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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Finale And Potato Salad Blues

The pictures in this posting are still from White Head Island.





              Symbol of the island economy: Lobster traps.

We got home at 7pm and got busy unpacking the trailer. Strangely, unpacking the trailer goes much faster than packing it.

We had taken the ferry departing GM at 3:30pm arriving at 5pm at Blacks Harbour.

Border crossings went uneventful again and we were all happy to be home again, and may I especially mention Dixie. She must have had strange thoughts about the whole trip. Dixie is quite different than our Molly was. Generally, Dixie is more suspicious towards all new things. It takes quite some getting used to for her to thrive in new surroundings. 

Of course you want to know what the heck happened to the potato salad which, foolishly, was forgotten in the house fridge.

Well, it still was delicious. We warmed the BBQed sausages and got a great meal out of it.

When the clock turned 10:30pm I almost fell off of the couch. I barely made it onto my pillow before I slept. Old age is creeping up on me, it seems.

Monday, June 14, 2021

What? It is Supposed To Rain?

 When you are on vacation you want to have nice weather. Rain will ruin your days. For our trip to GM we have been very, very lucky. It wasn't hot (which I don't like) but it was sunny every day. 

However, studying the weather forecast we realized that rain was in the making for Tuesday. It would make for a miserable drive home and packing up would be no fun in the rain. Likewise arriving in rainy weather would be no good as all our gear would have to be moved back into the house.

So, we made a change of plan. This morning I called the ferry company and rescheduled our departure from June 15 to June 14. We still had most of the day in the campground and it was another sunny day.

But we didn't drive anywhere on GM. Bea took a walk with Dixie into the adjacent bird sanctuary, while I prepared the trailer for departure. And before leaving, I took Dixie on another walk down the boardwalk towards "Red Point". GM has again been an incredible experience for us. Will we go again? After 2 visits there we might opt for another place next time, but if we ever should have visitors,we'd be more than happy to show off this great Fundy Isle to them.

When we have breakfast outside we some times have a guest: Dixie always shows more interest for our food than for hers.



Oh Man, Look At That Hole

 Anyone who has traveled in North America has seen, or at least heard of a place called "Hole In The Wall". Obviously there are numerous places by that name. I have seen some of them but hadn't visited the one nearest to us - on Grand Manan. Here it is:

What it probably has in common with other holes in the wall, is that it poses a challenge to access it. The trail is darn steep and for older folks not easy to negotiate. But hey, we made it, even with Dixie ahead of us on the leash.

The other place we had on our bucket list for today was the "Swallow Tail Light House". It adorns the north end of GM and can only be reached over long concrete stairway, a nature trail and a long wooden bridge and walkway. It is unique in it's special location on top of a rocky outcropping. The tower is barduned down so it does not fly away in ferocious storms.






The lighthouse is one of the first things you see when approaching the island on the ferry. The tower started its service in 1860.

The last thing we visited today was the , in opposite end of GM. We had been here before in September 2020, but it's a place you would want to see again and again. 



The ruggedness of the south end can only be experienced when being there. Pictures won't tell the story of the 300ft steep cliffs ending in small secluded beaches or directly into the cold blue waters of the Bay of Fundy. All kind of seabirds are enjoying the remoteness of the area for nesting and finding their food. A true paradise of the roughest nature one can imagine.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

A Place To Forget The World

When visiting Grand Manan in September last year we "forgot" to take the ferry ride over to White Head Island. This time we were determined to correct this mistake.

So this morning we were at the ferry landing at Ingalls Head and we were lucky enough to arrive the second the ferry was ready to leave. In fact, they had the gate up already but seeing us, they lowered it again and we rolled aboard. Nice folks!


Arriving at White Head we were bound to drive every available mile on this island which has a population of 162. There are no stores, no cafes and no gas station.

Ferry running from Ingalls Head to White Head Island

The name White Head explains itself when one sees the white rocks sticking out everywhere.

First we were off to the south side. The paved road ends at a Jeep/ATV trail, and we parked the van there to continue on foot. At the outer point a lighthouse is sending its signals across the open ocean. It's called Long Point Light House Being light house enthusiasts, we had to see it up close. 

The trail is partially somewhat difficult to walk as it is filled with round stones and really rough. But we made it all the way to the tower. There was no information as to when it was built, and obviously it had been renovated with white metal panels.

The next cove over was even more beautiful as it features a huge sandy beach.
We didn't venture all the way out on it as Dixie was getting pretty thirsty. 


Being back at the van, we had our lunch sandwiches and coffee. Dixie was happy to be back on her comfy bed in the van. She is definitely not a long-trail hiking dog.

The beauty of this place led me to think that this island would be the best place to forget anything about the nastiness of world happenings. Yes, if you were looking for peace this would be the place to live.

