Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – Ucluelet, BC

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After gallivanting around Ucluelet we focused our activities on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the only national park on Vancouver Island.  A parade of rental RV’s driving around its 120,000+ acres every day proved how popular it is.  The  park resides within the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.

The park’s management has been working collaboratively with First Nations, who have inhabited the coast for thousands of years.  They partnered to continue the age-old practice of welcoming and sharing Nuu-chah-nulth history, traditions, and culture with folks visiting the island. Continue reading

Wonderful Jasper National Park – Jasper, AB

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Maligne lake

This post details stop #4, at Jasper National Park.  It’s loaded with pictures of stunning scenery and awe-inspiring natural wonders of the Rocky Mountains.


Although the weather was not always picture perfect, I managed to capture a lot of the surrounding beauty.  The cameras stayed warm on this stop!


We didn’t waste any time upon our arrival in Jasper, immediately hitting the visitor center to get the scoop on the must-do’s in the park.  With only a few days here (Sept 6-10) we would be challenged to see as much of Canada’s largest National Park as possible.

Founded in 1907, it is one of only 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  We could see why, as everywhere we looked there was no shortage of crystal-clear lakes, glacial rivers, amazing glaciers, cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, alpine forests and wildlife – all surrounded by towering mountains.

Athabasca River

Foggy morning over Athabasca Valley and River

Our home base was in the heart of Jasper NP.  Whistler’s Campground (Steve’s review here) was next to the town of Jasper, which is nestled in the wide Athabasca Valley.

Jasper, Alberta

The town of Jasper is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks

Jasper, Alberta

Main drag in Jasper


Raven Totem Pole

A landmark in town stood near the railway station

Two Brothers Totem Pole

Two Brothers Totem Pole- tells the story of a journey long ago of an unusual connection between the west coast islands of Haida Gwaii and the Rocky Mountains

Whistler Campground

Betsy was snuggled in among the pine trees in an electric-only site

Bull Elk

This bull elk was a daily guest at the campground, as he kept an eye on his harem

We wanted to experience the beauty of Jasper NP on foot, as there are more than 615 miles of hiking trails of various difficulty to choose from.  But we were here during berry season, and the lady at the VC marked several trails as closed due to heavy bear activity.

On most days the sun was hiding behind the clouds and morning temps were in the 30’s. We had to push ourselves hard to get out and hike in those chilly conditions, but we did fairly well.


That’s bear food!

Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is surrounded by several towering mountain peaks, and is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies.  It’s a very popular spot, and bus loads of tourists were enjoying the lake view with us.  But we left them behind as we followed a trail named after Mary Schaffer, who along with friends was one of the first tourists at the lake in 1908.

Curly Philips Boathouse, Maligne Lake

Turquoise colored glacial Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake

Boat tours were filled to capacity, even on dreary days

Mary Schaffer Loop Trail

Stands of pine and spruce lined the Mary Schaffer Loop Trail

Moss and lichens covered the grounds

Feather mosses covered the forest floor

Maligne Lake

Brrr…I’m guessing this was some kind of a crazy ritual?  It’s 35º out here!

Maligne Lake

Final look at Maligne Lake

Maligne Canyon

There are six bridges that criss-cross Maligne Canyon, and we followed the steep trail up to the fifth bridge.  The canyon’s karst system is cut incredibly deep through limestone, and water tumbles through a series of falls and drops.  Some geologists speculate that parts of the canyon were originally deep caves that have since been uncovered by glacial scraping and water erosion.

Maligne Canyon

View from the fourth bridge

Maligne Canyon

Looking down at the canyon, see the people way back there?

Medicine Lake

Along the Maligne Scenic Drive we stopped at Medicine Lake, considered a unique body of water.  It’s described as such because its water vanishes and re-appears each year.  In the springtime runoff fills the lake, but by September (when we were here) the continuously-dropping water level exposes the bottom.

The disappearance of the lake was a mystery until the discovery of a massive underground river system under it, which is where the water all drains.

Medicine Lake

By September a mudflat and ribbons of water are all that remain

Medicine Lake

You know a lake is shallow when a man can walk his dog all the way across it!

