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S: Down East Road Trip 2011

FC: Down East Road Trip Summer 2011

1: On July 22nd, 2011 the adventure began. We traveled through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and NewYork. In total we covered over 6500 kms.

2: Day One: Ontario to Quebec | Our first stop was at La Pocatiere Tourist Information Centre, where we got out to stretch our legs. We had left a heat wave in Ontario with temperatures in the high 30's. But when we arrived at this stop it was a mere 18 degrees.

3: We decided to finally call it a day around 6pm, after a solid 10 hours on the road. Our first camp site was a private park, Lido, not far from New Brunswick.

4: Day 2: Quebec to New Brunswick | On the second day we reached New Brunswick and stopped at a Pizza Boy in Grand Falls for lunch. We had a tasty meal with a great view.

5: That night we stayed at Fundy National Park. We stopped at a lookout over the Bay of Fundy before driving on to our camp site at the Headquatres Campground. We were disappointed that we couldn't have a bonfire, but we did have excitement for the night when an older gentleman collasped near our site. Luckily everything seemed to be fine when Grampa and Dad helped him back to his family.

6: Day 3: Fundy to Nova Scotia | Before leaving Fundy National Park we thought it would be nice to do a small hike. Wolfpoint sounded like an easy jaunt along the coast that we could do in sandals, carrying Hadley. But instead we accidently started hiking on the Coastal Trail, which was hilly and in the forest. We figure we did 5k before realizing our mistake. By that time it started raining and Hadley fell asleep.

7: We got back on the road after our mishap and started our journey to the Hopewell Rocks. But along the way we stopped at the Sawmill Creek covered bridge and for some lunch at the Log Cabin, where Steve actually tried scallops!

8: We arrived at Hopewell Rocks in the early afternoon and walked on the ocean floor in low tide at the Big Cove area. Here we walked through the Flowerpot Rocks. It was an amazing chance to understand the true height of the world's highest tides, which can be anywhere from 32-46 feet. We also walked over to view the Daniel Flats, which allowed us to see mud flats that extended over 2k of ocean floor.

11: We originally planned to make it to Cape Breton on the third night, but quickly changed the plan when we realized the distance. Instead we stayed in Truro, Nova Scotia at the Hidden Hilltop Family Campground.

12: Day 4: Cape Breton | We headed out for Cape Breton on the fourth morning. Along the way we stopped at the Trout River Picnic area on Lake Ainslie to stretch and dip our feet in some Nova Scotian water. We didn't stay too long as we were eager to get to the Cabot Trail and start exploring!

13: We set out on the Cabot Trail, first stopping along the shore for mom to find some flat rocks. Our first real lookout was at the Highland Plateau and MacKenzie River Valley. This plateau stretches from the tip of Cape Breton to the Atlantic Ocean. On the way we also saw our first moose, which was having a snack on the side of the road.

14: We drove about half of the Cabot Trail before stopping for ice cream and deciding to turn back for some hikes. We also quickly stopped at the lookout over the town of Pleasant Bay. Our first hike was at Bog. Here we saw the insect eating Pitcher Plant, which is Newfoundland's Provincial flower and wild orchids. After our short 1k hike we saw our second moose, who was beating the heat in a small pond off the side of the road.

16: We headed out on our next hike of the day on the Skyline trail. It was starting to get late so we had to make good time. The trail took us out on a ridge along one of the larger hills in Cape Breton. It was a good workout, which may be why Grampa and Hadley waited on one of the top platforms for the rest of us!

19: One of the most exciting moments of the hike happened when we came upon three bull moose just having something to eat along the side of the trail. They were quite content to let us snap photos of them before we continued on our way.

20: We stopped for a couple more shots along the coast before heading back to camp. Of course we had to try to get the beautiful sunset. The next morning we were off to catch the ferry to Newfoundland!

21: Day 5 - Newfoundland We got up at 6am to catch the ferry at North Sydney. This actually backfired on us we waited from 9:30am to 3:15 pm to board the ferry. By the time we arrived in Newfoundland it was after 9:00pm! | Day 6 - Cheeseman to Gros Morne When we arrived at J.T. Cheeseman we went straight to bed. In the morning we woke up to discover the nicest provincial park we had been to yet! Everything was incredibly clean and the surrounding landscapes were awesome!

22: What better way to enjoy the park than to take a hike! We headed out on the Cape Smokey Trail, which was supposed to be an easy stroll. Steve thought it would be a good idea to take the stroller - it was not! We barely got it up and over the various hills, rocks and boardwalks. But eventually we did all end up on the beach.

24: On the way to Gros Morne we drove through the Table Mountains. When we arrived at the park our first stop was at the visitor centre where Hadley became acquainted with the local wildlife.

25: We camped at the Berry Hill Campgrounds for two nights. It was nice to not have to move again! On our first night everyone but Gramps set out for a hike at Berry Hill trail. We had a clear view of the Long Range Mountains.

27: Day 7 - Gros Morne On the seventh day we spent the whole day at this National Park. What an experience! Our first hike was at Western Brook Pond where we came to the edge of a fjord. Gramma may have been more excited by the giant dragonfly!

28: While on the hike we even did the small link to Snug Harbour. At one point we tried to "ford" the river, but it was WAY to cold! We settled for heading out to the truck instead.

29: After Western Brook we headed back to camp for lunch. But before we actually made it we decided to make a quick stop at the Lobster Head Cove lighthouse and scenic lookout area.