After our lunch break we ventured on to see more of White Head. Thr oad side is dotted with neat small fisher family homes. And you would love the wild flowers along the roads. Lupines were everywhere!


Being the small island it is you can explore most of it in a half day, that is unless you do a lot of serious hiking. For us we lined up at the White Head Harbour shortly before 1pm and had the most beautiful ride back to Grand Manan. The entire day there was not a cloud around, yet it was not a hot day, which fits us just fine.

If you ever come into the vicinity, you should take the trip to White Head. The ferry ride is free and it is an experience you will never forget. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Oh What A Beautiful Morning.....

 When in our trailer, I sleep like a baby, and after yesterday's excitement I probably needed a good night's sleep more than usual.

I woke up when first daylight appeared, but fell asleep another time. Next time I opened my eyes I could see sunlight, and when I peeked through the window there was a blue sky and bright sun. 

Exactly what I needed.

While the little coffeemaker was gurgling on the counter, I took Dixie out for her morning trip.

Fresh smell of coffee was filling the rig and I plunked down with a good hot morning coffee.

Today we would just be lazy, not driving anywhere, but taking walks along the beautiful beach her at the Anchorage Prov. Park. A few more rigs would probably come for the weekend, but still not busy, which suits me fine.

A park worker appeared after breakfast with a little transport ATV. She stopped right ahead from us at the storage for firewood and started loading up heaps of it. I went over to her asking about the office hour. She surprised me with a big smile and a cheery hello, saying she was so happy to see folks from Campobello come over. Hm....it appeared one of our friends from Campobello, also a park worker, had called her announcing our stay on GM. Before I knew it, she did something nobody has done for 15 months.....she shook hands with me. Quite a welcome really!

Yes, the office was open for business and I paid my dues.

Then I took Dixie for a beach walk. She was so happy to run around and she promptly found a plastic bottle which she could bury in the sand. Plastic bottles shall not be laying around....not if Dixie is in charge!

                                 

After lunch we hung around the trailer until all three of us went for another hike. It was almost 5kms we hiked along the beach. Dixie slept for hours after the hike. 

           Endless empty beach on Grand Manan


                      Taking pictures of each other

Friday, June 11, 2021

Adventure Time!

 Being cooped up for a long time we decided to go on an adventure again. One of the Fundy islands is Grand Manan. Compared to Campobello, "grand" says it all, as it is much bigger. GM, as everybody here calls it, is 35kms long and has still around 2000 islanders call it home. In order to get there we had to cross the border to Maine, drive along coastal route US1, cross borders again into Canada and mfollow Trans-Canada Highway (TC1) to the turn-off to Blacks Harbour, from where Coastal Transport is operating 2 ferries connecting GM with the rest of the country.

In order to have some ready-made food for the journey, I had prepared a delicious potato salad and BBQ'ed sausages to go with it. Bea had made nice meat patties and we sure were looking forward to it.

After carrying tons of stuff from the house to the trailer we finally were ready at 8am.

20kms down the road, well into Maine, the van begun making strange noises. Strong vibrations seem to come from underneath and a rumble emanating made us stop. A walk around the rig didn't show any signs of wrong. But the problem continued down the road. 

After we noticed a strong small of burned material, another stop was made by a lake. This time I touched all wheels. The last one was the right rear and I quickly got my hand off of it. It was extremely hot. So here I had the reason for the rumbling and vibration. A seized up brake caliper was causing it. In order to cool it down I got some water in a pot and splashed it over the wheel. It was sizzling hot and steam came off it. I had to do this several times to cool it down.

At low speed and with no or very little braking we made across the Saint Stephen border and to a GM-dealership. Fortunately they were able to fix it within a couple of hours. But while we were still waiting in the trailer, we thought of having lunch. "let's have a sausage and some potato salad I suggested and went to the fridge.

Looking for the potato salad I did not see it anywhere. What the heck? 

Now it dawned on me that I had forgotten the potato salad, the sausages and the meat patties, and even bread and milk in the fridge at home! What a stupid thing to happen!

So when the van got out of the shop I quickly drove to the food store to buy replacements for forgotten food items.

After our lunch we could finally continue our trip towards the ferry. Of course, we got there too late to catch the 1:30pm ferry, so we had to wait 3 hours for the next departure. But see, that is the beauty of RVing. You got the comforts at home right there with you. Relaxing in the rig and taking Dixie for walks made the time go by. The ferry terminal was filling up quickly 1hour before departure time. 

The trip across to GM was the best one could wish for. 

     Waiting for the ferry at Blacks Harbour

The "Misses" on board


We went to the outside deck and enjoyed a calm and sunny ride. To the east we were passing along "The Wolves", a group of uninhabited islands, and to the east we saw over to distant Campobello Island. 