Pyramid Lake Island

Just a few minutes out of Jasper is a lake-dotted terrace named Pyramid Bench.  The island and lake around it get their names from Pyramid Mountain, which stands nearby at 9,064′.

Pyramid Island

Pyramid Island

Pyramid Mountain

Clouds obstruct Pyramid Mountain

Athabasca Valley

The trees have started to turn – yay!

Patricia Lake

Patricia Lake (left) and Pyramid Lake viewed from an overlook

Patricia Lake

Colorful boats at Patricia Lake

Pyramid Bench

The trails here are not well marked, so Steve had to be diligent with the map


We found one of the six pairs of Red Chairs overlooking Pyramid Mountain

Mount Edith Cavell

From Pyramid Lake we drove further south to see Mount Edith Cavell, also recommended at the VC.  The mountain is named after a British nurse executed during World War I for her part in helping Allied prisoners escape occupied Brussels.  Getting there involved following a twisty road built in the 1930’s.

Mt Edith Cavell

A 9-mile switchback road lead us up to the mountain

Since we had just completed a 6-mile hike at Pyramid Lake, we followed the Path of the Glacier Trail here.  It’s an easy walk that took us across rocky landscape to the great north face of the mountain.

Path to Glacier Trail

Trail through glacial debris

Path of Glacier Trail

Interesting material along this trail

This impressive 10,826′ peak receives heavy snowfall even during the summer months.  My photos can’t capture the enormity of the mountain and the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Mt Edith Clavell

We had lots of company here, since we arrived in the afternoon

Angel Glacier

Angel Glacier – hanging from the mountainside, it sits in a cirque between Mount Edith Cavell (left) and Mount Sorrow (right), supported (so it seems) by its “wings.”

Clavell Pond

Small but stunning opaque green Cavell Pond

Jasper SkyTram

Whistler’s Campground was only 2 miles from the Jasper Skytram, so we just had to take a ride.  It whisked us up Whistler’s Mountain to an elevation of 7,472′ in 7 minutes.  The payoff when we arrived was panoramic views of Jasper NP, and green valleys and mountains that stretched for miles.  The town of Jasper lay below, and we caught a glimpse of our campground tucked under heavy forest nearby.



Athabasca River

Gazing down at Athabasca River – look at that glacial water!


Look, there’s the town of Jasper!

Ice field Parkway

Running along Athabasca River is the Icefield Parkway


We enjoyed the breathtaking views, then tried to rush a short hike to the summit – only to turn around halfway as ugly clouds approached, the temperature dropped and ice began pelting us.
Whistler Summit Trail

Whistler Summit

The trail to Whistler’s Summit – we made it just up to the snow line and decided to turn around

Jasper Tramway

On the way back down we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow developing over Jasper and the whole valley.  It was awesome!

Jasper Sky Tram

Somewhere under the rainbow is Steve, that little speck!

jasper over the rainbow

Double rainbow over Jasper

The rainbow signaled our departure back to lower elevations, but it was just the beginning of more spectacular moments to come.


Next Up:  Icefield Parkway




A hidden crown jewel – Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

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Red Chairs
Chief Mountain Border Crossing

A 25-minute wait before entering the last two unexplored Canadian provinces of our adventure

It’s always music to our ears when “Randy” (our Rand McNally GPS) announces we’re crossing a state border, but it’s even more exciting when we cross an international border. So it was as we entered Alberta at the Chief Mountain crossing, just north of Glacier NP.

After answering questions such as “Did you bring firewood?”, “Where do you keep your gun?” and “How much alcohol do you have onboard?” we were good to go.  It can be a bit nerve-wracking, even on the 25th try!

Welcome to Canada

We’re looking forward to an exciting month north of the border

Our first destination in Canada was tucked away in the southwest corner of Alberta – Waterton Lakes National Park.  Its location, adjoining Glacier National Park in Montana along the international boundary, led to linking the two parks together in 1932.  It was the world’s first international peace park, designated Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.  It’s part of what has become known as the “Crown of the Continent,” with spellbinding scenery spanning the corners of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia.

