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1997 Travel Log #3 - June 30 to July 20

Fort Kent, Maine pictures not developed in time for Travel Log #2

Monday June 30

I repacked my computer, etc. in the original boxes for traveling and checked out of the Motel at 10:55 AM with 5 minutes to spare (checkout time is 11 AM). I headed south on US Hwy. #1 to Passamaquoddy in the south-east corner of Maine! If you saw the movie "Pete's Dragon", it's about a boy and his invisible dragon near Bar Harbor in the town of `Passamaquoddy'. Now you can see how I plan my travels... Actually, there is no town. It's a bay named after the Passamaquoddy Indians. Sunset and Indian Sign near Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine

I then crossed the border into Canada for the 3rd time: New Brunswick was the providence and Atlantic was the time zone (ADT - Atlantic Daylight Time) so I set my clock (in the pickup, I don't wear a watch) one hour later. I stayed at Smith's Motel in Pennfield, NB on Hwy. #1.

Tuesday July 1

Still traveling east today, I stopped briefly to see the `Reversing Rapids' in St. John, NB. At this point along the Bay of Fundy the tides are only about 30 feet but the river is half way between high and low tide so the direction of its flow actually changes noticeably four times a day. There are large rocks in places that cause the rapids, hence, the rapids are toward the land during rising tides and toward the ocean (Bay of Fundy) during falling tides.

The Rocks

I wanted to convert some traveler's check to Canadian money but July 1 is `Canada Day' and the banks were closed. You get a much fairer exchange rate at banks then at merchants. I headed for `The Rocks'. My AAA Quarterly had a brief description and a small photo which caused me to seek out this scenic wonder. I got there near low tide so I was able to walk along the shore. A Park Ranger suggested taking pictures in the morning when the sun would highlight the colors of the rocks and red mud (bottom), and such. Today's tide was ~40'. During spring tides (once a month when the moon and sun are properly aligned) the tides can reach 47-48' at this location.

I camped the night at the Pine Ridge campground north of Moncton, the big city north of `The Rocks'. There was a mild rain falling which ended by morning.

Wednesday July 2

My notes say "too many mosquito's and bugs". I checked my travel funds. At my average rate of consuming money, the traveler's checks and cash I have on me should last until September 10. Then I'll need to draw money from my checking account. All's well. I converted $300 in traveler's checks at the Bank of Montreal and got back $407.76 in Canadian dollars. Wow, that's neat!

I stopped at Magnetic Hill. Cars actually roll uphill. You pay $2, drive down a slight grade, stop your car, foot off of the brake and you vehicle actually rolls back up to the top. Boy, I must check this out. I then went back to `The Rocks'.

Thursday July 3

I camped last night at the nearest campground to `The Rocks' [It was also the most expensive tent site of the whole trip, so far - $20]. In the morning I took high tide picture's and movies. Then I headed back into town (Moncton) to eat at Wendy's, to get 3 roll's of film developed, to get special batteries for the back on my Nikon camera (it's intelligent), and to buy a beach ball to test Magnetic Hill. High and low tide pictures from the observation platform at "The Rocks"

Boy, they got me. Magnetic Hill is an illusion. A natural one that dates back over a 100 years but it's really just natural landscaping that gives the impression the up is down. Wow, was I embarrassed!!! You see, I believe in magnetic anomalies around the globe and I though I had found one. Shit! But, it's better to be embarrassed then not to be curious or inquisitive.

The Fossile Cliffs at Joggins, NS

After photographing the railroad museum train and snow plow south of Moncton, I headed for Nova Scotia via highways. Last month was the grand opening of a bridge to PEI: Prince Edward Island. Prior to the bridge the only way was by ferry. But I had been to PEI before so I skipped it. I hadn't been to the fossil cliffs, Advocate Harbor, or Cape D'or in Nova Scotia before so that was today's destination.

In Joggins, NS, where the fossils cliffs are, I couldn't find any fossils on my own but a `local' (person who lives here) showed me a small portion of a tree trunk turned to stone in the cliff. In this location only plants and trees were to be found; no critters turned to stone.

Advocate Harbor

I headed for Advocate Harbor. I just love driving and the roads here are 2-lane blacktop with very little traffic. As I drive I listen to my tapes (I brought 120 100-minute cassettes) and ponders the wonders of life. Sometimes I think the driving is the best part of the whole trip.

