Maine, Part Deux, and Canadia, Parts Un & Deux
We wanted to skip on over to Canada (or Canadia, as the hubs calls it) without taking our camper, so for Part Deux of our Maine stay we picked a KOA campground in Houlton, Maine, just a couple miles from the Canadian border.
We scored a nice end spot, and overall the campground was neat and well-cared for, better than most. Moving day sucks in general (picture making your house mobile once a week to get what I mean) but there’s always a twinge of excitement too: What will the next campground be like? Will there be bears and moose and no trumpers and we’ll meet our new best friends who are as cool as us (yes, I understand the bar is low)? OOOh, the possibilities are limited only by the camping imagination!
Inevitably when we arrive we see that there are no bears or moose, and we don’t know who in their right mind gave this place a five, but hope does spring eternal, eh? Without hope for better, I presume humanity would just melt down into a puddle of depressed goo and call it a day.
Joe planned an overnight trip and hotel stay at the Chateau Saint John in Saint John, New Brunswick, so we could explore the Bay of Fundy and whatever else might catch our eye.
Although the room was pretty normal in terms of a mid-range hotel, I hadn’t realized just how affected I’d been by our new RV lifestyle. I was agog at the size of the place, plopping my booty down on the FULL-LENGTH couch and calculating that our room was twice the size of our camper. Not only that, but I mentally installed a small kitchenette next to the wardrobe and declared that I could totally live here.
[On the bright side, when we do decide to buy a house again it should be affordable…anything the size of a hotel room and I’ll feel like a queen.]
Saint John is home to the Reversing Falls, which we eventually came to understand as a function of the ocean meeting the Saint John River—when the tide’s low the “falls”—more like rapids or eddying pools of water—go in the direction of the bay, and when it’s high tide they reverse and go upriver. According to this link, “five thousand years ago, sea level was 30 meters or 100 feet lower in this area. Native people living here at that time enjoyed an impressive waterfall!” Now? Think whirlpools.
I wouldn’t bother going onto the Skywalk, a paid attraction, because the views are better from the bridge and the park on the other side anyway, and they’re both free.
As we walked across the bridge I was touched to see a series of messages aimed at stopping people from leaping into the churning waters below. My humble gratitude…
The next day we drove the Fundy Trail Parkway before heading back to the campground and the Good Ol’ US of A. I confess I hadn’t missed the country I call home due to all the political turmoil and general slide into the horrors of Gilead. We paid $11 each to explore the Bay of Fundy coastline, a true beauty which put me in mind of the drive along the California coastline.
Unbeknownst to Us, a Chitty Sitcheeashun Unfolds Back at Camp
I was nervous about leaving Tootie alone in the camper overnight, a reminder of why I’d initially planned the trip without the comfort or concerns of traveling with companion critters.
Joe assured me that the camper was the same as a little house, meaning that while we were gone Tootie would have electric (i.e. air conditioning) as well as her meals and a clean litterbox all available to her. She’d be fine.
I fretted “what if” the power went out, or “what if” someone broke in, or “what if” a bad storm blew across while we were away. Would Mommy’s Little Girl be ok?
I let my daughter know where we were staying—just in case the worst should happen—so she could rush up to re-rescue my little Tootiekins.
It would turn out that there WAS a bad storm while we were in Saint John, and the cozy, sleep-inducing pitter patter of rain on the roof is far from the reality of enduring a storm in the equivalent of a rather large tin can. Tootie was probably scared—well, more afraid than usual—but at least she still had AC, my main priority.
As I jumped out of the car and raced to the camper door, my subconscious noted a whiff of doody in the air; I didn’t spare it a second thought, though, because my priority was first and foremost Tootie’s well-being. Besides, it didn’t take me long to learn that “whiffs of doody” are a part of everyday life in the RV world. Dogs are frequently dropping off packages here-there-and-everywhere, and each camper is sporting its own personal sewage system.