Waterton Lakes NP has bragging rights as the only place on earth endowed with three recognized titles: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Peace Park and a Biosphere Reserve.  How special is that?  There was no question we had to check this place out!

Upper Waterton Lake

Upper Waterton Lake – this place embodies the peace and friendship shared along the world’s longest undefended border, and is the basis for creating the Peace Park

Red Rock Canyon

One of the scenic drives here is Red Rock Parkway.  It meanders through grasslands, rollings hills and mountains, and ends at a vivid red-colored canyon created through water erosion.  The red canyon is further accented by the surrounding lush vegetation and mountain peaks in the background.

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

We followed a short trail around Red Rock Canyon, and continued on for another half mile to view Blakiston Falls.  We got only a peek at the falls, as the overlooks were blocked due to construction work.  But they couldn’t block the view to the highest peak in the park – Mount Blakiston – which towers above them all.

Blakiston falls

Mount Blakiston and a peek at Blakiston Falls

Our knowledgeable camp host mentioned that there were many opportunities to see bears along the parkway.  And sure enough, we saw some “indicators” that they had been on the roads as we drove.  It wasn’t long before we saw a mom and cub playing on a golf course early in the morning:

Bear’s Hump hike

This very popular and strenuous .9-mile trail climbs 738′ to a magnificent view of the area. Despite clouds hovering above, the views of Waterton Valley, the glistening Upper and Middle Waterton lakes and Waterton Townsite below kept our cameras blazing.  Being the first ones there in the morning allowed us to soak in the views and fresh air in solitude.  We enjoyed our breakfast on the rocks in perfect peace.

Waterton Valley

Hey, that’s Montana at the other end of the lake!

Mount Cleveland

Mount Cleveland is the tallest peak in Glacier NP, and several other mountains make up the southern end of Upper Waterton Lake

Waterton Townsite

Looking down at Waterton Townsite, a very cool and quaint little town with lots of good food and shopping.  There’s cold beer with our names on it somewhere down there!

Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales Hotel

Lower Waterton Lake

To the north is the best indication that Waterton is the only place in the Canadian Rockies where the prairies and mountains meet without a transition of foothills

Our excitement was heightened on the way back down.  Steve rounded a corner, and there was a black bear RIGHT THERE on the trail, less than 25′ away.  We had been making noise as we talked, but this guy didn’t seem very concerned about us.

He scampered away as Steve completed his heart attack and grabbed his camera to get a shot.  Funny he went for his camera and not the bear spray – I trained him well!


International Peace Hike

How often can you hike in two countries on a single day?   This trek was guided by two park rangers and required us to bring our passports.  John and Pam had recommended this excellent guided hike to us, and we’re so glad they did.

Our guides were Elizabeth, an American park ranger from Glacier NP and Sierra, a Canadian Waterton Lakes NP interpreter.  They led us along the lakeshore for a moderate 8.5 mile hike that began in Waterton NP and ended in the U.S. at the Goat Haunt Ranger Station.  After presenting our passports to the officers we boarded a boat for a narrated tour back to Waterton.  That counts as two more border crossings, folks!

Lakeshore Trail

Sierra talking about the cultural history of the area

Glacier National park

Elizabeth presented the mountain peaks of both countries

Our guides were both passionate and knowledgeable, taking turns showing us what the two parks shared – an ecosystem with over 1,200 species of plants, over 60 species of wildlife and the various ways both countries work together for peace and friendship.

On the Canadian section of the trail, they talked about natural, cultural and historical aspects, while on the U.S. side each hiker was introduced to a plant specie and then encouraged to explain it to the rest of the group as we moved along the trail.  It was an excellent way for each person to learn about at least a few of the plants in the area.

International Border

That cut through the trees is the border that extends East to West all the way across the continent

International Peace Hike

Peace and friendship handshake between two nations at the int’l border

The pace of the hike was to Steve’s liking – no photo stops!  Except for the short breaks and a pause when we encountered a mama bear and her cub on the trail, we moved along at a good clip.

International Peace Hike

This guy was hauling supplies to the border – cool!