I put my tent up at the Fundy Tides campground in strong winds. In fact, I used the tent stakes and parked my truck so as to block the wind from blowing over the tent. The tent I bought is a small domed affair with fiberglass rods to support the nylon material. It's free-standing but light. I normally don't stake it down. Advocate Harbor picture

Friday July 4

The 4th of July! But I'm in Canada so no U.S. celebration. It rained much of the night but I stayed dry and it had stopped be the time I got up. I took a long walk (3 miles each way) along the `beach' to the mouth of Advocate Harbor. `Beach' in quotes because there is no sand, only gravel. I stayed another night at Fundy Tides campground.

I made 5 phone calls to 5 different family members but all I got was answering machines, no people.

Saturday July 5

Last night was a cooler windy night and it had rained in the early morning but everything was dry by the time I packed up and headed out.

Cape D'or

Next stop Cape D'or (pronounced `door') and the lighthouse there. Had lunch at the lighthouse keeper's kitchen. Cape D'or photo.

Parrsboro, NS - Day 1

Then on to Parrsboro, NS, my favorite Fundy photo spot. I put up my tent at the municipal campground about 5 miles out of town. I had stayed there before: cheap and convenient. I made a big camp fire and stayed up long enough to watch it all but burn out. Each campground has it's own personality. Here in Parrsboro I was in the trees, isolated and plenty of natural firewood all around. Back at Fundy Tides there wasn't a tree within walking distance of any camp site. You had to bring or buy firewood.

Sunday July 6

A goof-off day. Not many pictures. Drove around the area. Got lazy, etc.

Parrsboro, NS - Day 3

Monday July 7

This is the day I chose to setup my tripod and wait through one whole tide change - 6 hours. I started at high tide, set my camera back to print the time in the lower corner of each print (see why I got the special batteries a few days back?), and waited and waited and waited. Every 1/2 hour I would take 2 pictures: One at wide angle (28mm) and one at telephoto (70mm). Then I would do the same with the HandiCam but hand held. Eventually, I also changed lenses to get to 200mm, but I always left the camera body and tripod exactly in the same spot. Well, after 4 hours the tide was totally gone from view so why take more pictures? I didn't. It had gone out more than 1 1/2 miles from where I was and it still had 2 hours more to go. 28mm Animated   70mm Animated

Why not chase it? So I moved to a spot out past the lighthouse. Got some neat pictures of the channel markers laying on the bottom (green marker, red marker, of boats sitting on the bottom, and of a lighthouse far from shore.

Money review: In 5 days I spent $233 and very little driving. That's about $46.60 per day in Canadian funds ($34.52 in US funds). Looking back at my notes, I must have been worried (about money) because there's a comment -- "What's the big deal?" Remember, I have no income so this fun-in-the-sun travel-thing can't last forever. Glooscap Indian by the Chamber of Commerce

Three new pictures - well, old pictures, but added much later. 1) Whenever I'd leave the campground and head for town, I'd come to a place where the road turned towards the Bay of Fundy and was downhill to boot. After several times of this, I decided to catch both a high-tide and low-tide picture from this vantage point. I call it "Two Poles High" and "Two Poles Low" because I used the 2 telephone poles as a reference to line the shots up (taken many hours apart).

2) Many tidal locations have what's called a tide clock. It has special timing and markings matched to the 6 1/4-hour tide cycle. Parrsboro is no exception so I photographed the Tide Clock near the pier.

3) Speaking of the Parrsboro pier, they put red posts along the pier to tie-off boat lines. These red posts don't move so I used one of them as a fixed reference to take 3 successive tide shots from the vantage point on top of the pier. High , Medium , and Low Tide

Parrsboro web page.

Newfoundland - One

I'm done with the Bay of Fundy [for now] so I made a beeline to Sidney (Nova Scotia, not Australia) and the ferry to Newfoundland. I made it by 9 PM but I had to camp. Motel rooms were mostly `No Vacancy' and very expensive.

Tuesday July 8

In the night last night I started feeling sick. I still did in the morning. I only ate once yesterday plus an ice cream cone, pretzels and chips with warm coke. That shouldn't do it. Sick = disease = DIS-EASE - I'm worried about money? or getting my mail? or that I'm not facing something! I got sick right after my shower. Luckily, I made it to the toilet.

I had time to kill before the 4 PM ferry to Nfld. so I got an oil change, filter, and chassis lube at Wal-Mart. It's the first one in 3 1/2 years that I didn't do myself but they let me supervise and `my baby' was ready for another x miles. Then I did my laundry still feeling woozy. As I put my clean things in the truck I started throwing up again then the dry heaves. I was worried that I might have to take myself to a hospital. Then I remembered the new age/new energy technique I'm learning called `co-creation'. I tried it and I immediately stopped choking and carrying on then and there in the Laundromat parking lot. I got in and drove away, not feeling quite 100%, but WOW!

