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If old homesteads could talk
Many people say that Canada does not exist east of Montreal - not true, but there have been some hard times 'down East' in the last couple of centuries! While travelling the back-roads of NB, the sight of an abandoned farm is not unusual. It is interesting to wander around these dwellings and reflect on the unfulfilled dreams of their owners, or at least to smell the sweet scent of the wild roses! This weather-beaten old house in the tiny community of Titusville belonged to one of my father's cousins who returned from Alberta in 1946 but never married. He passed away in 2007 at age 82 and it appears that his home had taken quite a beating from the elements over those many years!
The second photo is of an abandoned 130 year-old farm on a hillside near Fredericton. It was taken in the Spring, looking up to its perch above the Saint John River valley. The third photo shows a rear view of the house after we had been inside for a look around on an earlier summer visit. One bedroom had old newspapers underneath the floor linoleum, including an article with a death notice of someone who had fought in the US Civil War (1863)! I was saddened to see a December, 2006 newspaper article which said that this structure has now been burned to the ground. Its new owners had planned to renovate it, but a structural analysis showed that it would be far too expensive to try to make things match todays building codes.
During a 2004 drive along a secondary highway near Cambridge Narrows in southern NB, I came upon the rather overgrown looking farm in the fourth photo. The field obviously has not been cut and the trees and shrubs look like they are starting to take over! To me, that's what gives these old farms out in the middle of nowhere some character!Related to:
- Road Trip
Wading a clam (ouch) infested creek!
Located at the southwest of NB, Deer Island was one of our 2006 biking destinations. After leaving the ferry, we immediately turned off onto a small highway along the northwest coast, a dead-end road leading to Northern Harbour. It was an interesting ride and, just before we descended the steepest hill of the entire trip, I said to Russ that I hope we don't have to bike back up this thing! Sure enough, we soon came to the end of the line at the world's largest lobster pound on the point. These pounds, made with long poles driven into the seafloor are located in various coves throughout the island, and function as holding structures where live lobsters are kept for shipment to markets.
Starting the trip back, I saw a power line cutting through the forest in the direction we really wanted to travel. I said to Russ that we should check out the track running along the line to see if we could find a shortcut to avoid the hill. In doing this, we soon came to the inlet of Northern Harbour, spotting another lobster pound with its seaweed covered piles on the far side of the water. We could also see a good looking road behind it, temptingly close! Since it just happened to be low tide, Russ decided that he was going to wade across the shallow 'Clam Creek', rather than face the 'mountain'. We took our sneakers off and scouted the creek out - finding the entire area covered with millions of sharp clam shells mired in and sticking up from the mucky bottom. We decided to wade across barefoot anyway while pushing our bikes, walking very gingerly to avoid any serious damage from the shells. At one point I felt the start of a cut on one of my toes but took the pressure off before it progressed into something serious. We were soon across, a bit muddier but still going. We had to walk the length of the pound wall before finding an ATV trail that led up into the woods and soon we were on an excellent road and on our way. When I told the ladies who ran our motel what we had done, they laughed uproariously at our 'short-cut'!Related to:
- Road Trip
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Just head out into the wilderness
With New Brunswick's vast undeveloped areas, it is not too hard to get away from it all.
On the canoe trip shown here, at the far end of Little Magaguadavic Lake we came upon one of its main infeeds - Stoney Brook. As the name implies, the granite boulders are getting more numerous by the minute as you pass from the lake into the mouth of the brook. Because these obstructions are covered in a black film of algae, and my canoe is made of traditional wood/canvas construction, great care is needed when navigating in these waters! In this photo, my lookout (and forward ballast!), Len, has deserted the bow to take a photo of a typical beaver lodge at the mouth of the brook. On many occasions, with quiet paddling, I have come across beaver swimming near the canoe. Once they spot you, they will usually circle around with their nose sniffing the air before they give a huge smack on the water with their tails as they dive. That is a warning to other beavers that something unusual is afoot! During the summer, the beavers stick branches and twigs into the muddy bottom so they can swim out of the lodge's underwater entrance during the winter to retrieve their food supply from beneath the 3-foot thick layer of ice covering the lake.
