Monday, October 25, 2021

Think About It...

When you grow up and you are still living with your parents, you never think about what life will have in store for you. You hardly have an idea of what you want to become later in life. And you certainly never think about what your life will be like when you turn 40, 50, 60 or 70.....or even 80! This lack of thinking makes you feel free as a bird. You live for the day and you live in the now. It is the blessing of being young. 

For most people this all changes with the years passing by. More and more you become aware of the past, or your goals in life, and later, much later, you catch yourself spending time, often endless time, with remembering. You remember the highlights but also the bad times of your life. You think of all the stupid mistakes you made, all the stupid things you said. And if you have aged with grace, you realize which people you really love because of their personality. You appreciate good friends you can hang out with, chatting or having a drink with. You are now beyond your retirement date and you wake up in the morning and no alarm clock will remind you of going to work. Another full day awaits you and like an artist you can form the day to what ever and how ever you want it to be. And before you have your breakfast you think of things you would like to do that day. Continue reading that book or go out with the dog? You can paint a picture or you paint your garage door. You might have developed a retirement age routine. This frame of your life is something you are happy with. And when evening comes, you listen to your favorite music or watch TV, or you think about your travels you have done - and still want to do. 

Your heart is full and you will sleep well until another day will wake you up.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Holy Smokes, We Are Getting Really Excited

 Counting the days to our snowbird departure, we got really busy. The first order was to prepare our tow-van for the job ahead. 4 rows of bus seats had to be removed to make room for building a stow area for all the stuff we would never get into our 32ft trailer. Honestly, I don't have a clou how people travel for several months in a Class B or just a van. 

So with the seats removed I built a 20" tall box measuring 70" in length over the full width of the van. The rear has an open area for our generator and a few other things plus 3 drawers filled with tools and utensils. On top of the box we have a mattress which can be used as a bed in an emergency, should we have to leave the trailer behind for a couple of days. Between the storage and the front seats there is plenty space for Dixie and her bed. Due to the seat mounting rails the floor of the van is somewhat uneven, so I covered it with plywood. Despite our stuff and the box in the van, the vehicle is now weighing less than with all the seats mounted. The remodeling kept me busy for 2 days. 

We are also still carrying items over to the trailer. Besides of clothing for both warm and colder weather, I also went through our music collection of CDs. Can't live without music!

Our Weber BBQ is going to get a quick connect, so we can hook it up to the BBQ propane hose on the side of the trailer.

The solar panels have been safely mounted on the roof and sending their combined 600 Watts into our deep-cycle batteries out front. This I had done over a month ago and it has kept the batteries at full charge. A 3000W inverter takes that charge and provides 110W AC without us even having to run the generator. Quiet camping at its best!

The last evenings have been filled with plotting the best route and finding overnight stays along the road. From Lowe's via Walmart parking to Camping World, a State Park and BLM-camps, everything is possible. In the past we have stayed in truck stops but don't like them very much. The noise there can keep you awake more than you'd like. Good online helpers have been Google maps and the Campendium website. Campendium shows links to various kind of overnight possibilities and is seemingly covering the entire US. What I really appreciate with the Google maps are the street views. You can scout out parking areas at the big-box stores or even the next exit. 

Before reaching the open plains, I like to stay close to the highway without making big detours. So much faster to get back on the road in the morning when you want to beat rush hour around the big busy areas. Once we are over in the midwest, traffic lessens and we can relax and also look for places some miles off the beaten path. Some folks like to choose a route off the Interstates, and that might be scenic, but having our destination far ahead out west, I think our fuel mileage will be better keeping a steady pace rather than having to grind our way through umpteen little towns and villages. Besides, we have heard horror stories about local law enforcement being eager to stop out-of state vehicles crossing through their jurisdiction. 

So, it looks like the route is about 5250kms (3280miles) long. Yeah, it's a major road trip and it has us very excited. Just thinking of running down the road through the seemingly never-ending band of highway is plain fascinating. 

Tomorrow the 24th, it will be just 18 more days. 


    Beach Grass and a dog-meet on the beach
But while we are waiting for the border to open, we are still enjoying walks on the island, now with full fall colours everywhere.

Friday, October 15, 2021

What To DO? And What An Adventure!