The ferry took about 5 1/2 hours to cross the Atlantic to Nfld. I rented a cabin near Doyles and took Nyquil before going to bed.

Wednesday July 9

I took a look at the 5 rolls of picture's that I got developed yesterday at Wal-Mart while my oil was being changed. There were some really good ones. Now, Newfoundland is on Atlantic time plus 1/2 hour. It is one of the few 1/2 hour time zones in the world. I decided not to reset my clock. I would just add 1/2 and hour each time I looked at the clock. At 9:50 ADT and 10:20 Nfld. DT I was packed and ready to go.

Thursday July 10

By now I had covered more than 5,700 miles plus 2 ferry crossings. [I'm typing this on August 9 in Idaho Falls, ID. That time in Nfld. seems so long ago. But I remember the details and I have the trip notes that I write every morning and sometimes later in the day. I record the mileage and time in the morning every morning plus some comments about the day before or the current day. I leave a lot out. These Web-Page trip reports contain much more detail plus links to pictures.]

I stayed 2 nights at the Ocean Acre B&B in Rocky Harbour on Newfoundland's North-West coast in Gros Morne National Park.

For today's hike, I loaded up my backpack with cameras, fruit, water, spare shoes, and a raincoat and set out to walk up Gros Morne, the 2nd highest mountain in Nfld. It took about 8 hours to go 15 km (~10 miles) round trip. My notes contain insights and enlightenment that I experience but these are personal so I rarely include them here. This was a particularly beneficial learning experience here. I did run into patches of melting snow - outside on the ground. We don't have that where I used to live in Florida so I was excited. It's been a while since I've seen snow. Picture from the top

Friday July 11

Today I was to take a boat trip into a fjord but fog canceled the trip. I did see some Flowers along the trail to the boat dock. So I headed up to the tip on the North-West shore. I took a nap (and some pictures) of `The Arches' Provincial Park. I made it to L'Anse aux Meadows where there is a Canadian National Historical Site - The Vikings landed and lived here about 1000 years ago. The first Europeans in North America. I was impressed with what I saw and learned there.

I proceeded up to St. Anthony and had one of the best baby-back rib dinners I ever had. It was at the Lighthouse Kitchen at the point just south of the city. Icebergs Then I made the long drive back the way I had come and camped for the night.

Saturday July 12

6,100+ miles and the interesting notes below were typed verbatim from my notebook so they may be a little hard reading:

Great Luck, he he he - more skill at impromptu. 1) made it back to the Irving station with the lowest price on island (66.5 c/l), 2) found a campground that was at the right spot at the right time !11:30 PM NFLD., 3) campground was cheapest of whole trip so far $7 [Cdn]. Paid morning after (this morning), 4) rain woke me up but I was sleepy so I went back to sleep several times - by the time I was ready, the rain stopped and I was able to repack tent, S-bag, etc. all nearly dry. - These notes made later at `The Arches' Prov. Pk. I feel good.

Item 1 above. Gas stations are few and far between but I wanted to get the cheapest price. I keep a separate log book in my truck at all times and it shows 478.5 miles on the tank when I filled up late at night at the Irving station. The fuel gauge needle was not near the 'FULL' position, trust me. But I wasn't about to run out, I still had a little over 4 gallons in the tank. All of the Canadian fillups are in liters and Canadian prices. Later, I dig out my trusty HEX-calculator and convert liters to US gallons and Canadian dollars to US dollars.

For example, the entry for that fillup was -- Fri 7/11/97 ~10:05 PM ADT, 060,297.6 miles, 478.5 T. Odo, $40.00 CDN, 60.15 liters, 66.5 c/l, Irving near Port au Croix. Then in red ink added later: $29.63 US, 15.89 gal, and 30.11 mpg.

You had to be there to get the feeling "am I going to make it?". Boy, was I glad I was alone and didn't have to deal with the fears of others. [You're gonna run outta gas! Why didn't you stop sooner? Blah, blah, blah.] Seriously, neither of my wives were that way and I'm forever grateful.

Newfoundland - Two

I then headed East across Newfoundland.

Sunday July 13

Camped last night in Terra Nova National Park. Familiesville [read `kids, noise, etc.'] - a real opportunity for me to practice love and tolerance. In the morning I straightened out the cab of the truck and cleaned the windshield. I then headed to Bonavista, the landing spot of John Cabot, the discoverer of the "New Founde Lande" for England 500 years ago on June 24, 1497. Celebrations were being held all over the island and a replica of his ship, the Matthew, was making ports of calls at all major towns and cities in Newfoundland this summer.

At Bonavista there was also a restored historic lighthouse dating back to the mid 1800's there and a monument to John Cabot.

