Lonnie and Sue - Traveling North America

Touring New Brunswick in 2004

You can read it through or select specific locations below.
Fredericton                                Shediac
Saint Andrews                          Shippagan
Saint John                              Upper Gagetown     

                                   
Note - Last day on Gaspe Peninsula. Driving to New Brunswick today.

08-27-04 
 – FriDay 70Out at:  11:30 AMTrip meter:  162 

No one from the garage came by last night so I checked with the campground owner this morning.  He gave me the name of the garage and said he had talked to them last night and he thought they could help me.   

I went to the garage about 9 AM and talked to the owner.  He said that he had one small job to do then would come by the campground and look at the coach to determine IF the repairs were something he could handle.   

We waited until 11:30 AM and he never arrived.  We have to get to Carleton today because if we don’t there is a good chance they may return our mail.  It is 120 miles to Carleton and we had decided that if the coach could be repaired here then we would take the jeep and go get the mail.  However, since no one has come by we decided to hit the road and forfeit the nights parking we had paid for here. 

I removed the tow bar from the receiver.  It was hanging down so low it was scraping the ground – in fact some of the bar had been drug off on the highway and one arm of the bar was bent.  

Departed the campground at 11:30 AM with Sue following me in the jeep.  Our destination is about 400 miles away – Moncton, NB.  It is a city of 61,000 so believe we can find some one with expertise to repair the coach.  Will go to Campbellton, NB today.   

Stopped in Carleton and got our mail. 

Note that somewhere during our drive today the east 132 became the west 132.  We’re heading back down the coat going west. 

Crossed over into New Brunswick at Pointe-a-la-Grande – there was no highway number – just an arrow pointing the way. 

In Campbellton we stopped at the tourist center.  It’s just a small town of 7,000 but I decided to give it a try for repairs.  One of the employees gave me directions to a garage – it was just 4 blocks away.  Went there and talked to the mechanic.  He looked at the problem and said they couldn’t do it but there was a machine shop in town that could.  He called the machine shop supervisor to come over and look at the coach – Levis Pelletier with Welding & Machine Shop Division, High Country Ltd.  Levis looked and said it would not be a problem and that he would do it tomorrow morning at 9 AM.  We have decided to stay at the local provincial park so we made arrangements for him to meet us at the entrance to the park at 8:45 AM tomorrow.   

Went to Sugarloaf Provincial Park, Campbellton, NB and registered for one night for $24.00 – site #35 – electricity only – no satellite because of trees – pull through – very nice.  Ultra clean bath house.  Got set up at 5:30 PM.  Drove the jeep 162 miles today following the motorhome.

08-28-04SatDay 71Trip meter:  6 

Got up at 7 AM so we would have time to break camp and meet Levis at 8:45 AM.  When I awoke I immediately remembered the time change in New Brunswick – one hour faster.  We both worked very fast and reached the entrance at 8:43 AM.  

Followed Levis to the shop.  It is usually closed on Saturdays but he came in this morning to do this work for us.  Levis removed the receiver.  It was twisted like a pretzel – he straightened it on a 100-ton press.  Then he was able to move the torn pieces of steel back into place and weld them.  Note here that what tore out was a ¼ inch extension that was put on at the factory.  It was an extension to the frame that the rear portion of the coach is fastened to and the receiver was bolted to.  In my opinion ¼ inch material is not sufficient.  After welding the damaged areas Levis welded pieces on both sides to strengthen the extensions.  I believe they will hold.  He reinstalled the receiver and then straightened the tow bar.  That all took 3 hours. 

It was too late to leave today so we returned to Sugarloaf Provincial Park and got the same site back.  

Went to the post office to mail a card but it is Saturday and was closed.  Went to the library to check email and pay a couple of bills but it was closed.  Had noticed yesterday that the tourist center had free internet.  Went there and got our email but could not access the bank to pay bills.

Returned to the campground.  At the entrance there was a small fox at the gate.  Several cars had stopped and a man was feeding it bread.  There were two park employees there and they were feeding it pizza.  The fox seemed to like the pizza best.

The park was advertising an “Alpine Slide” – the only one in Canada.  I asked what it was – it is a luge style ride.  We rode up the hill on the ski lift and set on a plastic sled about 3 feet long, and went down the hill on a plastic track that represented a luge run.  It was really fun but the lever that controlled the acceleration and brake was extremely hard to operate. 
Sugarloaf is a real nice park – a place I would like to spend several weeks in.  Drove the jeep 29 miles this stop .
 

08-29-04SunDay 72Out at:  10:30 AMTrip meter:  141 

Going to Shippagan.  Headed out on the 134 south – will follow it along the coastline until it turns and heads into the interior.  The tide was out this morning – the drive is a lot prettier when the tide is in.  Looks like the highway signs are not any better here than in the other providence’s.  Just east of Bathurst we picked up the 11 south.  

Stopped at the “Village Historique Acadien” located 10 km west of Caraquet.  Took 3½ hours to tour the village and watch an 18-minute slide show.  Following are comments about the village:

The village was set up in three parts – farms before 1900, town buildings before 1900, and buildings after 1900.