 OK, the cat is out of the sack! The date for Canadians to swamp the US is November 8. Today Bea has started to carry stuff out to the trailer. Rather do it now, than on the last 2 days, when we would forget half of it.

One of the questions I am dealing with right now is what road-assistance company to choose. A coupla years back I had a personal war going on with the CAA, so I am reluctant to sign up with them again. So I had been thinking of Good Sam. But then I read their FB-reviews and I am shocked, to put it mildly, about all the people having had bad experiences with that company, Does anybody out there have a good advice for a good company we can deal with? If so, pls. comment down below.

I am getting glad and happy messages from fellow RVers about their plans going south for the winter. So everybody is really excited. So are also local businesses south of the border, who are eying their Canadian customers returning for shopping, And Christmas is not far off!!!

And while the world seems to return to normal, Covid-19 finally made it to our island. A single unvaccinated person brought is over from the US and spread it first to her 4 kids, then the school and then exposing her church congregation to the virus. How stupid is it possible to be? We got around 20 active cases for less than 800 people and there's gotta be a hundred people currently self-isolating. What a shame. Thankfully, the total number of cases in the US is on the way down. Maybe by November there is real light in the tunnel.

Meanwhile I am still enjoying early-morning walks with Dixie along the Bay of Fundy.

And the other day we got ourselves a little excitement on the beach.

The first glimpse I got was a dark spot in the beach. I was still far away from it but when I came closer I saw hundreds of cormorants sitting along the water's edge.

Overnighters, maybe. At least they had been sitting there as long as the low tide lasted. Dixie was ahead of me and had also seen the Cormorants, and she approached them slowly. As soon as the birds realized the dog they started in groups into the water. 

And before I knew it they were either flying off or just walking into the sea. There was hundreds and hundreds of them. The sun was throwing a stark reflection off of the water and I took a few shots towards the Herring weir and the anchored fishing vessel out there.

Then I heard a splash close to shore. I saw it before it was gone again. A seal had jumped and caught a fish. 

That sure also alerted Dixie. Dixie is extremely afraid of the water, so she was just standing along the water's edge scanning the surface of the water. 

Where are you?
Aah... I can see you:
And there the seal appeared again, just 20yrds from land. Dixie was now staring at it, and wouldn't you know it, the seal was looking at Dixie. As we proceeded our walk along the beach, the seal popped up again both here and there and Dixie was always running back and forth following the movements of the seal. It was fascinating to watch the two so different animals.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Trip To The Golf Course

 I must admit, the headline of this posting could imply something that is not true. So no, I have not taken up chasing a stupid little ball down the green of a golf course. That would be utter nonsense, as I despise all ball games, and that includes golf. Besides, it's the middle of October and the golf course is closed, which is exactly the reason why I have started using it for hikes with Dixie. And just like the previous 12 days, the weather was flawless. Pure utter sunshine out of a cloudless blue sky is just what I love so much in October. Actually it has been downright hot many days, having me pulling out my shorts again. 

A great place to walk your dog around here is indeed the golf course. Just look at today's photos and you could start nodding your head.

 We got gorgeous fall colours on the island. 

Before my delightful afternoon walk, I had the pleasure of touring a few friends around the island. And nothing is more rewarding than doing this on a clear sunny day. So, it was a great day for everyone.

In a few days we might hear news from the US-Government regarding the opening of the border. If it's gonna happen we will finally be able to plan our stay down south. Aah, how I am looking forward to this.

UPDATE This morning breaking news: The US border will be open for vaccinated Canadians and Canadian residents from the beginning of November!!!!!

      I love it when daddy goes to the golf course with me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Oh It Is Still Very Nice

 The, "Golden October" is over us, no doubt and yes, day temps have gone a level lower, but are still in the 15-16C (mid-sixties) range which suits me very well. And we are enjoying a week with a lot of sun.

Now, that the campground is closed and no tourists around on the beach, I drive down to Herring Cove Beach every morning and enjoy leisurely walks along the water's edge. The other day I came across a congregation of literally hundreds of cormorants, which obviously, had spent the night on the beach. When they started taking to the water I turned around. Didn't want to disturb the bunch.

The next morning they were still in the same spot, but today they were gone. While some are staying over winter, the majority is migrating further south. 

