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2017-08-11 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Airstreams on the Ferry!

Yes! You can take Airstreams onto a ferry:

2017-08-11 PEI Ferry 02

Our tin cans are packed into a bigger tin can like sardines!

We are traveling from Caribou, NS, to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.  This will be the final campground location on the caravan…

We left the campground in Baddeck, along the shores of Bras d’ Or Lake, at about 6:00 am, to catch the 8:30 am ferry.  We found a few other folks who had the same idea:

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Soon the ferry arrived:

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When the ferry arrived, and had discharged its load of cars and trucks, it started loading for the trip back to PEI. Cars first. Cars, cars, and more cars went into the ferry.  When all the cars were on board, they started loading trucks, and more trucks. Then trailers, including about 10 Airstreams.  The ferry seemed “bottomless” – it just kept loading in more vehicles. Once on board, it looked like this:

 

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Once on board we found that there is a lower deck where all the cars were parked; trailers and trucks filled the main level. Upstairs were lounges, a cafeteria, and outdoor areas to experience the fresh air.

It was a fun ferry ride. We had breakfast in the cafeteria, watched the opposite ferry pass by, and enjoyed time with friends.

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2017-08-11 PEI Ferry 06

When the ferry landed at Wood Islands, PEI, we were one of the first off. We had researched the area before hand, and we knew there was a Visitors Center where we could gather information on the island.  Others had the same idea… (Maybe because there is a Provincial liquor store there as well…):

2017-08-11 Visitors Center

Our campground is on the northern end of PEI, just north of Charlottetown; Wood Islands in on the south end. However, we were too early to arrive at the campground, lest we annoy the parking crew.  So we just headed south, not knowing (and not caring) where we were going; it was beautiful!

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And when you wander around an unknown area, pulling your Airstream trailer, this is what you find:

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We found a winery!  Rossignol Winery… Of course, it was a beautiful place, right on the ocean:

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2017-08-11 Rosignol Winery 04

We parked the rig and went inside to taste what we could taste:

2017-08-11 Rosignol Winery 02

We only tasted the wines made from grapes; it wasn’t bad.  We also tasted their Creme d’ Cassis, a black current wine (or liqueur) ; it was great!  We bought a few bottles to supplement our “cellar”.  We also admired the various sand sculptures on the property:

2017-08-11 Rosignol Winery 06

Moving on, we continued around the southern end of the island.  We finally stopped for lunch in the town of Montague; Windows on the Water was a delightful spot to enjoy the early afternoon.

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The town of Montague is located on the water, and once was a lively port city…

2017-08-11 Montague 02

After killing enough time, we headed north towards Charlottetown, and to our campground a few miles north of there.  We settled in and readied ourselves for happy hours…

That evening, we joined two other California caravanners – Larry and Kathy plus Phil and Donna – in a bizarre game called Joker.  It is an Airstream tradition.  It is basically Parcheesi, but playing cards are used in lieu of a spinner or dice, making it even quirkier. Since I despise games of chance, I try to avoid Joker at all costs, but Larry and Kathy had done us many favors, so Lynda volunteered us to play with them…

Boys won. I pulled the winning card.  An enjoyable time was had by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-10 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – More Lobster!

Today we had another day on our own; we spent the day planning the remainder of the trip and enjoyed some quiet time.  We need to rest up, because tonight is: More Lobster!

2017-08-10 Lobster Dinner 03

Once the caravan ends (in five days) we have about 2 months to get home; we will travel back through Canada, through New Brunswick and Ontario, stopping off to see the 1000 Islands; we will stop at CanAm RV in London, ON, then meet up with the McAnoys and see our Grandchildren on Boblo Island, located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. After that interlude, we head north, over the top of Lake Huron and Lake Superior, through Thunder Bay, and back into the USA in Minnesota, all by September 1… After that, we’ll go through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota, checking out all the Frank Lloyd Wright and Laura Ingalls Wilder sites we can manage.