It was around 7pm when we landed on GM. As we had stayed here before, last September, we had no problem finding the Provincial Campground. The office was already closed, but we followed instructions placed on the door and found a great site. We were reasonably tired after the excitement of the day and retired for a good nights sleep.

When I woke up this morning, sun was already out and after some coffee and breakfast, I took Dixie along for a very nice walk on the beach. A fresh breeze cleared my head, while Dixie had found a plastic bottle and was burying it in the sand. Dixie has a great memory. From the moment we arrived yesterday, she took the lead on the trail. She knew exactly where we had landed. 

The campground is not busy yet. A few permanents and maybe a few bird watchers is all we can see.

We are booked for 5 nights and are happy to have some change of surroundings. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

It's All For The Dogs

 As long as I can think back, I was a dog lover. It might have begun with my grandmother's dog, some crossbreed named Molly. I remember that I was so much in love with it that when I tried to shower it with all my love in an embrace, Molly growled at me. And I also got a reprimand from both my granny and my mother. But Molly was never really aggressive, in the contrary, she was very protective. When I was still an infant and in my stroller, she kept a watchful eye on the surroundings, I was told later by my mother.

Sadly, as a kid, I never got a dog of my own. My other grandparents would not allow to have a dog in the house. 

As a young adult, I found my first dog , on the countryside in Norway. She was a puppy of 8 weeks and I was in heaven. I had her for 13 years. In the end she got some serious health problems and with a heavy heart, I called the vet, who was nice enough to make a house call. When it was over I went to the vet lady and cried at her shoulder. She gave me a hug. My dog was buried in the garden and I sat in the house grieving. I thought it was the worst day of my life.

     Molly and Boomer - gone camping


Many years later in Canada, we got 2 beautiful dogs when we purchased our farm property in Alberta. Molly, a reddish retriever mix, was the cutest little puppy. Boomer, a yeallow lab, was already 5 years old when we became his new owner. During the day the two could run around freely on our 120acres property on the lake. They became a staple of our life. In 2005 we began traveling with them and went to many busy places in the U.S. Our camper friends loved those dogs just as much as we did. Then, in 2008 Boomer got cancer, and it was real bad and really an aggressive form. He got bad so fast that we had to find a vet office during a weekend in Denver, CO. We cried together in the car.

Molly, our other dog was distraught over the absence of boomer. 

A week later we picked up his ashes. We let go of it, on the exact spot from where Boomer liked to watch over our property. It was time for crying again.

Molly was almost 6 years old at the time and we were glad we still had her. Together with her we traveled more years and finally made the move to the east coast. Almost 9 years later we lost her as well. Her hind legs gave in and she was in pain. This time the drive to the vet was longer. Our vet office is in Maine and the vet came into our van where Molly was on her bed. I was not able to drive the van back home. Bea had to take over. It seemed like some thing was broken in me. The following days I don't remember much of, except that I had asked my brother in Germany what I should do. He said, get a another dog!

Bea, who had seen my suffering, disagreed at first. "Why will you put yourself through this once more", she wondered.

Yes, why would I do that?

Leaving the question hanging out there, I started looking for shelter dogs. We even went to a shelter in Maine, but couldn't agree on one of the dogs available for adoption.

So I went on petfinder.com. There is a true plethora of dogs and cats on that website waiting for their lucky day to find a for-ever-home.

                   Dixie's family. Mom and her 6 siblings.

And one day I had found a puppy, one of a litter of seven. Mother was an Antatolian Shepherd and her litter had a Great Pyrenees as their father. This puppy would sure grow to be a big dog, but I was determined to go ahead. Our approval as dog parents came fast. The dog was in Arkansas, but was born in Oklahoma where the dog family reportedly had been abandoned. The dog rescue organization has their seat in Arkansas, so that's where the puppies and their mother got into foster care.

 
And it was around this time, that I fully realized that my wish for a new dog in the house wasn't just to satisfy my hurting soul, but that a deeper purpose lo within. It's the goal of offering a good life to a dog, let it feel love and care and safety.

                 

There are many bad dog owners out there. Some get a dog on a whim but later find out that the dog is going to be in the way, that it doesn't fit into their life style,  so they bring it to a shelter, or worse, tie it to a tree in the woods. Please, I don't want to mention all the cruel ways some people abuse and mistreat their dogs. 

My conviction that I have the means to save a dog's life and keep it happy for their short lifespan is the most overpowering motivation for me to have a dog. When I see Dixie sleeping on her bed I have a happy day. Sure, I know that one day in the future I will have another most terrible day in my life. But all the years before that, make it worth it.