Today, I had a different and much smaller bird encounter. At first, I could not even see them, as the tiny sandpipers have a near perfect camoflage. 

They are mostly in groups of 10-20 birds and I could approach them to approx. 10ft. before they would fly off, just to settle again 50yrds farther away. Dixie has no interest in birds and seems to be oblivious of them. She probably learned early on that birds have a nasty habit of flying away before she can reach them, so being the smart dog she is, she couldn't care less.

Dixie is now a little over 4yrs. old and has grown into a sizable mature dog, but now and then she surprises us with some sudden outbursts of juvenile energy. So one morning we walk along the beach and suddenly she is throwing her body around starting a wild chase in circles, for so suddenly to halt again for digging a big hole in the sand. She is an unbelievable funny dog and knows how to play us around her daily schedule. She also knows what kind of people she wants to be friends with, while she avoids others or even exhibits a pronounced unfriendly behavior. Of course, it could have been a coincidence, but one day we had met a man, we know is a trumpist. Instead of checking him out as she normally would do with strangers, she avoided the meeting entirely and went a different way.  Fabulous!

It is also very good to take her along on hikes through the woods, as we still have a couple of bears on the island. Undoubtedly, she would give us an early warning if she could sense the presence of a bear.

The other evening, she seemed to be a bit restless, as she circled our coffee table over and over again. In order to occupy her I said "Where is your toy?" and she went straight to her bed where she picked up her stuffed red dog and held it up for me. Seems like she understands a lot of what we are saying.

I can't even begin to imagine how I could live without a dog and Dixie especially.

Thanks for stopping by again.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Holy Moly - OCTOBER And I Got The Hitch-Itch

 When I looked into my blog today, I had to laugh. During the month of September I just managed to put one post into the blog. And all-of-a-sudden it is October. Holy moly! 

September was a great month though, We enjoyed summer-warm days, spending lots of time outside taking great hikes with Dixie and even more tourists came to see the island. Mind you not too many Americans showed up. There were just too many hoops to pass through for day-visitors. The vaccination wasn't the main obstacle, (of course we have to ask for that at the border) but obtaining the negative Covid test within 72hrs of crossing into Canada turned out to be the bigger problem. The labs got overwhelmed and results could not be delivered within the set time frame. 

Let's hope that this recent Covid disaster with the Delta variant is gonna be the last one of this pandemic. Everybody wants to return to their normal life.

Speaking of normal, we sure hope that the US government will finally open the border for Canadians. Because I have gotten the hitch-itch. I have even had one night in the trailer already - if so for a special reason. One day I had a sore throat followed by a developing cough and slight headaches. Needless to say, I got worried. Did I got a break-through Covid infection? Should I get tested? 

I decided that a Covid test would be good, so I called the medical center in Lubec and got in the same day. A PCR-test might not be the experience you want to have, as they stick that pin into the upper portion of your nose, but it was over within seconds.

About 35hrs later I got a call. The result of the test was negative. Thank God it was negative. I had gotten a regular old-fashioned cold, which I actually haven't had for years. Another couple of days later I was my usual self again. 

But having spent a night in the trailer, I got really hitch-itchy. And I pulled out the big McNally map book to ponder over a route to the south-west. I would like to avoid Texas as the state recently has lost all of my goodwill. So we will see what route we will be ending up with.

Of course, we are wondering who of our old RV-friends will be going south this winter and who we will meet. We already know that many have given up traveling south, and the reasons can be many, from health concerns to financial worries. We will not be using regular RV-Parks but generally try to stay far away from the crowds. And we hope that the current Covid wave will subside towards the winter, but the most important thing is that the border will open up to Canadian snowbirds. It has never made any sense that we could fly to the US but not drive. This senseless rule has made people to invent some strange ways of traveling. 

As I am the harbour master here on Campobello I recently met a fellow from Nova Scotia who wanted to dock his boat in my harbour only to get it transported over to Eastport/Maine. He himself was headed to the next airport in St.John to catch a flight to Montreal, from where he would continue to Chicago, from where he would fly to Bangor, Maine. From there he would travel by rental car to Bangor,ME to get back on his boat which he had plans to sail down the US coast. Eastport,ME is exactly 1(one)mile from Campobello Island. But he was not allowed to enter the US in Eastport, so he had to fly all around to the US to continue his journey. While he wouldn't have gotten into contact with any people. had he been able to stay on his sailboat, he now has met hundreds of people during his various flights and by crossing through busy airports. I would just love to hear a reasonable explanation of this truly crazy US border crossing restriction. When Canada closed its borders, it was for land crossings and shortly after for air passengers as well, while the US kept borders open for airtravel during the entire pandemic.