The village consisted of the following: 

                7 complete farms from 1770 to 1880
                1 large warehouse for processing and storing fish – 1855
                1 general store stocked with period items – 1889
                1 tavern, with bar -  1880
                1 woodworking shop, fully equipped – 1875
                        Includes a shed for making cedar shingles
                1 print shop - 1880
                1 blacksmith shop – 1865
                7 houses (residences) of various designs from 1822 to 1890
                1 grist mill – 1895
                1 school house, still had one of the original desks – 1869
                1 chapel – 1831
                1 lobster hatchery (all equipment had been removed) – 1915
                1 barrel maker – 1937
                1 hotel, still in use for guest today – 1907
                1 tinsmith shop, with equipment – 1905
                1 cobbler shop, reproduction of a 20th century shop.
                Several other assorted buildings

Farms – They was set up on a gravel road that wandered through the woods.  In most cases you could not see one from the other.  Had to watch the road or you could step in horse dung.  Each farm had the house with outbuildings.  They included barns, chicken houses, stables and corrals, woodsheds, pump houses, spring houses, etc.  However, only saw one outhouseEach farm had a producing garden and was stocked with animals.  We saw chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, goats, cows, pigs, horses, sheep, and one mule.  The farms were set up to look like farms would look in their period if you walked up on it during your travels.  Every farm had an interrupter in period dress.  

Things of interest we saw

  • The farmers would stack hay next to the saltwater river and when the tide came in the hay would retain the salt and then they fed it to the cows.  Today we use salt blocks.
  • Most of the farmhouses had a supply of wooden shoes. 
  • All of the farmhouses had a loft but no one slept in them.  It was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.  The lofts were used to store grain. 
  • Saw quite a few apple trees and one apple orchard.
  • The interrupters were doing actual work – one lady was spinning wool, one spinning flax, one making a hook rug, one crocheting, several cooking. 
  • Flax is a plant that is woven into linen.  Sue asked the lady about coloring the linen.  She said it was not dyed, it was either used in its natural color or bleached.  It would not take the dyes like the wool. 
  • In the woodshop they still make the items used in the village and sold in the gift shop.  The woodworker was making water buckets when we were there.  There was a real good collection of molding planes in the shop.
  • In the print shop they still use the printing presses to print up flyers for village activities.  Watched the printer print off of two different presses.
  • In the blacksmith shop they make parts for the village and items for the gift shop.  The smithy made a nail and gave it to Sue. 
  • When the gristmill was constructed in 1895 it operated off of a water wheel with grinding wheels.  It was remodeled in 1924 - the grinding wheels were replaced with newer grinding equipment and the water wheel was replaced with a water turbine.  The new equipment allowed the grain to be milled into bran, wheat germ, course flour, and fine flour.  Prior to the new equipment all that was milled was “all bran flour”.  There was also a wool cleaner installed that is used in the winter months.
  • The barrel shop still makes barrels for the village and gift shop.  It was used commercially from 1937 to 1980.  Barrels are made with both metal rings and wooden rings.  We had never seen a wooden ring barrel before.  They use a maple reed and go around it twice in each spot a ring goes and nails it in. 
  • The tin shop is still used to make items for the village and gift shop. 

The only building that did not have an interrupter was the chapel.This is without a doubt the very best village we have ever been in.  Walking thought it you can actually feel that you have stepped back into time and the way they have converted the old farms into actual working farms is fantastic.  Highly recommend this tour.

Note - I know we took a lot of pictures of the village but apparently we lost them.  However, we went back again in 2007 and pictures of the village are posting in the Photos 2007 Tab under New Brunswick.

Stopped at Camping Gite & Auberge Janine du Havre, Shippagan, NB – Have water, electric, and sewer – level – closest site to the ocean – no trees – Staying 3 nights.  Got set up at 7:40 PM – we have satellite. 

08-30-04MonDay 73 - The rain woke me at 5 AM this morning.  Our plan for today was to get the schedule for a fishing boat that runs out of here, do a driving tour of the two islands that form a sort of peninsula here, go to the library to check email and pay bills, go to the post office, and go to the aquarium.  

At 9:30 AM it was 55 degrees, raining, foggy, and fairly strong winds.  At 10:00 AM we left for the wharf to check on the boat schedule – it was closed.  Went to the aquarium.  It was not very large but quite impressive for such a small town.  They had 5 seal and several lobsters that were 40 to 60 years old.  We also saw our first blue lobster.  

Finally found someone at the boat office – she did not speak any English so I decided to forgo the fishing trip – the weather is not responding either.  There has been a slow too moderate drizzle all morning so we decided to put off our driving trip until tomorrow.  Bought groceries and went to the post office.  The post office did not open until 2 PM.  Returned to camp about 12:30 PM – had lunch – Sue went back to the library – then we stayed in the rest of the day and read.

08-31-04TueDay 74 - Rained all night long.  At noon it was moderate to heavy drizzle with occasions of heavy rainfall.  We decided to take the driving tour anyway.  Departed camp at 1 PM for the drive and it is still raining fairly constant – had to run the windshield wipers the entire trip.  

This part of New Brunswick is called the “The Peninsula and Islands”.  Shippagan is at the very tip of the peninsula.  We are camped just across the bridge on the first island but it is still considered to be in Shippagan.  

The first island, Lameque, is connected to the peninsula with a drawbridge.  The second island, Miscou is connected to Lameque with a really high arched bridge.  We drove around the east coast of Lemequie first.  The road went all the way to the northern most tip of the island ending in Caraquet Bay at a wharf – then we had to backtrack because it was a dead-end.  The ocean was really muddy along the eastern coastline.  The muddy portion of the water extended out about ½ mile and looked as bad as the Mississippi River.  This is the first muddy water we have seen in over a month.  Saw the Arcadian Peat Moss plant.  Unprocessed peat moss was stacked up and covered, like the cottonseed at home.  There appeared to be several thousand feet of it.  We also saw acres and acres of processed peat moss.  It was bailed like cotton, with the bales about 1½ times the size.  It was wrapped in black plastic and stacked 4 to 5 bales high.

