Oct 29, 2012

After 8 months of US travel I arrive in St George, NB...home of the NB pirate!!

 So one of the things that always concerns me is crossing the border. Not that I have done anything wrong but they make you feel like that anyway and I hate it...so  always get a little nervous. Now going back to Canada, outside of when they confiscated my fried chicken, I have always had good border experiences coming back into Canada. Yes they search the car when you report driving home with 300$ of Henry Wineharts rootbeer in your trunk from Seattle...but the reality is that there was a persian with me, it was an odd thing to say and to tell them I had a love sac with me...well...enough said ;) Outside of that stuff...I have good experiences. Going into the US...not so much.

 But...I had also never been out of the country for close to 9 months and didn't know what to expect. A few scenarios were running through my mind and as it turns out...none of them were necessary.

 After grabbing a delicious sub at Border Town Subs and finding the most delicious Root Beer I have tasted on my entire trip...

 I headed towards the gates of Canada. Just on the other side lay St. Stephen, a few friends and the "maritimes"...a place I had never been before....and I couldn't wait!!

 Turns out my border fears were for not and when asked "when I entered the US", after hearing my answer of Jan 23, 2012 he pushed his glasses up and said "Long time no see...welcome home" and I was on my way......all that worry for nothing AND I should have bought more fireworks..enough to load the van to the rooftop before coming home!

 And suddenly...I was back on familiar soil even though I was 4000km away from my "used to be home base". A quick call to my old boss and friend TK and I was on my way up the east coast of Canada for the first time in my life headed for a town called St. George!!

This is the Kent House. It was built around the turn of the century and from where I parked was too large to get a full picture into the lens

The Magagadavic river runs through St George. This dam diverted water to the lumber mill that still remains on the rivers edge even though it's no longer operational.

Just like Maine was America's blueberry capital NB is Canada's. They are everywhere
  I have always had TK on my agenda as a stopping point the only question was whether or not he would still be in New Brunswick when I arrived. He was my boss at Bow Valley College for a number of years and when the college needed to make a budget decision he informed us that he had requested to be let go instead of one of his staff being impacted. That's the kind of guy he is. There is salt of the earth and then there is of the earth itself and throughout my entire time at Bow Valley he remained that guy.
Theode was taking me on a tour to Deer Island. This is the ferry stop
 When I first pulled up to his house I could not stop smiling. It had been about 2yrs since I had seen him last and I was very much looking forward to a familiar face after seeing my last friend way back in Toledo. I was a little surprised, the Kent house must be one of the biggest and most distinguished houses in the area. Original carved wood banister, pocket door parlour, gorgeous sun-room over looking the Magaguadavic River. The craziest thing about his house is that st George is called the Granite Town and TK's basement is made entirely of large granite blocks...something that boggles the mind today seeing granite prices!

Two ferry's run daily from the mainland to Deer Island. No cost and every time you get to float your car across water it's awesome

This was the ferry to Campobello Island home of Roosevelts summer cottage. This ferry was really cool as it was a barge with a boat attached that swivelled on a hydraulic arm instead of having a two sided control booth or separate stations
The Town of St. George is gorgeous but limited in it's businesses. For me though that spells heaven. Even though I find myself more of a consumer than an innovative creator the further I am away from Walmart and other big box bullshit the better.

 After a day of checking out the town and catching up we headed over to Deer Island and then to Campobello Island, home of President Roosevelt's childhood summer cottage (read..spoiled rich shit no matter how much good you think he did for the US)

A hefty list of names...

the stick that sprung the saying "Walk softly and carry a big stick!"

Beautiful cabbage garden

ah em....the cottage ;) When I cracked a joke about it not really being a cottage one of the older lady volunteers jumped in with "It had no heat and it sits off the ground like a cottage does"
The Cottage itself is beautifully appointed and I am certainly glad that I was able to see it. I had contemplated going to the island from Maine but for some reason decided to forgo a ferry border crossing for the traditional one. We also met an older guy who told us to go check out the dulse at the Family Fisheries (or something like that). Well I sure was happy that the lady let us sample it...because that is a massively acquired taste. Stuffed to the gills on fried fish and the aftermath of a dulse experience on our tongues we headed back to the mainland.
These flowers were fantastic!

TK in the house!

In the 80's that would have been the source of a days worth of jokes

Absolutely fabulous stove!!

Enough copper to pay for gas back to Calgary exists in the hosue

The lighthouse. It's accessible during low tide...which is not when we were there. This spot was my first encounter with an islander that I literally could not understand for the first few minutes of talking to him. I just smiled and nodded until I got a grip on his vocal madness

Beautiful day out! The ferry to Campobello costs $23 each way for a 5 minute trip making it the most expensive ferry for the time spent during my entire trip

Eating windshield bugs!

For my friend Satay!

Local artwork...not the best lettering the the message is clear

With such a rough rugged shoreline lighthouses and markers are abundant

You know I could get used to this. There are some fabulous views from all over the nation but these for some reason are resonating deep within
Somewhere between the warm welcome, the amazing weather and the comforting scenery of the ocean...I started feeling really really good about arriving here in NB. I had a good friend just a little while away in Sussex, my good friend TK that welcomed me to stay with him while I was here, good people met through his boarding house that he owns...all in all...good idea Bri. And with every breath of small town air going back to big city living just get's further and further away from my reality.

We saw this road warrior and I had to stop for a chat. 1979, good shape but what I loved was the topper. It was huge when I compared it to mine which is huge when compared to others. it hasn;t left the driveway once after he brought it home as it has a big old 400 in it and would need to be filled by the time he got to the end of the street.

What can you say....Hello New Maritime smiles!!!

The ferry to Grand Manan

Theode while visiting the authorized Rokon dealer. What a sweet machine...I had never seen or heard of a two wheel drive motor bike but sure enough there is a chain that drives a shaft which has a universal join on it. It passes right through the handlebars and connects to another chain which drives the front wheel. A capable machine it can pull 2000lbs...which is an awesome thing on a motorbike if you think about it
The Rokon..I had never heard of it. Front tires...are big containers. You can fill leave them empty to help with flotation if you are going into the deep water or you can fill them up with extra fuel for a long haul. From sidecars to gun racks and everything else this bike was a hell of a machine.
Oh yeah!!

The dealer also has a very good condition Thing for sale. Id' have a Thing...I'd rather a Mini Moke...but the Thing would do.
This is the bridge that passes over the Reversing Falls. We came at the wrong tide time so I attached a video of someone's who was luckier than we were. It's quite a thing to see and I will be back to see it with my own eyes

The cool thing about being in Canada's first city is the history. Houses like this are not uncommon...why didn't Saint John become a horror movie hotspot?

The have this great park on a hill where a mental asylum used to stand. Now it's speckled with wooden carvings of local historical figures. We caught this amazing sunset along with a true full rainbow (which was also a double rainbow)...epic
I spliced together two images to show you what we saw...I have never seen anything like it.

And so I am here...after a few days TK asked if I would like to work with him on one of his houses that he needed to clean up and fix up. I of course was in and couldn't thank him enough for giving me a bit of a direction once I got here. Driving the 60min to Saint John is fabulous having the ocean right there for about 1/2 the drive and then on the way back you catch this amazing sunset on the other side of the road which is litter with pockets of water making for fabulous views....

 Now the challenge...do I stay or do I go ;)