We thoroughly enjoyed this hike and learned a few interesting obscure facts.  One was that the trees and vegetation on the international border are cut alternately by U.S. and Canadian organizations every ten years to maintain the visual border.

Goat Haunt

From Goat Haunt, Glacier NP, USA – viewing the peaks at Waterton, Canada

Scenes around town

Watertown Village is a cute colorful townsite in the heart of Waterton Lakes NP.  It was founded in 1904 by the Western Coal and Oil Company based out of Vancouver, BC. According to the 2011 census, Waterton Park Township has 88 permanent residents in 31 of its 181 dwellings.

Waterton Village

Many of the shops were adorned with colorful flowers

Buck around town

Mule Deer are iconic residents of the village, looks like this one’s on his way to breakfast!

waterton village

I just couldn’t pass up a yummy pistachio ice cream after our long hike

Trappers Mountain Grill

Tall and short beers after another hike.  Steve told me to hurry up and just take the damn picture!

Cameron Falls

Cameron Falls can be viewed at the southern end of town

Red Chairs

I finally got my chance to sit in one of the strategically placed red chairs at the best lookout in Waterton, they are very popular here

Bear's Hump

Bear’s Hump (or Mt. Crandall) viewed from the marina

Prince of Wales Hotel

A view across Waterton Lake at the Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1927

Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel up close

Prince of Wales Hotel

Inside the lobby at Prince of Wales Hotel, a little rich for our blood!

Bear sightings were a daily occurrence, be it on the trail, at the lake or on the golf course. They’re all over up here, and we haven’t seen this many since our trek through Alaska.

Cinnamon Bear

Just move along, unless you’d like to be my breakfast!

At 195 square miles, Waterton NP is the smallest of the Rocky Mountain parks in Canada, and it can be visited in a day.  And since it’s adjacent to Glacier NP it could easily be added to your itinerary – just don’t forget your passport.  But we’re glad we spent several days so we could enjoy the town and get in some excellent hiking.

If you’re planning on coming to Canada next year, you should know that entrance to all national parks in 2017 will be FREE to celebrate the centennial of their park system.  That’s good news if you want to save money on park passes, but we’re guessing the most popular national parks will be very busy.


Next up:  A brief run into another province – Saskatchewan!


Our final stop in the Maritimes – St. Andrews-by-the-Sea

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St Andrews by the seaFor those of you just joining us on our Canadian Maritime adventure, we are actually back in the USA now – sitting on the coast of Maine at the moment.  This post is a catch-up to cover our final stop and end of our Canadian travels.  We were having such a great time and seeing so many things that sitting in front of a computer had to take a back seat.  Besides, not having internet connectivity at times made it impossible to keep up.

Anyway, we arrived at St Andrews-by-the-Sea excited, as this was our last stop before crossing the border again. The moment we felt the sea breeze brushing our cheeks as we settled into our campsite, we immediately liked the place.  Who wouldn’t?  We had another “big screen” view, this time of Passamaquody bay.  We stayed at Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping – click here if interested in Steve’s review of this great campground.

Passamaquoddy Bay

Passamaquoddy Bay at low tide

Kiwanis Ocean Camping,St Andrews by the Sea


We explored the beautiful little town of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea on foot, as all attractions were walkable from our campground.  Having been in the rain for the past few days, we welcomed the sunshine and started early on our sightseeing.  This town was designated as a National Historic District, one of the oldest and loveliest in the Maritimes.  We agree.  It is loaded with neat shops and excellent restaurants.  We could definitely spend more time here!

St Andrews by the sea

Water Street early in the morning

St Andrews-by-the-sea

Market Wharf

Strolling around this little seaside town, we observed many of the well-preserved original buildings.

St Andrews by the sea

The local folks we talked to were the friendliest we have met while in Canada.  From the lady at the coffee shop to the lady at Olive and Spreads, to the lady at the Irish pub – they were all very helpful!

Our wanderings also led us to a blockhouse, which is a building modestly fortified to defend an area.  This one was built during the War of 1812 between the U.S. and Great Britain, and it is the last one standing in the Maritimes.  The St. Andrews Blockhouse and Battery has been preserved as a national historic site since 1962.