After making sure my baby was ok—she was—I sagged into my chair and snapped my recliner back into the “AHHH” position. “Finally, all is well and I’m home, relaxin’,” I sez to meself.
“Honey, we have to move spots,” Joe bellowed [at least in my mind], bursting through the door. “We’re right next to the septic tank, and someone flushed wipes and clogged the line. It’s overflowing all over the place out here.”
Oh, that’s what I smelled?
[I didn’t think to take photos of our noxious dilemma, no. And I was not the picture of wifely acquiescence; let’s just say “words were said” and fur was flown.]
Eventually, we did move to a spot further up, we got one night free, and the septic broke two more times while we were there. Luckily by then we were well clear of that particular war zone.
We Shouldna’ Done it Twice
Joe and I made the mistake one time of going for a jaunt into Canada. And by jaunt I mean just a little in and out (like an hour or two), unplanned, on-the-same-day kinda’ trip. We thought nothin’ of it. Joe had flown with me to an animal conference in Montana and we rented a car for the final leg to the event location. When we realized our hotel was close to Canada we thought we’d just tuck in to have a look-see and then come along right out again.
They thought we were drug smugglers.
I mean, they didn’t say that to our faces, but apparently anyone who crosses the border for just a matter of hours is highly suspect of being some kind of smuggler, and drugs seem like the obvious choice.
[This is one of those things you don’t get if you’re not a bad guy. We were super confused when we got searched going into both countries.]
After we barely escaped with our lives, we made a pact never again to go into Canadia for the day.
Then we did it again.
There just wasn’t much to do in Houlton. Joe made the durn-fool decision to look for more of nature’s wonders in Canada, and found a covered bridge and some falls not too far from us.
“Hey, we should go see this stuff in Canada on Thursday,” he told me.
“We said we’re not going into Canada for the day ever again: remember Montana, remember the pact?”
“No, I don’t remember that,” he eyed me quizzically. “I’m sure it will be fine.”
“Right,” I grumbled, knowing I would live to regret my mealy-mouthed ways.
They thought we were drug smugglers.
I mean, they didn’t say that to our faces, but apparently anyone who crosses the border for just a matter of hours is highly suspect of being some kind of smuggler, and drugs seem like the obvious choice. [I know, dejavue.]
We were questioned extremely thoroughly by a grumpy Canadian border guard [apparently they exist] then the truck was searched by two more on our way into Canada, and when we came back even the U.S. guy eyed us up mighty suspicious-like.
This time I mean it. I’m NEVER-ever-AGAIN going into Canada just for the day. Trust me, you shouldn’t either.
My Bookclub of One
Campgrounds have this cool free library kinda deal—often in the laundry room or rec area—where you can leave or take a book that strikes your fancy. Sometimes these libraries are massive, spanning bookshelves, and sometimes a half dozen titles sit pitifully on a stand.
Even though I brought both kindle and paperback books with me, I decided to choose one random title per stop as a way to expand my book vocabulary.
At this stop I chose The Summer I Dared, by Barbara Delinsky, and wouldn’t you know it was about an island of lobster fishermen? Sigh. But at least one of them was concerned about conservation and ecology etc. so I guess that’s something…and, she writes well. The protagonist of the story is a woman who always neglected her own wants and needs to please her family and her husband, and she finally says “No more.” I wonder how many women can relate to that? Oh, I’d probably be a bad book blogger, eh?
A Couple More Funnies
Just when you think you and your hubby couldn’t be any more different.
Joe and I sometimes use the same first Wordle word so we can compete more fairly. I agitated for this concession because he was beating me by an average of 3-1, but I contended that he had more luck at picking the first words and so the results could be swayed. (I learned this logic from drumpf.) Now I think I’m slightly ahead by 4-3, but on whatever day this was (above) we both used ALL the same words…isn’t that romantic! Maybe I do love him after all…
P.S. We toured a potato chip factory in Canada…maybe some things are best left unseen. Just sayin’.