nova Scotia is going to be fabulous.  Stay tuned!

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