Next stop, St. John's and Cape Spear. Fog was just rolling in off of the ocean when I arrived. Gorgeous. Cape Spear is the eastern most point in North America. [If you don't count Alaska. Part of the Aleutian Islands are in the Eastern Hemisphere - a little trivia for you!]

There was heavy cold rain and I was tired so I stayed in a motel that night. The most expensive one to date, but worth it.

On Signal Hill just outside of St. John's is Cabot Tower. Marconi sent the first trans-Atlantic radio message from Cabot Tower in 1901 using mostly Nikola Tesla designs. Marconi's radio patent(s) were later overturned in the US in 1943.

Good stuff in the book I'm reading: Kryon Book III - "Alchemy oh The Human Spirit" (A guide to human transition into the New Age).

Monday July 14

Hung around St. John's most of the day. Got picture's developed at Wal-Mart. It's a lot cheaper in Canada for one-hour photo. Typically, a 24 exposure, 35mm roll of film cost $5.99 Canadian to get developed. Divide by the 35% exchange rate and walla, $4.44 US per roll. Almost everything else is higher in Canada. When you convert liters to gallons and do the exchange rate, gas prices are really $1.51 to $2.04 per gallon and I always get the cheapest. If you buy name brands and/or premium gas it costs even more.

New money evaluation: $410 in 12 days = $34 per day. Should last until Sept. 16. All's OK.

I called the daughter that's forwarding my mail. While I'm here in Canada, I won't take a chance on delays with customs, delays with 2 countries mail methods, and my impromptu travel plans. So I asked Deirdre to pick through my mail, opening some, and tossing others.

Tuesday July 15

Now I've covered over 7,100 miles. It rained last night and the tent leaked a bit. A lot of things are wet or damp. I then covered a lot of miles getting from St. John's to a campground near the Labrador ferry.

Oh Oh, much bad language in my note's. rain, wet, mosquito's, pant's falling down as I pack up the camping stuff. An enlightened person knows they create there own reality - ALL OF IT. I must have known this then because my notes included the phrase "A Test!" I sat in my truck in the rain and re-organized the cab of the truck.

[Observation added at the keyboard on August 9 - By July 15, I had been traveling about 40 days and this is the first time I had to take down the tent in the rain. While it had rained previously, by morning everything was dry. Further, as of this typing on August 9, July 15 is still the only night camping marred by rain at a inconvenient time. I'm truly blessed with incredible weather! There are no accidents. We create our own reality.]

Pictures taken along the way include icebergs, lupins, and a panorama of the town of Gambo taken from Joey's Lookout to give you an idea of how pretty it is in Newfoundland.

I headed for Lewisport and the 36-hour ferry to Goose Bay, Labrador which leaves at 4 PM. I was asked to be there by 2 PM. At 1:30 as I was eating lunch, the waitress asked if I listened to the news last night. Ha ha ha. Even in my own country, in my own home, etc. I don't listen to the news. How would I find the one radio station that serves Lewisport, turn my truck radio on at the right time, at hear news? Never - not ever, no!

The ferry was having mechanical difficulty as of last night and hasn't left Goose Bay yet. It's a 36 hour trip from when the repairs are complete. Not likely to be here in 2 hours nor 24 hours. What to do?

While I was waiting to get more information about the ferry situation, I went to Train Park.

Later, I called Marine Atlantic. They had fixed the problem with the ferry and they were in sea trials. I figured I would lose about 2 days and I was already feeling the time crunch if I was going to get to Hudson Bay (or James Bay, if I couldn't find a way to get to Hudson Bay) then on to Wyoming by August 1st. So I decided to go back the way I came - Take the ferry from Port aux Basques, Nfld. to North Sidney, NS.

I changed my reservation and drove 340 miles that afternoon in time to catch the 11:30 PM ferry. While I was in the terminal, I called AT&T and asked how much all my Canadian to US calls had been. Plus my Internet connection in Ft. Kent, Maine was long distance for 58 minutes. Well first, the good news. Internet call was just $12.xx. Then the bad news, the amount due was $227.99 plus $105 more since the bill was mailed for a total of $332.56. WOW. One month of long distance charges while traveling, mostly in Canada, was more than I wanted to spend. Now I'm an easy-come, easy-go spender BUT I have no income! Needless to say I cut down on my calls to friends and family.

Wednesday July 16

The ferry arrived around 5 AM. I drove west (finally) toward Blomidon, NS on the opposite side of the Bay of Fundy as Parrsboro. On the way, I stopped in New Glasgo to dry out the tent while I ate at Subway. I arrived at my favorite campground at `Look Off' point, high above the Bay of Fundy. I got a tent spot alone in the woods. A new site only a few weeks old. And experiment. Perfect, far from families and noise. I stayed 2 days and did nothing.

