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Maritimes, July 26 - November 15, 2015

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For our 6th trip to the east coast we planned to visit the Eastern Canadian provinces, and specifically Nova Scotia. In order to arrive there in the fall, with our typical slow travel methods, we left Eureka on July 26th. We spent the first few days on the Oregon coast, then turned inland.

We immediately ran into a major heat wave. At a Corps of Engineers' park at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers it was 107 degrees, and in Coeur d'Alene Idaho it was 103 degrees! A rude awakening for us, from the cool climes of Humboldt County.
Things cooled off a bit after we headed into Montana, enough that we could take a decent walk on the bluff near the airport in Billings. It had rained quite a bit a few days before we got there.
The Olive Hotel in Miles City, Montana, is famous from scenes in Lonesome Dove.
We had originally planned to take I-90 through South Dakota, but our timing hit right on the week of the Sturgis motorcycle rally, so we took I-94 through North Dakota instead. Saw a lot of wind and rain - in Dickinson we watched this awning tear free in front of us in an RV park.
We spent a few days in the Minneapolis area, and visited both the Mall of the Americas and Minnehaha Falls.
From Minneapolis we continued east to Green Bay, then on to the Michigan Upper Peninsula. These are a few pictures around the Mackinac Bridge and St Ignace.
We crossed into Canada at the Blue Water Bridge (Port Huron, MI) where we had a full customs inspection, a first for us entering Canada. Then it was on to Niagara Falls, which is truly spectacular. Here's a bunch of pictures:
These are pictures from the CN tower in Toronto, including one of me standing on a glass floor. It was surprisingly hard to do - all the adults were standing around the edges while kids scampered across without a worry!
Between Toronto and Ottawa we spent a night as guests of Jim and Lyn Doel, who own one of the last (possibly the last) M380s built. Titled as a 2007 it has steel sides rather than the standard aluminum.
Ottawa was our next stop, with its magnificent parliament building and other old structures.
Next stop was Montreal. My picture taking tends to run in spurts, so not much from there.
We spent the Labor Day weekend at Quebec City, and I have a lot of pictures from there. Our campsite was across the river in Levis, so we made a couple of trips across on the ferry. The Chateau Frontenac is the primary landmark, but the city is quite interesting all around it.
We saw lots of lighthouses. The one at the right, along with the submarine, below, are at Rimouski, Quebec. The one below left is in New Brunswick, at Cap Lumiere.
Our first stop in Nova Scotia was at Spencer's Island, a small RV park on a sand spit on the north side of the Bay of Fundy. There were three juvenile bald eagles that hung out for scraps; the video was taken through our windshield. The lighthouse was open, so I took the two shots from it with the tide in, and the tide out.

The other lighthouse is at Cape Chignecto, southwest of Spencer's Island.
We traveled across to the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, staying at Indian Harbor, which was a couple of miles from Peggy's Cove. The lighthouse at Peggy's Cove is built on solid boulders, and is very well known.
Between Peggy's Cove and Indian Harbor is a memorial to Swissair Flight 111, which went down just south of the lighthouse. The other picture was taken from the memorial site.
Having heard so much about Bay of Fundy tidal bores we chose to go see the tides on the Shubenacadie River. We watched for a couple of hours with a couple of dozen others. At one point a woman said "Now I know why they call it a tidal bore, because it is so boring!" There was noticeable rise in the river over time, but no waves or other serious phenomena. The folks who went out in Zodiacs obviously had a good time, but I'm not sure it was different than zipping around in a Zodiac on a lake or other big river would have been.
Our final significant stop in Nova Scotia was near Sydney, on Cape Breton Island. The first two pictures are views from our campsite, then crossing the Englishtown Ferry to the Cabot Trail. We only drove about 25 miles of the trail, as the weather was not great.
When we left Nova Scotia we made a short detour to Prince Edward Island. There are two ways on/off the island, a ferry, and a bridge. Neither costs anything to enter the island, only to leave, so cutting off 100+ miles of travel by taking the ferry to the island made sense. It is about 1-1/2 hours across. In the last picture you can see that we were sandwiched with a few tour busses for the trip.
We didn't do much on Prince Edward Island - we were in "Let's go home" mode - but we did have a great campsite on the West River in Cornwall.
Heading south from the Maritimes we traveled fairly rapidly because weather was threatening. We had planned to go down the coast through Delaware (the only state besides Hawaii we haven't traveled through), but had to go inland instead. We ended up staying a week at various locations in West Virginia, and these are a few scenes.
From West Virginia we traveled south to Mt Airy, North Carolina. This was the home of Andy Griffith, and is known as Mayberry. It has a giant white granite quarry, and is also close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, where we say some decent fall colors.
We spent a very rainy day at Lake Norman, North Carolina, but the sun was shining the day we tried to leave. Unfortunately, we suffered complete engine failure and had to be towed to Cummins in Charlotte. That began a bad stretch where repairs were made and failed again. A week in Charlotte, and 2 weeks in Atlanta before everything was all right again.
Our friends Michael and Georgia Day drove up from Austin to join us in Fort Worth, and then traveled west with us as far as Van Horn. The picture was taken in Odessa. We had planned to visit them in Austin, but they were quite understanding of our desire to head on home!
We made a final stop in Quartzsite, to get new house batteries. They would be impossible to install without help, since the tray has to be lifted up and out and has 3 4D batteries that weigh 133 lbs each! Discount Solar fixed us up and now we have lots of power for a few years at least.
Now we are home. The bus traveled 10017 miles, not counting 120 behind a wrecker. Naturally it is raining!

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