30: After lunch we were back on the trails to hike at Baker's Brook falls. It was a fairly boring hike until we got to the actual falls. Then it turned out to be worth the effort!

31: Day 8 - Gros Morne to St. Anthony The original plan was to head to St. John's but when we heard about all the icebergs in the north, we had to see it for ourselves! On the way to St. Anthony we stopped at the Hawke's Bay Visitor Centre and saw the Torrent River. We also walked a few minutes on the Appalachian trail. We stopped next at the Salmon Interpretation Centre and learned how Salmon used the fish ladder to scale the falls to spawn. Lunch was at L & E restaurant in Flower Cove, where we saw our first small iceberg between the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador (which we could see). Our final stop was at Triple Falls RV park to claim our campsite in the parking lot.

32: When we got into St. Anthony we wasted no time driving out to Goose Cove to see the iceberg show. Unfortunately the fog rolled in. So we just headed into town to celebrate Gramma and Grampa's anniversary at Jungle Jims. When we were finished dinner we realized the fog had lifted, so we decided to head to the cove again. We were pretty excited by what we saw when we got there. Though the temperature was a little chilly!

34: Day 9 - St. Anthony In the morning we headed off to our booked boat tour with Northern Discoveries. We didn't catch sight of any whales, but we did see a pod of dolphins and got up close and personal with more icebergs. There hadn't been a showing of bergs such as this in over 50 years. Iceberg viewing is usually done in St. Anthony by late June.

36: We saw lots of full icebergs and many bergie bits, which are pieces that have melted and fallen off the larger bergs. One of the largest icebergs we saw was over a kilometer and a half long. They figured it would be there until next year. We even got to sample a piece of iceberg, which is incredibly clean water since it's thousands of years old. Of course Hadley slept through almost the entire trip. At least he missed almost getting vomited on, like Gramps did.

38: Unbelievably we still had more on the agenda this day. We were off to L'anse aux Meadows, the first European viking settlement in North America. The reconstructions of three Norse buildings are the focal point of this archaeological site. The park also exhibited the Viking lifestyle and artifacts. We heard sagas of the discovery of new lands and murder of their own people. We also learned how they lived off the land. We toured through replicas of their sod houses and dressed in their gear. Hadley even got to make his very own Viking friend.

40: When we arrived back at Triple Falls RV trailer park, Dad and Grampa tried to make an exciting story out of the RCMP coming to a neighbouring trailer. Seems they were just visiting a friend though. Meanwhile, Mom and Gramma set out on a small hike to discover how the trailer make got it's name. We found the three waterfalls.

41: Day 10 - St. Anthony to Cow's Head After our adventures in Northern Newfoundland it was time to head back down toward the ferry. To break up the drive we stopped at Arches Provincial Park to see the rock formations carved out from thousands of years of waves crashing into the shore.

42: This night we stayed at Sea Breeze RV park in Cow's Head, which is at the Northern tip of Gros Morne. We hiked the Lighthouse and Point of Head trail and at one point we were able to climb up the smallest lighthouse ever! In the early evening we toured around the shore and local town. Steve and I even walked about 3k on a search for chocolate for our nightly s'mores.

45: Day 11 - Gros Morne to The Ferry On the way back through Gros Morne we stopped for our last moose sighting. A cow and her two calves were grazing on the side of the road. It's hard to believe that moose are not native animals to the island. | For our second tour through the National Park we wanted to see the Tablelands. These are unique geographical formations that were thousands of years in the making. To get a really good view we hiked The Lookout Trail. It was a strenuous 500m climb in elevation.

47: Day 12 - Newfoundland to New Brunswick We caught the ferry at 12:30am and though we all napped a bit, we were quite exhausted the next day. It was also our only really rainy day. Just after getting off the ferry in Nova Scotia we saw a beautiful bald eagle. But that was pretty much the extent of our excitement for the day. We also saw the house of the ultimate Simpsons fan. You have to see it to believe it! That night we turned in early at Pinecomb RV Park in Sussex.

48: Day 13 - Maine We dedicated this day to driving. We really didn't have the opportunity to see much in Maine. If you look to the left you can see what we did for most of the day! We stayed at Troll Mountain Campgrounds and went to a small town to sample gelato. We really need to revisit this state! | Day 14 - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont On this day we drove to North Conway to hit up some outlet shops. On the way we drove through Mt. Washington. We considered driving up the mountain, but decided against it due to the fog. Instead we settled for a short stop at a scenic lookout.

49: The real story of this day might be the discovery of Moose River Campground, our favourite campground of the trip. Not sure if it was the awesome site beside the river, the nice residents or the free, warm maple donuts that won us over, but we do know that we hope to return. Actually for Steve the highlight was the massive Vermont ice cream sandwiches.

50: Day 15 - Vermont to New York We thought we would fit in one more tourist attraction, so we headed out on an excursion with the Green River Train in White River Junction. We didn't see as much of the mountains as we were hoping, but it was neat to ride on an authentic railway.

51: Our last night we stayed at the Ponderosa Campsite. If you think it sounds rather hillbilly, you've guessed right. We didn't sleep well that night, probably because of the late night country karaoke happening at the main lodge. | Day 16 - Homeward Bound The last day we jumped in the truck and drove home. We were happy to get back, but were excited to reflect back on our adventures too.

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