Well, let's not end this on a bad note. I have some pretty nice photo shots from around Campobello, which I have added below.

             The Head Harbour Lightstation
       Below: At the Roosevelt floating dock
       Below: View from "Raccoon Beach" 

        Visiting yachts at Welshpool Landing

                   Evening on the wharf
          The big Root at Herring Cove
                     Apple Harvest
           Lonely house on Indian Island
                  Sunset from the harbour

Thanks for stopping by again and there will be more shortly.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Uih --- September Already, But Is Summer over?

 It's the Labour Day weekend already and I can't but wonder where did the summer go? Well, no it's not snowing or anything yet, but by golly, the temps have been creeping downwards with this morning showing 10C and a cold northerly wind blowing down the beach, making me don a sweater and a warm jacket. Beautiful sunny day and clear views across the Bay of Fundy over to Grand Manan. 

Yellow flowers growing along the edge of the beach. The fresh fallish air feels invigorating and I notices the same also with Dixie. 

September and Labour Day has been marking the end of summer for so many people every year. Cabins are being closed up, campers are going to be parked for the winter. The good thing here on Campobello is that it'll still be another month until we see the beginning of a change of colours in the woods.

For me this is the time to reflect about what we have done and achieved over the last 3 months.

The first big project was the insulating of 2 walls of our house. It was a project that kept me busy much longer than first expected. Strangely, I got a lasting memory of it as I noticed a pronounced pain in my left hip. Did I labour too hard? Did I sprain a muscle? I don't know, but I am still bothered with it from time to time, and it reminds me daily of my age going onto the 7th decade. Geez.......

But we did take a break from work when we hitched on the trailer and went over to Grand Manan. It proved to be a very delightful camping trip.

Being back to the island, our tour and rental business came back to life. The first guests arrived in late June and from there it has just been picking up. 

July and August were hot and often humid, but the weather was good for our garden where Bea had tomato plants growing. Also cucumbers, squash and peppers have been doing great in our greenhouse. 

Most recently we have been harvesting tomatoes a pound daily. Eventually we gave away to friends and neighbours. Bea even made an attempt with a farm stand in the local saturday market. 

Most delightful were my morning walks with Dixie along the beach. We listened to the singing of the grey seals who had chosen to use the area for the many rocks sticking up from the water under low tide. Some were always lounging in the morning sun, while others were busy prowling the waters for something edible.

Some days it was extremely foggy, others were full of delightful sunshine.

Identical views from clear weather to extreme fog

One day a guest had the most memorable experience while visiting Raccoon Beach. He was the only tour guest that day and had paid for two, which is our minimum. We had walked down the stairs to the beach when he asked me for 15 extra minutes on that beach. He told me he was up for a swim!!! From the van he fetched water shoes, and a towel and went into the cold water (14C) While I was watching from the top of the stairs he was plunging and splashing in the water like any kid. But then suddenly he got out and was standing on the shore staring out into the water. After a minute or two he went back in and by the time he was done, he had been out there 10 minutes flat. When he came up the stairs again I asked him why he had been out of the water briefly. His explanation made me smile. He had seen a black head stick up from the water looking at him with interest. The grey seal who had looked at him must have scared him, as he had heard stories of great white sharks prowling the bay. 

I love my job! 

From one of the island gardens Bea brought a load of plums home. And what she made of it was a heavenly delicious German-style plum cake. A feast not only for the eyes but especially for the taste buds. Man, I had a hard time to stop eating.

So, when summer and autumn comes to an end and Christmas will be only a month away, we have plans to travel to see the old stomping grounds of the south-western deserts. There will be only a few of our friends we once have been hanging out with, but we will make new friends and enjoy the warmer days, while snow showers will come down on our home up north. 

A broken Adirondeck plastic chair sitting in the beach grass