St Andrews Blockhouse

That’s Maine over there across the water where the cannons are pointing!

Since Passamaquoddy Bay was only a few steps from Betsy, I went down and explored the tidal floor and checked out the shore birds while the tide was low.

A few interesting marine plants and shells on the ocean floor:

We joined yet another tour, this time aboard the Jolly Breeze.  We didn’t go so much to see the whales and other sea creatures (we’ve seen many in Alaska), but more for the experience of cruising aboard a classic tall ship.  We saw this ship go by the campground and thought it would be fun to hop aboard.  That’s the Jolly Breeze cruising by in our new blog header.

Jolly Breeze

Aboard Jolly Breeze

St Andrews by the sea

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, viewed from the Jolly Breeze

A was to be expected, we saw a Minke Whale, Harbor Seals, Grey Seals and a couple of Bald Eagles.

Each morning I got up early to catch the sunrise.  With the open space and the bay before us, the photo ops were right there for the clicking.  I have taken so many pictures that picking one is like picking your favorite sister – too difficult!

St Andrews by the sea

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea was a great final stop on our Maritime adventure. We liked the look and feel of the town, enjoying every minute of our stay.  A rainbow even appeared, as if to confirm Steve’s comment that this was one of his favorite harbor towns of all. St Andrews by the sea

Our Canadian Maritime adventure stats:

Number of days in Canada = 29 (8/11-9/9)
Miles driven = 1,332
Amount of diesel burned = 177 gallons
Average price for diesel = $5.10/gallon

What was originally planned as a two-week trip mushroomed into a whole month of driving around the Maritime provinces, made up of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.  Despite spotty internet in the RV parks, high prices, a lot of rain and some bad roads – the trip was well worth it.  The people were friendly and seemed happy to see visitors in their towns.

Which province is my favorite?  It would have to be Prince Edward Island – the whole island is just too picturesque, pastoral with wide open spaces.

Canada Maritimes

Map of where we had been in Canada’s Maritimes

Our blogger friends were like walking visitor centers – many thanks to Pam of Oh the Places they go, (especially the Scone alert!), Gay of Good Times Rolling (we stayed at the RV parks they were in) Brenda of Island Girl (the French River was the best!) and Judith of Red Road Diaries – they had been here before and provided us with excellent inside information and tips about the Maritimes.

And finally, finally..the morning we left for the USA was no exception, as I captured this very serene and calm morning with brushstroke clouds that made it look like a painting. The beautiful sunrise was a great start for our journey back to the good ‘ol USA.

Sunrise at St Andrews by the sea

Next up:

The fabulous Acadia National Park!


Peggy’s Cove and the beautiful Nova Scotia shoreline

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Peggy's Point Light

The day after we got an overload of colors at Lunenburg, we continued our sightseeing along the shores of Nova Scotia.  Our plan was to visit Peggy’s Cove, which is famous for its picturesque lighthouse.  Fortunately, we were tipped off to go there after 5:00pm, as busloads of tourists teem over the cove and lighthouse during the day.  So, instead we explored several towns and harbors along the southern and eastern shores of Nova Scotia.  Our drive to the southern shore took us through Mahoney Bay, where three beautiful churches – Anglican, Lutheran and United – caught our attention.

These three elegant churches can all be seen together along Mahoney Bay harbor.

Three Churches, Mahoney Bay

Three churches on Mahoney Bay.

While driving along we stumbled upon the two Swissair Flight 111 memorials.  Fifteen years ago, on Sept. 2, 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 229 on board.  Two memorials were established – one to the west of the crash site at Bayswater, where the remains of the crew and passengers are buried, and the other to the east at Whalesback, near Peggy’s Cove.  These locations were chosen for their proximity to the crash site, which is roughly equidistant off the shores of Whalesback and Bayswater, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s best beaches are located on the eastern shore.  We spent some time at one, Lawrencetown Beach.  We noted it was quite a hub of activity with surfers, swimmers and just gawkers like us.

Just one of the many beautiful harbors along the eastern shore.

