Sunday, September 11, 2016

An Awesome Finish to Our Vacation

Joining Harvest Host has been well worth it. On Friday, I called Misty Acres Alpaca Farm in Maine and asked if we could stay Saturday night. He was so friendly and said yes - no problem - just drive past the house and down the hill and park anywhere you want and we could hook up to power and water if we wanted to. There was no one around so we found a level spot and parked it. We didn't see anyone until early evening when Scott and Sally showed up with two alpacas that had been to a local fair. They were so nice and told us about some of the alpacas. It was so quiet there - and the stars were unbelievable. Saturday morning we woke up early and found out why it's called Misty Acres - the hills were covered in mist and it was so pretty. Red, the owner, came by to get some alpacas to take the fair and told us we were welcome to stay another night if we wanted. The winery I had called and left a message, didn't call back so we decided to stay a second night. We offered to help Scott and Sally clean up the barn and feed them. They are very gentle animals and so soft. They are very much like cats in that they will pay attention to you on their terms. They all pee and poop in the same spot so clean up is pretty quick. Scott and Sally are in between homes so their alpacas are staying there. They were so generous with their time and answering all our questions. I bought some alpaca yarn that I can't wait to use and a pair of hiking socks made from alpaca. We spent Sunday puttering around the motorhome and watching the animals. It was so relaxing. They like it cool so they come out of the barn at night. The little ones would pronk which is bouncing and it was so fun to watch them. They are a herding animal so if one does something, they all follow. Having all day to watch them, we really learned a lot. We were sad to have to leave on Monday morning but it was a great experience. We headed back to reality - traffic, crowds of people and we wanted to head back to watch the alpacas! We are so glad we had the opportunity to get to Nova Scotia and ride the Cabot Trail and a surprise visit to an alpaca farm along the way.

Thursday and Friday

We left Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground on Thursday morning and headed to Amherst, Nova Scotia. It was our first stop heading home. We decided to take our time going home and enjoy some other places on the way back. Thursday night we stayed at Lock Lomond and it was a very well kept campground. We got in early afternoon and got our laundry done and walked around the campground which was on a lake. We had a late afternoon shower but it didn't last long. Friday morning we headed out of Nova Scotia and into New Brunswick. It worked out that we could stay at the Granite Town Blueberry Farm in St. George again. We arrived mid-afternoon and had a great view of the water until two Canadian couples parked right in front of us. It turns out they were very nice and invited us over to join them for happy hour. They left to go out to dinner and we took a walk on the path. While we were walking, we heard a few popping noises and when we looked, all we could see was black smoke over by the highway. It was a camper on fire. Luckily the guy had unhooked it from his car but it burned right to the ground. The owners of the blueberry place came out to see what was going on and we spent quite awhile talking to them-very nice people. As we were watching the fire, Rich turned around and noticed not one but a double rainbow in back of us. So it turned out to be quite the evening.

Our Waterfall Hike and Motorcycle Ride

On Wednesday, we woke up to another beautiful, sunshine, blue sky day. We hiked Uisge Ban Falls. It was a much easier hike with a fantastic waterfall. It also had the great smell of balsam again. We did the hike in the morning and then went back to the campground for lunch and to get the motorcycles out. We went for a random ride of backroads on the bikes. It was great with no traffic around at all. We got to one road that wasn't paved. In fact, it looked more like a cow path then a road. Tim took the lead on this one which was fine for him because he has a dual sport bike-now keep in mind the Paholsky's following him did not. I will say that after we were done it was fun but the first puddle that was really deep and long, I wasn't having fun. There were lots of rocks, holes and puddles. By the end of the road, I had a new name for Tim and it was "F'ing Landry"! It really was fun but it would have been a lot more fun on a different bike.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Monday and Tuesday on Cape Breton Island