Another option is taking a hike in the forests or fields. One thing about walking around in the forests of New Brunswick is that you will often come across many different types of wild flowers. They quite often are not easy to see but are well worth the difference when you do spot them! In the second photo, I've stumbled upon a bunch of Devil's Paintbrush, a rather common wild flower in NB. However, it has a wonderful aroma - maybe it brings back memories from my childhood days of living in the countryside! These orange flowers have always been among my favourites!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Sailing and Boating
You have got to go out of your way to get here!
About as far away from anything else in New Brunswick is small Miscou Island, located at the northeast tip of the province. To reach Miscou, you first cross a bridge from the mainland onto the larger Lameque Island, resulting in about a 40-km one-way bike ride for Russ and I to reach the Miscou lighthouse during our Summer, 2003 expedition.
The weather was foggy when we set out in the morning from our Inn at Shippagan and then it deteriorated into showers as we continued onward on to the northern tip of the Island. However, we had brought some wet weather gear and a spare set of clothes just in case. As an added bonus, the return ride was dry all the way! It was great to bike along the relatively flat countryside on both Lameque and Miscou - I was amazed at how smooth the newly paved roads were. On Lameque, even the shoulder of the road was paved wide enough to ride abreast for about half way across the island. The further north you travel, the less frequent was the traffic - making for a very relaxing trip! This is in a part of the province dominated by French Acadian descendants, so it was interesting to experience the cultural difference from the English-speaking parts of NB. This photo was taken at the northern end of Lameque, with the sign for Miscou Island giving directions to its connecting bridge.Related to:
- Road Trip
While traveling from Cape Enrage up to the Hopewell Rocks we passed an interesting sign for an artists studio along highway #915. On our way back, we stopped in. The showroom is filled with all kinds of interesting ceramic pieces, which are for sale at very reasonable prices. We learned from the owner who is also one of the artists, that he and his wife had built all of the building on the property. Definately look around! It's all very interesting!Related to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
That Crazy Dutchman
Riding down route 2 from Nova Scotia towards New Brunswick, we wanted to stop by Five Island Provincial Park but found it closed for the season. We luckily at least came across this cute little farm where a Dutchman set up a cheese factory. They were quite good too. There are some signs from the road and it is indeed called, "That Crazy Dutchman's Cheese Factory."Related to:
- Road Trip
- Food and Dining
A Cruise on the River
The Saint John River is an amazingly beautiful river that cuts through some of the most picturesque scenery you can imagine. There are numerous islands, bays, and inlets where you can find enormous private homes, or secluded undiscovered beaches.
On a recent cruise on the river I saw a Bald Eagle, a Loon, and countless cormorants and ducks. It's also an ideal place for sailing, water-skiing and fishing.
Whenever I feel that Saint John is an unattractive town, I just have to walk down to the river and take in scenes like this one, taken near the end of Millidge Avenue.Related to:
- Water Sports
- Sailing and Boating
Sackville is a town located just about on the border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It's home to Mount Allison University and near the Tantramar Marshes. It is also in the centre of the Maritime Provinces. I only spent a brief time here but I kinda liked it. It seemed like all the buildings here are built out of brick which looks really nice here. There is a little store in downtown that has these older postcards of itself for sale there. I thought it was interesting.
World's Largest Potato
In Maugerville, there is the World's Largest Potato. The potato is located on the North side of Highway 105 in a parking lot. Maugerville is located along the St. John River about 22 or so km for Fredericton or just on the other side of the bridge from Burton which is just down the road from Oromocto.
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World's Largest Atlantic Salmon
The world's largest atlantic salmon, which apparantly has the name of Sam is located in Campbellton. The fish is located near the Restigouche River by the tourist information centre which is east of the bridge that leads to Pointe-a-la-Croix, Quebec. The area around Sam is a pretty nice area and the rest of Campbellton is nice to walk around for a bit.
Campbellton is a small city with a population over 7,000 located in northeast New Brunswick.
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World's Largest Axe
In the town of Nackawic, the world's largest axe makes it's home. It is quite large indeed. It was erected in 1991 because that was the year Nackawic became Canada's forestry capital. It's obvious why they chose an axe as the monument to represent this.
Nackawic has a population close to a thousand people and is 65 km west of Fredericton. It is located on the east bank of the Saint John River.
Province of New Brunswick Hotels
333 Bishop Drive, Fredericton, E3C 2M6, Canada
Good for: Couples
369 Ch. Rockland, Saint John, E2K 3W3, Canada
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