Just one of many beautiful harbors along the eastern shore.

As the sun began to dip, we headed out to Peggy’s Cove.  When we heard the name of this place we imagined a large cove, but when we arrived we discovered that it’s a tiny (I mean really tiny) seaside town with a population of about fifty.  But because of its celebrated lighthouse and the quaint fishing village, it has become a popular tourist attraction.  The town and lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove are one of the most photographed locations in Canada.  As we walked around the village we saw hundreds of lobster traps, and boats with their fishing gear littering the docks.

Peggy's Cove Fishing Village

Peggy’s Cove fishing village

The rugged beauty of Peggy’s Cove is peppered with huge boulders called “erratics”, remnants left 10,000 years ago by receding glaciers.  Although this unique environment has been designated a preservation area, it is still an active fishing community.  It’s located about 30 minutes south of Halifax.

Peggy's Cove

The most famous resident in town was William deGarthe, a Finnish artist who carved a memorial, “A lasting monument to Nova Scotian fishermen.”  The 100 ft. granite outcrop depicts St. Michael and 32 fishermen with their wives and children, enveloped by the wings of St. Elmo, the patron saint of sailors – as well as the legendary Peggy.  deGarthe began the sculpture at age 70 and took 6 years to complete it.

William deGarthe

Granite outcrop chiseled as a memorial.

William deGarthe

How to interpret the sculpture above

But the centerpiece of Peggy’s Cove is the iconic white and red beacon lighthouse perched atop the rugged granite rocks.  It is located on a rocky headland at the end of Peggy’s Point Road.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse

This well-known lighthouse, officially known as Peggy’s Point Light, was built in 1914 and is 44 ft. tall.  The octagonal concrete structure overlooks the mouth of St. Margaret’s Bay.  Between 1975 and 2009, the ground floor of this lighthouse operated as a post office where visitors could mail their postcards in the summer months – the only lighthouse post office in North America at the time.  While the post office is no longer there, the image of this famous lighthouse on top of the giant rocks with the crashing sea waves is considered just as beautiful as it has been for almost a century.

Peggy's Point Light

Iconic red and white Peggy’s Point Light.

Granite Rocks at Peggy's Cove

The lighthouse sits on these granite rocks.

Since many visitors aren’t sensible enough to move away from the lighthouse at sunset so the dozens of photographers can get a good shot, I tried to work around them to get a decent shot as the sun hid behind the horizon.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse

Visitor’s group picture at the lighthouse.

Although there are many similar lighthouses in eastern Canada, this is a genuine star, picturesque and simply beautiful!

Peggy's Cove

Peggy’s Cove at dusk, with St. Margaret Bay in the foreground and the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Next up: Cape Breton Island

By the time you read this we are just arriving back in the U.S. to play catch-up with our posts, now that we have good internet connectivity again.


A tapestry of colors – Lunenburg, NS

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We ventured out to the southern shore of Nova Scotia and headed for the old town of Lunenburg. Enroute we caught a glimpse of the longest line of bras we have ever seen (yes – bras – as in women’s undergarments)!  We are not sure if those were decorations or for sale. (Thanks to Bax McClure comment below, the bras show support for Breast Cancer!)

Bra Line

Steve almost drove off the road when he saw all these bras!

The old town of Lunenburg is one of three Unesco World Heritage sites in Nova Scotia.  It received this honor because it is one of the best examples of a classic British colonial settlement and for its remarkable level of conservation.  First, below is a mural of the old Lunenburg, then check out my current images and you’ll notice the town is pretty much unchanged.

Mural of Old Lunenberg

Mural of Old Lunenburg

Seventy percent of the original buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries  greeted us with their colorful facades.  The locals have safeguarded the town’s identity throughout the centuries by preserving the wooden architecture of the houses and public buildings, some of which date back to the 18th century.

Zwicker Wharf

We took a walk around the narrow streets and enjoyed the charming architecture and brightly painted wooden buildings of today.

Every block featured a collection of colors from the rainbow for their paint jobs, which made the street views  a real treat to look at.