Then we cut across west and entered Miscou Island. There is one road to the northern tip that ended at a lighthouse. The water was muddy there also. There were two campgrounds on the island – we looked at both of them and neither one was attractive. One was setting in the woods and the other on the ocean. We only found four roads that went from the main road to the coast and three of them were not paved. I got to 4-wheeled on 2 of them – one was muddy and had a lot of water on it and the other was through the sand dunes. It would seem that there are relatively few houses on the coastline of this island. Drove back to camp along the west coastline of Lameque. Returned to camp about 3:30 PM. The trip was about 95 miles. The rain stopped at 4 PM and it cleared up during the night. At 10 PM I could see the stars. Drove the jeep 121 miles this stop .

09-01-04WedDay 75Out at:  11:15 AMTrip meter:  175 

Took the 113 south back to the 11 south.  Stayed on the 11 south to Miramichi.  Beautiful day – the drive to Miramichi was rather dull.  The highway was away from the coast – the scenery was primarily unimpressive wooded area.  It was a good highway that went through the towns.  It reminded me of the highways I grew up with in the 50’s and 60’s – 2 lanes with the highways being Main Street of the towns it went through. 

At Miramichi we turned east on the 117.  It we had had some cream with us we could have churned some butter on this road.  It was a narrow 2 lane and in places part of the road had eroded so that there was only about 1½ lanes.  We were on it for about 15 miles.  It took us about 45 minutes to travel the 15 miles.  

Miscou Point Lighthouse.
Then we hit a construction area (about time they worked on it) and were detoured back to the 11 south. Traveled on the 11 south for several miles before seeing the detour sign back to the 117 but we decided to just stay on the 11 and forgo the remainder of the 117. At the time we were detoured to the 11 south we were about 10 miles south of Miramichi.

The 11 from this point on south is controlled access and it bypasses the towns.  This is the only 2 lane controlled access highway we have ever been on.  We had noticed that is was constructed like a controlled access highway, with exit numbers, when we were in Campbellton, but just around the towns.  After leaving the towns there were side roads entering the highway just like any 2-lane road.   

At Rexton we took the 505 south at exit 53 – the map shows it as a scenic drive along the coastline.  It is also marked as part of the Arcadian Coast Drive.  We have been on the Arcadian Coast Drive since leaving Campbellton.  We picked up a book at the tourist center there that has the drive marked with something about each town on the route, in order.   

We were very displeased with the drive and I made some rather nasty comments about it on the tape recorder.  The road was a lot like the 17, very rough, there was no water visible, and the scenery was scrub brush.  However, about 1/3 way into the drive we arrived at the ocean and the rest of the drive was wonderful.  At the intersection of the 505 and the 475 (assume it is the 475 since there are no road signs but there is an Arcadian Coast sign) we took the 475 – it continued on around the coastline.   

Stumbled onto the Vins du Vignoble winery.  Just had time to see there was a circular drive and turn in.  There is also a campground at the winery.  We bought 3 bottles – one grape, one blueberry, and one elderberry.  They also made a strawberry desert wine but it was a bit too sweet for our taste.  There was an excellent view of the ocean from their front door. 

Stopped at Camping Parasol, Shediac, NB – Have water, electric, and sewer.  Stayed 4 nights – grassy with no trees – got satellite.  We are planning to go out on the lobster boat tomorrow. 

We were on the way to the body of water that appears to join the park when another camper called me.  He wanted to ask me about the satellite.  His wife joined us and we ended up visiting about 2 hours – did not get to the water but it did rain on us pretty hard.  We went into their trailer, a fifth wheel, and continued the visit.  They were Don and Linda from Michigan.  I had to go out in the rain and close some windows in the coach.  The kitchen area got pretty wet because the vent was open.  It was a very enjoyable visit.  They are planning to do the lobster tour tomorrow so we may see them again.

09-02-04ThurDay 76 - At noon went to the tourist center and got a brochure for the lobster cruise.  Bought two lobster rolls at the gift shop next door and took them back to the coach to eat.  A lobster roll is a portion of lobster in a hotdog bun on a bed of lettuce with mayonnaise.  They were very tasty.  

Went to the wharf and purchased two tickets for the lobster cruise for 6 PM tonight. Also purchased one ticket for the mackerel fishing cruise tomorrow at 1:30 PM – Sue does not want to go.

Went on the cruise at 6 PM. Don and Linda were there also. Also met another couple, Richard and Mary, from Ontario. We all set together and had a ball. Took the boat out and the crew pulled up two lobster traps. The wooden trap had two lobsters in it and the metal one was empty. There was one of each trap to show the two kinds being used. (Found out later that they had planted the two lobsters because the traps weren’t placed until 4:30 PM today. The purpose of this cruise is to educate us on the way lobsters are trapped, cooked, and eaten.

We received a history on lobsters. The instructor was extremely entertaining. He instructed us on how to cook, crack, and get all of the meat out of the lobster. Then we had a lobster dinner to practice. It was delicious.  See photos.

09-03-04FriDay 77 - Departed camp at 10:30 AM to take a drive around town.  Now a comment about the Arcadian flag.  We see it more than the Canadian and very seldom see the New Brunswick flag.  The Arcadian flag is blue, white, and red – an equal portion of each – with a yellow star in the blue section.  In addition to seeing the flag fly we have seen it painted on houses, barns, highline poles, mailboxes, and lobster traps.  Returned to camp at noon. 