But tonight we have a dinner at St. Ann’s Lobster Galley. This is a very nice restaurant set on a lovely lake.  Once again we enjoyed time eating together; meals like this create opportunities to get to know the other caravanners and enjoy a stress-free time together.

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2017-08-10 Lobster Dinner 05

We had a Drivers Meeting to discuss our last travel day within the caravan; tomorrow we take a ferry from Caribou, NS to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-09 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – North and East coasts of Cape Breton Island

This was a free day to explore Cape Breton on our own.

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Specifically, we were going to explore the Cabot Trail, a highway and scenic roadway that forms a loop around the northern tip of the island, passing along and through the scenic Cape Breton Highlands.  It is named after the explorer John Cabot who supposedly landed in Atlantic Canada in 1497, although most historians agree his landfall likely took place in Newfoundland. Construction of the initial route was completed in 1932.

The northern section of the Cabot Trail passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park.  The western and eastern sections follow the rugged coastline, providing spectacular views of the ocean.  The southwestern section passes through the Margaree River valley before passing along Bras d’Or Lake.

We headed north from the campground.  We traveled through beautiful, seemingly empty countryside.  After about 30 miles or so we came to the Larch Wood Enterprises, Inc. factory and showroom:

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They produce beautiful cutting boards and other wood products.  After hearing their story and seeing their work, we had to buy just one…

2017-08-08 Cape Breton - Larch Wood

Moving on, we continued north, and traveled along the beautiful shoreline…

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At another stop, we found a rocky bluff:

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These folks were sitting on the furthest rock; now they are trying to figure out how to get back up:

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After this much beauty we had to stop for lunch; we were in the town of Cheticamp; we stopped at the Happy Clam:

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Driving back south we had more vistas of the rugged coast and grassy knolls:

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We stopped to inspect the beach a little closer; the weather was warm and sunny, and Lynda declares that the water is relatively warm:

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We stopped in the town of Inverness (to get some espresso to keep us awake after lunch…); we walked from the town down to the water; again, we are astounded at the open space surrounding such beautiful oceanfront property:

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There was a nice boardwalk to protect the fragile dunes, grasses, and wildflowers:

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There was even an oceanfront golf course:

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Walking along the golf course we came to some houses that looked strikingly similar to Shobac and the “Sliding Down House” we saw south of Halifax:

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It turned out that they were quite different; we also discovered that they part of a condominium development of vacation homes as part of the golf course and country club:

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Of course, not all the houses in the neighborhood are this nice:

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Our final destination of the day was a tour and tasting at the Glenora Distillery:

2017-08-09 Distillery 01

They produce a single malt whisky which would be called Scotch if it were produced in Scotland.  They make their whisky using traditional methods and only three ingredients: barley, yeast, and water.  They claim it is the quality of the water on the property that produces the fine quality whisky.

As we waited for the tour we wandered over to the on-site inn and pub, and enjoyed another ceilidg.  These things are everywhere – they take their Gaelic music seriously here…

I was looking forward to finding a great whisky at a reasonable price.  I was disappointed on both counts…

We returned to the Villa in time for happy hours:

2017-08-07 Baddeck Happy Hours

That evening, all the caravanners gathered in the Rec Room for an ice cream social. An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-08 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Alexander Graham Bell and the Gaelic College

Today we learned about Alexander Graham Bell and his life in the town of Baddeck.

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We visited the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, which commemorates the genius and compassion of renowned inventor Alexander Graham Bell.  Exhibits here show how he and his associates achieved Canada’s first powered flight with their airplane Silver Dart, produced the world’s fastest boat, advanced recording technology, designed giant kites and, of course, invented the telephone. Original artifacts, films, and family photographs highlight his scientific and humanitarian work.  Situated adjacent to downtown Baddeck, with a superb view of the Bras d’Or Lake, the Site overlooks Bell’s summer home, Beinn Bhreagh, still privately owned by his descendants.

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer, and innovator who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone.

Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell’s life’s work.  His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone in 1876.  Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunicationshydrofoils, and aeronautics.  Although Bell was not one of the 33 founders of the National Geographic Society, he had a strong influence on the magazine while serving as the second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903.