Old town Lunenberg

Then add in the bright red buildings along the harbor…

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Adams and Knickle

Adams and Knickle

Around town were 44 fish sculptures honoring the top 20 fish and shellfish species landed by the area’s commercial fisheries.

As we strolled along it became clear that the town’s vibrancy is what draws so many people here for a visit.  This little town is teeming with craft shops, art studios, inns and dozens of excellent restaurants.  We highly recommend a relaxing half-day visit here!

Back to to the waterfront, even ships/boats were in an array of bold colors.


While strolling on the wharf a tourist asked us where the Bluenose II was docked.  We couldn’t answer him, since we didn’t even know what it was.  Later on we learned it is Nova Scotia’s world-famous (maybe I’m the only one who hadn’t heard about it) sailing ambassador.  Bluenose II is a schooner designed in the spirit of the original Bluenose.  The original vessel, which has appeared on the Canadian dime since 1937, was launched from Lunenburg as a fishing and racing schooner in 1921.  After 17 years of racing victories she sank on a coral reef in 1946.  The Bluenose II is currently undergoing a major restoration in one of the dry-docks at Lunenburg. It returned to dock for repairs after re-launch Sept. 29, and there is no clear date for it to sail again.

Bluenose II

We continued driving further to a tiny fishing village called Blue Rocks to check out cool bluish sedimentary rocks at their shore.

Blue Rocks

Even the rocks are colorful!

Blue Rocks

I managed to blend in as well!

Blue Rocks Fishing Village

Just another house in Lunenburg

Finally, we bade goodbye after a day of “color overload.”


Can you see me snapping away?

Next up:  Peggy’s Cove and more!


Betsy goes to the hospital and we go to Halifax, NS

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Maine Maritime Academy

After many enjoyable experiences it was time to leave picturesque Prince Edward Island – for a price!  The outrageous bridge toll is paid when leaving the island, and after paying this one we’ll never again complain about how high the tolls were on California bridges!

This was one of our longer drives, from PEI to Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Once again, colorful and vibrant signs welcomed us to the Nova Scotia province.

But as we were approaching our campground along a narrow road, we heard a loud hissing noise.  Steve checked all the monitors and nothing was warning us of a problem. The noise was very loud when we were accelerating, on a road with hills on each side and it was easy to hear because of the echo.  Since we were only a couple of miles from the campground and there was really nowhere to  pull over anyway, we proceeded.  At the campground, Steve checked out the engine as best he could with me revving it but could not locate the source.  While checking into our site, the park manager advised us there was a Cummins engine shop only 11 miles away.  Wow, were we happy to hear that!  We made an appointment and showed up bright and early in the morning, limping along the side streets to stay off the throttle as much as possible.

Betsy goes to the emergency room

Betsy enters the emergency room

While Betsy was being diagnosed and hopefully repaired, we went to the vibrant capital city of Nova Scotia by the sea, Halifax.  Not knowing how long we had to hang out there, we concentrated our activities to the harbor area.  To me, Halifax seemed to be only in the movies or a setting of a good mystery book.  Yet here we were about to experience it!  We thought the city seemed like a mini San Francisco, but with far fewer people and much cleaner.  Besides, they painted their bridge with my favorite colors – green and yellow!

Macdonald Bridge

The Macdonald bridge leads us over a busy shipping channel and into Halifax.

Let me entertain you with the waterfront photos I took while we waited to hear the prognosis for Betsy:

The 3 unique sculptures below are called “The Way Things Are”, and are on public display until Sept 21.  In the foreground is “Got Drunk, Fell Down” (the lamp that has fallen down and its friend is looking down on it with some concern), and in the background is “Fountain” (the lamp post that looks like it is relieving itself into the harbor).  The display was created by Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg.

The way things are, Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg

The Way Things Are

We learned a bit of history as we read the inscriptions on the monument about how the Acadians were removed from Nova Scotia and imprisoned on Georges Island just across the harbor.  This period in 1755 of systematic deportaton of Acadians was called the Grand Derangement or Great Upheaval. Click each image for a brief history about Georges Island.

Across the harbor is Georges Island, where the Acadians were imprisoned.  Imagine thousands of people imprisoned on this tiny island!