Shediac bills it's self as the Lobster Capitol of the world and they have this really huge lobster to back it up.
At 12:30 PM I left for the wharf for the fishing trip.  It was on the same boat Sue and I were on last night.  It started sprinkling before we boarded and continued all during the trip.  No one on board caught anything.  The mackerel are only in during August and part of September.  We were told that last year on 44 trips only 8 of the trips had come up empty but that this was the 34th trip this year and over half had failed to catch anything.  It seems the fishing has been bad this year.  The fish won today but it was still a nice ride and I had fun.

Returned to camp and picked up Sue and we went to the Olivier Soapery.  We took the 11 north to exit 42 then the 505 north about 4 miles (60 miles round trip).  The soapery was established in 1998.  All of the soap is made by hand and they make about 30 different varieties.  Five soap making demonstrations are gives 7 days a week and Sue and I were the only ones at the 6 PM demo.  It was very interesting.  We purchased several bars – one was to repel mosquitoes.  We took a catalog so that we can order more it we decide we like any of it.   

09-04-04SatDay 78 - Left camp at 10:30 AM – took the 15 west to Moncton.  The 15 is a divided highway with a nice stand of trees separating the east and west lanes for about 10 miles.  It is the first divided highway we have been on since we leaving the 401 at Toronto.  It is also the only controlled access highway we have ever been on, anywhere, with a railroad track running across it – no gates, just signal lights.  The speed limit on the 15 is 110 km/h.

In Moncton we stopped at the tourist center and got a city map.  Stopped at the farmers market and Sue bought a framed print for the guest bath at home – a lighthouse scene.  Stopped at Pizza Hut for lunch – first pizza since we left home.  Went to Magnetic Hill and let the jeep coast up a hill.  It appears the hill is about a 4 or 5% grade but it is just an optical illusion.  

Stopped at the Petitcodia River to see the Tidal Bore.  When the tide comes in it creates a tidal wave, called the Tidal Bore, from 8 to 18 inches in height.  I watched the river from a position different than Sue.  The position I was at was closer to the ocean, and it was at least 125 yards from shore to shore.  Sue watched at a different point where it was about 250 yards across.  The river was very low on water because the tide was out.  Where I was the actual flow of water was rather narrow and quite fast.   Where Sue was it was spread out over a larger area and the flow of water was very shallow.  I watched the water constantly and never saw the wave.  At the shallow point where Sue was the wave was about 4 inches high.  The river started to fill rapidly.  It rose at least 5 feet in the 15 minutes we watched it.  The literature on it indicated it took about 1 hour to rise about 25 feet.  

Grilled steak for dinner.  I bought a lobster at the local lobster house – already cooked.  Fresh cooked lobster cost $8.89 per pound.  My lobster weighed over one pound.  Sue just had steak.  Drove the jeep 200 miles this stop.

09-05-04SunDay 79Out at:  10:55 AMTrip meter:  91 

Going to Prince Edward Island (PEI) – headed out on the 15 east.  Note that while the 15 west of Shediac was a controlled access 4-lane highway with a speed limit of 110 km/h, the 15 east is just a little 2-lane highway with a speed limit of 100 km/h.  After about 25 miles took the 955 north – part of the Arcadian drive.  First 5 miles was through wooded and grass land.  Saw a lot of hay that had been baled and wooded land that was being cleared.  After 5 miles arrived at the coast.  The first 10 miles of this road was very narrow and very rough.  The speed limit was 80 km/h but my top speed was 45 km/h with the most of it at 40 km/h.  After 10 miles the road got wider and smoother and the speed limit was reduced to 70 km/h.  

Arrived at the Confederation Bridge at 12:30 PM.  Stopped at the tourist center at the entrance to the bridge but they only had brochures for New Brunswick.  The bridge is a toll bridge - you don’t pay a toll going over – it is all collected coming back.  The bridge is 8 miles long – very tall for shipping – with a high hump for real tall ships – speed limit 80 km/h.  I traveled it at 70 km/h and it took 11 minutes.  

The compass is having a fit.  It is bouncing at least 90 degrees.  Working fine after we got off the bridge.  Something on the bridge was causing the interference.

Stopped at the tourist center at the foot of the bridge on the PEI side.  There is a small community built up around the center – wants first grab at the tourist dollars.  Sue picked up a brochure for a Mexican restaurant in Charlottetown so it looks like we will be eating there this trip.  She has been having sever withdrawal.

Note - Above was travel through New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.

CONTINUED - SEE PEI TAB

After leaving PEI had to go through New Brunswick to the to the US.

CONTINUED FROM PEI TAB 

09-26-04 SunDay 100Out at: 10:10 AMTrip meter: 160

Crossed back into New Brunswick. Paid a toll to cross the bridge. As we crossed the bridge the compass went nuts again so it must be some kind of interference on the bridge. Probably something to do with navigational aids.

Heading in the direction of Fredericton, NB. Took the 16 west off the bridge and picked up the 2 west at Aulac. Both highways are part of the Trans-Canada highway. Going inland through New Brunswick we noticed a far greater number of trees have changed color than on PEI. The trees along side the road looks like they have been splattered with multiple shades of reds, yellows, oranges, and burgundies.

This highway is in excellent condition. With the exception of about 5 miles of a few bumps and waves it is as good as any highway I have ever driven on.

Stopped at Gagetown Camping, Upper Gagetown, NB – Have water, electric, and sewer. Stayed 3 nights. Had to level – ugly campground – 49 sites. Have satellite and got setup at 2:45 PM.

