Another beautiful morning and I’m back on the road. Having been warned of the hefty fuel prices in Canada, my first destination is the service station down the road from the campground where I fill up the bus. The Canadian border is only five miles away and about halfway there I realize that, in my haste to get going, I have forgotten to retrieve my passport from the fire safe in the rear closet of the bus. There is nowhere to stop on the highway so I enter the border crossing wearing my best “poor pitiful” face and explain my predicament to the border patrol officer. He seems to be a bit amused by my panic but is very gracious and allows me to pass through using only my driver’s license for identification. Welcome to New Brunswick, Canada!
Shortly after exiting the border crossing I crest a hill and am presented with a panoramic view of the St. John River valley and surrounding mountains. The sight is so beautiful it literally takes my breath away. It’s like sitting on top of the world. A short drive further and I take the exit for the Trans Canada Highway. The St. John River runs parallel to the highway all the way to the city of Fredericton. Babbling streams, ponds and marshland run deep into the evergreen forests in the valley. Sprawling farms on the neighboring hillsides look like a patchwork quilt of soft grass stitched with neat rows of crops. A variety of colorful wildflowers peak out from the streambeds and along the roadside. And there are more moose crossing signs without any moose. :<
The Canadians apparently do not believe in rest stops on their major highways. If you’re coming this way you would be well-advised to stop at any Welcome Center or town you come across and remember your mother’s advice to “go whether you think you need to or not”. It can be as much as 150 miles between towns. The frustration for me was not having anywhere to stop and take pictures of the beauty all around me. I finally take a break in a truck plaza at Moncton but there is nothing camera-worthy there unless you are attracted to potholes the size of moon craters.
About 50 miles after bouncing out of Moncton I crossed into Nova Scotia. The rain showers that had been dogging me for the past couple of hours cleared up and, thirty miles further I exit the highway for the provincial roads that will take me to my destination. This is where the adventure gets even more interesting. Two-lane serpentine roads meander through picturesque countryside dotted with small farms, sparkling lakes and streams, and quaint villages. Houses are weathered but most are adorned with splashes of color from a variety of flowers in the yards and roadside ditches. The only sign that you have not passed through some time warp into the nineteenth century is the occasional satellite dish tacked to the eaves or sitting in the yard. Even some of the farm equipment looks like it has been passed down through multiple generations of family farmers.
Negotiating the narrow streets and tight turns through the small town of Springhill was like running an obstacle course with the bus. I only bounced over one curb and managed not to sideswipe any trees, fire hydrants or people but it sure got my blood pumping! Springhill is the hometown of “The Canadian Songbird”, Anne Murray, whose music stayed at the top of the charts in the ‘70s and ‘80s. There is a performing arts center there that she contributed to the town. I’m sure I passed it but was too consumed with driving duties to notice.
The next town is Parrsboro, about 30 miles further down the winding, bouncing road. The road takes a hard left turn in the middle of town and the scenery changes again. Now the road hugs the coast of the Bay of Fundy and you catch tantalizing glimpses of the bay through a yard or when crossing one of the many rivers that flow under the road on its way to the sea. Thirteen miles outside of town I finally arrive at my new summer home ~ the Five Islands Ocean Resort and RV Campground. The view that greets me as I pull into the driveway is truly awe-inspiring ~ sparkling blue water, dark red cliffs on the promontory of land that juts into the basin, and the five islands that give this area its name. Gorgeous!!