George Island

Georges Island

And we certainly don’t get to see this everyday, a cargo ship carrying gigantic cranes into the harbor!

Other sights on the waterfront.

Georges Lighthouse

I managed to take a panoramic shot of the waterfront just before a tremendous downpour came through the area.

Halifax Water front

Since it is a big city harbor, all kinds of ships/boats/schooners/yachts were docked, and even the Maine Maritime Academy was in town.

Maine Maritime Academy

Then the rain came, and it poured for half an hour.

Halifax Harbor

Gorton's fish sticks

Steve thinks this looks like a commercial for Gorton’s fish sticks!

Halifax Harbour

With nowhere else to go, so we just watched schooners and boats pulling into the harbor

After four hours we got the call – Betsy was fixed and can be taken home!  We paid for what seemed to be the world’s most expensive hose – $426!  95% of that was labor, of course, and our extended warranty doesn’t cover hoses, of course.  The hose was for the inlet to the air compressor, which compresses air for the brakes and suspension air bags.  It had split wide open, and although noisy, no damage was done.  We were happy to get Betsy back – being homeless even for a few hours is nerve-wracking especially when you are in a foreign country!

Damaged Hose

Damaged Hose

We headed back to the campground to get her set up again.  We stayed at Woodhaven RV Park, and they offer a most unique and yummy service – fresh cooked lobster prepared for their customers at only $7.00 per pound.  You better believe we took advantage of that offer, and it was fantastic!  If interested, you can read Steve’s review of the campground here. At the end of the day we shared our repair story and Halifax sightseeing with our next door neighbors, Ron and Louise.  They are full timers from Florida, and we hope to see them again this winter when we are there.

Ron and Louise

Next up:  Colorful Lunenberg!


Island Girls meet on Prince Edward Island – fun, fun, fun!

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Great Heron

Prince Edward Island was such a fitting place for the “island girls” to meet.  But before I reveal who they are, allow me to first share more sights and scenes around PEI.  Being a small island, its waters are teeming with all things seafood – including lobsters, mussels, oysters, quahogs and bar clams, among others.  We can proudly boast that we have dined on the freshest and best PEI mussels in existence.  Steve got adventurous and ordered two new shellfish in his food vocabulary, Quahogs and Bar Clams.  That was a great decision – yum!

Our new friend Brenda tipped us off about French River, which was just a few miles from our campground.  It is one of PEI’s most famously picturesque fishing villages, and what a view it is!

French River

My panoramic shot cannot capture it’s unique features, the contrasting yet complimentary combination of water view and farmland in ONE  single vista.

French River

And so here is my attempt to take section shots.  They were taken on a perfectly clear day from left to right on the pano shot. Just imagine yourself sitting on top of a hill overlooking this vista. Simply beautiful.



French River

French River

We spent a while here just admiring gorgeous views we haven’t seen anywhere else!

Now, back to the “island girls” meeting.  When I learned that Island Girl was in the Canadian Maritimes the same time we were, my desire to meet a fellow blogger kicked in.  We had been following each other, and a rendezvous was in order at the right place on the island.  As you know, I hail from one of the thousands of islands in the Philippines – Cebu – while Brenda is from another beautiful island – Puerto Rico.  They appropriately named their coach Island Girl!  So, we had our own little summit on PEI.  Brenda, Hector and the very sweet 4-legged doggie Angel were perfect hosts at their campground right on the sea.

Island Girl

What a view they had – I’m almost standing in the water to get this shot!

Hector who comes from Cuba showed us his shucking skills, offering the “boutique” oysters from the area – Malpeques and Raspberry points.  Both are delicious!  We shared travel ideas and tips, and enjoyed each other’s company so much that we forgot about the time.

Check them out, as they have covered a lot of ground while here in the Maritimes.  Not to mention, Hector’s photography is outstanding!

Island Girl

Brenda and Mona Liza at the official Island Girls site!

Also, they happened to be at an awesome spot for a gorgeous sunset.

New Annan, Sunset

Sunset at New Annan


Next up:  Betsy goes to the hospital – Halifax, NS