This campground is surrounded by trees.  It looks like it was just plowed out of the woods with a dozer and the sites built to the contour of the land.  None of them are close to level.  There is very little grass and what there is appears to be mostly dead.  It is not a place to spend time in but is okay just to stop over.  We chose it because it is at the intersection of the 2 and the 102 and we intend to take the 102 to Saint John next.  Since it is a Passport America site it is more economical to stay here and drive to Fredericton twice than to drive the coach to Fredericton 

09-27-04MonDay 101 - Departed camp at 10:30 AM.  Its clear, 60 degrees, and the mosquitoes are out.  Going to Fredericton by way of the 2 and exiting at 297 onto the 7.  Fredericton became the provincial capitol of New Brunswick in 1785.  

The “downtown” portion is built on the banks of the Saint John River down in a valley.  The major portions of the businesses are located on the south bank with the north bank being primarily residential.  There are 2 highway bridges and one walking bridge (old railroad bridge) spanning the river in the town.  

When you exit the 7 to enter town you have to drop down into the valley.  The main street that runs from the 7 to downtown is 1¼ miles long, all down hill.  The first portion is relatively straight at about a 7% grade with the last ½ mile being perfectly straight at about a 10% grade.  It would make an excellent run for sleds in the winter. 

Stopped at the Capitol building.  There is a staircase in the building that is called “free standing”.  It is circular with 3 landings and is about 65 to 70 feet tall.  The spectator section of the house of commons had wooden benches that had straight backs and narrow bottoms.  They looked extremely uncomfortable – more like seats that would be used for torture.  However, there were earphones at each position for translations (English and French).   

Stopped at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.  There was a wonderful display of art, old furniture, tapestry, and porcelain dishes and figurines.  I liked the paintings in this art gallery.  With the exception of a few small exhibits of current Canadian artists the paintings dated from the 1400’s through the 1800’s.  Not a lot of abstract during that period.   

Walked through the Historic Garrison District that is the centerpiece of the “downtown” area.  This is the area where the military was located in the 1700-1900’s.  Many of the structures are still standing and have been converted into museums or government use buildings now. 

Stopped at City Hall.  There are 27 tapestries located inside – had a guided tour.  The tapestries depict the history of Fredericton.  We were informed it took 200 hours to complete each one.  They were hanging from the banister around the spectator’s section of the council room and were about 2’ by 3’ in size.  The City Hall building was build in 1876 and is the oldest one still in use in the Maritimes.  This was the fourth City Hall built in Fredericton – the other 3 burned down. 

Free standing circular stairs in the capitol building in Fredericton.
 
 
Located in one of the old military buildings is the New Brunswick College of Crafts and Designs.  The enlisted quarters had three levels.   On the ground floor were the stables.  They have been converted to craft shops.  The two upper levels are used for government office space.  Got back in camp at 5:30 PM.    

09-28-04TueDay 102 - There was a 34-foot motorhome parked next to us last night that had 6 full-grown people staying in it.  Believe it was a mite crowded.   

Departed camp at 9:40 AM.  Went to Fredericton by way of the 102.  It was a narrow 2-lane road but was very scenic.  In Fredericton all we did was some driving tours that were listed in the Fredericton 2004 Visitor Guide. 

  • Northside Driving Tour – Crossed the river to the north shore.  The only attraction worth mentioning was the Boss Gibson’s Maryville National Historic District.  There is a huge cotton mill located there that was constructed in 1883 by Alexander “Boss” Gibson.  It was operated until 1954 when increased competition from foreign competitors caused its closure.  The building was purchased by the government of New Brunswick in 1980 and renovated for office space.  It is currently the workplace for over 400 provincial government employees.  The “old mill”, as it is still called by many, was renamed Maryville Place in 1985 and designated a National Historical Site in 1986.   

This site is one of Canada’s best preserved examples of a 19th century mill town.  Boss constructed housing for his employees.  In addition to the huge mill building, we counted a total of 54 brick houses that consisted of 40 duplexes and 14 single units that were in the area of the old mill.  The houses were rented to the employees at a very reasonable price.  There were a couple of empty lots in the housing development so it appears a few houses may have been removed.  Each house was red brick, 2-story, with a basement.  All of the duplexes were the same size and all of the single units were the same size.  It appeared all of the houses were in use when we drove through – none seemed to be vacant.  There is a creek running in front of the mill.  Boss went across the creek and built housing for the managers.  To live across the creek was a status symbol.  We counted 6 houses but it appeared several might have been removed.  None of them were the same.  This is an example of mass produced housing that is over 100 years old and still in use.   

  • Southside Driving Tour – Crossed the river back to the south side.  The first stop was Old Government House.  No admission fee but entrance is only by guided tour.  The next tour was 1 PM and we got there at 11:45 so we went to lunch. Returned at 1 PM and toured the house.   

The original house was built in 1787 and burnt down in 1825.  Reconstruction was started in 1826 and completed in 1828.  The house was the home of the Governor of New Brunswick.  The title was later changed to Lt Governor.  The Lt Governor serves the same position, at provincial level, as the Governor-General does for Canada.  The house is constructed of flat rock.  The outside walls appear to be about 3’ thick and the inside partition walls are 2’ thick.  The house has 3 floors and a basement.  It was used as a residence from 1828 to 1894.  Because of the extremely high ceilings (15’ on the first floor and 12’ on the second floor) it was too expensive to heat in the winter so it was closed down.  Note – we didn’t get to tour the 3rd floor because it is the residence of the current Lt Governor).   

After the Lt Governor moved out in 1894 it was put to use as – a temporary school for the deaf and speech impaired, then as a training facility and hospital during World War I, then from 1932 until 1988 it was the divisional headquarters for the RCMP.  From 1988 until 1997 it set idle.  At that time the decision was made to restore the house and restoration was completed in 1999.  After restoration the Lt Governor moved back into the house.  His office is on the second floor with personal residence on the third floor.  Approximately 400 official functions are held in the house each year.   