On Sunday night after riding the Cabot Trail, we came back to the campground and we both moved to flatter spots. Tim was able to park right in back of us. It was so much nicer to be on flat ground and we had a beautiful view of the mountains. The owners of the campground were very accommodating and didn't even charge us for the upgrade in the site. We went from no hook ups to full hookup. Monday started out rainy so we went to visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. It was so interesting - more then any of us thought it would be. We spent a few hours learning about Alexander and his wife Mabel. We were all surprised to learn how much more then just the telephone that he invented. His wife Mabel was also very interesting and they both had a very big impact on the local community. After finishing at the museum, we went to lunch at the Red Barn. I had salted fish cakes and chow. I like salty and even I thought they were salty but the combination with the chow, it was delicious. We spend the rest of the afternoon driving around some scenic areas. We ended up in town about 3:00 only to have the power go out and most places closed. We did find an ice cream place open so we had one. We went back to the campground and found that the outage was there too but we were good. We had a fire outside until it started to rain again. We had really high winds and the camper actually moved a couple of times during the night. We woke up to clearing skies and decided to head over to the Fort of Louisbourg. It turned out to be a very interesting place. It was an old fortress from the 1700s that the Canadian government refurbished. It was stepping back in time. We spent most of the day there. We had lunch in an a period time tavern. For silverware, all you got was one old beat up pewter spoon and you used the handle end to dip into the sugar if you wanted some sugar in your coffee. We sat with 3 women who were just finishing up their lunch and were locals. They were very interesting and told us some of the history of the area. The population is down to 700 people and some of the schools have closed and the churches are low on members because the residents are moving away. On the advice of one of the women at lunch, we found the Louisbourg Lighthouse. We are so glad we went it was beautiful. The national parks in Canada have this red chair challenge going this summer. You find the two red adirondack chairs and take a picture and tell why it is your favorite. We found several of them in our travels so that was fun. There were two at the lighthouse tucked on a nearby hilltop. We got some beautiful pictures there. Caite is phenomenal with taking pictures so we deemed her the trip photographer. We went back to the campground and tried having a fire again with better success this time. We introduced Tim and Caite to grown up s'omores: chocolate covered cookies with toasted marshmallows.

Bucket List Day-Riding the Cabot Trail!

Sunday was a perfect day for a motorcycle ride! It was a beautiful, sunny, blue sky and temperatures in the 70s. We have been talking about doing this ride for a few years now so it was awesome to actually have it happen. The scenic views were never ending and lots of curves. A couple of times we would come up to the top of the hill and it looked like you were going to drive right into the water. We stopped at the Coastal Restaurant and we both got hats. We've been following the Cabot Trail Biker and he's the only one that sells hats and t-shirts with the Cabot Trail on it. We got a lot of information from reading his posts so we thought we would give him some business. There aren't a lot of restaurants on the trail so we stopped at a little general store and had burgers but there was no place to sit so we stood outside and ate them. They were delicious and it was fun to look around. They were selling a gallon of milk for $8.70. Groceries were very expensive in general in Canada. We drove the dirt road to Meat Cove trying to avoid some crazy guy driving a motorhome down the road. This road was so loaded with potholes that everything in it must have been bouncing! There were a lot of people camping at Meat Cove in all kinds of things: travel trailers, pop ups, tents etc. The views were just beautiful and they even have a snack bar up there and free wi-fi. Tim had ridden the Trail last year so it was great to have a guide. He knew which stops were worth stopping for etc. It was a long day to go all the way around - we made a few stops to take pictures of the views and stretch our legs but all in all one of the best days of riding!

Headed to Baddeck-Cape Breton Island

We arrived on Friday afternoon at Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground to find that our site was on a very uneven and steep (for a motorhome) hill. But since we were last minute reservations that was all that was available. The owners were wonderful and they allowed us to move on Sunday when a flat site in the upper area became available. Tim and Caite arrived Friday evening after leaving LL Bean in Freeport, ME very early. Saturday was an overcast day with some showers around so we opted to go hiking in Mabou. It was a fabulous hike! We did a 7 mile hike on some trails that were rated "difficult". It was very wooded and sometimes we had to bushwhack through the vegetation to keep on the trail. We came out on an overlook where we met a family hiking too. When we first got there it was totally fogged in but we still took pictures and within five minutes the fogged cleared out and we took another picture. The weather up there changes so rapidly. After the hike we drove around and found a lighthouse and checked out a small marina that had some lobster boats. Mabou is very pretty in a remote way and I can't imagine what the winters there would be like.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Our last day in Hilden, Nova Scotia

Thursday, August 25: It started out a bit chilly in the morning so we waited until it warmed up before we left on the motorcycles to do the Marine Drive - another scenic loop from Dartmouth to Sheet Harbor. Another beautiful coastal ride! The day was great and it is so nice to ride without traffic. At most times, we were alone on the route. We found a beautiful beach where there were a few wind surfers. Right up the hill from the beach was an old house that had a sign "homemade food". We discovered that there really aren't a lot of restaurants along these routes so we pulled into MacDonald's House Tearoom and Crafts. It was an old three story building that had a surf shop in the bottom, a small tearoom, a gift shop and part of it was a nursery school-quite the combination! We had one of 4 tables with a view of the beach. I had a delicious seafood chowder with a tea biscuit and Rich had a creamy onion chowder. Friday, August 26: We left Scotia Pines Campground and headed up to Baddeck Cabot Trail Campground on Cape Breton Island. On the way, we found a super Walmart and stopped to get groceries. Boy are the grocery prices high up here! It really was an eye opener even with the great exchange rate. The site we got was one of the last ones and unfortunately it was on the side of a hill. Rich had to lift the entire camper off the tires to get it level. We met our neighbors (Mike and Carol) who were very nice - they even had us a over for a campfire. Tim and Caitlynn arrived around 7:30 PM after driving all day from LL Bean.