Pam and I started our slow return back west from Nova Scotia. We decided to drive back down to the US along the New Brunswick coast. We made the same drive three years ago when we were towing my Grandfather’s ’46 Willy’s Jeep back to be restored, which definitely changed where we could go due to our increased length with the auto trailer and lack of maneuverability.
We blew our first tire leaving Nova Scotia the last trip so we didn’t hit the New Brunswick coast until dark and it was very foggy. This time it was a beautiful day. We stopped at the Hopewell Rocks Park for a nice hike and a view of the tide-weathered rocks of the coast.
We camped for the night at the Point Wolfe Campground in Fundy National Park. It was a drive to get there and we thought we were out of luck when we got to this covered bridge, but it was 13 feet tall and rated for 23 tons so we were ok.
The campground was near the water so it was very foggy in the morning when we left for the US border. We stopped at Caribou Plain for another hike before we left the park. It was a great hike with a beaver pond and a peat bog that is very unique for the area.
Much of the trail was along a raised platform due to the bog and soft, mossy ground.
At one point we came up to a tiny deer mouse about the size of a walnut right in the middle of the trail eating away at something really good. He didn’t even notice us as we stopped and got right next to him, but eventually he scurried off into the woods.
We crossed the border back into the US at Calais, ME without any issues. The border guard asked to see inside, but I think it was more out of curiosity since he was in there for about 10 seconds before telling us we were good to go.
We made our way down along the Passamaquoddy Bay, the body of water that separates the coastal part of Maine from New Brunswick. We stopped at the St Croix National Park. The St Croix Island was the first French settlement in North America in 1604. Pierre Dugua led an expedition that explored Nova Scotia and New Brunswick before deciding on St Croix Island to put up a settlement as a center for the beaver fur trade. The Natives warned the group not to winter there due to the ice and tides, and because they did not listen the group was stranded on the island for the winter. Nearly half of the men died the first winter due to scurvy.
The next spring they took down all the buildings they had constructed there and sailed to Nova Scotia to create Port Royal at the site of the Habitation in 1605. Champlain was also on that expedition and documented the entire trip in words and drawings, also creating many of the very accurate maps that were used for many years that followed.
We camped the night at Cobscook Bay State Park and got a spot right on the water. The tides here were still pretty noticeable. We watched as the fog rolled in that night. First, we could no longer see across the bay, then we couldn’t see the islands, then we were deep in the mist and thinking of Stephen King.
The next day we headed down Route 1 along the coast stopping for our last lobster roll and some good micro-brew in Belfast, ME at the Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.
The engine was making what sounded like a loose belt noise so we had it checked. Turned out that a couple of our exhaust manifold bolts had failed and air was escaping between the manifold and the engine block. We ended up camping at the Pumpkin Patch RV Resort in Hermon, ME, just outside of Bangor, waiting for our appointment to fix the truck the following day.
We were out of there in a couple of hours and headed over to Winthrop, ME to have dinner and spend the night with Pam’s cousin. He has a nice camping spot in his driveway.
We drove across New Hampshire and Vermont the next day, stopping at Beer Naked Brewery in Vermont to check out the scenery of the Green Mountain Range and get some tips on some good dispersed camping spots the next time we pass through.
We camped the night at Thompson’s Lake State Park near Altamont, NY. The reason for the stop there was that Pam’s family had a farm near Altamont and Guilderland from the time they came over to the US until the late ‘70s. We found the old farm, but the original 57 acres have been split into at least two lots and it was overgrown with trees. We visited the Altamont and Guilderland Historical Societies to see if they were interested in some of the paperwork we had on the old farm. One was a hand-drawn surveyor map of the property from 1851. Not sure our kids will want the papers and we don’t want to just throw them away. We didn’t bring them with us but now have the contacts on where we can send them if we decide to do so. It was pretty cool that we saw several streets and buildings in the village area named after families that we have records for from years gone by.
We drove the next day through Cooperstown, NY to see the baseball hall of fame. The town is a beautiful small town on the southern shore of Otsego Lake. There is no parking for anything Roamer-sized or larger anywhere near the hall of fame as we found out. After driving around a bit we did stumble on the parking lots outside of town that offer free trolley rides into town, but we just had lunch in the lot and left. The Baseball Hall of Fame awaits our next visit to the area.
Next on the agenda was a visit to one of my cousins and his wife in Elkland, PA. We knew they were out with one of their kids and grandkids on a local lake, so we stopped to make dinner at Cowanesque Lake and there they were. We rode around on the water for awhile and then headed back to Elkland, PA for the night to complete the New England leg of our trek.