A bit of history about the place.  Prior to closure in 1894 all of the food used was grown on site.  There was a 35-acre farm that provided the produce.  The tenants that worked the farm were housed on farm property.  In 1860 a greenhouse was added that was attached to the house.  It has been removed.  The house is setting on the Saint John River.  The front opened out on the river with the farm being in the rear.  There is now a major street that runs where the farm was.  When the house was renovated the front door was moved to face the street.   

For years I have heard the term “drawing room” but never knew what it meant.  When our guide mentioned the “drawing room” he said that it was the room where dinner guest were drawn after the meal was over to sat and talk.  Makes sense to me.   

There was also a conservatory.  Sue thought a “conservatory” was a music room.  Since we had already seen the music room she asked the guide what the conservatory was used for.  He said it was the room where all of the plants they wanted to protect from the winter were brought.  There were extremely high windows in the room.  Makes sense.   

Stopped at the Odell Park & Odell Arboretum.  It is a 388-acre park with walking trails.  We drove in a ways but did not get out and walk. 

Stopped at the Fredericton Botanic Garden.  We walked about ½ mile into the woods but never did find the gardens.   

Stopped at the Kingswood Entertainment Centre.  It is a huge family entertainment center that included an 18-hole golf course and 36 bowling lanes.  Of the 36 lanes, 30 were candlepin and 6 were 10-pin.   

The rest of this tour was university campus so we terminated this one and went to the next one. 

  • Upriver Driving Tour – Crossed back to the north side.  Stopped at the Mactaquac Fish Culture Station that was located at the foot of the Mactaquac dam.  It was closed but there was a walking tour.  We did it but the only thing on it were posters to read – no fish to look at.  

Stopped at the Mactaquac Provincial Park.  The book said it was the largest provincial park in New Brunswick – it covers 1,200 acres.  It was open so we drove through.  According to the book there are 300 site here but because part of it was closed off we could only tour 135 of them.  The sites are all large with electricity at each one.  Water is just scattered around the park – none at sites.  About half of what we saw were out in the open with huge community areas available for use.  The others were located in the woods and separated by enough trees to make each one private.  The campground was about 20% occupied and the majority appeared to be seasonal.   

The beach in the park was closed but it looked really nice.  It was large enough that there were three lifeguard stands.  There were piles of sand on the beach where they are in the process of resanding it.   

Drove along the river about 30 miles then crossed back to the south side and returned to camp.   

Arrived back in camp at 5:30 PM.  Had a fire and grilled some salmon filets.  Drove the jeep 313 miles this stop .

09-29-04WedDay 103Out at:  10:30 AMTrip meter:  70

This campground has the worst mosquito population we have seen on this trip.  They attack as soon as you step out the door.  Last night I had to spray with “Off” twice and they still bit me.  

Took 102 south – it followed the Saint John River.  There are apple orchards all along the road and the trees are full.  The U-Pick signs are out.  The 102 is a 2-lane road in excellent condition.  I traveled on it for about 44 miles then turned east on the 177.  I was only driving 30 to 35 km/h because this was a very scenic drive.  In sections we would have long views of the river and at others we would get glimpses through the trees and the trees were just exploding with colors.  On the first 20 miles I met 3 cars and was passed twice, both times by the same truck.  I passed one slow moving tractor pulling a trailer load of hay traveling about 3 km/h.  By the 20 mile mark we had passed 3 ferries that cross the river.  At the 24 mile mark we ran into construction – 2 miles of the road had been torn up.  We met a total of 5 cars in the 44 miles before turning onto the 177.  

Took the 177 to the 1 east and took it over the toll bridge then followed the sign to the campground.  Stopped at Rockwood Park Campground, Saint John, NB – Have water, electric, and sewer.  Stayed 2 nights.  The sites are level and wide – all rock.  There is a little grass in the campground but not much.  Got setup at 1:40 PM and we have satellite.

At 1:50 PM we departed camp and drove to the Reversing Falls.  The tide was coming in and the river was running backwards.  The water was moving at a high rate of speed and was very rough.  We didn’t know how to relate this to “reversing falls” so we went to the visitors center and watched a 17 minute video.  Found out that the falls is below the water line.  All the river does is back up during high tide.  The rock that forms the falls, below the water line, causes rapids and extremely rough water during the times the tide moves in and out.  During the time the tide is coming in and going out the river can not be navigated.  

There are two cruise ships in the harbor.  This is not a destination I would want if I were on a cruise.  Returned to camp at 3:20 PM.  Laid around the remainder of the day.

09-30-04ThurDay 104 - Departed camp at 10:05 AM – going to the City Market then drive around town a bit.  The town looks a lot like an industrial city but it is not a large city.  

Went to the City Market.  It is located in a building about 75 feet wide by 200 feet long.  There is a row of businesses on each side and a double row back to back down the middle.  The businesses were located in open stalls consisted of products such as fresh cut meat, delis, cafes, produce, live and cooked seafood, T-Shirts, jewelry, baked goods, can goods, souvenir shops, and assorted other merchandise. 

There were two of the meat markets.  One had the meat in an enclosed meat case but the other one was in open cases with the open meat just laying in them.  None of the meat was covered – it was just open to the elements.  

There was a cute sign on the wall.  It was a picture of a pig, a cow, and a chicken looking over a fence with the caption that read “Please eat fish”.  

From the City Market you could enter the underground.  From the map it appears to cover 8 to 10 blocks.  We walked about 2 blocks of it.  In a book store we purchased a book we had seen in the library of the capitol in Fredericton called The Canadians, Biographies of a Nation, by Patrick Watson.  