After he gained wealth and fame through the invention of the telephone, Bell and his wife lived in Washington, D.C.  In 1885 the Bells vacationed on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, spending time right here in the small village of Baddeck.  Returning in 1886, Bell started building a summer retreat on a point across from Baddeck, overlooking Bras d’Or Lake.  By 1889, a large house, christened The Lodge was completed and two years later, a larger complex of buildings, including a new laboratory, were begun that the Bells would name Beinn Bhreagh (Gaelic: beautiful mountain) after Bell’s ancestral Scottish highlands. Bell also built the Bell Boatyard on the estate, employing up to 40 people building experimental craft as well as wartime lifeboats and workboats for the Royal Canadian Navy and pleasure craft for the Bell family.  He was an enthusiastic boater, and Bell and his family sailed or rowed a long series of vessels on Bras d’Or Lake. 

Until the end of his life, Bell and his family would alternate between their two homes, but Beinn Bhreagh would, over the next 30 years, become more than a summer home as Bell became so absorbed in his experiments that his annual stays lengthened. Both Bell and his wife became immersed in the Baddeck community and were accepted by the villagers as “one of their own”.  The Bells were still in residence at Beinn Bhreagh when the Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917 (see my blog dated 8/1/17).  Bell and his wife mobilized the community to help victims in Halifax.

I had read a lot as a child about Alexander Graham Bell, but most of the books I read stopped at the invention of the telephone.  Today we learned about the hydrofoil boats and airplanes he was working on throughout his life.  He loved triangles and tetrahedrons, so these are represented in the architecture of the Museum.

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After we finished enjoying the museum we drove a few miles south to the Royal Cape Breton Gaelic College (in Scottish Gaelic: Colaisde Rìoghail na Gàidhlig).  It is a non-profit educational institution located in the community of St. Ann’s, along the Cabot Trail. Founded in 1938, its focus has been on the perpetuation of Highland Scottish Gaelic culture.

We went for a lunch time ceilidh (pronounced,”Kalie”).  A ceilidh is a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.  The college also has lots of public programs; Lynda spent time learning about the Gaelic language. I considered sticking needles in my eyes to avoid going to this presentation, but instead I escaped to the exhibit hall and spent time learning of the Gaelic culture and history.   Then on to lunch and the ceilidh. (By the way, if anyone reading this is considering naming their precious baby girl Ceilidh, be aware that once she is in school she will be forever known as “See-Lid”…)

We enjoyed the music. It was similar to what we heard at the Louisbourg Playhouse and still a lot of fun.

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2017-08-08 Gailic College Ceilidh 01

This evening, back at the campground, it started raining. And raining hard.  Some of the caravanners gathered in the Rec Room for games.  Several folks played Mexican Train dominoes; I joined in a rousing game of Spoons, except that we didn’t have spoons, only knives… Hilarity (and torn table clothes and other things) ensued…

2017-08-08 Baddeck Game Night 01

An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-07 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Leaving Louisbourg

Today we are leaving Louisbourg, and we are heading to our final campground in Nova Scotia. We are again part of the parking crew, so we are able to leave early.  In this tight campground the hitching-up is like a delicate ballet…

2017-08-07 Louisbourg Airstreams 01

We were soon on the road, along with two other Airstreamers; we stopped to catch a view at a convenient look-out point:

Our drive was uneventful, and we arrived in Baddeck, on the west coast of a large inland lake (technically a river…), called Bras d’Or Lake.

We performed our parking duties, and soon were able to relax. Lynda took in the view of the water, and even tested its temperature:

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This evening there is a festival or street fair in the nearby town of Baddeck; we went to see what small Nova Scotia towns do for fun.  It seems that they do about what all towns do: eat junk food, listen to local musicians, and wander about Main Street.

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And, being on the water, we can see the lovely shoreline:

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We didn’t hang around very long. We went back to the Villa and enjoyed the sunset:

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Tomorrow we go see the Alexander Graham Bell museum…

 

 

 

 

 

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