Monday, Sept. 25 Day 28
This sunny morning a communal breakfast was planned. I volunteered to make pancakes for the group as I do for my family at home.
Henry and Allyson brought out their new Coleman BBQ with removable griddles. A perfect opportunity to try it out, it worked very well the only issue was one side was hotter than the other, which is always the case with BBQs.
We cooked bacon, sausages and pancakes from scratch, a hit with everyone.
After breakfast another chore, refill propane tanks. A neighbor in the campground recommended Costco, ‘cheap’ he said.
Henry and I gathered three bottles and headed out. The neighbor was right, it cost us $15. for our 30-lb. tanks, reasonable Ralph paid about $40 back home.
After Costco Henry and I continued to the Halifax Citadel, a fortress built by the British around 1750 to protect the harbor entrance from the French and Americans.
We toured the Citadel free of charge because of Canada’s 150th birthday. The federal government provided free entry to National Parks for Canadians to celebrate.
A stroke of luck, Henry and I arrived in time to witness the noon cannon firing, very loud and smoky.
The Halifax Citadel is a walled fortress overlooking the city and Halifax Harbor, a perfect location to protect the city from invasion.
The fortress has many interesting exhibits, but the most interesting to us was the Gatling Gun used by government forces to subdue the uprising in Batoche in the 1850’s, Henry’s hometown and a previous stop on our trip.
We returned to camp to pick up Allyson and Lynda, and a drive to the Bay of Fundy to witness the larges tides in the world.
The Bay of Fundy is an hour and a half drive across the province from Halifax. Ralph and Lois decided to take a day off and remain behind.
We arrived at Burnt Coat Park to warm sunny skies and the spot where the highest tides in the world have been recorded more than 40 feet from high to low tide.
The park has a replica lighthouse built over a gift shop offering a panoramic view of the bay.
The Bay of Fundy is about 14 kilometers wide at this point and a couple of hundred kilometers long. By the time we got to the park the tide was already halfway in, so we missed seeing low tide.
Even so, we had an opportunity to explore the mud, rock and seaweed floor of the bay before the incoming ocean covered it.
The sight was a bit disappointing, I think we were expecting something more dramatic than water creeping towards the shore.
The tide advances across the Bay floor at the astonishing rate of 1 foot per minute, a bit more exciting than watching paint dry.
The drive to the Bay was not a total loss, it was a beautiful warm fall day, we saw the tide and a chance to see more of Nova Scotia.
Back at camp, we enjoyed a pleasant evening, happy hour and a BBQ steak dinner, the first of our trip.
Early to bed again another traveling day tomorrow to Arm of Gold Campground in North Sidney, Nova Scotia, 6 kilometers from the Newfoundland ferry and our next adventure.
Tuesday. September 26 – Day 29
Sunny skies this travel morning. Our campsites didn’t have sewer hookups, so it was necessary to dump before heading out, no sense hauling more weight than necessary.
The traffic was light as we headed north through the highest hills since BC. We made good progress over a newly paved highway.
By noon we had crossed the causeway (a man-made earthen road) onto Cape Breton Island.
Just across was the Cape Breton visitor’s center, a great place to stop for lunch and of course receive information about the island.
While Lynda prepared lunch I took Buddy for a walk to the doggy area where I met a couple from our home province of BC. During the conversation with them, I learned they had just returned to Cape Breton after a month-long tour of Newfoundland our next destination.
They enjoyed Newfoundland immensely a beautiful island with amazing scenery, lots of history and friendly people, they highly recommended the tour.
They also recommended the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton, a gorgeous drive along the coast, as well as the reconstructed French settlement at Fort Louisburg, ‘the best national park in Canada’.
After a quick group discussion and we decided to skip the Cabot Trail but take in Fort Louisburg.
As we pulled out of the visitor’s center, a miscommunication, the other two rigs were held up by traffic and couldn’t follow Lynda and me, they missed the turn for the highway to the Fort.
No one except Lynda and I managed to enter Fort Louisburg in the GPS, consequently, the rest missed the turn and headed down the wrong road.
At the time Lynda and I had no idea the others had missed the turn. I pulled over half a kilometer down the road and waited, but the others didn’t show.
We continued, assuming their GPS would bring them to the right highway, but after checking the map we realized there were no links for a couple of hundred kilometers.
We pulled over again and phoned Lois’s cell, after a brief conversation, as Henry and Allyson listened in over the radio they decided to turn around and head back toward the visitor’s center and take the turn they missed.
While Lynda and I sat on the side of the road waiting for the others we checked into the route to the Fort and realized it was a good distance off our route and would change our arrival at Arm of Gold Campground to later in the evening.
Once the other two couples caught up we discussed the problem and decided to skip the Fort. Unfortunately, we probably missed an interesting attraction, but as we all knew from the outset, seeing everything is impossible.
The temperature warmed to 28 degrees as we traveled along the shores of Canada largest inland sea, Lake Bras d’Or on Cape Breton Island.
As we drove north to North Sidney the temperature began to cool, we became aware the warm temperatures we have experienced so far will probably leave us and much cooler temperatures will greet us on the North Atlantic island of Newfoundland.
Newfoundland is located about 200-kilometers north of Cape Breton Island. The ferry ride takes between 6 and 8 hours depending on the sea conditions.
The weather in Newfoundland is influenced greatly by the icy waters of the North Atlantic, in fact, icebergs can be seen off the coast of St. John’s as late as July.
We arrived at Arm of Gold Campground to sunny and warm conditions. The campground’s website indicated they have an RV wash, Henry, Ralph and I decided it was time to give our rigs a bath, even though our trip across Canada has been through mostly dry weather road grime is showing.
The job at hand was taking longer than we anticipated. A quick truck wash and trailer hose down was all there was time for, otherwise, happy hour would start late, this would never do.
The Arm of Gold Campground resembles the eastern coastal town, no trees, just a wide open green field dotted with posts supporting RV hookups, the stark look seems to be popular here.
Darkness seemed to come quickly as we readied our rigs for a one night stay.
Tomorrow another adventure the province of Newfoundland, a bucket list destination for our group.
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My next article, traveling to Newfoundland a two hundred kilometer ferry ride through the North Atlantic.
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