Did not get to walk any more of the underground because we realized we had exceeded the 1 hour limit on the parking meter.  However, we did get back to the car before getting a ticket.  Returned to camp at 1:30 PM.   Drove the jeep 28 miles this stop .

10-01-04FriDay 105Out at:  11:30 AMTrip meter:  81 

Just heard on the radio that New Brunswick Providence went “non-smoking” today.  The ban applies to all facilities except military installations and prisons.  Since a local jail is not a prison the authorities are expecting a bit of unrest amoung the inmates.  I suppose the goal of a future criminal that smokes it to be sure the crime will result in a trip to the prison, not to the jailhouse.  

Took the 1 west heading toward St Andrews.  Looks like it will be overcast all day.  At exit 96 we took the 790 – it is a loop that goes along the coastline.  It was a very scenic drive.  At exit 86 we rejoined the 1.  At 12:45 PM the sun came out.  At exit 39 took the 127 west to St Andrews.

Stopped at Oceanfront Camping, St Andrews, NB – Have water, electric, and sewer.  Stayed 3 nights.  Level with all gravel sites – got setup at 2:00 PM.  We have satellite.  We are parked so that we have a wonderful view of the ocean looking out the front.   

A couple from Houston pulled in the space next to us in a Class B van.  They have been here 2 days and was out tourning today..  We had a nice visit.  They appear to be in their early 70’s, have been out 6 weeks, and are heading home tomorrow.  

At 3:30 PM we drove into town.  Went to the post office and mailed a letter – went to the library and got our bank statement.  Drove to St Stephens and bought 2 cooked lobsters for dinner.  Returned to camp at 5:00 PM.  

We shucked and fried the oysters we got in PEI.  Had cold lobster and hot fried oysters for dinner.  It was great.   

St Andrews is located on the Bay of Fundy.  This is the location of the highest tides in the world.  They range from 26 to 38 feet in height depending on the season.  

10-02-04SatDay 106 - Departed camp at 9:30 AM.  The sun is shining, it is 60 degrees, and it is a beautiful day.  We went to the gathering point for a tour of the Sir William Van Horne villa.  It is a 50-room villa located on the Ministers Island Historic Site.  The tour gathering point is just outside of St Andrews.  The island is accessible by car when the tide is out.  We met on the mainland side, paid our admission fee, then was escorted across the sand bar to the island.  It was ½ mile across the sand bar – it has been covered with a layer of gravel.  We had to furnish our own transportation to the island. 

The island, at its widest points, is 2 miles long and 1 mile wide but contains only 500 acres.  It sets northwest by southeast.  There are 17 km of walking and carriage trails on the island.  The villa is located on the southeast point.

The villa is listed with 50 rooms.  It was constructed in three phases – started in 1892 and completed in 1902.  It is 2 story with a basement.  The walls of the first floor are constructed with sandstone quarried on the island.  They consisted of 17 bedrooms, 11 fireplaces, 11 bathrooms, a huge living room, 2 libraries, huge dining room, kitchen, game room, several assorted activity rooms, and closets. There was one room that could be counted as a third floor but it was the only one at that level.  The section of the house that has the third floor was the third addition.  

In addition to the fireplaces the house was heated with radiator heat.  The boiler was fuelled by gas.  The lights were “gas lights”.   A carbide generating system generated the gas that was used.  I’m not sure exactly how it works but it involved dropping some type of tablet in a water tank.   

For water there was a well with a windmill that was enclosed.  It housed a gasoline pump.  The windmill was used to pump water into a 20,000 railroad tanker car that was buried next to the well.  The gasoline pump was used to pump the water into the house.  

At the point of the island, about 200 yards across the front lawn from the house, is a round gazebo about 25 feet in diameter.  It is constructed of rock and is 2 story.  The top floor is the setting area with a magnificent view of the ocean.  The floor below it contains 6 dressing stalls, with showers, for changing into and out of bathing suits.  From there it is about a 10 feet drop, by stairway, to the swimming pool.  The pool is called a “tidal pool”.  It was created when the sandstone was quarried for the house.  When the tide comes in it fills the pool.  When the tide goes out the pool is sitting up on the shore.  The entire area at the foot of the point is stone and rock – there is no sand.  However, the pool is not currently serviceable because over the years it has not been maintained and has filled with sand. 

Ocean view from our campsite at Oceanfront Camping in St. Andrews.

This is the road to Sir William Van Horne's villa.  The villa is on an island.  High tide is in and covers the road.
Same shot as above except the tide is out and you can drive to the island.  Have to get back before the tide comes in or you are stranded on the island until the tide goes out again.
After touring the house we drove to the center of the island and toured the barn.  It has to be one of the most unusual barns we have ever seen.  It was designed by a famous architect and constructed in 1898.  It had three floors and a basement, is 151 feet long, 56 feet wide, and 83 feet tall.  It is one of the largest barns in Canada today.  There is an elevator that was used to move feed between the floors.  There were two silos attached to the barn that could hold 350 ton of feed each.  We were only allowed to tour the ground floor.   

The island was self-sufficient.  Van Horne raised everything needed to sustain a small village – and the number of employees represented a small village.  He raised prize cows and horses.  The wall of the barn was full of ribbons.  He had a herd of 60 Pennsylvania Dutch Belted cattle and an unknown number of Clydesdale horses.  The basement contained the pigsties – made with concrete floors.  Mr. Van Horne demanded all of the farming operation we kept extremely clean.  The workers in the barn were required to wear while smocks and the floor had to be completed cleaned and new sawdust spread before leaving for the night.   