Thursday July 17

This was a time for reflection, reading, and listening to one of the tapes I brought about the New Age. My notes of this day contain insights and questions, analysis and opinions. Actually, far more daily notes than normal. I didn't move the truck at all today.

I did get a full body massage from a local woman who was doing some experiments with magnets. She demonstrated a sheet magnet, the kind refrigerator magnets are made of. While she didn't profess to study new age materials, she certainly covered a lot of topics I'm learning about. I asked her if she would like to read "Kryon Book I - The End Times". She said yes and I made a note to find a copy and send it to her. My other 2 loaner copies were already loaned out.

Friday July 18

It's not a far drive from Blomidon to Digby, NS where the ferry crosses the Bay of Fundy to St. John's, NB. I arrived by 7:30 AM (I broke camp at 5:51 AM) but the morning ferry left at 5 AM. The 1 PM ferry was sold out and I would have to be put on the `wait list' or wait until 8:30 PM for the night ferry. Wow, a whole day shot. Na, not with my luck. Only 4 cars from the `wait list' made the 1 PM ferry. I was #3. Had I not got there at 7:30 that morning, I would have been to far down the list. See, there are no accidents. I rented a cabin on the ferry, relaxed and slept. The 3 hour crossing went by quickly.

In St. John I looked for the Kryon book. The one bookstore that listed Lee Carroll's books could get me Kryon - Book IV but I would have to order it. Right, I'm passing through. So, I decided to look in the next big town I came to. I headed east to Maine.

I reached Bangor about 8:30 PM (EDT again). Now I would have to find a motel with all of the right qualifications. No, I don't care if it was/is a non-smoking room. Different qualifications: 1) Right price (under $40/night single), 2) phone in room (for Internet access), 3) 1st floor to haul all my boxes in, 4) room entrance next to parking space not a long hall way) and 5) OK with them to setup my stuff and logon. Of course I found it. You already got that E-mail, but not that night. I setup my PC, played some computer games and went to sleep. Ah, life's rough...

Saturday July 19

One of the reasons I brought a desktop PC instead of a laptop is money. I already owned a 200 MHz Pentium. But, the other 2 reasons is my 17" MAG Innovision monitor and slots. I have a PCI network card, an ISDN card, a video capture card, a SCSI card for my scanner, an internal modem, a PCI video card w/8MB RAM on it, and a Turtle Beach sound card. Until now, it didn't all quite work seemlessly. It seems my bus mouse used an interrupt needed by my SCSI/scanner card. So I set the scanner to IRQ10. If the SCSI card was installed when sound was active - crash. AOL uses sound. So up until now, I would install the SCSI card, scan the pictures, remove the card and log onto AOL.

Now I'm the wizard of PC's and I knew what to do. But having the right parts while traipsing around the US and Canada - that's another story. Weeks before, I bought a 9-pin to DIN adapter to move my mouse to COM1 thereby freeing up an interrupt above IRQ8. Well, I found it at Radio Shack but when I tried it, the sex was all wrong. (A lot like my sex life on the road [or anywhere else for that matter]!). So the quest for the correct 9-pin to DIN continued until? Gee, I don't remember just where I found it but it was in a small town in an unlikely store like office supplies. One of the employees just happened to be a PC nut and kept all sorts of odds and ends around for his customers - me!

In Bangor I got to try it. I moved the mouse from IRQ12 to IRQ4 (COM1 default). I then set the SCSI/scanner card from IRQ10 to IRQ12, and viola, it worked! Well, Windows 95 complained that a new device was added - the mouse. But I'm getting good at making Windows 95 accept my hardware configuration. I also run Windows-For-Workgroups. It finds the mouse, uses it, and goes on it's merry way. Why can't Windows 95 be that easy? Oh, I forgot. It's "Plug-N-Play". I connected up some speakers and I had a fully functional PC in Bangor, Maine for my last E-mail and newsletter.

I spent 18 hours today scanning pictures, updating my web pages, sending the E-mail, and doing the printed newsletter. I tried to speed up the printing by having all of the pictures on one side and just text on the other. This time instead of 3 hours per side or six hours total to print 57 newsletters it took 4 hours to print the picture side and, you guessed it, 2 hours to print the text side for 6 hours total for 59 newsletters.

Sunday July 20

I worked 4 more hours this morning for a total of 22 hours to keep you up to date. At this point, I've driven 8,100+ miles and have traveled for more than 45 days.

Newfoundland One web page Newfoundland Two web page