There were originally 22 building on the island but only 11 remain.  One of those missing is the creamery.  When the cows were milked the milk was cooled in the barn and piped to the creamery.  Mr., Van Horne was very efficient in his operation.  In addition to the barn population, that included all types of fowl, there was a very efficient garden that produced all of the produce needed.    

The oldest house on the island, and it is still standing, was constructed in 1790.  It belonged to the minister of St Andrews.  That is how the island got its name.   

After the family disposed of the island in the 1960’s it had several owners.  One was a syndicate that converted it into a hunting lodge – which lasted about 5 years.  Another was a man that bought it for a housing development.  He subdivided it but was only able to sell 2 lots.  The Providence of New Brunswick purchased it in 1983 and made it a Historical Site.  It is also a wildlife preserve with 63 deer.  We did not see any wildlife.  We drove to the other end of the island and turned around.  The tour took exactly 2 hours.  The tide was starting to come in when we crossed the sand bar.   

Stopped at the coach and had lunch.  Went to the wharf and bought tickets for a 2 PM trip on a whale watching boat.  Had a 40 minute wait so we walked around town and had a double dip ice cone. 

Loaded on the boat at 2 PM.  Went out for about 45 minutes and spotted two whale, both “humpbacks”, about 40 feet each.  We followed them for about an hour – they moved rather slow.  They put on quite a show.  Sue took some great video.  Continued to cruise and about 10 minutes later we spotted two “minke” whales, about 30 feet each.  Watched them about 15 minutes.  They did not put on the show the humpbacks did – they just arched their backs a little as they swim through the water.  There were a few porpoises jumping in the area.   

Continued to cruise and went to an island that had some young baud eagles on it.  We saw four flying around circling the island.  They were all young because they were all black.  They have to be about 5 years old before they start getting the distinguished color of the eagle we recognize.   

Went to another island that had a huge eagle next.  Chris said it had been there for years.  We saw a young eagle fly off as we arrived.  As we rounded the end of the island found the parents each setting in a different tree.  Chris said they had been on the island for the past 10 years – they never leave.  There have been two newborns each year except for this year – there was only one.  They looked magnificent, each one setting at the top of a tree.   

Went by an Alaskan Salmon farm.  There are 98 of them in this area.  A license is required to set one up and 98 is the maximum number allowed.  It is the same as the lobster license – to get in the business now you have to inherit or purchase an existing license.  The small salmon are hatched in fresh water.  At 6 inches they are moved to the farms.  The farms are tanks that are constructed of a mash that looks like fish netting secured to plastic tubing and anchored to the ocean bottom.  They are covered with the netting to keep predators out and the fish in.   

The salmon are fed pellets of ground up herring.  In 18 months they reach a market size of 18 to 24 inches with an average weight of 12 pounds.  It takes 5 to 7 years for a salmon in the wild to reach that size.

We were served refreshments on the boat – a snack of crackers with a lobster spread, cheese, and lemonade.  We have received snacks on several other tours that I want to note here.  When I went on the fishing trip out of Shediac they provided soft drinks and pretzels.  When we went through the “Green Park Shipbuilding Museum & Historical Yeo House” in PEI they provided apples, plums, and lemonade.  This morning when we went through the villa they provided maple fudge and peach juice.  We have never received a snack of any kind during a tour in the states. 

Stopped at a sardine trap.  Chris demonstrated how it worked.  His father use to have one and he helped with it.  Sardines are just small herring.  The trap is made up of small poles and fish netting set in a specific design in the ocean.   

We had departed at 2 PM and returned at 5:30 PM.  It was a 3½ hour ride that was great.  Just another wonderful day in the new lives of Sue and Lonnie.   

One note of interest about the grocery store here.  When they check your groceries, if there are more than you can carry, they are put in a large plastic container.  The container is setting on a set of rollers that goes through the wall.  Your groceries are pushed along the roller and end up outside where you pull your car up and load your groceries.   

Another item of interest.  We just recently left PEI where we purchased potatoes at $1.00 for 5 lbs – just paid $2.50 for a lb here.  Arrived back at camp at 6 PM.  Built a fire and grilled steaks for dinner.   

10-03-04SunDay 107 - Stayed in today.  In the afternoon we drove to St Stephens to buy more lobster but they were closed for the season.  We had been advised on Friday that they would be open today.  Stopped inroute and viewed St Croix Island.  Returned to camp at 4:10 PM.  Drove the jeep 97 miles this trip. 

10-04-04MonDay 108Out at:  9:10 AMTrip meter:  276 

Heading for the states.  Will have a time change back to EST when we cross the border.  It’s overcast, looks like rain is possible, it’s foggy, and the tide is out.  Took the 127 north and intersected with the 1 at exit 25 – headed for the border.  

Crossed back into the US at exactly 10:00 AM – moved the clock back an hour to 9 AM EST.  The border crossing station, located in Calais, ME, looked like a small gas station with two inside lanes and one outside lane.  I pulled into the outside lane, which was the wrong one – it was for commercial traffic but I couldn’t backup because of the car.  The customs officer only asked me seven questions:

  • Were we US citizens
  • Was there more than the two of us in the coach
  • Did we have any pets
  • Did we have any firearms
  • Had we done any hunting in Canada
  • Were we bring back any beer, wine, or liquor
  • Were we bring back any wild meat killed in Canada

That was it.  There was no one in front of us when we got there.  We drove right in and right out.  The entire process took less than 30 seconds.  Quite a difference that our entry into Canada.

RETURNED TO TEXAS

***** Use back arrow key to return to home page  *****
Website Builder